Daisy

One of my oldest, dearest friends is staying home this Thanksgiving with her dog, Daisy. I feel for her because Daisy is close to dying. Barbara, one of the most tender people I know, if you can get inside her layers of bravado, will not leave her side. She will sit with Daisy and eat turkey together and will not leave her house for one minute, she knows this is Daisy’s last Thanksgiving.

Ba and I have grown up together and I don’t say this lightly. We have been friends for over 30 years. We may not see each other for 5 or 10 years at a time but our connection is unbreakable.

Barbara has cooked a turkey for Daisy because Daisy still has her appetite and I know that my dear friend will be eating with her. The dog can’t walk easily so Ba helps her on to the bed, where she sleeps, on and off. Barbara hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks and from how she sounded I can see the dark circles under her eyes. The ones I used to see when she allowed herself to be sad in front of me, crying, when she was vulnerable and unafraid to be who she was.

Part of me wishes I could be there, for her, part of me is grateful that I have my own family to be with, I was never good at endings. I can barely say good-bye. All of my old feelings of our first dog, Callie dying unexpectedly are coming up.  I can’t write this without being misty-eyed and I am controlling myself. A lot.

I am sending my love to Daisy and to my friend Barbara because I know how hard this is, most animal lovers can certainly relate. I know that Daisy does not have much time left in this world, and in fact, when I found out that Daisy died, about a week later, I knew it in my heart, I felt it deeply. I even told my husband the very same day that Daisy had passed.Dog lovers, animal lovers, there is a bond like no other. Daisy was Barbara’s fur baby.

You cannot know love until it is taken away from you. That is when the grief process begins. The house, Barbara lives in now, is just way too silent.

In memory of Daisy, dedicated to Barbara with love.

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FWF: Kellie Elmore, Jhana’s Daughter

 

English: Two candles in love. The flame is inv...

English: Two candles in love. The flame is inverted heart shape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My name is Jhana, I am very old but I have a young friend translating for me. She knows ‘Merican language real good. Now we start: “The pain in Jhana’s old heart was searing now. The intensity, the throbbing came and went but there were times when she would kneel on the dirty, muddy floor and weep. She only did that when she was sure she was alone. Jhana’s children, all except one, brothers and sisters all lived near-by but she was not looking for comfort, she knew there was none. None for this type of her anguished heart.

We are alone with our grief she had learned through the hard times even though we have family for whom we bless. It took more bravery and strength to be able to hold on to love, than to dismiss it. Love is fleeting, like birds in the sky. That, she knew. Love was there, deep down but could you feel it all the time? Of course not. You had to imagine it, rely on it, pray that it would be there or come back to you. Have faith. Love was an assumption only.fwf4Apr

Love was not the “smiling, holding hands” we would look at in the American magazines that the girls would find and hide under mats, and yes we let them. They looked at something called “romance” not true love but we let them. They did not yet know our plans to move to ‘Merica in a year or two years.

Here, in India, I would look at second daughter’s face as if I was looking through her, I had no problems with my other four children. Why was this child so different? The love was always there in my heart, in her father’s heart and siblings. What happened that was different for this child of mine? How could she not know our love? Did she not know that her father and I blessed the differences from her and the others. She was our pearl, our stand-alone gem. If anything she was more loved but would not take it inside herself.

The other older children could play and work and keep busy but this one held feelings deep inside her heart or just could not communicate. There was hurt and anger, deep inside hammered in to her heart but yet she could not forgive. Nor would she allow us to apologize for something we did not know about. She would not give in, she would be strong, very strong. But, I knew better, of course I did. Well, I thought I did. I was her mother.

This was not a betrayed love, this was a love that ran so deep, only a mother could know. I waited patiently until the day she would find her way back to me. Where did we go wrong I asked the husband? He said of course “we did nothing wrong, she is the child.” But, a mother is different, I tried to tell him. No, that is not the answer.” he told me.

I imagined looking at your face with my two hands one on each side like pressing on cold, hard glass. Press too hard and chips of glass would embed themselves in your fingers, blood would run down slowly each time. Not enough to scream but just enough to notice. I would imagine you trying to get away, twisting, fighting and screaming but my love for you was stronger than everything. You could not run away forever. I held you close, I would not let you go, ever.

