12 Years Ago, Tonight

12  years ago, tonight at 10:20 pm my father passed away in a hospital in Connecticut. I was never a big fan of New Year’s Eve to begin with but since this happened, I roll into a little ball

English: Sculpture of a woman in fetal positio...

in my bed and cry on and off.

My dad used to buy me a candle every single year on my birthday, without fail, I’m sure my mom reminded him but it was a tradition. My mom, sister and I still have one or two of his well-worn, soft handkerchiefs that are like prized possessions. Our dad had a shelf where he had 13 types of small different after shave cologne which he would point out to us, often!

What’s worse, for my mom, is that January 1st is/was my parents’ wedding anniversary. We try to give each other support but in essence it’s really our own pain we need to get past. I’m the “crier” in the family or as my husband and son call me “the shrieker.” Good or bad and especially when surprised by something: a bug, a person, a loud noise, I have a natural instinct to be scared easily. My daughter is the same way. Sometimes we shriek at

the surprise of seeing each other.

She’s away on a trip and as much as I am happy she is having a fabulous time, part of me wishes she was home. But, as much as I am a mushy mess, my daughter keeps all her emotions inside, deep, down inside. My expectations of wanting her here are really quite different from what her being here would be like. She does not enjoy my massive display of emotions.

My son is definitely more like me, we understand each other. We can read each others feelings on the phone or the breath before we say “hello” on the telephone. I was like that with my dad. My sister and my mother are completely alike, full of false bravado and unaware of their feelings. Being without my dad for so many years has been a struggle.

The balance has been lost, the person who understood me most, is gone. I’m with two family members that don’t really get me at all, they just say I’m “too sensitive,” never realizing that sensitivity is a good thing and that they might be insensitive. What I’ve learned all these years is that people don’t change.

I will get through tonight, thankfully, NOT going out, eating my American cheese sandwich and drinking chocolate milk, my comfort food. Maybe I’ll have some baked Lays for the crunch factor. For dessert, I pre-ordered two of our favorite home-made jelly doughnuts

from a nearby bakery. My husband and I will toast each other with those doughnuts, in memory of my father. Growing up it was a tradition that we all had jelly doughnuts on New Year’s Eve together. I just found out my husband bought four jelly doughnuts and two black and white cookies, he’s definitely like my dad too.

As sad as I am to have lost him, I am trying (not very successfully) to focus on that deep relationship we had and how much he really did love me. I was his baby girl, he loved me plenty of that I am sure. It just doesn’t help to take away the pain. Nothing does.

 

 

*My dad took me to see Two By Two with Danny Kaye, for years after, with spoons and different glasses of water of varying heights, he would conduct and we would both clink all our glasses after the words “Two By Two.” The last time I tried to do that with him, he was very sick and didn’t want to do that. He had lost his joy and I knew that his end was near.

 

 

 

 

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Haters Gonna Hate Myself

I’m trying NOT to feel it, that feeling of FRUSTRATION. I’m sucking in my anger so hard that my belly is rippling over my white jeans and billowing over like a big cloud. A big, black blustery storm cloud.

I’m so done, I know I have to keep on going for as long as it takes but I’m getting my feelings out here because it is safe. I can’t make any plans to do anything or go anywhere because my husband still doesn’t have a job and we are both going stir crazy. I would be much more impulsive and try something new but that’s NOT his style.

We don’t know where we are going to live (I’m breathing a little too heavily now) but we can’t live where we are living too much longer. One more winter here, that’s about all I can take. That’s all I WILL take, though this is a familiar phrase.

I’m fine 99 percent of the time but there are moments, like these, that the stress keeps piling up and it’s as if I am in the middle of the globe and arrows are pointing at me from every single angle. They are not welcoming me, they are stabbing me. I say I can’t take it any more but I know I have no choice.  I’m here to support and encourage and look for a job in a local bakery except I can’t lift 50 pounds, darn it.

Things need to change but I’ve said that for almost one year, I’ve always been scared of change and part of me still is but I can’t afford to deal with that now. I’m scared to be here and I’m scared to leave, but I’m in the middle of nothing, of trudging  through thick, brown, suffocating mud. One more minute and it would be a sinkhole.

At least I tried something new, I’m thrilled that I took a writing class. Registering and getting there alone made me proud. Doing well in it, made me ecstatic. I’lll try to do more things like that, pushing myself.

