The Art Of Changing


Every time my two college kids come home for a visit, in this case, Thanksgiving, I forget, that it takes 48 hours for all of us to get used to each other again. I wish I could remember that beforehand because it would take the sting out of the inevitable: regression,

dirty looks, initial combative behavior and sibling rivalry. What is it about coming home that automatically brings out old behavior patterns?

I remember this happening when I visited my parents when I was in college so I am not sure you really can stop it. I think you become child-like when you go home to visit your parents and old habits die-hard. To this day, it is never a good scenario when my sister and I are alone with our mom, together. I never liked being with two other friends, it’s not a good combination for me.

But, after two days of settling in with our children it’s wonderful, just like old times. It feels like they have never left and you wonder how you can let them go, again? The house will be so quiet without them. There are four of us now drinking coffee in the morning or snacking together at night, sitting on the bed together chatting and laughing, interrupting each other and rehashing the mini-dramas of Thanksgiving.

I know it won’t be like this forever, they will get married or move away or we will move so I cherish every second. I’m putting these memories in a special place in my heart, tucked away, like the memories of their childhood. The difference is that I have photographs of when they were young and sweet and innocent. I have a mountain of photographs of each stage of their lives.

But this, this one memory, lasted ten minutes, it is like a snapshot in my mind and I try desperately to hold on to to it, in my heart, hoping it will last a very long time.

The four of us all sitting together laughing and reminiscing, back and forth, happy, conversing, joking with no hint of displeasure or dismay. All of us being in tune with each other, bantering, back and forth, replaying the day, interrupting each other and finishing each others sentences.
The thought of them leaving in a couple of days just seems incredible, and lonely and sad. And yes, it will take another 48 hours for their laughter to die down, for my husband and I to get used to the solitude and the quietness and enjoy each other and the peace, all over again.
Change is inevitable, get used to it, it never goes away.

6 Weeks

We were told by his adult children that he was supposed to die from an inoperable, aggressive brain tumor within six weeks, that was at least three months ago. I thought, for sure, he would die when he was told his wife had passed away but, again, he was so relieved, so grateful she was out of her pain that he actually felt and looked a bit better. Nobody could change or help his diagnosis, he had an inoperable brain tumor but his spirit was so relieved that the love of his life was free of pain and free of suffering, he felt just a little better. They knew his wife was going to die in one or two days and they were correct. You could see relief sketched on his face yet he was not allowed to go to her funeral, he was in hospice care.

Many years ago, when my father laid, by himself, in a hospital room, in another state I called at the exact time when a freshly minted unsettled female voice said:”something has just happened and that the doctors are working on him now.” I didn’t understand, I had no idea what she was talking about but I remember calling my mother. I never thought about it like this but I guess I was there at his death as well. We were together and I still left him that sacred message, so did my mom. “It was okay to go, it was okay, we would take care of each other…”

The cardiologist called me and I asked him if I should come? His voice was gentle, I remember that, and he said “Sweetie, you won’t make it in time, don’t come.” ” Do you promise?” I asked through wracking sobs? “Yes”, he promised. Moments later, my father was dead. I didn’t know until a few days ago my mom had made the same call and was told the same thing. She was ready to drive there alone, in the dark, even though she was terrified to drive.

He had crashed in the hospital while under observation with a fatal heart attack. He had suffered heart attacks before. I still see that digital clock in my mind, the one my dad had given me so many years ago, well, “sold” to me even after all these years. My own children were across the hall, mere babies. I see their sweet, innocent faces, me in my bed, a moment, frozen in time. It was 10:20 pm.

I thought I would never be able to feel happiness again but I did though it was different. I was different as well. Before and After Different. That’s how I now measured my life, in a lot of things.

There are always new phases in our lives, new beginnings, new endings, new chapters, the closures, doors slammed and opened. Right now we are in the middle of a chapter and can’t seem to go forward or back, we are stuck, like dead birds smashed against a windowpane.

Eventually, we will move on. It may take some more time but life does not have to be stagnant forever although sometimes it feels that way. Turn that attitude around and enjoy what you have instead of what you don’t know. Nestle in comfort for the time being. Luxuriate in proximity, memories, familiarity and family.

Change will come, whether you are ready for it or not, it will sneak in like a softly padded black cat stealthily coming in the darkened bedroom, with only green cat eyes following every step you take.

