Loving Luka

F/NF words

What do I have to say here, that hasn’t been said before? It’s an ongoing battle, repetition begets boredom, boredom, depression. I’m weary from all our conversations that end up the same way, one of us hanging up on one another. I can’t do that anymore, I won’t.

I’m sitting in a coffee shop, near your apartment, trying to drink a cup of black coffee in a white mug, my hands shake, while the rain continues to flood the streets. I just think about trying to jump over the massive puddles but I don’t have any more energy in me to even try. When I was younger that was my favorite thing to do. Not now.

I feel paralyzed from pain, the pain you inflicted on me. Once, I used to be carefree, like a child, happy and silly and stomp in the puddles.  I am so ANGRY at you. In the past I cared too much and where did that get me? No where. So, instead of being disappointed like I have been in the past, I am turning into myself, safe guarding my heart and not showing it anymore, at least not to you.

Found this digging through the archives. Blurr...

I don’t WANT to care anymore, I’m past that point. I’m not lying, I have cared too much in the past, believe me, you know, I wasn’t always like this. People who have known me for years will reassure you that yes, I have changed but I have chosen that change. Why? Self protection. I’m tired of being bullied and pulled apart like a hungry street dog lunging at a piece of a steak.

You know who you are. You blame me but you never look inside yourself. You need ME? That’s not good enough. You don’t treat me well enough to be on your side. You accuse me of everything you do to me, did that ever occur to you?  I just handle it better. I don’t

need to whine and carry on the way you do, I’m an adult now.  Yes, I went through hell to get here but I survived, barely, but I survived and I am strong.

Don’t you see how your view is warped? I don’t live in the past, I do acknowledge it but deep inside YOU are the one who hasn’t moved past it. Why is it that your true emotions only come out when you were bare to the bones, out of your mind? You loved me then, you needed me then. Not since then with all your false bravado. Because if you did love me why would you be so mean to me all the time?

It’s not a big dark secret, it’s an illness. Like diabetes or cancer, get over yourself. I know you think the world revolves around you, you make it that way, you make it that way. Not everybody else does that.

I know you put yourself first, well, who doesn’t know that? You admit it with pride. ‘A great quality of yours, I’m sure you think.’ Me? You don’t care about me as much as you think. Because if you did you wouldn’t be a bully like you always have been and you still carry on the same way, even after all these years we’ve been together. You could work on a compromise instead of saying “Well, I  just can’t do it, I won’t do it. ” Maybe you can but you have never tried.

I was happy in the past to mediate to reach a solution we can both live by, I will not be influenced by your outbursts anymore. I will stay away. I don’t trust you since you have broken the rules of our relationship time and again and you know you have.  Deep inside you are a very troubled child. I can’t see our relationship continue on the way it has, not at my expense.

I need to put myself first, to care about me now. I hope one day you will be happy without making others unhappy.

 

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Baby Boomers: What Are We Now, Chopped Liver?

English: The New York Times building in New Yo...

English: The New York Times building in New York, NY across from the Port Authority. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)LickIt must, because apparently The New York Times no longer wants the Boomer section anymore. Yep, they are kicking us boomers straight to the curb. that’s the reason that The New York Times has kicked Baby Boomers to the curb. Why? They won’t say and believe me their fans have asked.

Like a swift unexpected kick in the ass, readers of The New York Times (loyal readers I might add) found out that they were removing the Booming column that delighted us all. Really? Yes, true fact. No explanation other than “blah blah blah.” It would be in here or there maybe on Tuesdays but without Michael Winerip who we have all grown to like and respect. I liked this dude, he was real and approachable.

What the hell are you thinking? I guess we are not important anymore, make way for Generation Whatever.  I was born in 1956 to the best of my knowledge I’m a Baby Boomer. Please remember this, we haven’t dropped dead just yet. You needed us back then (hint: Woodstock) and now you have cut out a large part of your readership. We are still consumers and you have let us down.

Eliminating or phasing out the Booming section is disappointing, I could relate to Michael Winerip’s essays and now we’re getting shoved aside, as if we don’t feel old enough. The New York Times, with whom we’ve been faithful to, is giving us the heave-ho. It feels like yet another slap in the face to those of us in The Sandwich Generation.

