FWF: Kellie Elmore

English: Broken Heart symbol

English: Broken Heart symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The What ifs and The Should Haves Will Eat Your Brain by John O’ Callaghan

Learn from me.  I allowed your flesh-eating amoebas steal pieces from my soul and heart as if I was no longer a person with feelings, but a mass of rusty, mechanical parts. You won the round for a number of years but not the fight, no definitely not the fight.

You played unfairly, with aggression, the intent to severely wound with a fake smile plastered on your pale face.  I meekly, crept under a colorful fall red leaf, my sense of self, like a worm stepped on in pieces, buried deep down in the tough, brown unyielding ground.

How could you be my best friend one night yet not the next? No one could help me understand, no one understood either. Pain can either kill you or make you stronger. It’s a toss-up. I won in the end. I pitied you and you loathed pity.

There was not a single thing I could have done more than I had done already. Letters and phone calls, messages. I just wanted to talk to you but your holier-than-thou attitude refused my attempts. You ignored me, forgetting about the closeness we had for years. You were mean, hateful. I started, very slowly, noticing your flaws, the discrepancies in your behavior. My conscience was clear, like a clean pane of glass that smelled like freshly cut lemons. You were self-destructing in front of everybody’s eyes.

But I did not forgive you for destroying what should have been one of the happiest days of my life, you stole that from me, like a big, bold bully snatches and stomps on a little boy’s new toy. The night I invited you to your favorite restaurant, nervous and excited; you stole my special joy from me when I told you I was pregnant and you put your head in your hands and wept. I was flabbergasted, shocked, hurt, confused. I imagined joy, “congratulations” squeals of delight. I got nothing.  No, you sat in your seat, head down, tears falling into your soup. I stopped asking what was wrong when all you would do was shake your head from side to side signalling “no.” Our friendship was over. Your cover, blown.

I used to always defend your insecurities and phobias: driving, flying, going on a boat, or a train, going in elevators, the list got longer every year. You made your husband fly on vacation, alone. You didn’t have the decency to show up at your in-laws funerals. Everybody gasped in shock and horror; there was no turning back from that. You crossed the line there, there were no excuses for that type of behavior.

Everyone knew that you were a psychologically impaired person but there are some things people do for those that they love. There were medications and therapy but you refused to go, to try to get help,  therapy was fine for “other people” but not you. You refused to try, you were too scared to go. After awhile even your husband threw up his hands and gave in. Ice water ran through your veins.

Your husband, our friend, had the grace to tell us the truth, he confessed and told us everything, You continued to lie. You changed your mind about a deal you made with your husband, yet when we tried to talk to you, you lied to our faces.There was a cruel side to you, one you tried so desperately to hide, but it would escape when you let your guard down, didn’t it?

I could see the hatred that you harbored deep inside. It came out in whiffs like a puff of smoke or perfume, I couldn’t grab hold of it but I knew, for sure, it was there. I knew something was wrong with you since the first time we met as you handled my laundry, inappropriately, crossing boundaries.You hated that I knew all your secrets. I thought I knew you, and I did, on that very first day when my instincts whispered in my ear and I told them to go away.

I should have followed my instincts on the first day we met, I knew there was something off, something strange about you but I didn’t listen. That lesson, I have learned forever. For this, I thank you.

A Kinder, Gentler, Simon Cowell? (Pop Cop)

English: Simon Cowell at the National Televisi...

English: Simon Cowell at the National Television Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, London, October 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t honestly say for sure but in my gut I’m sensing a kinder, gentler, Simon Cowell just from watching episodes of The X Factor. Could that be possible true or is it my imagination? First of all I love the show and as critical as Simon is, he’s gained a tender, playful side to him that I’ve never seen before. He even referenced that he was going to be a father, unless I didn’t hear correctly?  He did say something to that effect, didn’t he? I believe he did.

He seems to still tell the truth but on a “not-so-nasty-shove-it-in-your-face-twist-the-knife-kind-of-way.” He genuinely smiles now. He’s not half as snarky as he used to be. Someone tell me I’m not dreaming because it seems so surreal. If Simon Cowell can actually look tender, there is hope for the world, right? Stranger things have happened.