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*Show Me You Love Me, Bake Me A Peach Pie

or a vanilla coconut cake, or a chocolate cake with raspberry preserves, please.

or buy me one.. How about a last of the summer plum-cake? I would love that too. The way the first bite of flaky, buttery crust feels as it slides into your mouth. The texture of the  plums both soft, liquified, chunky, as they scrape against your teeth. Tart and sweet at the same time. Summer is officially over when you see the first prune plums in the supermarket, it’s a daunting site. For my mom and me, it’s the true symbol that Summer is definitely and completely OVER.

Another plum cake

Another plum cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Rapture. Heaven. I am a sweet tooth junkie. My husband would be happy with a bowl of ice cream every night but I dream of pastries. This is what happens when you are born to a German mother and an Austrian father. I blame it all on genetics and the fact that I only had jello,applesauce and sherbet for dessert growing up. I didn’t know any other desserts existed.b

Banana cream pie, crème brule, there is no dessert I would refuse. Fresh fruit cup, perhaps? That’s not a dessert to me, it’s a snack. True, also for cheese plate, that’s lunch.

Yesterday, at our town’s farmer’s market I saw a small homemade peach crumb pie that I bought immediately. I was ready to devour it that night but my husband cajoled me into freezing it and saving it for when our son comes home from college for a visit. God knows I love my children more than myself but I had to really think about this. Sigh, it’s in the freezer.

There was nothing there was pure chocolate for when my daughter comes home but I know the exact place to buy her a chocolate-chocolate cake. I could even bake it myself.

Even when the kids were little dessert was holy, we definitely weren’t one of those organic, no sugar, no junk food homes. Having been deprived of snacks like Yodels and Chocolate Chip cookies, Mallomars, Oreos and milk I stocked them for my kids when they came home from school. Their cousins LOVED to sleep over at our house, they came in and dove into our cereal aisle. The only cookie we had growing up was “Social Tea.” I happen to still really like them but on a play date I discovered a junk food group I had never seen before!

Before I get any angry letters from herbalists and organic naturalists, I should say that everything is good in moderation. We don’t eat boxes of any cookie, we’ll eat one cookie or two and we eat fresh fruit and vegetables always. Now that the kids are in college, we tend to eat much healthier.

Dessert is a treat, “no dessert” used to be a punishment in our house. We thought it was a good idea until a few years ago our grown-up children told us it was a complete joke.

Parenthood, you do the best you can, it doesn’t come with an instruction booklet.


 

*This post may not be safe for those who are diabetic.

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY

I’m horrified. I knew all about Invisible Illness Week and wrote about my chronic pain and Fibromyalgia but just found out today that its National Suicide Prevention Day? Something is so wrong here. Why didn’t I know this day was coming and if I didn’t know, I bet you many people didn’t either. That’s shameful.

I feel embarrassed and I also feel ashamed for the people who put this together for not advertising it better. This is NOT something to take lightly, I think we need a RE-DO here, maybe another one next month? Actually, how about one every month? Now, that, is a great idea. We need more prevention and mental health funding!!!

I’m here now and I’m begging anyone who is contemplating suicide to please stop for a second or two and take a deep breath. Thanks. I’m not asking for your whole life but how about a minute? Just read one more sentence.

Think about the people who love you, truly love you, who you will leave behind. People  who WANT you in their lives in any shape, in any mood. They love YOU, the way you are, unconditionally. I’m a mom, I know about unconditional love.

Depression is no fun, we know. We’ve all been through it but there is more help now and different medications and I’m positive that you know at least one good friend or one sister or brother, husband, wife, lover or cousin that would stay with you and help you. There better be, because they would have to answer to me if they don’t.

Instead of taking your life, write your thoughts down, put them on Facebook, email a friend. Email ME. I will listen. I will hold your hand, at least through the computer, and I’m no genius or therapist or doctor.

I’m a regular, really nothing special person, that loves dogs more than people, adores jelly doughnuts, hates to exercise, am technically clueless (ask the people at the Invisible Illness Week) but somehow muddle through things, through life. My life hasn’t been easy, you need to trust me on this one. I can’t lie, it shows on my face in a second.

So, do me a favor, take a few deep breaths, walk away from wherever you are and call a friend, or a hotline, listed below, TELL SOMEONE YOU NEED THEM. ASAP.

