hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

You Romantic Fool You

Once upon a time we used to pick up the phone and call individuals we cared about. We enjoyed things like hearing their voices. The sound made us aware of their mood, what kind of day they were having, if they were annoyed, and if they were glad that we called.

Now we exist in a communication “black hole” everything is text or some silly form of social media. What type of catastrophe has to occur for one to actually let another hear their voice?

Dating in the early autumn of your life is an enigma, one that really would be better served if it stayed that way. Honestly, it is scary to think what some of the answers might be. I wish I could forget what the norm was the last time I found myself in the land of “single ready to mingle( and YES I know that phrase dates me”). It is difficult to know how to formulate a plan when the ultimate goal is in a constant state of revision.

In our youth we were looking to have some fun and eventually settle down. However, as our autumn leaves continue to turn, one finds themselves in the crux of urgency. In a society and culture where being a couple is ranked in a higher status than being an individual, we are tossed in an arena that tells us we are or should be on the road to finding that ONE suited for YOU. No one wants to feel like their choices are limited, but one does have to be realistic…time is not necessarily on our side. So how much of it do we care to devote to games. Yes games, the things everyone SAYS they do not have time for, yet they ALL participate in, one way or another.

Truthfully, it is not anyone’s fault that we ended up here…honesty, intentions, goals are all subjective. Meaning the fact that any and all can change from moment to moment is no surprise. One of my personal issues was I continued to expect something wonderful and fantastic to come along, because something pretty damn fantastic and wonderful was taken from me. It made perfect sense that I would get a reasonable facsimile of a “replacement (no matter how impossible this is for one being can NEVER replace another)”. I guess by virtue of exposure to the generations of entitlement that mindset had worn off on me, in spite of the fact that I did not belong to said generations… EXPOSURE to that thing called entitlement had/has affected me.

I found myself gravitating toward that Disney fairy-tale romance filled land the moment I ran into a guy who met a few of the standard that I set. Standards that I knew were high but NOT impossible to attain. Plus, we must remember time is NOT a commodity we have an abundance of. Disappointment after disappointment, failure after failure has slowed my enthusiasm down but it has not brought it to a complete halt. Why one might ask, well the answer is simple. I AM that romantic fool.

Now Don’t Get It Twisted

The one that voices their opinion without concern for those who have opposing views. Yet, giving respect accordingly. The title or name that gives identity to someone in your life or presence. My late husband and I would often take notice and revel in the need of our society to give everything a label. Oftentimes the name alone did not suffice, it had to have a catchy little phrase to draw much more attention to this person or thing. Why? you ask…because it is our feeble way of trying to appear as though we truly understand. Remember the word appear.

This may already seem to be a collage of rambling thoughts. Thoughts of confusion; thoughts of disappointment and “being let down”, thoughts of anticipation and the need to “hurryup“, thoughts of “gut-wrenching pain” from loss and grief, finally thoughts of reflection forgiving and “letting go”. Each of these categories worthy of time devoted to them individually but instead tossed about in our psyche in no particular way, with no rhyme or reason that we can pinpoint. Well, it is understandable that one might not be able to make “heads or tails” of anything

The feeling of, “I’m not gonna show you mine until you show me yours, can sometimes overtake us emotionally. Yet it also serves as a warning. We have to preserve our dignity, our ego and that which is familiar to us. For without this familiarity, we are lost; and at this juncture in our lives, we can ill afford to be lost and possibly have to start over. The thought is ridiculous. Yet it plagues us. Is your head spinning yet?

Here it is the real twist. This piece is twisted because at times that is just what we are. We are bobbing and weaving through our lives. Afraid to move or sit still because we may miss something. Being painfully aware that we do not have our entire lives ahead of us, because our chronological age tells us odds are we now have a very finite number attached to us. Yet once again, things have always been like this. Our navigation process may have changed, but our ultimate destinations remain as they were when we began our journeys. Whether we see ourselves as taking a direct route, wandering off the beaten path, or floating about into oblivion many of us find ourselves questioning where we have ended up.

Good, bad, or otherwise it IS in our very nature to say, “What if….” That does not mean we want to or would change things; it just means that we entertain thoughts of the possibilities.

