Thursday, December 06, 2018

This is 47

In my acquired wisdom I've accepted:
1. That it's OK to admit I like girly things
2. That it's OK I didn't post this ON the day of my birthday
3. That I'm wearing glittery kitty ears in this pic
4. That this pic is from end of 2017
5. That it's OK to be 47
6. That I'm alive
7. That I'm in love
8. That I'm sometimes happy
9. That I'm sometimes sad
10. That I'm not just alive, but I'm living.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

This is 46...tomorrow

I made it another year

I've lost:
My stamina
My mother
My friends
My job
My family
My Health

I've gained:

There you go.  Happy Birthday to me.

Friday, September 08, 2017

The undeniable sense of loss

It creeps up on me at night.  The pangs resounding from somewhere within the temple of my being.  They start innocently enough, lets look at this, or read back on this blog, or look at the dates on a calendar and realize just how much you've been through in a very short period of time....

And that's what happens.  The next thing you know my mind is racing, my emotions are engaged and I can see then the deep well of swirling emotion barely kept at bay by the light of day.  But it's there.  The tempest brew of grief, sadness, fear and insecurity laid bare having been bashed about in the well of hell.

Tonight it was stomach upset that nagged at me like an unruly child. It sat there petulant when I wouldn't respond because I was trying to sleep.  You an always tell when it stares and when staring isn't enough to goad a response then comes the nagging.  Poke... you know you feel me poking you.  So I squirm and close my eyes harder the ignoring is not so easy now.  Poke... Come ON you have to pay attention to me.  But I keep hoping you'll just go away.  Big Poke, flurry of karate moves directly at my insides threatening to explode into the outer world.  NOW you're paying attention (As I sit right up and nod yes, yes I am).

So here we are.  My stomach mildly relieved at my great discomfort and my brain kicking into gear now too, lest she miss all the fun.  Stomach can annoy me, make me not too happy, but brain she's a  wicked child.  She can at will pluck the thinnest wispy memory from a pool she keeps at the ready at all times.  And she'll smile when she lays that memory on you despite the fact that it could be potentially harmful or dangerous if you weren't ready for it. You almost have to be able to read her mind to keep up with her, because she can be super fast switching gears on you and leave you in a dizzy puddle on the floor.

Since boarding the carnival ride from hell with these two children of my body on each side I've decided on a relatively mature approach.  Distraction. I will pretend I'm paying attention to the pain in my stomach by writing about it but instead deal with the emotion of one of brain's memories.  Just one...  and we'll see if I can't work some of this out in a way that doesn't involve either my mental collapse or my sleeping in the bathroom for the night (Damn near impossible for me)


So tonight lets talk about my mother, her life, love, and death. (which brings an immediate silence from them both)

Let me start by saying I love my mother.  I say that because right now and since January of this year I feel so "removed" from her.  It's almost like a disconnect.  Like the feelings I have are wrapped in fuzzy memories and I can't see past that to the core of them but I know they're there.  I'm standing out side trying to look in not crying, or angry, or well... anything; just disconnected.  So I'm re-affirming by word what I think shock has robbed me of; my ability to feel emotion about her.

And here is where I pause again because I dont know what to say.

After her death just 8 short months ago I was going through some things.  And in my mother's things I found a book.  It was one of those planner type things, travel size, that she had taken with her on some cruise.  During this cruise she had made some notes on a few pages (She really was never good at documenting) about what she was seeing, some of the notes were quite funny "Saw _____ today; not worth it".  But one of the notes that caught my eye and brought me to tears was "swam in the pool today, it's beautiful here.  I wish Susan was here, I miss her".  That's all that was it, one line and upon seeing it I immediately burst into tears. I kept that planner even just for the few pages she wrote in it.

My mother loved me.  I know this because of her actions.  I don't really think she ever understood me. I want to believe she tried to.  Her friends would probably tell me she did try to, but I never saw her try to.  She just tolerated listening to what I had to say.  That's how I felt.  Towards the end I didn't spend much time sharing my life with her.  I talked to her about how my job was going, how little money I was spending, how well the theater group I run was going. And then I listened to her talk about what religious things she was doing or luncheon for the church she was going to etc.  It was all quite pleasant (on visits where this was all we did).  I usually left her after a visit like this after about an hour.  I remember one such visit where I went to leave; she couldn't get up from the armchair to walk me out or close up behind me.  So as I turned from the door to say goodbye I remember how frail she looked and an immense wave of sadness washed over me. I felt like I should have stayed there that maybe she was lonely, but I would have had no clue what to talk to her about and I did have things to do and watching her vhs tapes of murder she wrote wasn't one of them.

