Happy Yellow Friday, Roses

YellowRoses

Beautiful, Happy, Yellow Roses. At one time they brought me utter delight, at another they brought me despair and heartbreak. A different day, a different situation. Total miscommunication.

I choose just to look at the happiness of the stunning flowers. I accept, though it is hard, that some things just can’t be worked out or understood. No matter how much you want to be heard, some people will not hear you. That’s Life. You tried, move on. It’s complicated.

 

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Soul Baby (5 parts)

 

Dear Baby Girl Z,

Part 1

I’m so sorry, I really am. I know you can’t and won’t forgive me, how could you? I will never forgive myself. Everyone, pretty much, hates me. I don’t know what I was thinking, I guess I thought you would complete me, solve all my problems. But, I had to solve them on my own, didn’t I? I think I wanted you in my life for all the wrong reasons and I know that was selfish and horrible.

One of my friends had adopted a baby and she was the light of her mom’s life, she lived for her baby and I thought that having you would make me whole. I had to learn that the only way for a person to be whole was to be whole first.

Z, I will never, ever forget what I did to you in my entire life. Until the day I die I will think about you every day and every night.

I had dreamed about you for the past seven years. I tried to be patient, I had gone through all the legal hoops and still I waited, until finally three years ago. I finally was finished, I was approved, home inspection: check. Now the only thing I had to do was wait.

 

Part 2.

I was a lawyer hoping to make partner and every day was so busy from seven in the morning to at least ten at night. But, I had arranged everything. I had a nanny set up, a nursery, went out with friends, checked my cell phone constantly.

sadness

sadness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Every day was a possibility, every night could be a disappointment. Even the mailman, Mike, knew my situation and one day, the thick manilla envelope arrived. It was delivered on a bright, sunny Wednesday in the Spring, Mike lingered in the building to hand it to me in person. I didn’t want to share this with anyone so I thanked him and went upstairs to my apartment’s open, airy, bright chrome kitchen and ripped the envelope apart.

 

Thinking

Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn DeLight (back again))

One look at the black and white photograph, seeing your eyes, your deep, dark sad eyes and I held my breath, waiting for the tenderness to overwhelm me. I didn’t feel happy or joyful, I felt terrified and wrong. I thought to myself:’ I’m having a heart attack.’ “I was in shock” I told myself, “of course” and waited to feel the love and sense of motherhood I had longed for. This was MY baby, the baby I had looked forward to for years. My stomach sank to my frigid feet, I felt out of control, overwhelmed, out of my mind. I felt hollow inside and empty but mostly, I felt nothing.

 

Part 3.

“That’s ridiculous” I thought, “it’s just shock. I’m scared, nervous maybe and more than a little unsure.” I talked myself into first day jitters but I only had a photograph and all I could see was the pain in your eyes. I turned away, I walked to the living room, leaving the photograph sitting, turned over on the kitchen counter. The second I turned my back I knew what I had to do,  I knew it in my head, right away, right after, in my heart.

I called my best friend to come over because I was absolutely hysterical, she came but I could not be calmed down. I had made the wrong decision. I would call the agency and tell them that the deal fell through and I’m sure she would be happier with a family, one with kids…and a dog.

Part 4.

I’ve lived with this pain, this regret for many years. Why, how, could I have walked away from my Soul Baby?  I thought all I had wanted to do was be a mother, I swear, until it was almost possible. What was I trying to prove? I was in no way able to offer the love and stability of a child AND have a full-time career. I was selfish, I wanted both. But, after looking at the photo of your sad, tortured eyes, I could not do that to you again. This was not a trial run, or sweater that I could exchange in the store. This was a life and I knew I couldn’t handle it.

I broke down in tears, hysterically crying. I don’t know what happened but I could not be responsible for this beautiful, sad child. What if I was not enough to make her happy? I wasn’t sure enough if I could make myself happy. The next 24 hours were the hardest of my life. I cried through most of them. I wouldn’t speak to anyone but I knew, deep down in my heart that I could not, would not be a mother to this child. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t even know myself yet.

English: Photograph of Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophi...Part 5.

I know this much, there was no excuse for what I did but it was the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. Each morning before work and each evening after dinner, I would take out the same photo that I had never given back, look at it and said “I’m so sorry Baby Girl Z” I not only turned my back on her, I had turned on myself. Eventually I put the photo away and stopped looking at it. I practiced law full-time and yes, I was a Partner.

10 years later:

My son and daughter come running to me, I left being a lawyer when our son was born and two years afterwards our daughter. In their hands was a piece of paper and they were laughing and giggling. “Mommy, who is this?” they cried, pushing and shoving each other. In their hands was the black and white photo of Baby Z, Soul Baby, I had never thrown that photo away nor would I ever.

