In Between Love and Loss

Love Hands

Love Hands (Photo credit: Luvinshots)

Love is not easy, but it is essential. Why do we all go on with our lives? Day after day shuffling our feet, not smiling sometimes for weeks or months, nothing to look forward to, nothing special on the horizon? With so much misery, disease, tragedy, war, incurable illnesses why do we accept it?  It comes down to one thing and one thing only: Love. You don’t need a crowd of people to love you, it can be one person or one quirky brown dog, or a petulant cat, maybe a goldfish named Frank, or wildflowers in a garden. We live for love. That is the ultimate dream and if you love one friend and the person loves you back you are incredibly lucky. Everything counts.

Love keeps us going when we want to give up, there’s a thread of love that inspired this blog from my friends. There is love between a group of friends and we have never met, there is a closeness, whose hearts and souls connected on a higher level. We may have originally gotten to know each other by our chronic illnesses, auto-immune diseases or fibromyalgia but that is the last thing we talk about now. If we lived closer to one another, they would be my safe place, my soul sisters.  We offer peace, love and kindness to each other, there is no judgment, just support.

I’m not unrealistic I know love isn’t always about happiness, when you love someone so much and they die or move away or just because they grow up and relationships change. Nobody tells you that when you are pregnant, that love also hurts, that love is also loss. Even if they told you, you wouldn’t believe them anyway. When you love your children so much and they walk away as strong, independent adults you are very proud but sometimes, if you are honest, it really hurts. Is it rational? No. It’s purely emotional.

I respect and admire both my children. But, part of love brings with it a searing unavoidable pain and there is nothing you can do about it. Without pain, we wouldn’t know how wonderful love really is.  The thread of love, twists and changes, every single day and night. You can’t control it, you can only change yourself and how you deal with the changes, like the waves of a turbulent ocean, strong, beautiful, unpredictable. Unconditional love is for children, it never ends, and I’m sure our children will not understand until they have grown up children of their own.

One day you are holding their hands to cross the street, trading toy cars or having a tea party, watching a shiny red fire truck, or playing dress-up and the next day, or so it seems, they are adults. They are adults you are proud of and cherish but they have their own lives now, and you are not the biggest part of it.  “Home” is someplace different now and just because they have a week off doesn’t mean they want to see you. First it’s a shock, then it’s a change but you get used to everything. This was never about guilt. I don’t want you to change for “the next time.”  I wanted you to let it go. Growing up sometimes means you can’t always have the last word and sometimes it means letting things go, if not for you, than for me.

“End of conversation. No new conversation.”

I love you, unconditionally with all my heart

Matchbox Toy Cars

Matchbox Toy Cars (Photo credit: sarflondondunc)

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Yellow Magic Madness #22

A painting by Mondrian.

Long, long ago, when I was a child,

we used to have an ashtray in our

apartment that looked a little like this and I thought, perhaps it was painted by Mondrian. (I wish!) I remember being sad when it broke into little pieces.

Mondrian Homage #2

Yellow Magic Madness #14- Twinkies

Box of Twinkies

Box of Twinkies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

English: Hostess Twinkies. Yellow snack cake w...

English: Hostess Twinkies. Yellow snack cake with cream filling. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If You Ran Away To Join The Circus What Would Your Job Be? (Plinky Prompt)

Cotton Candy

Cotton Candy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • If you ran away and joined the circus, what would your role be?Would you run a concession? Would you train elephants? Be a clown?Ringmaster? Why?
  • NO job at the circus??

    circus

    circus (Photo credit: fsse8info)

  • I’d probably be the one holding the sign saying that the Circus Is Cruel To Animals, although I never used to think that way. One of my favorite things to do as a child was to go to the circus with my parents. It was a dream. The mixed smell of peanuts blending in with pink cotton candy wafting in the air. The taste of the cotton candy melting on my tongue, where did it go? The flashlights we used to twirl around and around in the dark. The twinkling lights, the aura of suspense, where to look, the anticipation, ah, the ringmaster! The whole event was magical, I truly loved it.
    When I had children I couldn’t wait to take them to the circus, I was almost as excited as they were, maybe more. There is something about the circus that automatically transforms you into a child…until you grow up. Until you have watched a documentary or two and realized that tigers really don’t ride tricycles naturally and the elephants look old, and tired and do the monkeys really need to ride a motorcycle? Why are there so many whips around? My daughter, a vegetarian, realized it when she was older too and we never went to see a circus again. Why would we?
    It’s the same reason that I won’t wear a fur coat. I wouldn’t throw red paint on someone who was wearing one, I think that is extreme, but I choose not to wear one. No act of violence, to me, is acceptable. Now, it is my choice not to attend the circus, but if someday I have grandchildren and they look at me with those innocent eyes, jumping up and down and begging as only children can do, I can’t promise I wouldn’t take them if their parents wanted me to. In fact, most likely, I would, just to see their eyes shine, to hear the jingle of laughter long forgotten, to buy them cotton candy and a flashlight to twirl in the magical magnificence and innocence of childhood.

