The Sword on the Wall

I have some eclectic interests and possessions. I really do enjoy having a variety of things to surround me and catch my interest. If you were to walk into my room, I imagine you would find an array of quote/unquote “conversation pieces,” at least one of which would interest you.

One of my favorites is the sword hanging above my bed.

Held up by three nails, and a prayer that I don’t get knocked on the head some night if it ever comes loose.

I am not sure it should even legitimately be called a sword, as there has never ever in its history been an attempt to put an edge on it. It is, in fact, just a rusted and ornate piece of metal, with a stamp that says “MEXICO” on the blade and a seam on the hilt where the metal wasn’t even smoothed or polished post-molding. I think it is one of the coolest things ever.

I rather like its personal history in my life. The origins of such a piece are a mystery to me. I first saw it when my brother brought it home (he had been helping someone clean out old trailer houses and had thought this worth taking. And also a stuffed rattlesnake, but that wasn’t allowed in the house). Loving it instantly, I started referring to it as “my sword”.

“Christian” (my brother), “can I take my sword out for a photo shoot?”

“Christian, can I borrow my sword for some writing inspiration?”

“Christian, can I hang my sword on my bedroom wall?”

In all honestly I am not sure I asked that last one, I think I might have just taken the initiative and done it.

Apparently he got the point, because one Christmas he snuck down to my bedroom, took it off the wall and officially gifted it to me as part of my Christmas gift. I was touched that he would think to officially relinquish it to me.

I have since moved, and that sword had moved with me, gracing my wall in my current bedroom as it was in the last. I would be shocked to find it didn’t do so through any moves I have ahead of me. Not only do I have it as just a pretty interesting decoration, it’s a reminder of a brother who was willing to part with it because he know how happy it made me. And that’s a very double edged reason to keep it. (Pun fully intended. I like puns. I’m sorry. I’m not sorry. I inherited my Dad’s sense of humor and I thoroughly enjoy it).


Exciting Farewells and Painful Histories

I dropped my parents off at the airport this morning. They’re headed to Germany. It’s kind of a long story as to why, so here’s me staring on the chronicle of the last three years that have led up to this momentous event.

Pardon the terrible writing. Also, if you could ignore my crazy eyes, that would be great.

Pardon the terrible writing. Also, if you could ignore my crazy eyes, that would be great.

See, my Mom has cancer. I vividly remember when she was first diagnosed in 2013.  There was no preamble of health issues that hinted at deeper troubles. One day everything was right as rain in my family. The next day I was going to a party. My parents wanted me to call once I got there to make sure I had traveled safe. I was thinking I was much too old and independent to do so, and feeling rebellious gave my dad the quickest of calls that probably went something like “Hey I made it safe, obviously, k bye.” And then I hung up. Dad called me back right away.

“What?” Is how I believe I answered the phone.

“Your mom’s in the hospital.” He said.

Dang. They talk about living out movie moments, but they usually mean the picture perfect happy ones, not the rebellious-teen-acts-rebellious-only-to-find-out-bad-news-in-the-middle-of-her-rebellion. Nothing puts a damper on rebellion and puts life in perspective like that.

He proceeded to tell me they didn’t think it was anything serious, just some abnormal stuff that probably didn’t amount to much but she was staying overnight and getting a colonoscopy in the morning to check it out.

I remember the next morning, hugging my family and crying as we got the results. I remember being asked if I was okay and saying no (actually saying no instead of what I usually do and brushing my troubles aside with a “Fine”) and crying more.

Mom was in the hospital for 2 weeks, and it was a tumultuous and emotional and crazy hard time that I wish had never happened. Yet I have some memories from that time that are so special to me. Life is weird that way.

And maybe that’s why, when I dropped off my parents at the airport at 4:30 this morning so that my mom can seek treatment for her now stage 4 cancer in a country that still has options for her to fight this fight, I wasn’t sad or scared. I was actually excited. No matter what results from her 6 week treatment there, the adventures and memories that my parents make in Europe will be so wonderful.

So that’s the inception of the narrative. It’s been a long ride and there are many stories in between. But I’ll get to those later. For now I’m just happy I’ve actually started. The first step’s the hardest right?

So that’s life, and that’s why in a few weeks I’ll be headed off to another country to support my Mom through this. And also why I slept in until literally 12:30 today. But that’s a rather unimportant detail in all this.

Taking My Own Advice

Confession: I have been rather hypocritical lately. See, my Mom just started a blog, and she has posted a grand total of 1 time. I have told her that she should post more, that I want to read what she has to say, that blog posts don’t have to be a perfect, polished, blast of inspiration that wows everyone away, it’s really not what the medium was meant to do. She has kindly not pointed out that my brand new sparkly blog has sat over here being sorely abused with a grand total of, that’s right, 1 post. Sorry mom. Time to remove the plank from my own eye first, eh?

Anyway, why haven’t I written? It’s been busy, and by busy I mean college and work but what I really really mean is Netflix and reading and whole lots of other terrible excuses. I get lazy, or I think of posts I don’t want to write, because I don’t want to write the serious, somewhat painful, posts I know I need to actually write. I haven’t yet got the nerve to write and publish those, but I will soon.

And I have never been as good at small talk, and apparently that also means small talk posts as well. That’s something I’d like to be better at, but really, listening is so. much. better. But there is still that little voice that wants to be listened to, too. And that’s half the reason I started the blog, to appease that little voice. (The other being to talk about the serious stuff. Basically just to talk about stuff, apparently).

And I’m sitting here staring at the screen thinking this all makes no sense and shouldn’t be posted. Which is sometimes the reason I don’t speak, too. I really want to work on this through writing!

I see why Mom hasn’t posted yet. Anyway, hopefully she figures out that it’s easier than it seems at first. Hopefully I’ll figure that out soon too.

Sorry for the rambling,


Starting in the Middle of the Story

My apologies, I should have stared this blog weeks, months, even years ago. I am diving into the narrative of my early adult life quite in the middle of many tales, and we have some catching up to do.

For starters: Hello, I’m Victoria (or Tori, or many other numerous nicknames which have stuck over the years).

Those are the Rocky Mountains behind me (and if you look very closely you can actually see the Beartooth Mountain for which this particular range is named. I grew up in Montana with the mountains always solidly on the horizon, and they mean a lot to me.

I am a middle child (and am utterly blessed to be so, but that’s a different post).

I am headed to Germany next month (that’s like 25 different posts of explanation).

I love Christ, my family, my friends, my life in general. I love the moments and memories I make every day. My life is not perfect, indeed there are many struggles I face, but it never overshadows my blessings. 

But I am often very bad at expressing those sentiments. I am, in a group of people, the listener. And I like it this way. I like listening to people’s engaging stories and ideas. (Mine are, after all, not novel to me).

And when I do speak up? I tend to tell rather bare bones stories and spinning a tale isn’t really my forte. Yet when I write it out, well, then I get ironically verbose. But once I give it a few edits I think it actually turns out rather well. I really do say most things better in writing.

So here is me writing. Writing and hoping that what I say imperfectly aloud might be given its full, or at least better, due on paper (or glowing computer screen, whatever.)

Thanks for listening,