Whoever his lovely lady-friend is, Ms. Lauren Silverman, I say “Congratulations” you must be a very special woman. I don’t care about the specifics of your relationship or the behind the scene interactions that’s your business and not mine and I am not one to judge. Just watching Simon smile and fool around with the other judges makes me grin foolishly. How silly, I don’t even remotely know this man yet I am happy for him, I really am.

He seems grounded now, he doesn’t need to talk about himself all the time, he has a lady-love and a baby on the way. Who would have thought of Simon as a family man? Simon, I am happy for you and you will never know who I am but that doesn’t matter. It makes ME smile to see the way your eyes crinkle now in laughter, to see you laugh at yourself and have fun. Mazel tov, you will be a great dad.

Who knew?

The X Factor (Australia)

The X Factor (Australia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Haiku Heights: Late

NYC Taxi

NYC Taxi (Photo credit: Philippe Boivin)

City,  jump, run, rush

unsettled life, noise, street rats

stall, honk, taxi, late.

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Happy-Sad, Anxious,

Infertility shots, tears

Gasp! Yes, I’m Pregnant!

B for Beautiful

B for Beautiful (Photo credit: peggyhr)

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all photographs/prints are owned by the photographers.

The Soul Twin

English: aima n baby boy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Prophetic Dream

baby kai

My husband and I had been trying to have a baby for over two years. I had taken fertility drugs, had daily shots administered by my husband on my then-firm butt. Early every morning, before the sun reached the sky, I drove to the fertility clinic like a robot to get my blood drawn. My veins looked like pieces of bruised, rotten fruit, like a once delicate peach or apricot. I was depressed and cried easily and often. One night I had a dream that G-d told me everything would be okay and that I would get pregnant and I would have a son. I clung to that message and told no one about it until now. That single dream and memory kept me going. Weeks later I found out I was pregnant. Nine months later, I gave birth to my newborn son.

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Congratulations, Celine Dion!

Dear Celine,

I just read that you are pregnant with twins and that is making me extraordinarily happy. I am grinning and know exactly how you feel.  Anyone who has gone through infertility is probably reacting the same way with universal delight.  Having a baby, for many people is a long and rough road, not to mention painful, expensive and emotionally draining.  I should know, it took two and a half years to become pregnant with our first child.

When I was going through the infertility process 20 years ago, nobody talked about it. The only people you talked to about this  gut-wrenching secret with were the other women you met in the infertility clinic and your husband. Having children had always, always been my dream for life; not having them felt inconceivable (no pun intended).  Years ago, I felt humiliated and embarrassed,  depressed and without hope.  That’s not a good feeling every day, every month for over two and a half years; I remember it  being one of the most depressing parts of my life because it felt like the death of hope. I got pregnant with my son two and a half years after we started trying, with help. Then, like thrilling magic, without infertility treatments, I got pregnant with our daughter, twelve months after our son was born.  It is a feeling no one understands until you have been through it. Believe me.

Today, it is not the shameful secret that it was 20 years ago. It wasn’t discussed on television or written about in magazines. It was whispered with hushed silences and every day there were reminders of what we did not have.  Everywhere I looked there were glowing pregnant women and adorable infants, baby carriages and pregnancy news 24/7. It’s like when you first need prescription glasses and suddenly realize how many people wear glasses.

At least now, there are support groups and people to lean on that understand the experience. When something is kept a deep, dark secret, you feel you are all alone. Congratulations, dear Celine. I am rooting for you and your precious family. I understand how it feels to go through the infertility process. You are 14 weeks pregnant, may you have a safe and healthy pregnancy. We all love happy news ; you bring us joy, you give us hope. We wish the same for you and your family.

Fat Fits

OUCH!  My pants are killing me and they are digging into my stomach and causing major red welts. WHO put them in the dryer for so long??! It is obvious that they shrank to a smaller size. Who hasn’t asked the very same question or said those very same words? When you are in your twenties or early thirties, five, even ten pounds are not that hard to lose. You skip some desserts, eat a few more salads with dressing on the side, you’re pretty much back to where you were. Not really a big deal although it probably seems like it when it happens. After all, you have nothing to compare it to. You can moan or groan and be a size 6 or 8 or 12 or 22 and still feel conspicuous. You can lie (as most of us have done) and say it’s “water weight,” “I’m bloated” or “just too much salt in that French onion soup (regardless of the mountain of gooey, stringy cheese on top).”  It’s all very plausible and they basically mean the very same thing. It’s not fun but it is fairly easy.

