Shhh! Putting The Past To Bed

B.F. and Teddy

B.F. and Teddy (Photo credit: Treehugger)

I’ve had enough of my down, depressing mood, my attitude needs to be adjusted. Now. I felt lonely and sad for a few weeks and yes, I did have reasons. It started with the husband. Let me tell you, women friends, I’ve been married for almost twenty-five years it’s no walk in the park. Contrary to what my single friends think, being married is hard work, it’s not just holding hands and looking lovingly into each others eyes anymore, that was then, this is now.

We know that every marriage goes through phases, blah, blah, blah and that it is normal, it’s hard to go through one of those rough patches when your husband doesn’t “get it” and frankly you know, deep down inside, he never will. Let’s be honest, after 24 and a half years he is not going to suddenly turn into the romantic, powerful guy you picture. He just isn’t. But, he may well be your best friend and companion and if you are sad, lonely and feel betrayed by the family you were born into, he’s got your back. He and your children are your family.

He’s the father of your children (the ones that are practically grown-up now) he was the one that said comically “assume the position” when he offered to give me the infertility shots every night at the same time so I wouldn’t have to do it myself. He dried all my tears, he stood up for me when people were mean to me, and yes, he can get nasty but so can I. We’re getting older TOGETHER, at least we have each other to discuss our fears, our anxieties, we have each other to love. I need to remind myself more and more of the wonderful things I DO have, I’m lucky to have a husband like him, he really is my best friend. I am also blessed with amazing kids, both of them, each one so different, such good, smart, warm and witty young adults.  I hope that they will think I’ve been a good mother, that’s truly important to me.

I didn’t have the most nurturing mother but she still loved me and worried about me, way too much. My father was very supportive and loving but he had his bad side too, who doesn’t? My sister, well, I wouldn’t choose her to be my best friend, we have exact opposite personalities but when we do get along, it’s great and we can talk for hours. It’s nice to have someone who shares my history if not my utter love for the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off one of my all time favorite movies!!! Honestly I think it is one of the greatest movies of all times and she walked out of it. She hated one of my favorite movies. Now we do the opposite of each other, if she loves something I will stay away and vice versa.

I am leaving the past in the past. Forever. I won’t worry about the future, since I have no control over it and I will try to stay in the present, one minute at a time. Appreciate the good things in life, the small moments I can capture in the blink of an eye, a pretty bird with a beautiful song, a bright yellow flower, a cup of coffee with swirling milk. I want to start reading fun books not my depressing ones, and laugh more. Life is too short and way too unpredictable. It can change in a single breath. Please join me and try to enjoy your good times too. Seek them out, you will find them and before long, they will find you.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Vow

Description unavailable

Description unavailable (Photo credit: erix!)

What happens when your married, dearest friends, stop speaking the same language

yet the giggling of their small children silence them into frozen statues?

I saw her heart being injured again, looking familiar, from the last time, but a little less severe.

Why? Because she knew this feeling already, the first time was an abomination a cruel, nasty, unforgivable hurt that stabbed her heart raw, blood gushing out, out, out.

As her friend I tried to help but I knew I couldn’t.

Did she want to break up her marriage for one cruel and very hurtful remark. He had never laid a hand on her, except that time he pushed her once when they were engaged.

She would not accept that, ever. This was emotional abuse.

For all the years that he was kind, for the children, for the companionship, she stayed.

I knew, she thought, he always kept a secret, sensing something but not the darkness and emotional cruelty underneath all the pleasantries to the public. “A nice guy. ”

He did not like confrontation, so he sabotaged their joy.

Now he is nasty and passive-aggressive, is it his age or

depression or a later mid-life crisis?

Yes, all of the above.

I had to ask her: Is he simply stupid with all-things emotional?

She nodded yes. Silently. She nodded yes.

Power attracts her, as it always did, romance too.

He had neither.

We had discussed this topic many times.

I saw her put her head in her thin, translucent hands

rocking back and forth, back and forth

too weary for tears.

Had she finally given up?

I could not hear their whispers anymore

Twenty years are a long time

Knowing them, she thought, they will stay together

and accept mediocrity.

I will ask her one last time and never again: do you realize how little he Hears you,

Understands you?

“The roses” I say, are the perfect example”

Yes, she says. I know.

