Happy

Mother and three children, oil on wood, 38.5 x...

Our family’s circumstances stay the same, unemployment, unwell but managing,regular stuff, nothing has changed. There’s been no formal job offer or no magnificent leap in good health.

My husband had skin cancer removed from his eye brow that required several layers scraped off until there no cancer cells were detected.Yes, it was another bump in the road. We both handled that in stride, well done!

 

I guess we are so used to the ups and downs of life that they don’t quite startle us as much as they used to, maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that’s the lesson that we are supposed to be learning. If it is, it has taught us well. I know we can handle anything thrown our way, I’m not asking to be tested again and again but we have been tested and we haven’t fallen apart or broken down. We have stuck together, even stronger in our bond. It’s comforting to know.

 

Which means, parenthetically, that on the very (very) rare occasion we hear good, actually GREAT news, it feels FANTASTIC yet very, very new and foreign. A feeling that we both haven’t felt in such a long time that it feels brand new. And, yes, we certainly appreciate it more, now more than ever.

 

So, when our son called me, breathless, to tell me he got into medical school,

 

 

I was at first, speechless. “What?” I said because I wasn’t sure of what he said. He said it again, slowly, my voice rose two octaves ” WHAT?” I squealed and started shrieking, and felt for the first time that all was good with the world and that I now knew what happiness felt like.

 

 

It was brand new and intense and it was a feeling I was not used to. I remember in my mind thinking ‘  so this is happiness’ like bubbles floating inside my head.

But, it was a feeling that you can’t even imagine or dream about because you can’t wrap your head around that feeling and you certainly don’t remember when you felt like that before.

 

When you are a parent, the size of your joy or sorrow doubles when you have kids. If they hurt, you hurt twice as much. But, hearing the joy in their voice, that is better than anything in the world because you are so much happier for yourself because they are happy. I kept reminding myself of this feeling and still do to remember what happiness felt like. It’s so fleeting like a butterfly dancing by you, a wisp of a thing but if you concentrate, really concentrate you will remember, at least part of the feeling.  HIS joy and your own are inseparable. It’s the mommy quotient.

 

Nothing else has changed; it’s all perspective. I’m trying to remember that. Look at your situation in a different way. Express gratitude. Be happy for all the good things in your life, smile as much as you can even if you don’t feel like it. It makes a difference, I know.

 

 

 

Advertisements

I Feel Silence

Across the boundaries of time and space

words hang in the air, stuck, like frosty icicles on trees.


They attach themselves, blinding our vision,

showing our vulnerability.

Snow accumulates with sorrow

Dark skies, no stars, silent birds, no color

Gray is the white.

People are lonely, they are by themselves

bitter cold,

seems never-ending,

feels like the end of time.

Patience, yes, but I have no more.

The snow, the cold, the blustery winds

will come and go,

the icicles will take new forms but they will be there for months on end.

English: The icicles

English: The icicles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Breaking them off with force is not an option, it breaks off all communication where little existed before.

Let them melt, naturally, slowly, let the sun heal their gaping wounds.

We can’t change time nor can we drag it out.

Some things are out of our control.

As hard as it is to accept, do what you have to do to

respect Life.

There will be many sorrows and sometimes,

lovely surprises.

Appreciate every, little, thing.

Learn Patience.

The Apple Tree – (It’s Really Not About The Turkey- Part 2)

English: An apple tree loaded with apples in i...

English: An apple tree loaded with apples in its upper crown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Children leave you, like everyone leaves you; you know it is true. Ultimately that’s our biggest fear and the only one that we can’t deny because we know it’s true. We are born alone and we die alone. Children have been leaving us as soon as they take their first step.  Dying is just the last step, in this world at least, but people and pets have gone ahead of us all our lives. It’s the one thing we cannot control, the one thing that causes us the most pain and grief yet we can’t prevent it nor can we heal it. We can’t make it better for others nor can we help ourselves. For me, the only solution I have found is time and letting my pain out like a bursting dam, writing about it helps but it takes a great amount of time to wrap my head around the fact that I will never see that person again. We all grieve differently. Don’t let anyone tell you how to grieve or that you are not grieving the “right ” way. Time does heal, but you can’t expect to forget. Eventually, the memories become sweet reminders of the past.

My children, who have been home for Thanksgiving, for four days, are excited to leave for their other “home” tomorrow morning at ll:00 a.m. They are going back to their respective colleges.  I was surprised to hear how early they were leaving; I know they have a very long drive but deep down I knew that wasn’t the reason. They were ready to go home to their friends, their college family, their parties. I was not surprised at how much they wanted to go back but I was a little disappointed.  I am glad they are their own people now but deep inside my empty womb I felt a pinch of disappointment, of grief. They have left us for good.

