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Archive for the tag “relationships”

Marriage Anonymous- Part 1

” Hi, my name’s Felicia and I am unhappily-married..”

GROUP: “Hi Felicia

You look up and 20 years will have passed. You find yourself searching, wondering how and why you are both in these respective places. It didn’t start out like this, it certainly is not what you planned. This venture had high priority and success rate probability, written all over it.

There was the five-year-plan, but we were younger and “in love”; we thought it would be like this forever, based on the current feeling.

I’d feel smothered and longed for alone time, but sampling alone time versus existing in that state are two very different things.

Would you be mad if you woke up one morning and found your mate sitting at the breakfast table writing out in an”as-a-matter-of-fact” manner, a letter telling you she was tired of the marriage. I think you know when you haven’t been a good spouse. I think that we all know what companionship is about. Yet I also know there are people from past generations who foster archaic ideas about what the marriage relationship is about. These are the same people who would adamantly tell you their marriage was good  and this would be based on the fact that they themselves are happy. They would speak for their spouse without considering that individual’s feelings. The logic would  fly out the door so-to-speak.

I clearly saw myself in a two bedroom condo or apartment. No pets and no husband. There is a sigh in my soul. There is a memory of hopeful, a shadow of happiness, the remnants of failure, and residue of indifference. It is soiled with the reality of now.

Felicia looked around the room as she spoke. The faces were worn and gray, this was an aura not a physical state. She continued. I asked him to go to therapy many times, his answer was always basically the same. I guess I always knew he was being kind( of sorts) marrying me, he could have whomever he wanted but he took me instead. Time of being unappreciated, rejected took it’s toll. It was subtle mental abuse. I am not a screamer. One day I woke up and I didn’t care how he felt about me, because I realized he never cared about me, like I did about him and our relationship. I wasn’t happy, but I was now aware. We periodically would argue, more now than ever before. He’d ask, ” Why did you stay?” He was being cruel; he knew my self-esteem and love for him would not allow me to go and therefore he walked all over me. He had a knack for cruel and he only showed it to me. Felicia fumbled around with her hands and was now silent. Then she broke the silence with, ” I think… I am ready for the next chapter.”

Now to get this chain attached to the cement block off! Felicia was now back in the real world, the place where her imaginary support group was just that..imaginary. However, it was a good idea. Some real ideas and thoughts surfaced from that brief retreat to “LaLa-Land”. Trouble is ideas were never her problem, the execution of them was her stumbling block. Aidan walked into the dining room and sat down in front of her. He sat down and had an annoyed look on his face. There was bitter silence between them for about seven minutes. He looked at his watch then at Felicia. Felicia began, ” It is time…


For as long as I can remember, she was tall and strong. She commanded respect, you had better NOT cross her. She was my mom/our mom.There are four of us and each of us had a unique experience with her. So we can think of her collectively and as individuals. I know a great deal about her, yet there are mysteries that I will never be able to explain.

I watched her work by my father’s side, even though her wanted her to stay at home. She put the family first;  if he needed help he did not have to look far and it was the same for her. When we had cookouts, he manned the pit, but she was in the kitchen doing prep work.If he was under the hood changing the oil, she was holding the tools. If he cut the grass, she had the edger. She told many clients where they might go, when they tried to be unfair or avoid paying them. And her words were not empty/idle threats. A woman who only went to Jr. College in Kansas City, she knew her way around law and business. I could see her holding off  the klan with a shot gun ( for imaginative purposes only). She and my dad taught us what a marriage should be, and made the standard pretty tough to live up too by virtue of exposure to theirs.

Mom taught me things without ever saying a word, but I understood the lesson. I could tell her anything and  I did.She told me I was independent and self assured, I merely followed the example she set forth for me. Even when I did not believe I could do something I tried because I knew she expected that from me. I had never seen anything different from her and I knew she was watching me, if only in spirit. I tried to make her proud of me because I loved and admired her more than I have words for.

We lost her last year on October 30th 2015. I have not stopped crying, though I am told I will. I know I will forever miss her. I try to be happy and move on because she clearly thought I was strong and brave like her, but that was an illusion. I could be as she imagined I was, when she was here nearby here on Earth. More of the illusion. Now I am left to fly solo, and if you think that just because you are 50+ years old you do not need your mother you are grossly mistaken. Therefore, on what would have been her 83rd birthday I would like to pay tribute to my mom, Lorene Cates. You were the smart, strong compassionate, loving and beautiful woman I aspire to be. To this day, Mom I am in awe of you, my love is everlasting.





