Dear Daddy,

I’ve meant to write you for a couple of days but now I NEED to write you. You were always there for me when times were tough, especially when times were tough. You were the only person who really knew me because our personalities were so similar.

I know I’m just having a very bad day and they happen from time to time but this one is unusual. I feel like I’m getting beaten up by everybody

and I don’t know why. I don’t have you here to defend me or to want to get back at the people who are making me sad. I do know that if you could, you would although I’m not so sure you would defend mom.

No matter what she did, you defended her but her tone today, I know, you would have been the one to say “take it easy” and she would have listened. Her ordering me around like she is the commander and I’m the soldier was horrible. Something is not right. Does she think that the holiday season is only hard on her?

Losing Lola and Don and Ellen were tragic losses, believe me, I know. I went to the funerals of two of them with her. Anna went to one of them so she was always supported. There’s not much else anyone can really do. Both Emma and I call her every day, she boasts about that to her friends but sometimes  it seems I can do nothing right. At least that’s how it feels to me.

I’m not in their club of two, my sister and mom, they are so similar and our club, you and me, doesn’t exist anymore, talk about grief. Yes, I know it’s a rough time of year, with you dying on New Year’s Eve

and you and mom’s anniversary on New Year’s Day! Not such good timing, Dad. I  remember our last Christmas but the grief comes back in waves of sadness and anger. You should be here, playing Santa and ringing the stupid bell you always rang. If only you could come back for just one minute to ring that bell and to give me a hug that I so desperately need from you now.

Well, the day is almost over, I’m hiding in my bedroom, yeah I know, not the right solution but that’s okay, I just need a little time to myself. Your granddaughter is out having fun and your grandson will be home tomorrow. At the moment he is the one worrying because, like me, he is so intuitive and he heard my voice on the phone. I know I worry too much, oh stop laughing, but I try not to do that. I can’t help it if I read headlines and get scared. As most parents, I worry about my children.

You know I love you, of course you do, thank you for the signs you send me (I could use one soon, please.) Do I wish you a Merry Christmas in Heaven? It’s been so many years  you would think my grief would have mellowed but today it is raw. I don’t understand that at all.

I’m going to play some music now and settle down, I know I’ll be fine in a few minutes. You know I’ll be fine, I always remember what you and Mom said: “That beneath the mushiness, deep down, I am steel” and I know that’s true. I’ve had to be many times in my life. I love and miss you so much but I am glad you are not in pain anymore, that’s for sure. Say hi to Lore for me, quite a prank she pulled on us at her funeral. It seems like Diane and I both thought we were the sole “Augusta.” Only Lore could get away with that. Please tell her I miss her too, I really do.

All my love,

Your little mouse

PS The dog just pushed the door open, jumped up on the bed and kissed my whole face which she generally doesn’t do. She knew I was sad, I feel better already.

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Just A Simple Happy Day

I’m sitting in my bed, with my red dog Lexi lying across my lap, I’m watching her breathing as if she was a newborn. The day is thinking about turning to-night but it is not there yet. The sky is white with gray in the background, leafless trees sway softly in the sky.

My husband is in his office working on a project. My daughter is home from college, in her room, most probably watching a series on her laptop, her door, closed and I am smiling.

There is nothing extraordinary about this day and I love that. I took the dog in the car for a long ride. She loves to stick her head out and see the world, she smiles, people smile ather, joyful. It doesn’t take much to make her happy.We headed to the bakery, I heard that they were making mini jelly doughnuts which I must buy and one big chocolate chip cookie for my daughter. We’ll be there again Sunday too for the big, puffy

huge ones and we will buy another jelly doughnut for our son. If there is one food that brings me back to a happy childhood memory it’s a jelly doughnut. My dad and I loved them and we would have them every New Year’s Eve. I’m just carrying on the tradition…and practicing early. He would be so proud.

My son will be arriving in a couple of days, I really don’t know when. I think  Saturday but you never know with him. I like not knowing so the wait does not produce anxiety at all but rather a sweet, low excitement that i can look forward to when he arrives.

