FWF Kellie Elmore

Annie looked beautiful when we first landed in the Caribbean for our honeymoon. We did nothing but eat and drink, and relax in the sun. I had worked 80 hour weeks back home, this was heaven.

We went snorkeling in the afternoon to see  glowing yellow and orange striped fish, in the aqua water. The only decision we had been what to order at the swim-up bar in the pool, a lime drenched mojito or a sweet mai thai served with a wedge of pineapple and a fake red cherry.

Dinner was late and I ordered a bottle of champagne and we ate roasted vegetables,  chicken with spices and loaves of thick, crusty bread. There was dancing so we decided to join other people.  Annie wore a bright flowered dress and soon after Annie suggested we go for a swim, we both loved water, especially Annie. We raced into the water, holding hands.

I admit I wasn’t as good as a swimmer as she was, I loved watching her as she laughed and I could see her head, like the flash of an automatic camera, her blond hair in the warm waves, happy she was having fun.

After about twenty minutes I called to her to come back in, I was getting tired of waiting and started yelling for her to come back, I still heard her laughter but it wasn’t funny anymore to me. “Annie, come in,” I shouted as I was approaching the shore.

Scuba diver. Found at Plongée sous-marine & ob...

Scuba diver. Found at Plongée sous-marine & obt’d Image:Plongeur bouteilles.jpg id’d there as (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I sat on the sand, I saw other tourists looking puzzled and  they pointed first to me, then to Annie. The tide was getting rough.  I kept yelling over to her but she would wave and keep going.

I talked to the people on the shore and told them my story. Someone went inside for help, I was getting nervous. The manager offered the use of his own boat and lifeguard. I knew Annie would be mad but I was so worried that they raced into the water on their boat, if she ran into trouble or was possibly sick.

I sat on the beach, like a statue, rocking back and forth. I could not stop crying. Someone offered a blanket, another endless cups of strong black coffee. I saw the coast guard and his team looking with flood lights.  A whole day went by. Finally, the coast guard said they would have to end the search. Someone had called the police as well as emergency vehicles. I was so weak from crying and not sleeping, I could barely speak.

“I’m sorry Sir, there is no body in that water.” We searched everywhere, scuba divers with advanced equipment came and we found nothing. She was not on the property at all, last night we did not let anyone in or out of our community and she definitely is not in the water. I’m so sorry, Sir.”said the head of police.

Finally, I let out a blood curdling scream, “she’s out there, you have to find her” but they shook their heads firmly. Later, everyone walked me to our room and the manager unlocked the door. I looked around, inside, there was not a single item of Annie’s, not her clothing, her make up, her tooth-brush, nothing of hers was there. I saw them look at each other, frowning.

“What did you do to her?” I screamed to the hotel and the police. She WAS here, ask anyone, at dinner, at the scuba diving lessons.” They started to cuff my hands.

“We did, Sir, we did that last night, there never was anyone with you named Annie, you arrived alone checked into this room alone and stayed by yourself. We even called the airlines and you were flying alone there was not an Ann or Annie on the flight.”

I fought with them, I told them she HAD been here but they insisted on taking me to the hospital to get checked out. “But what about Annie? I sobbed. “Perhaps she is waiting for you at the hospital” one police offer said, they gave me a shot and I let them take me, to see Annie, so that they would believe me.

I’m still at a hospital, a different one. Here they also said Annie was not real, over and over again. They call me delusional but even now, after all these months I know that Annie had been with me, for real, even if she had only been in my mind.

That counts, right?

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

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Yellow Magic Madness # 19 Sun

I’ve been so fortunate to be able to spend a few days with my daughter at a pool, basking in the sun. Look how the sun reflects he ripples of the water and on this woman’s legs. You don’t actually need to see “YELLOW” for it to make you happy.

15/52 blue

15/52 blue (Photo credit: Scarleth White)

WRITE RAW: That’s the price of admission (no editing)

“I didn’t want to belon in their stupid club, I told you that, Mom, I said I didn’t want to but you didn’t listen. You never listen. I said NO. why did you have to push me and talk to others to get me in to a place I didn’t want to go in the first place. Why? To embarrass me as you usually do? No, don’t give met hat “I thought you would have a good time” I said I hated that place and you know it. You lied to me because I said I wanted to stay with Dad this summer. He said he might call, so he hasn’t yet, so what? There’s another week and a half, he could call by then. Why don’t you ever give him or me ghe benefit of the doubt?

