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

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My Dog Lexi And Me

Vanilla custard with raspberries, blueberries and slices of thinly cut kiwi fruit, a small chunk of fresh pineapple, flaky almond crust. Small bites spread over an hour with a blue glass of icy cold milk. A dessert fork, lights dim not glaring. A peaceful Sunday night dessert.

Fresh fruit tart with kiwi, raspberries, and b...

Monday is cold and biting, raining, sleet. No place to go, to rush out the door. My dog is downstairs curled up on the couch, she looks like a sleeping fox. She, apparently, has no energy today either, I try to take her out but she looks at me with disdain.


She will not go. We look at each other wisely, we agree we should all move together to a warmer climate. “Florida?” I ask her. “California she murmurs, less humidity.” I agree immediately.”Someday” we agree.

We sit on the coach as we do every morning. Her body and paws on my lap, my arm around her head softly scratching behind her rusty colored ears, in her favorite place. We talk together.  She tells me if we move she is scared to swim in the ocean, I tell her I totally understand. We will start very slowly until she feels comfortable or if not she can play in the sand. I wouldn’t force her to do anything, I’m not that kind of mom.

I never forced my children to do anything they didn’t want to do either, I just insisted on them having good manners and being respectful. They both are. I am so proud of your siblings, I whisper to the dog,and I am so proud of you.”  I let her in on a secret: “they will be home very soon to visit you.” The dog looks up at me, her eyes brighten with interest. She knows when her brother comes home he will rough house with her, she knows when her sister comes home she will get extra hugs and kisses, mostly in private.

Everybody says we should not feed the dog at the table

but we all do except for dad, he is the strictest of the family. I just need a soft, warm, mushy look and my hand is out. Sister sometimes slips too and gives in not to mention grandma who gives pieces of food all the time, even to the dog’s cousin where it is really NOT allowed. “But it makes him so happy” she says, calling the dogs boys when they are both girls. It’s a language thing.It makes us all laugh.

It is finally time to get out of bed and take a hot shower, whether I want to or not. It is so cold in the house, I am shivering. Nothing motivates me except the amount of days I haven’t showered. I have accepted/relented to Winter because I have no choice. I will stay in as much as possible, that is my coping mechanism. I can’t fight it, I may as well hide from it. I’ve given in.

Time does not stand still, not at all. It breezes past, its bitterness a step away from me. I like it that way. If I don’t have to go out, I won’t. If I can’t live in a warm temperature, I will make the temperature warm in my house. I will only go out when I need to go out. Tomorrow, I need an EKG, just a three-month check-up, no biggie. I will go and I will come back, happy to be home.  I will make a cup of tea with a spoon of honey

and I will appreciate that even more than usual. After that, I will sit once more, with my dog, lying on the bed and we will close our eyes, together. Nap time.

 

Gray Skies, Shocker!

Fourth day in a row, gray, drizzling, I’m not smiling but I’m not depressed either. I guess I have a choice which way to head. Not going down the negative road, maybe I’ll head to Target and buy something yellow that I can place in my window sill. Here’s a situation that I have NO control over, the weather but I’ll make other choices that may help.

I do have a choice whether or not to go to my chair yoga class and it was iffy in the morning. After a strong cup of coffee

with a little honey (a new idea) I decided to force myself to go and know I won’t regret it.

I’m looking at my “sun-lamp” (don’t waste your money) that I bought years ago, it’s in place but really does nothing, save your money and buy yourself some exquisite chocolate or butter pecan ice cream

Butter pecan caramel ice cream

Butter pecan caramel ice cream (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

or some exotic fruit you have wanted  to try.

(As if I would show a picture of a new piece of fruit, LOL)

I’m going to play some music, put on some perfume, slip into my new black, Dansko clogs and make the best of the day that I have.

Think of it this way, I didn’t wake up with another migraine, I am grateful for that. I guess having migraines now makes the days that I don’t have one extra special, I really appreciate those days.

I guess if I’m stuck with a new painful illness I may as well look for the silver lining, sure is better than complaining about it.

Be sweet to another person, do a good deed, appreciate what you have, pay it forward. You will feel better immediately even if you do have a migraine.

# FWF Gratitude, Kellie Elmore

wonderful nature have a nice weekend and a bea...

wonderful nature have a nice weekend and a beautiful 3.advent dear friends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Listen, Love, Give Thanks

It was my birthday last month, I bought myself a small cup of creamy coffee with a crisp twenty-dollar bill and whispered to the cashier “let others use it up until it runs out” she looked at me with a blank stare. That was a birthday present to myself, the best kind. I felt happy to be able to do a small act of kindness. I walked out grinning. Giving. Joy. Love.

