Soul Baby (5 parts)

 

Dear Baby Girl Z,

Part 1

I’m so sorry, I really am. I know you can’t and won’t forgive me, how could you? I will never forgive myself. Everyone, pretty much, hates me. I don’t know what I was thinking, I guess I thought you would complete me, solve all my problems. But, I had to solve them on my own, didn’t I? I think I wanted you in my life for all the wrong reasons and I know that was selfish and horrible.

One of my friends had adopted a baby and she was the light of her mom’s life, she lived for her baby and I thought that having you would make me whole. I had to learn that the only way for a person to be whole was to be whole first.

Z, I will never, ever forget what I did to you in my entire life. Until the day I die I will think about you every day and every night.

I had dreamed about you for the past seven years. I tried to be patient, I had gone through all the legal hoops and still I waited, until finally three years ago. I finally was finished, I was approved, home inspection: check. Now the only thing I had to do was wait.

 

Part 2.

I was a lawyer hoping to make partner and every day was so busy from seven in the morning to at least ten at night. But, I had arranged everything. I had a nanny set up, a nursery, went out with friends, checked my cell phone constantly.

sadness

sadness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Every day was a possibility, every night could be a disappointment. Even the mailman, Mike, knew my situation and one day, the thick manilla envelope arrived. It was delivered on a bright, sunny Wednesday in the Spring, Mike lingered in the building to hand it to me in person. I didn’t want to share this with anyone so I thanked him and went upstairs to my apartment’s open, airy, bright chrome kitchen and ripped the envelope apart.

 

Thinking

Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn DeLight (back again))

One look at the black and white photograph, seeing your eyes, your deep, dark sad eyes and I held my breath, waiting for the tenderness to overwhelm me. I didn’t feel happy or joyful, I felt terrified and wrong. I thought to myself:’ I’m having a heart attack.’ “I was in shock” I told myself, “of course” and waited to feel the love and sense of motherhood I had longed for. This was MY baby, the baby I had looked forward to for years. My stomach sank to my frigid feet, I felt out of control, overwhelmed, out of my mind. I felt hollow inside and empty but mostly, I felt nothing.

 

Part 3.

“That’s ridiculous” I thought, “it’s just shock. I’m scared, nervous maybe and more than a little unsure.” I talked myself into first day jitters but I only had a photograph and all I could see was the pain in your eyes. I turned away, I walked to the living room, leaving the photograph sitting, turned over on the kitchen counter. The second I turned my back I knew what I had to do,  I knew it in my head, right away, right after, in my heart.

I called my best friend to come over because I was absolutely hysterical, she came but I could not be calmed down. I had made the wrong decision. I would call the agency and tell them that the deal fell through and I’m sure she would be happier with a family, one with kids…and a dog.

Part 4.

I’ve lived with this pain, this regret for many years. Why, how, could I have walked away from my Soul Baby?  I thought all I had wanted to do was be a mother, I swear, until it was almost possible. What was I trying to prove? I was in no way able to offer the love and stability of a child AND have a full-time career. I was selfish, I wanted both. But, after looking at the photo of your sad, tortured eyes, I could not do that to you again. This was not a trial run, or sweater that I could exchange in the store. This was a life and I knew I couldn’t handle it.

I broke down in tears, hysterically crying. I don’t know what happened but I could not be responsible for this beautiful, sad child. What if I was not enough to make her happy? I wasn’t sure enough if I could make myself happy. The next 24 hours were the hardest of my life. I cried through most of them. I wouldn’t speak to anyone but I knew, deep down in my heart that I could not, would not be a mother to this child. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t even know myself yet.

English: Photograph of Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophi...Part 5.

I know this much, there was no excuse for what I did but it was the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. Each morning before work and each evening after dinner, I would take out the same photo that I had never given back, look at it and said “I’m so sorry Baby Girl Z” I not only turned my back on her, I had turned on myself. Eventually I put the photo away and stopped looking at it. I practiced law full-time and yes, I was a Partner.