It feels like Thanksgiving was half a year ago but it was only a matter of weeks. Parents everywhere are enjoying having their children home. I feel for those parents who have lost their child, I could cry with their pain even imagining it.

We are blessed. Let’s all keep those families in our hearts and prayers.

I should be folding laundry, or washing the floors or organizing the presents that Santa’s helper gave to me to wrap. I’m doing none of that right now. I’m feeling happy as the day turns into early evening.

After many years I am reading again and I am thrilled. I don’t know why couldn’t read a book for so long, I always read. For years, though, I couldn’t read anything and now I can which is a great relief. That treat fills my soul full with hundreds and hundreds of candy canes kissing.

I refuse to focus on the bad news in the world, there will always be bad people and poor judgment and horror. Sometimes I get involved and feel the pain, today I am not focusing on it. While I probably can’t do it every day, I will try to remember this calmness.

My stomach grows for dinner, plain and simple leftovers, nothing fancy here, we don’t have the money to go out. Leftover pizza, salad, eggplant parmigiana, garlic cheese bread.How can you not look forward to THOSE leftovers. And of course, after dinner, my own small, roly poly jelly doughnut, its sugary film, sitting in my delicate fingers, turning it this way and that, taking that small first bite. Happiness is real, especially today. I wish all  days could be so peaceful for me and for everyone else. I’m trying to remember what it feels like, I know it feels good.

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.

Haiku Horizons, Content

Content life, morning

Had to get my Parlour Coffee fix! #winnipeg #p...

Coffee, swirling milk angels

Being One with Now.

 

 

 

 

 

In love with food, grace

A photo of a jelly doughnut (aka Berliner) top...

bellies, content, sugar bombs

lick my lips, linger.

 

 

 

 

Dog lies next to me

Love

Love (Photo credit: Noël Zia Lee)

her paw resting, yawns, content

Leaning on my leg.

 

Thursday’s Thoughts

Rain

Rain (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn (back soon, sorry for not commenting))

The rain is dripping from the sky but the sound it makes, splashing across the window, is comforting. Talking (no texting) with my son makes me smile. My husband is doing day labor work for a friend, today he is a Plumber’s Assistant and he is proud. I am proud as well.

Yesterday I talked to my mother; when my mother feels scared she gets very nasty, especially to me. Why I am her whipping post I’m not sure, but I have to deal with it better than I do. It takes me 12 hours for me to get it right and she never remembers what she says. I should know that by now but while it happens I seem to forget it and regress.

My son is about to meet with the President of his University to go over the recommendation letter that the President is eager to write for him for Graduate School. My son is a rare combination of brains and sweetness.

My daughter is beautiful and brilliant, I had not viewed her as an adult until we visited her last week. She will always be my baby in my heart but seeing her in her suite with her friends made me look at her like an accomplished savvy adult. “My baby” is all grown up. I was always known as “the little one.”I would give up anything if only I could hear my father say it one more time, with just one more hug. I miss him.

Father & Daughter

Father & Daughter (Photo credit: Enigma Photos)

When I picked up my dog, Lexi, she ignored me. She would not look at me and hesitantly jumped in the car, not with the same excitement as usual. She did not give me kisses. Once inside the house, she sauntered over to her water bowl and drank it all up, not giving me so much as a glance. After a while, I went upstairs to lie on my bed where she always keeps me company; she hid under the bed. I just gave her space. I understand getting used to changes, I’m the same way.

In a couple of hours she warmed up and forgave me for leaving her at her favorite sitter’s house while we were away. She jumped on the bed, circled around until she found just the right spot, her body touching mine and fell soundly asleep. It was a very deep sleep, she sighed with relief, I felt her body relax, she was home, we were safe, then she gave me kisses.

