Free Writing Friday: Kellie Elmore: Abandoned

Little Fingers!

Little Fingers! (Photo credit: jmccauli)

Abandonment is like a second skin, it rolls up slowly on my arms like old-fashioned gloves, soft, sleek, black, elbow length. My teeth sink into the word “abandoned’ and “insecure” as if I was in the middle of eating a piece of double- layer chocolate cake. I not only taste but feel the delicious, sweet frosting rolling around my lips; it lives there, it feels at home. I was always a scared child, anxious, what was I picking that up that no one else was? I was always called “over-sensitive” by my mother but I fought hard, independently for everyone to hear my voice. When I was young my voice was low, I was always the good girl, after my father died, the dynamics all changed.

It was the first time my parents had been to a party; my mother borrowed a maternity outfit from her friend Ann. When they got to the party, six weeks before my due date my mother wasn’t feeling well. Her friend Claire made her sit down, she timed the contractions. “It couldn’t be, it’s too early” but sure enough, they called the doctor and he said he would meet them in the hospital. Claire drove my mother and my Uncle Teddy drove my father, I don’t know why, either does my mother, the last survivor of the four of them.

When I was born hours later my mother looked at me and said I looked “like a plucked chicken.” My father said to Teddy” How cute can you get?” Since I was born six weeks pre-mature and only weighed 4 lbs and 6 ounces I was not allowed to leave the hospital. I was in an incubator until I could reach 5 lbs. I was in the hospital for 4 weeks. Back in the 50’s they didn’t the knowledge they have now; I’m sure no one held me except the doctors and the nurses. There were no advanced techniques back then. Moms and Dads weren’t even allowed to enter the room much less caress their little one’s tiny hands. I knew my father had visited every day, after work, he knocked on the glass that separated us, and smiled. My mother’s story has changed a little over time, she had my older sister to contend with and she felt “there was nothing she could do.” I think the error in judgment was telling me the story. What purpose did it serve?

My parents traveled a lot when I was a teenager leaving me alone in the apartment building. I would cry when they left and cry when I saw them wait outside for their taxi but as soon as their taxi left, I felt fine and strong. Being left is not one of my favorite things; I’m better at leaving. Even now, when my children, age 18 and 20 leave for college, I still cry.

When I was a child, every night, I would ask my father questions “Will anyone go to the hospital?” “Will there be a fire?” and plenty more. I needed that nightly repetition of answers to feel safe. That lasted until I was in the third grade when my mom did have to go to the hospital for a small surgery. I was hysterical. I remember pounding the blankets with my fists and screaming “We can’t play the question game because one of the answers is yes!”

When my dad died, eleven years ago, my greatest fear came true, he left me, he left us all forever. I had a very tough time letting go, he and I were so close but I got through it, no one really has a choice and with the slow passage of time I healed very slowly and it took a long time.I grieved openly, never one to hide my feelings. My children were very young, 7 and 9, years later my son confessed he thought I would always be that way, crying endlessly and being sad. I felt terrible and guilty but there was no way that overwhelming grief could have been hidden. He also got to watch me heal and recover, a life lesson.

Life is all about leaving, my children will constantly leave as they grow up, even their first step, as toddlers grinning proudly, they show us they need to leave and it is our job as parents to encourage them. They will leave me or we will leave them. It’s life, and death, sadness and happiness, insecurity and hope. Abandonment feels so familiar, like a dress, perfectly fitted to my body. I know love, I know pain, but abandonment is not only familiar, it feels like my skin.

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Carry On Tuesday: There is a child in every one of us….

Driving Rain

Driving Rain (Photo credit: pixieclipx)

There is a child in every one of us but I seem to have lost her.What happened to that childish, charming, witty fun-loving woman who wrote a blog that was delicious, and delightful? I’ve become boring: as plain, as unsalted crackers and I don’t care for that one bit. I can imagine you don’t like it either; I can’t say I blame you at all. Where are all my funny, sometimes sarcastic observations of the world? Am I not watching enough television? I know I have not been on the city streets enough to bring eavesdropping to a science lately. It’s the weather, really. My bones hurt. Have I become dull, dim-witted and a (GASP) a real adult?

