death changes you at nautilus teachings

death changes everyone.
for sher
she did divorce
her first husband.
there was no marriage left
it was not just her mother’s death
it was much deeper…
the year was 1980
first year in college
first love
first marriage proposal even,
but her mother told her
to break it off
she was too young
she needed to find out
who sheri was…
sheri did just that.
when sher’s mom
met the man she eventually married
dory fell in love with him.
dory said to sheri,
“oh sher, i love him.
he is going far.
he will give you
a nice house
the country club
a white picket fence
sher did what her mom wanted.
she played the part of being in love
had the big wedding
all the while seeing
talking to
meeting and making love with
her first love
twice a year.
as a matter of fact,
on sheri’s wedding day
she told her pastor friend
“i can’t do this. i don’t love him…”
he replied,
“take my hand. i will put you in a safe place
and talk to your parents…”
but she knew how much money
her father spent
her mother had just had a heart attack
a month prior,
her whole family was there
she could not
and would not
let them all down…
the night before
she talked to
her first love
he promised he would
pick her up
and they would elope…
he showed up
to steal her away
2 hours to late
she was already mrs…
now that her beautiful mom
was gone
the divorce was long
and horrible
trying to prove she was
an unfit mother
by having this affair
with her first love
for so many years…
eventually the judge
asked him to stop wasting the courts time
granting the divorce.
nearly 2 years had passed
she had traveled to
cocoa beach
met a handsome bartender
fallen in love
and as soon as it was official
he moved into
the house
she built with her ex.
she was trying on life
living on the edge a bit
not knowing where life
was going to lead her.
this new guy loved her son
and in return nicholas,
on the day she married
the new guy in 1990
asked her,
“mommy, can i call him daddy?”
her heart was full.
life was good.
they were expecting
a child
both working hard
renting an old farmhouse
with wild berry bushes,
stray cats
and lots of land to run on.
he sold beer
she managed a store
and on the weekends
she painted all the walls
with different murals
quilted the bedding
made drapes
wrote her stories
and on a cold day in december
Lauren was born.

she made trips to
visit the mausoleum
spending hours talking to her mom…
inside her heart, she knew
something was wrong…
she would cry
sitting upon the cold granite
leave pictures of Nicholas and Lauren
on a tiny table
then travel back home
he started becoming angry
threatening to leave…
sher would beg him
on her knees
tears streaming down her cheeks
to stay…
her father was engaged
to marry one of her moms
good friends.
her brothers
went on with their lives too.
no one was close
to anyone
because the bonding agent
11/2 years into her
second marriage
with a 5 year old son
and a new baby
the letter arrived.
dear mr….
we are a collection agency
you owe…
we will be contacting
you to set up payments…
“WTF?”, sheri thought.
when he arrived home
he laughed at it…
“it’s just a health club
membership i never paid off
because you made me move here,
it’s no big deal. call them tomorrow
and put it on the credit card…”
she did as told.
baby number 2 arrived
2 years later
another girl,
he became more distant
but it was only for periods of time
his anger never subsided
and at times was unbearable.
she knew she chose this life
she knew she could leave
she knew
he had power over her
but mostly she knew
she had no idea
who she was…

she began a home daycare/preschool
they moved to a two story town home
on a tiny lake
he was still selling beer
she was settling into the life she chose.
one cold snowy day in February
Lauren, who was stubborn
as the day is long
refused to be potty trained.
she was exhausted
and screamed,
“you will sit on that potty and you will go pee…”
Lauren looked up at her mom
scrunched her nose
and screamed,
“i don’t want tooooooo…”
then she peed upon the floor.
that was it
sher was done.
she threw a clean diaper on Lauren
popped on her hat, snowsuit, gloves and scarf
packed Laurens backpack with her blanky
sippy cup and snacks
walked her to the door and said,
“if you are not going to go pee in the potty
you can leave!”
Lauren looked up at her mom
and screamed,
“i hate you…”
then she trudged down the snowy steps
walked down the snowy sidewalk
to the corner stop sign
with sheri watching her closely the whole way.
Lauren stood there crying for only a moment
then she turned around walked back home
rang the bell
and when sheri opened the door
she said,
“fine! i will pee in the toilet”
sheri grabbed her up
and cried, 
“oh, Lauren, mommy is so sorry.
i love you…”
then she forgot about potty training
and never realized
this would be the first of many battles
she just had no strength to win…