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Archive for the tag “memories”

Bittersweet

This is about trying to understand what life has in store for you and where you stand. I want you to live forever; as long as you can live the way I know makes you, you. If you knew tomorrow was your last day on Earth what would you differently? Moreover, what would you do?

I watched as yet another display of anger came spewing out. I am so close it is hard to remain silent and indifferent, but you know what you know. When you are in a no win situation do you really get any comfort in,”Well at least I said what was on my mind”? Anger possesses characteristics of a disease; it eats away at you, it builds on weakness, and finally if it is allowed to go untreated it destroys.

I thought about my own hurt and anger. I have been challenged this June. I try to stay positive, but there are moments that no matter what I tell myself I just want to cry. I feel the tears well and burn in my eyes, the lump forms in my throat. I believe the only one who can make me feel better is no longer around and I hurt some more. Indulge me as I lament.

However, this is called “Bittersweet”, I have to bring something light, positive and uplifting to this and make a connection. Trust me this is a task, because I am wallowing. Living each day as though it were your last and you knew as much. My friends on the west coast reminded me of summer jazz concerts, I had to go back to the days of the ones held in San Diego, they of course were talking about the ones held annually at the Hollywood Bowl. There was talk of dancing in the aisles, great music, good food, and strangers sharing their “whatever”. That made me smile, I recalled the sharing.

In a big crowd of people, who don’t know one another, the common link makes them feel like, “I want to connect with whomever I get in the area of”. Our human antennae go up and we are sensitive to what is around us; there is so much around us that we don’t know where to start our search, it makes us want to dance and sing and connect. Then there is the intimate setting of your home watching her favorite Disney cartoon; her favorite song plays and she beckons, no she insists you get up and dance with her, without a second thought you do what she wants, because she gets you, you are as elated as she is, you are connected .

We have all traveled down these roads before and undoubtedly will make more  trips before our life on this planet is over. I have long since gotten beyond being angry at God for taking precious wonderful beings away from me, now I have to work on being able to cope with the lonely aching that is certain to follow. The void for these dear ones, that only they themselves can fill.  One solution may come in the form of being sure to go ahead and immerse yourself in loved ones and happy moments, in order to have something to draw from later.

June Gloom

Southern Californians know this term ever so well. It is a reference to the cloudy gray mornings we experience during the early summer month. This particular June as I sit in my Georgia home I am experiencing the gloom for another reason. I am suffering from a case of change with complications arising from loss.

I often have spoken of change and how we have to embrace it for there is no progress with out it and so-on. I am telling you that I am resisting the changes I have experienced lately with unrelenting determination. I want so much to retreat to that which is familiar, I need my safe haven, and I want to return to that which I know.

Earlier in the week I was told of the passing of a long time friend of my family. A lady who I have know for some 20 plus years. I went to school with her children, watched her grandchildren become adults and parents themselves. She is a part of my history, those of us who grew up on 107th Street have a connection the equivalent of a bloodline. She was a neighbor, she was a friend, she was family and she IS loved.

Not 24 hours earlier I was calling to check on my dear friend, who I haven’t known as many years, but in emotional ties the bond is unquestionable, only to be told she had suffered a fall which hospitalized her and the prognosis is NOT what I would want it to be. Her children a source of pure joy, her seven grandsons jewels in her crown of pride, and of course her best friend/ companion/ love for 65 years; I do not have words to express what it feels like to be in the company of a life fulfilled, after knowing this lady for such a short time. I shared a little prayer I say when I am drawing on my faith with my dear friend’s precious daughter.  “Not my will oh Lord but Yours”.

Trying not to cry, I want to say something about these two ladies I love. I feel so fortunate and blessed to have had them in my life. I don’t question the Lord but I do wonder what did I do to gain such favor to have Him put these special people in my life. Unfortunately, I would be lying if I said I completely understand why He decided to take them from me when He did.  I know there are Christians who would tell me that I am toying with the “Wrath of Hell” saying such things but God is all knowing..  Therefore He is quite aware of my state.