10 years later:

My son and daughter come running to me, I left being a lawyer when our son was born and two years afterwards our daughter. In their hands was a piece of paper and they were laughing and giggling. “Mommy, who is this?” they cried, pushing and shoving each other. In their hands was the black and white photo of Baby Z, Soul Baby, I had never thrown that photo away nor would I ever.

I looked at my kids straight in their eyes and said “that was Baby Z, she was supposed to be your sister but mommy made a big mistake, it was too early.” They didn’t ask any other questions and there were no other questions left to ask. I took the photo and gently placed it back in my old journal from years ago; this time I put it in the lock box, my husband Jim, of twelve years, smiling by my side.

 

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Plinky Prompt: Baby Love

Young woman kissing baby in bassinet

Young woman kissing baby in bassinet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • 6:00AM: the best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00AM bedtime? See all answers
    • Baby Love
    • NEITHER


    • During my college years (which I can remember vaguely but with fondness) I always needed SOME sleep. I never was one of those “all-nighter” students, I needed at least four hours of sleep. My main problem and yes, it has carried on still today is that I hate the taste of alcohol (hang my head in shame,) so I wasn’t the wild, party girl type. 6:00AM was right in the middle of my sleep.

      6:00AM was ONLY for the love of my two sweet young ones, 21 months apart. We called my son “the farmer” he was awake every morning at 5am toddling in his little one piece sleeper to wake me up because “he didn’t want to miss anything.” When I think about it, he’s still the same way now at 21.

      Our daughter, came screaming into the world and kept screaming. I was up with her many times a night so if it was 6:00 am or 3:00am it was just to pick up my sweet girl, hold her in my arms and feel her body immediately relax.

      That’s what it takes if you want to be a mom, like I did. I wanted to be a mom since I was six years old, I became one at 33, after two and a half years of painful and emotionally draining infertility treatments.
      So at 3am, 6am, sure I was tired. But holding a crying baby in my arms, was nothing short of a miracle to me and it never upset me or made me mad. I was able to hold my baby as I sat in the rocking chair, all my dreams having come true. Who was I to complain?

When The Walls Start Crumbling Down…

Part One. Just A Hint

I have locked myself into my bedroom. I have slithered under my blankets, my naked body on the silky smooth white sheets and under the blue down blanket. My daughter has left in a huff, my son is incommunicado, my husband is at work and I feel misunderstood and sad. I can’t keep  going on like this for much longer.

Dinosaur Wall

Dinosaur Wall (Photo credit: www78)

I can’t blame the weather, it’s cool and bright, the sun sparkles in the sky but I don’t appreciate it as I should, however, I am aware of it. I guess that’s a good sign. All I intend to do is leave everyone on the outside, including my dog, and close my eyes in denial of those feelings that have surfaced for the last six or eight weeks. Can depression be caught by another person?

My husband had been and now he is jolly, swallowing a pill and accepting his fate, his work schedule, his horrible commute. Why can’t I catch up with him?  I was so strong and supportive for him, why can’t he be half as supportive and strong for me? Maybe it was a shock to my system to see him so vulnerable and distant, for me to be strong for him, to see him with no affect sitting in his black chair listlessly. He watched a lot of baseball, switching channels, . I felt left out but he was leaving everybody out yet the facade of him with outsiders was an Academy Award performance. He excels with that but he could not do that with me, I knew better.

Little did I know that he would pop back up like a jack in a box soon after and that I would still be lying on my side like a struck injured animal left on the side of the road, energy-less, suffering. I’m a mother but no one needs me to mother them. I can’t fully be an empty nester because the children come back for school holidays, for a place to stay, to bring their friends. Yes, of course they know everything better, I did that too, many years ago.  They don’t need us now, they have become more distant and I, as usual, feel it more deeply, I am super-sensitive, it is in my genetic make-up. What have I been called, an Empath Intuitive or is it the other way around? I take it more personally as hard as I try not to do that. It I’m sorry but that is who I am.

