Plinky Prompt: Know someone who could use a pep talk?

English: Icecream, at Wikipedia meeting in Hag...

English: Icecream, at Wikipedia meeting in Hagen, Germany Deutsch: Eisbecher, beim Wikipedia-Treffen Ruhrgebiet in Hagen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • We all know someone who could use a pep talk… so write them one! See all answers
  • Best Friends
  • Dear Jessie,
    There are no words I can say that will make you feel better, I know your feelings are intense, I would never lie to you. I know how devastated, you are with the loss of your husband, Gary. You are sad, in shock in denial and angry, who wouldn’t be? Those are all valid feelings but I want you to know you do NOT have to go through them alone.
    I am here for you, as your best friend, at anytime. You know that, Jess, just pick up the phone or text me if you want company, any time day or night and I will come straight away. I know what you are going to say “you don’t want to be a bother” but you’re my best friend, you are like my sister, NOTHING could make you a bother, ever.
    I know you would do the same thing for me. Let me and our friends help you through this difficult time, all of us are a family, all of us love you and the kids.
    Believe me, being strong for your kids, as much as you adore them, is probably another burden now, I think that’s fair to say. I know you need to be strong for them when all you want to do is scream, cry or kick some walls in. Sweetie, I understand.
    I know you don’t like to ask for help but I am telling you that there is a food/housework/babysitting schedule to help you out for the first few months. We’re not asking you, all your friends WANT to do this for you, you know I will listen to whatever you have to say but expect me to come over tonight at six with dinner, some treats for the kids, strawberry ice cream AND chocolate ice cream with whipped cream, your favorite combination since you were five.
    I will stay as long as you want, you can invite me in or kick me out, everything you decide is fine. I love you, Jess, the same as you love me, we are best friends and we have always been there for each other, nothing changes.
    I’m going to leave a pair of pajamas in an overnight bag for when you want company, any hour, day or night. No, it’s not too much trouble. Are you kidding? I love sleepovers, I always did. I’ll even bring the popcorn. To me, that’s what best friends do and I know, without a shadow of a doubt you would do the same for me.
    See you later.
    Tell the kids Aunt Nikki is coming over with some surprise sweets! See you at six. Love, Me

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The Fox And The Wolf

Rainy Golestan National Park

Rainy Golestan National Park (Photo credit: brum d)

I have a friend, a dear friend, a soul sister that I have forged a deep connection with and recently learned she is sick. I fear she is very sick and while I may write and sob, wearing my heart always, on my sleeve, she is calm and accepting and talks about life after death calmly. I am here, a long way from her, this friend I have never even met, and I am crying, my tears flowing down my red cheeks without stopping. I don’t even attempt to dab at the waterfall cascading from my green eyes, I could not keep up. In some way I don’t want to mop up my tears and have a clean face; it just doesn’t feel right.

I try to put on a brave front but she knows me and can see through my pretenses. “You have lost many people and you just don’t want to lose your new friend, your soul sister” she writes to me as if to explain. I put my head in my hands and rock myself while she is trying to comfort me from afar. She is a brave warrior and I feel like a fearful, young, gray mouse yet we coexist in nature. I have learned more from this friend about life and yes, death, than from many people I have known a long time. People can call themselves “best friends” but it’s only a label, an artificial one.

She and I connect, spiritually. She sent me a poem that used in one of her pieces of writing and it turns out to be the same poem (* see below ) I had read at my father’s funeral. It did not surprise me but as wonderful as the poem is, it does not quiet my heart when I miss my dad the most and that, she acknowledges,  is true. I wish I could wrap her up in a cocoon of the softest, silky threads and take care of her, feed her so she will stop losing weight rapidly, sing folk songs deep into the night, looking at the stars and making her tea with tupelo honey.

We have never met, she and I, but we know each other well, like wildlife in nature, harmoniously living together, understanding intuitively what is good, what is bad, a friend, a foe.  I hope to meet her someday soon but even if I don’t and even if she does die, as we all will, I know now, that feeling connected to another person, is worth the sadness that might occur later. For everyone, for everything, give people your heart and appreciate whatever time you have with them. Because, without them you would have been a lesser person, a smaller animal in the beautiful green forest.