God gives us balance, not everything is one way, although at times we cannot see beyond our circumstances. My younger brother reached his milestone half century mark, thankfully he joined the ranks of us that talk in decades instead of years, and laugh about it. Father’s Day is  less than an hour and a half away on the east coast; a day when we pay homage to the men in our lives that have inspired and supported us like no other. All this midst “June Gloom”.

All of these things are/have been made possible because of God. Tonight when I say my prayers I will thank Him for all he has done for me, blessings He has bestowed, people He has put in my path, and I shall ask Him for strength to endure the things that present themselves to me that I think I would much rather not encounter. Tonight I will ask Him to care for these two beautiful ladies and their loving families in ways only He can. Through all of this I know I will be okay with time, but I know one day someone will be praying for me because it may NOT seem as though I will in fact be alright on that particular occasion.

In closing,”Trust in the Lord”.

Love Always

This is about the one you left behind. Sit back and enjoy the ride, join me on a trip down memory lane.

His was a smile that was literally sunlight, I feel myself blushing as I recall the first time we kissed. I feel so silly because I still talk to this guy, we are friends; bound by the romanticized experiences of our youth and the knowledge that had we really gotten together I probably would not have a smile plastered on my face as I talked or wrote about us.

Now you positively will not get the details, this is a fill-in-the-blanks type deal left for you to DIY about yourself and your individual situation. I am only serving as a tour guide, suggesting points of interest to visit. He, however, set the standard for any and every man who followed. That is until I finally got him out of my system. It took years.

I know of  a few couples who have been married for decades now, I know a few couples who are happy, but I venture to say among them  all, I may know two who actually fall into both categories. One must applaud the effort it takes to maintain a marriage. Maybe they, like so many of us, still have a warm spot in their hearts for the one who “got away”. Maybe they, again like so many of us, thank their lucky stars that this very same special person did just that,”GOT AWAY”. Whatever the case may be, here is yet another memory to pack away in your mind for safe keeping.

When you do pull “it” out, when you look back, when you recall this source of joy and pain give yourself a break; the imagined expectation of a happy, love filled relationship was just not meant to be. As you think of the romance, think of what ended it, and realize life generally moves in the direction it is suppose to, whether we like it or not. If you’re lucky, like I am, you have a friend you can “love always”.

Chili Dogs, Lemonade, and Waffle Cones

Yes summertime is here! The temperatures indicate it and my cravings confirm it. Before 10 A.M. I am thinking about my favorites. Now mind you I haven’t had a chili dog in about a year, because as much as I love hot dogs I know the nutritional value is null and void, plus you have to factor in the addiction quality and the ever expanding waistline. The waffle cone and lemonade, well that’s a whole different story.

Food memories taking you back to a place you may miss more than you know. Today I feel like frozen yogurt for breakfast, not because we ate frozen yogurt or ice cream for breakfast, but it takes me to a place where someone who would think of such a menu would not be deemed as shocking or irresponsible or even silly. Plus with the frozen yogurt I can excuse and substitute to a point, where my analysis/explanation actually makes sense.

Remember when three months out of the year all you had to do was go outside, play, and not destroy anything; at least anything that could be traced back to you. Along came adulthood and responsibility to mess everything up.  We have to eat right, obey rules, and go to work for the pleasure of being tied to this rule infested place.

We are “little kids” trapped in a land that offers certain freedoms on one hand, but those same freedoms are hidden by walls of responsibility. Summertime weighs heavy on our minds. Two weeks or even a weekend is a sought after commodity, but it is clouded by the rapidly approaching end, that is clearly in sight. Yet for whatever time we have we wear outfits a bit too tight and too young, run( or a reasonable facsimile there of) around the water in “speedos”, and drink stuff that gives us way more than a “sugar high”. Well so…  We are charter members of the IDGAK Club. After all what good does it do you to live a long life, if you don’t stop and have a chili dog along the way.

It Feels Sorta Cosmic

I don’t know how to explain it any other way. A phone call out of the blue from someone that you have been thinking about. Meeting someone for the first time and you can talk for hours. Your lover knows you are upset with them regardless of if you said a word or not.

This may seem rather obvious, but it really isn’t how many times have you heard or been told, “I didn’t know”. I think that there is so much information readily available, subtlety is virtually unrecognizable. We have to put whatever it is we are feeling right out there. If you are shy or reserved, you may be in trouble. However, in these instances even the universe is not buying the feigned ignorance.