Like a sturdy tree, we have stood as a family for twenty years. Now, the tree that once stood so solidly is dropping its apples and the apples are good, they are tasty, juicy and we as parents are proud.  We have made them but they are not our apples anymore, they do not belong to us. They belong to the world, to the men and women who take them home, who love them. Surely, they will remember us, but we will never be their first priority again. It’s a true fact, one you can’t deny and one parents everywhere have to accept. It’s not easy, I know.

So, yes, it was wonderful to watch them grow and to keep watching them, every step of the way. Deep in our hearts, we know, that it will never be the same as it once was. Never. Sure, they will love us in they hearts but they will no longer need us the same way; our goal was to make them independent, remember? I forget too sometimes. They go out into the world to find their own place, to meet their own loves, to start their own families.

We are alone, like when we were born. We will probably die alone, which I know, is a scary thought. Maybe we will be lucky and someone will be there to hold our hand or to whisper “I love you” in our little, paper-thin, shell-like ear, but no one can promise that. We die as we are born. All the steps along the way are lessons to be learned on separation. Be your own person, as much as you can. Love yourself first before you love others.

Free Write Friday: Kellie Elmore

On the way to Spirit Caves

On the way to Spirit Caves (Photo credit: Dru!)

You wake to find yourself in a strange house and you cannot remember your own name. You roll over and see a letter by the bed.
Is it for you? Who is it from? What does it say? Does it explain where you are and why?

I am sleeping so peacefully in a bed that does not feel like my own, but I turn over, my head on a hard pillow, my long brown hair down my back. I start to stir and I feel a little uneasy but I don’t know why.  This isn’t my bed, as I pull myself up to a seated position I look around, I don’t think this is my room either but when I try to picture my room at home, I can’t. I am very confused, I start asking myself questions: “What did I do last night?” “Who was I with?” “Did I drink?” Nothing comes to mind, I don’t feel like I have a hangover, in fact I feel pretty good but I’m scared. I have no recollection of the past, I gasp when I realizze I don’t even remember my own name.

What? I don’t remember my name. Oh my goodness, I am a stranger in a strange land, wait, wasn’t that the title of a book? It figures that would sound familiar to me; I must have like to read in my past life? My other life? I honestly don’t know. I can’t say I am freaked out totally because deep inside me there’s a feeling of calmness that i have never felt before. I wonder if I am dead. If so, it’s not a bad thing.

I  roll over to my belly, exhausted from both the confusion and the calmness and I see a letter in qn envelope with no one’s name on it, since this place, this house, this farm? wherever I was, seemed so quiet, I opened the letter thinking things couldn’t get weirder than they were already. I had hoped that the letter might give me answers to where I was and most importantly WHO i was. Part of me cared a little bit, but most of me jst  was curious, interested as if one might feel when you are almost finished with a book and want to know how it ended. Not panicked in any way, just simply interesred.

The letter inside said the following:

Dear Guest:

Wecome to our home, we hope you ar e comfortabale here and please stay as long as you wish. No one will be here to bother you, there is food in the kitchen, help yourself. You can leave at ANY TIME. Use your time well, we think that you will understand why yoou are here the longer you stay. We wish for you many blessings and utter peace.

In peace and in love,

Your friends.

She had learned nothing about herself, not her name, where she was, why she ewas here but she wasn’t disappointed. She just had an inner peace ethat she was there for a reason. There was really nothing else she wanted to do, she didn’t want to fight it, to go outside and walk endlessly so she embraced it . She knew, in her soul, that she was sent for a purpose and she would learn the lessons she was supposed to learn on her own and in her own time.

*Free writing, no editing, no corrections (that’s hard) but I did it.

Plinky: If You Could Delete A Memory, Would You?

  • Memory Erasure
  • Try And Delete Pain, You Can’t
    8560 – St Petersburg – Apartment If I could delete a memory from my past and all the pain that the memory caused, I would. However, I can’t change my history so even if I could erase the specific memory (sitting on the dirty steps of our old apartment building, sobbing in my nightgown, clutching two handkerchiefs, waiting for my older sister to come home one Christmas morning) I’m not sure it would do much good. There are bad times, bad memories and pain. Sometimes, there is not even a lesson to learn, not a single one. Many of us have had very bad experiences in our past, that leaves a trail of pain that follows you for years, or a lifetime. You can’t change what happened, all you can do is learn from other people’s mistakes. My sister and I were a team back then, united, against our parents, the enemies.

