The Soul Twin

English: aima n baby boy

English: aima n baby boy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My son, please sit down,  I need to tell you something. Nothing is wrong, dear, please do not worry. It is something that happened before you were born, I have carried it in my heart, my secret heart for many years. I am old now but I wish for you to know something of our past.

You know your father and I tried for over two and a half years to get pregnant. I was so sad thinking I could never have a baby. Yes, I went to a big city and had all kinds of tests and shots and drugs and procedures but I would have done anything to have you and I knew someday I would. Now, you, Dad and your sister are atheists but I am certainly not. One night I had a dream and God looked down at me from Heaven and He said, “It will take a little more time but you will have a baby and it will be a boy.” God’s message to me was all I needed to keep going and I believed in  this completely. I still, as you know, do.

Months later I got the call. Two nurses were on the phone telling me I was pregnant. There was not a happier person in this world. I remember I closed the door, dropped to my knees, said a prayer of thanks and sobbed with joy. I was in a daze the rest of the afternoon. Immediately my hand cupped my tiny belly like a fluttering butterfly. I told your father in person and he was in shock; I had to repeat the joyous news three times before it sunk in.

Three weeks later, and still I had told no one about my pregnancy except our families. After two and a half years of trying to get pregnant we wanted to wait three months, in our culture that is what we did. One day, I went to the bathroom and as I pulled down my underwear I saw spotting. I was very calm, I called the doctor’s office and they told me to come in immediately.

I got in my car as if I was in a dream, “be brave and strong, be brave and strong” I whispered to you as I headed to the clinic. By the time I got there they rushed me into the ultra sound room but this time there was a lot of blood in my underwear.  I remember saying calmly “this does not look good.” I was still in the room and then the senior nurse spoke up and said  “Wait, look right here, it’s a heartbeat, your baby is fine.” I was so relieved, so happy to see your little heart beating that I thought of nothing else. You were alright, safe inside of me. After a few minutes I asked what happened? They told me that my hormone levels had been very high so that could have been an indication of a twin or perhaps another unhealthy fetus, they were never sure.  Apparently this happens to women all the time many not even noticing the passing of an embryo.

I tried to feel sad and guilty but I couldn’t. You were still inside me and you were safe. I went home to lie down and take it easy. I tried to have feelings if it had been a twin but I couldn’t force myself to feel loss when I didn’t feel it. I had you, my baby, still inside me and that meant everything to me. We were born to be with one another. Your father and I would finish our sentences always saying: “If we should be so blessed” and we were, with you, our first son.

The only reference I have to this is a pair of small twin purple bears that I keep hidden in my bedroom closet. A psychic once said I had a baby floating in the universe that could not go to heaven because he did not have a name and out of my mouth and hers, the name Steven came. His soul was then at peace.

You were in my arms and we were a family. Twenty one months later your beautiful little sister was born, naturally, meant to join our family. Now our family was complete. I needed to tell this story to someone and it belongs to you. I had everything I wanted, a boy and then a girl but my love story is just about over, yours is barely beginning. Take with this what you want and now we can bury the past and only look to the future.

Plinky Prompt: A Sensation, Taste, Smell, Music That Transports You to Childhood

  • Capturing the Viennese Waltz

    Capturing the Viennese Waltz (Photo credit: flickr-rickr)

    Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood. See all answers

 

 

  • Viennese Music Brings Me Back
  • My father, when he was alive and happy, would always blast the stereo in the living room playing Viennese music/waltzes. I remember as a teenager when I would come off the elevator, which was down a long hallway, and hear that music that practically deafened me. It was so embarrassing to me. Once, I forgot my key so I rang the doorbell repeatedly for him to open the door. Nothing. I started banging on the door with my fists, getting angry and frustrated and just wanting to go inside. Finally, I think my mother heard me and opened the door. Every time now, as an adult, I hear a Viennese waltz, Der Fledermaus or the Blue Danube, I wish with all my heart, that my father was still alive, playing music loudly, him whistling happily and me, just watching, grinning and appreciating him. Just one more time would be enough but I’ve lost that chance forever.

