12 Years Ago, Tonight

12  years ago, tonight at 10:20 pm my father passed away in a hospital in Connecticut. I was never a big fan of New Year’s Eve to begin with but since this happened, I roll into a little ball

English: Sculpture of a woman in fetal positio...

in my bed and cry on and off.

My dad used to buy me a candle every single year on my birthday, without fail, I’m sure my mom reminded him but it was a tradition. My mom, sister and I still have one or two of his well-worn, soft handkerchiefs that are like prized possessions. Our dad had a shelf where he had 13 types of small different after shave cologne which he would point out to us, often!

What’s worse, for my mom, is that January 1st is/was my parents’ wedding anniversary. We try to give each other support but in essence it’s really our own pain we need to get past. I’m the “crier” in the family or as my husband and son call me “the shrieker.” Good or bad and especially when surprised by something: a bug, a person, a loud noise, I have a natural instinct to be scared easily. My daughter is the same way. Sometimes we shriek at

the surprise of seeing each other.

She’s away on a trip and as much as I am happy she is having a fabulous time, part of me wishes she was home. But, as much as I am a mushy mess, my daughter keeps all her emotions inside, deep, down inside. My expectations of wanting her here are really quite different from what her being here would be like. She does not enjoy my massive display of emotions.

My son is definitely more like me, we understand each other. We can read each others feelings on the phone or the breath before we say “hello” on the telephone. I was like that with my dad. My sister and my mother are completely alike, full of false bravado and unaware of their feelings. Being without my dad for so many years has been a struggle.

The balance has been lost, the person who understood me most, is gone. I’m with two family members that don’t really get me at all, they just say I’m “too sensitive,” never realizing that sensitivity is a good thing and that they might be insensitive. What I’ve learned all these years is that people don’t change.

I will get through tonight, thankfully, NOT going out, eating my American cheese sandwich and drinking chocolate milk, my comfort food. Maybe I’ll have some baked Lays for the crunch factor. For dessert, I pre-ordered two of our favorite home-made jelly doughnuts

from a nearby bakery. My husband and I will toast each other with those doughnuts, in memory of my father. Growing up it was a tradition that we all had jelly doughnuts on New Year’s Eve together. I just found out my husband bought four jelly doughnuts and two black and white cookies, he’s definitely like my dad too.

As sad as I am to have lost him, I am trying (not very successfully) to focus on that deep relationship we had and how much he really did love me. I was his baby girl, he loved me plenty of that I am sure. It just doesn’t help to take away the pain. Nothing does.

 

 

*My dad took me to see Two By Two with Danny Kaye, for years after, with spoons and different glasses of water of varying heights, he would conduct and we would both clink all our glasses after the words “Two By Two.” The last time I tried to do that with him, he was very sick and didn’t want to do that. He had lost his joy and I knew that his end was near.

 

 

 

 

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The Reason Is You

Even during the darkest days, when the clouds were black and threatening, and I felt lost inside myself, panicked and scared, I held on. When those things happened, even though they happened a lot,  I held on, and caught my grip even when I thought I couldn’t.

You, Brian, my older brother, kept me out of harm’s way, when you could. You were always my hero. My protector, when dad’s abusive arm would try to attack me, stinging my cheek until it was raw and bloody or when he threw me across the room after drinking too much, you tried to help. I wanted you to get out too. Mom was no help, she drank too.

I wept when you joined the Marines,

you knew I would, and yes, I tried to be brave. I tried to stay at home after you left, I lasted six weeks. After that I ran away. I couldn’t live with him drinking night and day, hitting mom, hitting me.

I didn’t want to leave mom but she wouldn’t go with me, she wouldn’t budge. She started drinking even more with him. That was her choice and I knew what my mine was,  I had to leave. You always said I was strong, I trusted you, I took a bus to Seattle, the first bus out of the station and left.