How Long Does It Take To Get Close To Your Heart

This came from an examination of word usage. I describe a relationship as “dear“. Afterwards, days later I thought ,”I hope that is not taken wrong.” Isn’t that amazing? I said something nice, positive and I worried that IT MIGHT BE TAKEN WRONG?

Here is my explanation. I treasure people in my life, I make every effort to make them know that. None of us has time promised and in a heartbeat LIFE changes. I do not call people friend with an asterisk. It is truly how I feel, what I think of you, and I have examined it in the dictionary VERY thoroughly.

Relationships and interactions with people are complicated. Think of how you know someone for years, decades ; “out-of-the-blue” you discover something about them that it does not make sense, something you did not know. Then think of a person you meet in passing; in a matter of minutes you are finishing each other’s sentences and feel as though you have always know one another. Ask yourself are these instances logic? Perhaps not, but this is where the heart takes over. Not what you think, but what you feel.

Therefore, if there are any questions, any doubts in anyone’s mind when it comes to my usage of the words dear or friend, if I used the words I meant exactly what I said.

” You Got To Give A Little…”

There is a portion of a song in this piece’s title and I think it is felt in my heart as well. Emotions can sometimes seem a bit unbalanced.  There always seems to be one who gives more, there is always one who seemingly takes more, one who needs more and one who provides more… we could go on and on but the bottom line is we all need balance.

Human beings in every way are not able to or function poorly when we have too much of this, or too little of that, but medium portions give us what we need to excel. Balance, we are all about balance.My birthday is in October, I am an October Libra and a child of the era when Astrology was a craze. I still hold my zodiac sign near and dear to my heart, with that said the balance thing is a very BIG DEAL to me.

Our group is numerically “grown up”. Therefore it is expected that some of our behavior exhibits that”grown-up” status.  I am not talking the weekend motorcycle ride in the mountains, the periodic dancing all night long, or even the occasional roller coaster ride with the grand-kids. I am talking about the one-on-one relationships spouses, friends, parents, children. What type of time and effort are you putting into these relationships in order to obtain the desired results?

Let us begin with the subject of desire. We can go for the G-rated version but with commercials advertisements for E.D., ultra sensitive condoms, and libido enhancing lubricants we have a tough battle to face. From the very beginning you and your mate were on different time clocks; now they may have been close, you may have managed to synchronize them a great deal of the time, but they were still different. Now the slow down comes(I have friends who vehemently deny this..) you /him, her/you it matters NOT, the sync is no longer syncing. You’re ready, I’m not. I’m ready you’re not. One day you wake up and realize we simply..are not and have not for some time now. Do spouses understand that even though two have instrumentally become one, the two still exist?

Now let’s be fair time is something we all could use a little bit more of, but what would we do if we had it?  In the mere 24 hours of the day we must do life; needs, responsibilities, goals, dreams, assists, and leads. You look up one morning at 3:15, due in part to your insomnia and read your friend has become a grandparent for the second time. You say to yourself,” When did he become one for the first time..how did I miss that?” Then you say, I just spoke with him in January 2014, you realize it is June 2015. All those passing thoughts of, I need to call or I’m gonna stop by flash through your brain. Now you feel terrible, what kind of friend are you? Then you come to your own defense and say, “Well contact is a two-way street.” You now have given your conscious momentary relief. However, how long will you actually feel better, exonerated or will you at all?

We are the 50 Somethings therefore in most cases our parents are the 70 to 80 Somethings. Life is challenging now or it soon will be. We have our health to stay on top of, but we also MUST concern ourselves with theirs. They grew up and came of age in an era where natural and organic foods were not the top of the heap. McDonald’s was a way of life for many, diet sodas were great and everyone smoked..cigarettes. Take the poisons they fed to themselves out of the factor and you still have to put aging in. If you have both parents it is a bit easier for they have one another for companionship. Yet you are still gonna deal with some degree of “Needy”. You love them, but at times the guilt-trip is one you’d rather NOT take. Then you have to justify yourself to outsiders judgmental looks. Remember the phrase, “whose your daddy” juggle the words around a bit and you come up with the self defining question “who is the daddy”. It is prophetic, isn’t it?

Lastly there are our “bundles of joy”. No more 3 A.M. feedings but don’t you periodically think, “why don’t they get _____, this is so easy”. This generation just has no idea, sound slightly familiar? I think we have heard that statement/those type of statements before directed at some other group of young people. My children have made me proud, but can I be honest, it is difficult to refrain from the meddling parent role(wonder if there is some genetic connection). I don’t want to run their lives, although we all know I could do a much better job of it IN MY OPINION. I know in the most respectful way they know, they want to tell me at times to”bud out” but they were raised better than that. I also know at those same times, bud out is exactly what I should be doing. We try to keep it at a minimum, but could we try a bit harder?

