6 Weeks

We were told by his adult children that he was supposed to die from an inoperable, aggressive brain tumor within six weeks, that was at least three months ago. I thought, for sure, he would die when he was told his wife had passed away but, again, he was so relieved, so grateful she was out of her pain that he actually felt and looked a bit better. Nobody could change or help his diagnosis, he had an inoperable brain tumor but his spirit was so relieved that the love of his life was free of pain and free of suffering, he felt just a little better. They knew his wife was going to die in one or two days and they were correct. You could see relief sketched on his face yet he was not allowed to go to her funeral, he was in hospice care.

Many years ago, when my father laid, by himself, in a hospital room, in another state I called at the exact time when a freshly minted unsettled female voice said:”something has just happened and that the doctors are working on him now.” I didn’t understand, I had no idea what she was talking about but I remember calling my mother. I never thought about it like this but I guess I was there at his death as well. We were together and I still left him that sacred message, so did my mom. “It was okay to go, it was okay, we would take care of each other…”

The cardiologist called me and I asked him if I should come? His voice was gentle, I remember that, and he said “Sweetie, you won’t make it in time, don’t come.” ” Do you promise?” I asked through wracking sobs? “Yes”, he promised. Moments later, my father was dead. I didn’t know until a few days ago my mom had made the same call and was told the same thing. She was ready to drive there alone, in the dark, even though she was terrified to drive.

He had crashed in the hospital while under observation with a fatal heart attack. He had suffered heart attacks before. I still see that digital clock in my mind, the one my dad had given me so many years ago, well, “sold” to me even after all these years. My own children were across the hall, mere babies. I see their sweet, innocent faces, me in my bed, a moment, frozen in time. It was 10:20 pm.

I thought I would never be able to feel happiness again but I did though it was different. I was different as well. Before and After Different. That’s how I now measured my life, in a lot of things.

There are always new phases in our lives, new beginnings, new endings, new chapters, the closures, doors slammed and opened. Right now we are in the middle of a chapter and can’t seem to go forward or back, we are stuck, like dead birds smashed against a windowpane.

Eventually, we will move on. It may take some more time but life does not have to be stagnant forever although sometimes it feels that way. Turn that attitude around and enjoy what you have instead of what you don’t know. Nestle in comfort for the time being. Luxuriate in proximity, memories, familiarity and family.

Change will come, whether you are ready for it or not, it will sneak in like a softly padded black cat stealthily coming in the darkened bedroom, with only green cat eyes following every step you take.

.

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I Pay My Shrink In Candy Corn

It’s true. I am lucky enough, (SO lucky) that I have a therapist that won’t charge me money while my husband isn’t employed full-time. I love this woman and it is the furthest thing from transference ever.

Candy corn detail.

She asked me last time I saw her, “How on earth did you get into my practice, I don’t accept new patients”? I grinned widely and said ‘you liked me on the phone, I present well.” Sure enough that was the truth. My old shrink, Doc, had retired somewhat against his will, to Florida and I looking for someone new.

Finding a good fit is the hard part. My doctor is a really good fit. I asked her once “what happens if I move?” she answered “we Skype!” How can you not love that?

For me, there is absolutely NO SHAME at all in seeing a therapist, in fact if I had the money I’d probably do it more often and with great pleasure. I do feel that we need MORE FUNDING for mental health and more trained people in the schools. I really do. I think that if each elementary school had really good therapist they would be able to track problems at the beginning and should follow through, working with middle school, high school etc.

Obviously, I have anxiety issues and I’m HIGHLY emotional and sensitive. I’ve told her that I want to be less sensitive and be a cold, hard woman. This way was just not working for me.  I was getting hurt and misled and I am too gullible believing the good in people. She looked at me intently, her blue eyes facing my green eyes, her red hair, wild like some sort of plant in the dessert and she laughed.

