Grief, memoir

If You Know…

If you know,

then you know,

that you know.

It was the 29th time that the day of her birth had come around following her death. Nothing much seems to have changed over the past few years. At least on the inside.

I kept busy that day, working moving dirt and readying the planter boxes in the greenhouse for planting. It was a beautiful sunny spring day.

And then out of the blue it hit me.

The memories I hold so dear were of a young girl in her mid-twenties. In the fullness of life, with dreams of the future, until the last few months when the sickness began to overtake her. But this day it is the year 2022.

She would have turned 57 years old.

Just typing the words seems surreal. I will turn 58 later this year so it tracks mathematically. But the heart knows nothing of numbers, only images stored in the mind and carried forever.

And I have no idea what she would look like were she alive today.

I have aged, gray hairs shining through my blonde curls. My whiskers when I let them grow are tinged with silver and the lines at the corners of my eyes and on my forehead are tell tale signs of the years that have passed.

But in my mind she is still that young girl.

In the prime of her young life, long brown hair, and sparkling blue eyes. The ravages of time had not yet made their mark as they do to us all that are blessed to live for many years. My mind is swirling.

I cannot picture her as 57 year old woman.

So, I wonder at this. Another wave of grief and loss assaults’ me. I feel as I if I have lost her again. For a second time, no a third time… hell I have lost count of how many times over the ensuing years.

I live on with memories from long ago.

I am happy. I have moved forward with a wonderful wife and daughter. And yet, I have watched my daughter grow into a teenager, and my wife has aged as have I. And my memories of her are frozen in time.

She has never aged.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? She never got the pleasure of enjoying more of life. Of family and friends. Even the aches and pains of a body that is worn and tired from a life lived fully.

But maybe, just maybe she did.

I smile, my heart is happy because in her almost 28 years of life, she lived every moment fully. She was alive, even at the end when the cancer racked her body, when everything hurt and I stood holding her hand to the end of our journey together.

I carry the grief and loss, right alongside my joy and happiness.

PS – You can read more of my story of grief, loss, healing and life after in my memoir Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry, available on many online platforms. I use my experience to coach others struggling with grief and moving forward from loss, let me know and we’ll schedule a 15 minute intro call to see if I can help. God bless, ~M

Grief, Life, memoir, Writing

Big Boys Don’t Cry, Remember?

The myth continues… that boys don’t cry.

Ummm… I call BULL$#!+

Scene from the 1989 movie ‘The Abyss’

This scene caught my attention the other night while watching The Abyss with my family.

Why do we continue to perpetuate this belief? We see it in so many things in our society and especially in entertainment.

While the statement may be well intended… what harm does it cause?

I have spent a lifetime trying to live up to this lie. You can read my story in my memoir “Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry” available on Amazon and other online retailers.

And yes the title is a play on words and the lie.

What are your thoughts about this?

God, Life, Writing

What Would You Say?

“A YOUNG AND OLD VERSION”

If you had a chance to go back in time and talk to your younger self what would you say?

What sage advice have you gained over the years that you could share?

Would you attempt to smooth the way and make life easier for yourself?

Would you give encouragement despite the hard times that are to come?

What would you tell your younger self is most important in life?

If you could go back in time and talk with your younger self would you? And what would you say? #WickedQuestions

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. ~Ecclesiastes 11:9

Again, I ask you what would you say?

God, Grief, memoir

Revisiting Chapter 6 – To Love What’s Leaving

We are all dying day by day, but following the diagnosis, I instinctively knew death would find her, statistically, probably before me, and it happened much sooner than I had ever imagined.

CHAPTER 6, TO LOVE WHAT’S LEAVING, PAGE 61 – MARK W. SCHUTTER

Rereading this chapter now I struggle to come up with any coherent meaning to it. We were both denying the reality of her illness I guess, or at the very least the seriousness. However, we were also continuing to live in the face of it. An odd juxtaposition to me even now. It is hard loving someone who is dying, but as Stephen Jenkinson says in his book Die Wise, loving someone is not inevitable, loving someone who will die is.

We go through our days sometimes blissfully unaware that we are all dying a little our days on this earth numbered. And that is okay, even when the reality that time is limited smacks you in the face. You go on and in the daily rhythms of a ‘normal’ life you find some peace and satisfaction regardless of what others might tell you. You must find your own path, ask Jesus to reveal it to you and ask him to walk with you. He will and that is what matters.