Perfect For Me

Okay the universe has jokes. I am quite serious here and furthermore it’s sense of humor is in poor taste!

One minute you are moving along ready to finish a good night’s sleep, when you are awakened to find yourself in the throes of a nightmare…a nightmare that you cannot awake from. Spiraling and spiraling until finally you do wake only it is to an existence you have no knowledge or recollection of.

In this new place you are beginning to pull yourself together, you have been successful in dodging the new obstacles put in your path. Now you are at a point where there is “light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel” and in he walks.

He is simply, more of everything you think you want. How is that possible? You go from not truly believing he actually exists, to thoughts of “how nice it is going to be to settle down…at least for a night or two. Here it comes another obstacle, the perpetual curve ball. You now get to watch him slowly walk away and disappear into the same light you thought signaled an end to the bleak and sad places you occupy.

It is one thing to experience the disappointment in finding out what you thought and believed you want/need in a mate is a step away from a sheer “fairytale”, it is quite another to come face to face with it in human form virtually inches from your grasp. The truth is both scenarios yield the very same results, and it is not a “happy ending” for you.

We spent hours eating and then just talking. The lunch menu changed to the dinner menu. He must have left a generous tip because we were only met with an occasional glance as folks lined up outside awaiting a table and we occupied one that would accommodate a group of 5 or more people. Unable to get beyond this encounter and wondering could it be possible the universe was at last going to allow things to be righted for me. This is where I get to convey it felt like it went well, but common sense told me this would never happen. for the obstacles were REAL.

All in all, I had met a nice guy, a new friend but still I was to be plagued with the “what if’s”. What if I had never moved, what if he lived closer, what if we had met before I moved, what if I move back… the possibilities were endless. I daydreamed about this being the one I longed and wanted for. I also shook myself back into the realm of reality… the other state felt so much better.

Driving back home I thought of song lyrics…”a taste of honey is worse than none at all”. I was happy and sad this had not gone farther with the one who checked all of my boxes. Barring the really important one.

Dying Would Have Been Easy

Another day, another reminder that I have lost a child. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t need reminders, but that does not stop them. Actual or imagined sought after of spontaneous…they happen. Denying them will not make them go away either.

AS I take you to the place that never leaves me, I see the doctors’ faces. I see the chaplain and the social worker. I knew this was bad, I knew they were going to tell us something about what type of treatment or medication would now be needed. I knew the road back was going to be a challenging one, BUT I also KNEW we could do it! We were a strong viable determined family.

The words came, “unfortunately” was all my mind would wrap itself around. In an instant it said,” You are not going to fuckin tell me my kid is gone…” That is EXACTLY what he said. My husband fell to his knees on one side and Jay’s girlfriend, Jessica sobbed and dropped on the other… I thought,” This is NOT happening, it cannot be real, I want to scream, what am I going to do, I have to hold up Wes, I have to hold up Jessica, Oh God what am I going to do…I can’t breathe, I must breathe… I tried to hug them both, I needed to be hugged. I needed this moment NOT to be happening.

There it is. In that moment if someone, something, anyone, anything had presented I would have agreed to take his place, without a second thought. For in that instant there was more pain than one could imagine being physically possible. Yet I felt it. I knew in that instant I did NOT want to feel it anymore. However, as the moments continued, I knew I would. It hurt so much, the pain was so deep, how was it possible to feel all of this and survive? As I ask these questions and realize that I am still here…surviving…I know that dying would have been easy. I am NOT talking suicide. I am talking a simple change in the universe, an intervention from God Himself.

Through the years, I have battled, some days it seems that the battle is progressing. I cannot say getting better, for I always will wish for the impossible and I always KNOW it will not transpire. Hope left my very existence for a time and while it was gone, I never could put my finger exactly on it, but I knew it was missing. Once I realized IT had left me, I opened the door to let it back in my life, but without an invitation in. I did not clear a path, motion to it, or say the words to welcome. I simply allowed for it to do whatever IT chose to. Like what happened to me on January 14, 2018, it was/is outside of my control.