 

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Happy Second Birthday, Lexi

2/16/14

Dear Lexi,  Happy 2nd Birthday.  I love you, sweetie-pie. What a good, good dog you are,  so cute and affectionate.Lexi1

You were a nasty, wild, hurtful puppy, weren’t you? Don’t look so sad, you didn’t know better. I know you are sorry. You were just an oral devil dog, digging those demon sharp puppy teeth into our arms and legs and clamping down. We probably tasted better than all the chew toys we bought you. Our welts gave you texture, right? Grandma kept telling us to “give you back” every single day but I couldn’t do that. Many trainers tried but they all said “You’ve got a really willful puppy there but if/when she grows out of it you’ll have a really great dog.”And, sweet girl that is who you have become.(Thank God)

At about eighteen months, from one day to the next while we were busy doing other things you became a dog, an amazing dog. One that cuddles and protects us, hugs us and plays with us. You are the dog we always wanted, we just needed to give you and ourselves a little more time.

It taught us all about being more patient, didn’t it?

Right now you are sleeping with your head on my knee, nuzzling, a part of you always has to be directly on me.  You know each member of the family so well. With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain I do spend a lot of time in bed and that’s where you come, leaping on the bed, to be with me, happily. When “Dad” is around you get the leash, go to the front door, and start whimpering. You get instantly wild when your brother comes to visit, but we know he provokes you. He allows you to be wild, we don’t. Yes, I know, YOU are WAY cool when you rough house together.

Oh, but when your sister comes home from college you hear her parking her car and you run to the front door and start crying until she comes in.  Yes, our daughter, your sister, will kneel down to your level and you hug each other while you cover her with kisses. That picture of the two of you on the ground stays in my heart forever.

Have a Happy 2nd Birthday, thank you for choosing us at the shelter to be your family.Lexi2

Love, Mom

I Sing, I Dance, I Laugh

 IMG_0011

Happily tired, accomplished, cooking meals for others, gathering things for my children. My dog, Lexi, darts in-between my legs, she tries to fight with me as I dance, alone, to the music that is playing from my computer. After watching me dance, she gives up and looks at me quizzically, she doesn’t want to be involved in THIS game, her bone is definitely more interesting. If dancing is considered exercise then I am in pretty good shape. To me, music, my music, stuck in the 70’s and 80’s makes everything feel better.

I laugh aloud, if people would see me they would question my sanity but I really don’t care, I sing horribly, but at top volume, to any song that I know. This is the joy and wisdom of being over fifty.

Granted, if my children were home they would not find this amusing at all, so I would just shut my door and continue to dance, but I know I would not feel the same way. I would feel too constricted, like a bird with a wounded wing. I can ignore judgment from other people but from my children it is definitely harder.

Being healthy and happy is all that matters, taking life one step at a time. Once in a while I get ahead of myself, and I pay the price. Today, I am enjoying, my dog, the quiet of the empty streets, the smell of vanilla lingering in my kitchen and the sound of my laughter as I continue to dance around the fake Spanish tiles in my kitchen floor. The music is loud, everything is balanced; I appreciate what I have this moment.

“i’d rather teach one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.”

e.e. cummings

I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

e. e. cummings

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/eecummin176712.html#AVsOVhZKeqGSPbss.99

I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

e. e. cummings

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/eecummin176712.html#AVsOVhZKeqGSPbss.99

I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

e. e. cummings

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/eecummin176712.html#AVsOVhZKeqGSPbss.99

I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

e. e. cummings

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/eecummin176712.html#AVsOVhZKeqGSPbss.99

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Kellie Elmore, FWF. TRUST

Trust (Low album)

Trust (Low album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t trust anyone, anymore. Nobody. What, you expect me to? What the hell do you want from me. If you can’t trust your own parents then who can you trust?  My old shrink told me I have

Don't Trust Anyone But Us

Don’t Trust Anyone But Us (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“trust issues.” No shit, bitch. I could have told you that first.

I trusted people when I was a kid, I was happy before I knew it was all bullshit. I used to laugh a lot too. I was innocent, maybe stupid. I played with my little brother Stevie and our dog Ginger.