Anyway, I’m not going there, no chance. So not. I am not going to that obnoxious club with those stupid girls that think the only thing more important than getting a tan is going into Abercrombie and buying 30 dollar tee shirts. Uh-uh, no way.Why are you saying I’m being unreasonable, you’re the one that is being unreasonable. Compromise? Fine, I’ll try it for a few days but that’s it. You can’t force me, I’m NOT being fresh, fine, ok, I’ll go and try to give it a chance but maybe I will hear from dad and then all bets are off. Deal?”

I went into my room and closed the door firmly, I was in enough trouble already for talking back to my mom and refusing to go to the swim club she enrolled me in. It;s not that I didn’t really want to go but I was so hoping I could stay with my dad in San Francisco like he promised this summer. I hated thinking he had broken another promise and that’s what I was really mad about. I brushed the tears away from eyes quickly, my spiky black-blue hair stood up and I muffled my sobs in an old bandana that my dad got me when I was  little. My parents divorced when I was 5. I’ve lerned never to expect anything from him but it still hurts, kinda.

He never called, not that day or even that week. When I called him he didn’t even remember what I was talking about. he was a big deal record producer and he was usually high as a kite so i tried not totake it personally but I was upset and i knew my mom could see it. We just didn’t talk about it. I decided to go to the swim club because I had literally nothing else to do, all my friends were supposedly there and sitting in the house for one more day with my mother and aunt was jsut not an option.

I didn’t even tell them I was going, just drove to the club, with my towel and some food and went in, they didn’t even check my pass, well, because they knew me and I guess my name was written down there. I sat with some of the cool kids that were there, they acrtually iinvited me to sit with them so I did. They were complaining about their summers so I told them about mine and my dad and they thought it was awesome that he was a record producer and all that.When the life guards weren’t around someone brought out a couple of joints and passed them around. I had never smoked them before but hey, I was bored nad my mother forced me to come here so I thought why not? She said she wnted me to come here, well I was smoking dope now, that’s the price of admission, as I lay ther stoned out of my head and lying back in the sun.

I went back every day, smoking every day, drinking beer too. My mom didn’t notice a think except my eyes were red and I told her it was from the chlorine. My friends and I hung our all day and night together, we got pretty trashed but it was something to do. I HAD wanted to go to San Francisco with my dad but I guess he was too busy for me, well, I don’t want to go there anymore. I’m happy here with my friends, smoking weed, every single day.

Plinky Prompt: Beach or Pool?

    • Going For A Swim
    • Beach Girl
      Ocean Wave Beach. The feel of the sand under my feet, walking slowly in the sun, looking for seashells. The thrill of the ocean (and the fear of the sharks) jumping over the waves, being a part of Nature. Sure, it is a little risky, it’s a little cold but there is no better feeling for me than diving under a huge wave and jumping over the rest; knowing when to jump and when to swim. It’s always held power over me, I love swimming and walking on the beach. I love watching the waves as they crash. My biggest dream is to live near the ocean. Someday….
    • Previous Answer

Please, Mama

c. 1901

Image via Wikipedia

Don’t give up the fight, Mama. It’s okay to feel anxious but please don’t give up; don’t fall into the rapid hole of deterioration like a black funnel cloud gaining speed. What can I do to keep you from slipping? I will hold your soft downy hands with all of my strength so you don’t go anywhere and you have no choice but to stand up like a strong, red oak tree. I will not let you down; I promise. Have a little faith, accept the bad things that have happened and move past it.

Dad gave up but he had no interest in living anymore because he was so depressed. Do you remember? The light in his blue-gray eyes had been extinguished two years before. He was not the same dad that brought us up, the joking, warm, TWA company guy that took us to eat in the airline terminal. He was not the same husband that protected you and took care of you and adored you and your less than stellar cooking attempts.  You “cooked” mashed potatoes out of dehydrated flakes that you poured into a pot and heated with tepid water or with milk. Dad made his own concoctions for dessert: red, strawberry, glistening, jello mixed with canned fruit cocktail and yogurt. To top it off he added applesauce and rainbow sprinkles. He said you were his favorite cook bar none. No restaurant compared to your cooking; that was real love.

He became an old man who had difficulty walking, he shuffled and it was heart-breaking to watch. I was fearful anytime he walked up or down my three front steps that he would fall over. He refused to use a cane, or a walker, his vanity meant more than everything else. At least he had his dignity to the very end. I was lucky to see him when he was still fighting. I was there when the Doctor asked him if he would be “amenable to training so he could use a walker.” He looked up at her and said “NO, Doctor, I am not amenable to that at all!” I remember he wore his white down jacket with the bright red lining inside. I wore that puffy jacket for months after he died. I wear the chain he always wore for luck. I lost daddy years before he died, we all did.

