Perfectly Imperfect

February 24, 2019

I have learned that you cannot be truly honest – although I would never tell my children that.

Honesty can be a painful, bare, stripping down of your soul…and that generally comes at a tremendous cost – no matter how much the person you trust is promising you that you are safe…there is an invisible price tag that they are don’t even know they are holding in their pocket…then again, maybe they do – who knows?

Human nature is so simple and complicated all at the same time. Ultimately – we are ALL so incredibly imperfect and we spend so much energy and time denying that…

Sometimes it’s hard to go to sleep…

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As I get older…I feel strangely younger. I seem to remember those days past so clearly.

I hate being older because, inside – deep inside – I still feel 25…ok..maybe 35….

I wonder what happened over the years when I was selflessly, happily giving my young years to my children – making sure they had the most magical childhood that they could carry on into their adult lives.

So here I am..older, wiser..mostly older

But I am still Me inside. The Me, who went to crazy parties, the Me who took chances and dares, the Me who turned heads and was listened to -as in every word, every dream…someone always seemed to care about what I thought.

Now – I have beautiful, successful grown children…I have a lovely 30+ year marriage and yet I go into a room to be alone in mediation and call on the invisible spirits to join me because in some strange way – I too, am invisible.

I guess I never thought that I would end up here – at this place…..it’s not terrible, it really isn’t…..it’s that I feel kind of lost and I am not sure that anyone will every really bother to look to find me.

Mothers

January 13, 2019

My mom is 90…she would kill me if she knew that I “exposed” her age, Lol!

Two years ago she lost her love-match, her best friend, her partner of 65 years on this journey of life – my Dad, and is now struggling to find her way…struggling to find her way – 10 years off of 100.

I try my best to help – to listen – to comfort…but here I am with a still growing family, a husband who I adore…a full life. I don’t know (as hard as I  may try) what it must be like to have outlived all of your peers…does anyone really understand you anymore at this point?

Two of my dearest friends lost a parent in the last month. One, a father, with whom she reconnected after many years – and served to ignite a part of her growing up that she may not have fully understood until recently….what a gift!!

The other friend was very close to her mother. They shared so much….I understand this fully. My mother and I are two VERY different people – different “types” and yet we found this wonderful common ground. We had so many fabulously fun times doing the mundane….grocery shopping, clothes shopping and coffee shops…sharing in the everyday lives of my children. No one has ever been as interested in the minute details of my life as my mother has been….and now – there is a strange and lonely divide.

She is, at times  – slipping away from me. Oh, she still has all her faculties…but since my Dad has been gone – there has been an absence of joy…that carefree joy that we shared when we would have a laugh and endless conversation over coffee then go shopping …and keep laughing….

Things are changing  – and as grown-up as I am…I am still my mother’s child…and I miss the ease of the conversation and laughter…I miss my “old” mom…my friend.

Winds of Change

September 21, 2018

I have felt the gentle stirring from the wind of change which has suddenly begun to blow through again, bringing with it many moments to pause and reflect on everything around me – and everyone.

I always resist these winds of change at first. I mean, no one really likes change – at least not at the start. I like my life comfortable, warm and cozy. I like the people around me to be accountable, inspirational and genuine. These winds of change always start off as a gentle breeze of suggestion and end up as somewhat forceful gusts that blow certain feelings that I had always held true, high up into the clouds…mainly because the winds arrive at a time when I feel I can no longer hold on certain things – certain friendships…the string at the end of these lovely balloons becomes too thin and I just have to let go –  I guess that I begin to feel as though I can’t hold on to people anymore or  maybe part of the truth is that I don’t want to end up with rope burns….

… I am someone who hates letting go. I am strangely loyal to my different relationships, friends and how they fit and fill my life. I like my life as it is – but then, I also have liked my life as it was – over and over again – when the last winds of change blew through.

Perhaps I will try to hold on just a little while longer.

My Gary Bell

June 8, 2018

I lost a piece of my eighteen-year old self this past week when a dear friend died unexpectedly. He was 11 years older than I am which, by the way, isn’t old. We had a running joke – being the “kid” in our group, I used to tease him that I was “catching up ” to him in age – he’d always break into a soft sideways smile…now however, I guess the joke’s over and I will indeed have caught up.

He was a true free spirit, loving nothing better than getting on his motorcycle and taking off – wind  blowing all around him. Confinement was a word that never quite fit into his vocabulary – other than being held tight in the arms of his perfect partner, best friend and the love of his life – his wife (and one of my dearest friends) Shannon or his precious children and probably the 4 walls of a radio broadcasting studio where he would let his creative spirit and soul run wild and free – which he did for more years than I can count.

