Today is the first day of the rest of my forever. I will cherish this day, and this night, and be thankful for the days I have had, both good and not so good, and whatever tomorrows will become part of my history.

I am beginning to believe that we are all just learning to become who we will be in the next million years or so. I am no longer a young person, thank goodness. I am past the point in my life where I will tolerate abuse, of any kind. I don’t have to listen to anyone who has a negative tone. I can walk away, and I will.

I expect my future to be filled with love, and kindness, whether it comes from the people I love, or the flowers in my garden, or my dogs. I do not have time for ugly feelings, or words that are meant to hurt. I love my dogs – they are innocent. All they want is to play and kiss and be fed and touched with kindness. How can anyone be mean to an animal?

We have bunnies in our front yard. They live somewhere below the tall bushes. They are pretty smart. They stay outside of the fence, and only venture in when the dogs are not visible. Yes, they eat the plants, and the grass, but they are just bunnies. They have simple needs. They are afraid of the dogs, but of course, the grass is always greener beyond the fence. Louie chases them, but they always get away.

I feed the wild birds, but Louie wants them out of “his” yard. He barks at them, and runs and jumps but they just fly away. What a freedom, to be able to fly away. How amazing it must be to be a bird. To just spread your wings and fly away from danger. Or to fly, just for the fun of it.

Several years ago I was sitting at the table in the back yard, alone, when a large bird few overhead. I actually heard the sound of the wind in his wings. It felt like a blessing. A sign. All is well. So, call me a nutcase. I can handle it. It was a moment I will always remember. Actually hearing the wind on the wings of a bird.

For the past couple of months I have been corresponding with a battered wife in one of Safe Horizon’s chat groups. She wanted to get away, but she wanted her little girl to be able to stay in the same school, to keep things normal for her two young children.Last night she posted a comment that her husband (in spite of a full Order of Protection) broke down the door to the home they had shared, proclaiming his love and devotion, and frightened her and the children so badly that they had to run out of the house. Neighbors called the police. The loving husband is now in custody.

How is a frightened woman supposed to cope with this? She can’t get him to leave, she feels trapped, so she goes to the Courts. She gets a paper that says she is safe. But in the end, it is only a piece of paper. What if he had been armed? What if he had decided to kill them all? What good would that paper do then?

If you are abused, and you are really ready to leave, please don’t rely on the Courts to keep you safe. Safe Horizon has a wonderful list of things to do before you leave, (because they know our brains are scattered by this point), they give good, reasonable, professional advice. I’m sure there are other wonderful sites for women who need help, but Safe Horizon is a really good start.

Please take care of yourselves. Be safe. Tonight I feel blessed. I wish blessings on you too. Love the people in your life. Hug your dog (or your cat, or your teddy bear). Watch the birds flying overhead. Be alive. Truly alive. Believe that your life is special, and unique, and that you have a higher purpose than just being a punching bag.