The shock part of things I think happened when she died.  I think shock kind of took over barging its way into my life, taking all the bad things I felt about her passing, and collecting them (quite like a garbage man) and securing them in a holding center to be destroyed. The whole week before her death was kind of a blur. I was going between hospital visits to her, chemo for me, and caregivers in my house to take care of me and hopefully keep ME out of the hospital because of my suppressed immune system.  But when the nurse told me the day she died, that I should come... now.  I wasn't prepared.

I had seen this woman single handedly in the 70's without a husband adopt two young girls from broken homes and raise them. I had seen her work hard, sometimes 3 jobs to make sure we had what we needed.  I had seen her completely and utterly take on renovations in our house by herself, in order to move us out to a good suburb where we might have better opportunities.  And when I looked at the skeleton sitting in the hospital bed I was reminded of those things. But still, even in the face of certain death, I hoped for a miracle.

I was reminded of how when I was so young I had a temperature so high that I had to sit in a tub of ice and they couldn't even drive me to the ER until the fever came down and she handled that. How when the school system where I lived terrorized her children she came, raining down like the wrath of god, on them including the priests in a catholic school.  How at 17 when I called her shaking, with the most horrible news a mother could hear about her daughter, that she immediately came and helped me do what I needed to do.  How she carried me when I had cancer, making sure I could walk even when I couldn't feel my legs.

The day she died, my cousins were there and kept me chatting.  I sat next to my mothers hospital bed wrapped in a mock hasmat suit, with my caregiver on the other side. Finally the room emptied and I could be alone with her.  She hadn't woken up to look at me like she did a few days earlier when she stared at me.  It was eerie, it was almost like she knew.... so her gaze that day never wavered and when I told her I loved her she grunted (it was all she could do) every time I said it.

So on this, her final day when she didn't wake, I stroked her hand and apologized to her.  I told her I was sorry for ... everything.  I told her if she was being called to go... to join my sister Pam, her mother Dixie that I didn't want her to suffer.  She never opened her eyes. I'm not sure she was even there, but I think she heard me.  The room got busy again, with a steady stream of visitors to say their goodbyes.  Do you know even then I still hoped for a miracle? And at 7:30pm while I was talking with my cousin and my caregiver, she simply stopped breathing.  I looked over at her and I'll never forget the moment. Of all the things I'm "muddy" about this isn't one of them.

She almost deflated a bit and I kind of felt her leave.  There was no harmonious choir of angels and thankfully, no death rattle either; just a leaving.  It was as if the space on the bed where her body was and the space just above her bed just... emptied. It was then that I began to cry, deep wracking tears.  These tears were the kind that are created deep in your heart and delivered straight from the hole that's been freshly created in your heart.  They well up in immense blue silver drops that languish along your eyes until they spill over in a seemingly endless cascade.  I was vaguely aware of some kind of wailing sound and further aware that it was coming from me but I could not stop it if I tried.  

Shock walked in then and took over.  The last thing I remember was that I didn't know what to do next. I just knew the woman who gave me everything and saved me several times over, was gone. Life since then has been a blur.  There have been high points and some pretty low ones but through it all I'm still in shock I think over ALL of it.  I'm still not sure what to do next.  So I'll just keep doing.... life. And maybe someday shock will leave me and I can become re-acquainted with the wailer and let her out so she can let out her wails and heal. Maybe my brain has that memory saved for me too.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Reflections on Love

As someone who tasted the sweet wine of what I thought was love before and realized it came with a very bitter pill at the end....  I've a few things to say on the subject of love.

I once was a romantic.  I dreamed of a man who would somehow weave his way into my heart with both charm and vitality.  A man who would speak to my mind and whisper secrets of the beauty inside that he saw.  Someone who would respect that I was strong and shelter me when I was not.  Someone who would hold my hand through the storm and catch me if I fell.  This man, in his unwavering way would peel away all the layers of what was a broken heart and diligently show me the mirror image of myself in his eyes as he looked on each tear I've shed and loved me more for having them.

It's a beautiful image this one.

The world for most of us has a tinge of jade to it.  We've played with the marbles and cards and for some of us realize there is nothing more than this.  We live, we work, we find some happiness we may even think we love... but this is all.

Then out of the blue, amid all the constant repetitions of "I dont need love", the firm belief that love would interrupt our "PLAN" or change us into some raving lunatic....It happens.

And suddenly the film of our life gets more colorful.  Flowers smell divine instead of just nice.  Problems are never insurmountable and handled with a smile. And even the most insurmountable... death can be thwarted by the power of this love.

I was heading down this road.  I had lived alone successfully for a long enough time after my divorce that really I was ok.  I made a few bad decisions in my heart but i was otherwise ok.  I knew how to find joy and I could find whatever I wanted on MY terms.  My mother was getting older but still somewhat spry.  I was successful in my job (though I hated my job).