To Love What’s Leaving – What is Your Experience?

I did not understand the grief. My heart was broken and yet, I never wanted it to mend. – Chapter 6, To Love What’s Leaving, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry #Memoir #WritersLife #Grief

Read my thoughts on the first five chapters of my memoir, links below, and watch for the next one in the series – Chapter 7, I Am the One Dying

You can order your print copies and the e-book today, and one or two or three… as a gift for some else who is struggling. PAY IT FORWARD!

  • You can also contact me here on my website using the contact form to purchase signed copies. God bless! 👊
Life, Writing

What Do You Do with That?

Replace the word ‘anger’ with any of the following:

  • Shame
  • Regret
  • Guilt
  • Sadness
  • Grief
  • etc.

Isn’t the question still the same, what do you do with that? These are all negative emotions or experiences, what about the so-called positive experiences or emotions?

  • Joyful
  • Excitement
  • Contentment
  • Humbled
  • Love
  • etc.

Again, when the moment of realization comes what do you do with that? Do you use these emotions or experiences for others good?

There is that pivotal moment when you realize the amount of anger you are carrying. And then the question becomes what do you do with that? #WickedQuestions

Can you answer the question for yourself?

God, Life, Writing

Misty Mysterious Mountains

There is something mysterious and mystical about a gray rainy PNW day. The silence and shadows will take you in and if you stop and listen you can hear God’s voice and words of truth.

It helps me to get away even briefly with the rush of the holiday season. To stop the busyness of work and the thousand and one things that vie for our attentions.

We must slow down and ask ourselves what is really important. Am I doing what God would have me do or just spinning my wheels in the mud?

What refreshes your soul and how do you get away?

God, Life, Writing

Are You Living in Fear? > Do Not Fear!

Do not allow a spirit of fear to run your life for you are more than a  conquer in Jesus! 👊

Rise up mighty warriors!

Yeshua tells us in this world we will have trouble but he has overcome the world. Better yet he is coming back with all of heavens army.

Are you ready to fight with him?

Grief, Life, Writing

Reckoning…

As I navigate the publishing waters and my upcoming #memoir I find myself often at the edge of this proverbial cliff wondering if I truly have the wings to fly.

The doubts assail me that my story, the good and bad, the pretty and ugly will soon all be out there for everyone to see (read.) Not to mention is it any good and does anyone really want to hear my story. Will it make a difference? To just one?

To paraphrase lyrics from the TSO song Epiphany – when you stand at the edge of a cliff and your mind wonders if you should take one more step.

Your mind often says you won’t but your heart says you might. #Quote #Motivation #LiveYourDreams

I am choosing to take that step, into the unknown and a future that is fraught with fear but also the possibilities. Touch one life and you just may touch the world, ripples ya know!

PS – I will be revealing the cover of my memoir 𝘾𝙤𝙬𝙗𝙤𝙮𝙨 𝘼𝙧𝙚 𝙉𝙤𝙩 𝙎𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝘾𝙧𝙮 next Tuesday, July 27 here on WordPress and across all my other social media accounts, watch for it!

Now go and #LiveYourDreams👊




Grief, Writing

Just this… don’t question how it begins.

Where it all began.

Just this… where the premise for my memoir ‘𝘾𝙤𝙬𝙗𝙤𝙮𝙨 𝘼𝙧𝙚 𝙉𝙤𝙩 𝙎𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝘾𝙧𝙮’ started over three years ago. Ideas slamming into my brain and hastily scribbled on a 3×5 card.

I dived deep into my past and the pain to write my story over the next few years. Encouragement came in numerous ways from family and friends. I signed with Christian Faith Publishing (@christian_faith_publishing) last fall to publish my manuscript. Now my story has been edited, formatted and the cover design completed, to be published very soon for the world to read.

Cover Design Teaser!

Never give up on your dreams no matter what. God gave you those dreams for a purpose to make a difference in the world. 👊 #LiveYourDreams

#LiveYourDreams

‘𝘾𝙤𝙬𝙗𝙤𝙮𝙨 𝘼𝙧𝙚 𝙉𝙤𝙩 𝙎𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝘾𝙧𝙮’