You stabbed me with words,
Blood drips forever.
Dark, cruel side, unknown
I trusted your heart as mine
Your kindness, a joke.
You stabbed me with words,
Blood drips forever.
Dark, cruel side, unknown
I trusted your heart as mine
Your kindness, a joke.
An egg and a sperm,
Imagine the miracle
of Life’s creation.
Don’t egg me on, son
Yes, your time will come
Just not today.
Dear egg, I love you
Comfort food of the ages
With buttered toast, jam.
Age doesn’t matter, they are the sons and daughters of people whose names I know. They live in my town, three of these precious children have died in the last year. As I have said many times before, no parent should have to bury their child. It isn’t right, it isn’t fair, it’s unnatural. Worst of all when they choose to end their lives on purpose, how can you deal with that, how to go on?
The parents have all tried to do the right thing. Their children have gone to numerous programs, counseling, tough love, nurturing love, medication, psychiatrists, psychologists, special programs, rehab, AA, etc. but they have fallen again and again from some unknown evil and ill part inside them that they cannot control.
Who is to blame? No one, I imagine. I’m sure that most parents will do whatever it takes to help them. I have a friend, however, who has done so much for so long, he cannot do anything anymore for his eighteen year old son. Sometimes there is a limit for the parents too. This boy has been through every program imaginable and yet he still wants to destroy things, set houses on fire, do dangerous drugs, put his own life at risk. He too, will be a statistic one day, he does not want anyone to stop him, he has made that clear. It’s like watching a black and white movie in slow motion, backwards. Violence will be involved in some way, I fear. It will not have a happy ending.
Are the adolescents to blame? They are almost adults, around the ages of seventeen to eighteen. Do we blame them for going back to lives filled with “the wrong crowd” drugs, alcohol, mischief? Yes, but we blame ourselves too…We should have done this or that but truly we did everything, heard everything that they allowed us to see. They have crossed the line many times before, how do you know which will be the last phone call, the last time you see them?
The last call you get from the police, the one that makes you bend forward and grasp your knees and fall to the floor, sobbing hysterically. Yes, that kind of crying. That kind of misery, pain, sadness that saws your limbs in half one by one, slowly. You only know how it feels if you have been through it. A friend of mine committed suicide in junior high, I heard about it on the school bus. I remember it vividly.
Don’t you see? The best is yet to come. Any other day will be better than this one. Take my hand, take anybody’s hand and hold on, one finger touching lightly like a butterfly’s kiss or a strong handshake whose strength will never let you get away. Let’s start like that. You will always have one friend that is on your side.
If you are even considering taking your life step back. Step back now. We stand here as broken people, parents, family, friends who will never be whole again because others before you gave up or thought they couldn’t do better or thought falsely that nobody cared. It’s a lie, all of it. We ALL care, even if we don’t know you, even if we have not met, we care enough to think about you and your family we know that your life is worth living. The best is yet to be, there is promise in the world, there is hope that tomorrow will be better. It couldn’t be worse, right? Please don’t quit today, call a friend, hug your dog, take a walk, tell your mom you’re scared, I’m sure she is twice as scared as you are. Try to hang on, NO, promise. Just do that much. To me, it would mean the world.
Dedicated to my friend, Maureen. They will be back, Mo, I promise.
Twinkies, delicious, childhood memories of comfort and sweetness. You will be the first to get them. I promise. Gone but not Forgotten. They will be back.( Allegedly, in July……) Have no fear, your twin friend is here.
They tell me it was a memory I never had, but of course, I am not convinced they are telling me the truth. I am so sure I remember reaching my long, skinny fingers and stroking the soft texture of the speckled leaves on the ground. Wasn’t it just yesterday that the leaves had been vibrant dancers in, yellow, red and orange, pirouetting for us from the upper limbs of the trees, beckoning us to admire them? Our group of friends sat on the dry ground in a circle and we clapped our hands heartily for their lovely show and whistled our love and appreciation. What a lovely dance they put on for us! We talked about it at dinner at the Inn, all of us feeling so lucky to have seen the beauty of art and nature coexisting. We felt blessed.
When we awoke the next morning, after inhaling strong cups of coffee and eating our sugar dusted, apple-cider doughnuts, we headed back eagerly for the early show of the dancing leaves yet something felt different to everyone. We all felt unsettled, out-of-place. It seemed that overnight, all the glorious leaves had slid to the floor, wet, subdued, stepped on, laying on the ground, curled up and crumpled, dead, on a pile of the old, worn, rusty bridge that should have been torn down forty years ago. The bridge had no use anymore except for photographic opportunities, no cars could travel on it, people felt unsteady walking on it. It was unsafe.