  • http://youtu.be/Wa9fo5qcyeI

 

Leaving Us, Lost

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbilical cord has not yet been cut. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Children will always leave you, from the minute you cut the umbilical cord until the day that you take your last gasp of air. When your child is born you are swept away with joy. Is it a boy, a girl?  You cuddle that dear baby close to your body and cover its head with sweet, soft kisses. Your life has now changed forever. You try to inhale the smells and remember them. Unfortunately, like everything else, we hold precious in our hearts, memories fade.

Babies turn into toddlers and their first independent steps they take away from you are greeted with great excitement and applause.”She’s walking!!” we say proudly to anyone who will listen but we don’t think about this as a step of independence, we are merely celebrating a milestone in our brilliant child’s life.

I can say, with confidence, that as much as you want that uninterrupted night of sleep, it comes with a price. You will miss those sticky grilled cheese hands and arms around your neck and those sloppy grape jelly kisses a lot when they stop. One day you are swinging hands in public, the next your child is muttering “that’s embarrassing.” and they pull away. The rules have changed, your children have changed, now you have to change, quickly.

Childhood is so important and then comes middle school and high school when your children are tweens and teenagers. Groan, I know. It is important for them to grow up and for you to let them. You will go through, as my husband called it “the teenage tunnel of darkness” hang on tight, folks, it will be a bumpy ride. The arguments, slammed doors, taunting, fighting, will probably make you feel like you wish you had the money to send your kids to boarding school, but they need to go through this to become independent and their own person. This is their way of leaving their comfort zone, by fighting and doing things you probably don’t even want to know about and they will lie as well. Your kid? Never! I said that too. Believe me, I don’t condone this behavior, but it smacked me in the face. Once, when I asked my son how he would describe high school he said : high school is one big lie.” I will never forget that. Ever. I was so stunned that I was speechless. Wrong time to be speechless, believe me.

I am grateful that my two young adults, 18 and 20 are so independent and comfortable with other adults.  For that, I thank the strong sense of confidence we instilled in our children and sleep-away camp. Our children begged to go to sleep-away camp where their cousins went, we agreed to give it a try. They LOVED it and so did we. When it came to college, it was easier, for all of us, having been separated before.

How we feel doesn’t matter in this equation anymore. It’s true and we need to accept it. My husband and I like being alone, together. It reminds us of the days before children without all the anxiety and stress. Staying home and watching television is date night, we don’t feel the need to go out, we can relax at home. Our babies are not babies anymore, they are young adults. Do we miss the love that they used to show us? Yes, I know I do. Things change, we have no choice but to adjust. It is not always easy; sometimes it takes a little longer than it should and yes, sometimes I cry in private.  Children will always have you in their hearts but they will leave to find and follow their own lives. When they leave, they are looking forwards to their new lives which leaves us, their parents, looking backwards for sweet memories.

You Just Can’t Fight Crazy

Matti

Matti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People don’t always get along, that’s a given. Some people cringe at confrontation and try to hide their heads under the mattress to avoid dealing with it or slither away to swimmingly escape the idea of a fight. I don’t mind verbal fighting as long as it is a fair fight. If the parameters are clear, I will not shy away; I don’t seek fights but I am willing to defend myself or anyone I love for the right reasons. Fairness and honesty are incredibly important to me. “Just don’t lie to me” I used to tell my children when they were teenagers (not that it was a hundred percent successful.) It’s the Libra in me, I’m sure, needing balance and honesty, hating dishonesty with a passion.

There are times when, as a friend of mine is experiencing, you find yourself in the middle of a situation where you have NO control. Her son and daughter in law have decided, without explanation, that  Grandma and Grandpa can not see their children anymore. No reason, no explanation. Grandma is absolutely heartbroken, confused and in shock. There was no explanation, that to me, is not a fair fight. She has tried numerous times, to try to talk to them, to understand what she did but they won’t talk. She took care of their two girls when they were both working full-time and when the parents picked up the kids, the kids would cry and did not want to leave their grandmother’s house. That is a key issue, in my opinion.

Personally, I think, the mom was jealous of the kids’ warm and loving connection to their grandmother, maybe the daughter in law demanded that the husband make a choice between his mom and his wife? That is pure conjecture on my part but it seems feasible, doesn’t it?  The son, apparently used to be very close to his mother.”It’s either her or me” comes to mind and guess who lost? Grandma did and she was not even allowed to see or talk to her granddaughters again without knowing why. She had Valentine’s Day cards she had bought in advance and presents. Even worse, her daughter-in-law is pregnant with a boy and she fears she will never even meet this new grandchild.

