Mother and Child Reunion…

You hope and pray you’ll do it well – But only God and time will tell

their first breath – that moment when

your life begins all over again

completely blind and ignorant of

what lay in store – except the love

such love not imagined – all encompassing

one day you’re you – now they’re the thing

that wakes you, feeds you, and fills your dreams

the good ones, great ones – in others you scream

you give them all you have to give

and though you know better – for them you live

the minutes to hours to days just fly

they coo and giggle and laugh and cry

the months and years show on your face

“please don’t go” – now – “give me my space”

you gently fade from their day to day

you open the door – you show the way

for them to taste and see anew

the world once filtered – made safe by you

you know it’s time – they feel it too

to let go of the strings – the both of you

and as they pushed and pulled away

your heart wished, once, for yesterday

when you helped them climb – watched them fall

saw them rise and push through it all

you’d let their lives envelope yours

you were the keeper – you kept the scores

of their battles won – challenges met

their struggles to come – those not met yet

you know it’s perspective and balance you need

to nourish the tree – not just the seed

you understand and search for the middle

the line that answers motherhood’s riddle

but the balance you missed – was in not knowing

it was your duty too  – to keep on growing

into the woman – not just the mother

you could be both – not one or t’other

you were just a girl when they came to be

but womanhood stalled for the mother, you see

the trusses you built from that balance not found

kept the woman at bay – shadow bound

so focused were you on their little lives

you forgot to sing – to keep alive

that woman in you you’d set aside

so mother shined while the woman tried

to remake the bed already laid

the woman you could be – the mother you made

in the wings she’ll stay – that much is clear

the woman’s hidden for the mother’s fear

that this bed of weeks – without a word

is that woman’s fault – their wants unheard

but it’s mother who pays this price so daunting

you’ve been weighed and measured – and found wanting

now silent tears drop to mommy’s breast

’cause good’s not enough – your best not best

your youth – a down payment – not the sum

and that number will rise for years to come

the life you gave matters not on the whole

now’s what’s important – their happiness you stole

by not staying that mother to them and to theirs

trying to figure it out – but no one cares

You’ve seen women do it – be both – not just one

that mom of the year – and – that woman so fun

but you are found wanting – and that must be the truth

for you allowed her to die – that woman of your youth

in favor of the mother you thought you should be

now the mom-ster you created shall not be free

to live the life that you once placed on hold

so that others could flourish – in happiness you molded

so – woman repent – to the shadows you go

and the mother you are must pay penance to show

that as long as you live – as long as you breathe

your life is for them – it’s what they believe

You hoped and prayed you did it well – but only God and time will tell


On this, the one year anniversary of the loss of my father, my Superman, I cannot help but reflect on the relationships I have and have had, in my life.

As humans, we embody the word dichotomy in so many ways….but the number one in my book is…we are as simple as we are complicated.

We all begin the same way…simply…we are born.  Yet the simplicity ends there and the complications begin.

Our relationships.  Simple yet complicated.

We love simply, yet that same love, complicates everything.

This post:  A simple plea for an end to the silence…and a look at the complicated life of a woman as mother and mother as woman, and where you go from here…

If you don’t know…you’re in good company, for I don’t either.

To be a mother is a lifelong commitment, of this I have no doubt.  But at what point can the woman come out from behind the curtain with the expectation that the child will see her, know her, for the woman she could be underneath the mother she is?

At what point in her life of being daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother…can a woman who mistakenly set herself aside, reasonably expect to fix that mistake of self-denial, with their blessing instead of their resentment for putting herself first?

My guess would be…not today.

At what point in a child’s life did they forget all she did…so as to remind her of what she’s not doing now?

My guess would be…today


 

So…it is time to say what I want to say and hope it’s heard and felt:

They say there is a reason

They say that time will heal

But neither time nor reason

Will change the way I feel

For no one knows the heartache

That lies behind my smiles

No one knows how many times

I’ve broken down and cried

I want to tell you something

So there won’t be any doubt

You’re so wonderful to think of

But so hard to be without

Simon says…

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away…

(header photo credit:galleryhip.com)

Yesterday

Yesterday, my Mother and I spent the day driving north and west here in Virginia, to capture some of the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains before winter comes.

This was a favorite pastime of my father’s and mine, as we would spend hours driving the dirt roads of Vermont, stopping here and there to snap a photo or two. Loving what the land offered our souls but loving more, our time together. He’s been gone 8 months now…but it still feels like…Yesterday.

I’m glad my Mother appreciates and allows me to side track us any time we are out, and yesterday was no exception.  But it’s impossible to do without thinking about Dad and remembering all of our…Yesterdays.

