Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Not many of you know this, but I am panicky scared of the dark, especially of electricity-less dark. It's too quiet and WAY too dark, just as I imagine the opening moments of the apocalypse may be. Yikes and shivers.
I was immediately still as a statue can be in a swivel chair. With its eyes closed. I know that doesn't seem right, but here's my argument . . . When the lights are down, it very often is the shadows that freak me out and cause me to do things destructive like jump and run and knock over something that crashes something else or my toe. So for the last few years I've been closing my eyes in the dark so I'm not unnecessarily distracted from my goal - survival.
So there I was in my swivel chair, eyes closed, waiting for Dawn to get up and come and save me. Instead of her shuffling/stumbling pads, I heard a herd of elephants. It wanted a Mommy. And just when I was feeling my best.
I got my herd snuggled together on the couch and assured them I would be right back with a light. Turning to face my darkened path, I chanted something like "Ham Sa Brea Thing Is Good Ham Sa Ham Sa Damn It And Gulf Po Wer Brea Thing Brea Thing Please For The Love Of God Let Me Keep Brea Thing."
Wouldn't you have loved to see me, a completely un-blind woman stumbling around dining chairs in the dark with my eyes squeezed shut, all the time noiselessly mouthing monosyllabic babble?
As it turned out, I got to spend a complete hour with all of my children, all to myself. I read aloud, by candlelight one of the Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osbourne while they snuggled together near-silently. I can't remember the last time they did that, for that long. When the book was done, they all lay down together on a pallet; and the little boys fell asleep while I rubbed their foreheads.
And that's a true story - I'm not even making it up.
Clearly, the power is back on now and my heartrate has returned to something close to normal, and my breathing will soon mimic that of my sleeping angel-kids. But before my big slumber, I had to take a minute to appreciate the storm that brought the lightning that brought the thunder that brought down the lights that brought my children to my arms that held a story that rocked us all into calm that delivers us to dream . . .
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Literally, we did not win the Florida Powerball. Not on the 31st or the 7th or the 14th. We just recently started religiously buying lottery tickets. I was inspired by a little story within Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. (If you haven't read it. Do. Right now. For real. GO!) It involves a poor man who goes to the cathedral every day for years begging God to let him win the lottery. Finally, an exasperated God bellows back, "Would you please buy a ticket?!!" I giggled at my own folly and bought a fucking ticket and then another and then another. So far I've won more tickets that didn't win. Hey, it's a start.
Roulette (and Craps) of life - I didn't hit SuperMom when I was born or when I gave birth, I'm ashamed to admit. I did manage Survivor when I broke out of her cell and Tough as Nails when my own babies broke from mine. I figure that I'm beating the house odds which has to be remarkable at this old age of mine. (I turned 31 last weekend, and I'm still waiting for the lightning strike of epiphany that I usually get around my birthday. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Oh! Crap! Is that the epiphany? My fucking clock!?!)
On the other hand, a FLUSH! (We couldn't possibly qualify as a straight:) - I crack myself up, I swear I do. Like a flush, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to our family and then Oh! Right!, they're all wearing the same suit! OK - clearly this has gone on too long.
Look, here it is. My life is great. I've been bitching and moaning and feeling pretty damn sorry for myself. It's total bullshit and I'm a whiny baby and I'm tired of feeling like a charity case that makes excuses after excuses after not doing a damn thing to make anything better.
So there! The lottery draws again on Saturday. What are the chances?
Monday, November 9, 2009
Dawn surprised me with a trip to New Orleans. One could make a case that we fell in love there, so it's always a special trip. At this point, with Ida looming, a little baby (big boy) party to plan and a wife to snuggle, I'll leave it mostly to the pictures.
And this is the baby that grew in my belly. And 3 years ago at just about this time, he like his cousin Ida made his intention to make an appearance known. Like he did this weekend, he danced, without regard for anyone else. He ate a bag of chips this weekend (just like his Momma did 3 years ago - same brand and everything - weird, right?) and squirmed and shook and tapped his feet and smiled his smile.
My last baby will be 3 years old at 3:41 in the morning. He had soft feet and yellow hair, and has smelly feet and red hair.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Love, love, love. We do it for love, love, love.
Love, love, love . . .
Monday, November 2, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
comes out of your mouth is just catty? Or hateful? Or just generally unhelpful? That's me today.