I don’t ever want him to bring me those cheap gas station roses again.

We have children, she said.

I will not hurt them, we will not hurt them, those precious, light souls.

We do not hate each other, we will be companions.

It’s not always about just us, too many people think that way.

We will stay a family. For us. For them.

Decluttering My Life

Clutter

Clutter (Photo credit: marlana)

First, I thought I might be a hoarder, and believe me I am in no way making a joke out of this. I read that hoarding starts with keeping sentimental things. If that’s how it starts then I am in big, big trouble. If I look around my house, though, the clutter is really just in my bedroom and my (once) big walk-in  closet. You can’t walk into it anymore. I ‘m scared, truly scared, as I look around my bedroom filled with Diet Snapple bottles and magazines, candles, plates, lavender moisturizing creams, piles of paper… I need to breathe, I  need to breathe.  Other rooms in the house “look” fine, for example: the living room but my room and my closet are humiliating and filled with junk. Boxes and boxes, laundry baskets and laundry baskets filled with everything but laundry.

If I declutter my house, will my head and heart be clearer too?

Lately, I have misplaced things too. My keys, my sunglasses, my plane ticket,  lipstick, my book, my jacket. Also, recently I have been very stressed out, emotionally. This is MORE than my nemesis Fibro Fog from Fibromyalagia. I misplace one thing after another, panicking and starting the cycle over again. There has to be a connection here I’m trying to slow myself down, so far it isn’t working. It’s not amusing when I “lose” something, my daughter helps me find it, ( I always find things,) I misplace things rapidly. I need to slow down.

I can’t deal with anything when I am feeling so overwhelmed. I need to start cleaning and organizing now, actually yesterday. I feel the stress in my stomach. I always feel stress first in my stomach, is that just me or does it happen to everyone? The tender points in my neck and shoulders are all raw, tap me lightly on a tender point and I will let out a blood-curdling scream. Last week the edge of my husband’s sleeve brushed against me and my scream was so awful and so loud that it scared both of us. Damn disease.

Next morning: I can breathe a little easier today, I really did work myself into a panic but once I started organizing my room and recycling a lot of papers and magazines I felt better. There’s still a lot on my mind, I don’t feel settled yet, but even if I make a tiny bit of progress it will make me fell more in control. Of everything. I will need to work things out, in my head and in my heart. I will do all that while I am cleaning, because cleaning will give me more control, I just feel that. I can’t be wrong. Can I?

Free Write Friday, Kellie Elmore

House cat with a ball of yarn.

House cat with a ball of yarn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The air was thick with humidity, Emily hadn’t seen the sun in five straight days. To say she was going “stir-crazy” was the understatement of a lifetime. It was hard to breathe, harder to move. She was home with her teenage children, her husband worked long hours and while he used to call her nine times a day just to say hello, he had stopped calling altogether. She had signed up for a clay class but she just heard that it had been cancelled. Her volunteer work at the hospital had ended three weeks ago. She had nothing to do, nowhere to go and she was starting to feel bored, restless and just a little off-center.

She made dinner for the family, most of which was eaten in silence. The cat, Ivy, purred on the sofa, her head resting on a ball of blue yarn. Emily let out an audible sigh of envy, at least the cat was happy, she thought, at least someone was, she certainly wasn’t. What was it about this summer that seemed so different? She felt so closed in, none of her friends were around and there was nothing to do, no one to talk to. She wasn’t brave enough to fly someplace alone and even if she was, they couldn’t afford it but she knew it couldn’t go on like this, she needed to do something, soon.

She thought about it that week and slowly she came up with an idea, an idea that made her smile inwardly. She came up with a plan that involved everything she loved, didn’t cost a lot of money, gave her independence and a mini-vacation. She didn’t ask anyone’s permission, why should she? She had waited on her husband and family for years but one night she told them, not asked them, that she was going to be away for a few days, with her old college roommate. They barely even acknowledged what she said, they mumbled “ok” and  her son asked ” Who is going to cook us dinner?” was the only question asked by her son. You’ll figure it out, ” she said calmly, “Dad can give you extra money for pizza.”

