Dear Daddy,

I’ve meant to write you for a couple of days but now I NEED to write you. You were always there for me when times were tough, especially when times were tough. You were the only person who really knew me because our personalities were so similar.

I know I’m just having a very bad day and they happen from time to time but this one is unusual. I feel like I’m getting beaten up by everybody

and I don’t know why. I don’t have you here to defend me or to want to get back at the people who are making me sad. I do know that if you could, you would although I’m not so sure you would defend mom.

No matter what she did, you defended her but her tone today, I know, you would have been the one to say “take it easy” and she would have listened. Her ordering me around like she is the commander and I’m the soldier was horrible. Something is not right. Does she think that the holiday season is only hard on her?

Losing Lola and Don and Ellen were tragic losses, believe me, I know. I went to the funerals of two of them with her. Anna went to one of them so she was always supported. There’s not much else anyone can really do. Both Emma and I call her every day, she boasts about that to her friends but sometimes  it seems I can do nothing right. At least that’s how it feels to me.

I’m not in their club of two, my sister and mom, they are so similar and our club, you and me, doesn’t exist anymore, talk about grief. Yes, I know it’s a rough time of year, with you dying on New Year’s Eve

and you and mom’s anniversary on New Year’s Day! Not such good timing, Dad. I  remember our last Christmas but the grief comes back in waves of sadness and anger. You should be here, playing Santa and ringing the stupid bell you always rang. If only you could come back for just one minute to ring that bell and to give me a hug that I so desperately need from you now.

Well, the day is almost over, I’m hiding in my bedroom, yeah I know, not the right solution but that’s okay, I just need a little time to myself. Your granddaughter is out having fun and your grandson will be home tomorrow. At the moment he is the one worrying because, like me, he is so intuitive and he heard my voice on the phone. I know I worry too much, oh stop laughing, but I try not to do that. I can’t help it if I read headlines and get scared. As most parents, I worry about my children.

You know I love you, of course you do, thank you for the signs you send me (I could use one soon, please.) Do I wish you a Merry Christmas in Heaven? It’s been so many years  you would think my grief would have mellowed but today it is raw. I don’t understand that at all.

I’m going to play some music now and settle down, I know I’ll be fine in a few minutes. You know I’ll be fine, I always remember what you and Mom said: “That beneath the mushiness, deep down, I am steel” and I know that’s true. I’ve had to be many times in my life. I love and miss you so much but I am glad you are not in pain anymore, that’s for sure. Say hi to Lore for me, quite a prank she pulled on us at her funeral. It seems like Diane and I both thought we were the sole “Augusta.” Only Lore could get away with that. Please tell her I miss her too, I really do.

All my love,

Your little mouse

PS The dog just pushed the door open, jumped up on the bed and kissed my whole face which she generally doesn’t do. She knew I was sad, I feel better already.

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Jelly Beans, Low Blood Pressure And Artichoke Hearts

Here it is, free style writing the title: three words that came to mind and now I am just typing without thinking about it or looking at/correcting it. I am not reading  sentence by sentence I am considering this as a writing exercise. I’ve heard writers do this twice a day but I don’t think I have the fortitude for that. Besides, I am getting really tired and loopy and God knows what will be on this page when I finish.

Gray-white scottish terriers

prancing in their kilts, Mrs. Kelly probably planning her St. Patrick’s day party already. I have known two wonen of Irish descent and we don’t mix well, I wonder why.I don’t think it’s a religious thing at all, maybe our astrological signs are so differente. But, the two women have similar traits , coldness, showing no emotion, blank. Just a coincidence.

Everyone knows I wear my heart on my sleeve, the complete opposite of that and sometimes I really need to shut up. I say too much lately and I need to control my mouth. Lately words come out that I used to edit and censore and for a few months I’m slipping, something to work on like mindful meditation twice a week.

2015 the year of me, writing, not being afraid of so many things, gratitude

of my relationship with my daughter that was so hard for so many years. My son, is as always sweet and lovable.

I worry about my mother and think about bad things too much, Ebola and bad diseases and worrying about things I have no control over, what’s the use of worrying if you haven o control? Exactly, useless. Stop.