And in he walked...and my world turned upside down.

They say fate or divinity works in mysterious ways and sometimes the two intertwine.  I think this was just such an occasion. I wasn't even prepared for it.  And when the flowers all of a sudden bloomed brighter, richer, larger than before even then I wasn't aware.  But when food suddenly tasted better and the energy of my youth came to me and said "Go ahead try that new thing it's ok" I started to realize something was different.

Just when I realized, and started to open up to this love unlike any love I'd ever felt my world crashed down all around me.  My mother got worse very quickly and I got very sick nearly overnight ALL AT ONCE. I was literally treading water in a sea of sharks because the pier I had been standing on not only dropped out from under me, it just disappeared.  And into the deep I fell.

My sickness was pretty bad.  My mothers....worse.  What began for both of us in October of last year continued into this year.  In January we lost her while I was deep in the throes of my illness. This man who brought his heart to mine, stood by me the whole time. He became my beacon, my anchor, my rock.  He was there during chemo, during hospital stays where we weren't sure I was going to make it, during funerals, emotional upheavals, more bad news, staggering weight gain from meds, worsening states of health from the disease... He built a pier of love right under me while I flailed about in fear and reassured me that no matter what, it would be ok.  I mean I could go on and on but now I'm so filled with emotion that I can't see the screen.

The point of all of these words, is he stayed. He came and brought my world to a completely different place. He took fear and panic and gently massaged them away with love and helped me to even laugh on occasion. And when others like my family, my friends, pretty much everyone, left me; he stayed. He held my hand.  He held my heart. He wiped my tears away and shared in them too. He cradled my soul when it fractured under the weight of it all.  And when I could have died, he held me close to his heart and simply told me how much he loved me.  He shook his fist in the face of all of this and somehow perhaps through sheer will alone, helped me survive.

So many years ago 1993 to be exact, I said I do to someone.  I don't regret saying I do, or subsequently saying I don't 10 years later. Because in the very thin wisps of the threads created by divinity that bind us in life; those which began so long ago is where this love started.  He didn't know it then, we didn't know it then; but now on that same day 23 years later in a place only a handful share with us; we created our own memory and came home. And on that same day this year we share in that memory again this time physically in our home now, together.

I'm no expert on love.  I've lost more than I've loved and I've been deeply hurt; the scars of which sometimes still ache.  But for the first time in my life starting a few years ago now if I'm being honest; I can finally say I really do know what love is.  Love is unconditional (yes it really is), love is transparent (always), love is making someone smile, and when life is difficult being sure to love with all your heart even and absolutely always in the face of adversity.

I know this writing isn't my best but if there is only one thing you get from reading it....   It is that I love you with every cell of my being, with my soul, with every thought, every smile and every tear. I love you.  Lets plant our roses and walk our path together because that's our home.

Our dance last year in the Golden Touch Theater production "Reflections" a piece so dear to my heart.

Friday, May 05, 2017

LLFH-The Fireplace

My love,

I’ve said those words a thousand times and never known what they meant until there was you. Every moment this pen dipped in the ink and shared its emotion it was just a shadow of what really was.  Scratched on the surface in shades of grey without the brilliance of color. 

Today I sit in front of the massive fireplace that brightens our nights and warms our flesh. The rich and warm colors of the curved, carved wood seem to generate the warmth they’ve inherited from our evenings together. As I trace my fingers over the wood surface memories spring to life under my fingertips.

I remember a night not too long ago and yet it seems like a lifetime ago where we discussed the very real and terrifying prospect of the health issues that plague me. The night shivered in the cold of the fear around us and you, desperate to warm me kept me close to your heart holding me, whispering to me.  This fireplace bore witness that night to the explosive growth of our hearts, how in a moment of fear we shared a moment of deepening love.  That somehow our love found another passageway deeper into our souls and we dove in together hand in hand.

I shiver at that memory because it reminds me of how much love we have. It tells me when I remember it how we went from lovers, to so much more if that were even possible. How you held me, whispering to me that it would be OK, that you would be here, would never leave.  I clung to those words my love, they were my lifeline in what you didn’t know was an encroaching darkness.  They were the singular glow in my life holding me up sustaining me, holding me, sometimes even carrying me.

In the nights to follow, and the months now we sat in front of this fireplace telling each other of our love, pushing the darkness away by our voices, and our light shared. The darkness tried so hard every night to claim what it wanted but it never succeeded; because you, because of us, because of our love.
Those words and actions have become my permanent beacon leading me always to you. Even now when I sit here alone thinking of you I feel you here.  Because I hear you.  I can hear those words as if they were whispered just now, and I touch my ear swearing your lips grazed my skin…

Love makes no sense my beloved, but in my life where I have wandered, wondered and doubted; it finally makes sense to me because it’s you. I throw another log on the fire making sure it burns warmly waiting for your presence.  Because every night we are together even when we’re apart; and my heart will for the rest of my life, welcome you home.  My beloved, my protector, defender, angel, love, lover and best friend.  You are my everything, you are truly “My Love”.