Finally a final summation…support your children don’t smother them they will be fine they come from good stock;love your parents even when they are difficult they certainly did the same thing for you; take time out of your tight overbooked schedule and give your friend 15 minutes it’s a start; let your spouse know they are still number one in your book even if the book’s cover is faded and spine is slightly damaged. I suggest the giving role, because you can.



Sometimes You Just Have To Cry

This morning I was on my facebook timeline and I looked at a post my little sister put on it a couple days ago. It was  Crystal Gayle’s song “Don’t It make My Brown Eyes Blue”. Initially I smiled because it was one of my father’s favorite songs. I then looked over it’s information and saw/realized it was a hit the year I graduated from high school. I knew back in those days country music was not on the top of my listening lists, but I remember liking it quite a bit. enough to buy it and share it with my dad. Before I knew it there it was this silent yet open mouth cry/laugh.

Sounds weird, well it was. I was laughing at how dad played that song over and over and over again, I was laughing at how I knew he loved Crystal Gayle and dubbed her  so beautiful and I knew a great deal of what he found beautiful about her was her gorgeous hair,  I laughed about the irony of her hit about brown eyes being blue when her truly beautiful eyes were clearly not brown, and the cry was about how much I miss my dad every single day.

Though not a single tear was shed, I felt cleansed and free. I knew I needed that feeling, that cry, and I wanted to express to some of my readers that it is okay if you are sometimes overcome with the need to cry. Don’t fight it; just go with it, something needs to get out and it may be a smiling memory you’ve been putting on the back-burner of your mind. My brown eyes weren’t blue at all, but I thank Miss Crystal Gayle for that happy memory.

“Dear Kay”

I woke up thinking about my dear friend Kay this morning. A lady I met in my most recent years, yet she made such a profound impact on my life that she felt like family. Now I do not take family “lightly”. The bloodline we share with people we are connected to is undeniable. They invoke joy and rage in us that is beyond compare. You are taught that there is nothing like family, but have you ever met someone who just “clicked”? No matter what your faith or beliefs you KNEW this person belonged in your life. Well that was my friend Kay. Although, I imagine there are numerous people who probably share this feeling, it is okay for there is a part of my friend that belongs only to me.  Today is Kay’s birthday so I want to say a few things to her and I know she can hear me because I can still feel her.

Dear Kay,

I thought about you yesterday. I had my birthday reminders set and you of course are on that list. I miss you so much. I do not drive over to Lilburn without you and Bob crossing my mind, but you know I shy away from Wydella. I hear your voice and recall how you loved your chocolate, chocolate you were kind enough to share with me.  Sometimes I cry because you aren’t here for me to drop by and have just a quiet little chat with or watch “Ellen” dance across the stage.Then I have to replace those tears with a smile when I remember telling my mother of you and your spirit and resilience, in hopes she  would be inspired and motivated to fight the illnesses you did NOT let stop you. My mom would say, “That lady is something else”. I would say,”Mom you have no idea..”

I still stay in touch with the “kids”. Betsey is still beautiful, like her mother ( Veronica Lake had NOTHING on you my friend). Robbie is sweet and thoughtful, chasing those roaring rapids. Of course  the sources of your true pride and joy, the grandsons, are growing and moving forward in life. They have these positive energies around them and that emanates from you, Kay. Give Bob and hug for me, cause I know he is right there beside you. I simply love you.

Your friend forever,


Daddy’s Baaaby…..



As I was driving one morning I saw I tall slender man walking. In his arms gripping him tightly about his neck was a small child. It was chilly this particular morning so the child was bundled up, hat and overcoat, I could not tell if this was a boy or a girl. However, what I can tell you is that child was surrounded by all it needed in the world, the obvious love and protection of this man. My heart filled with admiration, I smiled and thought of the two of them all day long. I knew I had to say something about DADDIES. I got all of this passing these two on a busy four lane street.

Love is a funny thing. We speak of it or don’t say a word about it. We oversimplify the impact of it and we take it for granted. Love does…

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A Birthday Card

Birthdays are special to me. Folks who are close to me know this and know I generally do not miss anyone I know special day.  It is a role I took on when my favorite aunt passed many years ago, it just fit.When mail was a main vehicle of communication our family knew there was a card coming on their birthday, and if you were local the most fabulous cake you could imagine, because Aunt Elinor saw to that.  I am not infallible as she was, nor am I the baker.  I  do offer what is available to me.