I want to invent something, sell a script, write a book, try to remember things with attention to detail. Like names, I will ay it outloud several times or in my head. I will make a list and write about 2014 as it comes to an end. And we will say, as we do every year, 2014 was a horrible year and that next year 2015 will be much better. Truthfully, we’ve been saying that for years. Here’s hoping.

Happy 4th of July, Independence Day

English: The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra p...

English: The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra performing at the Hatch Shell in Boston. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops

Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops via last.fm

When I was growing up, every 4th of July, my family would be glued to the television set to hear the Boston Pops and to watch the fireworks burst and boom on our television set. It was a tradition set in our middle-class red brick apartment building in Queens.

We were the last family in the neighborhood to get a color television set. I had already glimpsed the wonder after seeing The Wizard of Oz at my friend’s house and still remember the feeling of awe, not knowing there was color in the movie.

My parents finally bought a color tv during the Olympics after seeing Dorothy Hamill skate like a swan at our dear friend’s house.  I “worked” for Lore for many summers in her gourmet chocolate shop, oh, I KNEW my chocolates!  She sent me care packages in college, she spoiled me but most of all, she always understood me, my fellow Libra. I miss her every day.

My dad loved to watch soccer, he would yell and scream at the television enthusiastically, you could hear him shout from any room. He also loved watching any type of ceremony: parades, marching bands and all celebrations.

Yesterday, I talked to my best friend and after and we hung up, I reached for the phone to call my dad. I wasn’t feeling sad or morose, it just seemed natural until I remembered that he has been dead for a very long time.

Fireworks July 4th Independence Day 2013 Polo ...

Fireworks July 4th Independence Day 2013 Polo Field Fort Sill Oklahoma (24) (Photo credit: HiRez Dude Colin Henderson ch@cnhender.com)Today, July 3rd,

Sometimes, I will watch a show or listen to music that I know my dad would love, it makes me feel like we’re listening to it together.

A memory just popped into my head: the first bad heart attack my dad had, had been on Father’s Day when my son was 6 months old yet he refused to go to the hospital until I was so upset I started crying.  My mom and I took him to the Emergency Room. My father’s complexion was pasty and green and I remember he was sweating but he never clutched his heart, he just felt a little unwell.

After blood tests, the young, snippy doctor told him “he was a very, very sick man.” And, he was, he needed quadruple by-pass surgery which back then was definitely out of the ordinary.

My husband and I had a six month old son that I had never been away from but I was the one who stayed so I could help my mom and be near my dad.  I hate driving in the city but being with my dad was just too important than my own fears.

Luckily, my father was able to be transferred to the city for the complicated  operation and my mom and I waited in the hospital for 7 hours.  Saying good luck to my dad right before the operation, was one of the hardest, most gut wrenching things I have ever done and I know he felt the same way. Don’t let anyone tell you NOT to cry, it’s really okay.

It felt like a hammer was breaking my heart in pieces. Thank G-d it was a success and he lived many years after that.  It occurred to me today my dad was allowed to go home from the hospital on July 4th, Independence Day. I remember making a sign for him.

Mending a Broken Heart

Mending a Broken Heart (Photo credit: Free Grunge Textures – http://www.freestock.ca)

Certainly, it was a day to celebrate.

 

 

Baking For Cousins

It’s been a rough week, I’ve started about twenty new posts and never finished any but last night I talked to a new friend and it felt refreshing like biting into a piece of lemon cake on a hot summer day. Sometimes, when things feel black, an unexpected opening, like a crack in a window, appears from nowhere and you can finally start to breathe normally again.

Open Window

It doesn’t solve your problems and It may not last,  but at least it makes you remember that “normal” really isn’t the deep-down, below the ground hurt, sadness and resentment you have felt for the last few days. It’s as if you have been given a “time-out” to think about your marriage, your grown up children, your family and friends, your Life.

It’s like taking a break without traveling. It’s NOT dreading the barbeque at your house that you felt two days ago but happily making food. Slicing the mozzarella and the tomatoes, drizzling olive oil, and balsamic glaze and scattering chopped pieces of fresh basil on top.

English: Guacamole in a bowl. Photograph taken...

