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.

Advertisements

I Love You More

Never Changing With The Season

Never Changing With The Season (Photo credit: dprotz)

There, I said it, in print, published in black and white. You can call it or I can call it when we first see each other in the morning or at 3:30am for a bathroom break but I think this counts a hundred times more. I am the “I Love You More” champion because truly, I do love you more. You can’t call me a cheater, either. To my husband: I’d be lost without you. I know, way down deep, I could get through it, if I had to, but I don’t even want to contemplate that situation.

You accept me for the: overly sensitive, moody, quirky, hungry, anxious, mean, hurtful and impatient person I can be. I know I am also loving and sweet and funny but it’s the bad qualities that are harder to accept. I haven’t even mentioned the Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and chronic pain that I have. You support me with driving, if you can, or help me upstairs or out of the car with an outstretched arm at the ready. Your never-ending kindness is (mostly 🙂 ) always there. That means so much to me and I thank you.

I know when we first met you COULD NOT BELIEVE that I had NO sense of direction and you that I would get lost on purpose. HA! Why would I do that? You couldn’t understand if I had driven someplace once or twice or thirty times before how I couldn’t reenact the same route again. My answer: genetics. My father was the same way. The kids make fun of me (mercilessly) but I truly cannot picture in my mind where things are and how to get to them. Thank goodness for the GPS, the best invention ever and yes I know, I still get lost but it helps.

However, I will recognize a person I went to seventh grade with in a different state, in a different setting (like a bakery) and go up to the person and say “Nora?” and know, without a doubt, that she was my friend 40 years ago. I am always right too. You can meet someone an hour ago before, meet them again in five minutes and have no facial recognition. Our minds and brains are wired totally differently. What do we both say? ” Valuing differences.”

You make me a cup of coffee each morning, in my favorite flowered, thin-lipped mug. When I am sick you bring it upstairs to me, with love and a napkin. Sometimes there is a dish of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries already washed, in a dish in the refrigerator. You do that for me. FOR ME. I buy you dark chocolate covered apricots for Father’s Day and tell you they are from the dog because my dad is no longer alive and even though you are my children’s father, it is a lonely, miserable holiday for me. You understand that and you are blessed to have both of your parents still alive. You even understand that I am envious without holding it against me.

I am lucky to have you in so many ways. We are best friends. Sometimes, I need some space but begrudgingly, you have come to understand that too. Through the years I think we have become more like each other, which to me is still puzzling. I used to be the one that liked to stay home and you used to like to go out, now it’s the opposite. I want adventure, you want peace.

Let’s walk together now and hopefully in years to come. I’ve already slowed down and you have tried to walk slower for me. Maybe we can find a shady bench in the park in the future and sit, side by side holding hands. I pray we can get old together, this is my dream. I want nothing more than that; that itself would be heaven.

Dedicated to my husband, Danny

Hey Ba, I Think It’s Now

a bird nest

Image via Wikipedia

I’m beginning to think that”these days may just BE the good old days” and I want to stop and appreciate them as much as I can. I want to  savor my children’s laughter, energy, and yes, even fighting. I want to enjoy family dinners served with a sauté of sarcasm and lumpy cheese sauce with laughter. I’m not saying that things are great but they are definitely good enough and  that’s just fine. My husband is still unemployed and our kids are just about to skip from home to college and I will be living in my own new reality, as an “empty-nester” which is both incredibly sad and exciting.

When I was in my early twenties, my best friend Barbara and I would alternate saying “Laur, when is it gonna get better?”or “Hey Ba, when is it going to get better?” I don’t even remember now what was so bad back then. We asked each other this as we were selecting French pastries from a small patisserie: the fruit tart or the chocolate mousse? Two Libra girls in an enchanting bakery meant only one thing: both. Now, thirty years later, back then seemed like it WAS better but it was just different. “Youth” is wasted on the young” my mother used to mutter. We laughed and knew she didn’t know what she was talking about. We have all said the exact, same thing to our children as they look back at us and roll their eyes. How can we expect them to understand what no other generation ever did before?

Rereading the book Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg is helping to keep me in the present. It’s a book about a woman dying of cancer and her loving friends. It makes you stop and think about your life. For me, these are the good old times. Are we silly enough to think that things will get easier as we get older? They don’t. I prescribe reading Ms. Berg’s book surrounded by tissues and as Oprah would say “a-ha” moments.

Now, while we still have our two children home, at least for a few more months I am relishing my time with them. I want to freeze these days like photographs on our mantel. My son, my first born, a Senior, is always running out the door, his black and orange sneakers barely trailing him. He has about four and a half months before he leaves home  for the summer to be a Counselor at the camp he attended for many years. Camp is my son’s other home; it is a magical place that helped shape him as a person. My first-born,  has the same temperament as I do; we understand each other with a casual glance. He’s waiting to hear from colleges in the near future. As much as I try to spend time in the present, I miss him already.

My daughter, a Junior in High School came home from “College Night”  and sounded like a newly opened bottle of soda; her enthusiasm and excitement was contagious.  “I want to go to college tomorrow, Mom” she chirped.  I will have a whole year with just her where she doesn’t have to share the limelight with her older brother. I am not even ready to think about what life will be like when she goes off to college. This beautiful young woman will always be my baby.

I would like the world to stand still so I can try and burn memories in my heart. My nine year old dog is sleeping at the foot of my bed. The children laugh, fight, shout and antagonize each other yet their love for each other is incredibly obvious. I know my husband will find a job eventually and I just want to hold on to this feeling of our family; for as long as I possibly can. Here is my life lesson: cherish each moment; it’s as simple as that.