I want to run away. By myself, someplace far and exotic and new. I want to have an adventure, a solo vacation from all the problems of the world and the people in it. I enjoy nothing these days. Nothing but this keyboard and my eyelids closing.I slow down, I swim, alone, float on my back, kick the water hard with my legs, try to tire myself out, drag myself out I head to the sauna, I am alone, I stay to the point of not being able to breathe. I felt nothing but heat and that felt good. I push the door open and welcome the cold, fresh air on my face and body with a hint of a smile.

For me, it’s a beginning. Very small but while I am tentative, even a glimpse of hope feels a tiny bit better than before. I’ll take it.

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all photographs are property of the owners/photographers.

PFAM- The Stress of Having a Chronic Illness- Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Awareness

Fibromyalgia Awareness (Photo credit: Kindreds Page)

When you have Fibromyalgia stress is part of your life, it’s your face staring back at you next to the definition of “stress” in the dictionary. Wait. What? What were we talking about? I don’t remember, it couldn’t have been too important. It doesn’t matter. I had a good morning, the pain in my arms only woke me up twice during the night and it wasn’t bad at all getting out of bed if you don’t include the dizziness that happened when I tried to get up.  I actually was able to go out and do an errand, even two. My energy level was okay for an hour and a half to two hours! Then, the boat that is my life, sank like the Titanic. There were no survivors. That always happens. I should get used to it but I can’t. Maybe it’s Fibro Fog or pure denial but when I crash in the afternoon, every afternoon, I crumple like a rag doll and need to lie down. I can barely make it up the stairs on my own, the stair rail helps me up as I plod along slowly. It happens every single day. Maybe Fibro Fog and forgetting are better than acknowledging my sad, interrupted life.

My stomach aches, It’s probably IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome as we Fibro patients know, we get pain THERE too, it’s a classic symptom. Stress only makes it worse, where did it come from? We are not exactly sure, some say it’s from Fibromyalglia, some say it’s a gastrointerology disease, other say stress. No matter what, we can’t win.We can run to the bathroom with stabbing pain or basically not go at all. Pain all around. You can’t help it, there is nothing you can do but wait it out. Just an added bonus of Fibromyalgia, just one more question mark that will never be answered. It limits where we can go and when, which in itself is stressful. We have to plan or not plan at the last moment. Friends who understand call in the morning and ask “are we still on?” or “let’s see how you feel in the morning.” For every friend like that, there are two friends plus family members thinking or saying, “you should just exercise/eat gluten free/lose weight/gain weight/go holistic/ try acupuncture, get a massage etc. They are so strong in their feelings and I know it is out of love but I have stopped trying to defend myself and just let them talk as much as they want. Since it’s the 100th time, I don’t fight anymore, now I just pretend to listen.

This insidious illness has not only interrupted our lives, the lives we once had, but for me, divided it into two. Before Fibromyalgia and After. We mourn our old selves to a point, some people still hope for a cure, but I don’t. I need to focus on my new reality, the pills, the pain, the realization that I cannot do many things that I was able to do in the past. That sometimes I feel like half a mother, half a wife, that I have the energy of a cockroach, let me correct that, the energy of a nearly dead cockroach because those things can be feisty.

I am not feisty anymore but I once was. Those were the early days when I could describe myself, without hesitation, as HAPPY but also young. I remember saying that, though conjuring up the feeling now is so much harder. Luckily, when I had my children I did not have Fibromyalgia but they don’t remember all the running around, playing, swinging and rough housing on the floor we did because they were so young. That to me, is heart breaking. Ask them now, as young adults and I’m sure they will remember “Mommy is in bed, she doesn’t feel well” or “Mommy is sleeping.” Ask any mother who has Fibromyalgia if that’s not the tipping point for her. It was for me.You want to help your children until you become old. Fibromyalgia makes you old, makes you feel old and useless a good deal of the time. The stress of life continues and it waits for no one especially us. There’s not only physical pain with those of us with Fibro but emotional pain too. We are not who we used to be. Does anyone ever think of that?  We are half of who we were. People with Fibromyalgia don’t get a “do-over” we don’t even get a chance.

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.