They won’t talk to her, answer her e-mails, they literally have cut her out of their lives. It is an unfair, unbalanced fight. I think it is absolutely cruel. Intentionally cruel. They want to make her suffer and they have succeeded. Having loving, involved grandparents is an absolute gift and yet the parents won’t even TALK to the grandparents to make things right again. Not even an e-mail. Grandma and Grandpa don’t even KNOW what they have done wrong, ( or more likely if they have done anything wrong.) This was a large, connected and loving family, celebrating birthdays and holidays together, now it is in fragments; all the rest of the family on Grandma’s side.

There are times in all our lives when things are unjust and even Libras like myself have to accept, take it in and let it go. Life IS unfair sometimes. We have to accept that people are sometimes too stubborn or too sick and too hurtful to be rational. Apparently, the couple are not even thinking about their own children who must feel abandoned by their grandmother and grandfather who loved them and cared for them daily. Grandma has no way of telling them that she still loves them and misses them. As hard as it is, she has no choice but to accept this horrible deal. There is nothing else she can do. They won’t let her. It is literally breaking her heart, she cries endlessly and can only talk about this one topic. She knows “she can’t fight crazy” but that doesn’t mean she has stopped fighting and has accepted her life.  I almost wish she would.

Smooch, Smooch, Kiss, Kiss

My Little Golden Dictionary, 1949

My Little Golden Dictionary, 1949 (Photo credit: m kasahara)

This morning, on Valentine’s Day, the first person I saw was my dog. I was so happy to see her that I wished her a Happy Valentine’s Day out loud and yes, we kissed. Valentine’s Day gets too much press in this country, it really does. I’m waiting for the haters to say “that’s because you’re single blah blah blah” but, I am not single, in fact today is my 25th engagement anniversary. My husband proposed to me (sigh) in Hawaii, 25 years ago. Yes, we’re still together.

I just don’t like a holiday where you know that some people feel miserable because they are alone. Hell, why not have an Unmarried Day when all those who single can celebrate and all the married people can keep chewing their stringy pot roast with undercooked egg noodles? Why isn’t there THAT kind of holiday? Let’s keep it equal people.

Before I got married I too was single and I remember feeling miserable on Valentine’s Day, thinking I would never find that special someone to share my life with and woe is me, I would be alone. I know several people who are single and they are NOT alone. They have plenty of friends (more than I do) family and they have wonderful, enriched lives. I understand their pain, I truly do. I’ve been there, done that but looking back it was just a night of sitting in my rocking chair with a spoon and a pint of my favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, watching whatever girl movie I wanted to watch. The pain was in the loss of hope, that I would never meet anyone who I could love or who could love me and yes, that was extremely difficult. Even now, do you think we are not aware of  potential loss in the pit of our stomachs, every single day and night?

Valentine’s Day, a very commercial holiday for Hallmark, chocolate makers, flower stores and for some people (me not being one of them) expensive jewelry stores. I know my husband loves me, and he knows I love him too. We say we love each other often, we don’t need a special day to remind us. We also don’t need presents but because today is special for years  we decided to celebrate and go out for a nice (not a rip-off) dinner. I hate the fact that on Valentine’s day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day the same food you would have eaten the day before has increased by at least another ten or twenty dollars. I just want the fudge brownie, I don’t care HOW it’s shaped.

You know when I loved Valentine’s Day the most? When my children were really little, they would come home, clutching in their hands a Valentine made in school, encouraged by teachers for “Mommy.”and “Daddy.” Was it forced, sentimental and incredibly mushy? Yes it was and I LOVED it. I bet it would be hard to find a mom who didn’t. I truly miss that. But, then again, I could make that universal, I do miss when my children were really, really young and that the only things important to them was their dad and me. I admit it, once in a while, I miss that feeling and those feelings will never come back albeit in memories.

The Dawn of Cupcakes

Hostess Orange Cupcake

Hostess Orange Cupcake (Photo credit: Kodamakitty)

Sometimes when I am fast asleep, my husband says I say random thing out loud; one thing I said was : “I’m a frozen banana.” I figured it meant that I was cold in the winter,  but as it turns out, it was the summer. Today, I woke up from a nap with the words “The Dawn of Cupcakes” in my mind. Why you ask? I have no idea.