Forever your Muse in all worlds,


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

This is 45

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

I came here to write and as usual my mind went blank.  But just then my eyes flicked over to my other monitor to where an image that inspires me resides.  And suddenly I knew what I wanted to write about...
From a post I put on facebook 9-4-16:

I've spent the better part of 25 years beating myself up because I didn't have this, or look like that.... It's a sad sad world we live in that even still in this day and age a woman's worth is dictated by how she looks, or how well she ages. No I don't speak globally I have no message for "the world" but I speak today just for me. I give up the arguments of the past, the thoughts that held me down as to my appearance. I appreciate all those who tried to tell me I was ok before, but I couldn't listen. I was too weighed down by the ghosts of others thoughts. This month I turn 45 and I think this might be a good year for me. Love me, or don't but I'm finally beginning to love myself. That's all that matters really (and if we ever figure out time travel i'm going to tell that to my 18 year old self). A special thanks to one person in particular for letting me see through their eyes. Sometimes that is all we need. **hugs**

Yea.... that.  There is a person out there who has decided that he wants to be with me.  That despite my best efforts to sway him otherwise with my terror stories of all my faults and deficiencies that the whole package makes up a person that he loves, adores, wants to be with.  And when I realize somewhere along the journey we've been on that I want to be with him too I begin to see the thread that binds us.  That so many years ago began with a chance meeting, and kept us in the same circles all these years until the time was right to pull us together.

It seems that later in life, divinity has found a way to provide some peace or love to me. My goodness I've been through a lot (so have many), but to come through it on the other side relatively unscathed and with love as well?  I'm amazed by it.

I wanted to write some great tale packed with all the wisdom that I've accumulated over the years.  I wanted to say some brilliant thing that when someone comes here and reads they're bowled over by the profound understanding my words have given them. I wanted to pour my soul out and let people see inside so if they needed to see something real they could.

But all I can manage tonight is a thank you.  Thank you to the person who loves me without question, sees me as I am, and for who I am...and doesn't run away. The one who makes my heart sing and my spirit soar.  The one who looks at me with such passion that I'm left feeling naked and vulnerable and loved and warm all at once.  Thank you for giving me my life back.  For giving me my heart and for climbing right in there and sharing that space with me in all worlds...and for being here on my birthday; The best birthday ever... 

I love you so. 

(and as per my usual, the birthday pic... )

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Sun - for Deb Loughlin

Today is a mixed emotions day. 

I know a wonderful man.  I used to work for him.  His name is Marty.  He has a beautiful family: a wife, wonderful kids.  4 years ago his wife was diagnosed with cancer.  He became her advocate.  Then when their son was also diagnosed with cancer he became their champion. Together as a family they fought bravely and passionately.  They grew in their faith, their bond deepening. 

I knew Deb through Marty. I knew her to be full of smiles and joy. I knew her love for her family was never ending and her faith abundant. 

Today, she left this world.

The news caught me at work. I never thought with her passion and fighting and faith that this day would come. So the news had me reeling. I was left very sad for Marty and his family who even despite this profound loss are posting of the joy she was in their lives. Their testament is beautiful to witness. 

Today I cry sad tears for the immense loss the world suffers. To know a woman like Deb even vicariously is to know sheer and utter joy. To miss that joy leaves an infinite well of sadness I can't quite explain.  But I know that her words touched me.  Her light, smiles, faith, willingness to fight and grace through such hardship touched me. The human spirit is tenacious and the heart limitless.  

I never had the pleasure of being her friend or knowing her deeply like others; but I mourn the loss of her light.  The world would be a far better place if people lived and loved like this family does.

Some of you know I do Virtual Theater.  The Golden Touch has been my safety and comfort in a very harsh world. I've learned through my work here and with charitable organizations like Relay for Life of what it means to love with no limits. This is a lesson Deb shared with me through her words, through Marty, through her joy. She touched me without ever seeing me and I am forever blessed for having known her.

As I expressed my grief a song began to play and I began to feel lightness. This song made me think of this wonderful woman, now an exquisite angel, watching over us all.  It fits her perfectly and while the tears will still come, there is also... a bit of sun.  

My prayers and love to her family, friends, extended friends, and strangers united through her.  We are all connected.  

Sun - Thomas Bergersen

This is 47

In my acquired wisdom I've accepted: 1. That it's OK to admit I like girly things 2. That it's OK I didn't post this ON...