how foolish

Walking through Macy’s with my mother casually on a Saturday I had become jaded with trying to unearth the perfect shoes, handbag, or accessories; I had too much material possessions to begin with and I was only adding to the meaningless abundance with inconsequential things I had observed on this particular shopping trip – not having the heart to let my mom purchase them for me I just set them down and said “no, it’s fine; I don’t need it.” Her reply, “I’m just not used to my daughter putting things back and not wanting all the glittery things she sees.” I had been a high maintenance bitch for many of my teen years; if there was something I wanted and I couldn’t afford it on my own or save up for it appropriately I would talk the bank of Mom & Dad USA into it, commonly that worked. How foolish of me.

I seemed to be at a place in my life where things were turning around and life was starting to mean something completely different to me; I cherished each day I woke up with breath in my lungs and limbs able enough to pick me out of bed and carry me through my day; I started to be grateful for the small stuff, the true things that matter in life; the little things that we overlook when we have our mind set on, what we think are, bigger & better horizons, making a plan for ourselves that unfortunately has a timeline accompanying it.

Slowly drifting around the mall with my mom we passed a jewelry counter, she likes glittery shit, and as her and my stepdad’s 10th year anniversary approaches; she deserves it. She pointed out a ring she had been admiring and asked to try it on; while I secretly took notes in my head on size and item number so I could bring my stepfather, who has the present picking abilities equivalent to the  Bush administration has country running abilities. I glance down the jewelry cases and notice how everything gleams; but one piece particularly stood out to me; an engagement ring.

My mom pushed a little to have me try it on, I had insisted that I didn’t want to I just thought it looked beautiful; needless to say what Belinda wants; she gets, I ended up trying the piece on. It was magnificent; everything gleamed the way it should, the size of the only one left happened to be the perfect fit to my ring finger and I found it hard to take off. While my mom had the woman behind the counter write the item number and size down on a slip of paper I started to wonder in my head if the question was coming soon.

There was a man in my life, one I had been dating for 5 years, we knew we wanted to marry each other and the one stipulation with that was he simply had to ask the permission from my mother and eldest brother before he could do so. See I was that naive girl, having everything planned out on a timeline; I figured logically in my head that since we’d been dating 5 years that it was going to be happening any day now, that he would suddenly drop to one knee and ask me to be with him forever. Like the lifestyle I mentioned earlier; how foolish of me.

After a week had gone by with no big signs from him, I pulled my mom in private and asked her if he had mentioned anything; she could see the hope in my eyes and knew what I was talking about since I had filled her in on my prerequisites to taking my hand, she grabbed my hands, gave me a look only a mother can give while letting her child down and said, “no hunny, he hasn’t.” Almost half a year had past from that moment with my mother when I was feeling the strain of the distance and the stress on the relationship; I knew people that have only known one another for a year and were getting married; people all around us that we went to high school with were getting married. Why weren’t we?

Because it wasn’t right, plain and simple.

About a week ago my mom needed to find a fresh pair of shoes, I happily agreed to go along and be the judgment panel in hopes of steering her away from her favorite wardrobe color: black. We looked at shoes and found her a wonderful pair. Passing through that same mall in hopes of finding some rations to fill our stomachs, I unknowingly glanced over and saw that same jewelry counter; excused myself while my mother looked at brooch’s and peeked in to see that same beautiful ring sitting there. I had to laugh in this laugh now cry later situation suddenly realizing the huge difference less than a year has made; no longer seeking ‘the one’ or wanting to be married – I let the man of my dreams go because I couldn’t be what he wanted while he couldn’t be what I needed. So foolish we find happiness in karats and mirrored glass.

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There’s a light at each end of this tunnel you shout, because you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out

My heart skips a couple pulsating movements so my ears can re assess what they thought they just heard. The words fall to the ground like a full drink tray on a new waitress’ first day.

My heart stumbles to pick up where it left off, adding a few extra beats here and there to catch up to the heavy breaths leaving these lungs of mine. The beats are louder and few in between, I feel my face flush and not knowing what to say I excuse myself out of there.

Gripping the door handle I hold back any ounce of emotion that I have left in me, for it is the only thing that will keep me from bawling; I slide in the drivers seat, no sooner than the keys are in the ignition the tears have begun to flow equating to a volume that could top this seasons snowfall record. I don’t turn up the heat, I don’t turn the radio down, click my seatbelt, check my mirrors or put that trooper of a Focus into reverse. I sit in my cloth bucket seats, head in my hands, sobbing uncontrollably.

