Haiku Heights: Clap

Conference clapping

Conference clapping (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tiny pink dancer

toes point, eyelids flutter, joy

clap, people, my girl

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Clappety Clap Clap

Goes the Jamaican Rhythm

Smile, dance, laugh. Our way.

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A Letter To Zach Sobiech

I was cranky, hurting and giving up hope. I have felt badly from chronic illnesses, okay, for a lot of them, but it was time for some ass-kicking, some serious ass-kicking and I was the one who needed it the most. Sure, life isn’t perfect, and I haven’t been feeling well but I’m  going back to try to keep it inside, at least most of the time. No one promised that everything would go smoothly all the time, right? I forget that sometimes. So, I sat down tonight and thought about people, both who are living and those who have lived and died, people who have made a lasting impression on my life. One person came to mind:

Zach Sobiech

Zach Sobiech Breaking Up

Zach Sobiech Breaking Up (Photo credit: empeiria)

Though I’ve never met him, personally, he changed my life forever. Instead of continuing my pity party, I watched his video again and if you haven’t seen it, I will post it for you here. To live like Zach, with all his grace, is a wondrous gift, to make every second count and to say his good-byes in person, with his beautiful songs is life changing. I’m not saying it was easy, no death is easy but Zach made active choices in his life and in preparation for his death and he lived every single day to the fullest. Do it now, love it now, now is what we have and appreciate what we’ve got. Zach did.

I think about his family and friends, his old girlfriend, his favorite song-writer friend and his baby sister, Grace. I think about Grace so much, her innocence, her goodness, Grace with her big older brother, losing him like a treasure in the sand. How is Gracie  doing without her “other half?” I think about his parents too. What has life been like since Zach died? I have to hold my eyes shut tight when I think of Mom and Dad to try not to cry, because I remember them, especially Mom, sitting on the couch talking about her boy. What about the older siblings, how must they be feeling, how are they now? I think Zach aluded to Laura and her Faith and I hope that has helped her, his older brother was left more of a question mark, quiet, loving but private.  Mom and Dad, I pray for you, no one should have to bury their child.

Zach, I must have played your song thousands of times, to appreciate you, to keep me on my tracks, to learn from you. When I worry in anticipation I think about you and how you handled having cancer with grace (not literally but I’m sure you can see the humor) and love and respect.

You are  gone in physical life, but there’s no doubt in my mind that you are spiritually with us, with your family. I hope they get signs from you,  I’m sure they would love that and I do believe it is possible. I know it is possible.  I hope they believe it too so they can be comforted by your presence. You were an angel on earth, I know you are an angel in heaven. How could you not be? You taught us all how to die peacefully, how to choose when to die instead of prolonging your life with a horrible operation just for a few months. Being a mom, I respect your parents so much for doing the right thing, and it WAS the right thing, to let you do what you want.

I hope everyone has recovered just a bit from the shock. Because as much as you try to be prepared for death, it’s always a horrible, dreadful surprise, no matter when it happens. Trust me, I do know. But, this is not about me, it’s about you.

I send my prayers to your family and to your close friends, and to you dear Zach I send my love and my thanks for teaching us, those still here on earth what it means to be an angel.

photo credit> emperia

The Songs I Sing

Music ~ Be There For You

Music ~ Be There For You (Photo credit: Daniel CJ Lee)

I have written songs in my dreams for many years. I don’t write songs every night, but once in a while I write the lyrics in my sleep, beautiful words are strung together that blend into a harmonious chorus. Upon wakening, I forget everything. It’s time to take out the notepad and put it right next to me for these times, to try to force myself to remember my dreams and to remember the words to a song that needs to be sung.

Consciously, I don’t know what the songs are about although anything that has to do with me must have love in it and probably conflict too. They generally go together, don’t they? Love spreading it’s wings, love in nature too: the ocean’s symbol for how unpredictable life can be, the sun, darkness, tragedies, the magic of birth, love, that unite us all.  It only takes one lit candle to give light to another. When I was young I thought the world was a friendly place, united and peaceful but I have given up hope. I’m not innocent anymore; I’ve seen too many senseless tragedies to believe that the world is good, too many jaded memories, too many senseless killings.

Physically, my body aches, I can tell when I have a fever when my legs hurt and my skin is sensitive. The throbbing in my head has been constant, aspirin and allergy pills have done nothing. My dog is having a barking competition with the dog next door and that is making my head ache even more. Music, which always soothes me, doesn’t help, even on the lowest volume so I turn it off and lay flat on the bed. My blankets cover me, I try to close my eyes but my arms shake and there is something uncomfortable about me, an illness I cannot define.  Is it Fibromyalgia? Is it a virus? Is it a reaction to the flu shot? Is it my auto immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? Whatever it is when will it go away?

It turns out it takes the better part of the week but it is leaving my body now and for that I am grateful.  I realize, however, that I am saddled with two difficult diseases that make anything hard to live with and to diagnose. Sorry, I don’t mean to be disrespectful but that part alone sucks. I try not to dwell on the chronic illnesses they just pop up in situations like these, I know I have to live with them, co-exist, not in peace but in acceptance.