Turns out my whole life was fake because I was living on a whole bunch of lies. I hate liars and I hated my parents. I was caught up in their friggin drama, those lying pieces of shit, crack heads, dealers.

Strangers started coming to our house, they looked scary, but mom and dad just told us to stay upstairs and shut our doors so they could be with their “friends.”

Our parents looked funny sometimes, it’s hard to explain. They slept during the day and were awake all night. I thought parents were supposed to protect us kids but it didn’t feel that way. My brother and I would make up stories about death,  knives with bloody edges, the sound of gunshots exploding, holes in people’s heads, murders and mysteries. I don’t really know why.

Finally, their friend Bobby told me all about the drug scam and why we had the money we did. He trusted ME and told me things, he became my friend, not theirs.  He used to play with my hair and call me pretty.

I was fifteen when I ran away with him because he said I was special. I wanted to bring Stevie but he said “No way” so I left home with him, promised Steve I’d come back for him and left in the middle of the night.

A year or so later I heard that our “parents”were busted and were in prison for grand theft, possession of drugs and drug running and I didn’t blink one eye, much less two. Let those bastards rot in hell is what I thought.

But, I cried for Stevie and the dog, all alone somewhere.
I stayed with Bobby for about a year but I knew Bobby was no good either. One night when Bobby was out of I escaped. I didn’t even care about Bobby and I just wanted to go home. I needed to go home. I knew my parents were in lock up because I sure didn’t want to see them. Not once.

When I got home I went to the court-house, trying to find my brother but they had no records. I was eighteen working at a local restaurant as a waitress, every night and taking a business class during the day.

After working there for almost a year,  I had adopted a new dog  called her Ginger 2 and was renting a room over the restaurant. I didn’t believe in happy or unhappy anymore, I didn’t bother anybody and they didn’t bother me.

I was working one night around 7:30  when a customer walked in. He took a seat at a booth and I was too tired to tell him booths were for two people or more. I went over to him to him to take his order his head buried in the menu.

Finally, looking  up at me were the same blue eyes and long eyelashes that I knew so well. We stared at each other for a few seconds in total silence. Then, we both burst into tears and hugged. We called each others name not letting go and sobbing. It was my baby brother all grown up.

Sure, I made a lot of mistakes in my life but the one, good thing I did was to keep my promise. Me and Stevie were together again, he trusted me, he knew that I would find him and I did.

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A Food Fantasy And Then Some…

Fritos Logo

Fritos Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I could, I would eat my way through my misery right now. I would start with bags of potato chips, the real kind and not those baked ones that hide anxiously in our cupboards, ashamed to see the light of day. Along side them would be sour cream and onion dip, one entire, big bowl, set right in front of my face and of course, I almost forgot, Fritos too. Fritos were a favorite childhood snack and I believe they would be so comforting to eat now. I’d have a chocolate shake to go with them.

It’s time to switch to pure sugar, trans fat, whatever fat, I really don’t care. My first stop is to get a jelly doughnut or two, and please don’t be skimpy on the jelly either, I just hate that. A lot of sugar on the top, yes ma’am and thank you so much, your smile is making me enjoy this trip even more. Thank you for not judging me. You are so welcome and here is your tip for your kindness. Little things mean a lot.

I hate alcohol so I wouldn’t even bother wasting my calories on that besides, nothing goes better with jelly doughnuts (and I’ve added double stuffed, fudge covered Oreos too) than a tall glass of ice-cold milk. My salivary glands are working overtime, if you must know just dreaming of these delicacies. No hating allowed, this is my fantasy so shut up, oh and by the way, I’ve just won $600 million dollars so whatever you have to say, say it to my accountant and lawyer who will be handling the money flow because we just don’t “do that” anymore.

Will I GIVE you money? You are certainly not shy, now are you? To those, who have stuck with me, been loyal friends, have treated me with kindness, you don’t have to worry. You know who you are. So, if I worked with you forty years ago and all of a sudden you remember that we were friends for one week, don’t bother.