One of my followers read another post and share a story about themself. While I appreciate the comments, I don’t think I was clear. It motivated me to do this piece. I want it known that the ending of my life while I believe would have been easier than losing my child; I also know that particular part of my existence is as out of my hands, as his life was. When I am told I am not alone, I do realize this; but I want my reader(s) to know most of the time the feeling of alone and isolated, is accompanied with the pain, and it is that pain that parents/mothers like me want to be devoid of. However, loss of that pain comes with a high price. It means you feel like you have to somehow escape the source. In this case the source is my lost son. I would never make the choice to forget him. Instead, I make the choice to remember him, to remember the love, and bask in it. And YES, it hurts, YES, it is painful, but the universe did not offer me ANY choice so I have to live with it the best way I can for the time I am still here. That is why I say, The Dying Would Have Been Easy. Treasure your lives.

Wishful Thinking

Played like a beautiful piece of music, or should I say like the beautiful music I sent to him. Just because I could or I simply could NOT make up my mind what I wanted to do with him/us.

This was not done with malice, though it could be considered self-serving. On those summer evenings, while we were miles apart we’d talk for hours. At first it was the meeting of the minds, familiar quotes of Shakesphere or Socrates. We soon moved from one type of art to another. I am reminded of a scene in Tombstone where Doc Holiday calls out an outlaw as he played Nocturne 19 by Chopin. What may have seemed like a part of a dating ritual, without being considered dating was a carefully thought out plan, a plan meant to captivate and control. Before long he would be in love AND he would think it was ALL his idea. The truth be told a man chases a woman, until she catches him.

What do you tell your people about me? Your people, your family that is close enough to know your secrets… Your friends… the ones close enough to know your flaws along with your wants and desires. When you have a free moment or when you make moments free and I cross your mind, what do you tell yourself.

I take your calls, does that mean no one else is calling?

Then there is the trust factor. It takes time and exposure for trust to take hold, if we are being logical. In this case we possessed neither. Yet, you trusted me anyway. I know your secrets, hopes, and desires. You needed someone to share them with and I was but a click away.

It may not seem like it now, but you were lucky. You still had presence of mind in spite of what you thought you were feeling. When I played my “trump card” you withdrew. It was like someone gave you smelling salts, or you just came out from under the ether. As hard as it may seem now, it is far better that it ended before I totally took over. Perhaps that was part of your thought process, when it came time to let go… something inside of you said, ” Wait a minute, hold on.”

Now you are left with nothing that resembles what you thought you had, what I tried to convince you was real…but you are whole. That is something you likely would not have been, had you let me complete my cycle. You now have time to relive and go over the mistakes and miscues. That is all you have time for, because you have to get back out there and continue your search. The right one is waiting for you, looking for YOU to arrive.

We all make concessions in our quest for the right one. How many, how extensive, those concessions are depends on how much finding the individual means to you.

I’m So Empty I Could Burst

It occurred to me a few nights ago. As the holiday rapidly approaches, those who are happy only get happier. The others, the ones like me, vacillate between hoping it will come and go versus it not coming. This challenge is one I prepare for in recent times but never have been able to get it quite right, at least NOT to my satisfaction.

As someone who has lived through decades of holidays, one’s memory carries one through. Traveling back and forth through the milestones, only stopping at the ones that bring about the sense of being overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with happy, overwhelmed with anticipation, overwhelmed with sorrow. The others fly by like pages of an open book on a windy day. Yet you need something, you need to feel some little thing.

It seems possible to recreate the good, we will fix that same favorite meal, we will play those old familiar songs and we will give way to the memories that brought us this immense joy then with hopes we can sample that same joy today.

Reliving the sorrow is seemingly an effortless act, you simply need to BE. That moment when it happened, the pain in your heart, and of course what the source of this unhappiness was. Ideally you want to come away from this place, but it is NOT so easy. There is a mark on your heart, and it is NOT fading.

Numb and lifeless, but startled back into the now you go along, you perform as though everything IS alright. No one around seems to be the wiser, but in actuality they are choosing to believe you are strong, strong enough to withstand all. You play your role; because they like you, need to be able see that which they believe. There you sit in a room full of others, but you are isolated and no one even notices.

These empty feelings, this sense of being alone, give you a vastness that overtakes your soul. The emptiness is like air in a balloon as it fills up, becoming tighter until it can take no more and then it bursts.