Communicate and reach out. But, please, don’t harm yourself, it won’t solve anything and will destroy those that love you. I don’t know you but I know you are worth it, you are worth another day, and the day after  and many days after until you can wake up one day and think back and say “Wow, that was close but I’m so happy I didn’t go through with it.” Then, you too, can help people step away and to live their lives as they should. You will be their hero. I can see it now. I just know it.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 1-800-273-TALK

#Haiku Horizons, Sense

Sense of smell, sweetness

 

Vanilla, joy, maple, love

 

Happy memory

 

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Senseless killing, crash

 

Driving, texting, glancing once

 

a second to die.

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Sense of direction,

Just not in me, husband scowls

Sorry, genetics.

 

 

 

Haiku Horizons: Bones

Beautiful girl, love,

light from soul, not bones or weight

Spirit is within.


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The Prayer

IMG_0750

 

When it is my time, place on my grave, only heart shaped rocks or stones

of varying hues.

There is no need for darkness or brown shapeless objects,

celebrate me with your memories of love.

I want to be remembered with your feelings of joy for what we did have, not for what we won’t have in the future.

Nobody stands a chance with Time, it controls us, every single one of us.

We have no power for when we leave this Earth.

However, you know I truly believe our Spirits, our Souls, live on and that

Love Never Dies.

A heart being used as a symbol of love. Photo ...

Try to believe that for me.

For I will never stop loving you, my loves.

How could I possibly stop?

I love you even more than always and forever, but you know that, right?

I’m a child, a sister, a wife, a mother.

Mother’s don’t stop loving their children for a split second,

we just learn to adjust to your leaving.

We never leave you, in Life and in Death.

You are in our Lives, our Hearts, Forever.

You may not see us, though you can if you want to, but we are always there.

Open your heart and mind, listen.

Love Does Not Die.

#FWF, Kellie Elmore

 

 

cp quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I was so sure it was love…

 

my children are older than I was  when we first met.  I was a sophomore in college, you, Mark, were my anthropology professor. I was immediately taken with your dark, smoldering eyes, a glimpse of power.

I learned quickly that I could make your bad moods disappear. I’m not sure you noticed it but within minutes your childish grumpiness would turn into a low, throaty laughter. You sat behind your desk, head thrown back in laughter wearing your dirty, beige, cable knit sweater,t he one you wore almost every single day.

 


It was the first time that I had ever felt such intense emotions in my life like a stagnant flower suddenly coming to life again, bursting to bloom.  He flirted, his stares were a few seconds too long, my cheeks flushed with pleasure, my green eyes stared back.

 

green eyes

 

 

 

There was a moment, captured in my memory, when I sat in your office and I held your young daughter in my lap and happily played with her hair. She cooed so sweetly with contentment. I hadn’t looked at you at all but lifted my eyes for a second to find your eyes staring hungrily into mine, your mouth half-open.

You had awakened in me a budding sexuality that I had rarely felt before. I was naive, I had felt attracted before but never this way. I went from being a girl to a woman without him ever touching me.

I remember sashaying down the hall to see him, for the first time after summer break, 25 pounds lighter, noticing my hips move and my ass, firm and tight, feeling wonderful. Back in the seventies, we wore black leotards and jeans, clogs and my brown hair was lush and long. He definitely noticed the change with his long stare, I felt beautiful for the first time in my life without his approval.  I loved the way I felt, my hair in two long brown braids which he used to tweak, as if we were both in middle school.

I’d like to think he was being “good” for me, to spare me pain and himself trouble but I heard, more realistically, that he had gotten into a lot of trouble in the past and this was his enforced “no-fly zone.”

Truly, this man was a louse, a monster but I was caught in the whirl of his intensity and his charm. I felt sorry for whoever he was married to although ultimately she divorced him. I knew I thought I loved him, more likely it was too many years of blind infatuation.

If you ask me why, I obsessed about him I honestly can’t tell you. Maybe it was the game

of not getting what I wanted that was so appealing, maybe it was the first sensation of awakening sexuality. I’ve always been attracted to “the first dance” of romance, where you feel the flush rise to your cheeks, and your eyelashes stay closed a couple of seconds longer than usual. It’s all a game, a wonderful, sensual, romantic game.

The only think he did for me other than not having sex with me was this: he hated graduation, he never attended. When I found that out he wasn’t going I was devastated.  He asked me if it meant something to me if he attended or not. “Yes” I said but he made no promises and we never spoke of it again.

