Full Moon


The voluminous moonlight shouted from the blackness of the quiet sky,

It’s breath reaching the gray drapes in a billowed, flowing sigh,

Coming to rest on the rooted, age-woven fabric of you and I,

And casting its healing shadow over worn flesh and entangled, tired souls before retreating in a silent goodbye

*stock photo via Google

The Fifth of July

Bang, pop, whoosh. Sizzle, snap, crack. Fizz, hiss, BOOM. BOOM.

BOOM.

In a haze, after the initial phone call, she rushed to be by his side. She had tunnel vision getting there – she couldn’t think, see, feel anything else. Nothing else registered, none of her surroundings, nothing at all.

All she thought was – I need to hurry. I need to hurry. I need to hurry.

The doc had just left after delivering the news. Now, as she stood there, in her peripheral, realizing it was the 4th, she could see the colors exploding in the sky just outside the large window next to his bed. She could feel the rumbling vibration of each detonation. She could feel.

BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.

Once she arrived home, though she’d needed the sleep, there was very little. She woke early, dressed and returned to him.

As she walked down the stark, institutional green hall, each step bringing her closer to seeing with her own eyes what had been conveyed to her in words the day before, the weight of those words sunk like quicksand to the pit of her stomach.

Today, she was acutely aware of the clinical smell surrounding her, the smell of sickness, the stench of sadness filling first her lungs, then permeating outward, finding an unwelcome home in her veins, thick like sludge, coursing and thumping.

She could hear the cries of sorrow in the bated breath wafting from some of the doors she passed, she could taste its metallic tang on the tip of her tongue.

And as she arrived at the doorway of the room to which she needed to enter, she felt it in her bones, in her marrow. When she opened the door, she became its embodiment.

The few steps to the bed took her years. She passed herself snuggled on his lap as he read to her for the millionth time, Put Me in the Zoo.

She watched as she sat between he and her mother on the yellow paisley couch as they tried to explain why they would no longer live together, then saw desperation on his face as he allowed her to call her mother, but would not yet let her go home to her, still.

She remembered tearing open the Christmas wrap to see the purple down coat she’d wanted so badly, the yolk-only egg sandwiches on Sunday mornings, and stove-popped popcorn with a rented movie on their every-other Saturday nights.

She saw his suntanned, orange-tinted left arm that was darker than the rest of him from hanging out his truck window, his splashing in the pool and volleyball in the summer, and helping her step-brother with homework at the kitchen table while he looked on drinking Pepsi from a two liter bottle.

She remembered the wishing she belonged, that she fit with them differently, more.

The coughing, she remembered the coughing that just kept getting worse, the constant handkerchiefs in his pockets and on the end table with his Winstons next to his chair, the red-faced breathlessness and the wheezing. And the fear in his eyes.

She remembered the devastating, life-altering heartbreak and the disappearing and the wondering, the worry and the doubt. The reconnecting and the doctors and the testing.

And finally the hope. The hope which had fizzled away the night before with every sizzle and crack, hiss and bang and pop.

Standing next to the impersonal-feeling bed, she gripped the cold, stark metal of the railing with both hands, trying to take in all that she saw. The blinking and the beeping in the semi-darkness, the machine whose trepidus noise filled the room.

Suck, push, suck, push. SUCK. PUSH. Eerily loud and unwelcome, it was reminiscent of the sounds heard outside the window the night before.

Her eyes ran the length of the shiny metal pole on which the machine was mounted, down to the swiveling wheels which allowed it to be maneuvered to where it was needed. She noticed the simple black cord which extended to the wall.

How could such an ordinary-looking plug hold life in the balance?

Letting loose her grip a bit, she became deftly aware of her own breath, in and out, of her own heart beating, ga-gong, ga-gong, so loudly in her chest that it rang in her ears.

Reaching out, she rested her hand on his chest, feeling the unfamiliar, robotic rise and fall. She felt the cool absence, the force of what would not be.

And then she looked up, nodded her head, and closing her water-filled eyes, she felt with the length of her fingers, with the lifeline in the palm of her hand. With her very soul.

The robotic gave way to an arhythmic slowing:

Rise..fall….rise…..fall…….rise……..fall.

Fall.

Beneath her palm there was only stillness. In the tips of her fingers, there was only the thump of her own heartbeat, the trembling cry of her core.

BOOM.

And he was gone.

Family Matters…

I’m not even sure where to begin. On many occasions I’ve written about my family, and how this journey has played a positive role in our family life on the whole. The effects have been numerous and wonderful. But, not always easy, smooth, and painless. Not without mistakes and issues to work through, both individually and as a family unit.

