I Called Him *William

We were best friends, William and I, all through college and I had hoped we would be friends all our lives. Long ago, when we were 18, he wanted me to be his girlfriend and I wasn’t ready to be anyone’s girlfriend, I was scared and emotionally immature. We went to one formal dance together, he arrived holding a dead, limp, rose.

True, his smile could light up the darkest day and to me he was an absolute beautiful, and handsome man, blond hair, brown eyes, someone I could trust and talk to but he talked with his mouth open revealing a mound of mashed potatoes. To this day, I can picture that sight.

English: A small plate with a serving of mashe...

If it was now, I would say, “Dude, where are your manners?” but at 18, what did I know? I didn’t know one single thing. I did know that we made a pact that if by a certain age we weren’t married to other people we would marry each other but I would bet a million dollars Billy wouldn’t remember that.

Everyone called him Billy or Bill  even now I would refer to him as Bill but during the glory years of youth he was my William. People in our dorms were sure we would get married. After we graduated I wanted to move to Boston, mostly because I thought William was going to live there. I moved, he didn’t.

What finally made me wake up and truly understand William and relieve all the guilt that I had (he had made me feel guilty for years) for not dating him was when he called me, years after we graduated and said he would be driving to Boston and he wanted to visit.  I said “YES, ” absolutely and he would stay over at my place.” This was it, once and for all I wanted to see what we had between us, obviously it was something.

He said he would come on a Friday afternoon, sure I was a tiny bit nervous but excited. I waited for him all day and night. This was long before cell phones. I didn’t hear from him, he hadn’t given me an exact time or day so I thought for sure he would arrive on Saturday.

Saturday and Sunday came and went, I was worried, very worried that something had happened to him, a bad accident, he was involved in a serious collision…something serious must have happened for William not to have come or call.

flipped car

Or so I thought.

I literally waited all weekend for him to show up but he never did, never called, first I was very disappointed and after that angry, very angry.

The man I had trusted and loved, through and through, yet not wanted to date when I was merely 18 just changed his mind and didn’t think about letting me know. I had finally reached him during the middle of the week and he said “Yeah, I didn’t think about calling, I changed my plans.”

Who was this guy?

Apparently this was the guy that deep down I knew existed, or some part of him that I didn’t like. This was hard to take, for me, but for him, maybe he wanted to punish me or maybe he really was just the guy, across the table, with no manners, eating with his mouth open, full of mashed potatoes.

He came to my wedding, after that, I never saw him again. I finally realized he was never my best friend, he just made me think he was. I still remember his birthday but I let go of him a long, long time ago.

*Name changed to protect the guilty.

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Slipping Xanax Under My Tongue

English: Xanax 0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg scored tablets

English: Xanax 0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg scored tablets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a Xanax under my tongue. I’m not proud of it but I’m also not ashamed either. I feel the stirrings of a big anxiety attack about to kick in and I’m trying to head it off at the beginning. I am trying hard to head off having a complete melt down like I had four weeks ago for the same situation so let’s just call this preventive medicine. Preventive psychiatric medicine intervention? That’s a mouthful but I do like the sound of it.

If “my friend,” the always funny and creative blogger, Jennifer Lawson “The Bloggess” can write about Xanax and mental health I sure can too. This isn’t my first posting about anxiety I have plenty of those but in this one I am telling you what I am worried about, out loud in real-time. Maybe that will lessen the anguish, probably it will be just the same. Or maybe I will just worry about worrying. It ‘s anyone’s guess.

There are so many things that are out of my control and they all involve a common theme, as I used to call it “Health and Welfare.” I’m worried about the health of three very important people in my life. Yes, all at the same time. Initially I wrote down who those people are but then I had a funny feeling and I knew that if those people saw this blog they would be mad as heck and I would worry about that too. So, problem solved. These are all my anxieties wrapped up in a tightly knit, wound up ball, the kind you make out of twine, beige, scratchy and unforgiving.

There is an expression in German that my dad used to say and that I have said for years : “nur gesund sein.” Loosely translated, “Just stay healthy, your health is the most important thing.” I really mean it, I’ve never been the type who has needed a wake up call, I’ve been on the edge of that wake up call since I could probably talk. I don’t ever take that for granted but now I’m being tested not with just one thing but many and all at once. I need to rise to the occasion,my fears and worries aside, there is no other choice.

Another thing my dad taught me which frankly is not easy to achieve is staying in Neutral. If we all could do that successfully, we wouldn’t need Xanax or Valium, bags of chocolate or pints of ice cream or whatever your soothing pleasure is. If a cup of tea worked, believe me I’d be sipping it right now. Since I am not sobbing in hysteria, nor am I in ecstatic denial all I can see in my future, tonight, hopefully, is sleep. If I can get that, a good night’s sleep, I will feel that I have accomplished at least a little something.