Yesterday.  Just the word brings to mind the song, doesn’t it?
The problem is, the original lyrics don’t fit my yesterday, so maybe I can come up with some that will, could, maybe, fit into my…Yesterday

Yesterday
All the clouds just seemed to melt away
So the sun could shine and birds could play
Oh how I loved my yesterday

Suddenly, I’m not standing where I used to be
I’m outside so I can truly see
What yesterday did share with me

Why tears start to flow?
I don’t know, it’s just that way
Dad flashed through my mind
How I long for yesterday

Yesterday
He’d have loved this simple day away
It was how we used to spend these days
Oh, just to have one yesterday

Why he had to go?
I don’t know, he couldn’t stay
But I knew he was there
He’s in all my yesterdays

Yesterday
Love came through in such a special way
As I stood before what he would say
Was prove he’s never gone away

Yesterday…for my father
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See you tomorrow Dad

See you tomorrow Dad

Semper Fi

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The flag’s on the table, folded precise and exact

Awaiting the moment gloved hands would extract

Its full measure and meaning as they unfurl with great care

This symbol of freedom, for which eagles dared

Open in its glory while Taps haunts the grounds

Open still as the guns salute, 21 rounds

IMG_3169They stand in the distance, these old volunteers

Aged eyes strain to see what old ears can not hear

The sign that it’s time, to raise, aim, and fire

The salute to the memory of this beloved spouse and sire

The brass hits the grass as our tears hit our chests

While the tear stains remain, the brass is gathered in respect

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Off to their left, in Marine dress so smart

A man and his bugle awaits his start

To show his respect for a brother not met

To guide him to rest on his longest journey yet

Silently white gloves refold the old girl

But from this moment on, no more to unfurl

Turning on a dime, pacing five steps

Eyes ever forward, toward her he crept

He kneels and hands over this flag and this brass

As he speaks to her quietly, his face sheds the mask

I can see the sincerity, respect, and sadness

For this brother, sight unseen, but remembered none the less

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Semper Fidelis he spoke when rising

Semper Fidelis I whispered, not surprising

To the man, marine, husband, and my father

Semper Fi

Always Faithful

I’ll live it

All my love

…your daughter

HooK LiNe and SinKer

Though I know spring is right around the corner, and I look forward to the rebirth of nature’s bounty and for some of you, the births of new little ones who’ll soon be pitter-pattering on your hearts can’t come soon enough…I just can’t help but bitch about this particular time change; and never more this year than any other.

I don’t know what it is.

It’s not the extra daylight surely.  Who doesn’t like the normalcy of waking up in the light and going to sleep when it’s dark?

It’s not the rain because I’ve never minded a good ol’ rainy day.  I love them actually.

Who wouldn’t, knowing this beauty below, from a year ago, is drinking it up so it can make another grand entrance?

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That said though, It just feels, to me, that the spring daylight savings robs more of the day than it gives.

When I wake in the morning, it feels too late.

When I retire at night, it feels too early.

When I think about lunch, it’s too close to dinner.

When I think about dinner, it’s too soon after lunch.

Feeling this way, you’d think the fall time change would make me feel the opposite…

Up too early; to bed too late; starving by lunch; when the hell is dinner.

Right?

But no…I feel none of that.  And frankly, I don’t remember the spring change feeling this intense before either.

I keep asking myself “What the hell is it this year that makes me feel so irritable about it all?”

And then it hits me.  Or at least, I think it does.

Along with all I do look forward to in the spring, now, there are things I know I’ll never see or do or feel again.

At least, not in the same way.

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I’ll never see the joy on his face when the ice has retreated enough for us to take poles in hand and put lines to water, hoping for enough perch for dinner or, at the very least, stories grand enough for everyone to swallow…

HooK Line and SinKer

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We’ll never walk the rocky path through the woods, looking for that one spot that offers the perfect balance of flat rock and branch-free air, to sit and cast a line (not to mention a hearty tree trunk to hide behind for those necessary times).

Or a high, flat bank, on which to perch a chair to jerk a perch.

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I’ll never feel the strong surety of his hands as he takes the ‘big’ one off my line because I jumped instead of jerked, so that fish swallowed it all…

HooK Line and SinKer

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I’ll never see him begin another spring outing as the 5’7″ man he was, only to end the day coming in at a cool 5’11” from the mud cake that grew on the bottom of his shoes; we, full anticipation for the tall tales about big fish, that we willingly swallowed…

HooK Line and SinKer

caked mud

I know the memories of these times are what are important.

I know too, that when the fall arrives, there will be even more that will make me miss him even more.

The scores of memories of him saying “Let’s take this road, there’s a great barn you need to see!”

Those are the ones that will make me weep first and smile again…after a time.

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Those times, though as forever behind me as they are in the rear-view above, will always be the happiest times we shared.

But I also know and will remember well, that when next the boys lower the boat to kiss the Clyde one misty morning, he will be there.

He’s probably there now…waiting…for the ice to break, the fish to come up for air, and us kids to show up with all we need, to keep the traditions going and the memories fresh.