I said “I’m serious!” and she said “I know you are. But, you can’t change who you are. You are sensitive and that’s good and bad. Yes, you will get hurt but you can’t all of a sudden change and be a cold-hearted, feeling-less person. It isn’t you, it’s not who you are.” Inside I gurgled with disappointment and took a deep breath. I knew, down deep, she was right. How could I change the way I am?

The only thing I could change were my reactions (maybe) and not to get so emotionally invested in the beginning (maybe.) So, I am planning to greatly appreciate my wonderful, happy times that are greater than great with detail when they are positive and ride out the storm just like everyone else when bad things happen, when so-called friends disappoint. I take things way too seriously and if I find out a friend is disingenuous and fake, not to mention a back-stabber or liar, I admit I hate it but I learn again, not to trust everybody.

I KNOW who my true friends are, I cherish them with all my heart.

Friendship

I Want To Be Melissa Rivers’ Sister

One day or another

I turn myself inwards, hiding from the world.

I don’t want to go out and make small talk, my friends don’t feel like real friends tonight and

blood, it turns out, happens to be thicker than water, even when blood types are opposite.

The news on television is too scary to watch and I take on too much of it.

That’s when I have to force myself to extricate my sensitive soul and feel alright

snuggling under the blankets for a day, maybe two, listening to music or trying to name my new pink pig stuffed animal, stroking her soft cotton skin.

Imagine a soul without a name. What shall I call her? Suggestions?

The sun is setting earlier and earlier, things are the same but they are not.

I see a very long Winter ahead of us, I don’t even have the energy to groan.

I can’t blame it on Fibromyalgia either. I won’t.

My birthday month is on, even early, I don ‘t care about getting older, I still love birthdays and I am not vain.

Wrinkles are graciously earned, gray hair are few but I don’t hide them anyway. I am the warrior that they present, I earned them.

My children are now adults perfectly able to take care of themselves without us, both a blessing and a curse. I still miss them as I see mothers posting their first and second graders first day back to school pictures, excited grins and new outfits.

I think we have done well in parenting them, we are both so proud of them, we shine.

Suicide, brain tumor,  starving herself, no will to live, and now Joan Rivers? I don’t know but now I wish I could be Melissa’s sister

so she has somebody with her, to support her.

Nothing is fair, deep down, I still expect them to be at the end.

That’s the very immature part of me that won’t grow up. I can’t seem to learn this lesson even as it presents itself over and over again. Why? Why CAN’T I learn this?

I too, would wait for my mom to wake up, cracking a joke. But, my mom would NOT want to be brain-dead, that I know.

We all deal with pain, grief, discomfort, sadness and people really DON’T reach out to give a hand, I think that is what shocks me the most.

No one makes the time, they have themselves to consider first, last and in-between.

I am not sure who I am anymore, who I’ve become.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m disappointing myself, maybe I have become one of them too.

Nothing would surprise me anymore.

Nothing does.

How To Debone A FISH


Imagine taking a serrated knife and slicing the length of a body right down to the soul. Picture a piece of that fresh fish, covered in the juice of two fresh lemons that you need to debone, carefully and delicately. That slow slicing is, in itself, is a work of art. It is also a technique that happens in your mind. Your mind is calm and steady.

I have tried so hard to get rid of pretension, most of the defense mechanisms, all the external comments, the noise, the insensitive remarks. I don’t need them in my life, nor do you. We need balance, clear thoughts, not the mean chatter of other “so-called friends.” They do more harm than good. Stay away from people who do not serve you well, sever relationships with false people, those that tempt you to behave badly.

Don’t go down to anyone else’s level. Raise yourself up. Have high standards for yourself, try not to judge others but accept them. All of us need to take a break in our hurried lives. You don’t have to go anywhere to do that, not an expensive gym or retreat, you don’t need an airplane ticket or a ride on a white, bulbous sailboat.

Center yourself, wherever you feel most comfortable.

Pick a place where you won’t be disturbed. It can be on your bed or your favorite chair, someplace that speaks silence to you. If you want soft background music, fine. More importantly, this can be in your mind. Simply close your eyes. Concentrate.