I look around my bedroom and I feel uneasy, it is the one room I would like to organize and fall in love with again but I certainly don’t have the energy to do it now. I need to love my bedroom, but I can’t, there is too much clutter. Clutter everywhere, this room used to be my sanctuary, a place I would go to be at peace. Now, it represents too much garbage and disorganization, books, perfume, two kinds of deodorant, an old coffee mug, a bottle of water, a flashlight, a phone, old photographs and that is just in one space. I know this is not good for me, I realize it.

I need to clean, to put things in their proper places, to organize my space, my world, inside and out. Whether or not I capture the words of my songs on paper, I need to sort things out in all aspects of my life.  I know that once the physical space is clear, I will make the choice, that the music will be a wonderfully complicated, song with a lot of tenderness, love, warmth, grief and of course, a touch of the blues. It’s real life, after all.

photo credit to above named photographer

@copyright

Kellie Elmore: Favorite Ending of Song

Nobody Wants to Play With Me

Nobody Wants to Play With Me (Photo credit: tochis)

“And in the end, the love you take
is equal to the love you make “

“Life is a one big circle, that’s what I thought but at fifteen everything seems convoluted. My brain, practically has wires sticking out of it and one minute I was crying and the next I was mad as hell. I could be sitting on the couch with my mom not wanting any physical contact with her AT ALL and then a sappy commercial would come on and I would start to sob and wish that she would just take me in her arms and hug me like she used to when I was little. She didn’t because I didn’t give any sign of wanting to be hugged and I hadn’t given her any encouragement for the past three years to come anywhere close to me. But still, it hurt.

High School for a girl like me is hell on earth, I wasn’t one of those cheerleaders, one of the popular girls. I hated them. Or maybe I was jealous of them, I’m not sure. But I knew this, I would never be a cheerleader ever. My parents complimented me and said I was “wonderfully different” and “independent” “special” but the kids in school talked straight. They called me “weirdo.” That’s what I was, one big, tall nothing of a weirdo.

Sure,  I loved animals and volunteered at the dog shelter every day after school but that doesn’t make you prom queen or Miss Personality. It’s lonely being different, oh heck, I’ve been alone all my life. Even my over-achieving sports-minded brother didn’t care about me. He was too busy winning trophies and bragging about them. You should see his room it was like a shrine to him except he was still alive. You know, gathering more trophies and medals in college.

I guess I thought my life would be easier once he went away to college but nothing changed, In fact we had less to talk about at the dinner table. Except for my homework assignments. My parents always asked about that: For  English our assignment was: Write about every positive good feature we have. My English teacher was the only teacher I really liked and respected but this was going to be one short assignment. I sighed and rolled my eyes just thinking about it. Why couldn’t I write about someone else? Why me? I’d  rather write about my stupid older brother than myself. I put my pen to paper and started writing without thinking:

Dana: good person, helps others, kind, loves dogs, volunteers at dog shelter every day after school, tutors math to little kids, likes to write (but not about me) loves reading, don’t like myself, like my green eyes, hates nose and everything else, maybe not my hair, hair is ok. pretty good daughter, love my parents, don’t like hurting people’s feelings. love to watch people, hate being watched, or looked at, honest, fair.

I handed it to Ms. Wilson the next morning and quickly walked away.  I forgot about it until she had passed the homework back three days later and gave me mine with a big red SEE ME AFTER CLASS written on it. I thought I was going to throw up. I swear, I almost did.

I waited until everyone left and Ms. Wilson smiled,  ” Dana, she laughed, you are NOT in trouble, I just want to talk to you. I’m not Miss Wilson now, I’m Michelle. I wanted to tell you how much I admire you. Actually, you remind me a lot of me when I was your age. She laughed and said “don’t look so shocked I was YOUR age once!.” I couldn’t speak, I just sputtered. “Dana, you are one of the smartest, kindest  and most gifted students that I have ever known. You have a wonderful way with words AND a career in writing if that’s what you decide to do. I want to make sure YOU know that. I don’t feel you really know how special a person you are.” “But, But,  all the other girls…”she stopped me, “all the other girls? What the silly pom-pom girls with the fake blonde hair and blue contact eyes?” Nonsense, you, my dear are an original. One of my teachers taught me this and I’m passing it down to you because, I swear, it works. All you need to do is play the confidence game, smile even if it is pretend, carry yourself like you are the queen.

Soon enough, others will smile back and it will be natural for you. You are a lovely young woman and you give a lot of love to everything you do, it’s only a matter of time and self-confidence for you to get it all back, and you will, I promise. Do you know the word “karma” she asked me. Yeah, I said sheepishly, my parents are hippies.

“You promise, things will get better? I asked? Pinky swear, she said. So we locked pinkies and I felt better already. Miss. Wilson then  asked me for a hug which I gave her and I tried really hard NOT to cry but when I looked at her she was doing the very same thing. I left with a smile on my face and it was real.

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Yellow Magic Madness #10

Yesterday, I bought a new yellow handbag. Same color like the handbag shown but a different style.