Those weird protesting people in my stomach are rabble rousing again. They aren’t rioting like they were before, those angry protestors. Now, it’s more like they are marching silently, still carrying signs. But, they are still there, they know it and so do I. I’m truly hoping I can surprise them and wipe them all out before I turn out the lights. Wish me luck. Please.

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Sweet Pleasures

Three rubber ducks in foam bath

Three rubber ducks in foam bath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow, I will take a long, hot vanilla-sugar bubble bath and soak until my fingers look like large raisins. Afterwards, I will put body lotion on so my skin feels silky soft, maybe I’ll clip my toenails and paint them pink without rushing. I will do everything today at my pace.

I will drive to the diner in the next town to order the best tuna sandwich on multi-grain bread to-go. I have exceedingly high standards for tuna fish sandwiches and this is the only place that I will eat it in.

I will clean the clutter in my room just enough that I feel I have accomplished something, I am no neat freak but mountains of clean laundry (3 baskets) makes me feel uneasy. I will sort them and put them away. I hope. The worst case scenario is that I hide them, once again, which is a guilty compromise.

Maybe I will take myself to a movie, in the early afternoon. There just so happens to be a bakery on the same street that sells only cupcakes, yes, just cupcakes. I will stop in to buy a vanilla, pumpkin spice or banana cupcake with vanilla icing. The key is the vanilla icing.

I can’t decide which book to read next, there are two hardback books grinning in front of me. “Pick me” says one, “pick me” says the other and yet I have opened up both books, read a few pages of each and have stopped. Tomorrow, I will read the first fifty pages of both books and then decide. The rule, when I was growing up was to read twenty pages, but now, that I am older, I have changed the rules to fifty pages. How can you judge a book by a mere twenty pages?

When I am cold, in the afternoon, I will make myself a cup of hot chocolate and not the instant mix packages that are hidden in the pantry. Real hot chocolate made lovingly with milk that I stir slowly, and add melted chocolate or chocolate syrup, I am not that fussy. I will put many marshmallows on top. I will drink it out of my big, bright, yellow mug that my best friend gave me for my birthday, she knows that yellow is my favorite color.

Maybe I will take a nap, or meet my mother for lunch and if I can’t sleep I will cuddle with my dog on my bed, her body closely aligned to mine so we both feel safe and warm. Tomorrow will me “my” day and I will go to my local shops and browse. If I see something I love and can afford I will buy it as a gift for myself. Who says gifts have to come from other people? Who knows me best? Yes, I do.

More importantly I have a secret plan to do a good deed or as many as I possibly can, I will do some anonymous acts of kindness knowing in my heart that is the biggest gift of all.

Happy 25th Anniversary To Us

wedding flower preview: my sample bouquet

wedding flower preview: my sample bouquet (Photo credit: Amber Karnes)

Today, October 2nd 2013, Danny and I will have been married for twenty-five years. Wow.  I can hardly believe it myself.  He truly is the best friend I have in the world and the love of my life. There is no one I’d rather be with than him. The thought of not being with him in the future makes me weep. I know it won’t be anyone’s fault but you know me, I worry in advance.

There’s something about being able to trust someone completely without embarrassment that is so intimate. It’s like branches of a tree, the trunk is the center, solid and strong, branches, different personality traits that co-mingle over time. We look at each other sometimes and say “Who ARE you?” and we laugh because we, somewhere along the way have become each other. He makes me feel safe, I feel better with him, together.

Of course, there are our beautiful “children” who by now are adults which is more shocking than most things. We feel so blessed with two amazing adult children, Tim and Jillian. These magnificent kids are our life’s work, to me they are what I have wanted my entire life. If  have contributed nothing else in this world, I am proud, overjoyed to bring two wonderful, smart and kind people to this world. The purpose of my life was to be their mother and I’m so proud of both of them.

Dan and I usually agree on most things, especially on child-rearing. We were always pretty strict, European raised, that’s how we brought up our children, with manners. We did a great job with our kids, and we did it together. We stuck together on issues and we tried not to let the kids play games with us. It worked (mostly.)

Dan is the one true love of my life, he is warm and genuine and a deeply caring person. I like him very much (personal joke.) I can definitely say I am happier now than I was  when I was younger.

Sweetheart, thank you for the best 25 years of my life. I love you with my heart and soul. Truthfully, I love you more than that and then some. Happy Anniversary to my most favorite person in the world. All my love, Me.

Photo credit noted above, Amber Karnes.

Dear Bear,

Photographed by Daniel Case 2006-01-20.