As people say (not that I believe them anymore) it can’t stay this way forever. Or can it? I’ve resorted to one of my favorite psychics to see what she has to say. Some guidance, please. Spare me the bad stuff, I have enough of that on my own.

I’ll be putting more effort, more optimism, more meditation into my life, changing for the better, starting..TOMORROW. I promise.

Haiku Horizons, Drive

 

Guns - latest batch

Bloody, young faces

Drive by shooting, bullets fly

Cries of terror, blaze.

 

 

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Sunday drive, Spring flirts

Tango Kiss

Vibrant flowers tango, sing

Love blooms, sweet romance.

 

 

 

 

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and for a little fun:

 

Teenage fantasy

Control the power with style

1966 AMC Ambassador 990 convertible. A full-si...

I’ve got this, now drive.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Orange U Glad TO Meet Me?

Orange julius

Orange julius (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy, Happy! Good News! Good News! Even if it is only television news, we take what we can get (with great enthusiasm.) Just today I heard that McDreamy: Derek Shepard and Meredith Gray both signed a new contract for two years on Gray’s Anatomy. This makes me so happy you have no idea. (I know I have no life, that is one thing I “know for sure.”That is from Oprah, originally from Maya Angelou… Oh, Oprah, I could have told you that ending your show to get bigger and “badder” was not a good idea but nope, you didn’t listen to me. What the heck, you have more money than G-d and you don’t have to work. Though I do think you’d feel uneasy, lost, hanging around in your work-out outfits and sneakers and drinking Orange Julius all day. Hope you don’t mind that I put that in because I have craved Orange Julius now for months and can’t seem to find one anywhere. In High School Orange Julius was the new thing. Maybe even Junior High School. G-d I am so OLD.

Speaking of Orange, I just read that the Netflix show (can I call it a show? A series? ) Orange Is The New Black has  finished taping Season 2. That series brought out the worst and best in me and I loved every minute of it. It was scary, edgy, I was freaking out, clutching pillows and sitting on the edge of my seat but could I stop watching it? Hell no. It was like a drug, an addict bingeing on episodes to “Orange Is The New Black ” one after the other.

Anyone out there willing to be in my support group? Frankly, I’m no hero, I’m the one sitting in bed, hand clasped over her mouth and eyes to avoid seeing things I didn’t want to see and weeks later wishing I could forget what I may or may not have seen.  There’s always an out.Plus, I am such a wimp I could only watch it during the day, never late at night. Otherwise, I would get no sleep AT ALL. That said, I can’t wait for Season 2.

Yep, that’s me.

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FWF: Kellie Elmore

Sad Little Girl

Sad Little Girl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

everything i could never tell you

I’m sorry, baby girl, I was barely a teen then, I didn’t know there was a name for what your mama had. I just knew she closed herself in her bedroom, turned the lights off and had me babysit you every afternoon. She hid under the covers because she was really sad and all you could hear from her bedroom was her sobbing. I kept the television on to try to protect you from the sounds.

You know, back then, it didn’t even have a name, just crazy. Your mama was chronically depressed and it is like every other illness but years ago it was shameful. Thank God, now, people know more and there are medications and no shame involved.

When I would walk up one flight of dusty, gray stairs, your smile would brighten your entire face like sunshine and your cheeks would turn rosy pink as soon as you saw me. Your mama would scream sometimes, but she couldn’t control herself. Oh, I know you pity yourself but I’m sure it was not easy for her, she was very sad every minute of every day. Yes, it WAS hard for you but you are a grown-up now, can you now think about what it was like for her?

What I remember most, for some funny reason, is that she used to make two pale chicken legs in the toaster oven. Oil or butter turning into bubbles on those nasty looking legs. You must have eaten them after I left but I kept thinking “where was the rice and the salad?” Was there bread and butter to eat?  I could picture you and your mama eating one sickly yellow chicken leg each and you drinking your glass of milk.

Your mom never let you have candy so with my babysitting money I would hold your hand and take you into the candy store and let you pick out a chocolate bar and tell you it was our secret. I didn’t care about lying to your mom, she wouldn’t even have noticed. I just wanted you to have a little happiness in your life, I wanted you to be able to be a kid for a short time, anyway. Your eyes would glisten like stars on a dark night, with happiness and excitement, you were lit up like electricity in a lamp.