With a new pocketbook swinging from my arm, happily, the only tune I have been singing since is a “Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield.

Enjoy.

A bright yellow handbag, LC1996_48

A bright yellow handbag, LC1996_48 (Photo credit: Black Country Museums)

Yellow Magic Madness #5 A Little Bit Of Sunshine

I got a pocket, got a pocket full of sunshine.

I got a pocket, got a pocket full of sunshine. (Photo credit: Monroe’s Dragonfly)

It was a glorious tease, but a welcome one; I saw a hint of sunshine for five minutes of one day this past week. It made me think it was actually possible that the sun still exists.” A pocket full of sunshine” was just enough to put a huge smile on my face.

“Bullies Are Cruel” – Our New School Song

The kids playing together while dinner is prepped

The kids playing together while dinner is prepped (Photo credit: Alexander N)

“I want to sing like a hyena, and dance like a ballerina

Make ice cream out of your toes

Flip sausages for your nose

I want to run, jump and hide

with my friends at my side

We want to play and never go to sleep

we want to giggle and flop into a heap.

On the days there is no school

we can be found jumping in the park’s pool.

Life is great in every way,

just have friends

like mine, it’s the only way.

If there is someone who seems alone

go up to them and ask them to play along.

It’s not easy being new

so try your best to be kind and true.

It was that way for me

before my friends were nice to me.

So give a helping hand, whenever you can

give everyone a chance to hold hands and play

Peers become important in middle childhood and...

Peers become important in middle childhood and have an influence distinct from that of parents. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t hurt someone’s feelings

not on purpose and not by chance

think of how you would feel

if you were in their PANTS!

No BULLIES at our school

because we know BULLIES ARE CRUEL!!!!”

What I Learned From My Daughter’s Graduation (Plus Love Does Not Die)

Dad and Angel

Dad and Angel (Photo credit: nualabugeye)

“Live life simply. Be kind. Do what you love, passionately. Make mistakes, fail and start again.” At my daughter’s high school graduation yesterday, we heard quotes from Steve Jobs and Dr. Suess, no one mentioned getting an MBA or Harvard Law; it felt like the world was undergoing a much-needed change and this was the generation that was going to do it. I felt like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were humming “Teach Your Children” in the background and I felt proud.

Class of 2012, you gave renewed hope to all of us aging baby boomers who sat and listened with smiles on our wrinkled faces and aching feet. Yes, I have bunions and hammer toes and I did take my sandals off to walk in the grass for a few minutes but then I realized my daughter would never forgive me if she saw me or G-d forbid, heard about it through a friend, so I ran back to put those stylish pink flower flip-flops back on.

Graduation was a lovely distraction and a glaring omission. It was held on Father’s Day and my dad passed away almost ten years ago. My mom was there and my in-laws but not MY dad. I believe in angels and signs and that the dead communicate with those of us left here on earth. Love does not die when someone leaves the earth, I know that for sure.

Right in front of me stood a man, ducking to get through, that looked so much like my dad had looked, wearing the exact shirt my dad used to wear, that I gasped and caught my breath. “I thought that was Dad” I squeaked to my no-nonsense mother who refused to even listen to my “angel moment.” I knew, I knew in my heart that was my dad’s sign, he has always been present for ALL important celebrations. In my heart I knew that while it may have not been him in the flesh, it was his angel, a sign for me from him. Thank you, Daddy.

I wore the dress my daughter picked out for me, the shoes, the necklace, (or as she used to pronounce it when she was little Neck-a-less”) I can still hear her young voice in my head if I try hard. When I saw her walk in before the program started, I took a photograph of her in my mind that I hope will stay there forever. Her beautiful blonde hair, straightened for the joyous occasion, hanging from under her blue cap, her blue gown flowing from the breeze on a sunny day and her bright smile and wave when she saw her grandmother and me. It was a rare glimpse into her world and it made me so happy.

After the reception I knew it was all about her and her friends. In our excitement we forgot to take pictures as a family, how can that be? We’re human and we got caught up in time and it simply slipped our minds. That’s what memories are for, photographs that stay in our heart.

You are starting a new journey, my beautiful, grown-up girl. You are fearless  and strong, independent and wise. There is no doubt in my mind that if you want it badly enough, you can change the world. Keep the faith; I know you will do great things for this world. I know it in my heart.

Haiku Heights – Sponge

Kiss

Image by Jeremy Vandel via Flickr

Sun Drenched

Image by Digimist via Flickr

I stretch for the sun

Soaking up the last remnants

Of light before dark

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Enter in my heart

Soft, seductive song at play

Let me remember

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Haiku Heights – Breathe

Crimson Rosella [Platycercus elegans]

Image by JIGGS IMAGES via Flickr

I hold my breath tight

My lungs have to work very hard

There is no calmness

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I sit yoga-style

Trying to breathe slowly, calm

It makes my heart sing

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Unable to speak

I am caught up in worry

Of all things unknown

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The last breath I take

Will be for my children’s love

They complete my world

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Breathe and lift the sky

Soar with the blue and red birds

Sing along with them