EEW, I hope not. That doesn’t sound like me at all. I do still get pleasure in little things, throwing a few coins on the floor for children to find, eating green fruit slices but never the cherry ones, (they taste like cough medicine) mashing bananas with plain yogurt and wrapping myself in warm blankets with a stuffed animal near-by.  Something feels different. I don’t think it has anything to do with age, but I feel a lot more grown up now, at 56 than I did two weeks ago when I was still 55. What the heck has happened? Here I am sitting on the bed, waiting for the Super-Duper-Storm-of the Century of 2012 to wipe us all out and all I am doing is sipping a cup of apple-cinnamon tea from my favorite, bright yellow mug. No hysterics, no drama (well, okay a little apprehension, I’m not dead, yet) but there’s really not much I can do. Just have to wait and see what happens and be a good friend and neighbor. Oh dear, just listen to me, now I sound like a life insurance commercial; who stole, cute, child-like me and replaced me with an insurance selling white-haired grandpa with a handsome face and beguiling smile?

Where’ s the fun me, talking about candy, Twix Bars and Kit Kats, and dissing celebrities (Do the Kardashians even COUNT as celebrities? Not in MY book) or being quick-witted and sharp? I blame the cold, dreary weather getting me in this mood. How can I be happy and have fun when I am not at the ocean jumping over waves and picking up seashells with my pink toes in the sand. I’m dowdy now.Perhaps I am forgetting that my mood reacts with the weather every year.

The last two weeks have been hard for our family with my mother in law passing out randomly every day at any time. Perhaps going up there yesterday made us all feel more peaceful, I think it helped. She hasn’t had any fainting episodes in a few days and they needed our support. It’s a big change when your parents need you in the same way we once needed them. It was a lovely visit, even the dog, yes, Lexi, has calmed down (a little.) She’s a lovely dog now but I have to say she was the naughtiest pup ever!

Tonight calls for marshmallows strung together between my thumbs and forefingers for a gooey mess. No, I haven’t lost me, I just got busy, my kids are in college and my husband is a real grown-up, not the one I play. I just have to make more of an effort to be child-like for myself. Tonight, a bubble bath with yellow ducky, playing loud music, maybe a candle or two. I do miss fun. I need to make my own. It’s a little hard to feel upbeat, child-like and happy when every weather forecaster in the nation is practically calling for the downfall of the East Coast cities as we used to know them. Imagine, calling this “The Perfect Storm.” Isn’t that an oxymoron?


Haiku Heights – Witch

witch hat

witch hat (Photo credit: snarledskein)

Pickled chin, red wart

Sparks from eye balls attacking

Happy Halloween!

*****

Which witch is that witch?

A good witch or a bad witch?

Can we ever know?

*****

Which witch are you, dear?

“I won’t tell anybody

Find me with your heart.”

Plinky Prompt-3 Things You Love About Yourself

  • Tell us three things that you absolutely love about yourself. See all answers
    • Just Call Me June Cleaver
    • Leave It To Beaver 1959 This is so much harder than writing 3 things I hate about myself but here we go:!) I’m sensitive to others

      2) I’m perceptive and pick up on others feelings, body language, mood

      3) Very empathic

      All these help in being a good mom, wife and family member and friend.

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Plinky Prompt: Have you ever had to end a friendship?

English: Broken heart sewn back together

English: Broken heart sewn back together (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • it is YOU, not ME
    • HAVE YOU EVER HAD TO REPEAT A PROMPT?
    • please stop asking the same questions over and over. many thanks!
    • Dear Plinky,
    • were you serious when you asked if we would miss you when it was ultimately time to say good-bye? Are you ending soon, or was that a TRICK QUESTION?!!!
    • I would miss you, the way you used to be…..
    • Repetition is BORING. I’m sure I have answered this question BEFORE…
    • WE WANT CREATIVITY. CAN WE TRY AGAIN?
    • Hugs and Kisses,
    • Love, Hibernationnow

My Banana Has Freckles

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee (Photo credit: lightmatter)

I feel like a monkey, somewhere, somehow I have evolved into a monkey from a human being, it’s the evolutionary theory backwards. All I have craved lately are bananas. Not just bananas but banana smoothies, made by moi. I LOVE THEM. They comfort me, soothe me, and make me feel happy. I’ve had one every day for about five days now. There are no more bananas in the house anymore, I must go shopping tomorrow but waiting for them to ripen is an exhausting ordeal.

