heartmelt

❤melt : they open doors

“Who?”

Curiosity slipped from my teeth before I realized it didn’t matter.  I listened to my sister explain, hearing her words in the way only little sisters can.

Her husband’s friend and his fiancé were excited to welcome me into their new house.  They were good peeps.
(Translation: She met them once.  They seemed alright.  She didn’t tell them the full story.)

I’d have a full instant family again.  Mamasaur.  An 8-year-old.  A dog and a cat.
(Translation: Everyone is a stranger to you now, but you’ll be safe.)

We were lucky to find a place in such a nice neighborhood.
(Translation: You don’t have any other options.)

No, I had never met them.  No, I didn’t know anything about them, but the words under her words were right as usual.

I didn’t have any other options.
Just like I didn’t have the family I kissed goodbye, or the freedom I signed away.

I was in the midst of a raging storm and safe was the best I could have.  She was giving me the best, the way good big sisters always do.

My name is Radhika, but no one calls me that anymore.  My name is Radha, but I hardly use the affectation.  My name is Rara Queen because I married a man who changed his name to Grayson Queen.   They call him Dave now, his birth name in death.  David Martinez.  Sometimes, I was Radha Martinez.

Call me Ra.
My cats were given away when my husband died while I was in prison, and my freedom will be stifled under terms of parole for up to three years.

Say that three times fast.
The sky looks a little bluer over your head now, doesn’t it.
That raincloud looks a little smaller now, doesn’t it.

It is time to go now, they said, and I went.  Out the gates.  To the house that was someone’s home.

Enchanted backyard. Maybe it's time to make a garden? #StartingOver #MaybeItsTime

A post shared by My name is Ra. (@rawra.avis) on

It was raining in bursts and flurries, the type of storm that Dave always said reminded him of the way my thoughts spiral and spin.  Dark sky, bright light, shower and fall, shower and fall.   The sky cries, but the sun peeks through anyway.

The house was open when we pulled in, the way kind homes always are.  A light left on, a sweater left out, food scattered around the kitchen.  A dog barked, but he was smiling.  His sound was deafening, but it was a new sound.  Something I hadn’t heard in over a year.  His name is Akira and I was charmed instantly.

Just a dino and her house dog. #shibainu #petstagram #dogsofinstagram

A post shared by My name is Ra. (@rawra.avis) on

 

There was a temple in the corner, and I averted my eyes.  The silent sound of it was deafening, and I was not ready yet.

I sat at the table, and met K, the man of the house, the friend of my brother-in-law.  His cadence was easy.  Calm like an island in the middle of the storm, unafraid that the storm might wear down his edges, unaware that his stillness was sanctuary to someone drowning.  Calm, and easy.

438 days of incarceration only seems like a long time.  The 10,842 days I lived before those presented themselves over the conversation.  My legs crossed, my eye contact remained steady.  I held onto the forks without showing how the weight of non-plastic utensils shocked my senses.  I spoke without looking over my shoulder, for Dave’s silent participation.  I ate without reacting to spices I hadn’t tasted in a year, or maybe years and years.

Mostly.

… mostly.

I met the fiancé later– let’s call her Wolvie– and she reminded me of Dave.  She was piercingly aware and, though we kept the conversation casual, she noticed my glitches and mostly-moments.  She didn’t speak on them, but I spent a decade with a hyper-aware stoic.  I may never see what someone so perceptive sees, but I can always see that they’ve noticed something.  She reminded me of the temple in the corner, calmly watching the torrents as they flooded in, and monitoring my splashing.  She wouldn’t interfere with my navigation of my storm, but neither would she let me drown on her watch.

Not even a month later, I brought my hurricane home with me.

The woman who was caring for my cats couldn’t anymore.  I had less than a couple of days to pick up Flash and Perdita and find a home for them.  In a flurry, we reached out to the world– looking for some place that would at least keep them alive, or a new place to live that could house us all.

We picked them up and they remembered me, even after all the time away.

She remembered.

A post shared by My name is Ra. (@rawra.avis) on

I sat in the car with them, outside the house, making phone calls to find solutions.  There was a knock on the window, and it was the family, telling me to bring the cats inside.

“The door is open”, Wolvie said, silently chiding me for my stubbornness.  The way good sisters always do.

Flash and Perdita moved in.  K and Wolvie, and their daughter, had adopted us all.

No need for #selfies when you have a resident artist. #LittleFoot #RawrLove #rarasaur

A post shared by My name is Ra. (@rawra.avis) on

“When I find good people,” K said, “I do what I can to keep them in my life.”

Since then, there’s been adventures.  The Little Woof and I decorated for Halloween.  I wore my dinosaur suit to dinner, so she wore her wolf hat, and we considered the possibility of making and marketing burrito glue.  K and I spent a few hours considering the path of tomorrow’s America.  Wolvie and I have had a few late-night kitchen conversations about the sort of stuff that most people never actually talk about.

When Wolvie went to Nepal on her goodwill mission, the parole Inspection happened.   The household was woken at 5am, and we were pulled outside.  In full view of the neighborhood, I was handcuffed and the Little Woof was asked to stand beside me.  K was patted down, Mamasaur was escorted outside in her pajamas.

How we feel. #houseDog #sleepySunday #shibainu #dogsofinstagram

A post shared by My name is Ra. (@rawra.avis) on

When I was allowed back in, Akira pressed his head to my legs and wouldn’t move.  Even Cupid the Cat came out out her room.  The Little Woof said, “That was the scariest moment of my whole life.” and I had never felt worse about anything.  I tried to keep the conversation light.  We talked about other scary things, and silly mishaps, until it was time for school and work, but I was heartbroken over her terror.