Of course I didn’t want to live on the streets, do you think that’s what I wanted? No, I

looked for jobs every single day but there were many people like me there, the temperature was mild, it was a little rainy but that was okay. I made friends, someone taught me how to play the guitar. Brian, I had no choice, please don’t be mad at me.

I’m here, waiting for you to come find me.

I’ll do whatever you want me to do but please come. I swear I don’t do drugs or nothing, I don’t even drink like most people here do. I live near the picture, sometimes they let me drink coffee, when they need help like washing dishes I help them and they pay me in food.

The only thing I won’t do is go home to them, our horrible parents, never will I do that. How could our parents expect us to live with them? They shouldn’t have been allowed to have us if they were just gonna drink and slap us around.

They should have had classes for people and make them take them before they let them have babies. Check them out, you know? Test them for drugs or alcohol, or watch they see their real personalities. I would never do that to my kid and I know you wouldn’t either Brian. You wouldn’t even let them do it to me when you were home.

Please don’t be mad at me, please. You are the only one I have in my life that I love.

love you,

Samantha

“Nobody Bothered To Even Listen”

Dear Dr. Nancy,

It’s me, Amy, I hate you, I hate you. You lied to me and you said you never would. You told me that I was going to stay at an Inn, I thought it was like a Bed and Breakfast and it turned out to be a damn mental hospital. It’s been a long time already and I’m still here at the hospital and I want to get out. I am mad at you, you broke your promise. You said it was only for a few weeks and it’s been a ton of weeks now, like months. How could you do that to me? I trusted you.  You betrayed my trust and you were the only person I trusted.

You sided with my parents and I will never forgive you or them. I was not a danger to myself no matter what anybody says. I sure don’t think I was, besides I know myself better than anybody. You should believe me, not them. I’m in a room all by myself in this stupid, antiseptic smelling hospital, it is very small with thick green padded walls. I couldn’t hurt myself in here if I tried. I think about trying all the time but only sometimes.

I told you and everybody else that I did not want to kill myself, I know what it LOOKS like but I am telling you the truth. Ok, sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Happy?

I know that there were open, bloody slits on my arms, I know I cut myself but does that mean I automatically wanted to die? Nobody even asked me. Nobody cared enough to ask.

I was so alone and had nobody to talk to and then four men shoved me into a van wrapped with an old flowery blanket around me and locked my arms in back of me. I tried to scream for my parents but they ran in the house like the spineless snakes they have always been. Precious older sister Julie of course was spared the scene.

If people would have just listened to me instead of ignoring me, putting me aside because I was “different.” Yeah, I was different, I had to be different. Everyone gave Julie all the attention with her blonde hair and blue eyes and perfect scores in school. Yes, she did get the academic award every year, so what? Wouldn’t you know she even played the piano like a saint? It was always Julie, always, My parents never had time for me, they never MADE time for me, so I had to get attention some how.

When I got my first tattoo my parents didn’t talk to me for a good month, well, at least they noticed, I sure got attention even though it was negative attention. It felt good. So, I continued

and did all the bad stuff that I knew they would hate. I did drugs, I drank, drugs, took all kinds of drugs, yeah, I even shot up heroin, I did whatever I could. shooting up whatever I could do, I did.

That angelic older sister of mine, Julie, would never even try anything bad, the goody two shoes,

My mom and dad never saw me as a person, they looked away from me, I was just Julie’s little sister. Julie was the only one they cared about. But, I thought you were different, Dr. Nancy and now I know you were not. You were part of my family’s plan to destroy me, to wipe me out and extinguish my flame in this world. Hey, why am I talking about a flame?

Snuff-Movie (film)

Maybe you are right because I plan to extinguish myself one way or another, the last remaining spark that is alive. So help me God.

By the time you get this letter I will be dead. I swear, I hope this makes you and my parents very happy. PS Tell my sister that I really did hate her.

From,

Amy D.