There's a children's book called "My Many Colored Days." It's about moods. It's fabulous. "Gray. Gray Day. I watch, but nothing moves today." That's me today.
William parachuted from the top step, relying on a Target bag for his very life. He had a bandana tied around his head - it was pushing his little ears down. I managed a weak smile.
Ray calls pumpkins "Ump Umps." He has a little bitty one that he's been carrying around. Everywhere. I think it's floating in the tub water right now. I noticed this adorableness, but have no exuberance or soul-warmth from it.
Faith had a level 10 breakdown tonight. These come once in a blue moon but when they do, they are something truly fierce, barometric pressure altering and earth-shaking. She worked herself into such a fit that she was baring her teeth, flailing about and assaulting whoever was closest. I took this as just what I deserved. She was acting just like I feel. I was down enough to mistake her discomfort (putting it lightly) for my karma.
Storm is perfect. Thank God, the wildcard is stable.
I don't wear misery well. It's like my mother's suit - itchy and ill-fitting and boxy and hot.
I can't remember to Ham Sa. I can't remember to eat. I can't remember anything, to tell the truth. My days are foggy. You know how when you have a sinus infection, it feels like you have cotton balls stuffed between your ears? I have that confusion without the pain.
Save me, Halloween! Shake me out of this funk. Please.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
"I'm 57, Rebecca! I still have a life to lead. I'm only 57!"
This is horrible. She is so angry with me. She has resorted to lying and begging and yelling. What am I to do but protect her body from her mind in the best way I know how to? This is horrible.
Forgive me for not returning phone calls. Forgive me for not blogging. Please. I have my thick soul shell up. I can't cry yet, so I can't talk to you Sweet People who love me so, yet. Know that I love you and am grateful for your attention. Don't give up on me.
Monday, October 19, 2009
On Tuesday the 13th, I called her at her house. I couldn't understand much of what she was saying. She wasn't completing sentences. She was talking about people that I don't know. She was abrasive and impatient when I questioned her about her state of mind. Then the fire alarm started. She was totally confused, babbling about the burglar alarm and someone named Greg. She hung up on me. Pensacola 911 connected me with her local Police Department. While I was on the phone with them, her fire monitoring system called and requested that units be sent to her house immediately.
She was taken by ambulance to the ER for "general disorientation." She was admitted as procedure dictates for observation following smoke inhalation. She is still there because she's nuts.
My mother has been a headcase for as long as I've been alive. No, I wasn't a trying baby. I'm sure her troubles started long ago; I can only bear witness though, for the last couple of decades. When I say "headcase" I mean that she has psychological and neurological issues with medical records so vast that they could only be transported by a fleet of 18-wheelers, an aircraft carrier or all the pack animals in the world.
She has hydrocephalus (too much fluid on her brain), clinical depression with an extensive history of suicide attempts, intense and unresolved migraine headaches, a degenerative bone condition, morbid obesity, the symptoms of early onset Alzheimer's including memory and balance problems. (For the record, she couldn't remember a series of 3 words for more than 3 minutes but she did know the names of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.) She doesn't eat properly, sleep properly, exercise at all, or treat people with anything resembling respect, kindness or compassion. Did I mention that she herself is a Doctor? As if all of the above isn't enough, she's fucking brilliant.
So tell me, if you can, how in the hell am I going to get her into an assisted living facility that usually only takes people 62 years and older in near perfect health? And if I manage that charade, how am I going to afford to keep her in there when she (wonder of all wonders) lives for another 30 years? And how is she not going to get herself kicked out for being a total bitch (Just this week she asked a poor tech trying to start an IV if he was having an attitude with her because she's a doctor.)
And what sin or as is more probable, sins have I committed to deserve this? I know, I know - This isn't about me. It's about finding a safe place for a smart, savvy and somewhat capable person to thrive.
I feel like my life once again is at the mercy of her every whim. As an only child, what else am I to do but come running most every time she calls? There's NO ONE ELSE - so please, please don't suggest that I call her bluff for attention, or ostracize her for bad behavior. I've tried everything - remember this has been going on my entire life. She is truly ill and truly needs serious help. But that has been true for a very long time.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Boy did I choose a big day to come home to Blogland! I'm sure that I've missed tons of stuff, and it will take me a year of Sundays to catch up. But I did want to take a moment to highlight a few beautiful women doing beautiful things with their beautiful souls and energies.