We truly are closer to one another than we think. Perhaps the instances I pointed out are more common or familiar among folks who are closely connected, but there are instances where the ties are more distant and there is still an unexplained connection. I think we underestimate what we as human beings mean to one another. We concentrate so heavily on the differences, that we overlook that which is right there in our faces.

I find myself slipping more and more into the mindset of the “AARP world“,  the world in which the youth  is just “totally out of it”. However, I do have to give credit where credit is due. They( our younger counterparts) have contributed  positively to our sense of self-awareness, characterized by contemporary phrase. From the generation that wanted to know, “What’s happenin” and “Can you dig it?” our children have answered with “Do you feel me?” I anticipate the time when we can answer and mean “Yeah, I feel ya“.

I Will See You… Forever

Since April Fool’s Day immediately follows Easter this year I felt compelled to write about something serious and endearing. The blessing Friendship. I invite you into my story and in turn take a personal visit to yours.

I have one biological sister and felt so happy when she was born, because I lived in a male dominated household. Growing up in Kansas City, I knew who Mike Garrett and Lenny Dawson were, long before I knew Diana Ross and the Supremes. I learned to like “Gunsmoke” because my choices were limited and I was generally out numbered.

I survived until my sister came some 11 years later, in a completely different geographical area, but she arrived just the same. Oddly enough by the time she and I came to know one another, I had already met two ladies that would become a part of my life and remain there. Barring some  periods of separations we managed to reconnect. During the separation another lifelong “sister-friend” came into my life and since the day we met only distance has come between us. When distance kept me from my west coast lifelines, one was literally dropped in front of me to keep me going here in the south. Confident and feeling like there was no more room or need for another “sister-friend”, and seriously not thinking about it, one came from out-of-the-blue. There are others;  diverse, special and unique in independent ways, I do not need to name names. We women know that there is a sisterhood among us that defies bloodlines. We know what it is to connect, I believe it is cosmic and it is Divine.

We have gone to school together, graduated together and we have worked together. We  have thrown parties and showers for one another. We were in each others weddings. We attended births of our respective children, we are the guardians and godmothers of these same children; and when one of us looses a loved one we are there sharing in that loss feeling the pain, but giving the kind of support that we have come to know. When you cross the milestone birthdays, the major events in your life and the same names, faces, individuals seem to always be there; you know you are blessed. Friends for life is not to be taken lightly.

Reminiscent of lionesses in the wild, we co-exist as a unit. Caring for one another and our young alike, major difference being we do not share our mates. The human, civil, genuine parts of us takes over in this respect.  We have survived a lot, we have survived it all. Today I wanted to take time out and give tribute to these wonderful ladies that fall into this category, in my life. They know who they are and they know I love them. Whether we see one another every day or a few times a year, we somehow pick-up where we left off.  When we part it is NOT “I will see you later”, it IS “I will see you forever”.

What A Beautiful Smile

I love to look at pictures. It may seem odd seeing as I do not like to pose for pictures. Amateur or professional, I have been the subject of some truly awful shots. I dream of the day a true artist will capture a shot that will make me look like I want. Now for the right price I am certain there is such a magician, I mean photographer, out there.  For now I am waiting, patiently?

Many years ago what was left of my self-esteem was permanently scarred by a “friend” in middle school ( back then it was called Jr. High School). We will call her “Darlene”. She was a rotund vertically challenged individual we walked to school together with another friend every day. “Darlene” a name that might lead one to make a connection with darling, was far from that. I learned from her fashion improprieties and mistakes that I could ill-afford to make (i.e. wearing your gym shirt under/instead of  your regular blouse to prevent the time guzzling of dressing for class). She also made me painfully aware that I did NOT have a smile that would light up a room. I remember going home looking in the mirror in the bathroom and thinking,” Uuuuuh, I do have an ugly smile”. I would not smile in pictures for years after that.