Everyone wonders what the reason was that they decided to take that section out. But, of course we don’t expect them to tell us the reason. That is way too old-fashioned. Manners? Nah, that was in the fifties. Back where if you didn’t get a job the boss called you on the telephone and told you why, when things were simpler, more honest, and we didn’t have a hundred choices of everything from paint chips to lipstick to television channels to drugs.

Let’s face it, it’s not the best of times for many of us. The economy stinks (I’m trying to be professional here) unemployment is really high, we’re caught between taking care of our aging parents, ourselves and our grown up children.We are still known as The Sandwich Generation, remember that? It’s been the Winter from hell and it isn’t over yet and while the Booming Section didn’t change our world it added a little fun.

Don’t flatter yourself New York Times. You’ve become replaceable as apparently we have too. We stayed with you through all your changes, now it’s our turn to say good-bye.

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Boomers: 1946~1953 to 1964

This would make baby boomers, in the year 2010, somewhere in the ballpark of 46-64 years old.

Gen X: 1965 to 1976~1982

– See more at: http://theechoboom.com/2010/09/dateage-range-of-baby-boomers-generation-x-and-generation-y/#sthash.MrX7nqmo.dpuf

Boomers: 1946~1953 to 1964

This would make baby boomers, in the year 2010, somewhere in the ballpark of 46-64 years old.

Gen X: 1965 to 1976~1982

– See more at: http://theechoboom.com/2010/09/dateage-range-of-baby-boomers-generation-x-and-generation-y/#sthash.MrX7nqmo.dpuf

Haiku Heights

English: X Factor Auditions View of the hundre...

English: X Factor Auditions View of the hundreds of hopefuls going through the vetting procedure before going through to the next rounds. Is there a future winner here? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EXPECTATION

Edge of seat, trembling

sticky pink gum, wet with sweat

her name called, door slams.

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

Pinpoint pupils, raw

heroin, addict, veins pop

Once his Mama’s dream.

A clandestine kit containing materials to inje...

A clandestine kit containing materials to inject illicit drugs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Twenty Years From Now

Image

My photos that have a creative commons license...

My photos that have a creative commons license and are free for everyone to download, edit, alter and use as long as you give me, “D Sharon Pruitt” credit as the original owner of the photo. Have fun and enjoy! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few days ago I learned a huge lesson when I accidentally ran into a good friend of my mother’s in the grocery store.  He asked about “the children” whom he has known since they were 3 and 5. I talked, half laughing and half serious about what they were doing, about how life has changed, how we see them less, and how grown up they are,  “He looked at me and said solemnly “Yes, this is truly the hardest part.” Thankful for his understanding, I asked him “when this stage will end?” seeking his sage advice.

He looked at me directly with his intense, blue eyes and he said bluntly” “twenty years.” I thought he was joking but he was dead serious. “Forget it now, leave it and after they get married and have kids they’ll come back but not until then.” After that, he left quickly.

I automatically moved my cart to the fruit and vegetable section and stopped abruptly between the bananas and nectarines and all I wanted to do was cry. The last week had been a difficult one, a confusing one for me and this was the culmination that I didn’t want to hear but needed to hear. Rationally of course, I knew this and was proud of my independent children but  emotionally I felt something was amiss. The son with whom I communicate with a glance or one word was acting strangely, apparently, he felt the same way about me. Neither one of us was direct.

I thought I should get an Academy Award for Best Actress, encouraging him to have fun on new adventures, understanding totally why he would stay up at school for the entire week of his break. Apparently I fooled myself but not him. He saw through me before I SAW myself yet I could also read him, he felt a little guilty as well.

What we have learned: Communicate Directly even if it feels hard to do. Do it sooner than later. Me and mini-me know each other so well, but this time, he knew me better than I knew myself. My son communicated with his dad, his dad knowing things but not telling me, he WAS involved even though he didn’t want to be and he refused to play mediator….needless to say, It got messy.

I really do need a job and to get out of the house more. There will be major changes in our lives but they are not here yet. We need to sit tight where we are and I am not known for my patience. Any type of separation for an emotional doll like me feels like someone just lashed out and slapped me in the face repeatedly. So this piece is my own personal time capsule.  All my life my goal was to be a mom and raise two wonderful young people and I know I succeeded. Now it’s time for me to do new things, walk away slowly, knowing I did a great job. I’m smiling now, things make much more sense and I’m the one looking back and leaving, it’s so much easier than being left. Let’s take it up again, in twenty years.