When I want them to ripen faster I put the bananas in a brown paper bag with an apple tossed in because I once read this hastens the process. If it doesn’t at least I don’t have to see green edges, which in fact, is the only way my mother and son can eat bananas. Raw bananas? Ugh. There must be a science to banana eating and yes, I have also heard that you should peel a banana from the bottom like the monkeys do. I’m flexible, I do that once in a while but eating them while they are green? No, that will never do and don’t confuse green bananas with plantains because that is just entirely different. You need bananas with freckles, especially if you are baking with them, carmelizing them or using them in a yummy smoothie. I also make a mean banana bread but so far, that’s a family secret.

I am sharing my banana smoothie recipe with you, I only hope it gives you as much joy as it gives me:

In a blender put:

3 ripe bananas (RIPE is the operative word, not okay if they are green)

a  small container of yogurt (you choose) I have used strawberry/banana yogurt, cherry vanilla or plain yogurt (I use 0 percent)

a bit of crushed ice (many people like icy smoothies, like my daughter, so feel free to add ice cubes or more crushed ice-I like them more creamy)

a dash of vanilla and almond extract to taste

2-3 Tablespoons of vanilla ice cream or low-fat vanilla ice cream (optional)

one teaspoon of brown sugar (optional)

a peach, plum, raspberries, cantaloupe or any old fruit that needs to be used (again, optional)

Blend at High for about a minute.

Take a Tablespoon to taste, adjust as needed. Pour, serve and enjoy!

Carry on Tuesday – Life Is For The Living

Life is but a dream....

Life is but a dream…. (Photo credit: Peppysis)

Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.

My dad always told me, growing up, that in life there were ups and downs. In the same vein, my mom said  “there are no guarantees” and sang off-key “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden”. Growing up, I thought my parents should have protected me more from the harsh realities of the world, now I thank them that they didn’t. I found when I had my children and they would nastily argue “that’s NOT fair” my husband and I would often agree with them simply by saying “You are right, sometimes, Life, isn’t fair,” because that is how the real world works.
I’d like to think that the good people win and live and the bad ones get in trouble and die but at 56 I’ve had too many experiences where life has shown me otherwise. I think you really have to learn this yourself, no one can tell you about it, nor can you learn from others, true teaching comes from within. You have to experience it with its wide array of emotions.
I’ve only known real joy when I experienced it; it was not even close to mild happiness or contentment. I’ve only known great loss through death of my father. What I had thought was sadness or depression before was nothing like the shell of the person I became after my dad died. We never had the perfect relationship, there is no such thing, but he was the one in the family who knew me best. We understood each other instantly, we thought the same way, at the same time. Just a look, a glance and we would have already communicated without saying a word.
When recently talking to a friend about goals and dreams she asked me what I wanted to do next, in fantasy if nothing else. I told her about the stories I write and the photographs I take. She said: “So, you are not getting any younger, just do it. What’s stopping you?” My mouth dropped open in surprise and I was both intimidated and flattered. WHAT IS? Since then I’ve kept myself busy by trying on all different things as well: just trying to get out of my house and comfort level, and bring some money in for my husband. I am proud of what I have done so far, but mostly I am proud of not only wanting to try but actually doing it.
Life is what is going on you now, there is no time for putting things off until later, believe me. Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it. It take some of us more time than others but once you are ready, go for it. Life escapes us, doesn’t it? It almost like a waking dream, it flies by us so quickly we startle when we realize that most of our lives are mostly over. What are YOU waiting for? Do the fun things now, cross something off your damned “bucket list” today. Kiss the hand of your loved one and tell them how much you cherish them,  do it now. Life is for the living, don’t waste it. Not for another second. This is my hope.

Haiku Heights – Conscious

07_08_07 097_moons+stars

07_08_07 097_moons+stars (Photo credit: al_green)

Buying cards, sharp pain

a gasp, I am slumped over.

I forgot he died.

*****

I dip my green eyes

lower to a slice of youth

Smile to escape here.

*****

Let me sleep, I beg

Hide me, deep in my clothing

Until it’s my Time.

*****