How The Movie “Boyhood” Is My World And Possibly Yours Too

If you haven’t seen the movie, Boyhood, jump off the couch, grab the car keys or head to your local bus station and go. Now. This is a movie you don’t want to miss. Trust me. It is possibly the best movie I have ever seen and yes, the most realistic one as well. You may see your own life pass before your eyes, especially if you are a mom and have kids. It is everything you have felt, understated. No, it isn’t a tear-jerker, a comedy or a romance. It’s pure genius.

 

It is sad just because it has been a week since I have seen the movie and I am still thinking about it and relating it to my life. It’s a film about growing up so I cried because my children are not children anymore. They are both adults, wonderful adults, yet my daughter left her pink doll at home, the one she used to sleep with but now sleeps in a room at her sorority house and my son it seems, he just graduated high school will be graduating from college in May.

It’s about time passing so quickly that you almost can’t believe it has really happened and yes, I cried because I miss my dad. I had a really great dad, not those horrible step-fathers in the movie. My dad, died twelve years ago and my memories are fading and sometimes I can’t even remember what his voice sounds like anymore yet the pain, once in a while, seems brand new and raw.

Grieving is a long and hard process and just when you think you are past the worst of it,   out of no where, it knocks you out again at unexpected times. Times you can’t prepare yourself for, just like the ocean washing out sand castles at the beach that the sweet children built so lovingly. It attacks you from behind, it blindsides you.

I am the mother in the film, (though luckily I have a great husband)  but it scares me to see her alone. Her kids go off to college and she is left, not knowing what on earth she is going to do with her life. I am not glorifying her role as a mother, believe me, she makes incredibly poor choices but in the end, her children have left her and she sits in the kitchen, crying and alone.

Her son, her boy, whom we have seen grow up, physically and emotionally, heads off to college and while the ending is a little too perfect, we want it to be for him. We want a happy ending for all our children but we also want it for ourselves and that’s not the way real life works.

There is a part of us who wants our kids to miss us, to turn back for a brief second, to be their four-year old selves who “loved us best” just one more time. That is only for us and certainly not what they need or want and its pure fiction not reality. As they dash out the door with a grin and a wave we know that we have done a wonderful job parenting our grown up children.

All we want is for our children to be happy, we love them unconditionally but it does hurt every time they leave us. The movie is so magnificent  because we know that everything in this movie is so darn true. We love our children more than they will ever know, but from their eagerly awaited first step we also know, that at every turn, they are leaving us, as they should.

Crazy Looks Like Me, Crazy Looks Like You

It’s raining sheets, like unfolded plastic wrap falling from the sky. The clouds overhead are not dismally gray or black, nor are they white and cheerful, they are just the background for the rain, a neutral color of uncertainty.
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My younger sister, Shelly, sat at the kitchen table in the dining room, alone, her head down, her eyes unfocused. She had a tiny silver spoon in her hand and she was stirring her coffee, over and over again. I don’t think she even realized she was still doing it. I said “Good Morning” to her but she never answered.” She wouldn’t speak to any of us.

 

Shelly was wearing her same  blue striped pajama bottoms, the dingy white tee-shirt and a pair of thick, pink socks. She hadn’t brushed her hair, it seemed, for weeks. She wanted to just stay in bed and be alone, the only thing she would say was “I’m not crazy, do you think I’m crazy, because I’m not.” I bit my lip.

I wasn’t trying to be mean, honestly, but I had begged her to see a therapist and our parents forced to talk to someone and she went with them once, kicking and screaming the entire time. She never even went inside.

 

 

I didn’t know what to do, but I did know that this was not helping her. Staying in bed all day, getting up only for coffee or her one meal, a bologna and cheese sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise  that our mom would leave her in the fridge. Shelly told all of us “it was none of our business” but of course it was our business, we loved her and hated seeing her fall apart, a little more each day.

I didn’t know how long I could take looking at the shell that was my little sister, curled up in bed with the light off and no life coming from that room. She slept all the time. Once, I started playing music in my room, music I loved and thought she loved too. I thought she might enjoy it but she screamed and moaned for me to turn it off in such a violent, out of control way, that my parents immediately came and scolded me, they turned my music off. It was upsetting Shelly.