Whenever someone says they were sobbing uncontrollably I always respect the exaggeration and leave it at that. Head down, shoulders shrugging with each gasp for air and every messy breath crying out in between. You can’t bear to lift your head in fear that people passing by will see into your car. I sob at every word formed together to make the past few sentences I heard, I sob at every thought of where it went wrong, and I sob at the face of the truth; It’s over and gone.

 I feel so empty like something I’ve had for a very long time was just taken from me and will never be given back to me. Like a family heirloom that was bestowed upon me and had suddenly grown legs, and walked away. This is no tangeable good, no prized posession; this is someone’s heart, someone that has been holding on to a good portion of it for quite some time.

A story that’s better told with gaps and no endings

I feel nasuea welling up inside of me; my eyes see 3 of everything with every pulsating beat and back beat in between the last headache and the next one. I have come to the conclusion of drinking to help numb the pain; for the times when my maxalt prescription was too expensive without proper financial stability ($75 a tablet) and sanity looked to be sitting in the bottom of a half full liquor bottle. I hadn’t known the feeling ‘well’ in quite sometime, I wasn’t an alcoholic so why was I putting this lighter fluid into my body by choice? Ask anyone with a severe medical problem that isn’t approved for medical marijuana; it’s the cheapest form of medication that will ever be seen…Headaches have debilitated my will to get out of bed, be social, and be around bright lights + loud music for a good chunk of my lifetime; they strike without warning and cause such pain that I can barely stand upright to walk forth. Head aches is an understatement and more of an earth quake type feeling that’s rictor scale worthy; the doctor’s have told me they are genetic and since my mother suffers them; I am expected to do the same, comforting…I had survived one full year without health insurance (thanks Bush) and without having to see the doctor; in good health and spirits I awaited Jan. 1st for the day where everyone under the age of 26 can be back on Ma & Pa’s insurance (thank god). It came, I was thrilled to hold that poorly laminated white piece of paper with my name on it and group code; obtaining this piece of crucial financial support only meant one thing for me; back to the doctor’s office it was…My spoon ring passes between my fingers from hand to hand; I tap my foot anxiously on the linoleum floor awaiting the doctors arrival back from what seems like his 5 hour lunch break. I try to focus on the article in front of me telling me the way to get that ‘perfect’ bikini body; meanwhile my mind couldn’t give a shit less, retracing the words I was just told by someone I assume a stranger but treating me like a close friend while they hesitantly allow the words to fall out of their mouth and flat on the floor. The words hit the ground beneath us so hard that I awaited the echo to come around the corridor and back into the room only so I could hear them once more…

The will to survive

There they sit, Adeline, wheelchair bound; and Jerry, hearing impaired. Watching the two of them bicker back and forth, pulls the outer corners of my mouth into a smile, for sometimes I wonder if Jerry’s thankful to be able to turn the hearing aid off and silence his wife for a while. Adeline, whom you’d imagine was a touch crazy, has still got it; diagnosed with dementia hasn’t held a candle to her living out her life. Full of zeal and gumption, this woman at the tender age of 89, still hasn’t lost all her marbles.

“You have a pretty face” she says, I smile and glance away; Jerry states “You know she’s right about that”, leaving me to feel embarrassed, Adeline seeks the last words, “but we all know no one prettier than I”. If truth we’re a turn table this woman would be spinning it, and if blunt were a name tag; she’s already worn it.

The interesting part about dementia is that most types are nonreversible (degenerative). Nonreversible meaning the changes in the brain that are causing the dementia cannot be stopped or turned back.

Adeline every so often looks up at Mark (her son) and says; “who the heck re you?” Laughing, he always replies with “oh ma, you’re going to miss me one of these days”. Not being able to remember your children; not able to remember where you are and how you got there, not remembering the year, day, date, or time: Adeline always remembers one thing, and that’s Jerry.

I sit, inspired, at the spectacle of the two people in front of me who have been together for 60 years, experienced life and all its twists and turns side by side in this roller coaster; Adeline not remembering much of it, she never gets frustrated; or down on herself. Instead she turns to my dad and says “You’ve got quite a lovely wife, love her the way Jerry loves me and you two will be alright”

Jerry struggling to ascend and amble, follows his wife being wheeled to the dinner table for a Christmas feast, leans over, grasps her hand and watches while her smile takes over all other emotions on her worn face.

Even when all memories have left you, Love will keep us alive.