“Commencement” as I’ve written before, is a nice way of saying good-bye.  During the procession, I saw him standing in line in his black robes and colorful ribbons, his majestic glory. That was the one thing he did do for me, he came to graduation for the sole purpose of wanting to make me happy.

I never regretting loving him nor did I regret continuing to love him, if it was really ever love at all, because it was a love that was intense and pure. One sided, of course, but it took me from being a girl in love to being a woman to love without him ever knowing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Search Of Purpose And Key Lime Pie

I’m a foodie and a true dessert lover. Last week I salivated every night while eating huge helpings of chocolate mousse cake with a hint of raspberry jam and thick fudge frosting. My new obsession is finding key lime pie. I’m dying for key lime pie. Why is it that I have not yet found a dessert I don’t adore? I’m strongly anticipating the “Sunday only” jelly doughnut, an almost weekly tradition…

I’m not a full-fledged foodie because I’m fussy about fish: I am a salmon-hater, the strong smell, the nasty taste, I wish I liked it for health reasons but I haven’t found a recipe that can disguise the flavor so I can even take a bite. I can’t get near the fish. ( I still blame Susie K. for forcing me to eat that horrid salmon mousse and telling me it was tuna.) Tonight’s dinner consists of homemade Nona’s meatballs and homemade tomato sauce. I forgot to buy the thick, crusty, multi-grain bread to rip apart and dunk in good olive oil. I’m too tired now to run out and buy it. But a salad of fresh mozzarella and tomato with olive oil and basil will have to do.

 

Key lime pie with whipped cream.

Key lime pie with whipped cream. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a child for my mom, a 57-year-old child, I could never understand that until my daughter turned twenty about a week ago. I am a wife, now going on 26 years and most of all I am a mom.

 

I’m a writer and blogger, I don’t care if blogging is the bottom of the barrel for some people. I love it and will keep doing it until I don’t love doing it anymore. Compiling them together? Maybe.

I was a traveler of many countries when I was young and traveled with my parents and sister on free tickets yet also a homebody who couldn’t wait to just get home.

I cried with happiness when I saw the lights of John F. Kennedy Airport twinkling at night when we were coming home to New York. Home is where I always wanted to be, home is still where I want to be. My older sister would also be crying but for her it was because she wanted to stay on vacation and not come home. Ever. Two sisters, as our parents used to say ” the sun and the moon.” I was lucky to travel with my husband on bonus points when we could, Amsterdam, one of our favorite cities in the world.

I’m both friendly and withdrawn, I need my alone time desperately. I don’t always get it and then I really feel stressed out. I need to walk outside more. Be in nature, appreciate things around me.

Nicolae Grigorescu - Peasant Woman Sitting in ...

I can be quick and funny edging on sarcastic but with no intention to harm or hurt. I’ve had more than one person say I should be a stand up comic. I’m not sure that I see that at all.

 

But, most of all, I am a mom of two incredible adult children, 20 and almost 22. A son, bright, warm brown eyes and ready to start his day early each morning. He never wanted to miss anything since he was two. We used to call him “The Farmer.” To this day, he is active every moment of each day, now on his quest to be accepted to medical school. His goal is to be an ER doctor, no Internist, he. He likes to keep moving. Strong, confident, first child syndrome.

My beautiful daughter, who used to be so shy, not anymore. I admire her, wish I had the same guts at her age. She will go far, she is unbelievably intelligent, intuitive,  sassy, beautiful and charming. She is also incredible courageous which I never was when I was her age. I am so glad that she is like that, I faked my own insecurities so that my children would not be like me. I did it for them. It has paid off in so many delicious ways. I can see her in a court room with her impeccable memory grilling someone on the stand with her quick mind.

I may not have completed a dissertation or an MBA, neither have I received any medals or awards. I have not yet published my first novel.  If I do nothing else in this world I feel accomplished and honored that I brought two amazing young people into this world. They are my life, what I am now and what I will leave behind in the future. My life will go on because of them. I don’t need anything more than that.  I love them more than anything in this world. When people ask me my profession, I answer “I’m a Mom” with pride. I think I always will.

Haiku Horizons. Justice

 

Justice, Party, Peace

cures agony, provides hope

Love, a fighting chance.

 

 

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Justify justice

mom’s face etched in deep scars, pain

Guns, death, her one son.

Grief

Grief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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