“MY BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY”

I am blessed to be a part of your life cycle, to be a part of your metamorphosis, to be a part of you. In reflection, the beginning of our relationship was nothing more than foreplay. Me attempting to chase you down with my net, and you, entrancing me from the subtleness of your landing, to the explosiveness of your takeoff, It was such a paralyzing sight to behold. There were times when I thought I would never catch you, but I now know that I was entranced by your mating dance. I have longed for you ever since you were a caterpillar, and with a patience that defies time itself, I was blessed to be able to witness your growth and development, in route to becoming “MY” beautiful butterfly.

DAME

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“STRAIGHT, NO CHASER”

As I walk into the saloon I head towards the bar where I can drown my thoughts of this day, for they have been swimming in my mind since I rose from my restless nights sleep. As I sit down to begin my spiral into my abyss, I pause….

Customer: “WE” don’t serve the likes of your kind around here!

Bartender: Don’t mind him, his wife will be here shortly to retrieve him, what will you be having today sir?

Me: A shot of water!

Bartender: LOL, It looks as if you need something stronger than that!

Me: You know, I think you are right!

Bartender: Well then, what will you be having today?

Me: I know this might sound a bit strange, but do you happen to have a Bible?

Bartender: (noticeably excited) I don’t have one in the bar, but I do have a couple in the car, do you want the “KJV” version, or the “NIV” version?

Me: The “KJV” version, thanks for asking.

Bartender: I’ll be right back, God is good!

Me: “AMEN!”

“WONT HE DO IT?”

DAME

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“TRUTH”

Her: I am soooo mad at you right now, where were you last night? We need to talk! How can we work things out with you strolling in here at all times of the night?

Him: My friend Mark is in town, you know Mark, I think I told you about him. Well anyways, we were playing cards and drinking, and before we knew it, we were drunk. I did not want to risk getting a DUI, so “WE” decided that it would be best for all parties involved if I slept it off at his hotel. I understand that you are upset with me, and with good reason, but we have talked about me being a more responsible adult, and one would think that this shows that I am practicing on becoming that person.

Her: I see, well last night Mark, you know Mark, the one you were just talking about. Well anyways, he called here looking for you last night, he mentioned that he was in town and he would really like to see you, I told him that you would be home shortly and it would be a nice surprise if he was here to greet you when you arrived. As we waited for your return, we started playing cards and drinking, and before we knew it, we were drunk. I did not want him to risk him getting a DUI, so “WE” decided that it would be best for all parties involved that he sleep it off at our house. I truly understand if you are upset with me, but one would think that this shows that I am practicing what I preach.

“THERE CAN BE NO RECONCILIATION WITHOUT THE TRUTH”

DAME

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“MY COAT WAS NOT ENOUGH”

Farewell my fair weather friend you were inconsistent from birth, our relationship was overcast from the beginning except for the occasional clear skies, you were seasonal, and I was yearly. I should of seen the cold front coming, for I was warned. “Don’t forget your coat, you never know what the weather is going to be like later,” mom would scream. The signs were there, but they were unrecognizable in the darkness, for the clouds have been hiding the sunlight for most of our relationship. In the beginning my coat was all that I would need for our journey of friendship, we have seen many rainbows together, Gods blessing for weathering the storm, and although weathered, we remained. Mother warned me, but Mother Nature showed me, she showed me that she can become a cold hearted bitch overnight without a freeze warning. The day started a cool seventy-eight degrees and somewhat overcast, and there was no freeze warning in the foreseeable future, but by nightfall “WE” had an overnight low where the temperature fell to just about over freezing.

I thought my coat was all that I needed, I thought my coat would weather the storm, I thought my coat was all that I needed, but my coat was not enough.

DAME

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“FOLLOW THE LIGHT”

I was lost and I got tired of running, I knew not of the day, month or year, for I had been running too long. Where am I? “Why am I running? Who am I running from? Where am I running too? Lord I should of asked you for the gift of guidance, but I was lost, and not capable of understanding. I needed you in my life, but the world had other plans for my soul, plans that did not include you. Early on I turned my back on your heavenly light, for the darkness gave me comfort, the darkness protected me, and the darkness hid my pain. Lord I was running from your light for the fear of being seen, for the fear of being reprimanded, all my wrongdoings illuminated by the presence of you light. But now, I bask in the glory that is of your light, for it gives me a warmth that the world knows not of, so I would like to thank you Lord for blessing me with your light, for I now see things for what they truly are.

DAME

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“UNDERSTANDING MY LOVE”

I am blessed to have someone in my life that truly loves me. In the beginning of our relationship I didn’t understand the power that we both held. When you have the power to control ones ability to smile, cry, or fill their heart with joy or sadness, it is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. I know this from experience, for I have made my wife smile with joy, but I have also made her cry from mental anguish, but I have grown since. I have grown to fully understand that you “DO NOT” hurt the one you love, you protect them from the pain that life can issue. The true love that my wife and I share is a precious commodity that should not be taken for granted, wasted, or abused. For my love to remain loyal, I exercise my love daily for added strength, endurance, loyalty, fortitude, and trust.

