Black Gold (Texas Tea)

The past few days I’ve stopped writing to read over all I’ve written.  I cannot believe that I’ve written thirty three posts. Man, that’s a lot of time and space dedicated so far. I haven’t told the story in its entirety yet…because there are so many things woven in and between and beyond that need to be told.

And let me tell you, I’ve got so much more to say.  Words and words, paragraphs and paragraphs, pages and pages. Volumes of them.

Still, I’ve shared a great deal since June.

Here’s what I know.  Here’s what I think now.

I’ve been opened up like a once thought of empty well.  Actually, it’s more than that. Water is the most precious commodity, for sure.  I would be satisfied with that.

But what I’m seeing in me is that I’ve been forced to tap into something rare and valuable. Priceless.  Something is welling up in me that is thicker, richer. I’ve struck something. Something more like, well (yes, pun inserted on purpose)…


Right now the idea of Jed Clampett crouching in a field plays in my head…watching as he accidentally discovers an oil well on his property.  Rich, life changing oil rises out of the ground as it is immediately cracked into by the shot of a misaligned bullet. It has no where else to go but up and out.  It’s as if it has waited so, so long for the light of day and it cannot wait to pour into it.

And Jed…well, all he was looking for was enough food to feed his family. Enough to keep them alive.

And (grin) I cannot seem to get the theme song of Beverly Hillbillies out of my head just now (and Sugar, if you have no idea what I’m talking about…I’ve now officially moved into the elder generation).  Part of the lyrics go like this…

Come and listen to my story about a man named Jed
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
And then one day he was shootin at some food,
And up through the ground come a bubblin crude.

Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.

Yep.  I see it.  Black gold.  TEXAS tea.

*holy sigh!*

Something incredible happened to me in Texas this summer.

I experienced something that tapped into a hidden part of me.

Because this grief thing, well, it feels pretty familiar to me.

What’s happening to me now goes far deeper than the loss of my son.

Yes.  It has uncovered layer upon layer of lessons.  Some learned and some ignored and some yet to learn.

I could sit down and write a list.  Of so many things I’ve lost along my life’s way.

I am afraid if I do…if I take a good, long look into the eyes of them…I might not recover. But I realize it’s time.

It’s not self pity.  No.  It’s just reality.

And the reality is…I’m no different from many of you.  Especially if you’ve lived long enough.

We’ve all lost.

Maybe you lost your innocence.  Your childhood.  Suffered a broken friendship or broken family.  Your health. A pet. A home. A job. A loved one. A dream.

Loss comes in so many forms and degrees. Tries to hide itself behind the frozen faced theater mask of Tragedy. Comedy, too. In so many ways, we mask it away. It’s safe to cover the depth of the pain with what we want to be perceived. We’ll show only what makes other people comfortable.

And sadly, those masks we create keep us from seeing our true selves.  Our true pain.

Sometimes we barely know how to describe the loss at the time we lose it…it seems a little insignificant or maybe it isn’t acknowledged by those close to us because they hide behind carefully crafted masks of their own.

And certainly the loss is way, way too up close and personal to examine at the time.  We may be too young to have the coping skills.  We may be shamed into casting it aside. Always, always, we are too afraid to face the pain.

So…we bury it.

Until one day a stray bullet hits us right in the belly of it.

And there’s no other choice but to allow it to crack us open and pour us out. All over the ground.

Yes.  I’m at a point in my life to allow that now.  I’ve been given a gift.  My son gave me the most beautiful gift.

Untapped riches.

No more hiding.  No more avoiding.

It’s time to tap into this oil.  Use it to buy food.  Life giving, sustaining bread.

The healing kind.

Because I’ve been hungry for way too long.


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