I Run for Hope, I Run to Feel….. I Run for LIfe

Welcome to yet another morning of me writing about me and my life as I know it.

This has been a profound autumn for me. The miracles coming in twice as thick as the storms, which is good because underneath the “Fine” I have been letting my foundation get shaky. Fear of Homelessness, Anger, Assault and Abandonment are my triggers and the cancers that eat at my soul and all have been tripped in the period from July through October

I had a moment this Friday when an accumulation of small thing got huge, and my fear was anything but a docile beast and the pain was consuming and I almost gave away a piece of my soul.

So this week, I apologize to all my doctors everywhere, but I gotta swim and run again.

This sitting still and resting is killing me.

Update is this:

I don’t know anything more yet than I did, and my doctor is out for the week. Yeah!

I have right now the gift of food in my fridge and gas in my car and even a donation to go dance this week, yes, I was specifically instructed to dance by the donor! Tomorrow I volunteer for the day and today I clean and play and write. Yesterday I worked, some place I was truly needed. Wednesday I take care of business at the VA hospital. And hopefully Thursday and Friday I work.

Still overdrawn, still need rent. Thank you to all those who have donated. I am so humbled and incredibly grateful for all the financial generosity and also incredibly aware that there are other people in my social circles whose needs are as big and bigger than mine.

I am equally humbled and grateful for the prayers and well wishes and time given to me over the past few months. I am so very lucky to have all of you.

I am, as I said, still working the job of my dreams, fewer hours but grateful that I have the physical and mental ability to still do this awesome job.

I have my friends and sons and grandchildren to remind me I would be missed.

and finally I have again a handful of concrete goal oriented bucket list items I am working towards

Cuz that’s the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it! Uh Huh Uh Huh.

We all heal differently, and healing means a million different things, sometimes it even means knowing enough to say good-bye, but for me, right this minute it means that I am going to get back to swimming a mile or more and running 5K easily, I am preparing to hike the Apalachian Trail, complete a certain Biography/Memoir as ghost writer and update my passport.

And it means that this past week-end I declared a clean slate, all, everywhere is forgiven.

Yup, even him.

Namaste.

Writing songs that voices never share

Prompt Day 5: Here is more a composite picture. I wrote from a patients personna but then rewrote till all identifying info was removed. Almost all of my patients have some degree of vision issue, hearing problems, and trachs. Some are completely dependent to even be moved. But ALL have personality, likes, dislikes, fears and favorites. I hope I did them justice.

Occupational Therapy

Music is playing as I lay on my back and respond with my body to the
Colors and lights and sounds.
Footsteps, I feel them as much as hear them grow closer,
Even though the new hard plastic things are already shoved in my ear.
Two people, one grandma, one a stranger.
I hear those sounds again as Grandma’s voice rumbles
My name, I know my name in all its versions,
Elizabeth, Lizbeth, L’il Lizzie, Hush Lizzie, Poor baby,
But she says my favorite “Pretty Betty Butterfly”
Only Grandma calls me her “Pretty Betty Butterfly.”
I turn my head trying to catch a glimpse of the other, new voice,
it is soft and full of small sounds. It’s mostly Grandma talking.

“Cortical Blindness”
“Anoxic Brain Injury”
“Difficult delivery, lucky they both lived”
It is grandma’s voice, but those sounds make it sad.
I know the sounds but not what they mean.
I know sad,
I know happy,
I even know mad.
I know Grandma
And mother
And hungry
And full
And light and smells and warmth of arms.
I know I like Elmo, and Daniel the Tiger.
I start to chirp my tracheal Grandma song.

But now there is a new voice.
I am cautious, and close my eyes, pretend sleep.
Because I also know pain.

But there are no bright lights or biting smells
Just the press of the thing against my chest and my belly.
I am uncertain, afraid
But then there are arms holding me and the voice knows how to lean into the parts I can see.
Her hand puts my one hand on Grandma
And moves her other hand by her chin, her mouth.
Then I am sitting propped in her lap,
She takes my hand and touches Kitty,
my other hand touches my face, just below the nose
(I know nose)
and my hand moves sideways in the air,
I think she wants something from me
So I try to raise my own hand to my face.
Over and over we touch things and move our hands.