Carry On Tuesday – “Every Now And Then”

A Hill-Rom hospital bed

A Hill-Rom hospital bed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I live in a world of darkness; light splinters in through occasional cracks in the white, plastic blinds. I would rather be in the darkness than in the light. When there is a hint of brightness I hide under my covers and lie still, squeeze my eyes tight. I have felt this way for a long time. Every now and then I try to picture myself in the past buying red tulips and iced coffee but it has been so long ago I can barely remember what it felt like. I now lie in a hospital bed, the IV dripping fluids into my wobbly bluish vein, pain medication scheduled every four hours. There is no silence in a hospital ward, it’s always too noisy; I can’t even hear myself think, maybe they do this on purpose for distraction.

When visitors come I put on pale, pink lipstick and try to sit up to give the image of energy. I attempt to smile and make conversation but really, what is there to talk about? We all know I am dying but nobody wants to talk about that, well, except for me. I bring up the topic from time to time but my friends squirm and change the subject. Since it is not happening to them I don’t understand why they won’t have a conversation with me about it, for goodness sake. Death is my future, it’s all of our futures, some sooner than later. It makes them feel uncomfortable to mention the word, I want to yell at them “man up, I’m the one who is dying here, not you!! ” but I don’t have the energy.

When my father died, many years ago, I had one friend who just let me cry, her name was Margo. I didn’t have to say anything,  I just needed to be able to be with someone I trusted, her arm around my shoulders and I could cry. No one else, even family, made me feel that safe with the exception of my dog. She would jump on the bed and I would cry and she would kiss my face and lick my tears. She was one of the most empathetic dogs I’ve ever known, her nickname was Buddha Dog.

I wear red “cowboy” bandanas in my hair, or what’s left of my hair, I look like a cross between a bad-ass motorcycle chick and a kewpie doll, that’s one hell of a combination but it amuses me. I’m not supposed to admit this but I really don’t like when my children come to see me, I’d rather they didn’t but my husband disagrees and lectures me on this. Why should they have to see me like this, thin and disintegrating and in pain? I would rather them remember me as I was, happily eating mango sorbet, laughing at my own jokes. I would scratch as many cars as possible and not be mad when they teased me about what a horrible driver I was if I could turn the clock back but I can’t. I can’t do a thing except lie here and wait; I am powerless.

Sometimes I ask for foods from my childhood, Wonder bread sandwiches with the crusts cut off with butter and Kraft American cheese or creamy Skippy peanut butter with honey and sliced bananas. These things are soft and don’t hurt the sores in my mouth as much as some of the other foods they try to make me eat. Even if I can’t eat them, I try to touch them and smell them and it makes people feel good to bring something. I’ve learned that. I will ask for simple things so they will feel better.

I don’t have much time left but time enough to know that this life is a short one. Enjoy, not each day, but each part of every day no matter how shitty it is. You are alive and you still have your future. I do not. Hold on to what you have, it is just a fleeting moment or two. Really, hold on to what you have while you can.

What I Wish I Had Done Differently in School

Why Do You Feel This Way?

Sigmund Freud

I would have pushed my insecurities away, told myself there is nothing I can’t do and meant it! I would have followed my dreams to  obtain a Psy.D and not stopped with a Bachelor’s Degree and a few Graduate courses. Laziness would not be a word in my dictionary. People would have called me Fearless Leader and not “Libra girl who can’t make a decision and is too lazy to keep going.” I should have, I could have but I didn’t. Was it wrong decision? Not really, it was right for me at the time.

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Under A Changing Sky

Dark Moon Tree on Night Sky / Magic Fantasy Space

Image by epSos.de via Flickr

Manically I go through box after dusty box in my closet as if flames are licking at my fingers.

What was once mere clutter in my over-stuffed hideaway, needs to be given or thrown away. Now.

I look at these now disposable items with weary and tired eyes of dull green.

I have been awake since early morning;

It looks like I am abandoning my life; life as I know it now.

I am just changing it to focus more on me.

Is it because I feel I am being abandoned that I take things and stuff them into one of seven white trash bags?