Thinking of an anticipated good-bye is downright torture for me, it’s like squeezing blood from my brittle bones, without anesthesia.

*Do not stand at my grave and weep is a poem written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye. Although the origin of the poem was disputed until later in her life, Mary Frye’s authorship was confirmed in 1998 after research by Abigail Van Buren, a newspaper columnist.[1]

Full text

The “definitive version,” as published by The Times and The Sunday Times in Frye’s obituary, 5 November 2004:[2]

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

dedicated to my friend, with love. she knows who she is.

The Last Engaging Conversation You Had (Plinky Prompt)

A little gray mouse in crochet with a bell ins...

Image via Wikipedia

  • An Engaging Conversation
  • Laundrymat My brother-in-law, Ron. He’s the younger brother I never had and thus, he’s the only one who can tease me about my advanced age (because he is a year younger.) We don’t talk often but when we do and have the time (like today) we can speak for over an hour easily. We talked about family, friends, trends (I need to fill him in on this stuff) our brilliant ideas that we have come up with together (hint: washing clothes). I ask him questions, he asks me; we delight at comparing stories, movies (the new Woody Allen movie) meals. Before I married my husband, Ron and I were good friends, we ate out, we talked, he always kept an eye on me when my soon-to-be-husband was still living in Maryland. I truly appreciated that back then and I have never forgotten it. More importantly, he helped keep a creepy, pesky gray mouse (and his relatives) out of the apartment that I was living in. I am terrified of mice (“Eek Eek A Mouse”) I still have the image in my mind of Ron, intense and hard-working filling in mouse exits and entrances with steel wool like he was working on a deeply important project. He was, I was hysterical. He has my back, I have his. P.S. I did have an image of a REAL mouse on here but it freaked me out so much I had to change it to the only mouse I will ever like, a fake one and Mickey.
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My Teenagers Are Meanies

The Meaning to Life

Image by Lel4nd via Flickr

Oh sure, we are always supposed to give our thanks for what we have and do gratitude journals and write down five things every day we enjoy. No. I won’t do it today. I’m mad and cranky and I’ve had my fill of just about everybody except my dog (and my husband). My two teenagers, (that speaks volumes in itself) 16 1/2 and 18, have been making fun of me and teasing me non-stop. At least that’s what it feels like. We were sitting around the kitchen table and my daughter told my son something”stupid” I said and my son joined in with another mistake I made and proceeded to “text” dad with something I got mixed up with, Texas, Tennessee, whatever.  What I felt like doing was having a nutty, exploding and screaming things like “Shut up, you ungrateful brats I’ve had enough” but I didn’t; I regret that now.

I feel like “Mommy Rae” and want to stand up on the kitchen table with a sign that says there should be “A Union For All Moms.” I did tell my children that they were taking advantage of me and I was sick and tired of it. I was ready to cry, explode or yell (which would not have been a bad thing) but instead I left the kitchen table abruptly so they could probably make fun of my lack of sense of humor or whatever else they were dissing me for. (note to people who don’t have teens: to diss: to make fun of or put down.) I escaped, stomped up the stairs and stayed in my bedroom and watched a DVR’d version of one of my favorite shows, Top Chef. I did not go down to “make dinner”early because I had my limit of “what do you want, and what do YOU want” since my daughter is a vegetarian and my son thinks good food consists of ring jells and mixed fruit cocktail in jello. I kid you not.

I napped my intense anger away and when my husband came home and I thought that he was the only one on my side and that’s what it felt like. When he gave me a big hug, I didn’t want him to go. To Buffalo. (no offense to those who live in Buffalo) On Sunday. For six weeks. I thought to myself “how am I going to live with these two monster teenagers alone?”  I still don’t have the answer but I am going to lay down the law and tell them to step up and help out. The fact that I have a chronic pain disease does really not seem to affect them, hey, they are feeling good, isn’t everybody? NO, chronic pain means pain ALL THE TIME, I have the amount of energy as a dead tick does. I’m tired, I feel like crap. LISTEN TO ME!

