Carry on Tuesday: Once Upon A Time

Out of fog Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge a...

Out of fog Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco in fog and crepuscular rays. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a time once, not so long ago, when I was chubby, fat, or just pleasantly plump. In Italy I would have been a goddess. Men would have followed me down the cobble stoned streets, whistling and begging to touch my beautiful breasts and my bountiful behind. Unfortunately, I wasn’t living in Italy, I was here in the United States, where all I really wanted was to be slender. I thought if I was thin, all my problems would dissipate like the mysterious fog in San Francisco. I imagined the fog lifting while I watched, wearing a heavy knit red sweater and sitting peacefully on a huge rock.

A couple of months ago I was very sick, (on top of my chronic illnesses” Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, IBS) I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t leave my house or the bathroom for an entire four weeks. I was pale, gaunt and looked ill. People on the street would ask me guardedly “If I was okay?” Part of me, if I had a sense of humor back then wanted to say “Of course, I’m in the middle-aged super model competition” but I had no sense of humor at the time. The other part of me was scared to speak so I just said “I’m fine” which people accept with relief and don’t follow-up with questions.

All my life there was always something about me that I wanted to change and after I changed it, I thought I would be happy: my weight, my hair, my glasses, wearing make-up, dressing better, nice shoes, tinting my hair to cover the tiny amount of gray that swirled in front of my face. The gray hair that I had been so proud to have, to acknowledge my real place in the world, as someone who had already experienced a great deal of life and had earned them with pride.

Having been married for 24 years with two young adults doing well in college was proof enough and even though I did go through a time feeling sorry for myself that the kids ” didn’t need me anymore” I realized my husband and I had done a very good job of parenting. I admit, I needed to remind myself that loving and needing were two very different things, they would love me as their mom but their lives and our lives would be constantly changing. Yes, sometimes it changes so quickly it was hard to keep up, that’s when I found myself alone, crying into an old, soft, handkerchief and feeling sorry for myself. I learned to accept that too. You have no choice.

Six weeks ago I went from eating and being lively to not eating and not feeling well, I lost over 30 pounds and before you coo and ooh and ahhh and wish it was you I can tell you, you better take that back. I did not enjoy clothes falling from my body, or food flowing through me, and not being able to go outside of my house for four weeks. The doctor scheduled me for every “cancer” test known to humanity and that was not fun. The doctor, not known for his bedside matter, actually told me WHAT he was testing for when we first met him in his office. Thanks, Doc, nice touch.

I will be getting the results later this week, I’m hoping that everything will be fine, I’m ( fairly) certain that they will be. The symptoms stopped a few days after my office visit and while I haven’t gained a lot of weight back, I do get hungry and I feel better. My newest ( little ) problem is this: I went to shop for new jeans and found that there are no jeans for women of my age. They have skinny jeans, under the waist jeans and jeans for teenagers with lithe bodies. Basically, the clothes that I have are four sizes too big for me and the style out there now are for teenagers only. I have nothing to wear, I miss my “Mom jeans.” It is impossible to find them, anywhere. Suggestions?

All that I have accomplished in this quest are the lack of clothes to wear and the acquisition of numerous wrinkles. I sat outside in the sun for a few moments, noticing all the wrinkles on my knees and thighs that were not there before. As I sat, warming my face, was I thinking about the good things in my life in a delighted way? No. I was thinking about the barium test (drinking chalk) that I have to drink tomorrow morning at eight am and where to aim my projectile vomiting. That, at least, is amusing me.

Be happy with what you have and who you are. As my dad used to say “Health is the most important thing.”  It’s the only thing, be grateful.

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My Voice Returns Softly

Cherub

Cherub (Photo credit: Mr Mo-Fo)

I haven’t been able to write a cohesive sentence since the viscous killings in Newtown, Ct. I’ve started more than a dozen pieces but they have all been left, to age, in my computer like a piece of green, moldy cheese. I felt like my soul had been snuffed out, like a lit candle, and until today I could not put those sentiments in words. It was too devastating. While I think of those babies, young, innocent children every day, I’ve been forced to realize that life, does indeed, go on.

There is something about young, innocent children that tears apart the hearts of every mother and father in ways that are indescribable to others. As a mother of two, now grown children, it is the worst thing you can possibly think of and more. I over identified and was consumed with the sadness that those families are going through. The thought of God having more angels didn’t comfort me at all. The unfairness and the brutality shattered me internally. Many others have written about how they feel about the incident but unless you are a parent, there is no comparison. It’s something you can’t possibly understand and there’s NO judgement, it just comes from a very different viewpoint. It’s almost like saying that someone who has a cold and feels sick is just like a cancer patient, because, they both are sick, that may make NO sense and that is the point.

I decided this morning that my life has to go on and all those other posts can stay in my computer for as long as they want or at some point maybe I will finish them. But, I needed to tell you why I’ve been silent for so long. Yes, a week, to me, is a long time. For those who know me, I’m sure they can guess the timing given my sensitivity. This silenced me like nothing else could. Part of me wanted to jump into my car and drive to Newtown to offer my condolences to anyone there but I don’t think they want tourists now to gather and gawk. My prayers, love and healing thoughts have already been sent from my heart. I know I will go there, perhaps in the Spring, and pay my respects.

I need to move on and to find the joy in life, the funny times but in the past few weeks I’ve also been physically sick either from a Fibromyalgia Flare up (Fibro Flare-Up,)  IBS, stomach bug or a combination thereof. This started way before the Newtown incident and hasn’t resolved itself yet. Eventually I will drag myself to the replacement doctor (who you know is filling in for your own doctor, who is sunning herself in St. Martin with her family) but that can wait until after the Holidays. I feel fine. I’ve lost weight and some of my appetite but I can handle that. My jeans never looked better on me.

It is time to look ahead. I want to laugh, appreciate my family that is here nestled under our roof. It’s great to have the kids back home for college break, I love the noise and liveliness that they bring. It’s time for all of us to look forward to 2013 which I sincerely hope, will be brighter than 2012.