I like her smile, and her singing
And I want to tell her that
But mostly I want to close my eyes and smell her shirt
And dream.

Lemon Tree Very Pretty, and the Lemon Flower is Sweet

My response to Day 4 prompt of a “place” poem in 31 in 31 at Poewar.com, plus a bonus poem!
Lighthouse Rock

I smelled of Jean Nate and Fresca
You of collar starch and bottled beer
Each time the ocean crashed against the rock
And seaweed reached between my toes,
You tossed another swallow back
And I blinked the spray away from tearful eyes.

“Why are you crying?” You asked, puzzled only, not afraid,
Used to the quick and constant turn of tides.

“All this,” and I motioned,
Trying to encompass the enormity of light, and color and form.

Knowing I could not help you understand
The choreography of gull and wave and sand,
I merely said, “it’s OK, it’s a good cry.”

“You’re silly,” you said and tossed your empty,
messageless,
upon the retreating sea.

The fire and violet dimmed at world’s end
And the cold of the granite clawed hard at my buttock
Ignoring my corduroy jeans.

“Also, you’re a senior, ” I said.

“So?” The first shade of caution in your eyes.

Dropping your hand I raced back up the dirt path
Avoiding the sumac and poison ivy wearing their first full day of green.

“Last one back to the car is a rotten egg!”

You caught me and we tumbled together there
All legs and lips and jeans
Till the stars sang of curfew
And home.
And the tide in full retreat
Began to rise again.

Memorable Mabon

Lemon shampoo tickles my nose with memories of Jean Nate and adolescent explorations
Mouth remembers the tingle of first picked fruit
Squeezed into pitchers of water tinkling with bells of ice
And sucked through sugar cubes.
My fingers lather and tangle in your red, red hair
As your eyes lock mine into the moment
And all of I fall away
No fears, no age, no wrinkles or scars;
Resolution sluicing off with the water hitting my face
As you bring your lips to mine.

And I am clean.

It is only cheap white tile, not marble, I am pressed against
In a well past prime apartment,
No temple.
It is not forever
Only a an afternoon
Only a shower
And then a kiss.
You are Spring
And I am September
It is first time, last time
All time.

And so we worship.

Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose

The Universe or God or Physics or Karma or the Grand Design, pick your word, they are to me just different ways to say the same thing, the magic that keeps my life ticking and keeps me smiling. I have so much of it. So many miracles in my life, most recently a friend who really gets what its like in that period between scans and results. This is one of those periods, and she and I are both there at the same time this time, so if you have any prayers or love or a spare dime to give and you want to be inspired, click here, http://razzzberries.blogspot.com/

If you have two prayers, to dimes, or two “GAF’s” I would also appreciate your help.

I may have more Freedom soon than I have dreamed of in a long time. I am going to start selling my stuff off again and reducing as much as I can while trying to acquire some income. It’s the third of the month and I am $1000.00 overdrawn, no rent paid, minimal groceries, less than half a tank of gas in my car and with one more whole month (at minimum) of tests and missed work. Last night I was soooooo tired, and thought, yet again, about just giving up and letting the PTSD, the Cancer, the negative and naysayers win; but I joined this poetry thing.

So I looked for the prompt.

While I was doing that my Golden Retriever and Yellow Lab decided I looked like I needed a nuzzle and a lick and I remembered my second suicide attempt (my first I was 7, so yea Internet Doctors, I get it, I am followed for this and my depressions are like Type 1 diabetes is to Type 2; my depression is as physiological as it is psychosocial, and yes, I am taking my meds, LOL) and I wrote the poem about when that particular wound healed, and once again I gut-level got it. No permanent solutions for temporary problems for this Leo.

