Oh Sixteen

April 8, 2017

My youngest daughter accompanied me to the mall this afternoon – big surprise, she’s sixteen. As we waited, stuck for awhile in traffic, I turned to look at her perfect sixteen year old profile. Flawless skin(at least to my middle aged self) bright eyes shining as she talked excitedly, flipping from topic to topic as they do at this age. I didn’t hear everything she said because I was so busy committing burning this nothing – and yet everything moment, into my mind – into my heart.
It’s these little moments that are the most memorable, not the birthdays and graduations or other “firsts” in life. It’s these moments when you see someone…really see (and feel) someone…and that moment lasts forever – it’s as if you know it at the exact moment – fleeting and forever, all at the same time.

New Car holds me Hostage

February 11, 2017

Snowstorm on it’s way today – so I thought that I’d better run out and get the last few grocery items that I need for my Brunch tomorrow and as I am expecting about 20 people,there’s still a lot to do today.
Off I go and in scant moments I whiz through my grocery store with all 10 items in my basket – even without my list, I remembered everything. Yay! I am on a hot streak!
I pull the hood up on my coat to shield myself from the blowing snow and dash out to my car to load up the trunk. In my haste, I lay my keys down in the trunk (something I NEVER do) while I rearrange the bags and other junk that is in my trunk. Great – done! I slam down the trunk and then I hear it – that fatal click as the car self locks…something that these new cars do after about 30 seconds.
I try the trunk but no luck, still, I hopefully think “no worries’ I had double clicked the key to make sure that both front and backseat doors would be open…they are possibly still unlocked, right? WRONG. Actually WRONG WRONG WRONG!
Are you kidding me?? I have to get home, bake and frost cupcakes, put together a veggie platter and finish decorating the house!

No choice but to go back into the store and call my husband and being a one car family this meant him venturing out into the blowing snow to get on the bus and come and rescue me. Thankfully he only stifled a laugh and wasn’t annoyed – that made me feel better.
So into the grocery store I went to warm up and as I passed the vending machine, thought I’d grab a Coke while I wait.
You know what’s coming next don’t you? I open the can of Coke which promptly explodes and drenches the arm of my coat…sigh…I am starting to feel a tad bag ladyish now…My hair is disheveled and my my sleeve is stained with wet Coke.
However – 20 minutes later – in walked my Prince Charming and within moments we were on our way…although he was giggling and I was not – but I was relieved.

Se what happens when you rush around at the last minute?!

Turning Points

February 1, 2017

Turning Point. The moment when you you see people for who they are…or who they can be. There are those that we know that we can count on – they are always “there” – exactly when you need them, not only at those tough times in life – but at those wonderful times too. They are on standby to either rejoice with you or to enfold you into their arms.
Then there are the people who truly surprise you – they blossom at a moment’s notice and come through most unexpectedly and you find a heartfelt kindness and caring that you never knew existed….those people…those moments – always take my breath away and inspire me – fill me with hope and a renewed spirit.

Then there are those who surprise you in a different way…you believe they are there in the wings, waiting to hold you up or to cheer you on – but when the moment comes….nothing.

What a disappointment.

What a reminder that not all is as it seems, and that there is often a whole lot of talk and no real action. That always blindsides me. I think it’s because I love to have faith – faith in peoples’ word….but then again – words are often just that…words – nothing more.

Life is an ongoing series of lessons that somehow – even when you think you are old enough, have been around that proverbial block once or twice (or maybe more)and are sure that you have seen it all…guess what? You haven’t. Oh – maybe your eyes have seen it all, maybe your head has seen it all…but your heart? Now that’s the part that gets surprised.

Turning Point – means just that; the point in one’s life where your thoughts turn, your faith turns and your heart turns….and sometimes you are turned onto another path – leaving where you were, and with whom…behind.

The Shadow Your Smile

November 17, 2016

I am burying my Dad today.

How did we get here? A man who, until ALS imprisoned his body, walked a minimum of 2 miles a day – rain, snow or sunshine – and who worked out at the gym three times a week – physically fit and mentally sharper than most of us on a good day. Up until the very last day of his life he was still planning, inventing and learning.