She needed help, she desperately needed help, she was getting worse and my parents and I couldn’t handle her anymore. Now, she was not sleeping at all and roaming our apartment at all hours demanding attention. I had a full-time job as a Customer Service Representative and I was already in trouble for missing too many “sick” days. Our parents were older and not in good physical shape and our little brother, Josh, was just eight, a mere baby himself and, of course, troubled and confused.

For a week we whispered among ourselves to arrange for an intervention, we knew something had to be done.  Time moved quickly, it was 4 pm on Tuesday and the day had come. I sat in the corner, biting my nails. I wanted my sister to get better but I did not want to be part of the intervention. My parents made me so II also felt like an accomplice and hated that feeling. I hated being in the middle of everyone.

We were all assembled in the living room, Shelly was in her room, sleeping. The people from Edgehill Hospital were waiting right out side the door. They decided that our dad should approach Shelly gently by first calling her name and asking her to come out of her room. She refused.”I’m tired” she murmured.”Maybe later.” After several more attempts and being exasperated, our dad asked her to come out again but I could hear the strain in his voice… Finally, in a fit of rage, he broke the door down, and started yelling at her. He screamed for a couple of minutes, his patience worn and suddenly stopped to find Shelly on the bed, still, not breathing, and cold. He called 911 immediately but we knew she was gone.

She died from an overdose of pills that she had accumulated for many years. We found two empty bottles of alcohol on the floor next to her bed. The note that she scribbled with a purple pen said this: ” I hate my life, it’s all black an” that was the end. She couldn’t even finish the sentence about her young life.

No one could speak after the initial gasp of horror, we each sat in our own corner, after the ambulance came and pronounced her dead. No one  spoke to each another, harboring our own guilt, our own excuse, our own irresponsible part we had in Shelly’s life.

All of us thought we killed her. I know I did, for sure.

 

 

 

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.

 

Happy Second Birthday, Lexi

2/16/14

Dear Lexi,  Happy 2nd Birthday.  I love you, sweetie-pie. What a good, good dog you are,  so cute and affectionate.Lexi1

You were a nasty, wild, hurtful puppy, weren’t you? Don’t look so sad, you didn’t know better. I know you are sorry. You were just an oral devil dog, digging those demon sharp puppy teeth into our arms and legs and clamping down. We probably tasted better than all the chew toys we bought you. Our welts gave you texture, right? Grandma kept telling us to “give you back” every single day but I couldn’t do that. Many trainers tried but they all said “You’ve got a really willful puppy there but if/when she grows out of it you’ll have a really great dog.”And, sweet girl that is who you have become.(Thank God)

At about eighteen months, from one day to the next while we were busy doing other things you became a dog, an amazing dog. One that cuddles and protects us, hugs us and plays with us. You are the dog we always wanted, we just needed to give you and ourselves a little more time.

It taught us all about being more patient, didn’t it?

Right now you are sleeping with your head on my knee, nuzzling, a part of you always has to be directly on me.  You know each member of the family so well. With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain I do spend a lot of time in bed and that’s where you come, leaping on the bed, to be with me, happily. When “Dad” is around you get the leash, go to the front door, and start whimpering. You get instantly wild when your brother comes to visit, but we know he provokes you. He allows you to be wild, we don’t. Yes, I know, YOU are WAY cool when you rough house together.

Oh, but when your sister comes home from college you hear her parking her car and you run to the front door and start crying until she comes in.  Yes, our daughter, your sister, will kneel down to your level and you hug each other while you cover her with kisses. That picture of the two of you on the ground stays in my heart forever.