And I expected to be without a home, once again.

They had never heard of me, in May.  They didn’t intend to rent a space in their home to a person– let alone a felon, a felon’s mother, and their two grieving cats.  They didn’t sign up for house raids, dinosaur suits, litter box fails, and endless mason jars full of Mamasaur food, and yet,

the door opens to us still.

The door opens to a house.  A house that has become my home, filled with a family that is now my HouseFamily.

There’s always gratitude here, because we share it.   There’s always options here, because we make them.  There’s always laughter here, because we let it in. When hands reach out, we reach back.  When someone knocks, we answer.

The door opens itself to second chances just as easily as it shuts on the storm, and the longer I live here, the more I forget I was ever caught in the hurricane outside.

The storm rages. The dog barks. The temple waits.
Like the first day, even now.

But I am no longer drowning,
thanks to them.

It's raining. I went to spin in it. #SometimesISpin

A post shared by My name is Ra. (@rawra.avis) on

_______________________

Gifts from HouseSister's trip to #Nepal. They are intricately and beautifully made #likeHer.

A post shared by My name is Ra. (@rawra.avis) on

My HouseSister has a blog, too! You can check out her howl to read about her trip to Nepal and the good works done.  She is trying to fund her way back because there are still many people there who need options and open doors.  Whatever you can do to spread that word or give, is appreciated.  You’ll also read a little about why her decision to open her doors to me– an unknown felon– was especially kind and brave, but those are her scars to share so I’ll let her tell you.

heartmelts

Happy 2016, Best Beloveds.  May this new year bring you kind connections and open doors.  What will you let in your door this year?

48 comments

  1. How do you manage to write so well? How do you manage to make the sky seem bluer and the rain cloud smaller time? How do you manage to make me believe in second chances, people, love and life?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yeah, when I get overwhelmed with all the other stuff that still has to happen, I rest back on that sigh of contentment because at least I have a place where I can try to make that stuff happen. For instance, still no phone, but at least there’s stable wi-fi here while I figure it out. Thanks for reading, Jessie. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I miss you, too. A (antoniusrex.wordpress.com) gave me his old Dell and it works! I’m able to be online for more than 16 minutes at a time, and it’s amazing. The holidays make it a bad time to break a phone, especially since Mamasaur broke hers too… so hopefully yes, we’ll be operational again soon. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. #PeopleAreGood. This is the kind of story that makes me cry – it’s always the stories of kindness that get to me. The open hearts. The open doors. #PeopleAreGood. The way the so-called ‘news’ shouts it’s easy to forget that. I was curious about your new living situation. I’m so very happy for you. A house full of wonderful people.
    Alison xox

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear Sparkly One

    Open doors are wonderful opportunities, and always times when we can see most clearly that #LoveWins, as it is framed by, and carried over, the threshold in the hearts of wonderful people.

    Thank you for sharing your Houseold 🙂 ❤ I'm glad they have you safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are too many legs in this house to even count, but it’s a happy sort of fullness, and I am grateful for the kind that bark and meow as much as the ones that speak, and rawr, and howl. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There are good people everywhere. I’m glad you found yours and they found you.

    What am I letting in the door this year? Forgiveness…..and self-love. Too little of both in the past and now I’m ready to accept them both. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sounds like you are in a good space. May it be a blessed year. Also, had no clue they did inspections like that. The things you do not know, forgive my ignorance just kind of shocking to me.
    Glad you are in a warm and living place. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It feels so cozy when I am liking someone’s blog while they are liking mine, at the same time. That is the kind of new year I want. I also want to grow my compassion and hope, Reading about your life helps me with this. You paint intricate masterpieces with your words and I like to marvel at how the light shines through…..

    Happy New Year Goddess Ra! I am very fortunate to have you in my life this year. I did not know you a year ago at this time. But the funny thing is, I have always known you somehow. You speak my language, sometimes for me. That’s what writer/folk and soulful spirits do ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This post made me both happy and sad (and angry). Happy because you have a “family” who accepted you regardless of your circumstances. God bless them heaps! Sad (and angry) that you are subject to the indignities of being dragged out of bed in your pajamas and handcuffed in the early hours of the morning and that your “open house family” were subjected to it too. I guess it’s just as well I wasn’t there, because I’d probably have ended up being arrested for opening my big mouth. Oh Ra, I want to scream, “that’s just not fair!!!” But then I remember, sometimes the law is neither just nor fair…it’s just the law. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true. Lots of more horrifying things were legal at some point in time. But hope and open minds and open hearts fight injustice, so we’ll keep on down that path. 🙂 Thanks for reading, Lyn, and caring. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. She is. 🙂 Thank you, RR– now that I have a working computer again, I can respond to emails, yay, so I’ll be sending you one today! Happy happy new year!! 😀 ❤

      Like

  8. That was beautiful. Your perspective is beautiful. That family is beautiful. It’s all just so beautiful. I hope for you so many good things and that temple will be ready to receive you when you are ready to enter.

    Like

  9. Ra, you are loved and welcomed because you spread love and welcoming and generosity in your path.

    I love you, and I’m glad you have this family around you. You deserve their love and they totally deserve (and clearly get) yours. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your blog is a breath of fresh air Ra. Thank you for sharing all these. I wish I can write as well as you do. Everything here is just lovely… This is a good vacation spot for me. Will surely visit your blog on weekends – when I’m not too busy. Reading your posts is a good alternative for a good book, really. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Rawr?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s