He was an artist in the every sense – cartoon sketches filled the margins of the daily newspaper and covered not only the return envelopes of bills but also every napkin in the house. An accomplished pianist, he played in several jazzy bands from the forties through the sixties, and every evening before supper, he tinkled those ivories. The melodic notes would float out of the window and onto the street on many a summer evening, causing people to look up as they walked by the house. A favorite was The Shadow of Your Smile…each note of that song is embedded in the very fibers of my being…and today I am thinking of how appropriate that song is.

He never stopped “living.” At the height of his illness, when asked how he was doing, his standard reply was “Pretty good!”…even though he had become a prisoner in his own body. Dad always saw the silver lining in life and was not one who believed in problems, only solutions. He loved his family – we were everything – and he forever loved my mother like the 25 year old young man who first saw her, standing on the church steps at the wedding of a mutual friend. She was his lover, muse and best friend….I believe the term for that is “Soul Mate.”

He would constantly remind us to celebrate everything – and so I will, Dad…

…as I remember the shadow of  your smile.

 

 

 

 

 

Lucky Collision

June 12, 2016

30 years ago today my husband and I literally collided and fell in love within an instant. We had been working together for a year and perhaps the tiniest of sparks had flown between us once or twice but nothing more. Then, that fateful Thursday afternoon we were at a ratings party (a quarterly celebration, infamous in the broadcasting industry). We sat on two bar stools engaged in smart, witty conversation – a guy joined us, a real “mover and shaker” (or so he thought) but he was really more like a Big Bad Wolf, tongue out and saliva dripping, just waiting to take advantage. He was considerably older and I was just a young thing and with my twenty-something sass I brushed him off…much to the amusement of my husband.

What followed was my husband offering me a lift home. We went back to the radio station to get his briefcase and as we stood alone, on opposite ends of the elevator, there was an incredible unspoken tension and magnetic pull….and as if in a movie – we suddenly rushed into each other`s arms and collided in a kiss. What happened next was a blur of dashing in and out of the radio station and getting into his ugly brown car  (seriously – who owns a brown sedan in their twenties? Another story in itself). We stopped at a red light and he leaned over and kissed me passionately on the lips and told me that that was what red lights were for….this from a man who was so reserved, never showing an ounce of flirtatiousness.

Once at my apartment – passion took over yet again, movie-like in every way. We were on fire and love literally exploded into fireworks. By midnight he had to leave and as I stood on the balcony of my cheap little apartment and watched him walk backwards, waving constantly to me until he finally he reached his car….I knew. I just knew.

What followed was a passionate haze that somehow seems to still surround us. Usually such explosive fire doesn’t seem to last, it often fizzles as two people burn themselves out -yet our passion continues today. The haze has cleared somewhat over the years as we have weathered the ups and downs of life – having children, losing parents, job changes, renovating a house….all the things that make life, LIFE.

So here we are – thirty years later –  and the absolute truth is that he rushes home to be with me every single night and my heart still leaps as he walks in the door, and when I see him walk towards me , he still looks 27 years old…making my heart skip a beat.

All week the weather station has been predicting rain for today – but guess what? As I sit here writing this….the sun is out and shining so brightly as the fireworks continue.

 

 

 

Fairweather Friends

June 4, 2016

FRIEND. Everyone seems to have their own interpretation of that word.

It can mean everything pure and true that your heart can hold – or it can mean the vaguest of air kisses – emptiness at its fullest.

What I have learned is that there is a tremendous responsibility to the word “Friend” – a responsibility that a lot of people are completely incapable of, although they are always the ones who pride themselves on being so supportive. Yet they unwittingly disappoint by neglecting to follow through on all of their words….their empty words…words that they believe are wrapping you up in a warm and comforting invisible hug. Truth is, all they are wrapping you up in, is spiritual plastic wrap.

Then there are the people who surprise you. The people who come out from the tiny, hidden corners in your life that you forgot existed; either quietly on their own or in a warm circle  – and with arms wide open they envelope you, they hold you up and face you forward. What a lovely unexpected gift.

Friend. Someone we should all strive to be every day -somehow …even in the smallest way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death, lower your voice

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.