Haiku Heights: Bats

Bats

Bats (Photo credit: fatedsnowfox)

Bat

Bat (Photo credit: Lee Carson)

English: Echolocating bats adjust their vocali...

English: Echolocating bats adjust their vocalizations to catch insects against a changing environmental background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wretched, beady-eyed

evil destruction, black wings

touch my hair, spit, scream.

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*Birds, I squealed, look, dad

clinging, high pitch, flying, close

Go to mom, lock door!

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*When I was four or five, there were bats in our apartment which was on the top floor. My father shooed my mom and me into the bedroom while he would take care of them. Armed with a towel or two he played hero while my mother and I hid. He told us to come out when it was safe. I remember sitting on his shoulders as he took me around to reassure me. Around the corner I remember squealing quite happily:” Look, Daddy, Birdie.” Sure enough there was one bat left. Again, we locked ourselves in the room until this bat too was swatted out of our sixth floor window. To this day, I am absolutely terrified of bats. I can barely look at them (even the photos in this post) and if one flew near my head I would most likely scream, fall to the floor and faint. Happily.I have a terribly phobia of bats now.

When my daughter was little and we went to the zoo, she took my hands and led me away to protect me from seeing the bats. I have never forgotten that and I never will. Thank you, sweetheart.

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The Moment A Tear Falls

DISTRESS

DISTRESS (Photo credit: Davi Ozolin)

Blue. Medium Blue, not Light Blue. Medium to Dark Blue. Not Black, Definitely Not Black. That’s what I was, for some time, I wasn’t happy. I started looking for answers to why I was so blue, but I couldn’t move, couldn’t think; I was trapped within myself. There had been anger and tension in my extended family and I looked everywhere to find answers; I was depressed, you don’t need a reason for depression. It is, it just happens, you feel sad, alone and it is also contagious. My husband has been depressed for several months, my rock, my person to lean on, it shook me up, not that I knew it when it was happening. I was searching for something, anything, anywhere but in essence, I had forgotten an important thing. I had forgotten about me.

I wanted to run, hide, have people help me through these feelings that I didn’t like, depression, feeling blue, blah and everything that comes with it. Little things just added to my depression. “I was quite surprised when I dragged myself in to see my therapist and she asked if there was anything I was looking forward to?” I literally looked at her as if SHE was crazy. I had nothing to look forward to, but she could tell that by just glancing at my face.

Now, since the fog has lifted a bit, I can try to look forward to another day on this earth though when you are severely depressed that is not an option. You can’t. Aside from Fibromyalgia, an Auto-Immune disorder and some physical pain I don’t have a disease that is life threatening (well, not yet.) I  should have been thankful for that but you can’t see it that way; It just doesn’t fit into the pattern. You just want to lie still in bed, under the  blankets.

I stopped searching for all things outside my life and one day I felt a cloud gently lift, literally by inches, I pictured as a venetian blind being pulled up slowly and just a bit. I didn’t want to get excited but I noticed it and that itself felt good. Cautiously, I waited until the next day and the next and I was feeling a little better. I had stopped reaching outside and started looking within, when I started to cry, really cry and get angry I thought that it was a good sign. Who said “Depression is anger towards inward?” A bunch of psychiatrists including Freud and in my case, I have to admit, I agree.

If you haven’t been through (even a mini) depression you really can’t relate, I was let in, however, to a world I had never seen and it scared me half to death. My empathy for people with depression is stronger, I had never been depressed before. I saw a part of your pain, a glimpse really and I don’t want to go back.

Venetian blind, detail

Venetian blind, detail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

all photos used are property of the owners.

Haiku Heights- Lunch

Crying alone. Lunch.

fruit and cheese plate

fruit and cheese plate (Photo credit: kungfu_kc)

Eyes stab, silver blades ready

Adolescence s***s.

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A bite of cracker

juicy pear, cheese, almonds, dates

Forever in France.

Could it be Magic? (Carry on Tuesday)

Happiness

Happiness (Photo credit: baejaar)

An Easier Life

Nobody ever said life was going to be easy. In our young innocence we just assume it is because we know no different; our families have protected us from life’s troubles. That, my dear, can only last a short time, you do know that right?