I met you for lunch once when we were both adults, I didn’t know you anymore. You hated your parents,  you hated everything, nothing but hate and coldness inside you. This was way before your older sister became sick too and I adored her as well. I know you were wonderful to her, you did everything for her and everyone knew that, there was the goodness in you.That sweet little girl came back to be her sister’s angel, but when she died, it died too.

We didn’t know about the funeral, no one told us. As soon as we found out we raced to your mom’s apartment where your cold, icy, blue eyes looked through us. I wanted to hug you, but you didn’t let anyone close enough to even say we were sorry. Why? You were blaming us for something we had no control over but you were the queen of control, right?

You built a wall around you of law books and court rooms and tennis-playing friends. I hope you are happy now. But, I wanted to say something that I never could say before: I missed my sweet baby for a long time. The little girl you were, the innocent, happy child that would race to sit on my lap.What happened to her? My one question is “do you even remember her, that sweet sunny child, you were?” Because if not, that would be a damn shame. A damn shame.

Just One More Hug

Wednesday, November 13, 2013.

Screenshot from a public domain film The Littl...

Screenshot from a public domain film The Little Princess (1939) starring Shirley Temple and Richard Greene (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today would have been my dad’s 90th birthday, he died eleven years ago. I guarantee you it will not be an easy day or night for any of us. I’m trying to use this day to remind me of what a wonderful father he was, how he loved birthdays and presents and food and more food and little presents that cost less than a few dollars which we called “shmonsas.”

I miss him, those feelings stab at my heart and reopen wounds I thought had healed. Apparently, there is no complete healing from death and pain.  Since we have talked about my dad lately I feel the pain, as if it was fresh, wounds ripped open, knives sharpened and stabbing pain. Tears are spilling down my eyes, in the catch of my voice.

Of all times, the day before his birthday I found myself making his favorite, home-made pea soup.  I hadn’t even realized that his birthday was coming up because I was focusing only on 11/11 my favorite day and time. That meant today was 11/12 and I realized my husband and I are having dinner with my mom on Wednesday, not even conscious that Wednesday, 11/13 was my dad’s birthday. The world works in strange ways, I still believe there is a reason for everything.

Every Saturday morning when I was a child, my dad and I would watch Shirley Temple movies together, just the two of us. He would take his finger and wipe his eyes quickly and I once asked him if he was crying. He told me he had allergies but soon enough I learned the truth. Every week, another Shirley Temple movie, The Little Princess, Curly Top etc. was on. Saturday mornings were very special for me and my dad.

When I was older we would get bagels which was not technically stealing since the store was not open and once he and I got off the tram in Austria to buy bratwurst thick with golden brown mustard and rolls and left my mother and sister on the tram-car (not realizing they had no idea where they were and that we were gone.) As sorry as we were, he and I still held unto our sides remembering my mother’s fuming face, nostrils flaring. Luckily, he was the one who got in trouble, not me.

We would all go to Pathmark grocery shopping while I still lived at home and we would put ridiculous sized items in the cart while the other person wasn’t looking, 5 gallons of pickles, 10 gallons of ketchup, we thought we were hilarious. Sometimes someone had opened up a bag of cookies (No, it was not us) but we would help ourselves to samples. Once when my mother was away ( working) we went to a Spanish restaurant and got a little tipsy on Sangria, toasting wall paper hangers that did not show up. My kids will be shocked to hear this!  Another time, I was driving home from my married life in Boston, pregnant with my first child and he had come down as a surprise to direct traffic wearing an orange helmet with a bright orange sign with my name and arrows so that I wouldn’t get lost. If I had one sentence to describe him, it would be that one. When there were mice crawling over my bed and feet in my apartment he would pick me up and bring me “home.” Nothing was too much.

My mom, my husband and I will eat dinner at a restaurant and try to celebrate his life instead of mourning it.  I thought I might want to put a candle on my dessert for him but I can’t kid myself, I’d burst into tears before it even came. I think I’ll just say my own few words, privately. He was a wonderful father to both my sister and me: nurturing, warm, supportive. I still miss his warm hugs the most, a true loss. Prone to educational talks that were a bit too lengthy what would I do now to hear one again. I could count on to him to at least understand my side even if we didn’t agree, it’s been so long, eleven years, that I can’t even remember what that feels like anymore. We were so similar, he and I, my mother and my sister, exactly alike.