Often phrases pop into my head and only recently have I forced myself to write them down. When I was younger,  I wrote poems in my dreams, damn good poems and then forgot them immediately upon waking. Sometimes words or phrases just jump to mind and if I go to my computer right away the essay writes itself.

I have been thinking about Hostess cupcakes lately, which as you know, are leaving us (she said with some hostility). Hostess Orange cupcakes were a tradition for my family for Christmas every year, except for this one. I had a wonderful idea of a bartering system.” I’ve got Yodels, how much for Orange cupcakes?” But, in this day and age, I’m jaded. Internet swapping somehow sounds dirty to me and those super-sweet Orange cupcakes were anything but dirty.

I’ll be honest, I can live without another Twinkie; I’ve had many in my lifetime, for a short while in college my nickname, started by my sister, was “Twinkie.” People have made such a fuss about Twinkies that it’s likely another company will do some sort of similar product. However, no one has mentioned the Orange cupcake, the one with the white squiggle of frosting on top. Forgotten by everybody except old baby boomers and my family? No one even mentioned them in the many articles written. You and the Snowball, pretty much got screwed. So, I am here to stand up for you, to mourn YOUR passing, to try to describe to new people, younger people,  something they will never know. Orange cupcakes, I will remember you and your friend, the pink Snowballs too. Nothing will ever be the same. It’s just plain sad.

p.s. I was going to beg for orange cupcakes but I didn’t think it would sound professional…(PLEASE)

Honoring Someone Else’s Pain

Postavaru Mountain - ROMANIA

Postavaru Mountain – ROMANIA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes the hardest thing we can do, when a friend is suffering, is nothing. It goes against our natural instinct to nurture and comfort and try to make people feel better. However, we need to think of what they want and not do what we feel comfortable doing.We need to honor their wishes, respect their needs. I identify so very well with this particular pain, I lost my best friend, Callie, my dog, less than a year ago. My friend, everyone’s friend, Judy Judith lost her dog Max the other day. He was not only her dog-friend but ours, he was an icon and part of all our lives. We all knew him, and apparently, he knew us too. He wrote us letters.

His name was Max. The dog owner of the wonderful blog “Creativity to the Max” helped by his “human,” Judith Westerfield, one of the loveliest and intelligent people I know. Those who know her adore her, those who interact with her form her wide fan club and fall in love with her. She is direct and honest and she will tell you what she thinks, good or bad, directly, no matter what, and when she says something you wrote is good, you better believe her because if not, she will theoretically smack you on the head over cyberspace in a loving way, of course. She is also extremely funny and she makes us laugh.

To know that she is in pain is killing me. When my dog, Callie, died a few months short of a year ago, Judith was there for me, telling me it will hurt but it would get better, Selena told me about the Rainbow Bridge that I had never heard of before. Maureen and Rosemary and Lorraine and Tammy and other friends supported me and helped me through it. I relied on these friends that I have never met in person. These friends on-line had become family, our own family, they knew the right things to say, there was no drama between us (okay, maybe just a little), no childhood memories or lapses in judgment. They were here to listen and to support and encourage; I am here for them as well.

Friendship is both about being there for someone when she needs you but, even harder, stepping back, when she asks you to. We are all stepping back in honor of your request, in honor of Max. We will miss you, Max, and we will hurt because we know our dear friend Judy Judith is hurting. Don’t worry, Max, you can count on us to take care of her for you. In memory of you, Llliiiiickingly yours, Lexi-Pro and her human friends.

Carry on Tuesday

angel

angel (Photo credit: M@rg)