Every time I saw an ad for toothpaste,where the actors flashed toothy grins I’d ignore them completely, and remember what my “friend” had brought to my attention. I did not have particularly crooked teeth, nor were they rotted out or even discolored. To be honest there was NOTHING remarkable about my teeth or my smile. Then I saw them( actually I just began to take notice of them), they would stop me dead in my tracks for life. They were dimples. I immediately decided to and did in fact dub them the single most important factor in a good smile (not ignoring teeth). After all how could you not display your pearly whites, when you had dimples to accent them. I began paying attention to them I found my father, my younger brother and sister all had them. They were all around, yet they still were cause for notice.

Off we go on a tangent; defined as (believe it or not) a facial deformity of the zygomaticus major, these little indentures have managed to grace the faces of some of the most beautiful people you know or know of. They are hereditary and some of them disappear with time, as the muscles which are”too short” stretch out with age. Thus one may have them as a child but lose them later in life. We associate the dimple with children or babies, perhaps this is why we think they are so cute and are continuously admired if one manages to hold onto them in adult life.

Think about it from your senior classes prettiest smile recipient to the cover of “People Magazine”. They are the quote marks to a smile.  From Tupac to Brad Pitt, Linda Ronstadt to Gabrielle Union, and the many in-betweens; the thought of their smile makes you smile. While I do not remember my senior classes recipient I do remember one from previous year, he was a green-eyed fellow named Warren. So the good Lord graced Warren with unusually pretty eyes, beautiful teeth, and dimples. The stuff crushes are made of, right? I did not know Warren personally and while amazingly I did not have those kinds of feelings for him; I do remember his name, and it is because of his beautiful smile. I invite you to examine the people you know or simply have seen who possess these little marks on their faces, and see if they do not coerce a smile from you.

Elated Moon

This  is a title that will mean nothing to anyone but me. I liked the sound of it and decide to let my imagination run free…

In an artsy kind of way I want Elated Moon to feel like something special and expose something surprising about me. Who was to be surprised though? I looked at this title and came back to it for several weeks, before I was able to do what I felt was justice to it.

Transported back in time I watched each frame in magical excitement. I hadn’t felt this way in years. Anticipating the next scene, but saddened as I knew I was being drawn closer to the end. Still this was all good.

My Disney Years had returned to me; and happily I must admit, I welcomed them. In spite of being the mother of two relatively disinterested boys, I was still a serious Disney Classics Collector during their childhoods. For years the videos sat in boxes or cabinets, hidden from sight. Only on occasions, that met with my husband’s look of ” Yeah it is time to have you committed ”  did they get viewed.

My granddaughter allows me an excuse to browse the stores and watch the old videos, under the guise it isfor her. Addison, however, is a Doc McStuffins and Sophia The First fan. I have a different kind of princess for a granddaughter, but she is a princess just the same.

As I ushered in all of these good feelings soundtracks included, I could not help noticing there was a cosmic reaction all around; the weather was better, the scenery was more beautiful, all of my surroundings were just vastly improved. Once again is it “All in your mind”? It felt/feels like springtime. “Almost Like Being In Love”, this is not simply a reference to a song.

Ending Elated Moon I was faced with another challenge;  Do I continue to a climactic crescendo or fade it away softly? I did build it up kind of big. I realized this, so a soft fade wins. I hope a smile was translated here though.

The Tyranny Of Age (Aging)

As the Roller-Coaster reached the peak of the ride, the excitement inside me was overwhelming. I wanted to close my eyes but could not. The descent began, and I screamed with everything inside of me. For what felt like an eternity I had more fun than I thought imaginable, then an abrupt end. Fast forward on the ground with my grandbaby, I hold her hand as we watch for her parents to appear from the very same ride. She smiles and squeals when she sees them. I am thankful for a nice warm day because my arthritis is acting up.

“Who is this person in the mirror”, you ask as you examine the graying hair and the posture not exactly straight. In your mind you can still scale a wall, but your body is held captive by this unknown being. Suddenly you realize the unknown being is age, and the person you are looking at is you!

Of course you must accept and recognize your limitations; does that mean you must stop having fun, stop enjoying things, stop living. We become prisoners to the limits; some of these limits are outside of our reach, but others are set up/formulated by US.

