Bloody mud piles, play
dig your mean gut, soul, under
Won’t cry over you.
Bloody mud piles, play
dig your mean gut, soul, under
Won’t cry over you.
The rain is dripping from the sky but the sound it makes, splashing across the window, is comforting. Talking (no texting) with my son makes me smile. My husband is doing day labor work for a friend, today he is a Plumber’s Assistant and he is proud. I am proud as well.
Yesterday I talked to my mother; when my mother feels scared she gets very nasty, especially to me. Why I am her whipping post I’m not sure, but I have to deal with it better than I do. It takes me 12 hours for me to get it right and she never remembers what she says. I should know that by now but while it happens I seem to forget it and regress.
My son is about to meet with the President of his University to go over the recommendation letter that the President is eager to write for him for Graduate School. My son is a rare combination of brains and sweetness.
My daughter is beautiful and brilliant, I had not viewed her as an adult until we visited her last week. She will always be my baby in my heart but seeing her in her suite with her friends made me look at her like an accomplished savvy adult. “My baby” is all grown up. I was always known as “the little one.”I would give up anything if only I could hear my father say it one more time, with just one more hug. I miss him.
When I picked up my dog, Lexi, she ignored me. She would not look at me and hesitantly jumped in the car, not with the same excitement as usual. She did not give me kisses. Once inside the house, she sauntered over to her water bowl and drank it all up, not giving me so much as a glance. After a while, I went upstairs to lie on my bed where she always keeps me company; she hid under the bed. I just gave her space. I understand getting used to changes, I’m the same way.
In a couple of hours she warmed up and forgave me for leaving her at her favorite sitter’s house while we were away. She jumped on the bed, circled around until she found just the right spot, her body touching mine and fell soundly asleep. It was a very deep sleep, she sighed with relief, I felt her body relax, she was home, we were safe, then she gave me kisses.
You were a nasty, wild, hurtful puppy, weren’t you? Don’t look so sad, you didn’t know better. I know you are sorry. You were just an oral devil dog, digging those demon sharp puppy teeth into our arms and legs and clamping down. We probably tasted better than all the chew toys we bought you. Our welts gave you texture, right? Grandma kept telling us to “give you back” every single day but I couldn’t do that. Many trainers tried but they all said “You’ve got a really willful puppy there but if/when she grows out of it you’ll have a really great dog.”And, sweet girl that is who you have become.(Thank God)
At about eighteen months, from one day to the next while we were busy doing other things you became a dog, an amazing dog. One that cuddles and protects us, hugs us and plays with us. You are the dog we always wanted, we just needed to give you and ourselves a little more time.
It taught us all about being more patient, didn’t it?
Right now you are sleeping with your head on my knee, nuzzling, a part of you always has to be directly on me. You know each member of the family so well. With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain I do spend a lot of time in bed and that’s where you come, leaping on the bed, to be with me, happily. When “Dad” is around you get the leash, go to the front door, and start whimpering. You get instantly wild when your brother comes to visit, but we know he provokes you. He allows you to be wild, we don’t. Yes, I know, YOU are WAY cool when you rough house together.
Oh, but when your sister comes home from college you hear her parking her car and you run to the front door and start crying until she comes in. Yes, our daughter, your sister, will kneel down to your level and you hug each other while you cover her with kisses. That picture of the two of you on the ground stays in my heart forever.
Today, October 2nd 2013, Danny and I will have been married for twenty-five years. Wow. I can hardly believe it myself. He truly is the best friend I have in the world and the love of my life. There is no one I’d rather be with than him. The thought of not being with him in the future makes me weep. I know it won’t be anyone’s fault but you know me, I worry in advance.
There’s something about being able to trust someone completely without embarrassment that is so intimate. It’s like branches of a tree, the trunk is the center, solid and strong, branches, different personality traits that co-mingle over time. We look at each other sometimes and say “Who ARE you?” and we laugh because we, somewhere along the way have become each other. He makes me feel safe, I feel better with him, together.
Of course, there are our beautiful “children” who by now are adults which is more shocking than most things. We feel so blessed with two amazing adult children, Tim and Jillian. These magnificent kids are our life’s work, to me they are what I have wanted my entire life. If have contributed nothing else in this world, I am proud, overjoyed to bring two wonderful, smart and kind people to this world. The purpose of my life was to be their mother and I’m so proud of both of them.
Dan and I usually agree on most things, especially on child-rearing. We were always pretty strict, European raised, that’s how we brought up our children, with manners. We did a great job with our kids, and we did it together. We stuck together on issues and we tried not to let the kids play games with us. It worked (mostly.)
Dan is the one true love of my life, he is warm and genuine and a deeply caring person. I like him very much (personal joke.) I can definitely say I am happier now than I was when I was younger.
Sweetheart, thank you for the best 25 years of my life. I love you with my heart and soul. Truthfully, I love you more than that and then some. Happy Anniversary to my most favorite person in the world. All my love, Me.