Yesterday I Needed A Hug

Yesterday I needed a hug. I was feeling a bit blue. I was not extraordinarily sad, but I needed to feel like someone cared about me. Me in all my weirdness, my idiosyncrasies coupled with my kindnesses and goods…I just needed some simple basic love. That love had to come from someone that did not have any ulterior motives. Where do you get that kind of love, love that is unconditional… family. In my case, in my state at that time my son came to mind. He was close and I could go see him give him a hug and go on. So I called him because he was at work, I was on my way to the gym which is minutes from his job, I said to myself proudly,” He’s the boss he probably can take a minute out to see and hug his mom.” I was going to tell him, “I want to stop by to see you for a sec.” and when I did see him just hug him and send him on his way. Like I used to when he was a boy… I called and there was no answer, it went to voicemail. I called a second time so he would see I called more than once and get back to me. I sat in the car for a few minutes to give him a chance to get back to me but he did not. I decided to go inside and do my workout.

I completed the workout and was in the massage chair. Now there is a television monitor in the room, but you have to plug in to hear. They do have closed captioning for some programs but not all. This particular infomercial was about a mountain and trail runner. I generally do not watch most of these, some are more interesting to me than others. I find myself drawn to surfer and surfing more so. However, when this came on I saw the name/word “Jaybird“. That caught my attention! I smiled a half smile and decided to watch. I wanted to know what “Jaybird” was/was about. Now because my baby boy’s name is Jay and we all called him Jaybird, there was a sense of irony to me. Jay was an athlete, he was a runner and hit the gym daily many times twice a day. I could not help thinking,” Why here, why now, why “Jaybird”? It was a very interesting and colorful piece. The subject was a female and many scenes had me in awe of her.

As I walked to my car, I felt the urge to talk to Jay, so I did. I spoke aloud to him, I felt him answer, while I also told myself, ” You are actually giving these answers”. I am not psychic, my connections to people who have transitioned to the other side are minimal at best. As I felt these responses from Jay, I could not help feeling the skeptic in me arise. I allowed my soul to be soothed by the thought/idea anyway. I then drove by my eldest son’s job. I did not see his car in his parking space. It was lunchtime so I figured well I tried, no harm, no foul.

A couple hours later my eldest did call me. He apologized for not being able to take my call, but he was out of town in a meeting with a client… I told him it was no big deal. I will tell him what I actually wanted, and I will tell him about the events that surrounded that call. I did not share that with him on the call because I did not want him to feel bad. My sons are very good, sensitive, and protective of their mom. That transcends time, space, and obviously this planet as well. What I felt I needed and what I got came from where I did not expect, but I am so very grateful for the hug that came from heaven. Thank you, Lord.

Happy Endings

Are there such things? What does the title say to you? I think to figure the endings out we must start with the beginnings. In the spirit of where many of us are let’s address this as a result verses a consequence. On the road to connecting with a partner/ companion/ love interest we encounter many obstacles.

Our age group being a huge factor. We can lie to ourselves and say, “age aint nuthin but a number” but in actuality age is far more than a number. With one’s time on the planet we gain certain things by virtue of mere exposure. Some of these things we keep, cherish and utilize. Others we carry like heavy baggage waiting to be unloaded.

For me treading these “murky waters” of senior dating clearly (forgive the pun) there have been far more failures than successes. I am being kind; for the plain truth is they have all been failures. This is not a blame game either. I do believe they have been simple mismatches, well at least the majority of them. Yet with that in mind, it is still not easy to tell someone This is NOT working. People take that statement personally in the most negative of ways and that is NOT always the case.

Like I said earlier we need to examine the beginnings. I have experienced some seemingly great starts. Good conversationalists, intelligent, attractive, tall… most of the ones that have not worked out, I am thankful have ended in very early stages. Not a lot of time, effort, or emotion vested. With this particular “relationship” type things usually just drop off, the calls become less and less until there are none, you look up and months have gone by, and soon you realize YOU have gone on. Then there are the “ghostings” a bit more of a sensitive subject and covered briefly in prior piece. I will again state sometimes there is just nothing to say, no case to be made, but when it happens the party being ghosted does not understand. Why not just take it as… if this is all they have for me there truly is nothing that needs to be said. However, we are human; rejection does not sit well with most of us, we are curious and sensitive. There IS the need to know “why”. This writer is challenged by this very thing as well. I have to say I should follow my own advice in these cases. I am certain there will be more not-so-pleasant breaks. I also feel like we have to be subjective in the way we view what a happy ending if. Sometimes you are lucky you get the one you want, and everything is good. Other times you do not walk away with the intended party and that too is a good thing. Just a couple of brief examples and in either case, the respective endings can still be happy.