I pray that you will bounce back, mom, and that the pain of the last six months will dissipate forever. You have fallen twice in a short period of time, you broke your wrist and your vertebrae and now we just want to keep your bones strong by taking the drug, “Reclast.” The “drug whose name shall not be mentioned” that gives you nightmares and anxiety attacks and too much fear. You had a vicious bout with a grueling flu that kept you in bed and dehydrated with high temperatures that confused your own doctor. She made you go to the Emergency Room, I met you there. You got through that, now, you have to work through the past to the present and the future. Think about your favorite occupation in the summer time, swimming in your condo’s pool with its chlorinated clear, blue water and the temperature of a warm bath. You will be surrounded by friends, and fans. You will hold court in the shade while people gather around you like the Queen that you know you are.

We all get older but I don’t want to get older without you by my side. You are the first person I call when I have any type of news. You are the one that tells me that beneath my emotional mush, “I am very strong inside, like steel” and sometimes I need to be reminded. Mama, be abrasive or demanding and unreasonable. Really, its fine. You can remind me that I should exercise more and get mad at your grandchildren for not calling often enough.

I am not ready, I never will be ready to give you up. I want to play “tickle fingers” on your hands like we used to do when I was a small child. I want to see the flirtatious woman I know, engaging with everyone you meet because people are drawn to you like moths to light.  Don’t forget our famous song by Helen Reddy: “You and Me Against The World.” I will sing it for you if you want but mostly I want to sing it with you.

Love,

Your Daughter

OH, A Feel-Good Happy Day!!!

It’s been a long, long time since I have felt this good. It’s been many long months in fact (if not years), but today I had an absolutely wonderful day. Maybe it’s because of karma, what goes around comes around, something I’ve always believed in but I tend to need reminding. I woke up early, looked at the bright yellow sun on the cloudless brilliant blue sky and knew where I had to go. It was the right day to go to the cemetery, to visit my dad, who passed away 9 years ago. I always go, each year, around Father’s Day out of love and respect but I don’t usually plan when I go; I go when I feel I should. Today was that day.

I bought a plant with tiny red flowers, like heart-shaped kisses, in a pot, wrapped in shiny green aluminum foil and brought it with me to the cemetery. I talked to my dad, out loud, I cried, I asked questions and I implored, all the while cleaning the headstone from old dirty grass and respositioning and cleaning the stones that lay faithfully on his headstone. ” I need your help, Dad, I’ve been so sick (and also, just remember Dan hasn’t worked since September.) Honestly, I just want to feel better and I know you would want that too. Mom’s worried about me too, please help me, please help her.” I asked directly for his help and for a day, today, he showered me with love. Asked and answered, with a great big smile.

Right after the cemetery I drove to my mom’s apartment, a minute away, unannounced and knocked on her door. We ended up spending much of the day together and I felt so pampered. It’s nice, once in a while to be a daughter, to feel like a daughter and not just a mother. My mom took me out to lunch at The Club where I had a beet, mango, fennel salad with goat cheese and pistachios. Heavenly. My mom had a grilled chicken salad sandwich that came on a croissant but I nixed the croissant since she is diabetic and I watch out for her too. We laughed a lot and marveled at the serenity and the gift of the weather, warm, sunny, with a breeze and not too hot; a perfect day.

We went to her condo pool and I sat in the sun, in my mother’s cute black and white bathing suit that she gave me as a present and I felt so pampered, so loved, so taken care of.  Thank you. I swam in the pool, I sat and talked to the lounging ladies and when I was ready, I left to go home.

I left to go home to my daughter. My daughter and I had date night where we went to her favorite restaurant, just the two of us. We drank sugary sweet strawberry smoothies and ate brick oven pizza, fresh and hot straight out of the oven. The pizza had chunky tomato pieces and thick mozzarella slices and  fresh basil on every slice. Now I am home, reliving the day with happiness, with gratitude.

I know deep down inside I am hoping that tomorrow will be the same and that I will feel really good again and energetic. I would be lying if I didn’t hope for that. But, if I don’t feel that way, at least I will  know it is possible. That’s more than I had months ago, that’s more than I had even yesterday and I appreciate it, I truly do.

Dedicated to my mom, who wants me to be happy and healthy as much, or even more, than I do.

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