He’ll be there.

And we’ll be there.

Ready to take it all…

HooK  Line  and  SinKer.

the clyde

yabba-D.A.B.D.A.-doo the numbers

The five stages of grief

1.  Denial

2.  Anger

3.  Bargaining

4.  Depression

5.  Acceptance


1

There has been no denial…

…there was no doubt death was coming

2

There has been anger…

…but it’s an exhausting emotion

3

There was a little bargaining…

…too close to self-blaming to be tolerated for long

4

There is depression…

…that ‘happy memory’ thief that sneaks into your heart in the dark

5

There will be acceptance…

…a state of being both wanted and feared at the same time


Remembering the good times, the happy times, is not hard
there are so very many of them

Remembering I am not alone is not easy
until I hear the sadness in the voice on the other end of the phone

Remembering he is gone takes the joy out of the day
until I remember too, how much of him is left within me

Forgetting that he lived and loved and was loved in return is not an option
especially when remembering his legacy to all of us was 

Live like it’s your last day
Love like it’s your last chance
Regret Nothing

Roy E George


The Eye of the Human Storm – Repost

As you know, Superman passed away Sunday, February 15.  I am re-posting what I wrote for him back in July because, though I thought I understood the emotions of what was looming…I couldn’t have known how I’d feel at this moment.

But, this comes as close to my feelings now as anything I’ve ever written about my father.  About how it was more about how we live than how, or when, we die.

I love this man even more for leaving me with a deeper appreciation of the life he lived, than fear for the sorrow at the loss of his life.

I love you Superman and I thank you with all my heart.

You truly were…

My First Love ♥ My Only Hero


Today’s forecast
Pain with a chance of happiness
Life – It hurts
Our first breath
Born in and out of Pain
Our last breath
Born in and out of the fear of Death
Beginning to end
The human struggle to keep moving
Beyond the current pain so we may endure the next
To begin again
The circle, the cycle of life, of pain
To reach our destination – Death
So what is the point?
When one ends where one begins?
What is the point?
The middle is the point
To feel the heart beat
Of a lover
To hear the laughter
Of a child
To know the touch of another
The touch that completes our circle
Ones who will rejoice with us
And for us
And those who will mourn us
But more – Remember
That we were here
That we mattered
That we made the difference
That we closed a part of their circle
As they too, closed a part of ours
To gather at the end of the day
To hear the sounds of silence
The human sounds we make without knowing
The sounds of love
And life
The middle
Those sounds our ears miss
But that our hearts hear
These are the sounds of silence
So loud we are compelled – T0 listen
Struggle to keep moving
From one pain to another
For in the end It is not the pain
We Remember – It is
Love
Our circles have no true beginning
They meld with our ending
We only have what is in
The middle
Today’s forecast
Pain with a chance of happiness
Take an umbrella if you must
Wear your raincoat and galoshes if you have to
But
Prepare more for getting swept into the middle
‘Cause that’s where life happens
In the middle
Never be afraid to get wet
Put the fear aside
Go beyond the tropical storm of prologue
Fear not the hurricane of the epilogue
Walk into the wind
Get pummeled by the rain
Get to the eye
The middle
Where the calm allows us to hear
The human sounds of silence

The sounds of Love

For My Father

My First Love ~ My Only Hero

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Simon (& Garfunkle) Says

A stanza from The Boxer keeps running through my head…

In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains

Yes. Yes he does.

And this naturally, takes me to The Sounds of Silence…

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted
In my brain still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of
A neon light that split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share and no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

Fools said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the signs said, ‘The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls and tenement halls’
And whispered in the sounds of silence

And, in my own mind, I live in Kathy’s song…

I hear the drizzle of the rain
Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm continuing
Tapping on my roof and walls

And from the shelter of my mind
Through the window of my eyes
I gaze beyond the rain drenched streets
To [New]England where my heart lies

My mind’s distracted and diffused
My thoughts are many miles away
They lie with you when you’re asleep
Kiss you when you start your day

And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There before the grace of you , go I

Forever Superman ♥ Superman Forever

It is quiet
not peaceful
Just quiet

Morphine sleep
not restful
Induced sleep

Vigil in the darkness
not comforting
Dreading the silent darkness

Feels lonely
not alone
Just lonely

It is almost time
not today
We need more time

We are afraid
not spoken
But we are afraid

“Am I dying?”
not today
He is dying

Must be strong
not forever
For him I will be strong

I will break
not out loud
After, I will break

Superman
will Always be
Superman

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I Was a Toddler-age Tosspot

Yes, I confess.
By the time I was 3, I was hooked on the ol’ brew.
(And, apparently, I passed that on to my eldest. Though, I preferred a bottle)
Observez Vous…

Gee, thanks Mom!