Plinky Prompt: Do You Believe In Fate?

  • Fate
  • Life Is A Series Of Little Steps
    Staircase Do I believe in fate? Absolutely. There are no coincidences in Life, things happen for a reason. You need to keep your mind, heart and soul open and learn from every experience, good and bad. Learn the lesson you needed to learn, at least try. Move on and grow. Life is a series of little steps, just master one little step at a time, all you can do is try. Keep on trying and don’t give up. Start at your own beginning.

Who We Are, Now

260/365 Days: Who are we in this complicated w...

When I was in my early twenties I had a very painful tonsillectomy. As soon as I was in the hospital I had to change into the soft, faded blue and white hospital gown. I had my plastic ID bracelet branded to my wrist and I became another person. I felt it as soon as I sat in the patients’ lounge; I was no longer the same person, I was a patient. We were in a special club, wishing each other luck, asking each other what surgery we were having, social rules had changed dramatically. There were no expectations here and our uniform bonded us together, the rules had all been changed and we intuitively knew that.

I hadn’t remembered that strong feeling of changed identity until recently, when our house was deemed unlivable due to prior and present damage and destruction. Two days before we supposed to move to a motel, my husband broke his Achilles tendon, We waited hours in the ER and he needs surgery, very soon. He has been on crutches in the motel for the last five nights.

We are living in one room in a neighboring town’s motel. Two parents, our seventeen year old daughter and our nine-year old dog. It’s tight and airless, the windows don’t open. Our clothes, shoes, food and drinks  all over the room.  We look through big, black garbage bags with holes to find things; there is no organization just disarray. Right after that, Hurricane Irene came blustering through, roads are closed, electric wires are down, basements are flooded and fallen trees block the roads. I take our dog on many mini walks outside to see a different scenery than the pulled curtains of our small beige and brown room.

I am not the same person I was. I find myself wearing one or two tee-shirts with sweats, I brushed my hair once or twice in five days. I wear it in a very loose and messy ponytail and I don’t care what I look like. I lack affect. I can barely remember to brush my teeth. I am in another world. I walk differently, talk differently; I am quick to feel anger and frustration and unfortunately, it shows on my face. I am not charming,  I feel happy about nothing, I don’t chat on the phone unless I absolutely have to.

As a chronic patient myself I find it physically and emotionally draining.  I have been working through my pain, I have no choice. There is no one who can help me.  I am trying to hold my family together whose inner souls have invisible cracks; at least the cracks in our house are visible.

When we went back to our house yesterday for ten minutes to pick up more clothing I felt detached and distant. This was not my cozy nurturing home anymore this was a house that had betrayed me.  Tomorrow we check out of one motel and into another, with empty hours in-between. Tomorrow might be my husband’s surgery, we won’t know for sure until the morning. Sleep gives us all pleasure, it’s the passing of time to ease the pain.

ICD Jewelery Store – Meant To Be

This is a true story about how things sometimes work out the way they should. Oprah used to talk about that a lot.  Synchronicity, things happening because they are “meant to be.” Yesterday, I wrote a blog called “Saying Goodbye To Oprah” today I experienced what she has always talked about.

1) I had a new Doctor’s appointment and when I asked the new Doctor if she was ever in touch with the Doctor who had retired she said “in fact, I’m seeing him tonight.”  I asked her to please tell him about an article I wrote about the loss of my dear friend “Loving Dawn” that was published in a local magazine. She said she would but as I was about to leave I remembered I had copies in my trunk that I had just picked up from the editor the day before. I ran down and got the magazine, happy to show them.  No coincidence there.

2) I stopped by the florist to order my son’s girlfriend’s corsage, continued on to the library and decided to go to a shoe store.

3) I parked my car, (having no sense of direction whatsoever) where I thought the shoe store was. I couldn’t find it. It turned out that I parked in front of a store called ICD Jewelery. When I saw the name I remembered my son saying that he bought his girlfriend’s birthday present there. The door was held open and I decided to walk in and browse. In the past I had always assumed that it was just high-end stuff but it isn’t. It’s a wonderful combination of completely affordable jewelery AND beautiful expensive, sparkling pieces.