Today is dreary, rainy, and glum. I have turned my loud music off, there is no noise in my room except the ringing in my ears, the sound of my fingertips on the keyboard and airline jets flying overhead in the sky. I imagine they are traveling to exotic places: Bali, Greece, Japan? A couple of newlyweds are on their way to their honeymoon, holding hands and sipping champagne, kissing each others pink lips lightly. I was young once too.

The rest of the next hour is a gift. I have the luxury of peace and I relax on my bed with my sweet red dog, Lexi, wrapped around my legs. Every day has been long, arduous, bringing some medical testing, and waiting for results, a flat tire, silly and stressful things. Finally, Friday, I get results, I can give thanks that all has ended well. I send hope and light to my friend who is also facing challenges, we haven’t talked in years but now we talk daily. Support, Understanding, Old Friends.

I listen to the sound of my breathing and try to slow it down. Inhale slowly, Exhale slowly. The weather is damp and my arms ache with soreness just from raising them, my body is the barometer for all things; fellow patients with Fibromyalgia nod their heads “YES.” We understand when the weather changes before the news weather forecasters have any idea. What a waste of a job, why not just hire us at a fifth of the cost? Many pillows prop me up like a hospital patient, fully clothed, drowned in six comforters for warmth. I try to release pain and tightness from every limb, bone, muscle. I try. It doesn’t work. I’ve accepted that, there is no room in my life to fight. With age there is wisdom, I’m grateful for that.

Maybe I don’t have the highs and joy that we used to have in the past, a gratifying status of being “Mom” with sticky kisses and playing with cars or having tea parties, those days are far gone. But, I did have them once, a long time ago. It is not the good times we had in the past but also not the bad times that may await us in the future. I can’t possibly complain. Yes, my husband was laid off and I haven’t been in the best of health for the last seven years but we are dealing with the situation. A word of advice: Just count your blessings and not your sorrows. Thank G-d, Nature, or Angels, whatever you believe in, that you are alive TODAY. Enjoy today as much as you can because we cannot count on a tomorrow.

Embrace your spouse/partner or friend, child, mom, dad, grandparent and give thanks for what you do have and don’t waste a minute focusing on what you don’t have. Hug your cat or dog, Buy a present for someone you don’t like, maybe there is a reason why they are so cranky, see what happens. Everyone has a story, listen. There is always someone who has it worse than you do.We are relatively healthy, our adult children are coming home for a visit and we will have a turkey on the table for Thanksgiving. We give thanks for what we have.

Yellow Magic Madness # 33: Late Afternoon Sun

English: The rear of the Shires A view looking...

English: The rear of the Shires A view looking east across the ASDA carpark, towards the geometric shapes of the rear elevation of the Shires shopping centre catching the late afternoon sunlight. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Bridleway in the Late Afternoon Sunlight.

English: Bridleway in the Late Afternoon Sunlight. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Late afternoon sunlight. Late September’s gift. I love this light,  my favorite time of day. The warmth of the day is a gift, the reflection of the sun as it shines on this surprising warm day. Warmth before the cold. Appreciate every minute you can, at night the temperatures drop quickly, we know what’s ahead. Count your blessings.

Photography credit to Photographers

lf copyright

I’m Cranky, No, I’m Sad, Whatever…..

Cottage in the Woods with Bluebonnets

Cottage in the Woods with Bluebonnets (Photo credit: Bill Gracey)

I want to slap people, well, not really.  I’m disappointed in people: in general and specifically and now there is nobody I want to be around except my auburn colored dog, Lexi.  It’s not as if anyone has done something horrendous but it seems a lot of people (okay, women my age) are going through a lot of “something-something” (as my friend Barbara would say) at the same time. Kind of a later mid-life crisis for women, different from when we turned 30 or even 40. This is worse, this is mid-life crisis on steroids or acid, maybe both.

Yup, I said it. First I just felt cranky and after a bit, I felt lonely. All along I thought those words were antonyms when in fact, they feel like synonyms today, they are definitely connected. I could blame these moods on a lot of things, certainly the beastly weather. This unbearable heat and humidity for the last week has everybody miserable but I think I would be doing myself a disservice. I’m not sure that answer would be entirely honest. It definitely has an impact on how I feel physically, Fibromyalgia Flare-Ups, IBS, not sleeping well, feeling out of sorts, all are true, but there’s definitely an emotional component as well.