     

Haiku Heights – Snow

Sepia Snowflakes, Arizona

Sepia Snowflakes, Arizona (Photo credit: cobalt123)

Dancing its way down

Snowflakes!

Snowflakes! (Photo credit: nutmeg66)

Spiraling in frosty turns

Catch flakes, tilt back, laugh.

********************

Mud, slush, freezing rain

Shoes are wet, mind is weary

Sunlight, my savior. (alternate ending: get me out of here)

***********************

Big, puffy, snow flakes

Etchings in blue, red, yellow

Capturing the art.

*********************

The mountains of white

glimpsing the silver, ice tips

the igloo of love.

**********************

Snow is for children

Romps and sleds, hot chocolate

Marshmallow dreams.

Something I Wish I Hadn’t Thrown Away (Plinky)

Tiger on my way

Image by gynti_46 via Flickr

  • Something I Wish I Hadn’t Thrown Away
  • I Knew It Then; I Know It Now
  • It’s embarrassing after all these years but I still regret throwing away a (barely) stuffed animal named Tigre (pronounced Tie-gree.) I remember that he was bright orange with black stripes, a tiger with honor and kindness. I felt protected by this sewn-up, bedraggled stuffed animal but I was going to college and had to give some stuff away. This was a mistake, I knew it then as I pushed his frail, falling apart body down the incinerator shoot. I regret it still. I can picture him perfectly but I do regret getting rid of him since he comforted me in my childhood. Sometimes, I would use his body as a pillow when I couldn’t sleep. When I was a child, stuffed animals and dolls were very important to me, they were like family. I’ve very sentimental about stuffed animals and still love them. I still have Nokey, my monkey, the one stuffed animal I would save if there was a fire. My dad bought me Nokey ( I couldn’t pronounce Monkey) from Lamstons for my birthday when I turned two. When I die, Nokey will be buried with me. I’m not going anywhere without him.

The Letter

Thomas the Tank Engine depicted in the TV Series

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Kate,

It’s been a long time since we last talked or wrote each other. How are you? I have a feeling I know. I can’t believe our boys are graduating from High School in four weeks.  It doesn’t matter that so many miles and so many years have passed by. We still have the memories, the boys still have a connection and so do we. As I grow older I realize that there are many types of friendships on so many levels and they are all different and good.

Right now, I am stuck in between pride and delight and loss and simple sadness.  It seems like it was yesterday that our two boys, mine with his dark brown hair and yours with his light blond hair were playing in the sandbox together and sipping apple juice from juice box containers, tilting their heads back and drinking from the tiny spout without the straw. Our whole family called it the “Nick” way for many years; it made quite an impression! I can still see us watching our children together, sitting at a picnic bench, side by side, while they dug in the heavy, beige sand. Now, our sons are graduating High School and heading soon, after the summer, to college.

Wasn’t it yesterday, Katie, that I was cradling my newborn son in my arms, his head snuggling against my shoulder, the sweet, milky, powdery smell of baby? Trying to remember the smell is virtually impossible. Even back then, when I breathed it in daily, hourly, every second of the night and day, I wanted to bottle it, especially for nostalgic times like these.

Adam is going to the prom in less than a week with his girlfriend. The word “girlfriend” does not roll off my tongue naturally yet, because the word was always forbidden in the house…that is, until a few months ago. It makes me happy to see Adam and his girlfriend together, and it makes me sad, for them, that they will be saying goodbye to each other very soon. But, that’s how life works. This is all so new to him and I can’t protect him from pain any more now than I could protect him once he was properly suited up when he played football in the early years. Our children need to work things out and learn by themselves, they will need to grow up on their own.

I am trying to prepare myself for the quiet stillness of the house without Adam here at home. Julia, my beautiful blond 16 and a half year old “baby”, has only one more year left of High-School and then she too, graduates. It’s all a bit overwhelming, it feels like the powerful ride of the dark-green ocean waves with no rest in-between. When Julia graduates from High-School and is in college I can imagine that this tiny house, our family home will seem cavernous. We cannot imagine the silence creeping into our house like moths, flapping their fragile wings without a sound.