Gee, thanks Mom!

Actually, I was more hooked on Dad…I was his toddlin’ sidekick in mighty whitey tights!  Anything he did, I wanted to do. Anywhere he was, I wanted to be.  Not so unusual for little girls to consider their Dads their first love and first superhero.

Always ready to catch me

Always ready to catch me

Book Two 37 (2)Book Two 75Roy, Grands, Rhonda (2)

 

 

There again too…I guess boys are of the same mind.  Like father like sons?
You betcha!
Good VT Stock

 

 

 

 

oldies 11 - Copy (2) - Copyoldies 11 - Copyoldies 11 - Copy (2)

 

 

 

 


This is how the story goes…

Once upon a time, in a little town far, far away, there was a little girl who lived with her father, mother, and 3 brothers. That’s her below…the twinklin’ toddler in her mighty whities…
rhondaThe budding housewifeMother got to my hair again

Her father was a hard-working man; working 2, sometimes 3 jobs to make ends meet.  And her Mother was not your ‘typical for the times’ housewife either.

Isn't she pretty?

Isn’t she pretty?

Because, busy as she was, having had 4 kids in 5 years, she still held a full-time job outside the home.

But, this was also a time when families lived close together, daycare centers were non-existent, and family was relied upon to pitch in where they could. (Glad it was you, Gram)

Now, seeing as these were hard-working folk, what little free time there was, was catch-up time, family time, friends time. Picnic parties, horseshoes, reunions, celebrations…but all the time, busy!
Picnic at PartlowsBook Four 12Island Pondroy and chickie 35th cake

But…let’s not forget the biggie…working on cars in the yard.

That all-american male’s favorite pastime.  Grease-monkeyin’ in the driveway.
b10Working-Old-Car-onworking-on-car
Am I right?

So anyway, this is how a toddlin’ sidekick to her Daddy’s Superman, gets her tights in a twist…

A typical weekend afternoon, circa 1963…

The boys tinkerin’ in the driveway with the women folk fixin’ victuals and watchin’ babies inside.
A regular tune ‘er up, tink’er up, smoke’em up, drink’em up, Sa’day afternoon.
Rev her up..sounds good!
Close her up…hit the dirt for a test run.
No need for cleanin’up, we’re comin’ right back.

Ya with me?  Good.

To continue…

The boys are gone.
The women are inside with (8 of the usual 9) the kids.
One smarty pants little toddler decided she missed her Daddy and went outside looking for him.
She calls for him.
No answer.
She can’t see him.
But wait…there…in the driveway.
“What’s that?” she wonders in her terrible-three tiny little brain.
“Can it be?” she asks herself
“Why, I think it’s a Daddy bottle and ooooooh, he left it for me!” silently gigglin in delight she was
“I love a good Daddy bottle. It’s so much more yummy than my ucky ol’ boring one.” she hmmphs at the thought.
She looks around.
No one.
She listens keenly for any sound that would suggest Mommy was coming to take her Daddy bottle away.
Nothing.
“Yay” she thinks as she’s already on the move, toddlin’ toward that dark brown delight she knows is filled with liquid gold.
She stretches those short and chubbies just far enough to grab the neck of that father-forgotten treasure, tips it to her lips like the bottle pro she is…and chug-a-lugs.

That was the last thing I remember prior to waking up in the hospital God knows how much time later.

You see, the brew I knew and thought of as Dad’s liquid gold, was what I now call, liquid fire.

As was the custom then…and I’ve seen it again and again in the years since…these man-boys would use beer bottles as containers for gasoline when working on their carburetors. They were always plentiful, usually empty, so why buy a gas can when a beer bottle will do?

Exactly! Logic boys….logic!

The madness that followed can quite easily be imagined…and remember, this was an itsy bitsy town.
I don’t remember much of the ensuing chaos…but have heard the details often.

The boys returned to find my Mother holding me in a panic.
No other vehicle.
No hospital nor ambulance within 8 miles and 13 minutes (rural roads ya know).
And a non-breathing child turning colors no human should be.
Parents and me in the car.
Dad driving hell-bent for leather, Mom holding me.
My head out the window like a dog.
I do remember being told NOT to throw up.
I do remember having zero conscious thoughts at this time.
Arrive at the hospital alive, though I was told I didn’t take a single breath, as well as my Mother being told that it’s a miracle I didn’t vomit, for that would have been the end of my life as I knew it.
I do remember too, waking in a crib-bed with a top (?), like a cage, feeling trapped.
But, when I could, I remember looking out the window and seeing my Memere’s house and it made me feel better.


 Now, all of us that are parents, know this irrefutable fact:

You CANNOT turn you back on a toddler
EVER.
Even for a second.
Because one second is one second TOO LONG!


But…I think we can all agree…it happens.

Shit happens!

beer cap

This Bud’s for Anyone but ME!