I want to crawl and hide someplace where no one can find me. I want to be on a path, in the woods where I can find my peace, in Nature where nobody will hurt me, I trust animals, I don’t trust people; not anyone. Everyone’s history has its secrets, its shame, hurt, heartbreak. In nature there is innocence, love, and peacefulness. I want to move to a little red cottage in the woods somewhere where nobody can hurt me. Again.

Today is July 4th and here is one time where I want to be social and go to a barbecue. The one family who intimated they wanted us to come over apparently forgot, changed their minds or life got in their way. We’re not invited to anyone’s barbecue basically because every year my husband and I host the barbecue ( Thanksgiving,  parties etc). I’m tired of being taken advantage of and being the one that hosts the numerous meals for friends and my family. I’m right here, I’m not invisible, look at me. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it could be a pizza on paper plates, it’s the effort and the manners and the feeling of being wanted. I’m both cranky and and lonely, it’s a tough combination.

I told everyone at the last big gathering that “I’m now on strike.” So while I am fantasizing about a Hebrew National hot dog, sizzling on the grill, plumped to perfection and lying in a soft bun covered with mustard, I will be here trying to forget other people’s broken promises and talking myself down from being way too sensitive. Everything is alright, I have to make it alright, I have no choice.

There is only one thing that is a guaranteed fix. Works every time. (No, NOT drugs or alcohol ) The one movie I love more than life itself: The Sound Of Music. It fixes me, I can’t resist singing every song (knowing every word to every song) and relaxing while watching it. So, today while you are eating S’mores and drinking beer, sweating in the horrendous heat and humidity, I’ll be here, on my bed, in air-conditioned splendor singing along with Maria and the Von Trapp Family Singers with my dog Lexi, on my lap.

Yellow Magic Madness # 17 Rubber Ducks

A picture of a rubber duck wearing a nametag, ...

A picture of a rubber duck wearing a nametag, saying “Hello, my name is: Loggie” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The days here are dark, rainy, bleak. The forecast is for more of the same weather. Sometimes you have to find your own bit of sunshine so I look to something Yellow that will make me feel bright and happy.  How can you not smile when you look at this adorable duck?

Haiku Heights: Rescue

Accident on an Icy Road

Accident on an Icy Road (Photo credit: born1945)

Frozen breath, standing

ice, painful, purple digits

Drill me from the car.

*

Crying, storms, blackness

hidden away, my heart bleeds

Waiting for your soul.

*

Tumble, tenderly

Alone, huddled with children

Until you found me.

Monday Mellow Yellows: Sunset

The Final Setting of the Sun at Birling Gap

The Final Setting of the Sun at Birling Gap (Photo credit: antonychammond)

Living in the Northeast, my soul longs for a sunny, warm day. These past months have been nothing but bitter cold weather and gray skies. I long to feel the warmth on my pale shoulders, to lift my head and feel the soft glow of the summer’s heat. I want to stay at the beach all day with family and friends and be there for the show that the sunset brings where everybody watches and when the sun sets, we all applaud. A free, masterful performance, once again. Thank you, dear sunset for that magical show.

Help Needed: For Fibro And Chronic Pain Sufferers 2012

icy storm

icy storm (Photo credit: Vilseskogen)

I’ve often thought about placing a classified ad to get responses from people about what are the best climates for someone who has Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain. I live in the Northeast so I know that the freezing cold weather just knocks me out, like a painful gust of wind on a fragile old lady. I feel like that old lady at times, more often than not, I need to hold on to something or someone because when the weather is terribly cold, I am in pain. I will not live in this cold country for the rest of my life, I don’t want to do that but I have said that for years.

It started to snow in October which seems crazy and the winters are longer. We need to stay here until my little one (18 years old) finishes college. Where would we go after that? I have no idea; suggestions are welcome, the only requirement is WARMTH. Moving is a daunting task, especially with an elderly mother, my sister and her family near-by and two children here. Moving FOR people is NOT a good idea, but it is a consideration. The only compromise I can think of is to be “snow birds” but you must need a lot of money for that.

WANTED: 2 BR APT. in Warm climate

Needed: Warmth (Desparately)

Needed: Near Sand and Water

Highly Preferred: Low Humidity

Close to teaching Hospital

Close to Public Transportation/Airport

Do you think that’s asking too much? That’s what I am going for, in my fantasy. My bones ache in the cold weather, I shudder with pain like an injured yellow bird flapping her broken wing. I want to be close to nature, to take walks all year round and to give myself a break. Just need money, my husband to agree, and the courage to move away from family. That’s the toughest one of all.