Comfort in his arms
soft kisses nuzzling my neck
Our backs arch to dance.
Thunder booms, fierce wind
Don’t be scared, my son, my love.
I will comfort you.
My name is Jhana, I am very old but I have a young friend translating for me. She knows ‘Merican language real good. Now we start: “The pain in Jhana’s old heart was searing now. The intensity, the throbbing came and went but there were times when she would kneel on the dirty, muddy floor and weep. She only did that when she was sure she was alone. Jhana’s children, all except one, brothers and sisters all lived near-by but she was not looking for comfort, she knew there was none. None for this type of her anguished heart.
We are alone with our grief she had learned through the hard times even though we have family for whom we bless. It took more bravery and strength to be able to hold on to love, than to dismiss it. Love is fleeting, like birds in the sky. That, she knew. Love was there, deep down but could you feel it all the time? Of course not. You had to imagine it, rely on it, pray that it would be there or come back to you. Have faith. Love was an assumption only.
Love was not the “smiling, holding hands” we would look at in the American magazines that the girls would find and hide under mats, and yes we let them. They looked at something called “romance” not true love but we let them. They did not yet know our plans to move to ‘Merica in a year or two years.
Here, in India, I would look at second daughter’s face as if I was looking through her, I had no problems with my other four children. Why was this child so different? The love was always there in my heart, in her father’s heart and siblings. What happened that was different for this child of mine? How could she not know our love? Did she not know that her father and I blessed the differences from her and the others. She was our pearl, our stand-alone gem. If anything she was more loved but would not take it inside herself.
The other older children could play and work and keep busy but this one held feelings deep inside her heart or just could not communicate. There was hurt and anger, deep inside hammered in to her heart but yet she could not forgive. Nor would she allow us to apologize for something we did not know about. She would not give in, she would be strong, very strong. But, I knew better, of course I did. Well, I thought I did. I was her mother.
This was not a betrayed love, this was a love that ran so deep, only a mother could know. I waited patiently until the day she would find her way back to me. Where did we go wrong I asked the husband? He said of course “we did nothing wrong, she is the child.” But, a mother is different, I tried to tell him. No, that is not the answer.” he told me.
I imagined looking at your face with my two hands one on each side like pressing on cold, hard glass. Press too hard and chips of glass would embed themselves in your fingers, blood would run down slowly each time. Not enough to scream but just enough to notice. I would imagine you trying to get away, twisting, fighting and screaming but my love for you was stronger than everything. You could not run away forever. I held you close, I would not let you go, ever.
I tried to forget the unforgiving words told to me about what you called me and how you viewed me because I do not follow that life. Love was a mystery that couldn’t be easily explained. Where was the joy, the simplicity, the laughter of love? Did it exist past the many layers of the wall you created? As a mother I dearly hoped but I could not know, you would not allow me to know.
Beautiful child, lovely child. No matter how old you are, you still live in my heart no matter what you do or don’t do. There is the difference. I will always cherish you, always love you, for the goodness in you that I see, that I feel. Yes, certainly. Two hearts, even those estranged, can come back and beat as one.
Until the last breath I will love you. Do you hear me child? Does anyone? I will say it again and again since I cannot see you, my eyes have failed me many years ago. But, I would still know your face, my hands might be gnarled and brittle with illness but my heart knows, will always know that you, beautiful heart, was so blessedly loved every second of every day and night.
I will wait until the last breath has left my body, which dear one, I know will be soon. I will never give up on you, you see I was learning Patience too and different ways of loving. None was right, none wrong. I was changing too.
That is a mother’s truth spoken in my body now and in the next life. I promise this to you. I love you now and forever. Look for me at night, in the sky, I will be watching you still, loving you, when I am gone.”
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.
“The Taste” is a show where contestants cook their signature dish down to a taste (a spoon) to compete for a spot on the show. Then each of the four chefs: Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre and Marcus Samuelsson taste the ” spoons”with blindfolds on not knowing who cooked them. I like this a lot.
The whole premise is that to get on the show all you need to do, whether home chef or professional is cook an amazing bite of food. You can be 85 or 18, any race, ethnic background, size, color of hair, wearing pajamas, or standing on your head, it doesn’t matter. It’s like “The Voice” except they are not singing, they are cooking. No rating on anything but talent, as it should be.
Last week, a contestant named Audrey,(aka “the whining blogger in our house) used the word “fans” so many times that the other contestants were mocking her. I was surprised that the other contestants didn’t throw eggs at her (sorry, Justin Bieber, didn’t want to steal your thunder) or maybe in her case, egg whites? Apparently in her blog she makes fattening recipes healthier. Good for you, Audrey, way to go. Now, shut up. Please.
Anthony Bourdain, for me, is the real deal and star of the show, (and yes, he knows it.) He deserves to know it, he owns this show.He is the dominant food dude. He is the bad boy, been around town, charming, smart and who can resist him when he is smiling and there’s a twinkle in his eye? But, contestants, LISTEN TO HIM. He is incredibly smart and he knows his stuff. If the man specifically says HE HATES TRUFFLE OIL, do not USE truffle oil. Simple, right? You would think. One member of his group either forgot (or decided he wouldn’t notice ) used truffle oil. What were you thinking? AS IF he wouldn’t notice? Don’t be stupid and don’t cross him.
Nigella Lawson, you’ve already lost two on your team and frankly you were seconds away from losing another person the other night. Nigella, you’re scaring me. You need to be more assertive and you are giving female chefs a bad name. We see you running around, doubting yourself and everyone else. Don’t let a contestant make eggs and bacon if that’s not what you think will win. Can’t you give some suggestions for the sweet element? You are not going to make it, again, if you don’t step up. Now.
