Monthly Archives: March 2012

I just finished…

I just finished reading my cousin Jan’s book. The impact of which took me by surprise. It has made this week a journey into darkness and back out into the light. I visited places I had tucked away, sort of put into their own little file drawer with admonitions to remain there in quiet submission to my will to keep them silent. It took me three days to read, being forced to stop at times from my deeply emotional response to some of the visions she related conjoined to my own memories of the same times.

See, my cousin had the childhood, the Mom, the life I always wished I had. She had the very best Mom in the whole world. She said to me once that all her friends wanted her to be their mom. So did I. Her house was warm, friendly, accepting and spontaneous with the joy of being alive. In contrast my own was cold, dark, unacceptance of any differences and there was only fleeting moments of what pretended to be almost joy. At her house the first step across the threshold was a step into the warmth of love.

The parts in her wonderful book of survival and hope and faith and love triumphing were uplifting to my lagging spirit. The description of her husband’s loving walk beside her in their fight against breast cancer was a glimpse into what loving someone looks like in the living. I always knew Dave was a gem, but the glimpse into the days and weeks and months of their battle together showed me his true mettle. Every woman should be blessed with that kind of man beside her through everything life dishes out.

The unsuspecting blind-siding came from my own memories sneaking out of the file cabinet I stuffed them into. I think I felt sorry for myself, a tiny pitty party, for my lost childhood. Mine was lost in abuse. In almost every level one can imaging. Emotional, sexual, some physical but definately the other two. I learned at a very young age that life hurts. When Jan related stories of her, to me, fairy tale childhood my lack of it bounded out.

But, I kept reading. I wanted to read more, to return to that California bungalo up on 5th street in Escondido of the early 60’s. I still think of those three years we spent together in the sleepy little burg as “my childhood”. It was the best part of it.

Her comments of her Dad helped me to remember my own father. I lost contact with him in ’59 when my Mom and two brothers and  I moved to Escondido, afer he and my Mom were divorced. That drawer of memories was opened up by me. Memories of being carried out to the car by Daddy, me pretending to be asleep. I think all Daddy’s in that time in the 50’s were pretty much cut of the same cloth. Jan’s Dad and mine would have probably been great friends, both loved to dance and enjoy life while working hard at their jobs.

I was once again devastated that my wonderful cousin had to have that insidious disease. I felt helpless then and again reading about the struggle she had in her fight. And I felt the overwhelming guilt that I could not drop everything and be there to walk with her also. Now, five years later, she has been ‘released’ back to her regular doctor. Thanks be to God!  

I leaned from her to take better care of myself, to eat much better–mostly organic, to exercise everyday, to love openly with all my heart and to take each day as the gift that it is. As she was recovering and getting stronger from breast cancer, she came down to help me after hip-replacement surgery. Her giving, loving heart is our world’s greatest treasure.

Whoooohooooo!!!! She is cancer free!!!!! Good job Jan and Dave, Emi and Cali-cat!!!

 

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March 21, 2012 · 9:12 pm

Rain, rain, rain

I was the first living creature awake this morning, well inside the house anyway. It was raining already when I got up at 7:30 so the world was damp and wet and drippy. It made my spirit a bit damp and wet and drippy too.

As I sat on my couch drinking my coffee and contemplating all I had to do on a rainy Saturday a tiny voice broke into my pondering. It was a bird singing at the top of his tiny lungs  in the tree right outside my living room windows. Singing the world awake he was, singing for his mate, singing because his song could not be stopped by rain nor dampened by a little wet. Singing in the rain.

He was singing about Spring. About he felt so renewed and restored and refreshed. About how he believed in the return of it. How he knew, just knew, that Spring was truly here under all the inclement weather. His belief in the cycle of the seasons and the return of life solid.

The wild life outside my front window agrees with him.  Nor do they seem to be daunted by a some rain. The rabbits and the birds are going about their rabbit and bird morning without too much difference from yesterday when it was a bit chilly but not raining.

Why can’t human beings just adjust as well? Put on rain gear, add a water proof jacket, some boots, a warm scarf and a nice hat and just go with day. Take a leaf from the wildlife’s book of life lessons and don’t let a little bit of rain stop your whole day.

Instead we try to change and control what we don’t like, including the weather. As if any creature as puny as mankind itself could be so mighty as to alter the weather. Yes, we can seed clouds, but can we turn off the clouds? Not even a drop.

I shall put on my sweater, jacket, hat and boots and plunge into the Saturday Rainy Day like my little serenader this morning, with aplomb and faith in the Springtime underneath the damp, the wet and the drips.

Now, where in the world did my tall black boots get to in the back of that closet???

 

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Why were we made this way?

I have a dentist appointment today. Nothing different about that, lots of people go to the dentist every day. Some even have extensive dental work done to create the perfect teeth they had wished they were born with.  I do believe there are even some who actually solicite a dentist, seek them out, to have some of said dental work done.

Not me! I am one who will go as long as possible, put each visit off at least once and generally avoid the even close proximity of a dentist with every fiber of my being.

Today, I have to bite the bullet and get my little self over to the dentist. I have progressed so far in the years I have had to get myself to the dental chair. When I was a kid, my Mom had that task. She was relentless, with absolutely no compassion for a dentist-phobe. She wasn’t unfeeling, she just figured it would be so much better to get the “fangs” cleaned than not and have a much higher cost in the chair later. So she just ignored my anxiety. hauled me off to the dentist with aplomb and gave me asprin or tylenol when I got home.