The next morning, after everyone had left she packed her car, turned on the music, her music, on loud and headed to meet her old friend in Boston. She knew they were heading to the beach, which beach she wasn’t sure. She would stop at a motel or an Inn, whatever appealed to her on the way. There were no rules, no rules except for her to have fun and to do whatever made her happy. She had packed a few books, she had her radio and she felt peaceful. She was going to pick up Jane and then Jane would take over the driving. Leaving had made her happy, that was something to think about on its own.

They hugged tightly when they saw each other, it had been years since their last reunion. Jane took over the driving while Emily, now wearing her new sunglasses, put her arm and hand out the window in joyous rhythm to the music she loved. She tilted her head back, grinning, laughed happily and sang, loudly off-key.

The Marriage Of Chocolate Ice Cream And Lemon Sorbet

Givré is sorbet served in a fruit shell - as i...

Givré is sorbet served in a fruit shell – as in this example of lemon sorbet served in half a lemon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dessert is very important to me, to my husband, and our children. I honestly can’t relate to people who, after a meal, say “I don’t really like anything sweet.” What? How is that even possible? It’s not something that my brain can comprehend. I always need something sweet after dinner, always. It doesn’t have to be huge (although that’s preferable) but it does have to be sweet. Or sweet and tart, that works too. Different but delicious.

I can only compare it to my husband’s sense of direction and my lack of a sense of direction. My husband will go to a place once, it could be last week or 15 years ago and he will remember how to get there again. I can go to the same place, 25 times and get lost each time. Unfortunately, it’s not even  that I get lost the same way, that would be easy. Once I find my way after arguing with my GPS which, in fact, I SHOULD listen to, I stop people, police officers, frantically yelling out of my window for directions.

Mostly I end up calling my husband on the phone while I park my car in someone’s driveway. It has happened way too many times. When my children were little and I was lost I made it into a game (why scare them?) and I would say to the unknown house “Hi, got milk and cookies?” My kids thought it was hilarious at the time, they would giggle and laugh and repeat the question over and over again.

little scoops of chocolate ice cream 600X700

little scoops of chocolate ice cream 600X700 (Photo credit: wintersoul1)

On the other hand, I can recognize someone I went to elementary school, bump into them 35 years later in a different state and not only will I recognize them I will remember their name and specifics about them. My husband doesn’t recognize or remember anybody, not their face, not their name, he draws a complete blank but he sure can get you to wherever you want to go even if he has never been there, the thing I dread most.

Once I am safely back home, my husband and I will have dinner and of course, first have a “Pre-D” and then the real dessert. Luckily we do share our love for dessert equally. He was once only a dark chocolate fan and I was a milk chocolate fan but through our 24 years we have blended together. Our latest favorite dessert combination is chocolate ice cream, and lemon sorbet, sharing space together in our clear glass ice cream bowls. They complement each other, the sour and the sweet, a perfect mixture. They balance each other the same way my husband and I do. Sometimes, if you are very lucky, it just works out that way.

Could it be Magic? (Carry on Tuesday)

Happiness

Happiness (Photo credit: baejaar)

An Easier Life

Nobody ever said life was going to be easy. In our young innocence we just assume it is because we know no different; our families have protected us from life’s troubles. That, my dear, can only last a short time, you do know that right?

It’s been a rough couple of months, actually it’s been rough for a long time now. As we grow older we look back on our lives, I do not envy the youth of today. No, I really don’t. Growing older does not have many perks. We all handle it differently. There are cheery and optimistic people with me in the nursing home and some say clichés like “You’re as young as you feel.” Frankly I think that’s a crock…”

There are people like me who are over sensitive to other people’s suffering and pain. I feel other people’s pain, it becomes a part of me, I’ve been that way since I’ve been a child, I can’t undo who I am or try not to care. It doesn’t work. I sincerely wish it would. It would cause me so much less pain. I don’t blame anyone but myself but I always thought caring about others was a good thing, no? Well, not for me, you see.

I’ve accepted, after many years, that people are very different, though growing up I thought everyone felt the way I did so when caring wasn’t reciprocated, I was often hurt. As a child how would you know that all people act differently?  Who else could I learn from if not from myself? Life changed that, many years later in my life, not quickly enough but eventually I learned and adjusted, but it never felt natural to me.You deal with whatever happens to you and sometimes you still deflate like a withering balloon starting from a room’s happy ceiling and twirling slower and slower until all the life that has been kept it in the balloon deflates and now it’s just a tiny lump of pink  lying embarrassingly at your feet, defeated and dead.