Title : Old and wise
First line: As far as my eyes can see
I stare at an old photograph, taken in 1991, of my father and me.  It was taken in my husband’s and my first garden, actually our only functioning garden, ripe with carrots and beans and peas and three types of tomatoes and corn that the raccoons ate. My arm was around my  father’s neck, my dad and I are grinning. We both looked incredibly happy, his eyes: grey-blue, old and wise, saying without words ” I knew one day you would have your dream.”  I am 6 months pregnant in the photograph; it had taken me over 2 and a half years to get pregnant. During that time, I shed more tears than I thought possible. In that photograph, in the late afternoon sunshine, with my dad, both of us were beaming.
During the long phase of infertility however, I was poked and prodded and put through every invasive test known to woman-kind by my doctor and everything was done in complete secrecy. I was ashamed, it was all my fault.
Only many years later did magazines burst into publication with articles describing the shots we had to take, the mood swings, the twice daily blood tests and ultra-sounds, the stress and depression we felt. Back when I was desperately trying to get pregnant, we kept our feelings to ourselves. Sometimes we shared our lives with the other people in the infertility office, a very strange, yet delicate friendship. You wanted your friends to get pregnant but not at your own expense. It was a double-edged sword. Close but not too close.
The photograph before me, which stands framed on my table now, represents both the good and bad; ultimate happiness and deep depression. I was pregnant and standing next to one of my favorite people, my dad. Sadly, he died when both my children were young but at least he knew they were born. No one could replace him for me, no one could have felt more dramatically upset than my mom and I. He was my mother’s husband, but for me, he was my hero. He knew me better than anyone. We had the same personality, my sister and my mother still do. Without our spouses and kids, our nuclear family consisted of three; our mother, my sister and myself; a triangle is a tough combination. I can’t understand how they think.
I’ve had to fight on my own, grow-up, remain firm and I have done that; it’s hard for me to even remember what it was like having someone who understood me so well, having an ally in the family. I look up at the clouds sometimes, I look as far as my eyes can see and beyond that, for a sign from heaven, from my dad. I am one of those people who definitely believes in those signs, that bodies die but souls don’t; that love NEVER dies. How could it? I know my dad still loves me as I love him. When he first died I got many, many signals and messages. As time passed, I got fewer. But I know, if I truly needed him, he would, without a doubt, send me a sign to show me that he is still watching over me and that love is everlasting.

Begging For A Diagnosis

Sad Little Girl

Sad Little Girl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found myself in the waiting room of my Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist this afternoon actually praying for an inner ear infection. Yes, that’s what I said. I was praying for a diagnosis that would be fixed with a quick supply of an antibiotic, preferably a Z-pack. Done! No such luck. My ears have hurt me on and off for weeks. This was the second time I had been to the doctor in two months. Not only did my ears hurt but my entire face, under my eyes, my head, my forehead, my entire body was aching, as if I had the flu but I knew I didn’t.

Please, I groaned to myself, let me have an ear infection, or a throat infection, even eppiglottis, the dreaded disease that I have received so much mail about when I posted a blog about it. (* Calling Eppiglottitis A Bitch Is A Vast Understatement) Even that I could take if I have a diagnosis but no, my throat was fine, my ears were “perfect” I felt like I was five years old, alone, horrible and to the doctor I looked “good.” I’ve felt worse and worse and I don’t know why. The doctor told me it was probably my Fibromyalgia/TMJ……Nothing I didn’t know already. “Gee, I’m sorry,” he said “wish I could do more.” He patted me on my shoulder as he stared at my breasts and promised to call in a prescription strength type of Advil (which, he never did.)

My only hope is that I have my physical next week with my Internist ( a woman who does not even BELIEVE in Fibromyalgia) but at least she can run some blood tests and send them to my Rheumatologist. This is SO FRUSTRATING. Everyone just wants to throw different drugs at me and I don’t really want to take them. Take this, says the Rheumatologist and this, says the ENT,  but you need energy so take this, and there is nothing for pain so just live with it. I am tired of living with it and I can’t discuss this with my sister (or even have her READ THIS ENTRY) because it is not a safe topic for us. We can talk about many things, this is not one of them. Unless she can give me concrete examples of what exactly she would like me to try and how I can pay for it.

All I know is that I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia for six years now and after it got better, it has now gotten worse. Does Fibromyalgia get worse? Is this something new? Can I live like this? Is it the weather? An anxiety attack? I feel so vulnerable and so lousy that I cried in the waiting room from feeling so poorly.  I noticed a father with his teenage daughter; I missed my father who would have known how to kid me like that father did. I missed mine so desperately. Do emotions come to play in all of this? I think it’s probably all of the above and none of it is pretty. Not for me, not today, not until I feel better. I’m complaining, in writing. I should just shut up.

*https://hibernationnow.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/calling-epiglo…understatement

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.