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July 16, 2010

When I think of my grandparents, I think of a closed circle.  They are everything I would have ever wanted for myself in a relationship – they not only love one another – they like each other.  They eloped when my grandfather was 22, my grandmother 17.  They have been married for 71 years. 

They raised 3 children, had 5 granddaughters, 1 grandson, 5 great grandsons, and 1 great granddaughter.  This is their legacy.  This is what there their circle has grown to encompass. 

My grandfather just turned 94.  He did so in a hospital bed on the oncology floor at the hospital I work for.  He was diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer.  He had been in a lot of pain and his gallbladder was failing but they didn’t want to do surgery as at his age with his heart condition, the doctors were not certain he could withstand the surgery.  The pain was overwhelming and he ended up in the ER twice, the last time, they did the bone scan.  It is in his spine, shoulder, ribs, neck. 

He is being eaten alive.  He and my grandmother are being eaten alive because she experiences what he does.  I cannot even think of what I am losing because it is so overwhelming dwarfed by what she is losing.

June 18, 2010

I have been doing a lot of thinking…okay…I have been doing a lot of overanalyzing about relationships as of late.  I am sort of in one now and it may just turn out to be the healthiest one I have ever attempted but that does not keep the furry little creatures from spinning along the habitrails of my mind.   

I have had roommates in the past.  I have always done better cohabitating with men than women save for one instance.  The only time I ever actually ‘lived with’ someone was my ex husband and we were only together a month before I realized I would happily kill him in his sleep.  

I have to admit, I don’t know how to do this.  I don’t know how to allow room in my life, in my home for someone, to actually build a life with someone, not just co-exist in a designated space.  

How does one open themselves up so completely to another to allow for ‘me’ and ‘I’ to naturally become, in a none matching sweatshirts kind of way, ‘we’ and ‘us’?   How does my house become our home?  How do I get over my OCD like control issue of ‘my space’?  

I think of someone being here, not just occasionally but daily.  I think of them moving their things in, moving my stuff around, fixing things, having an opinion about how things should be done and I cringe.  I am so used to being alone, of doing for myself, of answering to no one that I am not sure how to change.

April 24, 2010

It is raining again. I sat outside and let it fall on me, soaking me through to my skin. Nothing I eat stays down so I bought another pack of cigarettes and I sit, smoking and watching the cherry hiss as the raindrops hit. I take another draw and fell like I am breathing in the moisture with the smoke.

April 24, 2010

It is only the end of April and already the air outside feels sultry like June. The rain has stopped but the humidity hangs in the air and I feel a layer of sweat begin to form on my skin.

Walking into work today, the trees are nearly bare of their blooms, their leaves are unfurling and the petals that carpeted the ground the day before have shriveled and look like the sad remains of a ticker-tape parade.

I leave work and it is dark, it is raining again and the air smells so sweet.  I stand just outside of the circle of lights in the dark and breathe deep.  I love the smell of the rain mixed with the trees and I am smile absent-mindedly.  I need to go get cigarettes.  Funny to think of smoking while my nose is still filled with such a wonderful scent.

I head for the store and watch the congregation of kids wander the parking lot.  I think they are gathering to ask for someone to buy them beer but they have spotted the cop standing in the shadows talking to someone and re-think their goal.  They send one of their number into the store.  I follow and the waif shifts up and down the aisle.  He or she, it is hard to tell, looks unclean, unhealthy.  Hair bristled with either days of dirt or some hair product designed to give the same effect.  The skin has a yellowish cast to it under the flourescent lights.  I wonder what I look like in the harsh glare as I get a water from the cooler and head to the counter for the smokes.

As I check out, I catch my reflection.  My skin has much the same unhealthy glow to it.  The shadows under my eyes look purplish and painful.  I look bruised.  Perhaps this reflection is a bit too accurate.

April 24, 2010

It is early morning. The sound of rain hitting the window above my head and thunder rolling caused me to open my eyes. I was a little disoriented, so I laid there for a moment just listening the sounds of the house. The wind wiping the rain, something heavier, maybe hail beating the wood of the deck, the top of my jeep. Lightening flashing, thunder cracks and I am awake. Awake. I have slept for the first time in days.

