My Ally

I’m standing on the stairway at the end of the beige corridor. The lights are low. The tone of the scene matches my insides. Dark and worried. Silent.

I glance down the hallway and she is in the doorway. He had knocked on her door looking for me. They both turn my direction, looking my way as if they were deer in the night.

She is peeking at me from the 5 inch crack in the door. He face is pale and worried. Her hair is up and frazzled. She stands there in her vintage pajamas, pastel and faded. She is giving off a low, frightened energy. It seems like he may have interrupted her while she was crying in there alone.

When we meet eyes, she frowns at me in the most loving way you could imagine. I don’t return the look. I stare; blank. Empty. Bleak and broken.

Our pain is so similar, yet nothing alike. When my pain freezes me in time, her pain shatters her entire world. When my pain rings loudly in everyone’s’ ears and runs red streaks throughout my sight, her pain doesn’t make a peep. Even though our pain speaks different truths, it is still pain.

I keep replaying this 10 second moment in my head. I have guilt for not returning the look. I was too strong in my emptiness. I regret not saying hello earlier in the evening. I regret not smiling in that moment.

I should have conveyed that we are wearing the same shields. I should’ve conveyed that we are on the same muddy battlefield, giving it our all, fighting the same war. I should’ve conveyed that we were allies, at risk for losing the same thing. We must gaurd our lives together as a team.

 

Goodbye

Show off his craft and woodworking, the pieces of his time.

Remember the things he enjoyed, his love of deep red wine.

Rest in the home together, the one that he built with you in mind.

Hold one another close, and finally say goodbye.

Delicate Falls

I wanted to take you on the hike we completed recently. The hike with the rocks. The hike with the heights. The hike with lover’s leap. But I stopped myself because I was too scared you would purposefully jump off the highest cliff, into the rocky abyss. Visions of you crying, standing there. Your delicate jump. Your delicate fall. Your hair flowing and your nightgown waving. With everything smashing to pieces before my eyes.

I couldn’t take you there, not even in my mind.

Tired

The pain is radiating from my ear lobe to my jaw. I can feel it with every move I take. The quite too familiar ear infection, plaguing the weekend I so looked forward to. I thought I was in need of a break before but somehow life pushes us beyond our wildest expectations and forces us to keep on. Shows us how strong we are. Shows us that we can never give up.
I’m tired today. It was an interesting weekend.

10 Years

My dear friend pointed out to me today that it has been 10 years since my grandmother’s passing.

 

10 years, 3 months, 18 days. 
A total of 3,762 days. 
Over 5 million minutes.
And more than 325 million seconds.

 

Her porch was lined with spider plants, money plants, ferns and more. So much green, so much peace. Drinking lemonade on the lounge chairs, laughing or singing the afternoon away.

My grandmother, Helena, was very much in love with nature. She had an infatuation with birds. She loved her colorful sprawling gardens, laced with lilies, butterflies, and green. She had a glass garden orb, her “crystal ball”. I spent much time playing with her outside, listening to birds and going for walks.

We loved to go to the beach together. Sitting with our chairs in the water and sifting through the sand to find treasures. It could be hot, it could be cool; we were there any time we could be. Bringing as much food as possible to the beach because we wanted it to feel like home. Pans of brownies stolen by seagulls. Oh, the stories!

My grandmother spent a lot of time creating which she has passed on to me. Sewing, crocheting, painting, writing, photography, ceramics. Any way that she could express herself. I remember making chains of colored paper with her and stringing them up in her dining room as if we were hosting a gathering. We would drink our tea and eat our cookies under the rainbow links. I was so proud to sit there beneath my own creation, the decorations for our own private tea party.

Helena died of ovarian cancer in April of 2007. She had a fear of doctors and seldom went for check ups. I find that I am following in her footsteps. I haven’t been to my PCP in 1.5 years, haven’t seen an OB/GYN in over 3 years. This is not the greatest trait to inherit but nonetheless, it is true. Constant worriers can either over-react or under-react and I find that with my health, I don’t do much but tell myself all is well.

I never made the connection but I’m glad that my friend did. I am definitely connected to my grandmother and even 10 years later, she has had such a profound impact on me. I miss her every day.

The Laundry Basket

We got our ice creams and started walking towards the street. After a few steps, he kindly asked “are you sure you want to walk down here?” I nodded and looked off into the distance. The house on the corner of Pine and Main was now a flower shop with some rows of flowers planted out front.

When my mom was a child, she would walk by and gossip with her friends, telling stories about the older woman who lived here and how her house was haunted. I grew up thinking the same thing. Seeing ghosts in the third floor windows and running home to my grandmother. Out of breath, explaining what I saw. My grandmother always chuckled at my stories.

We turn down Pine and everything looks so different. At first I had no idea which house it was. All of the small capes were large colonials, only a few were still the same as I last remembered. It wasn’t until we got close that I realized I was looking at my grandmothers house, lucky number 13. It was no longer white with black shutters and a lavender door. It was tan and white and looked so foreign to me. Is this really the house I spent so much time in? It must be – the porch my dad and uncles built was still standing. It’s the only thing in the back I could see.

Since my father is from The Golden State, I only had one grandmother in New England, Helena. Helena was a beautiful woman, very particular, and very stubborn. She was a worrier. She enjoyed her sweets, her birds and plants, and her beloved Sinatra. We spent a lot of time together at 13 Pine.

