The Peace Prize

Blue Water

Image by doug88888 via Flickr

In the small, contained river, ringlets of water come to me, float away from me. I feel relaxed, my body is not betraying me now. There is silence in the house, just my breathing, in and out, with an occasional sigh from my contented old dog. I have spent three days and nights in bed, aching, pale, listless; every muscle and joint screaming in pain, tight as twisted steel. Now, there is a little comfort of mind and body intertwined. My music plays in the background, I’m listening to “My Immortal“; by Evanescence.  It was my grief song and at the same time my healing song. I can listen to this song now without sobbing yet nine years ago when my father died, I crawled into a ball and wept every time I heard it. Sometimes time brings just a tiny bit of healing in increments as small as cells.

Many other days I am filled with questions and complaints but today they have been momentarily swept away. I try to keep my shoulders balanced so the tightness and stiffness will stay away. I do not want to be known as Fibromyalgia Girl. I want to be known as a woman with Fibromyalgia and not have the illness define me. Same too, I do not want to be Auto-immune Girl, Hashimoto Thyrioditis’ woman, The Woman with Chronic Pain. I am still the same person inside yet with physical limitations. Please, please, remember me.

When there is a day like today when I can release the labels and just be myself it is like winning a prize; a prize of peace. It is rare but on the days it does happen I am so relaxed I yawn automatically. Treasure this, I tell myself, this moment, this second, as long as it lasts; I know that they are merely moments of reprieve but I am grateful for them.

I am clean and polished, I want to organize, slowly this time, not like the crazy rush I did five days ago, punishing myself with aching limbs and so much stiffness I could barely walk down the stairs. I clutched the hand rail for  support, for guidance, my jaws clenched, my hair pulled into an unforgiving, tight ponytail ; my body was stone and cement and there was no softness, no pull, no elasticity.

I swing my right leg, back and forth, keeping time to silent orchestration.  The world outside is bright and bitter-blue cold. I have no interest in bracing myself and stiffening my body just to go out. I rather walk slowly through the rooms of my tiny, doll-size house and get reacquainted. ‘Hello, pen,  hello, Bridget, the stuffed pink poodle, nice to see you again’. I am trying to breathe in even breaths but the more I try, the more I lose my relaxed rhythm. I decide that that’s okay; I refuse to worry.

Nothing has changed in the outside world so I know today is a gift for the internal me. I can’t make it happen anymore than I can make it stop. I am grateful for the breather, a vacation for an hour or two from body and mind.  The jack hammers are on a break, questions are still unanswered, situations will ultimately resolve themselves. I am grateful for this one moment of peace.

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Beyond The Pink Sky

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I’m watching tiny flecks of snow come down constantly, through the trees and on the trees like vanilla frosted brownies. It is peaceful with my husband and children home. They have a snow day and they are as excited now as they were when they were eight and ten. I don’t think you ever  get over the excitement of a snow day, no matter how old you are or what you do.

My daughter and I ate egg and cheese sandwiches that my husband made. Our son sat in the family room in his blue fleece beer mug pajama pants, his phone in one hand, the other playing X-box. I wanted to say “come here, watch the snow fall from the sky” but I know better. At their ages, 16 and 18, they have their own personal snow scenes that don’t include me. It took some getting used to when they were in their early teens but now we have settled into a routine. I know that this routine will only last a little while and then it will change and be replaced by another. I’m not great with change but I know I need 24-48 hours to get used to new things and then I am fine or as fine as I can possibly be.

I am wearing my dad’s old West Point sweatshirt and blue snow flake pajama pants, lying in our bed, alternately reading, writing and glancing up to the sky to see the delicate flakes fall. The sky is so full of snow that it looks pink. I always say I hate the winter and I do but for the first time I wonder if I did live in a warm climate all year round, would I miss it?  Would I appreciate Spring as much as I do if I didn’t have to go through Winter?

My daughter just brought me a cup of tea and served it to me in my room. How lovely that she asked me if I wanted a cup. Children are joyful beings and as an old teacher once said “they will constantly surprise you” and they do. My children will be grown-ups soon, they will age, as we all do. My children have grown up here in our little house with their bikes and skateboards, “Razors”  and their lemonade stands.

The best thing I have ever done in my life is to get married to my loving husband and have two of the most amazing children you could hope for. I never had much ambition in life other than being a mom and writing, but being a mom is who I am; it’s what I was meant to do; it’s my Nobel Peace prize, my heart and my soul, my life’s work.

When our work in life is completely over bury me near a tree that blooms pink flowers with my husband and soul-mate, my love and best friend beside me. If all it said on my headstone was “Loving Wife” and “Beloved Mother” I would be gently smiling, and at peace.