Because I Live Here

On the heels of Earth Day, one may find themselves in activist mode. It certainly seems that way for me. I look around the community, my street and I see signs of folks that are selfish and unconcerned. That distresses and annoys me. I remember a time, not-so-long ago when the airways were flooded with warnings and pleas for US/Americans NOT to litter. While in many places I travel to as well as where I live littering is NOT a huge problem one has to be aware that it wouldn’t take much for the scales to tip the other way.

Why should one take time out to concern themselves with such a matter? I will tell you as I tell strangers and neighbors alike when they see me picking up trash “out and about“; simply, “Because I live here.” Look I do NOT enjoy picking up after others, but the flip side would be to let the trash and debris sit there or blow around. It takes away from the aesthetic of the area and it sends other offenders the message it is okay to toss their trash out in this area too. Thus, the problem becomes unsightly and unbearable, when one can provide a quickfix. We have to feel responsible for the place we live in, not just our small little space on a street, but in the grand scheme of things, for the planet. My hope is not just to get others involved in the clean-up but that the perpetrators will simply stop adding to the breakdown of civil awareness and civic duty. They will see first-hand that someone does actually care even if they don’t. The human subconscious is a peculiar thing, guilt, remorse and responsibility can work together in order to produce the desired effect and/or being. Now this may not work everywhere, it may not be for everyone, but so far it is doing what I want to do for now.

One cannot be sporadic or easily discouraged, this is a battle which will not be won overnight. However, the cause is worthy, and everyone benefits. Be it your neighborhood, the office you work at, or a public park; these places are ALL a part of the community of the planet Earth, and after it is all said and done, we live here too.

But If I’m Honest

His head dropped when he saw her now. She seemed unaffected and indifferent. However, not so long ago he looked forward to the chance encounters, even though he timed her moves. But if honesty can enter this discussion, he’d have to admit she really had not changed. The only thing that changed was they actually had a conversation and they knew each other’s names.

It is not always received well, one insinuating themself into the life/space of another. I think it is easier accepted if there is a not-so-nice interaction, but if one is in the most remote fashion civil, there are individuals who basically take the kindnesses and run. What I mean is all they need is a crack in an open door and they proceed with not sense of caution. These are the same individuals who will look/be butthurt when they are stopped in their tracks.

Many of us were taught as children to be respectful and polite. Then there are the others. Unpolished and unrefined their experience is often self-taught; this does NOT always translate well. Truth is there are people you should just leave alone. That is not saying they are bad/stand-offish/mean. That only says you have to make informed decisions about who and how you approach. There are people who are just EXTROVERTS. They enjoy people and interacting with. What one has to do is NOT mistake a polite greeting as an invitation in. Extroverts attract us; their magnetic personalities make all of us feel like it is not so bad to just be out there, because what comes easy to them, they manage to make appear easy to us. The INTROVERTS may not have the outward appearance of being shy but read the body language. If they turn away rather than speak, the folded arms. They do NOT want you in their space, if they did/do they WILL invite you in. This is by-no-means a clear, concise character study, just things I have seen.

Personally, I am neither an introvert nor an extrovert, defined. I believe I can and do come off a bit (we will call it this for arguments sake) distant. I also believe I do not send mixed messages. I speak and keep moving. In my mind, in my world, that is an example of what my dad characterized so many decades ago by saying Even two dogs on the street have the decency to bark when they see one another… a greeting should be a given. I do not want you to be upset with me by what YOU perceive as implied. I do want you embrace the obvious. Here is where the honesty comes in. If you pay attention and read the signs, you will get an idea of who you are approaching. You will be able to determine how to approach…or not. Finally, you will begin to realize if you had taken a moment or two more and paid attention, you would have made a better/different decision. If you are honest, you will see who is to blame for that butthurt.

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