Being a mother is maybe the most rewarding and difficult thing I have done and will ever do. I constantly evaluate my actions, decisions, approaches, and plans. I endlessly look at myself to try to offer my girls the best me I have to offer. But, I make tons of mistakes. And while I try not to let regret cloud my actions and decisions, it does take me a while to process through it internally. I need to understand the mistake, find out why it was made and how to avoid it in the future. M and I both do. We want to guide and support the best we can.

For some time, M and I have been on a journey. I honestly believe it was a path we were organically traversing, and it paved the way for this dynamic to flourish. We are in a very good place, and for that I am ever grateful. Facing parenting challenges is so much more fruitful when we act as a cohesive team and have a deep communication between us and with the girls as well. But, again, we’ve made mistakes. Many.

Our oldest daughter has had a rough couple of years. In the beginning of my blogging days around two years ago, I wrote about how I was worried about her, about how she is an anxious perfectionist who is also stubborn as hell and doesn’t express her feelings well, which is reminiscent of how I used to behave. My heart hurts for her, and I worried I’d made so many mistakes as a mom that I’d contributed to all of that in her.  All I knew was that I needed to be there for her, with my whole heart open and vulnerable, listening and being a support for her. M and I have continued to share with her, to be open and communicative with her and encourage the same. We just want her to feel safe and happy and loved beyond measure.

Many months ago I alluded to something on my blog which tore apart my heart, and it really did. In our quest to help her with her anxiety, school and social issues, and issues expressing herself, we were trying everything we felt would give her the love and support she needed. Yet, we found out she’d engaged in self harm. It was the most deeply wounding thing I’ve ever experienced. I hurt for her, for that place she must have been and I couldn’t help. It seemed that even as we built bridges, some were being torn down. No matter how hard we tried, sometimes we missed the mark, or our efforts didn’t reach far enough. We just kept trying.

That was many months ago, and our communication and relationship has continued to grow and improve. If a bridge begins to fail, we rebuild or find a new route. We are so happy she has  continued to mature in her ability to express herself as well.

In the meantime, just as she was feeling ready to tackle her freshman year, struggling to find her rhythm in the beginning (very difficult for her, especially since she’s a perfectionist), she found out her boyfriend slept with two of her friends. It was devastating, yet, on the outside, she behaved as if it wasn’t a big deal. Not only did she want to continue seeing the boy, but she wanted to handle the situation on her own. She wanted to work through the issue with them all on her own. Of course we want her to be independent and able to learn from life, but we don’t want her to be taken advantage of, or be treated poorly and sacrifice herself for other’s feelings when she’s clearly hurt as well. We worried she’d fall back to poor coping mechanisms, and finding the balance of communicating understanding, while also being firm in our expectations and being supportive, encouraging open communication, was very difficult. It still is.

It’s been an ongoing challenge to navigate the communication, finding what works and how to best model and support and meet her needs, but it’s one we give our all, as a team.

I Am Not

I am not the deleted name, waiting for me to message first.

I am not the number you call when all other’s haven’t answered.

I am not the false nicety, sparing my feelings.

I am not the false compliment, keeping me coming back for more.

I am not 3am, when the other’s don’t want to be bothered.

I am not the one who will stand idly by while you speak of others behind their backs.

I am not the place where your deflections stick.

I will not be reduced to hand-me-down quality conversation.

I am not the friend who will constantly wonder what I did wrong, asking myself why you didn’t choose me.

I am not that friend.

I am not.

Curtain Call

Nimble, eager fingertips

Tap, tapping on keys,

As whirling, whimsical wisps of words

Pirouette, happy to be freed

This turn giving way to that leap,

An endless stream of choreography,

Pieces of her soul, willigly bared,

Screaming to be fingerloose

But pulling at her heels

Is love, the need of others,

The sort that requires

Wholehearted focus and action,

Leaving no time for frolicking fingers

Or the constant choreography

That fills her

So she must rest her dancing digits,

She must silence the perpetual score,

For her love is greater

Than her need to pirouette

No regret

A bow, for now,

Because, in her tips,

Tap, tapping to her own tune,

Is hope

50 Cats

50 cats
Wore 50 hats
To go walking in the rain

50 cats
Met 50 bats
Taking cover in a train

50 cats
And 50 bats
Felt a bit mundane

So 50 cats
And 50 bats
Boarded an airplane

50 cats
And 50 bats
Spoke with every Dick and Jane

50 cats and 50 bats
Met a group of acrobats
And joined their circus habitat
Where every other wore a hat

Isn’t that insane?

My youngest daughter loves silly poems!