He and his wife were my first “adult friends.” We worked together at my first job in radio. He was the seasoned announcer and I was the newbie in the music library….but he never made me feel less than he was – he just gently guided.

How often did I walk over to their funky little downtown apartment to spend afternoons that faded into late nights (back when I could actually stay up!)? Gary introduced me to my first Guinness but to be honest, no matter how often I tried afterward, I could only ever manage to swallow a few mouthfuls of the black ale. We went to baseball games together – both professional and for our station team. There was even the occasional game of touch football too (me – touch football – can you imagine?).  We spent many a late night in spirited philosophical discussions – he was always pushing me to examine and re-examine my thoughts and feelings, and challenged me to check my perspective and to spread my wings  – but at the same time, he always showed me a gentle respect.

One of our favorite games to play was to find an old movie on TV and  then turn mute the sound and ad lib our own dialogue. Seemed we which always ended up collapsing in laughter…..(sigh) what fun – what young, innocent fun.

There was the clubbing – punk rock shows, cover bands and the exclusive Club Magique where we rubbed elbow with celebrities…it was our business and it was also the Seventies. One time he insisted that we all go to see Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee because he said that I needed to experience the Blues – for real!

His wife Shannon and I spent so much time together – we were two “beautiful young chicks” and people often mistook us for sisters – which to this day I consider a huge compliment as I always thought she was the most radiant beauty – both inside and out.

I have spent the last week  looking at countless old photographs – each one capturing our magical youth together. He was one in million – a radio legend and a truly unforgettable soul who continues to live on, not only though his children, and his work – but in my heart.

Enjoy the view, Space….

Graduation

May 31, 2018

Well, here we are – Graduation Day. Did I imagine that we would ever get here? Hell yes! I always knew that we’d be here one day….right from that first breath of motherhood. Not because of any fanciful high expectation but rather, from the strange and simple, unexplained sense of knowing that I have felt on several instances in our shared life.

As a tiny baby (refusing to nurse properly in the hospital!) I saw the future. When you begrudgingly wore that little white cardboard cap with the over-sized tassel that kept falling onto your sweaty face as you “graduated” pre-school on a scorching 40C degree afternoon almost 23 years ago, I saw that black cap and gown – although I am positive that an ice cold popscicle was all that you we were imagining at the time. Every childhood graduation since then was merely a (quite honestly, overdone) dress rehearsal  of what was to come…today.

Although both smart and successful people in our own right, you dad and I were never particularly academically inclined. We have always been about arts and communication, so where you got this penchant for the books and driving competitive ambition…who knows? (Pretty sure it wasn’t the mailman – sorry – one of those “back in the day jokes’ – Lol!).

So later today, on this sunny, warm late-spring afternoon, your dad and I – joined by your supportive younger sisters and 90 year old grandmother will all proudly stand by your side ( and pose for about 100 photographs – you know me!) to revel in this long anticipated and most deserving moment of achievement.

We will fete you tonight with some champagne and a celebratory dinner and then, my dearest son…my first born wonder…you are off. I just hope the world is ready for you!

 

Mother’s Day – what a day for reflection. All the sticky kisses (not to mention sticky breakfasts in bed), hand print art and lovingly misshapen clay sculptures. Time has fallen away to lovely brunches, thoughtful gestures of flowers and efforts to cook me a favorite dinner, and as we sit around the table, all the sibling teasing and laughter of shared memories absolutely warms my heart – that’s the real gift.

I love falling asleep (of course I go to be earlier!) to the sound of them laughing hysterically downstairs as they watch movies or play video games together, reminding me of the days long past when they would be playing together in the family room and the sound of their voices (sometimes raised – as in” Mom – he’s touching my stuff!!”) would waft into the kitchen where I would be busy baking sweet treats. The smell of cookies always sending them rushing in for a “test taste.”

Grown now, and spreading their wings as they begin to live their own lives – well, we obviously aren’t all together everyday – but in my case, we so fortunately ARE together quite often on the weekends.

My very favorite thing in life is when I wake up in the middle of the night to traipse down the hall towards the bathroom and pass all three of their bedroom doors, closed. I get back into bed, my head sinking more deeply than usual into my pillow as I drift off to sleep knowing that all of my children are back in the nest – safe and snug in their beds….at least for tonight.