A Perfect Fit (By MSC)

hold my hand

hold my hand (Photo credit: Adam Foster | Codefor)

1)

Had there ever been a time when there was so much debris and clutter you couldn’t face it anymore? He swept it away violently from the table and left nothing, just some fractured blue glass, a bottle of ketchup and some wooden napkin holders. He insisted he was not a violent man.

“Clearing the chambers of my mind,” he called it.

He looked over his right shoulder and saw madness eclipsed in a minute: a bright plastic orange bowl holding half-eaten yellow sucking candy, an empty bottle of diet Snapple tea lying on its side, their garish red toothpaste stuck in their cracked sink, without its cap, like cement.

Books in uneven stacks that she had no interest in reading.

She refused to look at them, refused to try to see if she liked them, he bought each one of them for her, knowing she used to love to read.

Before.

It was maddening.

Her fear grew, you could smell it, raunchy, like a nasty bacterial bug spreading to all four corners of the room.

I watched her from the bed and saw her stomach clenched with tension, twinges of limbs of trees gnawing as if they grew inside her and were struggling to get out.

“Yes,” I said, to her two best friends, “” I am the infamous Jeffrey”.

 

“Do you think she settle down on her own or will she need the help of those pills?” the one with the blonde hair, Katie, asked?

One, of the hundreds and hundreds of pills, she keeps in the fake wooden drawers.

I knew better not to answer. I just shrugged my shoulders.

 

This was her life now with Jeffrey.

It had been this way now for three years.

Waiting, with him, at home, with no structure, wanting change, fearing it.

She was terrified with no reason because of no reason.

She loved him, she hated him just as much.

A double life sword. Get it?

 

It used to be very different. I used to be very different, she would say in her mind.

I was braver but also weaker, yin and yang.

But our hands still fit, perfectly, she thought. That’s gotta mean something…

The psychiatrist nods her mop of red hair knowingly but she doesn’t look convinced.

I don’t have happy memories anymore or bad ones she said. I don’t play that game anymore.

It is becoming increasingly painful.

Do I need out or in?

I’ve been in so long that it’s like being at home.

I know that when I go out, I can see the speckled orange and red leaves in the waving branches beckoning me closer.

Still, I hesitate.

Why? Physically,  emotionally? Both?

It’s hard sometimes to separate.

……….

 

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Kellie Elmore, FWF

Growing Old Together

Growing Old Together (Photo credit: Jan Tik)Comfort, Same Background,  Excellent Manners. Beautiful hands. How he showed Love to his  grandmother. Sweet. Helpful. Consoling. “Don’t Worry Baby.”

Old Friends. The first tickle of interest was when his family invited mine to their house one Thanksgiving.  I must have already liked him deep down inside, because it was very cold outside and all I wanted to do was watch him fix up his old car. I hate old cars. I wanted to be near him, talk to him, effortlessly, like a jigsaw puzzle finding it’s partner without playing the game.

He drove my parents and me a long way to the railroad station which was far out of his way but he didn’t mind, really. I knew it was genuine.That was the person I fell in love with. He turned on the radio and we sang Beach Boys songs out loud together. I thought his voice was wonderful even though he apologized for his off-key singing.”Don’t Worry Baby” described our relationship, only he could comfort me.

He was on his way to Australia and New Zealand and the thrill of getting an unexpected postcard from him was the best surprise of my life. I felt hot, then cold, electrified, dizzy. I couldn’t sit still, I certainly couldn’t sleep or eat. I called my friend for her to come analyze the handwriting, the words. Did it say “Best, Warm Regards Love?”

After another postcard I deemed less warm, I decided he had met a woman, named Patty  size 2 with long glossy red hair curling down her back, the athletic, hiking kind of woman. I could barely walk straight on the sidewalk without breaking my ankle. It was over, I knew it. Patty stole him away from me, bitch.

Some weeks later I was sitting in my bedroom when the phone rang. He introduced himself again, asked if I remembered him. My voice must have risen three octaves. I still remember that feeling, ecstasy. My cheeks were burning red and bright, I couldn’t sit down.  My body felt like an internal fireplace, green eyes dancing.

I felt like I was sparkling. Like little silver shots of electricity coming from everywhere on my body shooting high into the sky like firecrackers without the noise, yes, I was sparkling.

He lived in Maryland but had plans to visit his brother in a few weeks in Boston and while he was there, would I like to go out? “Yes, I would”  my voice raising three octaves higher in just one sentence.

He picked me up at my apartment with a present. A present? From Australia, a wood cutting board for cheese. I had always been the one to buy boyfriends presents, never the other way around. I felt a certain part of ice, soften and detach from my body. We went to a Museum, where all I did was delight in holding his hand.

He took me to Bertucci’s where we had pizza and salad. I offered to pay half when we were finished. “Absolutely not” this young man said. I melted, a young man with European manners. I was in love, at long last, for the first time. He was the only person, I realized that I never wanted “my space” I never tired of being with him.

We’ve been married twenty-five years and still I think his voice is lovely, clear and in tune. I love it when he sings or when he whistles. We have had our bad times and our good but we have worked through them all, we have fought and made-up and worked and sometimes pouted and screamed our way through our commitment but we did not give up. We never gave up.