 

Feel your breath going in, going out. Maybe it won’t feel natural in the beginning, that is perfectly okay. What is perfect on the first try? Try to get in a pattern of breathing slowly, inhaling and exhaling. If external thoughts race in, accept them, don’t try to push them away, they are part of you. Let them appear, and let them go away while you go back to your steady breathing, your rhythmic breathing..

Once I feel that I am completely relaxed sometimes I find myself  rocking in that place, sometimes I feel so tired that I want to sleep, I have nodded off when practicing this in a class.   Spend time outdoors, watching nature, listening to sounds, bird songs, children laughing, notice the color of the bunny’s tail you see on your green grass, the noisy seagull on the beach hovering over your leftover cheese sandwich.

 

Focus on beauty and not disaster. Be grateful for what you do have and do not focus on what you don’t have. Believe me, I know that sometimes that it is difficult. Do it anyway. Go out of your way to be kind to a stranger, or wave to a baby that is fussing in front of you. Be aware of how your face looks, does it match how you feel?

Live a simple life, every day. Stay in the present. Relish your age, get old gracefully, stop worrying about what anyone else thinks. Your happiness will glow and shine through you. Look deep inside you. Love what you see? Tell people you are grateful for them being in your life. Dance with joy.

#FWF Kellie Elmore

Source: We Heart It

 

Hello? Rhia a tall young woman with beautiful red hair, trailing down her back, was taking a walk past fields of grass through the lush green forest when she stopped short in front of the most beautiful image she had ever seen. She gasped, just staring at this magical wagon, with different colors, different textures. She said “Hello? again.” It was odd, she was sure she could hear whispers and giggling but she didn’t see anyone around. She felt incredibly safe so she climbed up the steps and peered into the wagon.

Rhia was a quiet but very strong young woman, having lived on the streets and shelters before, but as soon as she got to the top step she suddenly she felt a rush of happiness and love enveloping her. She never felt this feeling before. She walked around the carriage noticing the brilliant colors and daring to touch the lovely, embroidered, velvet and cotton and silk fabrics. She listened closely the sounds that the bells made swinging in the air.

 

 

She KNEW she had to know more about this magical place, she couldn’t leave, she would not leave for anything in the world. Her life, in the past had always been disconnected, she loved no one, no one loved her. She had never known what happiness was but she was beginning to think that a miracle had happened.

Today was the first day she felt a thrill of excitement and joy, her life was, from one minute to the next, blooming in vivid colors. She was part of a tapestry of richness and the Earth, magic, starlight, sun, moon. Immediately, her dull, tough, cold past and all that she once knew disappeared. She couldn’t remember anything that had happened before this day, but she knew by the way her heart was warming up inside her, she had just arrived home.

Rhia had been a wanderer before this, a sad, lonely young teen with fiery red hair trailing down her back. She had been born to live with nature, and as soon a she entered the wagon, she met a beautiful, mystical woman who she felt an immediate connection with, her name was Mother Ash. Ash and Rhia had been searching for each other for so many years not that they knew it, until they met that day and then they knew they would never be apart, not for a single day.

Together, they lived in the magical wagon with animals as their extended family to keep them company, to give them a home, to feed each other to sing songs together at night, to wake up together in the glorious sunshine.

A wolf was their best friend, and a furry-red haired fox that they knew must have been one of Rhia’s younger siblings, their hair was so similar.

Red fox. Picture from Skandinavisk Dyrepark, D...

Two large dogs stayed with them to protect them and keep them warm and two goats named Larry and Lena provided milk and home-made honey-lavender ice cream. The bees that swarmed were friendly, offering honey and among the grass precious plants grew, sweet-smelling lavender, mint and chives, dill and there was a huge vegetable garden that could keep them eating happily for months. They had eggs and cheese and of course they had no meat, how could they eat their friends?