It’s been a rough couple of months, actually it’s been rough for a long time now. As we grow older we look back on our lives, I do not envy the youth of today. No, I really don’t. Growing older does not have many perks. We all handle it differently. There are cheery and optimistic people with me in the nursing home and some say clichés like “You’re as young as you feel.” Frankly I think that’s a crock…”

There are people like me who are over sensitive to other people’s suffering and pain. I feel other people’s pain, it becomes a part of me, I’ve been that way since I’ve been a child, I can’t undo who I am or try not to care. It doesn’t work. I sincerely wish it would. It would cause me so much less pain. I don’t blame anyone but myself but I always thought caring about others was a good thing, no? Well, not for me, you see.

I’ve accepted, after many years, that people are very different, though growing up I thought everyone felt the way I did so when caring wasn’t reciprocated, I was often hurt. As a child how would you know that all people act differently?  Who else could I learn from if not from myself? Life changed that, many years later in my life, not quickly enough but eventually I learned and adjusted, but it never felt natural to me.You deal with whatever happens to you and sometimes you still deflate like a withering balloon starting from a room’s happy ceiling and twirling slower and slower until all the life that has been kept it in the balloon deflates and now it’s just a tiny lump of pink  lying embarrassingly at your feet, defeated and dead.

Many things have happened in the world lately, things that I thought I would never see in my older years. Things I didn’t want to see: the horror of September 11th, the killing of children and adults in Newtowne, Connecticut and this week, the joyful runners of the Boston Marathon and onlookers killed senselessly. I spent almost half of my life in Boston, the good years, the young, innocent years when Hank and I got married. There was a joy known only to newlyweds, many more days clothed in bright yellow happiness than the darkness of fear. There was nothing to worry about back then; could it have been just magic? Maybe, it was the utter happiness, cloud of love and youth, having no responsibilities and living in a simpler, easier time.

There were no bomb threats or terrorist attacks back then, now our children and grandchildren live in constant fear and uncertainty. I’m glad Hank isn’t alive to see all of this.  The Boston Marathon this past week put people back, straight back to 9/11, this terror spares no one, no place, no time. How hard, how scary it to live actively in today’s world. I fear for my children and my grandchildren. I have lived a long, life, and for that alone, I am happy to be old. If I died tonight there would be no regrets.  Sitting in my room, rocking in my chair, smiling at the pretty white flowers, visits from my children and grandchildren, sleeping and a good meal is all I ask for and all that I want. I don’t envy the youth of today, in fact, I feel quite sad for them.

*Woody Allen’s Other Sister

English: Woody Allen in concert in New York City.

English: Woody Allen in concert in New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was practically BORN thinking about my mortality. It is amazing to talk to people older than I am (and I’m pretty old) that go into a sudden depression realizing they are getting old for the first time. Did they not know this was coming? I was born to be old, born worrying, born afraid. I could definitely be Woody Allen’s little sister. *Relax lawyers, I KNOW I’m NOT but I am so like him, it’s scary. I’ve always been a pessimist despite years of therapy. I thought for sure I failed every test when I aced them and any irregular (or regular) symptom had to be cancer. Describing myself as a “worry-wart” is too kind.

I have tried prescription drugs to alleviate my stress and anxiety but nothing works all the time. Even with medication I still see gloom and doom. I was fortunate to hide it from my children when they were younger, I tried so hard and it worked. Why can’t I do it again?  As they got older, they knew me better and have seen the real me. Plus, it’s a more dangerous world now than it was twenty years ago. I can’t hide anything from them, especially my son, who picks up vibes about me with just a “hello” and vice- versa. (He got that from me). My mother used to call me “over-sensitive” a word which I have always hated. I may not have known WHAT was going on but instinctively I knew something wasn’t right. I can sense things before they happen.

There are some days where I wake up and automatically go through the Rolodex (Google it) in my mind. It can go from a doctor’s appointment, a friend who is dying to security issues (the world is coming to an end, pork has salmonella, don’t eat at any restaurant (did YOU see 20/20?) a plane crash….) I categorize them all under the umbrella of: Health and Safety.

I’m my own damn movie and I can’t ever seem to have a happy ending OR  when I do, I’m afraid I will jinx it. I always play out different scenarios in my mind. What if “my fill in the blank”_______ husband, daughter, son, mother, sister….dies? What if I die first? Will my children be alright, how can I do this to them, I’d feel so bad, and guilty too. I’m feeling pangs of anxiety in my stomach even writing this….just so you know.

