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I try to write of the way-back-when, but I feel a dull ache rising in my throat.

Blanket forts at the South Bay house. I was always so good at those… 

Lake Chelan, where the water is as clear as glass, and I am as tan as a little girl can be… 

The ant islands I would create in the kiddy pool with rocks and sticks. The golden-brown-green of the butternut autumn leaves in the grass… 

I can’t. I don’t know why. I just can’t. I want to be in the here and now.

Let me write of today. I woke up to being snuggled to death by my talkative cat. She’s in love with my hand. No joke. She’ll follow it around, rubbing up against it, and flopping down next to it, and purring up a storm. I finally flopped her down, and she obliged with a loud squeak. And then I realized I was awake and had to use the restroom. So, I got up, carefully closing my door behind me. When I returned, my bedroom door was open. There was Miss Martha waiting in the hallway for me. “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.” Yeah right. That sent her scurrying the other direction, trilling in her throat as she dashed off. It was 4am. There was no way I was going to play with her at that ungodly hour. I left her to her own devices and went back to bed, and slept in wonderfully late.

What else should I write of? Oh. I found a pink agate today, along with a small handful of other agates. And I kissed every one. Yes, I am strange. Then again, not really. Agates are my kisses from God, and so I kiss them back for Him. He wanted to kiss me a lot today, which was nice. I had another reminder of my depression today, and I needed that. I can’t wait to start tumbling my collection of Island agates. My glass container that used to be my grandma Mimi’s is almost full to the brim.

What else? It is dusk now. It feels like summer, though it’s only late April. There’s a noisy bird outside. I think it’s a robin up to some mischief. Perhaps it’s Puck. I think I guessed it. He’s quiet now. Dusk is such a lovely time. It is still and peaceful, welcoming the night, and rest. There are no more demands on my time. I can just be still and talk to God.

God. He really did save me. Give it enough time and a guy will show his true colors. The change is startling. And I thought in that moment, “I do not want a son like this.” I didn’t want my children raised in his image. No guy should treat a girl like that, no matter how angry he is with her. I felt like a disobedient dog. The only thing he couldn’t control were my choices. And I chose to walk away. I never did hear the rest of what he said. No point in listening to words that would probably haunt me for years. I already had plenty of those stuck in my mind.

Now is the stillness. One day I will say to my daughters, “Don’t date a guy who lives like this,” and I will be able to tell them why, because I know. One day I will tell my sons, “Do not choose this path. It will destroy the people you are meant to love.”

Dusk deepens to night. There is peace here, in this house by the sea. And I will keep this peace deep in my soul as I slip into sleep.