The real things that have captured me are certain aspects of my body. When I wake in the morning extra time must be taken and therefore consideration must be given to this. No longer do I hop straight up, the dizzying effects would linger the day through if I did. Instead I sit up, swing my legs around and proceed to get out of the bed. I cannot take for granted that I will remember everything, I cannot be assured I will remember anything I have to do in a single day. I enlist the aid of my journal and the list feature of my smart-phone.  These are great tools, if I remember where they are. I stretch for more mobility and less pain. The news is filled with negative and bad, I cannot turn it off. In turn my attitude is bad as well.  When this happens realize every-so-often you need to watch a comedy, if it is an old stand-up routine, a cartoon, or a “Three Stooges” type short. LAUGH,LAUGH, LAUGH!

Sometimes you will feel like, “the tyrant is trying to get a hold on my mind now as well.” You feel lonely and wonder why no one comes around to see you or visit.  The truth is when you feel this way you have already been captured and are under the control of the unyielding tyrant. He makes NO concessions. His wills are forced on every aspect of your person, and he intends on controlling every part of your being including your mind. Once he takes it over, YOU will be lost forever. “What do I do”, you ask. He is very powerful. You have never encountered such a force before, but then he has never encountered you. I say, fight .  Resist on every front. You can do this quietly at first; once you gain confidence, once you know you do not have to be the victim of this controller, you can be bolder. Maybe it will be a beginner’s yoga class or walking slowly around the block, but gradually it advances to volunteering at the local elementary school and maybe a trip to the indoor trampoline park. To break free you have to remember what it was like to be free. The memory of that freedom will release you from the paralyzing fear that you have made your home. Then when you mount your “Coup D’etat “, remember don’t look back for the enemy/ your captor/ the tyrant senses fear.

A December To Remember…. And Reflect Upon

I anxiously await the month of December each year. I have for as long as I can remember. 2012 will be one of many I have to take out and look at, but this year a midst the red and green of the holiday season, there will be an outlined in bold-faced black.

24 years ago on the 17th of December, my beloved father passed away. An emptiness I am ill-equipped to express or convey. 1988 was the most difficult holiday season of my life to date. However, this year December was riddled with bad news and death. It was directly and indirectly touching me. From my “play aunt’s” entry into widowhood to the tragic victims in Newtown, Connecticut; my hear hurt and my eyes welled with emotional tears like an expectant mother.  Coupled with not enough hours in the day, I successfully put off writing until now.Dare I bring up politics and bad weather? I asked myself, ” What about this December and furthermore how will I  choose to remember it?”

Obviously, Christmas will leave it’s mark. First from the religious aspect a season to give honor and thanks to our savior The gathering of family and friends. The fun and wonder of the little one(s) in my life that makes the holiday magic. There were beginnings such as the start of winter, which THANKFULLY was rather unremarkable here in Georgia. There were the birthdays, two of my nieces, my youngest son’s godmother and dear friend celebrate their respective days. “Addi-Paddi” got her “wings” here on Earth. Addison/”Addi-Paddi”/my granddaughter had her first but certainly NOT her last trip to the local indoor trampoline park with parents, uncle, and two sets of grandparents in tow.

As I unpacked and unwrapped each individual ornament, the story of  a Christmas from the past came back to life. Their color and beauty took me to one happily placed memory after another. These ornaments marked births, transitions, and Christmastime fun for 30 years.

I used to wonder how a lovely time of year could make anyone feel bad. The memories and the losses; I had mine, this year the loss would touch a country. Little faces that could not help but remind you of a special little one in YOUR life. And in that same moment you took your mind from that place, because the hurt and fear was too much for you to be able to contain yourself. I avoided that feeling and knowledge for as long as I could.  Newtown, Connecticut.

This was the first year that “Addi-Paddi” would really be aware of and enjoy the season. She conquered the stairs, she knew that any elevation was her launching pad. Jump took on a whole new meaning because of her. At first it was enough for her to do it and then it spread like wildfire. The idea we could all go and join in with her “happy” was a no-brainer.

As I sum up the month.. the “December To Remember” I leave you with this. Nothing profound yet real; the last month of the year, the month that marks endings gives way to beginnings as well.

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