Many things have happened in the world lately, things that I thought I would never see in my older years. Things I didn’t want to see: the horror of September 11th, the killing of children and adults in Newtowne, Connecticut and this week, the joyful runners of the Boston Marathon and onlookers killed senselessly. I spent almost half of my life in Boston, the good years, the young, innocent years when Hank and I got married. There was a joy known only to newlyweds, many more days clothed in bright yellow happiness than the darkness of fear. There was nothing to worry about back then; could it have been just magic? Maybe, it was the utter happiness, cloud of love and youth, having no responsibilities and living in a simpler, easier time.

There were no bomb threats or terrorist attacks back then, now our children and grandchildren live in constant fear and uncertainty. I’m glad Hank isn’t alive to see all of this.  The Boston Marathon this past week put people back, straight back to 9/11, this terror spares no one, no place, no time. How hard, how scary it to live actively in today’s world. I fear for my children and my grandchildren. I have lived a long, life, and for that alone, I am happy to be old. If I died tonight there would be no regrets.  Sitting in my room, rocking in my chair, smiling at the pretty white flowers, visits from my children and grandchildren, sleeping and a good meal is all I ask for and all that I want. I don’t envy the youth of today, in fact, I feel quite sad for them.

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.

Plinky Prompt: Happily Ever After?

  • Bride and Groom Toppers

    Bride and Groom Toppers (Photo credit: mags20_eb)

  • And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there? See all answers
  • Happily Ever After
  • Happy Enough.
  • “And they lived happily ever after” is why Disney invented movies. You don’t see Jasmine worrying about her unemployment check and obviously Cinderella does alright at the end, marrying her prince. Aladdin doesn’t get laid off from work, ever. But, no one stays in that state of ecstasy of being a newlywed forever. It’s a fantasy. I’ve been married almost twenty-five years. I think that is a wonderful thing. Has it been easy all the time? No. Have we gone through rough patches? Yes. Not everyone wants to work through them, for some it’s just a quickie divorce. Marriage is a serious commitment: to each other and to our children. My husband and I are great friends, we have the same values; we love and like each other. All the time? That makes me laugh. Most of the time? Absolutely. Here’s to (at least) another 25! Congratulations to US!

Carry on Tuesday: Fear not for the future, Weep not for the past

My Grandparents

My Grandparents (Photo credit: protoflux)

“John, you listen up, I’ve been trying to talk to you all morning. Now sit down next to me you old fool and stop teasing me. I’m just having one of my worrying spells. Oh, stop shaking your head back and forth, you old buzzard, you knew I had these spells back when you married me.

What’s it been now, almost 40 years we’ve been together? So long that at night, my breathing slows down to yours, even when that darn snoring of yours wakes me up, why I just push you over and fall back asleep.

We’re old badgers but we’re lucky cause we got grandchildren now.  Stevie’s third child is due in two months, imagine that. Why I still remember when our own babies were born, like it was yesterday. I don’t remember lots of things, but I remember that clear as day. We had two babies running around in those cotton messy diapers, oh my, all the washing and cleaning in the tub.

Do you remember when the kids went to college? Sure, we were proud as can be but I was sad deep down, all the time. I still had their baby photos up all around and I just had to take them down cause they hurt me to see them, all loving and sweet and innocent. I had me a stabbing pain that caught my breath and wouldn’t leave. The kids didn’t seem to need us anymore. All they wanted to do was be with their friends and drink, least that’s what it felt like to me.

We had each other though, so we could talk between us but those weren’t good years. You remember those years? Of course you don’t, you remember nothing. Don’t pinch me old man, I can still laugh at you, I’m your wife, you best remember that.

I do look forward to when the kids visit. Seeing our babies with their babies. People used to tell us how great it was to be Grandparents and they were right. Those grandchildren are pure magic, fat, cuddly babies with sticky faces but I sure hope I’m still alive to see them as teenagers. I’m laughing and shaking my head thinking bout how bad our kids were in their teens and early twenties. Why I’d enjoy our grandchildren acting up to their parents like ours did to us. Wouldn’t you?

