Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Remember When...

Do you know me?  If you do, you know I am happy! Up! Smiling! The one who will always look on the bright side, who says, but yes, what a wonderful life! Yes, that is me. Or was me. Today I don’t know who I am. I want to be that person, I want to be uplifting and supportive and a positive note among all of the posts about our dysfunctional president and scary posts about the coronavirus. But.

But somehow, this is one of the very few times in my life I’m not that person.  It’s hard to admit that.  I learned early on from my mother, that the mother is the strong one.  The one who takes care of everyone else. I learned that no matter what, the face the world sees is strong and resilient. Just so you know, my mask is slipping.

The funny part is, I’m retired.  My life, other than my social life is not radically different. I can wake up, choose to paint, to write, to clean the house or not.  I don’t have to worry about job loss or income loss.   I have plenty of food and a beautiful home. But.

I can’t imagine the future. I have no control over it. I’m struggling to see the positive side to this.  I always can find a positive in any situation. Except this one. And even if my brain can come up with an answer—look at all the family time people are getting, time that I’m getting with an adult daughter I haven’t had in years—it doesn’t register emotionally.

I wake up every day with a knot in my stomach.  The littlest thing brings tears to my eyes. I’m trying to focus on other people, on how I can help.  But there is not much I can do.  I read to my grandson on youtube, I mail out handmade cards when ever I hear about a significant birthday or celebration that I can contribute a ray of sunshine to, but that is so insignificant.  I mailed a check to my brother to help defray the cost of mask making for him, he’s been a beacon of light, sewing and mailing out masks to everyone who asks, not having that ability, I send money. But.

I’m losing focus.  I’m losing the ability to wake up and decide what to paint or write today, and then to do it.  I paint for a bit, then I write for a bit, then I play solitaire or words with friends until my eyes are cross eyed from looking at the screen and I go take a walk outside.

My life is so good, really, I’m embarrassed to even say such a thing as I’m having a problem with this.  I have fabulous food cooked for me, a big house and backyard, a husband and a daughter and son-in-law to live with for the duration. They do all of the cooking, I clean, we live together harmoniously, playing games at night, or watching movies. How can I complain?

I think it’s that I can’t imagine how we are going to move back towards a normal life, towards hugging our family and friends, towards family dinners and friends over for cocktails. With all of the reports on how long this virus is going to be with us, it seems we’ll be living in social isolation until there is a vaccine.  And if that’s the case, I’ll miss a year and a half of my children’s and grandchildren’s lives. Here come the tears…  I just can’t imagine this.

My grandson is six years old.  He’s not old enough to really understand why he can’t see his Mimi. I don’t think I’m old enough to understand it either to tell you the truth. He has already grown taller and changed so much since I was last able to give him a hug. A year and a half is inconceivable.  And besides that, how will this influence who he is?  How he sees the world?  For all of the children in the world, I grieve for them, knowing that early childhood experiences like this leave their mark.

So. I need to put this out there.  I am vulnerable. I am sad. I am unfocused. I am not a pillar of strength.  Maybe saying it out loud (on paper) will help me let go of it and move to a better place. Someone put on FB the other day that they were having a hard time.  It moved me. I needed that moment of connection with another person, that moment of openness, to realize I’m probably not the only one. Ha. Of course I’m not, but you know, sometimes I forget there is always someone else out there in the world who is feeling like me today. So for anyone else feeling a bit down.  You are not alone. We will get through this, what other choice is there? And we will do it together, through apps like Houseparty and Messenger video and zoom and duo.  We will do it because we have to and it will become a story in our shared history, remember when

In the meantime, I’m giving myself permission to cry.  So if you talk to me, and hear a hitch in my voice, just know that I’m letting go of a little grief, a little sadness.  I’m letting it go so I can let in a little more light and get back to the me that is my upbeat, positive, can-do, we’ll get through this, me.

Sunday, April 12, 2020


It all passes in the blink of an eye.
Dewy skin.
Bright eyes.
Acute hearing even.
Hair everywhere you don’t want hair to be
while the hair you want has gone missing.

It all passes in the blink of an eye.
The ability to jump.
Just jump, any height for any reason,
Down a step.
onto a rock.
No longer able to even envisage
that once youthful energy.

It all passes in the blink of an eye.
Suddenly, a baby boy is thirty years old.
Suddenly, he no longer needs your help
To eat or walk or talk.
Suddenly, he’s a man.
And you, you are an old woman.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Bittersweet Sunset
by Lee O’Connell

It’s Sunset
and finally
you saw me.
After years of getting by on that
one motorcycle ride
milked for all its worth
over and over again,
sounding like a recurring event
that one time.

That’s all I ever longed for,
to curl up in the knowledge
of being wanted,
to see my reflection in your eyes.

as the sun set
you held my face in your hand and
gave me the whole world
in three words.

Me & Dad April 2018

                                                                                            Dad on his Harley, 1939

Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Mother's Love Story....

This story starts out, not in love... but in hate.  A viseral, overwhelming life-shattering hate.   Well, actually, first it starts out with adoration, with god-like love, with unrealistic expectations.  Yes, that's where it really starts, in childhood, when we all love our mother without reserve.

But then we grow up, for some of us that happens at ten years old and for others of us it doesn't happen until we are twenty or thirty years old.  I was somewhere in between.