You and I, darling, had danced beneath those breathtaking leaves, we waltzed over and over again but you said you could NOT remember that. Well, I remembered it, with perfect clarity of young love, breathtaking beauty, birds sweetly chirping their melodious songs, and our picnic lunch. We waltzed underneath the bright sun, many years ago. I don’t know why you don’t remember it because it is so clear in my mind and SO IMPORTANT. I don’t understand, it meant so much to us then. Please try to remember, at least something, of that magical day, for me, sweetheart, for me. You look blankly at me or am I looking blankly at you? I don’t remember much of anything at all anymore. I was young once, that I know but weren’t you too?
Life can be very scary. In one second your entire world could change, blow up into tiny, little pieces. Destroyed. The world you once knew would become Before and After. Usually, unless this change is winning the 22 million dollar lottery, this does not usually occur in good situations. Am I right? In everyday life there are always tragedies that come unexpectedly, probably things completely different from what you worried about and it never is good.
It’s called growing up. Realizing that sometimes there is fear hiding around the corner, which eery corner you have no idea but for a time it will be dark. You tend to forget about the dangers in life for brief periods of time when things go along swimmingly until something happens and then you realize “yes, it’s been quiet for too long.” As John Lennon used to sing “Life is what happens, when you are making other plans.” The unexpected, the things you didn’t plan for, the strong red slap stinging and leaving an imprint across your pale, white face.
Hold on to someone tight, a best friend, a spouse, a partner, a sister or a brother, anyone. Because, when bad things happen you will need someone who you trust and love, someone who loves you back. A person who will try to soothe you even though you think it may not help. Let them try, accept their offer to make you a hot cup of cocoa with marshmallows to comfort you A person that will make you lie down and force you to rest no matter if you can’t sleep, a person you can cry in front of alone or just someone to hold your hand and cover you in soft blue blankets.
Life is not easy, though we don’t realize that until we are older, but come what may, having someone, to share it with, makes it just a little easier to breathe because you have them and their support. While your heart is still literally in pain and skipping beats eventually your own heart starts beating at a similar rhythm you had before. You are still alive. You will grieve your loss in your own way, take your time and try to let your feelings out. Mourn YOUR way. There are no steps to follow to make it easier for you. My sister once told me after our father died, that I was “grieving too much.” I knew I wasn’t, I was just grieving louder, and expressing my grief differently than her. We also had a very different relationship with our dad. There is no right or wrong, no time limit, no book to follow.
Sooner or later, with time, you will see that while the pain never completely goes away, it becomes less potent, it happens less often and with less severity. You might even find that one day, you will talk about the loss of a person you loved with a smile of fondness and love. You might think that you had the opportunity, the blessing to love someone and have them in your life for so many years instead of focusing on them dying and leaving your life.
Just two weeks ago I held up a new pen that I knew my father would love for Father’s Day. I picked it up and smiled broadly with delight. I was on my way to the register when I remembered I had no father to give this to. Life will get better, with time, after loss. Truly, it will, I know that. But don’t let anyone tell you that you will never have any tough moments. I can’t lie to you, once in a great while, you will.
Dessert is very important to me, to my husband, and our children. I honestly can’t relate to people who, after a meal, say “I don’t really like anything sweet.” What? How is that even possible? It’s not something that my brain can comprehend. I always need something sweet after dinner, always. It doesn’t have to be huge (although that’s preferable) but it does have to be sweet. Or sweet and tart, that works too. Different but delicious.
I can only compare it to my husband’s sense of direction and my lack of a sense of direction. My husband will go to a place once, it could be last week or 15 years ago and he will remember how to get there again. I can go to the same place, 25 times and get lost each time. Unfortunately, it’s not even that I get lost the same way, that would be easy. Once I find my way after arguing with my GPS which, in fact, I SHOULD listen to, I stop people, police officers, frantically yelling out of my window for directions.
Mostly I end up calling my husband on the phone while I park my car in someone’s driveway. It has happened way too many times. When my children were little and I was lost I made it into a game (why scare them?) and I would say to the unknown house “Hi, got milk and cookies?” My kids thought it was hilarious at the time, they would giggle and laugh and repeat the question over and over again.
On the other hand, I can recognize someone I went to elementary school, bump into them 35 years later in a different state and not only will I recognize them I will remember their name and specifics about them. My husband doesn’t recognize or remember anybody, not their face, not their name, he draws a complete blank but he sure can get you to wherever you want to go even if he has never been there, the thing I dread most.