How much time left you think we got left, Johnny? Come on what do you think? I know you can’t say for sure, not asking for sure. You KNOW I sometimes think on these things. I got to admit, I’m still a little fearful of the future though I’m not afraid to die. I know you say just don’t think about it but sometimes I  do anyways. I can’t help it. Or what if you die first? I don’t want to sleep in this bed alone and be cold and lonesome. Why, you’d miss me if I was gone too. Who would do your cooking and cleaning up and make the bed look so pretty, just the way you like? I know you wouldn’t say it but I know you’d miss me; I see that little smile there, John, don’t try to hide it.

Now, let’s take each day as it comes, we not look back and weep for it, what good is that gonna do? We had all those times and now our turn is over; it’s time to pass them on to new generations. It’s their turn, let them enjoy it. We’re just jealous is all, because we didn’t appreciate it when we had it and time speeds by us like a quick burst of chilly air.

Take my hand, husband we’re going walk over to our garden now, gonna water the tomatoes, going to pick some of the cucumbers and you can help me with the corn. We’re gonna do it together, old man, and then we’re going to eat dinner, and for dessert I made you your favorite, a blueberry crumble. Why yes I did. We’ll sit on the porch eating our supper, for as long as the good Lord above will let us. I pray that it’s gonna be a really long time.”

Carry on Tuesday: The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again

Love Love Love

Love Love Love (Photo credit: Gregory Jordan)

Dear Rachel,

I know this letter will come as a surprise but I needed to explain things to you. I’m writing it because you are my best friend and I trust you. I’m sorry I never told you before but I think you knew. I can see you, sitting in your oak office, reading this with your long red hair, nodding up and down, chewing on your nails like you have done since we were ten.

You were right, I DID have a secret but I couldn’t share it with you or anyone else. I have cheated on Don for the past 5 years with a man named Mark. We love each other so much. Unfortunately, we are both married to other people. As much as I love him, I hate myself for what I am doing. We’ve probably broken up the same amount of times we’ve been together; it’s a horrible situation. If I even came close enough to smell the musky after shave he wears, I weaken.  He has a way of making me feel so incredible with just his burning brown eyes on mine. Every organ inside me would start melting, like those gooey, grilled cheese sandwiches we used to make on top of a simmering stove. I have to be honest. I hate the person I’ve become but I’ve loved him in a way I didn’t even know existed and I can’t give that up even though I have tried.

It’s hard to describe the way he makes me feel: Priceless? Special? Extraordinary? Those words don’t even come close. Don has never made me feel that way, no man has and I’m not talking in just a sexual way either. My soul felt  connected to Mark as well as my body. He stroked my skin, like I was a calico kitten, for hours, just doing that and whispering how lovely I was in a low, soft whisper like the sound of the running creek right outside my window. Steady, rippling, constant. I wouldn’t move for hours. I felt so loved by him and his words; it is what I lived for as infrequent as it was.

He has a wife and two daughters back home and when he even eludes to them I would become terribly angry. He never lied to me about them, he told me he did not want to leave his children, but of course, I thought I could change his mind. He and his wife have no relationship at all. I thought the love we had together MUST be stronger than the love he had for his family. Every time he left I told him not to come back, but he would call……and it would start again. I tried so hard to break up with him, I truly did but we would always find our way back to each other. I couldn’t live my life without him and I hated my life and what I was doing with him.

I have nothing against Don, he is a sweet man. But, we live as companions, we eat together, we travel together, that’s it. It’s a comfortable life and I accept it and I was okay with that until Mark entered my life; I never looked for Mark, we met on an airplane.

I hate that I am lying and deceiving Don but I continue to do so, I cannot stop. I don’t know if Mark will leave his family, he says he “wants to” but that it is “difficult and complicated.” I love Mark and I always will.  I am getting more out of control, these past few weeks. That’s why I haven’t returned your calls. I can’t think, I hate myself, I hate both my lives.  When the pain of parting is nothing compared to the joy of meeting again, you have to ask yourself, at what cost?

By the time you read this letter, I will be dead. It’s been planned for weeks. I plan to swallow a lot of pills and drink a lot of alcohol and then drive my car late at night and speed as fast as I can down the hill into the ocean and pray I drown. At least I know I won’t be hurting any more people since it’s our property.

I can’t live in both worlds any longer; I don’t deserve to live in one.

Love, Kate