The wagon never moved, except in their imagination. They didn’t want to hurt horses by making them pull, horses were their friends. Finally, when Rhia and Ash had lived there for three weeks and three days, the faeries and gnomes, feeling satisfied, presented themselves to Rhia and Ash. They had to be sure that these were the right people and of course they were.

At night, you could hear music that the animals played together, the sweet sound of the faeries giggling around the circle that they made, music played by the owls in their trees, the birds tweeting their flutes and the squirrels banging softly on their drums.

Rhia and Ash lived there forever, with more and more animals joining them, the sky in the morning was sunny every day, the night ended softly, phasing out with a beautiful blend of colors, a gorgeous sunset, that all the friends sat together and waved to say good-night to the sun.

 

http://youtu.be/6xL7JecwMxE

 

Click above link.

Doing The Laundry With George

Growing up, my family lived in an old red brick apartment building in Queens, NY. The apartment building was its own little village on six floors. There was a feeling of comfort and safety having neighbors and friends around us.

I had good friends in the building and I ate many meals in my friends’ homes. In Lotti’s kitchen I always ate home-made matzoh ball soup, the matzoh balls light and airy. She introduced me to my first milkshake, made with chocolate and vanilla ice cream and served in tall, cold glasses.

Vanilla Kipferl (Vanilla Crescents)

Vanilla Kipferl (Vanilla Crescents) (Photo credit: sharon.schneider)

In Omi’s house, (my friend Linda’s grandmother) we settled into over sized chairs and we ate many home-baked cookies: granulated sugar-coated vanilla crescent cookies and chocolate kiss surprise cookies. To this day I can feel the taste of the melting sugar on my tongue, I have seen several duplicates in stores but they missed a very important ingredient: Omi’s special kind of love. I didn’t have grandparents and Omi made me feel like part of the family.

English: Windows in the red brick wall of an a...

My older sister and I, individually, had to do the laundry as our chore. In an apartment building, a couple of old washing machines and one dryer lived questionably in the basement. The basement was dank, dark, dimly lit and uninviting. Thinking back, there never seemed to be anyone else down there doing laundry, it was an experience you just wanted to hurry up and finish, it felt scary being there alone.

I would lug the metal shopping cart, that we also used for groceries, and hold on to it with both hands grasped behind me. It always left a lingering metallic smell on my fingers.The elevator always shook and made loud scraping mechanical noises as it bumped and lurched to a stop in the basement.

The only person who lived in the basement was George, the handyman.  We assumed from his accent he came from Romania or Russia but that was never confirmed.  George was a happy and unconventional man. When you talked to him, most likely he was upside down, standing on his head. There was nothing scary about him, in fact, when the door to his room in the basement was ajar we always felt safer.

Clowns Upside Down on the Ceiling

Clowns Upside Down on the Ceiling (Photo credit: wht_wolf9653)

George spoke little English but every so often he would determinedly either call himself Mr. Rockefeller or call my father Mr. Rockefeller; why we don’t know.

We accepted George the way he was as if he was a character jumping out of the pages of a John Updike novel, smelling slightly of old, cheap wine. All the mothers said “he was harmless.” Back then, he was.  In the sixties, that was normal, we trusted people. We didn’t even question his unusual style, we just laughed with him.

If you were lucky the two washing machines would be free when you had to do the laundry, the sense of achievement and happiness would be intense. I would dig my sweaty fingers into my jeans pockets, front and back, to find three quarters for each machine. The smooth shiny coins were placed in the slotted circles, I waited to hear the metal clinking sound as they dropped down.  Once I put in too much soap and bubbles, huge iridescent sudsy bubbles, started cascading down from the machine, everywhere. I was both thrilled and terrified at the same time. I ran for George.