I wonder if we will miss the kids’  booming voices, the fighting, the shrieks, and their clothes all over their floors. I am sure we will at first. I imagine this whole, new experience summed up in a word: “bitter-sweet” some happy, some sad, like the strong branches with delicate red berries growing on them.

I still carry the picture in my mind of the boys playing with smiling Thomas The Tank Engine and his friends. How we built bridges and tunnels with wooden Brio pieces time and time again. Thomas and his Friends and tracks and the Conductor are still somewhere in my mildewy basement; I could not say good-bye to them too.

Love, Jane

Scents that Evoke Memories…

Nivea products

Image via Wikipedia

Cream And Cologne

The scent of Nivea cream brings back immediate memories of my young mother dipping her delicate fingers in the beautiful blue jar of white, fluffy cream. She would dab it on her face, while I, a young girl, looked on. My mom looked like a movie star to me as she blended the sweet-smelling cream on her cheeks and forehead and smiling face. The beautiful blue jar alone looked pretty and special and the lotion smelled like almonds and ocean and fresh air. It felt rich and luxurious, like heavy cream and velvet blended together. I grew up calling it Ni-vey-ah and of course, thought that was the name of it. It wasn’t until I saw a television commercial years ago that I realized it was pronounced Niv-ee-a.

I didn’t know, growing up, that my parents had European accents and that my sister and I were brought up with European manners, which was a big deal to our parents and apparently different from our American friends. We also repeated things that we heard from our parents as our friends giggled mercilessly; we didn’t know any other way. To this day I still mispronounce some words to the merriment of my own children who, of course, know everything better and correct me right away.

When I smell a man’s cologne (or shaving lotion as my dad called it), I think of my father, when he was alive, picking an after shave cologne from his collection of 13 different bottles that stood on a shelf like soldiers. Sometimes, he put on so much we said he smelled like a “perfume factory” which didn’t bother him one tiny bit. He was proud of his distinct, and different scents from all over the world. Even though he has been dead ten years, I still miss the smell of his cologne. It’s like the world is only one dimensional now, the scent of smell forgotten. Sometimes I will dab on an old cologne of my father’s on my wrists but it doesn’t smell the same. That smell, like everything else that made him my dad, was lost and buried years ago.

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If I Had One Hour in a Time Machine… (Plinky Prompt)

Strawberry ice cream in a cone.

Image via Wikipedia

Looking Back, Way Back

I would head back to my childhood, to my past. Life was simple, four best friends played together every afternoon and our only choice to make was what type of ice cream cone we would buy. Everything seemed perfect back then. Our moms were all near-by but in my time machine, the dads would be there too, all of them being kind and supportive. There was no problem back then without a solution. If you skinned your knee, someone would have a band-aid. We celebrated our youngest friend’s effort to ride a 2-wheeler; her blond hair wispy around her little face. I still see that image in my mind today. We were on the street corner across from Gussie’s candy and ice cream store. We skateboarded and roller-skated, played hand ball or jumped rope or hopped our way through hopscotch. “The Moms” would talk happily and if they were complaining about anything, we never knew. When it was time for dinner, we would all head back to our own apartments. Claudine and Roger in one building, Glen and I in another. We all ate dinner, usually at someone else’s house. When woke up in the morning, we headed to school together and knew that at 3:00pm, we would be right back where we were the day before. Together.

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My Favorite Childhood Movie

“If You Want This Choice Position ……..”

Mary Poppins is my favorite childhood movie. It’s still one of my favorite movies. The fact that I know every line in it, every song, just makes it all the more delicious. The movie was magical and endearing with the exception of two characters for me. I never liked the old woman in “Feed the Birds” she scared me when I was very young. But soon, I came to relax and respect her. She was trying to protect her birds.(“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag…..”) I also didn’t like the very old man in the bank either, ( didn’t he die?) I was terrified of his yelling, his mean face, and pointed finger. Jane and Michael Banks however, were adorable (“I put that in too!”) and of course Burt with his magic drawings and chimney dances, the penguin dancers, the very special tea. Those beautiful horses were ever so pretty and the man who laughs so much, that he is carried to he top of the ceiling always made me laugh too! I grin just remembering the scene. If I saw the movie again I know I would be laughing with glee. I remember the first time I saw the movie, Mary Poppins, I felt sad when she left. After watching the movie over and over again I understood she had to leave and the Banks’ parents were now a family, and thus, they would be okay. Need an escape from reality at any age? Mary Poppins is the movie for you and definitely for me. Hello, Netflix??

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