I looked at my kids straight in their eyes and said “that was Baby Z, she was supposed to be your sister but mommy made a big mistake, it was too early.” They didn’t ask any other questions and there were no other questions left to ask. I took the photo and gently placed it back in my old journal from years ago; this time I put it in the lock box, my husband Jim, of twelve years, smiling by my side.

 

Plinky Prompt: Baby Love

Young woman kissing baby in bassinet

Young woman kissing baby in bassinet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • 6:00AM: the best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00AM bedtime? See all answers
    • Baby Love
    • NEITHER


    • During my college years (which I can remember vaguely but with fondness) I always needed SOME sleep. I never was one of those “all-nighter” students, I needed at least four hours of sleep. My main problem and yes, it has carried on still today is that I hate the taste of alcohol (hang my head in shame,) so I wasn’t the wild, party girl type. 6:00AM was right in the middle of my sleep.

      6:00AM was ONLY for the love of my two sweet young ones, 21 months apart. We called my son “the farmer” he was awake every morning at 5am toddling in his little one piece sleeper to wake me up because “he didn’t want to miss anything.” When I think about it, he’s still the same way now at 21.

      Our daughter, came screaming into the world and kept screaming. I was up with her many times a night so if it was 6:00 am or 3:00am it was just to pick up my sweet girl, hold her in my arms and feel her body immediately relax.

      That’s what it takes if you want to be a mom, like I did. I wanted to be a mom since I was six years old, I became one at 33, after two and a half years of painful and emotionally draining infertility treatments.
      So at 3am, 6am, sure I was tired. But holding a crying baby in my arms, was nothing short of a miracle to me and it never upset me or made me mad. I was able to hold my baby as I sat in the rocking chair, all my dreams having come true. Who was I to complain?

Decluttering My Life

Clutter

Clutter (Photo credit: marlana)

First, I thought I might be a hoarder, and believe me I am in no way making a joke out of this. I read that hoarding starts with keeping sentimental things. If that’s how it starts then I am in big, big trouble. If I look around my house, though, the clutter is really just in my bedroom and my (once) big walk-in  closet. You can’t walk into it anymore. I ‘m scared, truly scared, as I look around my bedroom filled with Diet Snapple bottles and magazines, candles, plates, lavender moisturizing creams, piles of paper… I need to breathe, I  need to breathe.  Other rooms in the house “look” fine, for example: the living room but my room and my closet are humiliating and filled with junk. Boxes and boxes, laundry baskets and laundry baskets filled with everything but laundry.

If I declutter my house, will my head and heart be clearer too?

Lately, I have misplaced things too. My keys, my sunglasses, my plane ticket,  lipstick, my book, my jacket. Also, recently I have been very stressed out, emotionally. This is MORE than my nemesis Fibro Fog from Fibromyalagia. I misplace one thing after another, panicking and starting the cycle over again. There has to be a connection here I’m trying to slow myself down, so far it isn’t working. It’s not amusing when I “lose” something, my daughter helps me find it, ( I always find things,) I misplace things rapidly. I need to slow down.

I can’t deal with anything when I am feeling so overwhelmed. I need to start cleaning and organizing now, actually yesterday. I feel the stress in my stomach. I always feel stress first in my stomach, is that just me or does it happen to everyone? The tender points in my neck and shoulders are all raw, tap me lightly on a tender point and I will let out a blood-curdling scream. Last week the edge of my husband’s sleeve brushed against me and my scream was so awful and so loud that it scared both of us. Damn disease.

Next morning: I can breathe a little easier today, I really did work myself into a panic but once I started organizing my room and recycling a lot of papers and magazines I felt better. There’s still a lot on my mind, I don’t feel settled yet, but even if I make a tiny bit of progress it will make me fell more in control. Of everything. I will need to work things out, in my head and in my heart. I will do all that while I am cleaning, because cleaning will give me more control, I just feel that. I can’t be wrong. Can I?

Trying On Bathing Suits Or Buying A House: What’s Worse? 6/2013

"Mermaid Club, Philadelphia." Member...

“Mermaid Club, Philadelphia.” Members in bathing suits circa 1920. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I tried on about 80 bathing suits yesterday at a nice store, oh fine, I’m exaggerating, I tried on 8 bathing suits but it certainly felt like 80. I have lost weight so my excuse that nothing fits because I’m heavy does not hold water (pun intended). Someone described me as “tiny” and “slight” the other day, I literally looked behind me looking to see who they were talking about. There was nobody behind me. I may have lost weight but in no way do I feel slight or diminutive. What are they thinking? And no matter what I weigh, or anyone weighs, trying on bathing suits is a horrifying experience. Am I wrong?