Photographed by Daniel Case 2006-01-20. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love your spirit, Bear, and I don’t even know you. I feel stuck, like I’ve been treading water for way too long a time, I know I won’t drown but I honestly have never been this tired or this doubtful before. Ever.

You have spirit, dear blog friend, and I admire that immensely. Right now I don’t have anything or feel anything except for hunger on occasion. I try to read but I don’t get past the first line. Music, which always soothes me, distracts me, and I turn it off immediately. I am lying on my bed with my computer and my dog snuggling at my feet, I could stay like this and not go out at all. I make myself go out because I think that it’s healthier for me.

I’ve always said “I’ve never been a depressive person” anxious I could cop to, but I was never really depressed. What the hell am I now? I’ve done all the right things, seen a doctor, talked things out but I just can’t figure this one out. I know it started when my husband was depressed first and I couldn’t handle that, I became depressed by osmosis. Being with a man, whose main quality was an even, happy, disposition, start going downhill, freaked me out. It was hard to see him suffer, to lose interest in things, to sleep a lot, to hate his commute, to not pay attention to me. The most he paid attention to was his stupid and annoying cell phone where he could be distracted easily with e-mails, “Words With Friends” or other games.

This was not the man I married, almost 25 years ago. We’re working it out. Approaching our twenty-fifth anniversary, maybe that’s what’s bothering me too. We don’t know what to do, where to go, we are not fighting about it all, we just don’t seem to care enough now plus the weather where we would want to go would be hurricane season, no thank you. Our relationship started changing before my daughter and I went on our Florida trip when he was being cheap and mean-spirited, again being passive-aggressive, I didn’t recognize that man. As time went on we tricked ourselves into thinking it was fixed but apparently it is still broken; I am still broken.

I could blame some of it on the stifling weather we have had for three weeks in a row, my Fibromyalgia and my auto-immune disease (Hashimoto Thyroiditis) but I have had them for years and I was a lot happier before. I’m not sure what to do. I was found by my old best friend, a woman who I was friends with when I was seven yet I feel like I lost my best friend. Is it my husband or my real best girlfriend in Long Island, who doesn’t stay in touch? Probably both. I’ve stopped trying, I don’t even want to try, which is really sad. Do I even have the strength to say good-bye to her? I can’t say.

Bear-Woman, you are young and strong and I envy that and I am proud of you. You have time to sit down in the sun and wait it out. Whatever you are going through, I know you will make it through just fine, I have no doubt. I picture you on a mountain top somewhere, living with Nature, with a soaring eagle nearby and you in hiking boots on her way to the top. I don’t have the drive to do much of anything, but I feel good in knowing that you do.

Best of luck in your search, I have no doubt that happiness will find you, there is no need for you to even look.

Your friend,

Hibernationnow.wordpress.com

all photos are property of the photographer.

Plinky Prompt: Tell us about a thing you’ll never write about:

secret & oublié

secret & oublié (Photo credit: andrefromont/fernandomort)

  • Never, Not A Chance
  • A best friend’s secret. The definition of a best friend is to be able to have someone who you can trust entirely. If my best friend told me something that was very sensitive and made for a good story, I wouldn’t write about it…even if someone wanted to pay for the story…( well, okay I would think about changing the names and situation! just kidding ) A secret is a secret, you don’t talk about it, gossip about it, write or whisper about it. What you do with a secret is keep it safe, tucked away securely in your heart. Secret?
    What secret? I have no idea what you are talking about…

Come what may (Carry on Tuesday)

Old Man Grieving - Vincent van Gogh

Old Man Grieving – Vincent van Gogh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Carry on Tuesday: The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again

Love Love Love

Love Love Love (Photo credit: Gregory Jordan)

Dear Rachel,

I know this letter will come as a surprise but I needed to explain things to you. I’m writing it because you are my best friend and I trust you. I’m sorry I never told you before but I think you knew. I can see you, sitting in your oak office, reading this with your long red hair, nodding up and down, chewing on your nails like you have done since we were ten.

You were right, I DID have a secret but I couldn’t share it with you or anyone else. I have cheated on Don for the past 5 years with a man named Mark. We love each other so much. Unfortunately, we are both married to other people. As much as I love him, I hate myself for what I am doing. We’ve probably broken up the same amount of times we’ve been together; it’s a horrible situation. If I even came close enough to smell the musky after shave he wears, I weaken.  He has a way of making me feel so incredible with just his burning brown eyes on mine. Every organ inside me would start melting, like those gooey, grilled cheese sandwiches we used to make on top of a simmering stove. I have to be honest. I hate the person I’ve become but I’ve loved him in a way I didn’t even know existed and I can’t give that up even though I have tried.