The money is in the bank, my husband and I (I guess we’ll take the kids too) are traveling around the world, First Class, I might add. The Food is fabulous and plentiful. Our own chef is with us. My son, the carnivore has the biggest steak I’ve ever seen and my daughter the vegetarian has macaroni and cheese four different ways, one with imported bread crumbs on top. My husband and I dine on shrimp cocktail and I will have a platter of different little things or as we call it in my house “a smorgasboard” and my husband will also have a steak with french fries, extra crispy, please.

We will have our pastry desserts, chocolate for my daughter and husband and vanilla/fruit tarts for my son and myself.

Uh-Oh.

I miss my dog. Oh dear, even being this rich has problems? Darn. Nothing is perfect.Well, I guess I’ll crawl out of my bed, stop fantasizing and wake up from my self-induced dream. The dream is fading, the food fantasy is gone, I haven’t won the lottery. But, my husband is downstairs in his office, looking for a Computer Job, my college kids are home for their break to visit, I’m worried about my mom and my dog is lying across my feet and my troubles seem simple, well, most of them. I’m a home-body anyway. I’ll start my new book. I guess I can handle that, for now. I don’t have any choice.

I’m So Sorry, Puppy

Dear LexiI am sorry Lexi

I admit, you were a very bad puppy when you were young but I’m sorry I called you Lucifer and the “Puppy From Hell.” You really acted like the devil incarnate but I should have kept those feelings to myself.  I thought you would never change from that biting, horrific puppy you were, EVER. My friends told me you would grow up but I honestly didn’t believe them; you were nasty and mean and had that defiant puppy look in your eyes, that “dare me” look.  I remember screaming out loud in agony when your dagger like teeth would bite and hold on to my flesh. I had red, swollen welts and scratches all over my arms and legs. We all did.

My mother would be on the phone and I would shriek in pain and would have to hang up and call her back because I had to physically detach your teeth from my wrist. I swear you were out to kill me. My mother, protective as always, was completely direct and told me to “give you back.”  “Return her, right now” she said, “before you get more attached.”

I couldn’t do it. I just did not have the heart to return you to the shelter, it’s not who I am. But honestly, you were a living hell. We had trainers come, one after the other, some of the best in the United States, all of them shook their heads and said “she’s a willful thing, isn’t she?” We already knew that. You had dragged me into a dirty pond when you were six months old, I hadn’t realized your strength. I didn’t give up the leash because I had no idea where you would go, so you pulled me in after you. I have a photo of you and me, me and my white, muddy pants coming home with you, puppy, looking quite pleased.

You went into our garbage cans, and ate used tissues and ballpoint pens, leaving ink stains everywhere. You were always wild, once you got yourself stuck in a fence and I thought for sure your head would be decapitated but your “sister” figured out a way to dig you out. Thank her, I was useless. You always ran away, we could never find you, though you always loved food and would return for a nice, big, juicy treat. “Breaking Bad” was the name of a popular television show, “Being Bad” was your personal motto.

Then, from one day to another, I couldn’t even pin point the time, you changed. All of a sudden, you calmed down and were always near me. If I was sick, you would jump on the bed and lie with me, part of you always touching me. With a chronic pain illness, Fibromyalgia, I’m in bed a lot and you are at my side, always. In the living room you would always climb on the couch and settle down right next to the person sitting there. After that you settled down and gave sweet kisses and charmed everyone. You love people. You even offered your paw, like Lassie.

But when a stranger passes or someone knocks on the door, BEWARE!  You growl, bark, show your teeth, protect us. A car door can slam and you are on the job. But, now, you are one big love, one sweet endearing, mush and I appreciate you every minute. I guess we both needed to learn to be more patient.

Now, you are in my lap and I’m giving you pieces of chicken, it’s just you and me. I love you, Lexi but you know that and I know you love me too.Lexi 2