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Locks of Love

Sunday, March 06, 2011

March 5th, 2011. I started this day with a big agenda. It started at the car dealership where I paid off the car, I own it! But that's not why I'm writing.

I have always wanted to give back in memory of Stephanie. I hid behind the pain, the anger and mostly the longing for my daughter, thinking standing still would help keep her memory alive. I started growing my hair out as a rebellious act in December of 2006. It served to perpetuate me shutting out the world. The ultimate anti-social act, look unapproachable, become unapproachable. I had actually started the process in 2004 and cut off that growth to get a promotion at work.

Growing it out was something I had always wanted to do, what Metalhead doesn't? I didn't have a hair cut until March of 2010, again an employer, however, by this time I had made the decision to donate it, or so I told the employer. I trimmed it so I could hide the length under my hat and 'look' professional, not that my training/lack of made me a professional, but because of how others may perceive me and the company. Then June happened. I had found someone to whom I could openly share stories of Stephanie, we'd met in March. This began a healing process I wasn't aware of at the time. I was becoming ready to accept Stephanie's death and didn't even know it. I'm not all that surprised though, 2010 was shaping up as a very accidental transitional year and by accidental, it's not like I had a conversation with myself and said lets step down from your job, take one you have zero training for and see if that will help you rediscover life. Although, that's exactly what it did.

I had really begun to think about a date, it would be symbolic, this was August. Fall came and went, December, January. I was really starting to lean to May, her birthday, she'd have been 21 this year. Again my growth came into play, I began to tire of the length, the care and the look, I had an appointment in late February, I was going to trim it one last time, then a medical emergency in my stylists family got that appointment canceled. When she call this past week and wanted it on Saturday, the fifth of March. While not the fifth of May, I got enough symbolism to know my angel was ready to see the smiles my act of love would create.

I got myself mentally ready, off I went. Melani, my stylist, is a family friend who knew Stephanie and one of the most compassionate people I know. It helped I was on an emotional high from paying off the car. Mom came out to capture it for all to see. Thirty minutes of cutting and reflection, it was done.

There is no feeling better than giving of yourself in a manner without possibility of ever seeing how your act reaches it's destination. I will do this again and again and again. I am a lean, nicer, hair growing machine. One child smiling. If you hair is long, donate it, if it's short, grow it out and donate it. Giving up any vanity makes it all worthwhile. Feel free to jump on over to my gallery and glance at my experience.

I am becoming this man with the help of my friends, my spark friends. Seven months and one day after joining this site, I gave in my daughter's memory, sparkpeople is part of how I did. The support and encouragement is so unconditional. Thank you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNER12COM 3/7/2011 1:03PM

    This is such a powerful entry, so much inspiration and wonder in your story.

Thank you for sharing this with all of us.


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DUSTYGIRL25 3/7/2011 1:20AM

    Wonderful! What a wonderful, unselfish thing to do. So glad that your SparkFamily of Friends are helping you through some very tough times.
I am so sorry about your loss of someone so much a part of you.
I know healing takes a very long time, and keeping memories alive is so very important.
Now, Just imagine how happy you are making some small child.

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BTRTHANEVA 3/6/2011 6:02PM

    Here's a tribute to you, Ray. It's not just locks of love, it's LOTS of love!

BTW, I really like the new look!

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  What a wonderful, inspiring story. So glad to hear you are healing and giving. God bless you!!


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    I am happy you are finding your peace.

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LESLIES537 3/6/2011 12:47PM

    You are truly a pillar of hope and inspiration not only to me, but to those who are lucky enough to know you. Your angel is definitely smiling down with the biggest grin of approval, pride, and love. You are amazing! I, or should I say WE, couldn't be more proud! emoticon

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HOPE2BE 3/6/2011 9:18AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
yes to all the above. I too have given. I'm the only one in my family to do that. I am a Cancer Survivor and had a Dad who passed away from it. There are guidelines for those they give to. You can get your hair cut but it can't be grey or colored. I felt so special and also because it was curly and I know there aren't too many curly headed people out there. Hope

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NINJA-NED 3/6/2011 7:17AM

    what a wonderful story. may you continue to heal and grow.