And I guess it's time to reveal the source of my quirky wisdom. The Persistence of Yellow by Monique Duval. You've seen me and Dawn and Amy quote it. It's fabulous. Everyone of you, Sweet Friends, needs this book. I wish I could send one to all of you.
Camlin - Once upon a time, a girl prayed for true love. Her prayer was answered. She learned to love herself.
Rocket - As she was singing her own special rendition of 'I Did It My Way,' an angel appeared to her and threw finely chopped colored paper about her head in celebration.
Amy - Once upon a time, she decided to follow her heart. She flung off her pinstriped suit and gave birth to herself. A new self. Her true self.
I love you guys! You're inspiring.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
2. You can read at least 1000 pages of well, anything. I read some adult fiction (not mature fiction, Dawg), some non-fiction on the Bronx Zoo, some young adult fiction b/c I ran out of adult fiction, and some old fliers from the school that I found on the floor.
3. You can register to take the Mensa test. You can take as many practice tests as your virus-infected brain can stand.
4. You can shop and shop and shop until you know exactly what to convince your kids to want for Christmas. Then you can write to interested parties with links to all of the items.
5. You can perfect your dream queue on Netflix.
Ready for my favorite?
6. You can be ordained by the Universal Life Church and be completely legal to officiate weddings, funerals and baptisms.
True story - I can absolve you of sin and perform exorcisms, too! Who's first?
What could I possibly get into tomorrow?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I Can't Remember the Last Time I Watched 3 Movies in One Day, None of Which Featured a Talking Animal
Notes on a Scandal - Lesbian/Geriatric/Pediophilia Fatal Attraction. If none of that disgusts you, this may be just the flick for you. Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench - I would probably enjoy watching them watch grass grow, so for me it was a win-win. Very dramatic, very creepy. If you're wondering whether to shake off someone in your life that may be a stalker, this one will convince you that yes, IT IS TIME.
Movie Review of the Day #2:
Who is Cletis Tout? - Movie within a Movie. Crime Caper. HILARIOUS! Stars my childhood hearthrob Christian Slater and Mrs. Ellen Degeneres, Portia de Rossi. (Jude! She fires a gun.) Tim Allen plays a hitman - it's funny already, right?
This is the opening dialogue between 2 Mafia Thugs.
Thug 1 - Oh... what's the name of that Burt Reynolds picture with the banjo?
Thug 2 - Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah that one with that retarded kid. He was good, that guy.
Thug 1 - Yeah, he was good. "Deliverance." Coupla nights ago, me and Denise we popped that into the DVD. We're about an hour into this thing and I start thinking to myself "this story ain't very realistic." You're a lonely mountain man. They're destroying your home. They've taken your job. There is no place to set your still. You are angry- they've destroyed everything that validates your manhood. You're confused; your sexuality is in question. You decide you're going to hit for the other side. You want yourself some man meat- I can understand that- but wouldn't you wait for Burt Reynolds to come downriver?
Movie Review of the Day #3:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Brilliant! If I had been on some Nyquil or maybe something a little less legal, it would have been really amazing. Jim Carrey who I normally despise didn't annoy me at all and the always lovely Kate Winslett was all but insane and still fabulous and lovely and all things good. I like that she keeps her weight up. She's a real person.
It would be near impossible to give you a synopsis. Suffice it to say that it is about what happens when you try to forget the most important person in your life. It has the flashback/out-of-chronological-order thing of Pulp Fiction. Just go with it, don't try to figure it out. The end wraps up nicely.
So far, my favorite thing about being sequestered is watching Dawn chase me around with the Lysol spray. When I have to leave my cell to go potty, which is pretty often unfortunately, she comes with me and takes mental notes on everything that I touch. When I'm done, she hoses everything down. Then she follows me back to the cell and hoses the doorknob and the doorframe and the lightswitch. When she misses a bathroom break, it's fun to tell her that I licked something and I'm not telling what it is.
While I took my aforementioned shower today, she changed the sheets in my cell. She put on my favorite quilt. It's my favorite mostly because my mother hates it. I got it as a wedding gift and used it in the guest room of our first house. I guess the quality is just really poor or maybe my laundry skills were not quite up to par but the damn thing quickly became ratty and torn. That didn't bother me in the least. To me it looked more quiltish and less Clearance-Bin-at-the-JCPenney which I knew it to be. My mother, though, hated it. Hates it still. I make it a point to put it on her bed whenever she comes. It's soft and cozy and good for being sick in.