How Fibromyalgia Stole The One True Love Of My Life

Ocean waves

Ocean waves (Photo credit: This Is A Wake Up Call)

Damn this disease. Yes, I know it’s a chronic illness and I have lived with it for over six years, I try not to complain, but that doesn’t work 100 percent. I deal with it the best way I can and each day is different. It has limited MANY outside activities and it has given me pain, incredible weakness and undeniable imbalance. I can handle pain, it’s bearable most of  the time and when it is really bad take pain medications. It’s the “flare-ups” that plague us, those really bad times that are triggered from….pretty much anything.

I am miserable that I cannot open a jar  anymore though I do not have Rheumatoid Arthritis. That is good news so why am I so weak that I have to ask my daughter to do it for me? My doctor’s prescription : “Squeeze a rubber ball.” Really? This does not give me very much confidence but I try to remember to squeeze the ball, when I remember. Remember? That needs a whole paragraph on its own.

Anyone who has Fibromyalgia will know exactly what I mean: the dreaded “Fibro-Fog.” Remembering to do anything with Fibromyalgia is a diseases in itself. I can recognize a face of someone I went to elementary school in an instant but everything else is cloudy. My family/friends are dealing with a person who never remembers what they say.  Imagine how frustrating it is for them and how embarrassing it is for me. “I’ve told you that five times already…” even I, would get incredibly impatient. I’ve seen one too many “eye rolls from my teenagers” to last a lifetime as any parent of teenagers can relate to. It’s horrible to live in a Fibro Fog, cloudy, all the time. That never gets better and it’s probably the one that is hardest for me. Everyone forgets things occassionally but all the time? It’s not Alzheimers (I’ve had a brain scan) it is from Fibromyalgia.

When we save enough money to go on vacation, I always think: the ocean. I have loved the ocean since I was a little girl. I remember being taught how to jump the waves, when to jump over and when to hold your nose and dive underneath. It was a delicate balance, thrilling and exciting, sure sometimes you made a mistake but that was part of the fun too. You just never knew which way the mysterious and unpredictable ocean would go.

I was thrilled when a few days ago my daughter and I were at the ocean. We rode the waves, the water was a bit rough and as I noticed we were getting pulled by the tide, I motioned her to start swimming back. We had drifted off a ways and I wanted us to go back to the direction where we had dropped our sandals and towels. I went first and then the most devastating thing happened to me. I could not get up and out of the water. Truly. I tried six or seven times to get back up and I could not do it, I tried to stand and before I got my balance another wave would pull me down again, over and over. It was in the shallowest part too, tiny pebbles, sand, strong waves at water’s edge. I couldn’t do it by myself and I felt so discouraged, so sad.  Luckily, my daughter saw me and offered me a hand and I was able to get up.

I couldn’t get out of the water on my own. I found this to be so depressing, so disheartening. My one true love, the ocean, my ideal place to live, had been stolen by Fibroymyalgia. It had taken away my strength, my independence, my joy. My favorite place, my favorite time, my favorite fantasy to dream about for the future, disappeared because of this illness. People ask if Fibromyalgia gets worse?  I  say yes, in more ways than one. It affects your body, your limbs and your pain; but more importantly it visciously tears at your heart, over and over again.

I’m Thankful For…. Chronic Babe Carnival

Waves crashing at Sal, Cabo Verde

Image by aldask via Flickr

In this blistering cold weather, I am thankful for a peek of bright yellow from the sun coming through the budding trees. When I am sitting on an, old, worn bench in the front yard and see the little purple flowers around the edge of the brown grass I am thankful for that too. What I am thinking about this very moment is how to be thankful when you have heard news that makes you unhappy, in other words, when life throws you a curve ball or two.  I think those are the times, like now, that might mean the most because it is test and a challenge and I need to teach the lessons to myself all over again. Learning from unexpected challenges….learning the hard way in the real world.

I wished for my mom to feel better and with deep gratitude, she is slowly feeling better. The spark is back in her voice for the most part and she plans to go back to her yoga class every week where she is surrounded by loving class-mates who have kissed her soft cheek after months of her absence.  I am thirty years younger than she is but with Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I cannot do yoga. Yes, I have tried it and couldn’t manage it. I did take Pilates for senior citizens and special needs people but because of my lack of balance, I couldn’t keep up. What was humiliating and embarrassing at the time, is funny now. I am grateful my sense of humor returned.