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COOP9002 3/6/2011 6:42AM

    May God you an outpouring of His Grace and love today and in the days ahead.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2011 Spring | Metropolitan Community College

Class Grades - 2011 Spring


Official Grades

Class Description Units Grading Grade Grade Points
HVAC 120 Fundamentals of Refrigeration 4.00 Graded A 16.000

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTRTHANEVA 3/2/2011 8:28PM

    You might have gotten a perfect 4.0 from MCC, but you are an A+++ in my mind! Congratulations on achieving perfection!

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LESLIES537 2/24/2011 5:34PM

    SO proud of you!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IRMANATOR 2/23/2011 7:57PM

    thats great!

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NINJA-NED 2/23/2011 9:26AM

    yay you!!!!! that's fantastic!! emoticon

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an open book

Monday, January 24, 2011

I, in the ongoing effort to be honest with myself, realize i need to get stuff out of my head, blogging is the answer. I have stopped for numerous reason/excuses. The main one is fear, fear of rejection, fear of being 'seen' weaknesses included. This will be the start of me sharing some of that fear so i can work through it.

I battle most hours feeling insecure about myself, i can take anything from anywhere or anyone and turn it into a negative self-belief. I try to come across self confident and self assured truth is i look for the approval of others to gain that belief about myself. I rush emotional bonding to find it. I look for it constantly. I try and control others to manipulate them into giving me that approval. this process is very much a subconscience action, it doesn't feel right yet it tries to manifest anyway. I am better at seeing it now than i was a year ago! It's not however where i want it to be. I still cannot seperate my ego response that the actions are disrespectful, I do however stop myself from acting on the thoughts more than a year ago. I'm trying to find a medium where i can express how i feel without the crush of it not being heard or responded to in a specific manner. Think I can find an on/off switch for it?

I'm fairly certain this new wave of emotional insecurity is being stirred up with the approaching anniversary of Stephanie's passing, two weeks from today my baby girl will have been gone 14 years, truth is i still miss her the same. Her hugs, smile and laughter, contagious on their own merit, were a life force i drew upon, for most of that time I've ran from finding it again. I believe feeling this loss, missing her and a willingness to be 'here' are factors that are helping me embrace finding that spirt again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTRTHANEVA 1/24/2011 6:02PM

    Geez, I've been looking for this book for awhile! It finally showed up! Here, let me dust you off...

I so totally *get* what you're saying. Insecurity is my middle name. No, that's not totally correct. Insecurity HAS BEEN and occasionally still is, my middle name.

But, like you, I'm a work in progress and making progress. I have spent most of my life trying to be what everyone else needed so I would be accepted. Truth being told, I had no idea who I was. I had no identity. A spineless blob.

Before I met Paul, I came across like I had the world by the balls. It was all a mirage. I didn't want anyone to know the damaged goods I was. I did what I had to do so I didn't self destruct. I had to find someone who believed in me, accepted me and all my flaws and NOT LEAVE before I could start believing in myself. I still have these moments when I expect Paul to say *uncle, I've had enough* ~ but his love is genuine and enduring. I finally had to stop running away from myself. Like I mentioned in my SP intro *I find me*. I'm not running anymore.

Learning to love and accept yourself as the imperfect human that you are is the biggest gift you can give yourself. Then you can finally share the gift that is Ray with the people who love you.

Your angel is watching you from heaven ~ watching her beloved father become whole. She must be very proud of the progress you're making. I know that I am.

I've missed you! It's not very often that someone writes something that I relate to in such a way. Which is why, dear cement head, you tug at my heart with every word you write.

As a matter of fact, you have inspired me in a subject matter for a blog... Stay tuned!

Be good to yourself and everyone you love this moment ~ the only one that matters...