There was one large dryer but more fascinating were these huge hanging racks that we would have to pull out of the wall and drape clothing on the clothing rods; how this was allowed and sanctioned by the fire department I will never know. Once we pulled back the steel rods and draped our clothing we could see the individual fires blazing. After we pulled our clothes from the hanging rods the clothes were stiff and scratchy. There were no fabric softeners, anything that was on those rods to were as crisp as burned toast.

Chemical Brothers

George lived in our building for many years, we would try to get  in touch with him by phone but he generally didn’t pick up. More often one of us went to his room and knocked loudly on his door.

One day, he disappeared, no one had seen him for a while. Everyone was talking about it but he literally vanished from one day to the next.

In my young imagination, I decided he must have rejoined the circus, as of course, a clown. He already had the sweet smile, the jolly personality and the impeccable skills for standing on his head.

When I remember George I remember him upside down, firmly saying “Mr. Rockefeller.” Why he did this nobody knew, but we all accepted him for who he was.  No one ever heard from him again but after all these years, I never forgot him.

 

I Called Him *William

We were best friends, William and I, all through college and I had hoped we would be friends all our lives. Long ago, when we were 18, he wanted me to be his girlfriend and I wasn’t ready to be anyone’s girlfriend, I was scared and emotionally immature. We went to one formal dance together, he arrived holding a dead, limp, rose.

True, his smile could light up the darkest day and to me he was an absolute beautiful, and handsome man, blond hair, brown eyes, someone I could trust and talk to but he talked with his mouth open revealing a mound of mashed potatoes. To this day, I can picture that sight.

English: A small plate with a serving of mashe...

If it was now, I would say, “Dude, where are your manners?” but at 18, what did I know? I didn’t know one single thing. I did know that we made a pact that if by a certain age we weren’t married to other people we would marry each other but I would bet a million dollars Billy wouldn’t remember that.

Everyone called him Billy or Bill  even now I would refer to him as Bill but during the glory years of youth he was my William. People in our dorms were sure we would get married. After we graduated I wanted to move to Boston, mostly because I thought William was going to live there. I moved, he didn’t.

What finally made me wake up and truly understand William and relieve all the guilt that I had (he had made me feel guilty for years) for not dating him was when he called me, years after we graduated and said he would be driving to Boston and he wanted to visit.  I said “YES, ” absolutely and he would stay over at my place.” This was it, once and for all I wanted to see what we had between us, obviously it was something.

He said he would come on a Friday afternoon, sure I was a tiny bit nervous but excited. I waited for him all day and night. This was long before cell phones. I didn’t hear from him, he hadn’t given me an exact time or day so I thought for sure he would arrive on Saturday.

Saturday and Sunday came and went, I was worried, very worried that something had happened to him, a bad accident, he was involved in a serious collision…something serious must have happened for William not to have come or call.

flipped car

Or so I thought.

I literally waited all weekend for him to show up but he never did, never called, first I was very disappointed and after that angry, very angry.

The man I had trusted and loved, through and through, yet not wanted to date when I was merely 18 just changed his mind and didn’t think about letting me know. I had finally reached him during the middle of the week and he said “Yeah, I didn’t think about calling, I changed my plans.”

Who was this guy?

Apparently this was the guy that deep down I knew existed, or some part of him that I didn’t like. This was hard to take, for me, but for him, maybe he wanted to punish me or maybe he really was just the guy, across the table, with no manners, eating with his mouth open, full of mashed potatoes.

He came to my wedding, after that, I never saw him again. I finally realized he was never my best friend, he just made me think he was. I still remember his birthday but I let go of him a long, long time ago.

*Name changed to protect the guilty.

#FWF Kellie Elmore

Petrichor: The smell after it rains.

 

After it rains

 

Lavender

 

the scent of sweet lavender lingers in the air

 

droplets of water, morning dew, glisten on tall, oblong leaves.

 

Wild flowers, purple, pink, yellow, blue sway together like fans in a concert

 

dancing in the wind

 

stretching to feel the warmth of the velvet sun.