I’m making my daughter’s favorite, everyone’s favorite, guacamole with avocados that have ripened in a paper bag with two apples. I will squeeze fresh lemon on them, add chopped onions, tomatoes, garlic, pepper, salt and a few grains of sugar (my secret recipe) to undercut the acidity.

 

My mouth is beginning to drool. My husband and son are at the supermarket buying meat for the rest of the carnivores, hamburgers and hot dogs.

Mostly, I am hosting this barbeque, to see the four cousins together which never ceases to delight me. Jon, Anna, Tim and Jillian. All grown up but still as close as they were when they were young and building forts in my living room with “Milton.” (Don’t ask)

banana bread!

Our house was the favorite, of course, because my sister and her husband were much stricter about food than we were. Hence, when the cousins came over, they said hello, gave us hugs and went directly to our pantry. I loved every minute of it and still do and even though I swore I would never bake another banana bread again…there are two freshly baked loaves waiting for them, on the granite counter.

One with raisins, one with chocolate chips, both with love.

 

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Haiku Horizons: Close

Snuggle close, warm neck

Icy red winds howl back

Old couple

Old couple (Photo credit: Marcel Oosterwijk)

Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.

Never be afraid to sit awhile and think. (Photo credit: chamywak)distant, red, icy, stranger

I don’t know you now.

 

8 8 8

Close tired gray-blue eyes

Memories fade like photos

Yellow corners, old.

 

8 8 8

Close the door, slowly

tired, old feet shuffle, stop

knees crackle, deep sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Have No Idea How The Whole Thing Works

English:

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why is Happiness so fleeting when Sadness lingers around like a viral infection, effecting not just you but everyone near you? It spreads too, so easy to catch, physically and emotionally.

Happiness is a moment or two, the snap, pop, gasp of a sudden leap of joy which feels incredibly good, magical, in fact. Like those first moments of falling in love…  but that first gasp, that amazing, weird feeling in your stomach where you can’t possibly eat because you are a jumble of nerves and anticipation, that ends quickly to the “gasp” that perfect O of your mouth, your tongue wetting your lips that dissipates too. After a while, a long or short while, reality sets in and you still do love your partner but “in love?” not so much.

Things, that at first, take on such importance: the first phone call is electrifying and intense, you can still remember the feeling of your aching cheeks. It came with  dancing eyes and a smile so big that you could light the world with its brilliance.

Sadness.

Sadness. (Photo credit: Neil. Moralee)

It doesn’t last long but you do remember it from time to time with great fondness and sometimes regret and yes, you still love “your” person.

Passion can dip, with maturity, marriage, work, children, time…you can sleep in separate bedrooms because “he snores or she snores” or she can’t fall asleep and he needs to go to bed early because he gets tired easily and they are just older now.

You make compromises,sometimes you just have to give in. It becomes okay that he hates to go dancing, his dancing awkward and stiff but how she loves to go on picnics  and he adamantly refuses. Asking why “I just don’t” is not a reasonable explanation for an adult conversation. You settle, you don’t want to wreck the family boat over a salami and cheese sandwich. But, it’s another tear that drops in the sadness bucket.

Now, people are both stuck in the mud, the same old, grimy, brown mud. Are they completely happy? Is everything perfect? No, of course not, I don’t think anything could be. But, you get to a certain age when your spouse is truly your best friend and you love each other and at this stage of your life, friendship, love, trust is really more than you can ask for and less than many people have. It is a blessing to love someone and to be loved by someone.

Sadness, however, deep, depressing, feeling blue and out of sorts lingers and follows you like a shadow. Wherever that black cloud of unhappiness gets deeper and.stays with you no matter how hard you try “to get over it” sometimes it refuses to budge These people need help, need to reach out for support from a doctor or medical professional and friends and maybe you need medication and to talk with a professional. In time, it will go away. And yes, for a small percent of lucky people it could be very short-lived and will float away on its own, the sky will clear and you can wake up feeling happy again.

We all go through a range of happiness and sadness on a daily basis, I’m talking about the above in extreme cases. Some people, (and it is definitely is NOT me) can hide their feelings so well and appear like a blank slate. Not a good match for me.

People are who they are, accept them or don’t but you can’t change them.