We have two children, now grown up, we are a family. Do we fight? Absolutely. Do my feelings get hurt? Sure? Is my husband romantic? No. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word. Are we everything to each other? Not possible, but more than enough. You age, you compromise, love is not a sweeping, quick ecstatic moment. It’s the comfort of silence, knowing what the other person will say at the same time. It’s trust, knowing someone in the world loves you no matter what. It’s friendship too.

At night, while we watch television together, him on his side, me on mine, we eat bowls of ice cream in bed, vanilla for me and chocolate for him, with whipped cream, mine with rainbow-colored sprinkled. I can feel before I see, him shaking his head.

Love is not one romantic date, it’s a series of little things, moments, based on seconds of time that go by so quickly. You close your eyes and look back, and dream of the days in the past when you were younger. Don’t ever take things for granted. That is the first thing you need to learn, appreciate what you have while you have it and yes, there will be sadness ahead but there will also be great happiness too. Different forms of happiness.

My only wish now? Is to be able to grow old with him.

Photo credit: Jan TIkEnhanced by Zemanta

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

It Matters (Carry On Tuesday – After All, Tomorrow Is Another Day)

Shandi-lee X {pieces I}

Image by Shandi-lee via Flickr

After three days of cold, grim weather and not wanting to get out of the comfort of my bed, today I saw the first suggestion of sunshine, still hidden behind the trees. It was a hint, a mere lighting of the sky but it gave me hope. I stood by the window unclothed until I saw lines from the white venetian blinds stripe my body as if I was a lioness; I threw back my head and laughed with delight. I marched straight for the shower, feeling empowered just by the light of day, not held captive anymore by the banal, grey, humorless me.

I dressed quickly, as if I had a purpose, and rounded my dog up, leashed her and took her outside for a walk. “Come, girl,” I said, “I know, it’s a surprise for me too.” She chose the route and I breathed in deeply for that first attack of the fresh, cold, crisp air, like the first bite of a fall Macintosh apple. We passed a tree that had small, round inedible, red berries on it and I stood there for a few moments looking at them through different angles of my cold hands through the frail winter branches against an intensely rich blue sky.

I thought of what I had been through the last year and the first thought that entered my mind was that “it matters.” People don’t truly understand that when you promise something, and you give people your word, they believe you. They may never bring it up to you again,  but, they do remember. It’s not some hazy questionable memory either, it’s with alarming clarity. “You must come for dinner” people told us when we had no place to live but a single hotel room, “I will call you this week” they said soothingly as I sobbed on the phone, feeling utterly helpless, my husband just having had surgery, believing them.  They never called, they never came through on their empty promises or the promises they made at the time, apparently off the cuff. Next time, busy people, try to think it through because for people who feel homeless or displaced, we cling to the thought of an offer of a home-cooked meal, an offer from your heart when we feel we have nothing left.

“We’ll miss you, we love you” said the young replacement friends in the temporary home and of course, I am too gullible. I am too sensitive and too thoughtful and I take things too seriously. I believe people and even at my old age, I still have not learned that most people, the majority of people say things that they do not mean. Even one of my best friends knew I was in trouble and yet she did what most people would do and pushed me off into a corner until she had more time on her hands. I know my standards are high, too high, but I could not do that and sleep well at night; actually I could not sleep at all. Even when I was crying out for help albeit weakly, people acknowledged it and said “after all, tomorrow is another day” and turned their heads away.

Be careful of your words, be careful of your intentions, be kind to one another. Don’t offer things unless it is with a true heart  especially if they are vulnerable and lost unless you KNOW you can carry through. We have all felt lonely and sad and desperate one time or another. Remember that feeling when you see someone suffering like a child gripping her mother’s hand in fear. Remember too, that it could be you someday, that it could be you.

Haiku Heights – Friendship

holding hands - age 10, and age 8

Image via Wikipedia

My friend says thank you

She hates to be photographed

She allowed me one

*************************************************************

Sad to lose a friend

A piece of myself leaves too

Change is hard for all

*************************************************************

Finding my way back

To childhood friendships, the core

Emotional bond

*************************************************************

What does being a friend mean

It’s doing things, not talking

Holding hands at dusk

************************************************************

To Have Loved and Lost

I wanna hold your hand

Image by Josep Ma. Rosell via Flickr

Is There Any Question?

 
YES, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I remember asking my mother the same type of question when I was a teenager as we were walking from the hot, steamy parking lot to the beach’s entrance. I was 14 and I will never forget her answer. I asked “but what if something bad happens to the person you love?” She replied calmly: “You can’t be scared of everything. Some bad things will happen, but you have to take the chance. You don’t want to be alone forever.” She was right. Years later I went on to date my then boyfriend, now husband of 22 years. We have many wonderful memories together, we have two teenage children that we adore. I live in fear that something will happen to him or the children, the same fear that I feel for all the people I love. I worry, too, about my darling 8 and a half-year old dog.

There will be pain in our lives, devastation, loss. It comes with the territory. My father died almost 9 years ago. Do I miss him? Yes. Have I forgotten him? No. Is it still painful? Definitely. What I try to do now is focus on the good times we shared and the amazing love we had for each other. It takes time for pain to dissipate and really, it never goes away completely. As we all know, life is not safe. We all need to be grateful and appreciate what we have, every day, every moment if possible. Health is the most important thing we have, not money or fame or status. Love. True, unconditional love. It can be scary, it does mean you are taking a chance, it also means you need to trust. Sometimes, you just have to shut your eyes tight, take a chance, hold on tight to your loved one’s hands and jump.

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