Pressed for time I wanted to share something from my childhood. Today marks a special day for a lady I have know since childhood. I met her as an awkward tween, when I moved next door to her. She was a pretty girl and I knew my life would be “hell”. However I was pleasantly surprised.. okay I was down right shocked, when she came into the backyard separated by a chain linked fence and offered a friendly “Hi”. I was swinging like a child, because I didn’t think anyone was watching. I said, “Hi” back to her and froze. She started up the yard and we were friends from that point on.. No not really. The sound of a record scratching drives home this point.

There is far more to our story than that. However, this is called  A Birthday Card not a series of books, and I say that because it would take volumes to cover what Kim and I have shared over these past 4o+ years. I think of the boyfriends, the times we did not speak to one another, the marriages, the parties, the births, and the passing’s. Departures and arrivals, zeniths and plateaus; I know I never dreamed the pretty girl next door would be my lifelong friend, so many years down the line and still as pretty as ever, as a matter of fact she is beautiful from the inside out. On the anniversary of her birth I just want to say, “Happy Birthday!! and Thank You my sister, and my friend for life. It is your birthday, but I have been the recipient of the gift for decades. Be blessed.

Sorry To Disappoint You But…

I suppose I am not only confused, I am equally confusing.  If you have ever had your proverbial coattail pulled, you will be able to relate. You have to be able to bare your soul to those you call family and friends, but then the realization comes to you in an unexpected form, that maybe you need to keep a little of that soul covered for the sake of all concerned.

On this journey called life we encounter a vast variety of experiences that we sometimes have to come to grips with; we lived through them, but did not necessarily conquer them. The appearance of” being on top” for example can be deceiving and therefore gives off an illusion. You don’t mean to trick or fool those close to you, but they can easily be convinced of things merely because they want them to be true. Expectations are high, you don’t want to disappoint, but at some point in time you must face facts and so must those you are closest to.

Flawed, imperfect, weak, and devoid of solution you cower in your little corner waiting for someone to pick you up and carry you to safety, even if you have historically been the one doing the picking up. This now must be coupled with the knowledge your cries as well as your crisis went unnoticed. It is so difficult to carry so much and not complain. Honestly, it takes a lot to carry loads and complain. Understand as let down as you feel that”rock”, you thought you knew, is experiencing the backlash of what you feel and placing the additional burden upon themselves of “I should have been better“.

The problem with a “rock” is that the tough exterior is porous, this means the damage comes over time from something penetrating and seeping in. Conditions, just like climate, change and eventually the “rock” cracks; it is weakened now no longer able to withstand what it used to, finally  the crack will break the “rock”. Though it may take a long time and the outward appearance does not change much internal changes are taking place.

“Those things that do not kill us make us strong”. However, strong people get taken advantage of as much as the weak ones do.

Ye Of Little Faith

Every time I look up something terrible is happening. One can’t get out of this bad situation before another one is engulfing them. Today’s high is 25 degrees; I would like to share  with you, a nice 68 degrees with clear skies and a breeze, is MY opinion of a winter day. Needless to say I am not responsible nor in control of the weather. Therefore, I’m gonna work this 25 degree temperature the best way I can.

The challenges of work; with the deadlines and end of the year/beginning of the year requirements, then you walk in the door and your department head tells you there has been another task tacked onto that which you are already behind on. Is he serious? What does he think you are? Wait, don’t you have a job? I mean you may be involved in a seemingly non productive situation, but what if you were unemployed?

This relationship is not what you thought it would be. You did not sign on for drama. The best thing to do(the easiest for you) is to cut the losses and bale out. You knew it would turn out bad because… well that’s just the nature of the beast. However, can you really overlook the positive results (even if it was just one) that came out of the chance meeting.

The intent here is not to give a “when life gives you lemons make lemonade” piece, but if that is what you get out of it perhaps that was exactly what YOU needed. Sometimes if your expectation is low, your result will be exactly that. I realize that the experiences you have are the very thing that shape your perspective, but what about trying to give perspective  a fresh new outlook with each experience. There are disappointments in life, but that does not mean you should throw in the towel and give up.

The human spirit allows for us to be able to endure and overcome unimaginable obstacles.  Physical roadblocks, mental torment; yet a tiny doubt can undo all one strives to achieve. Then you must come face-to-face with the fact you, yourself may be the one who does the most damage. Remember you can do anything if you put your mind to it and “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”. Have a little faith, it truly isn’t all bad.

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