 

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Kellie Elmore, FWF

Lady wisdom (2)

Lady wisdom (2) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now…

…though I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take a very long time. Truly, it took almost my entire life to learn this lesson that I so desperately needed to learn. I guess you get small signs at first, maybe you trip you have a pebble in your shoe,a week later you trip over a rock. You, again, think it’s you being clumsy. Still, it’s a coincidence, you barely notice and of course you’ve always been clumsy.

A week goes by and during a heavy rainfall a few small branches from a tree break off and land on the ground but you are not looking so you fall and stumble on them and wind up, wet with sore ankle. Turns out that your ankle was fractured and it has to be in a cast for 4-6 weeks.

Finally you start thinking, what on earth is going on?

What is happening? There is a message waiting for you from whatever God, Spirit, Nature or Force that you Believe in. I never used to see the signs to change my patterns when I was younger, maybe I was too self-absorbed but now in mid-life I pay attention to what the Universe has to tell me and I am grateful.

I used to think everybody acted like me because I was the only person I really knew. My standards were high, different, my style was individual, the friends I connected with were similar; but others weren’t. Some of their styles like empathy and compassion are the same but how they displayed it or didn’t was very different from me.

It’s very hard to get used to, very hard. So you need to trust, trust your instincts and know in your heart that even though D. or C. or M. may love you, they can’t show it to you in the way you need to hear it. It isn’t that they are being obtuse or stubborn it is not something they can do, certainly not easily if at all.

Is that a deal breaker? It used to be, for me. Does it have to be? Absolutely not. Does that mean you need to break up a friendship? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. If you feel you are giving ALL the time and not getting anything back, maybe. No friendship can sustain 100 percent on one person doing ALL the work.

But if you know in your heart that if you called said person at 3AM and desperately needing them and you know without a doubt that they wouldn’t hesitate getting dressed to come to you, you should know better.

It’s the measure of Love.

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That Darn Fantasy Scone

English: They baked up into a wonderful tender...

English: They baked up into a wonderful tender and flaky scone! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I finally found the scone that I had fantasized about last week,( see post ” Cranky Is As Cranky Does, I’m Hungry…”) in a Viennese Pattisserie, where I’ve been to once before. At that precious moment, I did not have any common sense. I mean after all, this was not a British Bakery.

They had delicious looking pastries, cakes, and bite size mini-desserts. Once they had a plate of samples out but we were not in luck this particular day.

I see scones and I literally squeal with joy. I asked the lovely woman who worked there what flavor the scones were (of course only the one with the baked sugar frosting) and she told me: apple. Done. I ordered it and for the rest of the evening I dreamed about having the scone to go along with my one large, white mug (out of my favorite, well-fitting mug, the right thickness for my lips) of very strong coffee in the morning.

Once out of the bakery, my husband, looked at me as if I were out of my mind. “You’re not eating that now?” he asked. I stared back at him (you know “THE LOOK” implying after 25 years of marriage don’t you know me by now?) Of course I wouldn’t eat it on the spot, I was “Saving It.” Yes, I am one of those people. It’s neither right or wrong, it’s a style. I would never say he was right or wrong (I am always right.)

Maybe it was too much anticipation but my first taste of the scone in the morning was so hard and barely “chewable”, I thought my jaw would pop out again. I tried to soften it up in the microwave which helped a little but frankly not that much.

The last time I had scones was in England with my parents when I was a child and that was the real deal, of course I remember the clotted cream, the afternoon tea, the scones and small sandwiches which were without the dreaded crusts and the fresh sweetness of the strawberry preserves.

Yes, leave it to me to associate place by food only. That’s my job (and passion.) I’m on the look out now for something “breakfasty” to either buy or make (easy only) that’s soft like a muffin but doesn’t have as many calories yet a TINY BIT firmer like a GOOD scone, raisins are a must. Vegetables are okay, but I don’t have a chopper thing, delicious factor desperately needed..Simple and easy, a must. My stomach thanks you.

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Kellie Elmore, FWF

Growing Old Together

Growing Old Together (Photo credit: Jan Tik)Comfort, Same Background,  Excellent Manners. Beautiful hands. How he showed Love to his  grandmother. Sweet. Helpful. Consoling. “Don’t Worry Baby.”