Have a Happy 2nd Birthday, thank you for choosing us at the shelter to be your family.Lexi2

Love, Mom

Listen: Soft, Quieter Voices Need To Be Heard Too

Guy Fawkes 2006

Guy Fawkes 2006 (Photo credit: Max xx)

My friend’s voice is soft, she is not a leader but a follower, I have no problem with this but some of my more straight-shooter, take control friends might. They have dominant voices, sit in attendance at board meetings, screaming, making a loud fuss about things that are important to them. Quiet people can’t or won’t do that but they still have their opinions. Louder people yell sometimes so that they don’t hear the soft voices in the background because nobody wants to speak over them.

Why should they? When they start to softly voice their concerns sometimes they feel berated. “Anyone who is scared to stand up for what they believe in is a scaredy-cat” loosely paraphrased someone said. Exhibit A. That, my friend, is a judgment, name calling.  Softer voices have opinions too but are not as equipped as some of the more confident, take charge people to talk at meetings, to make a fuss but their opinions, sometimes silently, count too. They also vote. Some people shy away from conflict, this is not a judgment call, I would call it a style.

Where am I in all this? Straight down the middle like a true Libra. Balancing each side, over and over again. Quietly. Making a huge fuss when it is important to me.  Family. Family. Family.

When my daughter was young she hid behind me and if she was shy or afraid, she would place her arms in the air in front of me and say “Up, Up” and I would lift her up and feel her body instantly relaxing against mine. Our son, the first-born,always bossed people around, he still does.  Our daughter had planned her birthday parties years in advance and stuck to each theme, always wanted to see her cake beforehand and read the last page of every book before she decided to read it. Our son loved the element of surprise, he had to be the good guy and I was always the bad guy and left rooms always trying to have the last word, saying “No more conversations, no new conversations.” Two adult children, two very different styles. I love them equally.

It took me a long time for me to find my voice, as a second child with an older sister who was very strong and bossy, (Some other people would call it overbearing.) When I was young I was shy, bashful so I can truly understand both sides. As soon as my sister went to college I found my voice and it was dramatic and beautiful and real.

Listen. Try silencing your voice and make people feel safe and don’t criticize them automatically for their fear or reluctance, I know you do it, you know it too. Not everyone is like you, though, the world is not made of people as strong as you. They need their own voices to be heard, in their own way. Sometimes with care, sometimes written, or spoken in whispers to friends who are willing to take the time to listen and not judge.

Whether you outright say it or not, people feel your judgment straight from your body to theirs, not all judgment is verbal, of course. You can feel it from someone’s eyes  or body language.  I will not judge you for hushed tones like a sleepy mouse, I will applaud you if anxiety  enabled you to speak softly about it in the first place.  We’re all just different in how we express things. Let’s try to play together, without judgment or criticism. The point is, everyone, in their own way, is entitled to be heard.

candle, candle in glass

candle, candle in glass (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dedicated to my good friend, D.E.G.

for getting the conversation started.

(credit to above named photographers)

A Letter To Zach Sobiech

I was cranky, hurting and giving up hope. I have felt badly from chronic illnesses, okay, for a lot of them, but it was time for some ass-kicking, some serious ass-kicking and I was the one who needed it the most. Sure, life isn’t perfect, and I haven’t been feeling well but I’m  going back to try to keep it inside, at least most of the time. No one promised that everything would go smoothly all the time, right? I forget that sometimes. So, I sat down tonight and thought about people, both who are living and those who have lived and died, people who have made a lasting impression on my life. One person came to mind:

Zach Sobiech

Zach Sobiech Breaking Up

Zach Sobiech Breaking Up (Photo credit: empeiria)

Though I’ve never met him, personally, he changed my life forever. Instead of continuing my pity party, I watched his video again and if you haven’t seen it, I will post it for you here. To live like Zach, with all his grace, is a wondrous gift, to make every second count and to say his good-byes in person, with his beautiful songs is life changing. I’m not saying it was easy, no death is easy but Zach made active choices in his life and in preparation for his death and he lived every single day to the fullest. Do it now, love it now, now is what we have and appreciate what we’ve got. Zach did.