I have fond memories of sliding down the basement stairs on my butt. The musty smell of the basement hitting my face, humidity covering my body. Tip toeing from pallet to pallet, hoping not to fall into the flooded water. Finally reaching the destination of the washing machine and dryer. The smell of cotton and laundry detergent filling my lungs. Oh, how I still love this smell! Filling the square, pale pink laundry basket with warm clothes. Folding them upstairs with her on her bed. Matching socks and chatting away. If only I could do laundry with her one more time.

We walk for a bit and turn around. “You know that broken square laundry basket we have? The pale pink one?” He nods. “In winter, I used to lug it outside and go sledding down that hill over there. That’s why it’s broken.” I’m sure he now realizes why I hold that silly thing so near and dear to my heart.

We keep walking slowly and I show him where the clothesline was, where I used to watch the hummingbirds, and where I used to build my snowmen. It’s amazing to think that I will never walk through that door again to the smell of a home cooked meal or the sound of my grandmother singing her songs and clapping away. If only I could have one more day.

Relish

 

Negative energy is a scary thing.

Pessimism is soul shaking.

Pain is blinding.

Denial is detrimental.

 

My depression has only provided me with the stark, low contrast, low resolution, ink blotted images of my life. My heart is deceived by this. My internal desires are completely out of balance.

When I can think clearly, when my images are colored and true, I know how special my life is. I love someone who loves me back. We are best friends. We have grown together. We know each other inside and out: I move too fast, he moves too slow; I think too impulsively, he thinks too methodically. Our hard conversations are centered around one thing: we do not meet each other in the middle.

We may not be able to agree on where things fall on the timeline but we agree on the milestones we expect to experience in our life together. I must learn to slow down and appreciate the moment. To quiet my questioning depression and relish in positive moments of love and support.

 

 

Must Be

This week has started off in grey-scale. My light was dark and dim and grim. I saw my life through colorless lenses. I saw my love the same way.

The past work days have dragged on. Endless questions on where I am, where I am going, and what I am doing. I am confused.

Depression can take over me at times out of nowhere. I am emotionally tortured – held at gunpoint and too cowardly and ashamed to ask for help. Reminiscent of the past. Reminiscent of something I am still struggling with although I pretend that I’ve moved on.

This week has finally turned blue… in a good way. The sky looks so good, I could just dive in. My God, the Sun, is out there shining down. I feel the warmth on my skin. I am relieved that it is no longer dark.

I need to find a bigger purpose. I need to heal myself and my soul. I look forward to going to the lake this weekend.

Must spend some time outside. Must spend some time exercising and eating healthy. Must spend some time between the pines or in the water. Must spend time being me.

 

The Flower Farm

Navigating to park on this one way dirt road. Windows down, hair awry. The earthy scent in the air and a sight to see! Saturated colors line the field. Flowers everywhere. I want to be selfish and take them all. Fill my head with soft petals of bliss, their long roots stretched all the way to my fingers and toes. Fill my body with light and make me weightless. Fill me with dirt and leaves. Fill me with air. I want to breathe.

Energy Exhumed

Last night was muggy. The breeze ran through the screen porch and allowed us some temporary relief. There were six of us, all family; some of us, best friends.

Ghosts were brought up and were assumed as my childhood imaginary friends. That is mostly true (stories I will share another time), but I did conjure up a fictional girl to spend time with.  My imaginary friend was very bohemian; colorful, long hair, no shoes. Though she never shared her name, I called her Esmeralda because she reminded me of one of my favorite Disney characters. She was my guide and my companion. I was an only child and she was a sister to me.

The next topic was the sacred Ouija. As I sit with the group, hysteria erupts. Ignorant assumptions of satanic, demonic, and negative energies. A spirit board is a tool. It is a symbol of other realms. It calms me and always has. It has helped me find the right path at times. It has provided me with positive results and comfort.

If only people could see the energy exhuming from themselves.

Helena

My grandmother came to me for a split second today. I was walking to work and all of a sudden, it felt like I had walked into a wall. Overcome with emotions, sorrow, and loss; inexplicably so. Sadness but also memories of joy. Memories of calling her.  Longings of sitting on her back porch or lay in bed with her as we would, asking for advice or daydreaming of what was to come in my life. A cup of tea, cream cheese toast, ice cream, the aroma of a home cooked meal.

When I got to work, I understood why she visited me. My colleague’s grandfather was dying. She explained to me how she left him in the hospital. All of the bad memories came back. Memories I had placed aside to focus on being a support for my mother in her loss. Memories I have ignored for years. All revisited this morning.

Although I was 12 years younger the last time I called her, I still remember her telephone number. I remember how she would sing my name as she was calling me from inside the house. I remember how she smelled. I remember how it felt to wake up in my room there; the antique bed, the sheer white curtains with sunlight shining through, the old linens. I remember everything. And I miss her.

 

7.17.17

 

Stuck Between

I’m stuck between the purple and dark blue, the light and the shadowed.

Between; I am here, I am stuck, I am indecisive.

Do I step into the realm of the purple hues or take a dive into the deep abyss of blues?

To be found or to be gone?

Here; I can remain.

Here; I can pretend.

Here; I can hide.

Without force to be found or gone, existing alongside the false acquaintances of this world.

But, here is not so good.

A bubble around me – I’m isolated, neither loved nor hated.

Just stuck with a decision: to step into the realm of the purple hues or take a dive into the deep abyss of blues?

To be found or to be gone?

My mind is not clear – not enough to step into the purple, but, I am too scared to take that leap into the blue.

So, I stay here in between waiting for something to take hold over my balance and knock me into the color where I belong.