Is anger really depression turned inward?

Those sentimental snuggles of the past, the hot tickles of laughter against my warm neck;

I feel nothing now.

I am being left, we are all moving on

and I question for the first time, where all my love and devotion, went.

My daughter is a dark mystery, my son, a stranger, separating.

Tonight I feel used and sorry for myself to be surrounded by silent, awkward strangers.

Sometimes I want to shout “who ARE you?” but I stay silent, trying to accept and acknowledge

the vagrant mysteries of life.

I can’t do more than that.

I want to get ahead of the start of the race, I am in position before they stand up.

Sweat dribbles down my old, soft pink T shirt,

my hair is in an angry ponytail pulled tight, strands of gray and white wiry hair are like lit candles in silent darkness.

I feel unhappy, I say I want more fun.

There are only so many times you can say that

before it because a slow, steep burn of a salty secret.

I already have plans for new skills and new habits and a location change in the future.

I was young once too, I think

but we are all old now.

I have already packed a box of mementos from my children’s childhood,

taken from my inner sanctum of sweet sentimentality.

I will hand them over to my children like an Olympic medalist running with the torch.

Here I sit, surrounded by notes and pens and drawing pads and old

photographs and letters that I have saved; now dissolving and crackling with a light touch.

It is time to let all these things go. It is time to move ahead and change.

Maybe I will keep a few sentimental things in a box for myself,  just a few small morsels of sacred sweetness.

There is a new box  for my deceased father’s old things that I cannot part with; I will put it in the corner of our musty basement

so I don’t trip over his memories several times, every single day.

His absence, like a gaping raw wound that never completely closes.

The stuffed animals that used to give me comfort, even as an adult, are now gone,

I am giving them away to children

who deserve to smother them with sloppy kisses and love.

They mean nothing to me anymore, I look at them and I don’t feel pleasure

but at least I don’t feel pain.

I’m finding it hard now to feel anything.

I could eat silky milk chocolate or dark chocolate with currants  if i wanted to

but I don’t think it will make me feel any better.

This is pain I need to feel and get through.

I am giving away many books, enough to fill a small bookstore.

Starting fresh without all these things I do not really need.

I have my photographs, my slow -motion technicolor memory.

I don’t need much else anymore

but I hope that deep scarlet arm of regret does not clench me and wake me up with stabs of pain

when the morning sun tuns alive, with color, again.

The Letter

Thomas the Tank Engine depicted in the TV Series

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Kate,

It’s been a long time since we last talked or wrote each other. How are you? I have a feeling I know. I can’t believe our boys are graduating from High School in four weeks.  It doesn’t matter that so many miles and so many years have passed by. We still have the memories, the boys still have a connection and so do we. As I grow older I realize that there are many types of friendships on so many levels and they are all different and good.

Right now, I am stuck in between pride and delight and loss and simple sadness.  It seems like it was yesterday that our two boys, mine with his dark brown hair and yours with his light blond hair were playing in the sandbox together and sipping apple juice from juice box containers, tilting their heads back and drinking from the tiny spout without the straw. Our whole family called it the “Nick” way for many years; it made quite an impression! I can still see us watching our children together, sitting at a picnic bench, side by side, while they dug in the heavy, beige sand. Now, our sons are graduating High School and heading soon, after the summer, to college.

Wasn’t it yesterday, Katie, that I was cradling my newborn son in my arms, his head snuggling against my shoulder, the sweet, milky, powdery smell of baby? Trying to remember the smell is virtually impossible. Even back then, when I breathed it in daily, hourly, every second of the night and day, I wanted to bottle it, especially for nostalgic times like these.

Adam is going to the prom in less than a week with his girlfriend. The word “girlfriend” does not roll off my tongue naturally yet, because the word was always forbidden in the house…that is, until a few months ago. It makes me happy to see Adam and his girlfriend together, and it makes me sad, for them, that they will be saying goodbye to each other very soon. But, that’s how life works. This is all so new to him and I can’t protect him from pain any more now than I could protect him once he was properly suited up when he played football in the early years. Our children need to work things out and learn by themselves, they will need to grow up on their own.

