May 21 — Painiversary, Reclaim the Day

May 21. It’s the day that I work so hard to reclaim every year.

The day I was 26. Alone. Attacked. Beaten. Raped. Left.

But it does not belong to them. It is mine. And every year the fight has ground won and ground re-fought over.

Today I wanted to do the things I had planned. Yet none of my plans worked. Life collapsed in the form of irrigation not letting me through to my grandma’s grave—the good and beautiful woman I never met, but bear her name; the woman I have created memories with on this day each year as I take back this day, starting at her graveside. But a sea of water covered the walk to her grave. So I shouted from the road as I talked to her—the irony not lost on me that she felt farther away today.

This year has been rough. And, I am still reclaiming my day.

Next, I wanted to drive to Sunset Point. That obscure lookout north of town. A beautiful truck stop with a breath of desert and sunflowers. But a screw in my tire, revealing leaking brake fluid grounded me to mechanic shop and tire store.

And still, I must reclaim this day.

Weary as the hip injury still riles up in pain; I limped home with my patchwork car. No plan succeeding. The day’s breath reeling.

I opened mail that I should have waited for tomorrow—bills, needs, requests, wants. Oh to reclaim today.

I fed and held one of my rescue kittens, my tiny allergy ball. And whispered how I longed to be able to retake today. Tears hovered in my throat.

Time is in itself, a canopy. Some parts get more transparent as the wind comes through in healing. Other parts are bunched and need more time unfolding, clearing them, holding them in honor and grief.

My last plan today was to journal. And one plan succeeded:

May 21

My soul smashes

Into the rocks of today

Memories colliding

In the frothy remnants of time


Cold and salty spray burning

My vision and breath blocked

Silent gasps vacuumed into

The ebbing and falling tide


The air in my lungs searing, frozen

Raging and exploding

Memories colliding

In the frothy remnants of time

My soul smashes

Into the rocks of today

Today and yesterday both live inside us. We are not separate. We are one.

And as one breath of courage, we breathe in hope and breathe out reclaiming our days.


Not theirs. Not theirs.


#ReclaimTheDay #Victory #SupportSurvivors #KickAtDarkness #May21

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