I know to most people this won’t make sense. That is really OK, you don’t actually make sense to me either. I do not now, nor have I ever really understood so much of the human condition. I take stuff to heart that others blow off, and completely miss cues that others take for granted. The last day I peed in the ocean (another story, if you haven’t heard it yet, you will someday; I am old, I retell stories) was the day I realized my goal in life was not to change me to fit in or to change the world so it fit me; but to just keep warming my own little circle.

This has been one hell of a summer. I have lived and loved and laughed. I have broken personal rules and forgotten tried and true routines. I have also discovered again just how amazing people are and how much love I am capable of sharing, if even just for a moment. And I have been useful.

My circle is warm.

(Which reminds me, not only was my EKG fine, my blood work looked awesome. Go liver, Go kidneys!)

And this summer I faced (again) the same merry-go-round of issues of chronic life altering illness. I have learned that my way of dealing with it for the last few decades isn’t working. I don’t know what is next for me.

I still have a job I love. I am still surrounded by amazing and loving friends and family.

And even if I were to lose these, I would still have me.

Gonna be a tough week-end trying to decide what goes; pretty much already down to my favorite dolls and books and music.

But these are things. I am so much more than things; and so I am fine, and I am happy, and everything is going to be OK.

I peeked in to say goodnight…

Present Pluperfect

The beads were pink, a perfect opalescent pink
Plastic my adult knows, but my child believed pearls.

So very pink, perhaps I should have chosen white
I will never know,
My mother’s life leeched away before I even knew her middle name
Let alone a favorite color,
I was six, and the Ben Franklin jewels were pink.

I’d heard her wish for pearls after the lady with the driver came,
It was the final fitting for her New Year’s dress,
Mom was sitting on the stoop with Miss Darlene’s mom
Darlene was Roxanne’s age
And had real Barbie dolls, not the hollow plastic kind,
They were talking about the sparkly earrings the Lady kept twisting as she eyed herself in the mirror making it hard for mum to mark the hem

“You outdid yourself Marlene, the dress is stunning, ”
She wiggled a hand dyed pump, “Do you Really think these are the right shoes?
My mother’s stained fingers touched them with the reverence saved for holy things.
“The satin is perfect.”

The pinning and the preening done
The woman stood and waited impatiently for the teeth to seperate
The new zipper making a soft munching sound between the satin and the bugle beads.

“Well I need it done tomorrow instead of Friday.’

“Yes ma’am, ” my mother breathed, “but that will be-”

“Not extra, I won’t pay it” And the woman wrinkled her nose and sniffed disparaging,
“I can’t bare the smell of cabbage, how can you eat it so often.”
The woman stood there in her bra and girdle
Unashamedly aware of no one there.

When she left my mom plopped on the stoop.

“She’s quite a piece of work,” my neighbor laughed, “Wish I had just one rock half the size of those she was wearing in her ears.”

“I don’t much like diamonds,” my mother replied, touching her hand to her neck
As if remembering a time
When the flowers men gave her
Didn’t bloom blue beneath her left eye.
“I had pearls once.”

The beads were pink
And 3.99 plus tax and required a sisterly co-conspirator for the ransom.
The tag said “Santa Claus” that Christmas morning
When I was six.

Let’s Start at the very beginning…

Prompt 1 from 31 in 31 over at Poewar.com

Heart Change

Zack was my best friend in a childhood parsimonious with friendship
Bought by my father to hunt birds, a pedigree and blue ribbon progeny
Who herded me away from the ditches and crosswalks
while parents were busy with important adult things
I was just 12 when I woke to be told he was gone.
No good-byes.
I cried inconsolably and at a bottle of baby aspirin I stole from the neighbor.
I threw up and no one knew
And I swore I would never love again.

 

When Buster first appeared,
We were still we
And all love lasted forever.
Sick with the desire to please,
I agreed
And I said the dog could stay
If you kept him off the bed.

Now his golden head drapes across my ankle
Warm brown eyes smiling approval as I drift towards sleep.
I think of him then,
The vector for this, my most infectious love.
And how you again gave me forever.