Tonight, I heard that my husband will have to spend six weeks in Buffalo on a new project. This came out of the blue and he starts immediately. It shocked us both, and within one minute we also heard from our son that he did not get into one of the colleges he applied to. I had to think hard and glean the gratitude of these two events. When my husband said he had “bad news” I thought his (new) job had been eliminated. The fact that he wasn’t let go and still has a job after two years of unemployment is a good thing. I need to wrap my head around the location change. Even though it’s not the end of the world, it’s hard to be a mom of two demanding teenagers when you have chronic pain issues. That my son got rejected from one of the schools he applied to, could very well be a humbling experience for him and a good life lesson. Life speaks to us that way, in gentle tones and whispers unless we ignore them and then we are hit with hard, crashing blasts of turmoil and angst. The decision might not have gone the way you hoped, now stop and think how some things are not meant to be, and that “things happen for a reason.”

We’re constantly (does it really have to be THAT constant?) challenged in ways which we do not expect. Riding the waves, both rough and smooth is part of the process and I am grateful I have learned to do that. I am also grateful that I know myself well enough to know that I need a good 24 hours to process ANY change. After that, things are easier to take and understand. It doesn’t help me from not getting shocked but it does give me a reasonable time frame to get myself together and plan accordingly.

I am also thankful for my family, of course, and my friends. I am equally happy that I can let my feelings, good or bad, out on this computer and learn to process things on my own. I have books to read, music to listen to and ultimately, little control over what happens in the future. With years of trial and tribulation and of experience, I have learned that there are many rough waves in the world to ride out. I just need 24 hours to remember how to do it. For that knowledge alone, I am exceedingly grateful.

On Sickness, Stress and Candy

I’m discombobulated, anxious, confused. I feel funny, like there is something wrong, and there is. It’s not me though, which is worse, it’s that my son is sick and my daughter is disappointed. I hate it when my kids are sick/unhappy. I have a feeling this never ends, the worry moms have for their children. My husband is as involved with the kids as I am, but not in the same way. It’s a completely different style. He isn’t worried, he takes things in stride, he lives in the moment. I wish I could do that. Believe me, I’ve tried.

I wake up and feel that something is wrong. My stomach feels uneasy. Something just doesn’t feel “right.” I don’t think it’s because my daily routine has been jarred, I think it’s my heart. The inside part, the one that cracks a tiny bit, the one that is directly connected, like the umbilical cord was, to my offspring.

There is also this: the incredible stress of unemployment, for my husband and myself. I have been really good, patient, relaxed (as much as one can be) but now these other factors are making my anxiety index reach the sky. I know that things are out of control in my brain, when I can’t put my finger on exactly what’s bothering me and than realize everything is. I try to breathe slowly, it doesn’t help.

Months ago I had lung problems and a non-stop cough. It was horrible. I was then given a nasal spray to help me but I did not know that the taste in my mouth would be vile. VILE, in capital letters, on purpose. I thought that buying some candy would somehow dissipate the gosh-awful taste in the back of my throat but it didn’t. The Good n’ Plenty that I bought for a remedy did not work but at least it reminded me of easier times, when I was a child, eating those pretty pink and white candies, swinging on the swings in Forest park, surrounded by my friends and their moms. Everything was easy then, at least to us kids. Our parents, well, they probably were experiencing what I am experiencing right now. Being a grown-up.

I will get over myself I’m sure, when my children are healthy and happy.  I think then, I can handle my own stress, my own illness, manage my own pain. As long as it’s not the pain of my children, I can handle anything.

(Pop Cop) Adios, American Idol -Repost

Crystal Bowersox visiting her hometown of Tole...

Image via Wikipedia

I should have known better than to watch American Idol this season after all these years. I wanted Crystal Bowersox to win, the clear favorite who wowed the audience (and the judges) with her 3 performances last night and for most all of the competition.  I voted. I voted ten times to try to help. Then, I hear Simon Cowell on The Ellen Degeneres show predicting Lee DeWyze as the winner. There were also articles written on how Crystal wouldn’t win…”can’t people be silent for at least 24 hours before the voting?

Is America not ready for an indie artist who also happens to be a single mom? Half hippie, half eclectic, this young woman’s voice is unbeatable. So she wore her hair in dreadlocks, so what?  She has a marvelous range and her singing is clear and simply delightful; like the call of the morning birds or a beautiful pond you just discovered. You can’t help smile when Crystal takes the stage.  Apparently, people felt more comfortable with Lee who as the judges always commented “came from working out of a paint store.” Does that really matter?  How about Crystal? A single mom working to make ends meet and having a tough life?