I tried to forget the unforgiving words told to me about what you called me and how you viewed me because I do not follow that life. Love was a mystery that couldn’t be easily explained. Where was the joy, the simplicity, the laughter of love? Did it exist past the many layers of the wall you created? As a mother I dearly hoped but I could not know, you would not allow me to know.

Beautiful child, lovely child. No matter how old you are, you still live in my heart no matter what you do or don’t do. There is the difference. I will always cherish you, always love you,  for the goodness in you that I see, that I feel. Yes, certainly. Two hearts, even those estranged, can come back and beat as one.

Until the last breath I will love you. Do you hear me child? Does anyone?  I will say it again and again since I cannot see you, my eyes have failed me many years ago. But, I would still know your face, my hands might be gnarled and brittle with illness but my heart knows, will always know that you, beautiful heart, was so blessedly loved every second of every day and night.

I will wait until the last breath has left my body, which dear one, I know will be soon. I will never give up on you, you see I was learning Patience too and different ways of loving. None was right, none wrong. I was changing too.

That is a mother’s truth spoken in my body now and in the next life. I promise this to you. I love you now and forever. Look for me at night, in the sky, I will be watching you still, loving you, when I am gone.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No Other Love

Mama Bear and her two cubs

Mama Bear and her two cubs (Photo credit: pixieclipx)

Dear Kids,

In case you haven’t heard it, it’s true what they say about mothers and their children.this is a bond like no other.

You and your sister are attached to me in a special way

I will always feel the need to protect you, to keep you safe.

No matter how old you get, you will always be our babies.

This special bond that will never go away or lessen.

Like a mother bear and her cubs I will protect you fiercely and I will do

not anything possible but everything to keep you from harm’s way.

This is nothing to joke about, this is serious but not something you will understand

until you have children of your own.

If it means that you are mad at me, I will deal with that, my job is to protect you.

I will go to the ends of the earth to do that, as many parents would too.

If you decide to go on this trip and it is alarmingly dangerous and I disapprove,

you will look out your window from the plane

and I will be the person on the tarmac, suited up, in bright yellow and orange,

against the night’s dark sky

flashing my arms, not letting that plane leave.

You do not know this side of me.

It never weakens, it can’t be destroyed.

You can joke and laugh and call me “silly” or “mushy” or say that “I can’t drive”

I’m alright with that

But, do not ever underestimate a mother’s love for her children.

Ever.

Honoring Someone Else’s Pain

Postavaru Mountain - ROMANIA

Postavaru Mountain – ROMANIA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes the hardest thing we can do, when a friend is suffering, is nothing. It goes against our natural instinct to nurture and comfort and try to make people feel better. However, we need to think of what they want and not do what we feel comfortable doing.We need to honor their wishes, respect their needs. I identify so very well with this particular pain, I lost my best friend, Callie, my dog, less than a year ago. My friend, everyone’s friend, Judy Judith lost her dog Max the other day. He was not only her dog-friend but ours, he was an icon and part of all our lives. We all knew him, and apparently, he knew us too. He wrote us letters.

His name was Max. The dog owner of the wonderful blog “Creativity to the Max” helped by his “human,” Judith Westerfield, one of the loveliest and intelligent people I know. Those who know her adore her, those who interact with her form her wide fan club and fall in love with her. She is direct and honest and she will tell you what she thinks, good or bad, directly, no matter what, and when she says something you wrote is good, you better believe her because if not, she will theoretically smack you on the head over cyberspace in a loving way, of course. She is also extremely funny and she makes us laugh.

To know that she is in pain is killing me. When my dog, Callie, died a few months short of a year ago, Judith was there for me, telling me it will hurt but it would get better, Selena told me about the Rainbow Bridge that I had never heard of before. Maureen and Rosemary and Lorraine and Tammy and other friends supported me and helped me through it. I relied on these friends that I have never met in person. These friends on-line had become family, our own family, they knew the right things to say, there was no drama between us (okay, maybe just a little), no childhood memories or lapses in judgment. They were here to listen and to support and encourage; I am here for them as well.