I am trying to prepare myself for the quiet stillness of the house without Adam here at home. Julia, my beautiful blond 16 and a half year old “baby”, has only one more year left of High-School and then she too, graduates. It’s all a bit overwhelming, it feels like the powerful ride of the dark-green ocean waves with no rest in-between. When Julia graduates from High-School and is in college I can imagine that this tiny house, our family home will seem cavernous. We cannot imagine the silence creeping into our house like moths, flapping their fragile wings without a sound.

I wonder if we will miss the kids’  booming voices, the fighting, the shrieks, and their clothes all over their floors. I am sure we will at first. I imagine this whole, new experience summed up in a word: “bitter-sweet” some happy, some sad, like the strong branches with delicate red berries growing on them.

I still carry the picture in my mind of the boys playing with smiling Thomas The Tank Engine and his friends. How we built bridges and tunnels with wooden Brio pieces time and time again. Thomas and his Friends and tracks and the Conductor are still somewhere in my mildewy basement; I could not say good-bye to them too.

Love, Jane

Running Away: My “Rachel Green” (Friends) Moment

Friends Season 2

Image by IvanTortuga via Flickr

It’s no secret that being an adult can be very stressful at times for a variety of reasons. It could be parenting, it could be employment or unemployment,  marriage, illness or a combination of the above.  Parenting, to me, is utterly delicious but not always easy especially when you have two teenagers in High School at the same time.  Adulthood in itself can also be extremely overwhelming; you are older and things are not as easy as they used to be.  Everything is harder and more difficult however, if you live with a chronic illness. Your energy level is low, you feel weak, you feel pain, tiredness and sometimes sad and discouraged. That is the world I live in.

My husband and I had agreed to meet for lunch in the city where he was working.  I was coming from one of  many doctor appointments and feeling very discouraged. I think I had been to my  Opthamologist who had to relaser my eyes for the umpteenth time for my narrow- angled glaucoma. Or,  It could have been to see my Rheumatologist who is in charge of auto -immune diseases for my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  It could have been both.

We ordered our food and then I excused myself to go to the ladies room. Once I got inside I saw a big, wide open window,   leading to the street. Yes, I admit it,  I had a moment. I had a Rachel Green moment ( for those of you who don’t know the tv episode of Friends, she climbs out of the window at her wedding and runs away). For a few seconds I pictured myself climbing out that window;  I was absolutely stunned. Shocked. Eerily quiet.  For a split second I thought to myself, “I could just leave through this window and escape.”   I saw myself in  France or Italy,  eating warm, dense, freshly baked bread, pulling it apart and dunking it in olive oil.  I laid in the soft green velvet grass surrounded by leafy, gorgeous trees and rolling hills. There were wildflowers of every color, purple, yellow, pink and white.  I was alone. I was another person and, I was happy, feeling marvelous and buoyant and free. Free of illness, free of worry, I had just stepped into the colorized version of my life; I had entered into my own personal  Wizard of Oz.

No one could have been more shocked than me!  I shook my head quickly at the notion, but as I was returning to the table (and confessing to my husband) I still saw that image in my mind.  The sweetest thing was the feedback my husband gave me which was “I don’t blame you!!” I would NEVER do it,  would NEVER leave my family, but the fact that the thought popped into my mind was absolutely startling.

My husband and I finished our lunch and my husband led me to the train, the pain in my eyes like sharp, steel wires under attack, unable to see clearly and with a severe headache that pounded  the entire right side of my face. I stumbled to  Starbucks and bought a cup of coffee and a densely rich, moist,  brown sugar and molasses cookie for the ride. As  the train doors shut, I settled in, seated next to a window, in a chair facing my home and away from the city. Taking small, sugary bites from my molasses cookie I tried to relax.  My back nestled in the old, worn, smelly quilted chair. I sat quietly, listening to the  slow, chug-chug beat of the train like a song that was stuck on only one phrase, repeatedly. I sat in the train, the 2:48  that was delivering me back home.