My Greatest Achievement

” There is night so we can appreciate day, sorrow so we can appreciate joy, evil so we can appreciate good, ‘YOU’ so I can appreciate ‘LOVE’ ! “

This is one post I hope my teenage children will skip. It’s totally sentimental and for lack of a better word, “shmaltzy.”(sappy?). I can honestly say, without a second’s hesitation, that my kids (sorry Dan, our kids) are my greatest achievement. I don’t have a Ph.d nor have I received the Nobel Peace Prize; Oprah hasn’t given me a free trip to Australia (or a new car) but I’m extremely blessed. I have a son who will be 18 in a few weeks and a 16-year-old daughter. I am incredibly proud of both my children. Of course I love and adore them but I also really like and enjoy them too. They are extremely different, as siblings can be, but they both possess qualities that make me incredibly proud. I have brought two young people into the world that are intelligent, polite, kind, charming, and most importantly, they care about other people. Both of them volunteer, work and are excellent students. Are they perfect? Of course not. Do I get frustrated and annoyed sometimes? You bet. However, there is no doubt in my mind that both of them will make this earth a better place in one way or another. These kids are my heart and my soul. I have a son and a daughter, a phrase from an old song comes to mind: “who could ask for anything more?”

I overcame infertility which, by itself, is a grueling and draining process, understood only by those people who have gone through it. Two and a half years of trying to get pregnant, 30 months of disappointment, tears and depression. I was meant to be a mother, it’s something I have always wanted and while not impressive to some, being a SAHM (stay at home mom,” Mr. L”)has given me more than just good kids; these kids are amazing. I’m honored to be their mom.

P.S. if they ever read this, I am so cooked, I will get an endless amount of grief!

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Do You Etch-A-Sketch? (Repost)

Etch-a-Sketch zoo. Anonymous

1/06/10

War*. *Terrorism*. Security*. TSA*  Environment.  Homeless. Cancer. Horrible Diseases. Accidents……. NO!!!!!!  We are NOT  talking about all those scary issues and horrifying thoughts at this moment on this blog. I said NO. We are bombarded ( sorry for the tactless use of this word) with bad news every single, solitary day and night, 24/7.   I stopped watching the news at night because I would get so scared and anxious that I wouldn’t be able to sleep or I would have an anxiety attack for which I would, indeed, need medication.

Today (and for future happy blogs) will only be about:  things that make me happy, things that make me (or you) laugh, anything that brings joy, great yummy stuff (we don’t count carbs or calories here) to eat. So,  here’s to: Joy, Pleasure, Silliness and Laughter. Feel free to write me with those things you love.

Mine starts with Peeps.  I love marshmellow Peeps. Yes, I know I am 53 (ugh) but Peeps make me happy. I have to say though that they were much more fun when you could ONLY get peeps on Easter and my peep chicks (not bunnies) would have to be yellow. They just had to be. There’s a wide variety of colors now too (who ever heard of that?) purple, green, red, and multi-colored. Now you can buy Christmas Peeps, Valentine Peeps, Peeps for any day Peeps,  Peep Day and Be-nice-to-your-dentist-Peeps. That’s a bit controversial; not going to lie. How can you not smile if someone hands you a Peep? Make your day (if you love Peeps like I do) a Peep day. Choose whatever color, shape, design that you want; and think of me, just enjoy and smile.  Note to self: call to make the over-due appointment with the dreaded dentist.

Cadbury Creme Eggs.  I love the creme eggs Cadbury sells (NOT the ones with the caramel) so much.  Love. Them. Crave them.  It has been a tradition since I can remember that my mom used to (okay still does…) buy me one or two Cadbury Creme Eggs when they first came out (how many years ago was that?!)  I think they only come out around  Easter. Imagine Easter peeps and Cadbury creme eggs for a limited period of time. Heaven; and one hell of a sugar high.  They come in tiny mini sizes now so if you eat the whole box of 6, I’m sure it would only add up to one real egg.  How can you not like the fake yolk and white? It’s pure genius and guaranteed to make you so very happy. Just thinking of what these Cadbury Creme eggs look like, even on the outside, (different brightly colored tin foil) makes me happy.  Is it Easter yet?

Who cares if I didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize or write the new Oprah bestseller. It’s the little things in life we have to enjoy, and make sure we do as often as possible. (I seriously hope my internist and dentist aren’t reading these blogs.) And, I really hope someone from the Food Network or Candy Channel reads this blog.

What else, that is not food-related can I add to this list? I know. Etch-a-Sketch. I love that toy, and by the way, I could write script/cursive on it and I felt way talented as all hell.  Not bad, right? Oh, and Slinkys, those toys are sublime on steps. Not the plastic variety, they aren’t worthy of my attention, but the original silver Slinky…nice. I would add the smell of Play-Doh and Silly Putty but I wouldn’t want anyone to think my emotional growth was stunted in any way, shape or form….

Seriously? I need to either grow up or expand my interests a bit. Grownup things that I love and make me happy: my first and only pair of UGG boots that I paid for myself the second or third year they came out. Didn’t want trendy, just wanted warm. I love my original UGG boots, they make my feet feel happy and warm and safe. Still.

Making home-made pea soup. Making home-made chicken soup.  Baking banana bread, the only decision being is whether to add raisins, chocolate chips or both. I love baking banana bread because my kids and my niece and nephew love it and it makes them happy and it makes me feel special.

All in all, it’s a happy, fun list, right? Nothing scary, nothing to panic over. Just one more thing to add: Watching One Tree Hill with my 15 year old daughter, that makes me the happiest of all or deeply regretful depending if she sees this or not.

Happy Silliness to us all.

*President Obama: I voted for you, I support you, I’m with you all the way, but dude, seriously? Focus. Get together with the TSA and make it work. No joke.

p.s. I own no legal copyrights to any of the above mentioned items. Nor do I get free products from them. I wish.