4) I  looked around keeping my daughter’s upcoming 17th birthday in mind, I even saw the lovely bracelet my son had bought. There were beautiful pieces in EVERY price range. After chatting with a nice woman named Sarah I softly said:  ” You are doing this store a disservice, you really should advertise more.” She smiled and said “can I repeat that?” I said “I guess so.” She called the owner over, an absolutely stunning and  beautiful woman (she should be a model) named Varda Singer and asked me to repeat my comment. I did, I asked where they advertised because I had no idea that this store sold things in all price ranges. I am the type of person that should live with focus groups. I try every new product, I can predict if something will work or not, I know “star” quality before others. If I really liked this store my friends would too. If I didn’t know about this store they probably didn’t either.

5) The owner, Varda, said “she pays so much in advertising in publications it’s sometimes not worth it.”  After talking with her about the jewelery, both high-end and inexpensive, she fell silent. She looked at me, took a gorgeous pink beaded bracelet off the display, handed it to me and said, “word of mouth: this is how I like to get people to the store.” Before I knew it she took the price tag off and presented the bracelet to me as a present.”If people like it and ask where you got it, you tell them.”  No one had ever given me a present like that and I was shocked.  I said “No, no, no, no… ” but she insisted and put it on my arm.

6) All she knew was that I was a mom window shopping for her daughter. She had no idea I wrote a blog.  We laughed and talked some more and out of the blue she threw in a Hebrew word that I recognized immediately.  The word “Beshert” it’s meaning:  “meant to be” or “destiny.”

7) I told them I wanted to blog about this experience (I am not a paid employee nor am I a sponsor or a PR agent and I am not getting any kind of kickback!)  I asked Varda if we could tie this special day in with my blog. If people read this blog and wanted to go to the store, perhaps they could get a $5 dollar discount? She thought about it, shook her head and said with a smile said:”please tell people that if they just drop by the store and mention your blog, they will get a free “bracelet” too.”

I will REPEAT THAT: Mention that you read this blog and get a free bracelet. Stop by there, look around, you won’t be disappointed.  They are located in the town of Chappaqua, NY, 75 South Greeley Avenue. You can reach them at 914-238-3646 or at ICDJLTD@aol.com. or visit:  http://www.icdjewelry.com/

Thank you again, Varda, for my pink bracelet.

My free gift from ICD Jewelery in Chappaqua, NY

Saying Good-Bye To Oprah

Signature of American television personality, ...

Image via Wikipedia

I loved the peachy-pink dress you wore on the last show, Oprah. I didn’t think this last show would be your own last lecture, a love letter, a synopsis from you to your adoring fans but in retrospect, it was what you were all about. Teaching. I admit I wanted to be able to cry, with you, for you and for me and the rest of the world but you saved that, and rightly so, for the last ten minutes.  Your walk from the stage out was like watching a play, with emotion, but not with regret. How wonderful to be you.

I imagined I would get to see an emotional Oprah, one that showed your vulnerability, any slight doubt you had, any separation anxiety. But, I, was the one with the separation anxiety and loss, not you. I was the one who needed an emotional good-bye, you didn’t. Truly amazing. For the last twenty-five years I have grown up with The Oprah Winfrey Show. Today, even though I tape the shows I had to see it live.  “I have to watch Oprah from 4-5pm today” I told my children. They understood and at 16 and 18, they have their own favorite shows, their loyal friends, their own lessons to learn, their own truth to find. We will have to teach them what we learned from you.

Oprah, you have been a friend to me and to people all around the world. “Your life is speaking to you, what is it saying…?” For me, it is saying that I will miss you, that I have learned so much from you, that 4-5pm will feel empty without you. You told us that “when it was the right time to leave, there was no regret, not bittersweet, just sweet.”  I know I couldn’t be like that. Sometimes, I second guess myself but I know how to listen to my gut, to my feelings, to search inside my soul. I always knew that but you validated my feelings; you cheered me on as a woman and especially as a parent, as a stay at home mother.

Oprah is a teacher, an educator, a spiritual and religious woman, that was very clear today.  You were on our own, to thank us, the audience, for making you feel special and loved and validated.  “We too can find our own passion, in whatever way we choose. We can help people, be kind to one another and stave off bad karma by putting forward only good karma.” Yes, we have heard it before but it was good to hear it one last time. To remind us all of what is important, to be kind and give to others.

We will spread the love, we will spread the joy and the passion. You were the love of our lives too, Oprah, as we were yours. After 25 years, I have to say good-bye to a friend who has been on television all of my adult life. I grew up with you and I have learned a lot of lessons from you. I feel sorry for this new generation because they will not have you in their lives to teach them. We will just have to pass down what we have learned from you; as you see, you will be in our hearts forever.

I will say good-bye, because I have to. Thank you for all that you have done for this world. I will truly miss you.