Friendship is both about being there for someone when she needs you but, even harder, stepping back, when she asks you to. We are all stepping back in honor of your request, in honor of Max. We will miss you, Max, and we will hurt because we know our dear friend Judy Judith is hurting. Don’t worry, Max, you can count on us to take care of her for you. In memory of you, Llliiiiickingly yours, Lexi-Pro and her human friends.

ramblings from a very tired person

"I Am Tired" - NARA - 558861

“I Am Tired” – NARA – 558861 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

so tired I think my eyes are asleep, they are certainly half closed while i am typing this so forgive the e.e. cummings style, a wonderful poet.i feel like there are pieces of chalk in my eyes, the ones i used to use when I was a kid, outside on the street; thick pieces of multi-colored chalk sticks, pink, yellow, blue, white.  they always got on our hands and clothes but they were great for hopscotch games and messages to the world. hearts and balloons and your best friends names. when i was little we had a tight group of friends, 4 of us that played together every day; our moms were great friends too. we played in an alley and our moms sat together on a little wall, talking, smoking cigarettes back then. in the summertime, we would run like crazy when we heard frankie and the Good Humor truck coming around the corner, his familiar voice shouting “Hola Amigo.” our very first Spanish words.we were so proud.

out of the 4 of us, I am still friendly with all of them since we are all in our fifties and have known each other since we were born. our lives live in each others memories, moments that one of us remember, we fill in each others blank stairs; we’re all very different. one guy is not much of a communicator, he sends a joke or two on line once in a while and every ten years we see each other on his big birthdays in July which is fun. the next one will be 6o ,wow that sounds so ancient  yet it’s a mere jump. skip and dive into those frozen waters for me. I can’t just yet roll it around my brain or head and certainly not my tongue.not yet.

i could never understand people reading the obituary pages, what’s the point? my 85 year old mother started reading them with one of her friends a few months ago and now she does it every day. i looked at it once and the one time I looked i found our realtor dead, at a young age. or the age they said. she used to tell me about all the cosmetic surgery she would always have; there was no cause of death listed. I was shocked and saddened to see her familiar face on the page.you just don’t expect to know anyone when u glance at the page. i stopped reading after that one.

that’s what tonight has been like, looking at old photographs, too tired to get out of bed to pee, too lazy to go down to the kitchen and snack because i don’t want to change my feeling of warmth and safety from this 60 degree bonus day. we deserved this day, after super-s0aker  Sandy and the snowstorm that followed. this tiny neighborhood has outtages every single year, except for this one, we were so very grateful.

thanks for giving us a break this year. we sorely needed it and was much appreciated. i need to save this and then save draft. and then, right away before you say anything else, i will be dropping my head on my cool pillow and try to go to sleep. peaceful sleep. good night.

Fighting Seems Like Death Sometimes

Death Valley Sunrise: DSC_02851

Image by krakovsky via Flickr

I wear no make-up, my hair is dirty and uncombed, no pink lipstick to brighten my face or the empty feeling in my soul. The clothes I wear today are shapeless, I am invisible, but you can still see me.  There are no smiles or light flirtations slipping from my lips, no gurgling sounds of interest and empathy. There are no words, not one single syllable. I am inside myself.

There are no idioms to soothe me, there are no thoughts to brighten me, I am falling slowly from the top of a cliff. I am not skydiving with dazzling energy and lightness, seeking thrills. It’s a slow death, seeing the images that have haunted me as if I was watching a silent movie. There is no black and there is no white, only dark gray. Those who thought I had it all, I have nothing today. Am I loved for who I am unconditionally? That is how I love you.

You and I are so much alike that when it is good it feels like bursting happiness and beaming sunshine and when we fight, it is the bottom of a dark and painful hell. If I could have it any other way, I would. We are forever bound with love and we share a heart. I feel myself falling into murky waters of unknown depths and destiny. What would you say at my funeral if it was today?  Would you say a prayer, read a poem, talk from your heart? Would you try to be stoic and fight back the tears or would you openly weep as I would for you? I would throw myself into the musky dirt to lie beside you if something happened to you; I would not want to live.

