Free Write Friday: Kellie Elmore “Ivy Covered Gates”

Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University, Cambri...

Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, I kept coughing so much that i thought my lungs was gonna burst outta my chest and i couldn’t stop. i couldn’t even string two words without hacking and wheezing but when mama forced me to go to the doctor he said he didn’t hear anything so i had to pay twenty dollars for antibiotics that haven’t done a damn thing except make me feel worse. why do doctors make you feel sicker in the first place. shoulda just bought some of that stuff they show on rv commercials,  the green kind, you know the one where you open your mouth and spray like a mist?

Im my own person now, 18 years old, legal age but I dont understand crap the medical doctors and nurses say, i know they do that on purpose. just to put poor people in their place but not me, no, not me. Cuz, i’m gonna tell them, i am no different than you except i got all A’s and one day i’m gonna be your boss, yep you heard right miss little goody two shoes. I will be your boss. so just shut your damn mouth now before I shut if for you. Mama says i should calm myself but she done the same thing when Papa yells at her so i’m not gonna listen either.

i’m gonna listen to my self, my true gut. The little  voice inside me that says “i’m better than all of you” cause i have dreams and you don’t. Right there is the difference, enough for me to set my goals high instead of my baby brother who just wants to work in the gas factory with daddy.Living in a poor, little town like us, there are not many options except for ME. I’m gonna be a doctor and i’m gonna hold my head high and no one is gonna talk me out of it. That’s right.

I got all A’s this year and now i’m waiting for my community college acceptances to come in, i was in high school in a special advanced program and i’m waiting to hear if i can get a skolarship to the best school so i can be a doctor and fix people. yes, I will i tell you. Every day i wait for the mail. mama sayz it aint, I mean isn’t, gonna come any faster. but one day i know it will show up. So I may not be standing under the ivy covered gates at Harvard next year but i will be in the top of my class at communtiy school and after that you watch out because then I am going straight, yes, directly into Harvard with my head held higher than high. Because i have something you don’t got, i got my strength and my spirit and I believe in myself and i know, damn well know, i can do it with not one shadow of one doubt.

Signed, DOCTOR to be: Samantha E. Rowland

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I’m Older Than That Now

Portrait from India 15

Portrait from India 15 (Photo credit: Zuhair Ahmad)

A new, younger friend, was hesitant to write her feelings down on paper.

Why not? I thought.

And then I remembered and rejoiced in that knowledge.

I’m too old for games, I wrote,
but I can understand why you would be hesitant.
I was like that too, at your age.
I now have the freedom not to care what others think.
Freedom not to even think about what others think, not to hesitate, just say what’s on my mind, politely.
What a luxury, a new luxury  that I had taken for granted. A gift. A heavenly gift.
I never realized it before until the younger one said “I thought about it but I didn’t say anything”
I had forgotten that hesitancy until I was reminded of it.
It’s like inhaling a deep breath, holding it in and effortlessly letting it go,
letting it seep into all the crevices of life, be it ocean or wind, or water.
Drifting aimlessly like a freed red kite among the unencumbered blue sky.
I have earned this.
This is my gift to myself.
I will pride myself on not dyeing my hair, for the few strands that are gray and white,
I will wear them with authenticity.
I will continue to throw back my head with my hair long and laugh.
There really is wisdom, joy and freedom in older age.
Even, especially if you don’t seek it;
it will find you.
Keep your heart open to receiving that gift.

Not My Child

Alone

Alone (Photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography)

I went back to my Rheumatologist today with the help of my husband, driving me in to the city. This summer I haven’t had the energy to be able to take a train anywhere much less drive to the nearest train station. I’ve been so tired and so filled with pain that I can’t even imagine the days of yore when I used to go to the city by myself FOR FUN, for excitement, to sit, grinning, sipping iced coffee,watching people or seeing a new movie. I cannot manage the steps up to the platform or down them, I can’t even think of the service elevator that grumbles so slowly and so infrequently and is so small, smelly and lifeless.

The quality of my life, in the last six months, has deteriorated, rapidly. I’ve tried to keep it out of my head, to ignore it and not to complain but the evidence is clear now. I’ve fallen, out of the blue, directly unto the ground smashing my face and knees, I’ve been severely imbalanced, I’ve even used a cane that I keep in the car. My pain levels are at an all time high and I complained to my doctor that I thought Fibromyalgia symptoms were supposed to stay the same, not get worse. “They get better, they get worse” he said diplomatically, this being the worst he has seen me in years. Cranky, unsmiling, complaining and saying “ouch” every time he touched a tender point on my arms and legs. I hurt everywhere and then some. I have interrupted sleep, pain wakes me up so I don’t get enough rest to heal during the night and I’m frustrated, angry and sick of it. It’s almost six years now.

The only thing, THE ONLY THING, that shut me up quickly today was the sight of a mother and her daughter sitting in the waiting room today, noticing that the daughter was the patient. I will remember this daughter’s face forever. She looked definitely younger than her years, she said the word “bi-coastal” at least five times, almost to prove out loud that she did live away from her mother. She looked about 15 but was probably in her mid twenties. Her two braids made her look younger, the sound of her high, squeaky voice sounded child-like and the way she moved looked awkward, clumsy, painful; something was definitely wrong, missing. She stepped gingerly into the doctor’s office alone like a wounded fawn.

I shut up completely, quieted my misery when I saw this young woman, this frail young woman.  I would have this frustrating disease called Fibromyalgia five times worse if it meant my daughter or son go through it. I would have it worse for this young stranger I had just met.  I looked at my husband and he looked back at me, we understood each other. I stopped feeling sorry for myself in a quick, NYC, second. Let me have the pain, just spare the children, I can take it, I will take it, just let them be healthy and happy and let this poor young woman find some answers and relief too. I am a mother, I hate to see any child hurt and suffer. I hate to think that this young wisp of a woman feels anything like I do. That would be so wrong, it upsets me deeply.