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    Wow, I wish I could so eloquently put into words my thoughts like you did! It's obvious that you are learning and growing on your journey to better health!!! emoticon

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LESLIES537 1/24/2011 9:25AM

    “Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.”
~ John Allen Paulos

“When angels visit us, we do not hear the rustle of wings, nor feel the feathery touch of the breast of a dove; but we know their presence by the love they create in our hearts.”

p.s. I'm proud of you for working through your fear. You continually amaze me. Thank you for setting such a good example for me and the others who are lucky enough to know you. XOXOXOXOXOXO

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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20 years of fear washed away!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

WOW, talk about an emotional release! Twenty years of self-defeating messages, GONE! No more you're not smart enough, you can't sit through a three hour class or my biggie; you're not worthy of bettering yourself. Gone I tell you, no more, poof!

How you ask, let me share it with you. I set a goal and stuck to it, even through my procrastination, without beating myself up. I faced my fears, took away their power, a power I gave them. I used wanting more from my life than I had. I took the memory of my daughter and turned it into the image of being her daddy and providing for her. I also thought about my GF and kids, they are simply the best. Shouldn't they get the best I can do? I can say, fear is over-rated!

I am worthy, I do deserve to better myself. School for me WAS something that only stirred-up crappy memories. Memories that I allowed to rule my decisions. Memories that I used to confirm a skewed view of myself. I stayed dwelling on the pain the messages created, pain and suffering WAS THE way of life for me. Sitting here typing I am experiencing a joy like no other. A joy I never want to end!

Goodbye fear! Goodbye self-doubt! Hello Mr. Ray, welcome to the building a better you, pull up a chair and have a seat. The journey continues.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSBENNETT2 1/10/2011 12:03AM

    Good for you!!!!

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BELLALUCIA 1/9/2011 11:32PM

    Congratulations! Stay away from bimbos, I know u will, u got Leslie537, the cutest chick of all!

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BTRTHANEVA 12/18/2010 9:46PM

    Hey Ray! Long time, no speak. I've been going through my own transformation of late which has kept away from sparking.

Just catching up on one of my fav friends (you, cement-head). Though you don't know it, we are kindred spirits of the soul...

CONGRATS on facing your fears and kicking their sorry ass! That's friggin awesome. Good for YOU!!!

I'm really psyched for the journey you're on. You've certainly caught some kind of *spark*. lol. It's really great to see the man emerging (and don't worry, I won't tell MOM). hehehehe.

Happy holidays, Ray. Here's to both of us (ALL of us) living life well, and trusting ~ especially in ourselves...

Ho Ho HO!

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FLYER99 12/16/2010 5:37PM

    Good for you! What an awesome motivating blog post.

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THATS_LOVELY101 12/16/2010 1:42PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Good for YOU, Ray! Hurray! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NINJA-NED 12/16/2010 12:51PM

    how awesome!! i'm a little jealous - i love college. have fun!

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LESLIES537 12/16/2010 12:10PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon I'm so proud of you! YOU DID IT!!! Way to go, you college student you!! emoticon

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FCARMICH 12/16/2010 11:56AM

  one day at a time! Good luck!

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. . .

Friday, November 19, 2010


Learn to detach...Don't cling to things, because everything is impermanent... But detachment doesn't mean you don't let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate fully. That's how you are able to leave it... Take any emotion--love for a woman, or grief for a loved one, or what I'm going through, fear and pain from a deadly illness. If you hold back on the emotions--if you don't allow yourself to go all the way through them--you can never get to being detached, you're too busy being afraid. You're afraid of the pain, you're afraid of the grief. You're afraid of the vulnerability that love entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, 'All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.

~ Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTRTHANEVA 11/20/2010 8:39PM

    I adored this book! Especially the living wake - where the Professor had all his friends over BEFORE he died!

Live like you're dying... Not to be foreboding, but we are! Take this moment and let it serve you well!!!

Great to have you back! I missed you!!!

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NINJA-NED 11/20/2010 1:43PM

    wonderful book!

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LESLIES537 11/20/2010 1:32PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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