 

Fresh, green mint plants,

 

tickle our noses,

 

we inhale the menthol, clear our senses, to feel alive.

sunset

sunset (Photo credit: lil miss priss)

Mix mint with lime and muddled basil and sweet cane sugar, seltzer

 

to celebrate the glorious day with mojitos.

 

We sit on the freshly painted, white outside deck, of our house

 

waiting for the sun to set

 

With our best friends, our beloved dogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Fibro Fantasy, Rated X

I admit it, I fantasize, doesn’t everybody? There’s a possibility that tomorrow morning my fantasy could come true but most likely not. I’ve been here before. Several times and it hasn’t worked yet. It probably won’t ever work, it will never change, not in my life time.

FIBROMYALGIA

FIBROMYALGIA (Photo credit: *SHESHELL*)

I have an appointment with a new Rheumatologist that practices close to where I live. The doctor I am using is a wonderful doctor and a compassionate man, I have no complaints except he practices in the big city and it is a pain (literally and figuratively) in the ass to take public transportation to see him.

I can’t do it anymore, alone. I don’t have the stamina and energy  that I used to have. When did that go?  I used to drive my car to the train, walk up the flight of stairs to buy a ticket, down another flight of stairs to get to the train. After the ride I had to climb another flight of stairs and usually walk or take a taxi to the doctor’s office. It was a very long walk but I could do it. I could do that years ago but no longer. What changed?

English: The location of the nine paired tende...

English: The location of the nine paired tender points that comprise the 1990 American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know where or when my energy dissipated, perhaps it atrophied but I don’t have even 10 percent of it anymore.

Why the fantasy?

Because in the back of my teeny, tiny brain, somewhere in the bottom, left-handed corner, deep in the middle of the 36th quadrant, 76 degrees counter-clockwise there is a dot of hope that THIS doctor will help me. That SHE will jump up from behind her leather chair and wooden desk and exclaim “Oh NO!! You have been misdiagnosed. You do NOT have Fibromyalgia, you have a rare disease called Tortellini Soupadejour, highly treatable, all you need to do is take one small pill every morning, no side effects.You will be cured in 3-5 days, Congratulations!

At that point I would burst into tears, hug her and my husband and feel faint with relief.

That’s the fantasy part.

I want that so badly that I can taste it. I want my old life back. Before Fibromyalgia. Not this crappy piece of shit. Yes, I appreciate it’s not life-threatening, truly, but to hurt every day and night, to have NO energy is no fun either. I’ve also gotten to the point where I don’t care what other people think; I know what’s true and my Fibro Facebook Friends know.That’s all I care about now.

All I want to do tonight is cry. No, don’t feel bad for me, that just makes it worse. Besides, if I told you how I really felt, I would be holding you up for an hour. You know that, just acknowledge it and move on. I hate pity parties and if I want pity, believe me, I will give myself the pity party I deserve. I don’t want pity from anyone else, but thanks.

I want to scream at the world, I want to lash out at nice people who ask me, with hope, how I am feeling? I’ve decided on just saying “fine.” If I was honest it would take an hour and people would get bored and probably wouldn’t believe me anyway. My true friends can see it on my face or hear it in my voice, over the phone even.

All they need to see is a glimpse of me, a catch in my voice, generally my friends are like me, sensitive, compassionate, at least most of them.

Unicorn

Unicorn (Photo credit: scorpiorules58)

I am NOT expecting any miracle tomorrow, I know everything will be the same. She is just easier to get to, I don’t need my husband to drive me, I can get there on my own. The bloody diagnosis will be the same, I may burst into tears but not because I have a new diagnosis but because I had a speck of hope which was the stupidest thing to have, ever and the worst part? I knew that all along.

 

 

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Micro Writing Kellie Elmore #FWF

“that one summer”
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    A field of yellow daffodils, that last just a few days, keep the memory in your heart. Sunny days, blue skies, picking lush strawberries, laughing with friends all in that one summer.

    strawberries

    strawberries (Photo credit: kahvikisu)

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