I think about his family and friends, his old girlfriend, his favorite song-writer friend and his baby sister, Grace. I think about Grace so much, her innocence, her goodness, Grace with her big older brother, losing him like a treasure in the sand. How is Gracie  doing without her “other half?” I think about his parents too. What has life been like since Zach died? I have to hold my eyes shut tight when I think of Mom and Dad to try not to cry, because I remember them, especially Mom, sitting on the couch talking about her boy. What about the older siblings, how must they be feeling, how are they now? I think Zach aluded to Laura and her Faith and I hope that has helped her, his older brother was left more of a question mark, quiet, loving but private.  Mom and Dad, I pray for you, no one should have to bury their child.

Zach, I must have played your song thousands of times, to appreciate you, to keep me on my tracks, to learn from you. When I worry in anticipation I think about you and how you handled having cancer with grace (not literally but I’m sure you can see the humor) and love and respect.

You are  gone in physical life, but there’s no doubt in my mind that you are spiritually with us, with your family. I hope they get signs from you,  I’m sure they would love that and I do believe it is possible. I know it is possible.  I hope they believe it too so they can be comforted by your presence. You were an angel on earth, I know you are an angel in heaven. How could you not be? You taught us all how to die peacefully, how to choose when to die instead of prolonging your life with a horrible operation just for a few months. Being a mom, I respect your parents so much for doing the right thing, and it WAS the right thing, to let you do what you want.

I hope everyone has recovered just a bit from the shock. Because as much as you try to be prepared for death, it’s always a horrible, dreadful surprise, no matter when it happens. Trust me, I do know. But, this is not about me, it’s about you.

I send my prayers to your family and to your close friends, and to you dear Zach I send my love and my thanks for teaching us, those still here on earth what it means to be an angel.

photo credit> emperia

Talking To Myself Upside Down

Im upside down

Im upside down (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight there is no one to talk to, no one who cares enough, who knows me well enough and understands my past pain.  Sure, there are people I could call but it’s not the same. I want someone to sit next to me on the couch like my old best friend, because she understands and knows the real me. She knows all the family dynamics as I know hers. Why does she insist on disappearing like she does? Why can’t I just forget her altogether? I’ve teetered on the edge for years now.

Today, I think back to when we were younger. Back in the old days when we were both single and desperately wanted to get married but independent, happy, working together. Going to the Village after work, seeing movies, drinking strong coffee, eating good street food. Coming home and talking for hours more. I remember talking to you while the mice ran over my feet in that scary store front apartment.

I was mugged one night, after being out late with you and the next night I asked if you would walk me home; you walked me home, my friend, without hesitation.You said you would do it every night, forever, until I was comfortable and I know you would have. I had asked my sister before you, she automatically said “no.”You were always there for me and I was there for you. I know your secrets, Denise, some your husband don’t know and you know mine. We had a special friendship. Remember when we were pregnant with our first kids in the swimming pool at my mom and dad’s? That has to be one of the happiest memories of my life.

Many, many years ago when you had your impacted wisdom teeth out, you actually let ME go with you and come back and you let me tuck you into bed and make you a milk shake. This for you, was utter trust and love. I’m sure you didn’t like having anyone help you. You let me and I felt honored and proud.

We are both mothers now, we each have two children, both not far apart in age. I thought for sure your second child would be a girl, how could it not be? I know a part of you is  probably emotionally damaged but I know I am your best friend and down deep you are mine. You make no effort and since its been so long I don’t expect it and I don’t even want to start another time to make an effort. It is too painful. I’ve told you this before, when we are together we sync so well back into best friends that it makes me miss you more when we part and I cry.

So, instead, I am talking to myself, upside down. I’ve tried so many times to connect with you, I’d probably see you more if you lived in France. You live an hour and a half away and your relatives live about 25 minutes from me. You will always be my best friend in my heart but it doesn’t mean I don’t miss what we had, when we were young. In spite of it all, I miss you, I love you, that will never change but even after all these years, it truly hurts. I wish it didn’t.

For Denise F.