The clinical term is  “anticipatory anxiety” it’s no fun but it doesn’t happen all the time. I can’t help it when it does but I do try; sometimes deep breathing works or focusing on something else or playing with my dog, even walking. If you don’t have it, consider yourself blessed. Try to be an optimist or as my dad used to say “Worry when there IS something to worry about, not before.” Try and look at the glass half full, as the expression goes, not half empty, cracked and overflowing with mold and deadly chemicals, like I do. You’ll be happier and have an easier life. Trust me, I know.

NaBloPoMo #4 On Marriage

time.

time. (Photo credit: .through my eyes.)

Two young people with promise in their first kiss, laughter in their eyes,

a glance becomes a knowing look.

Everything is new, different, hard to acclimate, two people struggling to become a couple.

Years go by, like milk chocolate tasting slightly stronger, and less sweet

dark chocolate melting more easily on your tongue, surprisingly less bitter.

The intertwining of the two after many years, differences not so apparent anymore.

Habits that used to annoy me, about you, I find don’t matter quite as much

In fact, I find myself doing it sometimes but keeping it a secret with a sly grin.

Twenty-four years of marriage, we reach for each others hand

to thread our fingers together like an embrace.

Reassurance is a holy gift.

I don’t want to think of one of us gone but someday

one of us will be forced to live alone.

Live in the moment and with a deep, deep breath I try to push my thoughts away.

For a second or two,

I am fearful of the thought of living without him.

Growing old is hard enough, but if I grew old with you

I think I would be able to handle it a little more easily.

But, we don’t know the story of the rest of our lives, do we?

Stay with me, old man, and I will try to stay with you too.

Once in a while, panic overwhelms my courage and I become paralyzed in cold ice.

Along with gratitude and grace,

I am so humbled to have you in my life.

Your booming voice and stomping steps,

I don’t care about them anymore,

I just care about you and me, together.

For as long as forever will be.

Pink, Plus

pink for the cure

pink for the cure (Photo credit: silviaON)

Some people measure time by New Year’s Eve, they stay up till midnight, drink champagne and say good-bye, hoping for a better year. I used to measure years by the start of school in September for my children. I was the queen of the mommy hot-line, until they grew up and went to college.

Now, I measure time by my annual mammogram; it feels like I was just IN this same pink room with the stained chairs a minute ago. After having mammograms since I was in my twenties, I know the drill but the nurse tells me again, what to do: place the clothes in the closet, gown open in the front and as soon as she draws the curtain around me, my mind goes blank. I forget everything: did she say the opening goes in the back or the front? I didn’t use deodorant, (their loss, I think to myself) and I can never find the tie for the robe. Every. Single. Year.

I sit in this crowded room, next to me there is a tray of free pink pens and individually wrapped pink mints. I forgot for a second, that it’s October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. After reading many articles about how “Pink” has become an incredible marketing tool for companies as well as a great fund raiser. Awareness for Breast Cancer is WONDERFUL but I know that heart disease is the number one cause of death for women than all cancers combined. My own breast surgeon laughed at that (I know) and said “Hey, it’s good for me.” That definitely soured me a bit. Please read *Carolyn Thomas’ information on Heart Sisters. Carolyn is a pioneer among women.

The technician calls my name immediately and I am joyful, “This will be very quick” she says and I foolishly believe her. I kept this appointment and ultra- sound a secret from my mother who I know will worry all day; I keep this from her, I’ve already inherited the job. The test is quick, I go out to the waiting room again and sit and wait. All the people who have been with me have had their mammogram, are dressed and have left. Doors slam loudly. I can’t sit anymore, I stand, I pace. I don’t go to the women’s room for fear of missing my name being called. My head feels detached and numb and my stomach feels nauseous. I try to hide my nerves but now it’s been over two hours.  I asked a technician, very politely, if she wouldn’t mind checking for me and she was kind and I was grateful. She came back after ten minutes and tells me that the ultra-sound request was lost (yes, the one they had confirmed on Friday by phone) and they needed another one. Couldn’t they have just told me the result of the mammogram first?  No.