Have you seen the bathing suits THIS year? If you have, there’s no need for you to read any further. What has happened to a regular one piece swimsuit: a regular bathing suit with straps and a back?  The suits I tried on either had no umm, support in the front, and no straps ( I don’t count those little stringy things as straps) and there was no backs, one literally went down to my backside. Who wants to see THAT?

Today I went to two other stores, same results. The suits are either not in my size (though I bought one  that is too big for me and one that is too small for me out of pure desperation). The others in the store are skimpy,  poorly made and junky, not even my daughter with her cute figure would wear them and they are all mix and match. Ugh.

So, my personal conclusion is that trying on and actually buying a bathing suit is MUCH WORSE than looking and buying a house. Ladies, do you agree? I would talk to men too but let’s face it, they really do not have the same problem. Small, Medium or Large? Hawaiian print or solid blue? Am I right?

Buying a house? Seems pretty simple to me. Not even 100th of one percent close to the agony of the bathing suit selection. Buying a house: Know the limits of what you can spend, know which coast/states/towns you want to live in, do research on different areas and look at some houses with your new best friend, your local realtor who wants nothing more than his/her commission. Select a house, sign about a hundred checks, move in, done! To me it sounds like  a piece of cake. But, please, remind me of that before the next time we move……

Carry on Tuesday: Vive la difference

English: A photograph of a 2 month old human i...

English: A photograph of a 2 month old human infant, his mother, his maternal grandmother, and his maternal great-grandmother. Each person in this photograph gave birth to the next younger person thus showing four generations in one family photograph. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am 83 now and in my day, when I was growing up in Europe as a child, are parents and grandparents taught us to have impeccable manners. Yes, we were “old school” as my grandchildren tell me. It didn’t matter that we were poor, and couldn’t buy things, it mattered how we acted. We acted like the sons and daughters of kings and queens. We had no money and were poor but our family was very strict and we were taught to be courteous to everyone. As girls, we had no freedom at all, we did what our parents and grandparents said, there was nothing to think about, we did what they told us to do, never could we question their choices. We did not KNOW that questioning was an option because back in those days it did not exist.

I married a man, who was of course, the son of a European father and mother. He was not wealthy either but our styles were the same. Manners were natural to us, culturally we were very alike which I think is very important. When after several years we moved to the United States of America we were shocked when we found out that not everyone was raised the same way. It took years for my husband and I to learn to adjust to people who didn’t know to say  “Thank you” or “Please.” If an elderly person had no seat on the tram we automatically got up and offered our seat to them. I thought this was what everybody did. I learned the hard way, that most people did not do these courteous things. But, then again, I had lived in a much different world. I made sure however, that my children and grandchildren learned these manners and I am proud of them.

Today young people can do so much more, they are free to make decisions, they have so many options, oh, how I envy them and delight in their world. They can have careers, go to college, be parents and work, it is so exciting! We were never allowed to work, our only job was to be mothers we had no choices back then. Imagine now, if young women had no choices, there would be an uproar, good for YOU! You have come such a long way and I am glowing with pride, look at what you accomplished that my generation could not, vive la différence! Celebrate young women, you have achieved so much in a life time, a different world, where you are equal, where you can do whatever it is YOU want and not be told what to do. Congratulations!

Here, there and everywhere (Carry on Tuesday)

Woman with natural red hair

Woman with natural red hair (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every day one makes hundreds and hundreds of decisions. Moira had never thought about it like that. Like the red freckles on her very freckled face or the stars in the galaxy we make decisions that affect our lives all the time. You might think that you make one decision here or there like what to wear or what to make for dinner but there are decisions to be made in every specific detail of your life. You probably just don’t realize it.

In less than an hour, Moira, the young beauty with the red hair and freckles decides when to get out of bed, changes her mind and goes back to sleep. At some point she will wake up, actually move her sleepy feet to the soft, gray carpet, get out of bed and decide whether to shower. She will pick out clothes, (should I wear pants or a skirt?) for college and get dressed. Moira still hasn’t left her yellow and white-flowered patterned bedroom. She heads to the loo to brush her teeth and wash her face and tries to put on a little make-up with little success.

After she has decided what to wear, she gets dressed and heads down to the kitchen because she decides she wants a lovely cup of tea. She puts on the kettle, selects the tea she wants and sits down to slowly sip her tea. She looks at her wristband watch and sees she has twenty more minutes before she needs to leave for college. She makes toast with orange marmalade and relaxes for 10 more minutes. Then, she decides it’s time to leave, gets her jacket and purse and heads out the door.

You think you don’t have any control in your life? That you make no decisions and that people make decisions for you? This is just one hour in our young Moira’s life. Decisions on what to do are everywhere; keep your eyes open and be aware of them. You are in control of your life, as much as anyone is: just break it down into little moments, like the individual strands of the fiery red hair that surround Moira’s beautiful, porcelain face.