My only consolation is that in the past some winners were not as successful as the first runner-up. Remember Ruben Studdard? Barely, his runner-up was Clay Aiken who produced a lot more than Ruben ever did. There were plenty of others as well.

This is my gripe: Crystal was definitely a better singer than Lee, throughout the entire season. So, why did she lose? Last night, it was obvious that she was the leader, all the judges giving her props, the audience practically hugging her along with her powerful voice. Crystal drew people in. At least to the people who would LOVE an indie-style artist (yes, I said artist) that may look a little different or have the courage to voice her opinions.

America? I’m disappointed. Were you just not ready for an original artist? Really?   Please remind me in the fall not to tune in because I am tired of rooting for the best artist and having the more: “popular”heartthrob artist win.  Crystal: I’m counting on you to have an absolutely magnificent career, a recording contract (probably with Simon Cowell) and lots of money to spoil your sweet, blonde-haired son.

As for Simon Cowell, I will miss you and I think the tribute to you was magnificent and well-deserved. As for Paula Abdul’s appearance, all I can say is “Awwww.” It was nice to see her again, looking so pretty in shocking pink puff. Good luck Simon, not that you need it. Cheers!

Lee, congratulations for being the winner. Crystal, congratulations for being the champion.

Seacrest and me, OUT.

What Did I Know About Pain?

I knew nothing about pain, real pain, until  a few days ago. When, for the second time I (presumably) have an ulcerated epiglottis. I CANNOT SPEAK OR SWALLOW !!!  I have had plenty of aches and pain and tiredness from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and from Fibromyalgia but those pale in comparison to what I am feeling right now. After a night in the hospital, even with painkillers, the pain from below my throat is searing and intense, hot black steak knives through butter and steak combined. I am not a dramatist, what’s worse is that I am also not a pessimist. I have had this pain once before, last year, and thought it was an isolated incidence. Apparently, it wasn’t. Am I supposed to think this is a coincidence? I’ve been told, probably not. Not news I can handle very easily. Has anyone else had this type of pain before?

I go back to the ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor) this morning, it hurts so much I can’t even cry because crying will make it worse and there doesn’t seem to be anything worse than the pain I have had for a few days. I am on a plethora of drugs, Prednisone, a strong anti-biotic, pain killers that do not touch the pain, and a variety of other medicines. At the moment, I need a miracle, or at least a focused, caring Doctor who will get involved.

I called my Guru Dr,  the one in the City who is the only Dr. I have (past tense) believed in and relied on before. I should have known, he is not something special,  just something special in his field. This isn’t his job, his area of expertise and he needs “details” apparently the one’s I described are not good enough. The one’s that my Internist will provide him (she misdiagnosed this for the second time and has no idea about my case) will be the call he will accept. He will not reply to a call from the ENT that I am seeing today at 10:30. Beyond my intense physical pain, only I would feel emotional pain at this Dr. that I thought was also a caring individual. By definition of Dr., I should have known better but I never seem to learn. Ever. When I showed improvement in HIS area of expertise (auto-immune diseases) I was greeted with “you look great!!!”, “you lost weight” and a couple of hand holdings and pats in his office. He was so pleased, but apparently more with himself and his prowess than with me. Or perhaps, that is to them, one and the same thing.

Why can’t I just toughen up and not believe emotionally in people? What is wrong with my character that at my ripe old age of 53 I haven’t learned this lesson yet? It’s one I still keep repeating so obviously it is not ingrained into my character. Is the solution to be cynical and sarcastic with everyone? That doesn’t seem right either. Maybe there is no right or wrong.

I believe in myself, truly, but with this I need help. I thought 2010 was going to be the year of ME, a newly improved, positive me after having had 2 prior years of hell. That was not hell, this is. There is a phrase “I’ve been through Hell and back” I can only add and “Back to Hell again.” Am I feeling sorry for myself? Yes, I am. Do I have the right? I believe so.

Loss, 5 Ways

3/1/2010

I’m playing The Corrs  haunting  song “Everybody Hurts Sometime.” I thought I felt furious and fierce but now I know differently.   Sadness crept in like a sly gray cat.  What showed itself first as anger and disappointment were really overwhelming feelings of sadness but I have learned that all these feelings are connected.