I was led to a different chair now, for the ultra-sound, where a well-meaning but over-talkative technician gives me a detailed explanation of what she sees. “This is a lymph node” “This is something, it could be fat or could be bad like a tumor” “I have to be honest with my patients but it’s not official, official only comes from the Dr.” She is talking to the wrong patient. She is scaring me to death. This ultra-sound takes at least 25 minutes. She takes me to the radiologist to sit and wait again. After what seems to be a very long time, she comes out and tells me “Doctor wants one more picture of lymph node” At this point, I’ve pretty much lost my mind but accepted my fate and I’m calmer. She does the picture again (another ten minutes) and we go back. I wait until the technician motions me in. The radiologist does not ask me to sit down but in an off-hand way that lasted under two seconds says “You’re fine.”  I stutter as she is about to wave me out of her door “Wait, what about the lymph node, and the tumor/fat that you were looking at?” They were fine. I truly felt like I had cut into her lunch time and she was being disturbed.

I had been in that facility for over three and a half hours, my best friend and my husband who DO NOT worry, were worried. There was no happy feeling or relief because of all the time, drama and their unpleasant way. Usually I would have said something but in this situation, after this time, I found myself completely tired, numb and mute.

I spent Tuesday in bed, still not over that stressful day. I wanted to avoid a flare-up of my Fibromyalgia but I have to say I still haven’t gotten my fight back. Yet.

*For more information on Heart Sisters:myheartsisters.org/

Haiku Heights – Home

English: Love heart

English: Love heart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my sleep, afraid

my foot searches for his leg

I sigh with relief.

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A short visit home

Daughter pops out of her car

Running for a hug

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Her tail wags with joy

dog dashes and jumps on me

rust- colored, grinning.

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My heart is a pool

for those that I love dearly

Keep each other warm.

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Plinky Prompt: Skydiving: Would you do it?

  • Falling in the Sky
  • Seriously?
    Skydive Skåne I am a 55 (soon to be 56) year old woman with Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder, I have an Auto-Immune disease and if I even look at my wrist or ankle the wrong way, it breaks. The answer is LOL, no I would not do it. I have a hard enough time making it through the day as it is. But, I admit it is a funny thought to imagine.
    When I was young I considered doing it but I never followed through. It wasn’t a very serious thought. I regret many things but this is not one of them. My son went skydiving when he was 18, I just about had a heart attack until he was safe on the ground. I hope my daughter doesn’t copy him but I am afraid she will….maybe she will have more sense?

Ellen Degeneres: Not For A Million Dollars? (Pop Cop)

English: Ellen DeGeneres in 2009.

English: Ellen DeGeneres in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Look at that adorable photograph of Ellen Degeneres, she looks like an absolute angel. Her kind, blue eyes, that wide, easy smile. I adore her, I’m a big fan and I used to fantasize sitting in her audience or better yet being on her show. USED TO is the operative phrase here. The problem with just sitting in her audience is that I have a HORRIBLE startle reflex. If I was on the Ellen show and she scared me as she does everyone else, I think I would have a heart attack and die. Before that, I would definitely pee my pants and probably throw up. I’m not kidding. I adore Ellen, I have written articles about Ellen, she seems to be an amazing woman, talented, philanthropic, kind. Wait, did I say kind? She is kind, to other people, to many other people but when it comes to pranks she’s Dennis the Menace. (I’m old people, really old: google it.)

One of my life’s goal was to meet Ellen not just because she is a star, a celebrity but for who she is as a person. However, I may have to retract that because even if I would be invited on her show (think fantasy) I would be terrified about the pranks she might (HA, WOULD) pull. I wish this was a joke but I am dead serious. Sure, I laugh along with everyone else while watching her prank other people but I would be suspicious of her as soon as I landed in Los Angeles (again, think fantasy.)

Would I go on her show knowing my fear of pranks and her love for it? If she said “I will not pull any pranks on you” would I believe it? HELL NO! I do not think she is nasty or mean-spirited, I adore the woman but I have such a startle reflex and LOUD SCREAM that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, I would not only embarrass myself but my entire family (although they are used to me frequently screaming or shrieking loudly.)

Ellen, I adore you. I love watching your television show. You have an incredible open and generous heart. That said, I will love you from afar, from my television box, where I can stay, somewhat safe, (wait, should I even trust you with that? and not obsess about how you would startle me and make me scream like a screeching monkey in heat.

Thanks for the laughs, for the joy, for your show. Keep dancing!

Just stay away from me.

Love,

Your fan,

Laurie F.

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