Photo credit noted above, Amber Karnes.
Breathing room, space, life
needed, like air to survive
Compression is bad.
The safety of arms
Folded across my body
To sink in sadness.
Kisses on my eyes
butterfly softness, wispy
A prayer of love.
Many moons ago
They told me that I probably would never conceive babies.
I was lost inside myself with pain and grief, tears dripped down me like a steady rainfall.
I suffered emotionally and physically, drugs, blood drawn, nightly injections plunged
in to my thigh from my husband.
The pain took over me, possessed me with the sole, solitary routine of sadness and grief.
They told me I couldn’t have babies, that I was barren.
I listened to them every bright sunny day until every dark dismal night for two and a half years.
Those stupid fool nurses and doctors who clucked their heads at my chances were wrong.
When I got pregnant it was the happiest time in my life, I burst with blossoms.
I loved being a glowing pregnant woman sharing a secret with her unborn child
my hand rubbing my tummy lightly in soft circles.
My children were born twenty-one months apart, now 17 and almost 19.
I gave birth to each of them, a blessing, a gift, two presents from G-d.
The years pass too quickly, like a frenzied movie at the wrong speed.
I miss the emotional softness from young children
kisses soft as goose down, sloppy hugs, wet kisses and shiny faces like lit pumpkins.
My son is leaving for college in three weeks
I realized this pain is very familiar, it is the feeling of loss.
It hurts but I am older now however,
the past, as I know it, is gone forever.
Time moves at a rapid pace robbing us of memories.
They are leaving me, and not turning back to wave good-bye,
I know that they will return but it is a new stage, a turned chapter, a new course.
It is a big change and one that we all may love but tonight, in this instant,
I feel barren, all over again.
Dear Callie Dog,
A human neighbor saw you the day before yesterday and she commented that you looked “old.” I was offended on your behalf and hurt and I tried not to show it but inside I was sad and angry and yes, scared. Human people don’t go up to other people and say “you really look old.” I know they wouldn’t do that so why on earth did she have to say it about you? Don’t worry sweet dog, sometimes humans have no manners.
If you can no longer jump on the bed, I will carry you. I will hold you in my arms so that you feel safe and talk to you in sweet, soothing whispers. My voice would stay calm and high so that you would know that things are fine. I don’t want, for a minute, for you to feel afraid. I love you more now than I did when I brought you home from the animal shelter at six weeks. We’ve gone through a lot together.
I now see the wisdom in your eyes, those wide brown eyes, contrasting your snowy white chin and whiskers. You look beautiful to me. You may not be able to jump as high as you used to when you were younger but you still jump and most importantly, you still enjoy it. I know you are waiting for the winter, for the snow to fall, so you can play in it. Sometimes we call you “snow dog” because you love the snow so much. Dad will play his game of shoveling the snow with his snow shovel and he will throw it high up in the air and you will bark, as clear as the sound of laughter, when you jump right into the snow. By the way, I hope you know that Dad has as much fun with this game as you do, maybe even more. I know I hate the snow and I’m sorry I don’t go out as much in it but the best part of having snow, to me, is watching your joy. When you have to leave me, please know, that every time it snows, I will picture you in it. I will still hear your delight as you jumped and bounced and tumbled in the white stuff you loved so much. Whenever it snows, I will think of you.
We have both grown up this year haven’t we? Change is happening all around us and we are learning to cope with it and deal with it and most of all accept it. We’ve gotten so much better, you and I. Last time we went in the car together you were scared but that’s okay. I get scared of things too, but we make ourselves do new things even if we feel nervous at first. Remember by the end of the car ride how you stuck your head out the window, looked outside, showed everyone your happy face and your wagging tongue? It was lovely to see.
I will love you forever, Callie, my first dog. Though I don’t want this to happen for a long time, you should know that if you are ever in pain, and I see it in your eyes, I will not let you suffer. One thing I know, I will look into your brown pudding eyes and you will look back into my green eyes and we will talk wordlessly and understand each other as we always do. Any decisions we need to make, we will make together, the two of us. You can crawl into my lap, just like you did the first time we met, and I will hold you tight and not let go until I have to.
For now, while you lay beside me, sleeping, just know I will always comfort you. Whether it is thundering and lightening or hailing outside like it did last night, I will always protect you. Last night, I wrapped my arms around your silken body and I held you and stroked you and talked to you so that you would stop shaking so severely.What I want to say now is simple; thank you for your love and loyalty and kindness. For kissing my tears away, licking my face and sharing blueberries with me. I enjoy our “cookie game” as much as you do. I take a vanilla cookie and hold half of it outside my lips, you take it out of my mouth and we share it. I will try hard, when you are no longer with us, to fight to remember the good times and not just cry at my loss. I will try Cal, I really will; all I can do is to promise to try.
*Dedicated to Rosemary’s dog, Mr. H. Rest In Peace.
UPDATE: CALLIE died six months later from cancer.