She also changed to more comforting pillow cases. Dammit, Rocket, Amy and Laura Lee! There's no need to interrupt, but yes that is the $80 pillow cleverly disguised as a Raggedy Ann heirloom.
If I look left, I can see my window and the vines that we let take over our house and the rain chain. See, Ms. Moon?!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Because she never ate them as an adult, she also didn't cook them much. She has linked her life with mine, though and my life requires potatoes. Dawn has fed me so many terrible potatoes in her quest to fill my potato needs. She has finally gotten it just right. They are buttery and garlicy and salty and delicious. She calls them Lovers Potatoes.
She loves me and I know it. I've never been surer of anything else.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
We like people that like to hang out at home, that don't need constant entertainment, that can sit around and carry on a conversation. We especially like it when they like to sit around a fire. Amy and I built the fire, by the way. Dawn just swooped in at the end and made it look special. It was like the nurse that sits by a laboring woman all day. She turns her, encourages her, keeps her from killing her husband only to have the doctor rush in at the last minute, catch the baby and sign his name to the birth certificate claiming to have been the "birth attendant."
We also like people that cook good food. G had that covered. Burgers, hotdogs, brats, shrimp, crablegs. For real.
We like folks that share our basic outlook on life. Live and let live. Love the lonely and helpless. Laugh. Laugh. Laugh. There was plenty of that. Amy the husband, Ray and his mustache, the welcoming maxi pad, the brother who gets tattoos and applause. What was remarkable about all the hilarity is that it should have been embarrassing in front of people that you've only known for a few hours. But we have known each other for much longer, haven't we?
These girls are just who they are in Blogland. No alter egos. No smoke blowing. No bullshit. What you see is what you get. And it is all awesome. You'll never meet a bigger heart than Amy's. You'll never meet a purer soul than Rocket's.
And you all know how I adore Dawn, but I have to go on and on. I can't help myself. I love to watch her in a group of people. She has a calming nature, made more incredible considering her ADD. People like her. She asks good questions and cares enough about the answer to listen, but not enough to judge or second-guess. She's funny. Magnetic. And she looks at me and sees me and likes me the most. And I like that.
Amy, my dear husband - the kids are planning your move to Florida. They can be very persuasive. It's probably better to cease resisting. You play Legos and you're good at it, according to Storm. That's high praise.
Rocket/Lightning/Roxanne - the kids want to come back when it snows. Got a sled? And Storm wants to see your tattoos. He said he didn't notice. (!?!)
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
She was dressed to the nines, very chipper and acting as though nothing is wrong between us. At some point she threatened to spank me. I don't know what that's about.
They drank a glass of water and headed out, bound for Jackson, MS which is about 4.5 hours away. Dawn and I got in bed. About 20 minutes later, another knock on the door. She was back. She had lost Juan who was driving the rental car that still had her purse and cell phone in it. She couldn't remember his cell phone number. Dawn had to go handle that one. I was close to combustion.
Dawn called her this morning. She said they made it back at about 4 a.m. No idea what took them so long.
What the Fuck!?
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
When she posted pictures from the tide pool (speaking of perfect), she left out some of my favorites.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Several minutes of pretty severe pain later and still no Dawn, I managed to find one of the cell phones on the floor of the car. I called the house. She was laughing when she answered, "Yes?" She came running. She carried me into the house which is no fall feat considering that our driveway has a pretty substantial slope and there are several steps up to the porch and then several steps down into the den. She said she never saw Faith, and William came in singing, "It's a Small World." Thank God for Cell Phones.
So now I'm confined to the bed. Dawn is very sweet to me. She's got me set up with the laptop and has even gotten it rigged up so it's not burning the skin off of my legs. She changes out my ice packs regularly. And when I threaten to get up and help with the nighttime routine, she reminds me that she has to go to work tomorrow and that I HAVE to rest and get better or the children will burn the place down in the morning and I'll have a hard time getting myself out a window to escape. sigh.
I HATE being immobile and useless.
She's been giving me regular updates on the kids, the hysterical kids. She said William left his shoes right in the middle of the kitchen floor. When she asked him to pick them up, he said, "OK, as soon as you give me some cash." What the hell?