He has sent me messages from the other side except for a brief interruption which was partially my fault but now those messages will be back. I am sure of it. In fact, I just found an angel that I completely forgot about and now she is hanging happily from my crisp, new bulletin board. There are no more words, except to say, Daddy, I love you, I miss you, I’ll always miss the dad that you were to me. I miss your bear hugs where I knew I felt so loved and safe. I miss you being in my corner supporting me. I will never stop missing that. Happy Birthday, Daddy. Love, from “The Little One.(8)”

Plinky Prompt : Write A Story…

  • Write a story about yourself from the perspective of an object, thing, animal, or another person.
  • ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods

    Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Peter Pan’s Best Friend, SHE
  • Welcome to my world, and let me introduce you to my very best friend and NO, it is not Tinkerbell if that’s what you are thinking. Tricked you!! It’s “SHE.”
    SHE tries to act grown-up once in a while, when she thinks she has to, but I NEVER DO and I’m PROUD. Yup, that’s me, Peter Pan and the best part of me is child-like, fun and I so love to make myself laugh, ha ha, I do it constantly. I think I am hysterically funny don’t you? You don’t? I don’t care, I DO!! I can amuse myself for hours and hours, so silly I know but so fun. SHE is very much like me, child-like, some say childish, but she doesn’t care really, she enjoys herself, yeah, most “grown-ups” should have as much fun as she has.
    The only damper to her style once, years ago, was when her son actually told her he preferred if she acted a little more “adult.” Wow, she shocked but for her children, she would do anything and so she tried. I think she was successful for a time. Now the “children” are adults and she is in her 50’s and basically she doesn’t care who or what anybody thinks. WE are back together like we once were, Peter Pan and SHE. We may grow older, at least SHE does, but WE DON’T WANT TO GROW UP, NOT ME, NOT HER, NOT US, NOT EVER.

Plinky Prompt: The Last Time You Had A Belly Laugh?

  • Tell us about the last time you had a real, deep, crying-from-laughing belly laugh. See all answers
  • Pain From The Gut?
  • I wish I could remember, I wish I could describe it to you in detail but I don’t even remember the last time i laughed heartily. I’m not in a depression but I really cannot come up with an image or a recent memory.
    One of the things I want to do is laugh more. I’m not sure you can initiate that on your own, other than watch a “funny” movie. It is really not the same as the spontaneous laughter you get when talking to someone and bursting into laughter. I miss that.I miss that so much.
    Unfortunately the last time that I remember that happening was many, many years ago, talking on the phone with a friend. We were young and silly and we laughed so hard and so long, I had to grab my stomach and hold it because it was painful. Glorious pain. Tears coming down my face, times when I couldn’t breathe…that type of pain that I long for now. Please?

10 Random Things That Would Make Me Very Happy

Laughter

Laughter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Borders Reopening ( I have been lost without Borders, it was my go-to place, a place to buy books,  look at books, drink coffee, talk to people and generally make my life a  happier place. Let me tell you Target is NOT a suitable replacement but that’s all I’ve got now. The library used to be a nice place until they found one bed bug after a sale and having OCD, I don’t trust the books anymore. I think, if they found one bedbug, the relatives must be nearby and angry.

2. All my good friends would live in a 3 block radius.

3. “Certain people” wouldn’t gang up on me-consciously or unconsciously (God forbid I say their names, I would HEAR about it in 2 minutes with a lecture or small therapy session)

4. Laughing ( When was the last time I really laughed, out loud, clutching my stomach?)

5. A new vanilla based Ben & Jerry ice cream that I would love (Coconut layer cake comes close but it needs something else…)

6. Knowing how to work this damn computer.

7. Having a sense of direction to get to Apple or anyplace without getting lost a hundred times and yes I do have

a GPS system, we call her Jill. (I always assume she is wrong) Big mistake.

8. Having A LOT of money so I could take a vacation or 3 or 4 or 10.  FIRST CLASS.

9. Writing and publishing a best-selling “novel.”

10. Freshly squeezed orange juice every day (that does not come from a bottle or carton.)

English: A horse 'laughing'.

English: A horse ‘laughing’. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)