“For one to show love, one must first come to understand that love.”

DAME

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“REALLY!”

I was up late watching the news the other night when this familiar commercial from my childhood came on. “You can save the great Blue Whale!” Although I do have empathy for all of Gods creatures, saving the Great Blue Whale has never been my focal point, for the Great Blue Whale was here before us, and they will be here long after we have departed.

Them: “DONATE!” Save the Great Blue Whale, they are a dying species.

Me: “OH-REALLY”

Them: “YES!” And for a tax deductible fee of “ONLY” $60.00 a month, “YOU” can adopt a Great Blue Whale, “YOUR” adoption certificate with a photo, and information about “YOUR” Great Blue Whale will be included.

Me: “OH-REALLY”

Them: “YES!” Save the Great Blue whale, adopt now, while there is still time! “YOU” can save the Great Blue Whale! Just dial the number that you see on the screen, give us your pledge, all forms of payment will be accepted, enjoy “YOUR GREAT BLUE WHALE.”

Me: “DONATE!” Save “OUR” children, they are a dying species.

Man: “OH-REALLY”

Me: “YES!” Broken homes, no funding for education, negative social media interaction, depression, frustration, hopelessness, slowed academic/emotional development, substance abuse, stress, anxiety, instability, sexual misunderstanding, teen pregnancy, malnutrition, suicidal thoughts, incarceration, abandonment concerns, mental health issues, distrust, and faithlessness!

Man: “OH-REALLY”

Me: “REALLY!”

DAME

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“ROSE”

1986…

Years ago when I was on my high school basketball team we spent time with young children that were battling cancer at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California. During one of our visits I was introduced to a spirited young girl named Rose. There was something about Rose that stood out to me, I couldn’t put my finger on it at that particular time, but I was informed that Rose had stage 4 throat cancer…

Staff: “Don’t get to attached to her, she doesn’t have much time left!”

As the week was winding down Rose and I became close, I believe that we became attached spiritually in that brief moment of time, we laughed, and I cried. Rose showed me more strength in a week, than many have shown in a lifetime, including myself. I did not know it at the time, but the Lord was preparing me for my journey. My friend Rose, with that big beautiful smile, accompanied by that one lonely tear passed away a short time later. Rose may be gone, but my memories of her will live on until my journey is complete, and I pray that I have the strength that Rose displayed during her short, but impactful journey. I wanted to share this short story with you for one reason…..

2017…

Man: Mr. O’Bannon, you have stage 4 throat cancer.

Man: “Don’t get too attached to him, he doesn’t have much time left.”

Me: Thank you Rose!

2020…

Me: Thank you Jesus!

“HAVE FAITH”

DAME

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“IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER”

Over the past three years I have learned that a persons curiosity may be attracted to the scars that one may have rather than the person that is associated with them. My scars belong to me, and I take full ownership of them, for they represent the physical pain that comes from life. My scars do not hide, they are not bashful, they are arrogant, and conscious of what they represent, for my scars represent endurance, durability, patience, acceptance, and faith. But there are some scars that are not boastful or arrogant, they stay hidden, deep within the confines of the mind, they are the scars that hide behind the scenes, unnoticed, camouflaged within the emotional insecurities that can develop mentally from the curiosity of others. That feeling of self doubt that may be triggered by perceiving oneself to be inferior in some way, threatening ones self image, or ego.

Lord I thank you for my scars that are of the body, and my emotional security that is of the mind.

DAME

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“MAN?”

“2010”

Me: What happened?

Man: You are in the hospital, you had a major heart attack, we call it the Widow Maker, relax, you will be here for some time.

GOD: “And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”

Psalm 50:15

Me: God I call on you, for you have never left my side, you have given me strength, courage, and the will to endure through all of my trials, have mercy on me.

Man: It is truly amazing how your body is responding to “OUR” treatments, “WE” didn’t think that you would make it this far, with that said, “WE” will keep up “OUR” great work.

Me: “GOD” is good!

Man: god?

“2017”

Me: What happened?

Man: You were in a terrible car accident, be still, you are not out of the woods yet!

GOD: “And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.“

Psalms 50:15

Me: God I call on you, for you have never left my side, you have given me strength, courage, and the will to endure through all of my trials, have mercy on me.

Man: It is truly amazing how your body is responding to “OUR” treatments, “WE” didn’t think that you would make it this far, with that said, “WE” will keep up “OUR” great work.

Me: “GOD” is good!

Man: god?

“2018”

Me: What is wrong?

Man: You have stage four throat cancer, actually, it is on the back of your tongue, it is from years of alcohol abuse, do you have insurance?

Me: Yes

Man: Good! Wait a minute, you have a $500.00 deductible that must be met before “WE” can help you.

God: “And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”

Psalms 50:15

Me: God I call on you once again…

Man: god?

God: I am here for you my son.

Me: Thank you!

DAME

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