Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Struggle is Real

You came up in conversation today like so many days before, only today, I cried.  One minute the conversation was about me needing new eye glasses and the next minute we were talking about how hopeful you were that you just needed new glasses.  You see, it was September and you had started driving again after not being behind the wheel for six months.  You loved that you were driving again.  Even though the doctor said you should have a licensed driver with you in the passenger seat, it gave you a sense of independence and more importantly, it made you feel whole.  It gave me hope.  It gave all of us hope.  Then in a proverbial blink of an eye, you asked someone else to drive.  You went to the optometrist for a check up and a new Rx but the new glasses didn't seem to make much of a difference.  You were disappointed and I was uneasy.

I went away for a weekend in October and when I came back, you told me you had fallen and  made me promise not to tell. I convinced you to call the doctor and you moved your six month follow up appointment up by a week.  We all assured you the check up was for your piece of mind and that the news would be good.  We talked about you returning to work, living alone and having me close by if you needed me.  We made plans for the holidays, talked on the phone and ran errands on the weekends.  On the day of your appointment, we found out you had another tumor. This one was small and in an entirely different area, a walk in the park in comparison to the first one.  Your surgery was a breeze.  You spoke to me hours after surgery and you were back at home in two days, not two months.

By Thanksgiving you complained of no vision in your left eye.  Gaylynn got you a fancy eye patch and we all had dinner together.  The beginning of December, you started radiation.  You fell on Saturday afternoon and again Saturday night.  We went back to the hospital only to learn you had another tumor.  This one was more like the first than the second.  We weighed our odds, listened while the doctors talked, prayed, listened some more then asked you what you wanted to do.  You chose another surgery.  Just one more, you said and so you did.  In pre-op the nurses recognized you.  You asked for an upgrade and frequent flyer points.

We celebrated Christmas with you in rehab.  We had presents in our pajamas and drank mimosas, just like we did every year.  You were happy when you looked at the tree and we took pictures.  The next day you saw the tree again and it was like you were seeing it for the first time.  You started talking less instead of more and my heart broke more instead of less. You went from rehab to in-patient hospice and from hospice, home.   We settled you in your living room and I called your name until you opened your eyes. We desperately wanted you to know you were home.

You died on a Monday in February.  There was a beautiful full moon that evening and I must have taken a dozen pictures of it.  The night was crisp and cool and perfect and I kept thinking of you and your Wolf pack and the full moon. For your encore, the day of your service was unseasonably warm and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.  I came home that afternoon to find the first daffodil of the season staring at me from my garden.  I knew it was you.

Most days my heart doesn't break.  God has been good and patient and kind. I've found a balance that serves me well.  But today my heart is broken and the struggle is real. Tomorrow is 19 months since I last held your hand.  I miss your laughter, your face, your sarcasm, your unrelenting support of whatever I'm doing, your companionship, your poor choice in bars, your taste in music and a hundred other things.  In the end, I miss my friend, my partner in crime, my sister.  I just wanted you to know.

I love you,

P.S. Tin Cup is on T.V and I'm watching it as I type. I know that's you but thanks for making it obvious.

Monday, August 29, 2016


       Have you ever had one of those days when you wake up okay but an hour later you’re in tears? Welcome to being me. For some reason I’m off kilter today. As tears course down my face I’m left playing detective. What happened between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.? Other than not being able to put my hands on a prescription I picked up from the pharmacy over the weekend, not a damn thing. Is my inability to find this item a travesty? Not hardly but it did take me into a rabbit hole of darkness.

     You see, my house is currently a mess. Although I managed to wash my sheets yesterday, I didn’t get much else done in the house. Instead, I spent my day elsewhere. I went to church, did my grocery shopping on my way home, put away said groceries, had lunch with my daughter who travels and I rarely get to spend any quality time with lately, drove her home, came back, stopped by my moms, took a quick 30-minute nap, got up and made dinner for my family, fed the dog, broke up a fight between the dog and the cats, washed the dinner dishes, deadheaded my rosebushes, watered the backyard, moved the laundry, took my grandson out for ice cream, put gas in my car, put the sheets on my bed and collapsed. As I look at this paragraph, I’m tired all over again.

     Why is it that I allow the one thing that is left undone to become my undoing? Is it because my standards are so high? Doubtful. Is it because I was a single mom for so many years that it’s become a habit to beat myself up? Possibly. Is it because as women who work both inside and outside of the home, we are frequently one misplaced item away from losing our shit? My guess is yes.

     What about you? When was the last time you were in tears over a non-issue? Did you let the beast bury you or did you get up, beat the crap out of it with shoe and move on? I let the tears fall and asked God to get me through the day. I shared with both of my girls that I was having a rough morning and they told me they loved me. THEY LOVED ME! It’s a miracle! Me, with my messy house, lost prescription and tear stained face, am loved.

     Suddenly, my day just got better.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Where Does the Time Go?

A few weeks ago over a drink, okay over many drinks, some friends, my daughter and I started talking about my blog. I knew it had been a long time since I posted anything but I could not have imagined it was six, count them, six years since I visited this site. I was amazed to find it right where I had left it. The posts and pictures were there, the comments or lack there of and the memories of my life in my 40's.

As I sit here tonight at the age of 53 and look back; my life is different on many levels yet very much the same. The women I wrote about in Four Dolla Hookahs are still in my life, with the exception of one who now resides in my heart. The husbands and boyfriends of my daughters have moved on but the tenacity, grace and laughter of my girls remain. My sweet "baby grand" is now a tall, strapping 10 year old who still steals my heart but no longer sits on my lap. It's almost unimaginable. Me? I'm older, heavier, with more gray hair and with time marching across my face and my ass. I'm still a God fearing, Jesus loving, wine drinking girl who hasn't gone on a date in longer than I wish to admit. I still pray, curse, work and grocery shop but somewhere along the way, I stopped writing. I don't know why. I just did.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever walked away from something that used to make you happy just because? When you think back, can you put your finger on the reason? Were you too busy, too sad, too medicated or was it just too much work? I honestly can't say why I walked away but the proof that I abandoned this blog stares back at me, frozen in time. It makes me sad to think that over the course of six years I didn't feel compelled to share any. thing. at. all. That changes today.

Join me in this adventure by revisiting something that used to make you happy (and I'm NOT talking about an old boyfriend). Call your cousin, stay up too late watching crappy movies, eat pie, tickle your sister until she pees, something. Just please, don't leave me here alone for another six years. We have too much to offer and life is short. Now I'm off to freshen up my drink and my page.