Once I am safely back home, my husband and I will have dinner and of course, first have a “Pre-D” and then the real dessert. Luckily we do share our love for dessert equally. He was once only a dark chocolate fan and I was a milk chocolate fan but through our 24 years we have blended together. Our latest favorite dessert combination is chocolate ice cream, and lemon sorbet, sharing space together in our clear glass ice cream bowls. They complement each other, the sour and the sweet, a perfect mixture. They balance each other the same way my husband and I do. Sometimes, if you are very lucky, it just works out that way.
I was six weeks premature and the first words out of my mother’s mouth were “she looks like a plucked chicken.” Not the kind of bonding experience you want to brag about but while she held an important role in our lives I wouldn’t call her the “nurturer.” In a different time, in a different place I have no doubt my mother would have been a CEO of some Fortune 500 firm. But, in the 50’s that just wasn’t done. She had my sister first and five years later she had me. Being premature meant I had to stay in the hospital for four weeks or so and the touching stories really came from my dad, who visited me, on his way home from work. He was the one who stopped by the hospital every single night, knocked on the glass, to see his baby girl. My mom was home with my older sister, about six blocks away, it wasn’t like it is now, what could she do? She couldn’t touch me or feed me, “there was nothing she could do.”
My mother, to this day, shares too much, has no boundaries and is sometimes incredibly blunt, she has no filter. At her age, we don’t expect her to change. I held a lot of resentment towards my mother when I was younger because she wasn’t the “motherly” type whatever that means. I know she would rather have had a career, she used to call my sister and me her two schnauzers, now her two ducklings. I’m not sure when the name changed or why but I think my sister was the one who promoted us.
At parent-teacher meetings in grade school she would walk with her European flare and sense of style that made me want to crawl into the nearest locker while my friends, their parents and my teachers just cooed and complimented her charm. Me? I wanted her to be like Julie’s mom, wearing an apron and baking cookies for me to share with my friends after school. So not my mom.
But all that matters really, is that she would do anything, ANYTHING for my sister and me. That she loves us completely and would save our lives before her own. She would gladly give up her life without thinking to help my sister, me or our families. She didn’t bake cookies or bake bread, she hated to cook, she never knit or sewed ( guess where I got that from?) and she didn’t want me to go to Girl Scouts because she would have to be a Troop Leader one day. I became more like her than I thought. However, I do bake a mean banana bread with chocolate chips and raisins and nurturing really is MY thing.
Was she a bad mom? ABSOLUTELY NOT. She was an independent thinker and taught both her daughters to be the same way. Funny enough both my sister and I kept our last names and while there is not that much money in the accounts, she taught us early on to keep an account of our own, something I have already passed on to my teenage daughter. My mother is a great mom, not a mushy mom for sure, but she loves us just as much if not more than any quilting bee/Suzy Homemaker mom. She was just ahead of her time. I needed to grow up and once I did I’m delighted and proud to call her MY mom. I love her to pieces just the way she is.
Last week I went for the dreaded barium test (forgive me if I gag just thinking about it) although it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I imagined slugging the entire thick, chalky mess down in two or three large gulps and finishing it but that was not the case. Luckily it was more like take two sips and swallow. This type was not even that thick. It’s not that I would order it in a restaurant but it was manageable. I highly recommend the radiologist who was soothing and comforting and told me “it wasn’t a big deal.” Thank you.
When I finished Dr. Radiologist came out and told me I had a hernia in my esophagus. Huh? Yes I had a hernia in my esophagus which was fairly common and probably could account for me swallowing the wrong way, quite often and coughing a lot. But, oh, my epiglottitis followers, what automatically came to mind??? There has to be a connection between the eppiglottitis and esophagus hernia, no? It seemed genius to me. Could this be a clue in solving the mysteriously painful illness that we know so much about? Of course I thought I was brilliant and could tell my people (YOU, my fellow eppiglottitis sufferers) that we could prevent eppiglottits in the future but sadly that is not the case as far as I know.
I have an appointment scheduled with my ENT (ear, nose and throat specialist) on Monday and yes, I will beg him for a correlation even though I’m pretty sure there isn’t one. I just wanted to give all of us some hope. If there is ANY I will post the results on Monday, I PROMISE. Wouldn’t you think there would be a connection? I mean it does sound nutty enough.
Leave it to me to have the weird diagnosis, but believe me I am NOT complaining. With all the testing that they did, I am gloriously happy that the only thing wrong with me is this hernia. After losing forty pounds, having digestive issues (really bad digestive issues) and looking gaunt and pale as a ghost, I can cheerfully deal with this. I’m having a colonoscopy in a few weeks, maybe an endoscopy is needed as well? I have no idea. But if there is any hope of a connection between the dreaded eppiglottitis and this hernia in my esophagus, I want to be the first to tell you. And, you know I will. Let’s keep the faith although even I know the odds are against us. Let’s wish each other LUCK. We need it.