A long time ago an event happened in my family--the details are not important--the reverberations of that event which went on for some time, are what is relevant.  I suddenly saw my mother for what she was, not a god, not a moral compass, not the person with a perfect answer to any question.

For a year I barely spoke to my mother.  My husband and I went to the major family holidays--Christmas and Thanksgiving and I avoided interacting with my mother any more than necessary--my cold shoulder was everywhere apparent.  In between holidays, she would call, I would answer her questions tersely and we would hang up.

Then I got pregnant.  Throughout the pregnancy I kept my mother updated when she would call.  I thought about letting my child be influenced by this grandmother--I couldn't see denying my mother access to her second grandchild, but nor could I fathom them having a relationship.  I was very high on my self-righteous horse.

Then, on a cold, blustery day in January, my sweet baby girl was born.  After all was cleaned up, and she and I were safely ensconced in my bed, the doctor and nurse gone, my friends on their way back to their own homes, their own children and babies, all the photographs that could be taken from every angle were taken and my husband was in an exhausted sleep next to me... then I paused to take in this miracle.

I held in my arms a perfect, beautiful baby girl.  Though I didn't know it yet, the magic of that moment would be repeated three more times.  This though, was my first.  I was enchanted.  I was in love --in a way that I had never experienced before.

As I sat there in my bed looking down into her sweet face I suddenly felt a chill run down my spine.  How could I be a mother?  I had no training.  I had no experience.  Terror overtook me for a moment as I contemplated motherhood and all of the responsibility it entailed.  I thought of my mother.  Of her failings, of her strength, of her love.  And suddenly, just like that, I grew up.  Suddenly I knew, my mother wasn't a dysfunctional, crazy mother with nothing to offer me.  She was, in fact, merely a human being, a flawed human being like all of us are.  One who makes bad choices, mistakes she will later regret, one who wishes she had shown more love and more courage and more strength.

And so my story--which started in love--ends in love.  Love of a daughter for a mother and love of a mother for a daughter.  A realistic relationship, where we each do our inept best to love, to be, to live.

Me and my baby girl, all grown up.

Me and my Mom... I turned out so like her!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

For My Baby Boy...

For My Baby Boy…

Sitting on a park bench
My ta-ta’s exposed for the world to see,
I give you sustenance
My beautiful baby boy.

Walking in the mall,
You at my jugs
Slurping lunch, while
I shop for the perfect gift.

Visiting friends
You call for dinner,
So I whip out my knockers
Disturbing round-eyed husbands
Who cannot look away.

I sit at the concert
The cans are overflowing
Drenching my shirt.
I wake you
To staunch the flow,
And shock waves hit the audience around me
Like a tsunami.

I hope when you are a man
My baby boy,
You know …
Boobies are a place of nourishment
An honored place of provender,
More than sexual titillation,
More than your personal playthings.

I hope when you are a man
My beautiful baby boy,

You remember.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

For Mahala...

Wow.... thirty years ago you were born... my so special... so wanted... so loved second child.  On that day I couldn't imagine you as a thirty year old woman.  I looked into your eyes and you looked back into mine... and a bond was cemented, a bond that had begun nine months earlier.

I wish so much for you my daughter...

I wish you a life of love.  Love of family, of friends and yes, that one special man that will fill your soul with passion, obliterating the rest of the world in your eyes.

I wish you a life of happiness, even more, of joy. I wish you that inner sense of joy in the world, joy in a sunset... a dandelion.. a rainstorm.  And happiness in general--that sense that all is right in your world.

I wish you a job you want to wake up to on Monday morning.  A job that fulfills you, that makes the world a better place.

I wish you peace.  The peace that comes from knowing you are enough.  You exist and therefore you are perfect just the way you are.

I wish you the knowledge that though you are perfect as is, there is never a time or place when we are 'done.'  There is always room for growth and if you don't like something about yourself, you have the choice and the responsibility to change it.

I wish you the knowledge that others opinions are not your business.  Your business is following your own heart, your own mind and doing what you know to be right.

I wish for you the knowledge that though I was a far from perfect mother, I love you, and have and will every single day of your life.  And every, single day I did the absolute best I could do for you, in love.

I wish for you deep relationships with your siblings.  Someday I will not be here, and I hope that you and your siblings will lean on each other.  They are merely  perfect and flawed human beings, as we all are--but I trust that their intentions are good and I hope that you will trust that as well.

I wish for you the sense, deep in your heart, that though your father and I no longer live together... we each love you fiercely and that will never change.

I wish for you the knowledge that you come from a long line of strong women.  You are who you are, in some small part, because of the women who came before.  Honor that.

I wish you a life of choice. We all have the choice to change what we don't like in our lives. We all have the choice to spend time with those who inspire us to be better human beings.  I wish you the strength to part from those people who pull you down, and to choose those who lift you up.

I wish for you the wisdom to understand, if you are feeling hurt by another's actions, then someone else is feeling hurt, in some way, as well.

I wish you busy days.
I wish you lazy days.
I wish you deep breaths.
I wish you uncontrollable laughter.
I wish you great books and deep discussions.

I wish you love.
I wish you joy.
I love you always.

Happy 30th Birthday my daughter.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

On Becoming Me: One Old Crone's Plan for a Long Life...

On Becoming Me: One Old Crone's Plan for a Long Life...: Look at this--me with my beautiful daughter about 10 years ago... What a difference between then and now... Yup, that would be me--I t...