Carry on Tuesday: A little while, a little while……

Baby Girl

Baby Girl (Photo credit: Sparlingo)

Carly was only nineteen years old, but she felt older than that, just having had a baby. She had given birth yesterday and she hadn’t wanted to see the baby much less name it. She didn’t know what to do, people were talking at her from all sides; the nurses, social workers, people from an adoption agency, her mother, until she had to cover her ears it was so loud. Finally, she started crying because it was all too much pressure so the nurse made everyone leave. Carly crumpled and forced herself to relax.

The father of the child, her ex-fling Rick, a musician didn’t even know that she had been pregnant, much less had a baby. She didn’t even know where he was, probably hitch-hiking in the mid-west with his band.  She had slept with him a couple of times but she was just one girl in a series of his ardent admirers. She had been SO stupid.

“Just give it up” her friends had said to her like forfeiting a game, or tossing an unwanted ham sandwich. Sure, this kid hadn’t been planned but just to give it away, like an unwanted present? It wasn’t the baby’s fault that she had come into the world. The adoption agency assured her that the baby would be placed with a “lovely family” she could even choose the family if she wanted to. Did she want to keep in touch with the family and have an “open adoption?”  Or, she could have a “closed” or private adoption and then she could give up her rights to the baby and start over again.

She did like the idea of starting over or as her friends put it “with a fresh start.” She could move to a big city and no one would ever have to know about this if she didn’t want to tell them. She could be whoever she wanted to be, she didn’t think she loved this child, she hadn’t even SEEN her. She decided that she was comfortable with this decision. She flipped off the light switch and then promptly fell asleep.

Carly woke up, startled, at 3am; she put her bathrobe on and decided to go for a walk down the hall, slowly, gingerly, she was still in pain. She didn’t know where she was going but subconsciously she knew where she would be end up. It was late, most people were sleeping, she stepped quietly up to the nursery window and a new nurse had just started her shift. She smiled brightly: “Hi, do you want me to get your baby?” Carly froze but instead of saying “No” she said “Yes” they checked her bracelet, and in a minute, this precious little pink bundle that she recognized immediately in her arms.

“Oh, she’s so pretty, she’s so pretty” Carly cried, as she held the baby up to her and rocked her gently. The nurse said “we sure can see someone who looks just like her pretty Mama.” At that, Carly looked in the nurse’s eyes, smiled and straightened up, “Thank you,” she whispered as tears streamed down her face. Carly asked if the baby could go back to the room with her so the nurse signed some papers and they moved the cradle on wheels into her room. The same nurse helped her get settled, showed her how to breastfeed, sat with them and talked for over an hour. It was a slow night and Carly had been the only person in the maternity unit.

Later that morning, when people started to fill her room, Carly, feeling ten years older, took control. In a clear strong voice Carly announced, “I’ve decided to keep my baby, it’s a girl and her name is Isabella. A clamor started in the room, all negative,  telling her she was a fool. Carly stared at them all and in a clear, bright tone, like the ringing of a bell said:  I love her and I will take care of her. It may take me a little while, a little while to get used to things but NOBODY will separate us. My mom has agreed to help us until we can find our own way. Thanks, Mom!! I can’t pretend my baby never happened and have a “fresh start,” that is great for some women but not for me; I would be looking for her for my whole life.  We are family now, the three of us. Three generations of strong women. Now, I think it’s time for the three of us to go home!

Dedicated to Nurse Bella who has agreed to be Isabella’s Godmother

Winter

FICTION

Calm Beauty in Turks & Caicos

It was the middle of winter and gusts of wind came through the house as if there was no insulation. There was nothing she could do to feel warm, she had already added two sweaters and heavy socks. She slowly realized that it wasn’t the amount of clothing that she had on that counted, she felt lost and empty inside, cold to the touch. It wasn’t always like this, she knew, but it had been for quite a few years. She let her mind drift to far away places, sand, sun, tropical islands.

There are choices you make in life, one for the family and one for yourself. She wouldn’t get divorced even if it meant sacrificing her own satisfaction, she would not, repeat not, sell her children’s happiness for her own. She knew a lot of divorced couples but this was not an option for her. They didn’t hate each other, they liked each other in a very friendly way. People talk about not having choices but there are always choices. She chose to keep her family in tact, to accept less fulfillment of other factors, you know, sex, passion, adventure, excitement. Yes, she chose her family, and she would do it again and again NOT to put them through the pain for some what, some fantasy of being 30 again? No. Things were what they were and she accepted that and yes, she was grateful for them. No one said she couldn’t fantasize, fantasies were allowed, no one knew what her mind was thinking or her heart was wishing. She kept things private and she knew that might be old-fashioned but she didn’t care. She was a mother, her kids came first. She had made her decision a long time ago.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

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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