You have no idea how much you hurt me and yet even if I try to explain it to you, you deny it vehemently. Like two fighters in a ring, no one listening, both talking, fighting, an emotional blow to you, to me. There is no winner, everybody loses when they fight, all you get from fighting is pain. Will you learn later on that staying and talking through things are better than running away? Time will have to teach you that because I have tried and failed.

At the same time, do you not know that I love you with a special love reserved for no one else? You have always occupied that place in my heart, I love you more than I love my own life;  I would leave the world and disappear if you could guarantee me that I would never again see that sad, woeful expression on your face again. I would do that for you; I would do that for me too. In my heart and soul, I know that before I saved myself, I would save you first.

Haiku Heights – Friendship

holding hands - age 10, and age 8

Image via Wikipedia

My friend says thank you

She hates to be photographed

She allowed me one

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Sad to lose a friend

A piece of myself leaves too

Change is hard for all

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Finding my way back

To childhood friendships, the core

Emotional bond

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What does being a friend mean

It’s doing things, not talking

Holding hands at dusk

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We Laugh, We Cry

6/24/10

Last night, on instant chat, I talked with my friend P. for a long time. She and I are sisters in this crazy world of  chronic pain and difficult, unusual symptoms. The auto-immune disease that I call my own, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis,  has its own set of innate problems, cells attacking cells. She has more physical pain and I wish I could take some away from her.

When we started talking, we were both subdued. We discussed our achy, ouchy  (I know that’s not a real word but it fits) symptoms. We were tired, tired of being tired, tired of being lethargic and uncomfortable. We talked about our day (some would consider this complaining but in our world it really isn’t). We were merely reporting and commenting on “the symptoms of the day” (you’ve heard undoubtedly about the ” soup of the day” well, this is different) and sleep deprivation, medications and diagnoses. We sound like we are pharmaceutical “reps” weighing in on different medications (we just don’t get paid for it and no free samples).

I got so frustrated at one point that I decided we were in desperate need of a new direction for our conversation. We decided on fantasies. (No, not that kind, get your minds out of the gutter!). We fantasized about a huge beach house (for me) and a very small one for her (so that when she cleaned it, it would be manageable. ) In MY fantasy, I don’t CLEAN my house, I just live luxuriously in it. I wanted neighbors, she did not; I kid her about being anti-social, she kids me back.

P. asked me questions about my ex-guru doctor and I updated her that the ex-guru doctor was still the guru doctor and I loved him (gee, had I not?) again, still, anew.  We’re a fickle bunch, we are.  She told me about natural remedies and I grumbled about how expensive they were and that I could barely leave the house to get the mail, much less drive to a costly massage or have a homeopath give me their remedies. (I’m sorry but I still have somewhat of a problem with the word” remedies”). We encouraged each other to plow forward, and she reminded me that “at least I had had one good day” which I was beginning to lose sight of in my quest for another.

We ended up laughing on both sides of two computers when I mentioned that perhaps we could have a “reality” show of all of us in the chronic pain/auto-immune/fibromyalgia/ CFIDS  and “other”categories.   I guess you had to be there but we took it so far that she was going to pitch my idea to producers. We LOL’d and ROFL’d so much that I had to help her up (virtually) from her  chair at home.  It was silly, it was ridiculous but it  felt so good to laugh and smile. In our world of chronic pain/illness  it’s an actual honor to be able to make one another laugh or put a smile on someone’s face.

I have been helped by so many kind people on this blog. But, I am the worst technical person in the world. It’s a wonder that I can even manage this simple blog (you’ll notice the elementary style with no photos or fancy techniques-sorry). If I were more technical, I too, would cut and paste and give awards (that are so special to me) to all my dear friends on this network (you know who you are!).

In my own way, I just wanted to tell everyone how thankful I am for the support, the humor, the  advice and encouragement and the friendships that have been made. We may have different symptoms but we have a common bond.   We take comfort in each other because only we can truly relate to one another. Doctors may sometimes not hear us, loved ones may not always understand us and we may feel a little crazy at times but, it’s our glue, our bond, that keeps us together.

Dedicated to all my blogger friends and to my friend P.