I spent the last two days getting rid of old things, moving others, de-cluttering.  Piles of papers and thick magazines were recycled, drawings that my children made when they were very young taken down, “they were embarrassing to my daughter”: a brown horse drawn by my daughter against big, bold pieces of grass, thick as bamboo, with the title “Somewhere horses are playing;” a drawing of two happy stick figures holding hands drawn with an orange magic marker against graph paper titled “Mom and Me.”  Also, a purple lilac bush drawn against worn light blue paper that my son drew in nursery school. The  amazing sepia portrait that I loved, dearly loved, of my daughter and friends in the third grade doing the Ellis Island play, dressed as immigrants is also embarrassing to her.  What brought me such enormous love and joy every single time I looked at it, has been moved but I know it will never have the same magic in a different place.

My children, now teenagers, on the brink of adulthood.  I  took down their art and let the young woman and young man free. But, it wasn’t really them that needed freeing, it was me.  It  was not just spring cleaning but a cleaning out of all things old, old emotions, little children growing up, forcing me to deal with the present and the future and not just the past. Old memories, old feelings, old hopes and dreams. Even when you organize and sift through things, remember, the feelings still remain.

We are starting to think about a Sweet 16 party  for my daughter; and with it  my own 16th birthday memories come flooding back. Sitting in the yellow, plastic kitchen of my childhood apartment with cartons of greasy Chinese food containers and no laughter, and no guests.  Sometimes how things connect in your brain still come as an unexpected shock.  We are all connected to our past; the past can get better but you can’t shake that past away from you like you would an annoying spider. The past are the imprints for all that we do and see and feel in the future; the blueprint of our lives.

I am also feeling like half a woman instead of whole. I am playing a lot of Cat Stevens’ music and yesterday watched Harold and Maude for at least the 20th time. “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out” is easier said than done; especially when you are an adult, married and with children, a dog, house and mortgage. I am usually proud of my age, 53, but tonight I feel old, unappreciated and tired. I picture my face with hanging skin, my eyes narrowed when once they were bright, green, wide-eyed and had the ability to hold a stranger’s gaze, longer.

With no fantasies or plans for the future I feel like I am living just part of my  life, since there are so many unknowns. It’s cleverly hidden on the outside so nobody can tell; its secret shaded by a tree weighed down with heavy, wet, clumps of billowing snow. I dearly wanted something new to think about, to look forward to, to have a crush that would give me that delightful feeling of effervescence that I haven’t felt in a very long time. The thrilling feeling of a secret does eventually become old, like a shiny new penny that was crushed and trampled by a train; barely recognizable, scratched and dull.

One of my favorite poems is named “Stolen Apples” by Yevgheny Yevtushenko whose words I cannot find anymore but in essence it said that ” the taste and smell of stolen apples were much more delicious than ordinary apples.” I longed for small smiles of sweetness. I’ve always liked secrets, me a secret keeper.

I  cry and then I understand  that I am overwhelmingly sad inside.  Sad about the losses, stressed about my life, missing a deceased friend whose bold colors went with her and left us with all things gray, colorless and dull;  her loud booming voice is just a whisper of a silent memory. She, who was abundantly  filled with the love of life, made life happier for the rest of us just sharing in her joy of people, traveling, volunteering, enjoying life for all of us through her excited eyes.  Pain has no memory;  I cry again for my father who died more than ten years ago because he gave the love and nurturing that only parents can give.  He was so optimistic all through his life until the last few years when he no longer wanted to live. Watching your father not wanting to live anymore is devastating, his twinkling eyes turned to dull gray. His body was fairly healthy but his soul was dead.

I am writing and growing and feeling healthier but inside I feel like a fraud. Our lives are not perfect, is anyone’s? Our children get so uptight even if we just disagree; they do not need to worry. Unemployment, no money coming in, relationship issues, two teenagers who are not children yet not adults, pulling, pulling away. They yank their arms away as if they were toddlers but it’s worse this time, because they pull at your emotions and they do not give up or let up, not even for a one short moment.

We lost power in our house for more than four days. We slept, shivering, under blankets and sleeping bags, wearing sweaters and jackets. We had no control over anything, no light, no heat, no music. Today, the electricity came back on and with it, appreciation and understanding. The day is brighter, the hours seem shorter and life, as we know it, continues.