It’s hard to describe the way he makes me feel: Priceless? Special? Extraordinary? Those words don’t even come close. Don has never made me feel that way, no man has and I’m not talking in just a sexual way either. My soul felt  connected to Mark as well as my body. He stroked my skin, like I was a calico kitten, for hours, just doing that and whispering how lovely I was in a low, soft whisper like the sound of the running creek right outside my window. Steady, rippling, constant. I wouldn’t move for hours. I felt so loved by him and his words; it is what I lived for as infrequent as it was.

He has a wife and two daughters back home and when he even eludes to them I would become terribly angry. He never lied to me about them, he told me he did not want to leave his children, but of course, I thought I could change his mind. He and his wife have no relationship at all. I thought the love we had together MUST be stronger than the love he had for his family. Every time he left I told him not to come back, but he would call……and it would start again. I tried so hard to break up with him, I truly did but we would always find our way back to each other. I couldn’t live my life without him and I hated my life and what I was doing with him.

I have nothing against Don, he is a sweet man. But, we live as companions, we eat together, we travel together, that’s it. It’s a comfortable life and I accept it and I was okay with that until Mark entered my life; I never looked for Mark, we met on an airplane.

I hate that I am lying and deceiving Don but I continue to do so, I cannot stop. I don’t know if Mark will leave his family, he says he “wants to” but that it is “difficult and complicated.” I love Mark and I always will.  I am getting more out of control, these past few weeks. That’s why I haven’t returned your calls. I can’t think, I hate myself, I hate both my lives.  When the pain of parting is nothing compared to the joy of meeting again, you have to ask yourself, at what cost?

By the time you read this letter, I will be dead. It’s been planned for weeks. I plan to swallow a lot of pills and drink a lot of alcohol and then drive my car late at night and speed as fast as I can down the hill into the ocean and pray I drown. At least I know I won’t be hurting any more people since it’s our property.

I can’t live in both worlds any longer; I don’t deserve to live in one.

Love, Kate

Puzzle Boy- Kellie Elmore Prompt (Free Writing)

I was working hard on my puzzlw, me and my bestest riend Nikki when my stupid baby brother GREGORY, came down stairs on his rear end and decided to ruin my life. Well, he did that the second he was born but today he actually showed us how annoying he really was because he showed it in front of my very best friend and my mom too. “Now, now, my mom said, don’t get so upset Abby, my mom said in her sweet kind of fake voice, but she knew I was mad and she knew I just wanted to hit the baby in the head aftor ruining another one of my days.

“Gregory”say you are sorry to your sister Abby but he said no such thing and my Mom just made up the words and tried to pretend they were coming from his stupid little boy mouth. Did she think I was stupid? Whatever, it wasn’t tht much of a big deal so me and and Nicki put the pieces away and we didn’t let Greggy play with at all for the whole rest of the time that Nicki was over there. It kinda seemed that Nikki wanted to play “house” using Gregory as the baby boy but I refused to play that since I was stuck doing that every single day and night like forever. No, I was not gonna play with that stupid boy again unless one day if he was older and maybe cooler and he could play hoops or squash or something cool. Now, to me, he was just a blob that sati n a high chair and dribbled drool all over his face and Mom’s hand and my hand and this stupid spit up cloth and he would wipe his hand iin his own snot which was way more gross than I had seen in a very long time. Then Nikki had to leave to go home anda we didn’t say much more to each other except see ya at schoo and i locked the door behind me, hard.

Why couldln’t Mom see how disgusting that was? IF I had done that she would have yelled at me and screamed so loud and then punished me for sure. But with GREGORY, he was allowed to do it cuz he was the baby. What’s the difference, I wanted to say.  Why couldn’t i do it if he was allowed? whaat’s fair is fair. Besides, I was older so I should hae been allowed to do more things first. Yeah.

If my dad had been around he would have been on m y side before but that was no way going to happpen. I think mom and dad had a big fight and he left and she didn’t care but now she smoked lots of cigarettes and squished them out in a red and white orange juice glass, and he called to talk to me sometimes. I would get to see him sometime but I didn’t know when and he didn’t eithere. he asked about the stupid baby and I told him i hated him and dad laughed and thought it was funny and then I laughed too cuz it kind of was funny in a weird way.

After that it was pretty quiet in the apaartment, Mama was giving the baby a bath, and “GREGORY” had already eaten so mom and I would get to eat dinner together just like we used to. So I put on my mom’s apron, the one with the red and purple flowers on it, I put out the plates, and the silver ware and waited for mom to come down. I heaard her kiss him good-night so I was ready, Mom had cooked something beforeand it was time tht we ate it together. Us grown up girls together, just like it should be, all along.