I refuse to pick my daughter up late at night for the next six weeks because I fade at 3pm not to mention 12 midnight. She will have to make plans, get it together. Help out. Think of me. (I scoff). Teenagers, by design, do not think of anyone but themselves. My son will have to man up and help out with things too, he can pick up his sister late at night and take part in whatever is needed for the family. The what? The family, you know, the one that is supposed to be a joint unit, each of us helping each other. (I scoff again).

I’m doing the best I can, that’s what parents do. They try and try and hope that they make the right decision because they only want the best for their children. Do children appreciate that? A resounding NO. I have said the old stand-by to them: “I can’t wait till YOU have teenagers.” Does it make a difference to them? Of course not!!! It just makes me feel a tiny bit better and that is better than nothing.

If I Were a Teacher

Each One Teach One (Oneida album)

Image via Wikipedia

Life 101

 

I have always and I mean always, wanted to teach a course called Life 101. Originally I thought it would be good for college age students but now that I am older, I know it could be taught in any and every grade. Imagine a class where you would not be judged and you felt free enough to ask questions that you think about. Imagine having conversations, free of fear and tension. Questions you didn’t know whom to ask….you don’t need a Ph.d to teach this class, just be a loving soul with good intentions, be sensitive to others and intuitive. Keep an open mind and help students help the world and each other. Life experience required. I am submitting my resume…NOW!

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Tales of the youngest child…..

Lee doing her thing

Image by kodama (home) via Flickr

I have an older sister who is five and a half years older than me but in some ways I feel like an only child. We are nothing alike and since she never wanted to have anything to do with me growing up, there are not a whole lot of memories that we share. I always told my sister that I would never “pick her to be my friend.” That says a lot. It sums up everything in our relationship. When I needed HER she was never there for me, when I got mugged and asked her to walk me home the next day, she wouldn’t. When I was abused and woke her up she told me to go away and let her sleep. When I had surgery my sister had to be prodded and pushed by our parents to help me; they told me that. She flew to my college graduation and left before my name was called to the stage. My parents had driven up to my graduation which, agreed, was a very long drive, she flew and they let her. I was always the one left to mop up her messes, to parent our mother and father, sometimes, to parent her. Even now at age 54 and almost 60, we are not close; I may love her but I do NOT like her. When my father was in the Emergency Room many years ago I begged her to come. She refused. I begged her again, to come there FOR ME and she said “no.” She did not come, she didn’t feel like driving in the dark even though it was only a 30 minute drive from her house. How can one forgive that? I try to help people, and do good deeds for others, she doesn’t. My mother says “she’s good at calling every day” and “she knows the daughter to call if she needs someone.” Trust me, I am not bragging, believe me, this is not a competition, I don’t consider myself “winning.” How could I? If she is forced to help it is only when if it is convenient for her. I don’t like having a sister that I can’t rely on for anything. My best friends fill that role. I trust them, I can rely on them. I probably could rely on Facebook friends that I have never met before I could count on her. When my first-born, my son, was born she told me to leave a message on her answering machine because she didn’t want to wake up for the news. She is totally self-involved and selfish and she has no clue how she comes across to others, she doesn’t even know herself. She once told our ill mother that she wanted to have lunch with me but I couldn’t and continued to tell our mother that she would NOT drive the extra 20 minutes to visit our mother. My mother, in tears, tells me these things but not her. She has always gotten away with a lot, my parents did not want to make any more waves in her tumultuous past, not even a ripple. That was their big mistake and I knew that as a teenager but they did not. My mistake? For sometimes thinking she will come through, having a tiny flicker of hope and always being let down. My husband questions me: “but it is your sister” he says, “you KNOW how she is” and he is right. I do know how she is; I will never be sure of why she is like that but I have to accept it because she will never change. The ONLY good thing that came out of my sister and me is that we each have a boy and a girl and the “cousins” adore each other. This is one good thing, maybe it needed to skip a generation; they have each other.

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