Marcus Samuelsson seems nice but he is quiet and understated, I can’t honestly describe him or get a feeling for him, so I’m not judging. He’s no Ludow or Bourdain so he doesn’t have a strong personality. I’m sure he is a very fine chef but I just don’t know too much about him. The only thing that stood out was that one contestant was clearly confused about the challenge all the way to the end and she should have gotten demerits, at least. He didn’t confront that at all.
Ah, Ludow, Ludow Lefebvre, we know you are French. You keep reminding us. Say no more. Sure you are conceited and competitive but look who has won so far. You shout like a maniac, you micro manage but let’s face it you win. Who can argue with a person that has won the last two times in a row. It’s not my style but apparently it has worked. Good for you Ludow and your arrogant attitude, you deserve yourself. So far, you are in the lead.
It’s a fun show to watch if you like (love) food. Check out the dynamics that go on but more importantly check out the food and the combinations. More importantly, make sure you have a big plate of snacks ready for when you are finished watching the show, my husband and I are starving when this show ends.
Being kind and thoughtful to other people is very important to me, being sensitive to their needs. My favorite person is my husband who is also kind and supportive, probably in different ways. We both have huge hearts, we both probably care TOO much and feel disappointed in people who are not as warm and understanding as we are.
This is the way we are, naturally, it is who we are inside. Dealing with selfish and self-involved people with no feelings about anyone but themselves is hard for us. Most people are not like us, we are lucky to have found each other. In this great big, self-involved world, we are definitely in the minority.
We have each other for now, I’m terrified, absolutely terrified for the day that one of us will be left without the other.
Today, October 2nd 2013, Danny and I will have been married for twenty-five years. Wow. I can hardly believe it myself. He truly is the best friend I have in the world and the love of my life. There is no one I’d rather be with than him. The thought of not being with him in the future makes me weep. I know it won’t be anyone’s fault but you know me, I worry in advance.
There’s something about being able to trust someone completely without embarrassment that is so intimate. It’s like branches of a tree, the trunk is the center, solid and strong, branches, different personality traits that co-mingle over time. We look at each other sometimes and say “Who ARE you?” and we laugh because we, somewhere along the way have become each other. He makes me feel safe, I feel better with him, together.
Of course, there are our beautiful “children” who by now are adults which is more shocking than most things. We feel so blessed with two amazing adult children, Tim and Jillian. These magnificent kids are our life’s work, to me they are what I have wanted my entire life. If have contributed nothing else in this world, I am proud, overjoyed to bring two wonderful, smart and kind people to this world. The purpose of my life was to be their mother and I’m so proud of both of them.
Dan and I usually agree on most things, especially on child-rearing. We were always pretty strict, European raised, that’s how we brought up our children, with manners. We did a great job with our kids, and we did it together. We stuck together on issues and we tried not to let the kids play games with us. It worked (mostly.)
Dan is the one true love of my life, he is warm and genuine and a deeply caring person. I like him very much (personal joke.) I can definitely say I am happier now than I was when I was younger.
Sweetheart, thank you for the best 25 years of my life. I love you with my heart and soul. Truthfully, I love you more than that and then some. Happy Anniversary to my most favorite person in the world. All my love, Me.
Photo credit noted above, Amber Karnes.
You receive a call from an unexpected person. Who is it, and what is the conversation about? Go! See all answers
I’m sure you don’t remember me but my name is Steven and we met in an airplane many years ago flying from Boston to New York. We dated a for a while and even though our chemistry and apparently quick friendship was amazing, I was a complete jerk. I remember I had an office trip for a month after (which I’m sure you thought you would never hear from me again) but I was utterly taken with you. Maybe smitten is a better word. I sent you postcards, several postcards if I remember. We had a quick and easy banter and a similar sense of humor, and I remember how quick you were with answers, nobody had ever come back as quickly as you and I was enthralled by your wit and by your open smile and dancing green eyes. I can still picture them. It was a tough combination for me to ignore and I knew I couldn’t do it.
Apparently, over your vacation at home, you had just gone through an extremely difficult situation with your family. A devastating one. You never told me what happened, you couldn’t at the time, you were bleeding still and raw and I was impatient. I forgot you were young and that my track record was really not good, that was my fault, entirely. I totally messed everything up.
I would call you to say I would be there at your house at 8pm and I would not show up until 12 midnight, this happened more than once. You should have slammed the door in my face, I DID deserve it, I almost wish you had. You probably felt the same way. I remember you told me what your best friend said about me, it hurt but it was true: “There are NO MORE excuses, not even if his family was decimated in a fire, there is always time for a ten second call.” She was right, you were right. T
I was a selfish, rich, overachiever who thought he had to prove himself in this world. But, that’s what I loved so much about you. Remember when you said your most favorite time with me was when we ate Frosted Flakes in my living room? That was YOU in a sentence. Your grin, your sparkling green eyes, the way you threw your head back, laughing. You didn’t care if I had a BMW or any kind or car, or the prestigious job I had. All you cared about was me, the real me. You saw the unguarded moment that no one else had ever picked up on, except for you. Eating Frosted Flakes in the living room, me trying to explain football to you!! ( Sorry, I couldn’t help that one)
I’m here now to say, I deeply regret how I treated you. I saw on Facebook that you are married with two beautiful grown-up children, and of course, a dog. I’m glad and somehow I knew you would keep your last name! I am still single but I am in the beginning of making amends. I knew I had to start with you. Even though it was just a short time, thank you for being in my life.
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.
Soul mates intertwined
Staring at the starry night
Sun, moon, darkness, love
Deep inside, my love
Bleeding hearts echo in sin
Learning not to kiss
Dip their glittered souls in rage
Their throaty laughter
The red flower laughs
A life to be reckoned with
we, of the same earth