Ray comes in to check on me and put his little chicken head on me. A few minutes ago, he came in with chocolate in the corners of his mouth. I asked him if he had cookies for dessert. He said, "Yep. All done. My mouf" and then opened up to show me the Oreos ground into his precious teeth. Lord, how I love this baby.
I can hear the kids running up and down the hallway. Sometimes I can figure out the gists of their games. Sometimes I just catch a few words, "Charge!" and "You're under arrest!" Lord, how I love these kids.
It's strange to experience my life from behind a door.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I think I have a unique perspective on the Kennedys and what they have meant to America and what they continue to stand for. My father was 12 when President Kennedy was killed. My father lived in the Mississippi Delta, which is to say that his mother's family had lived there for generations. He was entrenched in the culture of 1960s racial politics. Of course, to a 12 year-old, it was simply his daily life. President Kennedy was going to integrate the schools, by force if necessary. It was a welcome fight in rural Mississippi. He certainly didn't understand the enormity of the moment that he was experiencing. What he recalls is this -
He was sitting in the bleachers of the gymnasium at school. He must have been adjusting his sneakers because everyone else was already on the gym floor. An announcement came over the PA system, "President Kennedy has been shot and killed today in Dallas, TX." He says that he looked up and saw the gymnasium erupt in applause and cheering and high-fives. Something about the exuberance struck him as wrong, but he was quickly caught up in it. School let out so that the children could go home and celebrate with their families.
He went home with his friend, Thumper who had always been called Thumper, and never by his given name. The boys walked through the back door to find Thumper's mother busy in the kitchen. Thumper rejoiced, "Yeah! Somebody finally got that bastard!" Thumper's mother responded sharply, "That is quite enough, Hamilton." Those are the only words in pseudo-respect for our President that my father heard in the days after.
This really stuck with my father. In his adulthood, he has read every book, seen every documentary and researched primary sources from the President's assassination in broad daylight in one of our nation's largest cities. He is far from a conspiracy theorist. The facts, Ma'am, just the facts. He's my guy Friday.
I spent my teen years which saw the release of Oliver Stone's movie JFK idealizing my father's interest. I imagined him as a great, unheralded detective - the one who would uncover the truth and bring the killer to justice. Quite a romantic vision.
I joined in the quest. I wrote essays and exploratory letters to the Library of Congress. I urged my dad to do the same. I was JUST SURE that the secret files would be opened to the 2 of us if we could just reach the right person - the sympathetic ear of a lowly archivist who shared the passion. I was a moron.
In my adult years, I have educated myself about the history of the Kennedy family. I have acquainted myself with the ins and outs of individuals, and joined the causes of the ones who shone. I have taken days from work to mourn the crash of JFK Jr., and his beautiful wife and the passing of his mythical mother. Just recently I have reached out to a virtual stranger for comfort in the death of President Kennedy's sister, Mrs. Shriver. I asked her for and got affirmation that yes, there are people in America that remember and revere the golden days of Camelot and what could have been.
And now Senator Kennedy has passed, peacefully, as I understand it. For that I am grateful. Our nation today has lost a great man, the ultimate citizen, a lion of a statesman - one who took and held close and defended unapologetically stances that were not entirely popular. He did it with grace and composure and respect. On NPR this afternoon, I heard Senator Kennedy's biographer say something very close to this - "If you asked all 100 Senators who the toughest legislator in the Senate is, 99 of them would say, 'Senator Kennedy." He went on to say that Senator Kennedy, who comes from the most charismatic family in United States political history, managed to be boring. "And that is a good thing."
The biographer related a story from Senator Kennedy's first campaign. He was seeking to fill his newly elected brother's vacant seat in the Senate. A poor farmer came up to him after a speech and said something like, "What do you know? You've never worked a day in your life." And the then, Mr. Kennedy replied, "Well, yes, I guess you could say that." The farmer shook his hand and said, "You're not missing a thing."
Our nation has lost a great man. And our community of Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transgendered kin has lost a friend and great ally. I am truly grieved.
Senator Kennedy will lie in repose in the Kennedy Library until he is laid to rest on Saturday in Arlington National Cemetery where he will join his brothers who went before.
I imagine that the Eternal Flame will burn ever brighter.