My body aches, very muscle in my body feels as though I have run a marathon and they protest in unison as I roll from my side to my back. There is a dream catcher above my head, hanging on the window frame, tucked behind the curtains. It did its duty. No bad dreams.

I get up, pad to the bathroom, catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I had forgotten I cut my hair. Usually when I have short hair and I sleep, I wake up with what can only be described as a cock’s comb as a hairdo from restless movment but not now. It lays perfectly flat. I must have stayed in the same position for the last several hours.

I throw on a nightgown, a pair of shoes, grab my car keys and head outside. The rain as slacked off. I step out on the wet deck, breathe deep and smell the lilacs in bloom in the neighbor’s yard. The birds are singing so the worst of the thunderstorm has passed.

I drive to a fast food chain, get OJ and a variety of breakfast items. Home again I eat something from the sack. It is tasteless, but warm and I chase it down with the orange juice.

I chain smoke the last two cigarettes I have. The last two. I promised when I began to eat again I would stop smoking. It is time to. My mouth taste bitter, like acid. The juice can’t take the bitterness away and the food sits in my stomach like a lead weight, but it is there. I have slept, I have eaten.

I hurt, but the pain is something I can deal with. I move around the house looking at what needs to be done. I am too tired still to want to do anything about it but a real plan begins to form in my head about what I shall do. I nod to myself, making the agreement as to what will happen over the next couple of days.

I notice everything again. The things that need to be put back to right, the things that need to be bagged up before the next garbage pick up. I see the soft fuzz of dust and cobwebs hanging off the blades of the ceiling fan. I turn it on so that I can ignore it until everything else has been taken care, climbing and standing on tip toes to clean the blades is one of the last things I will do, but I will do it. I nod again.

I hurt worse than I have in a few years, but I can move again. I don’t understand it. I no longer feel like the tin man stuck in the wood waiting for someone to come with the oil can. I can twist this way and that, touch my toes, reach up for things, body protesting, muscles sending their signals to my brain that this is wrong, to stop, but my body reacts to my request anyway, sluggishly, not fluidly, but movement nonetheless.

I have slept, I have eaten, I have smoked the last of the cigarettes, and I have a goal. I can rest again, sit back down and know I am not slipping too back into the safety of my previous cover. I am awake now.

April 23, 2010

Awake again. Not just lack of sleep but really awake…aware again. I was driving today and am noticing all these things that I have been passing by and I feel like I am seeing them for the first time.

I live next to a cemetery and there is a pond there. Ducks and geese flock to the water and are fed by people year round. At one side of the pond is a tree. The tree teeters on the edge, its roots snaking out, dipping into the pond. It has been there forever and I have always loved that tree but I have not really noticed it in a very long time.

Today as I am going past, I see it and it is leafing out and looking glorious and I am smiling. It is amazingly beautiful standing there. I cannot remember the last time I really saw it. I cannot remember what it looked like in the winter or the fall but I know I have driven past it every day, multiple times a day for years and today, today I see it again like the very first time.

April 23, 2010

It is raining.  A nice steady, drenching rain.  The trees outside of work have started to shed their blooms and the rain has made them a carpet I had to walk upon on the way to my car.  I track the petals with me every where I go today. 

I am clear.  Clearer than I have been in a long time.  I am also in a lot of pain.  The pain I can deal with.  I think it tends to make me sharper in some regards.  I decided to cut off most of my hair this morning.  I couldn’t wait for the person who normally cuts my hair so I drove around until I found a place that would take walk-ins.  No more veil before my eyes, literally and figuratively. 

I am beginning to understand why I wasn’t as prepared for Darin’s death as I thought I was.  I couldn’t make sense of all the emotions that were flooding me.  The anger I got.  It is a waste.  I also felt abandon.  I revisited every death of all of those that I have loved who are gone and I sank deeper and deeper into the quick sand of my own mind.