Old Friends. The first tickle of interest was when his family invited mine to their house one Thanksgiving.  I must have already liked him deep down inside, because it was very cold outside and all I wanted to do was watch him fix up his old car. I hate old cars. I wanted to be near him, talk to him, effortlessly, like a jigsaw puzzle finding it’s partner without playing the game.

He drove my parents and me a long way to the railroad station which was far out of his way but he didn’t mind, really. I knew it was genuine.That was the person I fell in love with. He turned on the radio and we sang Beach Boys songs out loud together. I thought his voice was wonderful even though he apologized for his off-key singing.”Don’t Worry Baby” described our relationship, only he could comfort me.

He was on his way to Australia and New Zealand and the thrill of getting an unexpected postcard from him was the best surprise of my life. I felt hot, then cold, electrified, dizzy. I couldn’t sit still, I certainly couldn’t sleep or eat. I called my friend for her to come analyze the handwriting, the words. Did it say “Best, Warm Regards Love?”

After another postcard I deemed less warm, I decided he had met a woman, named Patty  size 2 with long glossy red hair curling down her back, the athletic, hiking kind of woman. I could barely walk straight on the sidewalk without breaking my ankle. It was over, I knew it. Patty stole him away from me, bitch.

Some weeks later I was sitting in my bedroom when the phone rang. He introduced himself again, asked if I remembered him. My voice must have risen three octaves. I still remember that feeling, ecstasy. My cheeks were burning red and bright, I couldn’t sit down.  My body felt like an internal fireplace, green eyes dancing.

I felt like I was sparkling. Like little silver shots of electricity coming from everywhere on my body shooting high into the sky like firecrackers without the noise, yes, I was sparkling.

He lived in Maryland but had plans to visit his brother in a few weeks in Boston and while he was there, would I like to go out? “Yes, I would”  my voice raising three octaves higher in just one sentence.

He picked me up at my apartment with a present. A present? From Australia, a wood cutting board for cheese. I had always been the one to buy boyfriends presents, never the other way around. I felt a certain part of ice, soften and detach from my body. We went to a Museum, where all I did was delight in holding his hand.

He took me to Bertucci’s where we had pizza and salad. I offered to pay half when we were finished. “Absolutely not” this young man said. I melted, a young man with European manners. I was in love, at long last, for the first time. He was the only person, I realized that I never wanted “my space” I never tired of being with him.

We’ve been married twenty-five years and still I think his voice is lovely, clear and in tune. I love it when he sings or when he whistles. We have had our bad times and our good but we have worked through them all, we have fought and made-up and worked and sometimes pouted and screamed our way through our commitment but we did not give up. We never gave up.

We have two children, now grown up, we are a family. Do we fight? Absolutely. Do my feelings get hurt? Sure? Is my husband romantic? No. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word. Are we everything to each other? Not possible, but more than enough. You age, you compromise, love is not a sweeping, quick ecstatic moment. It’s the comfort of silence, knowing what the other person will say at the same time. It’s trust, knowing someone in the world loves you no matter what. It’s friendship too.

At night, while we watch television together, him on his side, me on mine, we eat bowls of ice cream in bed, vanilla for me and chocolate for him, with whipped cream, mine with rainbow-colored sprinkled. I can feel before I see, him shaking his head.

Love is not one romantic date, it’s a series of little things, moments, based on seconds of time that go by so quickly. You close your eyes and look back, and dream of the days in the past when you were younger. Don’t ever take things for granted. That is the first thing you need to learn, appreciate what you have while you have it and yes, there will be sadness ahead but there will also be great happiness too. Different forms of happiness.

My only wish now? Is to be able to grow old with him.

Photo credit: Jan TIkEnhanced by Zemanta

Plinky Prompt: Khalil Gibran

Khalil Gibran (April 1913)

Khalil Gibran (April 1913) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Khalil Gibran - Autorretrato con musa, c. 1911

Khalil Gibran – Autorretrato con musa, c. 1911 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be? See all answers
  • Seven wonders
  • Kindness
    Love
    Family
    Happiness
    Sadness
    Sorry
    Forgiveness