April 13, 2016
Death first began to whisper, ever so faintly in my ear about 2 1/2 years ago when my father’s ALS symptoms became seriously apparent. I mean it wasn’t exactly the first time in my life that I heard his voice – but up until then it has been sporadic. From time to time since then, Death has raised his voice from a whisper to a raspy taunt as if his intention was to send a chill through my soul; almost as if he was enjoying a cruel joke. By that autumn he had robbed my mother/best friend’s spirit, leaving me with an emptiness that no one will ever be able to fill. nothing will ever be the same again…and there’s nothing I can do it about it – no matter how hard I wish it – oh, and I have wished it.
The New Year saw Death charge out of the starting gate, head thrown back in glee as he raised is voice laughing in an icy macabre cackle. In January he stained my youth by taking some of my teen icons. February he blew in on the winter’s wind and stole the roommate from my twenties…someone who I had been tirelessly searching for over the last few years – and with no shame at all, he snatched her a mere three weeks before I managed to find her…ironically in the obituaries.
Now, most recently, he took our family’s beloved pet. Yes, she was old…but had not been sick at all and in a swift two weeks we had to watch her falter and fail – with no words available to console or comfort her.
Death – I know that you are a part of Life, and a part of Life that I believe needs to be someone respected…but damn you Death…I am so tired of hearing you whisper and giggle in my ears, in my dreams and chilling my heart. I’m sick of you – I am so sick of you and wish you would just go away….or, at the very least …. lower your voice so that I can’t hear you anymore.
March 11, 2016
Walls….wonderful walls…the wonder of walls…oh, the wonder of – it all.
A guilty pleasure or mine is to take the occasional tour of a house that is up for sale in my neighborhood. Partially it’s because I’m curious and quite frankly, to be honest, mainly because I am just that… curious. Not too long ago, I found myself all alone while looking through a house – it was a moment when there were no prospective buyers milling about – just me. As I wandered through the rooms I could feel the laughter…the family dinners, the holiday parties. This was what I like to call a “happy house.” Sometimes I walk though houses where the the tears almost seem to stream down the walls and the arguments echo in the halls….. in an “unhappy house.”
Then I wonder about my own house…someday, will someone walk through and feel the home that it was? Will the laughter tinkle from the chandelier in the dining-room where there have been countless celebratory dinners and afternoons spent playing Scrabble? Will happy energy race down the staircase that I love to drift down each morning and that my 3 children have raced up and pounded down with schoolbooks and backpacks in tow? How about the passion, creativity and sometimes frustration that buzzes around my kitchen where nightly dinner are in a daily state of conception? Then there are the tears from times when life’s weight seem too heavy to bear and hearts were broken…will those tears they trickle down the walls?
And the Love…what of the love? The tender kisses, freely given hugs, playful tickles and comforting embraces….will they swirl around and take someone ‘s heart by surprise?
All those feelings – happy, sad, scared and celebratory are being absorbed on a daily basis in my walls. I like to think that hopefully, they will one day embrace, strengthen and inspire someone as they did when we moved into this happy house.
Walls….wonderful walls…the wonder of walls…oh, the magic of – it all.
February 12, 2016
A very long time ago at some social gathering – you know the kind, one where the wine flows and suddenly everyone is a junior philosopher and you are all solving the world’s problems – someone one asked me if I would ever one tomorrow for one yesterday.
I was in my early twenties and being a grown-up was still an exhilarating promotion in life so my answer was a resounding “NO!” I mean, come on – anything could happen tomorrow (and of course, in your twenties “anything” meant it was going to be exciting). You could suddenly be offered the job of your dreams, you could fall in love with THE ONE, you might win the lottery!
Fast forward a hundred years – or at least a couple of decades…I did indeed find THE ONE and am happily married to him – just about 30 years. My children are grown and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them, finding their way relatively well in the world – discovering adventures and solving the world’s problems at their own social gatherings, no doubt.
Recently, an old friend asked me that question again (only at this gathering we were now veteran philosophers) and I had to pause.. Without warning a flood of memories washed over me….lots and lots of Lego, playing with little figures and making the appropriate voices, baking one bijillion cookies in every shape possible, looking for “treasures” while walking to the grocery store….reading, all cuddled up in bed. Yes – most definitely. Yes – I would trade one tomorrow for one beautiful yesterday when my children were small.
As for the possibility of winning the lottery “tomorrow”……it seems that I already did.
January 18, 2016
Not so long ago, it used to drive me absolutely crazy when my 3 kids would be all together, creating a ruckus, laughing hysterically downstairs in the main floor family room as they either watched TV or played video games. I go to bed much earlier than they do (they are teen/young adults) and was desperately trying to get to sleep! I always envisioned the Grinch, in that part of the How The Grinch Stole Christmas, where he talks about the “noise noise noise!” and the drums are banging on his eardrums. I used to think that the noise would never end -and to anyone with young kids, let me tell you that it will and it happens kind of unexpectedly. While you probably cannot imagine it now as your young children are running around screaming, crying, laughing and making the general mayhem that children do- not only will it become quiet one day… you will feel that quiet – and let me tell you – it feels strange
My son moved out a year and a half ago and the house has become definitely quieter – the girls just don’t get crazy together in that same way. He didn’t move far, just downtown, so that he could be closer to the university and so he does come home most weekends for a day/night (laundry and a good meal -Lol!). The funny thing is that, even though they are essentially all grown-up, when he comes home they all revert to being 8-10 years old. The level of “crazy” goes up and so does the sound.
The funny thing is that, now when I lie in bed, the loud squealing and laughter that used to drive me around the bend and keep me awake actually lulls me to sleep…yet another bittersweet parental realization.
There is nothing like the loud laughter of a houseful of kids…..who knew?
January 15, 2016
After much disappointment in certain people over the years – people who always have a negative response when you talk to them or get together – or even when you pass them by with a casual “Hi – how are you”, well I have finally come to the conclusion that for the most part, these people don’t mean it -they don’t aren’t even aware that they are doing it. I think that there are some people who simply who need to live in a certain state of crisis. I know this sounds odd but think about this in your own life…the person who, no matter the conversation seems to be having some terribly difficult situation that it impairing their day-to-day.
At first I silently lost patience thinking that they were constant complainers and then it dawned on me that this was not the case. I began to realize that it was just that they needed a certain level of Crisis to feel normal. Crisis, no matter how big or small makes these people feel alive and can even strangely make them productive and energized.
Now, I am no psychologist but this has to stem from somewhere deep down inside – from somewhere long ago in their lives…maybe even before they were born. Maybe this is something that it is inherited, something that exists in the very cells that make up who they are and it might be the only way that they can survive and get through this journey of life.
It’S exhausting and I think that you need to limit your involvement because the problem is that from the moment you say Hello – they cast an invisible line out and within moments begin to reel you in …and if Crisis is not your mode of operation, it will drain you…but you already know that – because you’ve been on that other end. The most difficult part is when you truly care about the person and cutting them out of your life is not possible – or desirable….but self protection is a must. You have to find a way, a method, to protect your heart, your soul and psyche…you need to find your own line – only instead of casting it out, you need to draw it – as they say…in the sand – and take care not to step over it….and you’ll be ok.
Awareness is always key, isn’t it?