Whiskey Lullaby



“She put him out like the burnin’ end of a midnight cigarette
She broke his heart, he spent his whole life tryin’ to forget
We watched him drink his pain away a little at a time
But he never could get drunk enough to get her off his mind
Until the night….”  Brad Paisley & at el..

I blame Peyton Manning.  It was his retirement press conference that started it all.  I cried as I watched him retire.  The game truly lost a man of character.  However, I can’t say that I will miss him putting a hurting on my Jags.  I managed to get myself together and thought it strange that something that silly would bring tears where there and been none.
Facebook has a way of waisting tons of time.  I had a long hard day on the phone, and was enjoying sitting in the middle of my living room with music on and just playing around on Facebook.  Perhaps I was living vicariously through my friends who post pictures of their beautiful lives, vacations and children.

Then, the somewhat familiar voice of Brad Paisley was singing what was buried deep in my heart.  The Peyton Manning tears gave way to something real; pain buried so deep that my body was actually shaking and I could not stop crying.  I found myself walking around in circles trying to stop it, but the tears came from a part of me I didn’t know existed.  I played the song over and over in an attempt to make sense of any of it.
“Until the night he put that bottle to his head and pulled the trigger and finally drank away her memory, life is short but somehow this was bigger than the strength he had to get up off his knees.”

Why was I so sad?  The song infers that she blames herself for his death.  I didn’t then nor do I now blame myself, I still don’t have regrets; and there is no guilt.  So, why the uncontrollable sobbing?  It was lonely that night, I didn’t text anybody, I didn’t call anybody, I just played that song over and over and cried.

Suddenly, I was sitting in the middle of a dark room, it had been over 2 hours.  I picked up my phone and had a text from a very good friend of mine who rarely texts me first.  I can’t remember why, but a text from her was there waiting when I picked up my phone.  Somehow we got on this subject, and in a vail attempt to explain to her what I was feeling, she had but one thing to say to me; and the words hit me hard; but the intentional spaces in the text message; made me cry more–but gave me freedom I had not felt up until the moment.



Nobody had indicated to me anything differently.  But somehow I had it in my mind that I was supposed to be happy, well not happy; but certainly not the intense sadness I felt on this night, in the dark, in the middle of my brand new house.

I stopped trying to understand it.  Later, I did reach out to my cousin and we chatted on FaceTime.  She told me “somebody should write a book on how to deal with this”.  Em, while not the same, experienced something similar.  As always, she has words for me– a question or thought that I am thinking and can not articulate.  “You always hope for that little grain of goodness in a person–the person you fell in love with to surface.”

She hit the nail on the head.  While his death had little to do with my life on a daily basis–besides being free from fear–his death was the death of this idea that he could get better, he could live a happy, peaceful life–he could beat his demons.  Instead, it seemed, his demons got him, and the saddest of all, that perhaps, there never was the granule of goodness in him.

That brought on another wave of tears of sadness for his kids and his family; and for me and the 12 years I spent with him.  The years that are marked by a diseased heart valve; a ear that has reduced hearing; PTSD; flashbacks; and any given number of triggering events.  But, the tears washed away so many emotions I didn’t even know I had.  It was as though, my body gave up; and finally, finally, I was free.
Freddie the “fighter” settled into a much needed hiatus.  Felicia the “flyer” suddenly was free to fly, fly everywhere, anywhere, and beamed at the possibilities.   While Freddie wanted to give me strength to get up off my knees, this time Felicia won.  Freddie is sleeping after 4 decades of working over-time to keep me alive.
As for the conscious me, I am still trying to get used to flying.  I may fly into a few trees, but the view of what is and what can be still leaves me stunned and grateful.  So, incredibly grateful.
Fly monster slayer, fly.
Fly to the beat of the Lullaby.  Go places you’ve never been.
Fly monster slayer, fly.  And remember the One that gives you strength to do just that, fly girl, fly!


2 thoughts on “Whiskey Lullaby

  1. Oh how I know those tears. Our stories are different but the emotions are so similar. At first I didn’t want to read what you wrote. I would break it off in little chunks. I look forward to your posts now. I cannot fly yet. But I do have a fighter and she is very very strong. And a little girl who just wants to be protected. and a few others. We have made it through today and that is sometimes enough. Peace to you my friend.

    • You’ll get there, at least part of you will. Time and work my friend, don’t give up. Some days will be darker than others, but joy does come in the morning. Thank you for reading, it helps me continue the journey of chronicling this part of my life. Peace to you too my fried. Perfect peace.

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