Now,  we are married and pregnant and you ARE eating for two! Thank goodness I had my children in my early thirties because now I hear that you are only supposed to gain about eight pounds for your entire pregnancy. Eight pounds? I probably gained that in between office visits when I was pregnant.  I didn’t crave pickles and ice cream much to my husband’s disappointment; he wanted me to wake him up in the middle of the night with cravings for chocolate ice cream with butterscotch syrup. I just wanted to sleep without peeing every hour on the hour.   With my son I craved Chinese food, French rolls from Dunkin’ Donuts with grape jelly (no butter) and bologna and orange American cheese sandwiches on white bread with butter; chocolate milk was the beverage of choice. After all, the baby and I needed calcium.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, a  mere twelve months after my son was born, we thought she would be Greek because all I ever wanted were Greek salads with extra feta cheese, all the time. It sounds healthy but it really wasn’t. The Italian (I know, right?) place I got it from gave giant-sized portions with about two pounds of salty feta cheese along with their deliciously creamy home-made dressing; extra dressing on the side, please.  It was a salad, and, in my befuddled brain, that meant healthy. It was also served with a lot of bread.  In addition, since I was pregnant in the summer, Carvel’s vanilla cones, dipped in multi-colored sprinkles were a must or extra thick, creamy French vanilla milkshakes to quell the nausea (if there was nausea), of course. Again, we needed even more calcium.  All that vanilla and my second child, my daughter, loves only chocolate. It figures.

Losing baby weight from two pregnancies in a row is a joke and besides, those pregnancy pants are so darn comfortable. Skip ahead a few years, okay, more than a few, and you’re fifty. You’ve gone through peri-menopause, menopause and post menopause and every single thing in and on  your body changes and you pretty much fall apart. The three pounds you used to be able to lose in two days? Gone.  You have gained weight by NOT changing your diet at all and you’ve developed a large kangaroo pouch for which there is no joey. Your fat is redistributed and your clothes don’t fit the same anymore. Your waist has all but (speaking of the butt, the butt reinvents itself and is its country), your hips take on Titanic proportions and you can’t even begin to describe your upper legs as thighs. They are more like battleships and the more you walk around, the more they shift and fight each other and no one ever wins; there are no survivors.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure things out and you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to put the pieces together; you are older now, middle- aged, middle- aged plus, or old and your body, in a sense, is breaking down. To put it clearly, after a certain age, you really do start falling apart.  I find this happening more to women than men but that could be because we just talk about it more. That is, women talk to women about these kinds of things ad nauseum.  This is not a discussion they are having with their boyfriends or lovers or G-d forbid, their husbands.  If we don’t speak about it, it must not be true.

The years go by, the numbers go up. You try to exercise but the numbers stay the same. If the numbers go up, it’s definitely muscle mass. It’s so damn cold outside how can we exercise? It is way too icy to walk and heaven forbid slip, you don’t want a broken ankle especially because your bones are more brittle now too.  You have the elliptical machine that you could use but with the foot/heel problems you have had your orthopedist strongly recommends you NOT use it because of the trauma to your already torn ligament. Of course there’s indoor swimming, which even if you had the ridiculous amount of money they charge at the gym, the thought of swimming indoors and going back outside to the freezing cold with wet hair is less than desirable. Don’t you get an instant cold that way? That could lead to the flu, swine, regular or all-purpose.

What can you do?  You either fight like hell and become a person who is relentless in starving and maintaining the lowest calorie account imaginable.  You can eat a moderate amount and not forsake all the things you love.  Or, you can eat as much as you want, when you want and just buy bigger clothes.  There are a few options in between and we can justify whichever one we want.  Basically,  fat is a relative thing. Health is a whole other article.  Do what’s right and what’s comfortable for you and don’t let anyone, ANYONE judge you. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t want to lose the extra ten or……if I easily could. But, the fact is, I’ve tried and I’ve tried again. Being 53 I just don’t care that much about what other people think of me. I know who I am and I’m the same woman inside no matter what the label says; let us be comfortable in our own skin, inside and out.