Now that I am an older dentist-phobe, I have to deal with this all on my own. It gets back to when I was maybe ten; I was subjected to what I am firmly convinced was a dentist who just might have enjoyed his power of those who were trapped in his chair.  He was fixing a cavity I had in one of my molars. Simple enough you might say, and you would be right most times. On this day, he miscalculated the amount of novacaine my mouth required. He did not use enough. I felt every touch of everyone of his instruments. I remember feeling small, trapped and utterly helpless in that huge chair with his huge hands creating a level of pain I had never in my short life experienced. As I lay there moaning and groaning with tears running down my checks he kept saying “Oh, stop that, it can’t be that bad.” and getting a bit more rough in direct corelation to his grumpyness over the sounds coming out of me.

To make matteres worse, to me anyway, my mother gave me no sympathy at all,saying instead “oh, you are just imagining that you could feel it.” Being in pain is bad enough, being called backhandedly a liar was worth. None of the adults who were supposed to watch over me believed me.

Then, the filling kept hurting for years after. I could not eat anything that was even remotley hard on that side as the poor nerve left in the tooth would flare.  All in all a very, very bad experience.

Fast forward about twenty years. I swear I went to that same guy’s son who was a dentist in Riverside. He might not have been but he had the same attitude: He was the Dentist King, patients were his fodder. After having a tooth ache for months, if finally got bad enough for me to actually set foot in a dental office on my own. After xrays, he told me I needed to have one of my wisdom teeth pulled. I started to push my self out of the chair while saying I would make an appointment for a few days hence. He pushed me back in the chair, yep pushed, told me “no, today. We are doing this today”, and picked up the biggest needle I had ever seen to give me The Shot. I was that ten year old all over again. The tears started, the anxiety level went through the roof and I was bullied once more by a dentist.

Then, I met my favorite dentist. I told her up front, “I hate dentist, I hate being here, I hate the chair, the colors on the walls, the smell of the place—just everything about it.” She asked my to tell her my story. I did. Every ugly little part of it. She didn’t flinch at all. In fact she tut-tutted at all the pain I had had to endure.

Then she said “I will not hurt you, I will help you get over this by-rights fear.  We will do this together. When you hurt, when you just can’t take any more I will stop.” And she did.

At first I had to take Valium for her to clean just half of my mouth; then it was nitrious oxide, then a walkman turned up really loud. Then one day I did it cold turkey, nothing but me and her.  This angel-dentist was able to not only get me to come in regularly for cleanings, but put caps on and some much needed repair work.

So, I will go off to the dentist this afternoon, I will submit my mouth to the needed cleaning; all because Dr. Figueroa understood my fears and anxieties and did not scoff.

She has retired, well deserved I must say. She was my mother’s dentist, my dentist, my boys’ dentist and was my grandchildren’s first dentist. For four generations the phobia of dental work has been expunged by this caring woman.

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Let there be Light!!

Daylight Savings Time! Whooohoooooo!!! Oh, boy! I wait for this weekend for months. On the Sunday we go back to Standard time is when the waiting begins.

My psyche needs light. Lots and lots of light. I need to revel in it, bath in the sunlight as it streams in my front french doors, sink into my red chair in the corner of my living room that is stuck in a wide-bodied sunbeam. Light is the food for my spirit.

I have a dog, a Lhasa Apso named Yuri, who feels just like me. He has been climbing up on the red park bench out on the patio that has a sunbeam that visits it every day the sun is out. He lays down, closes his eyes, sighs a big heavy sigh and takes a short sun-snooze. My other dog, a Bhudda-bodied Schnoodle named Pepper, just streches out on the warm tiles on the patio, belly flat on the tile, back feet streched out behind him, puts his head in his paws and naps.

I have been know to actually sit out there myself, surrounded by contentedly napping dogs, turn my face up to the sun and just aborb its warmth and light. There must be an ancestor of mine who was a Sun Worshiper.

Light, the stuff that the universe itself cannot do without. Warmth and light…….building blocks of all things that move and breathe and have being. Like Bob Marley so elequently put to music, “life did not begin in a refridgerator, it began in an incubator” warm, cozy, full of the light of love.

So my time is now here. The time of warmth, of days getting longer and warmer, of spring flowers following the sun as it travels across the sky each day, of the cold icicle feet of winter to be shod with the sandals of summer.

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Thoughts from the other side of young

Thinking over the things of life and the differences that being on the other side of young produce it came to me that now I am not so worried about what others think of me and what I am doing–well with the exception of my close family–but I am deeply concerned about the true “rightness” of what I am doing.

You see, my boyfriend lives in my little condo with me and two very spoiled dogs. We are seriously thinking of marriage, at some point in this life anyway. As he said to me the other night, he is “committed” and so am I.

It isn’t so much that we are still in the moving forward phase of our relationship, it is that I just do not want to look, well, for want of a better word hypocritical to some who might be taken aback about this.

Especially since I am a practicing Catholic. By that I mean that the Catholic church is my spirits home, I find good solid life living stuff there. I was single for over eight years before I met Terry and this whole thing began. I believe it was orchestrated by God himself, with a hand from St. Raphael. I truly do believe God brought us together, will help us weather every storm and squall that comes our way and will keep us together through them all.

I do so wish there was a bit of, well, slightly tweaking of the rules for us not so young. We have so many other factors that come into play in these September romances. The first being our respective children, they need to know that the things of their inheritance are secure. The other is our own things, stuff we have acquired, money in IRA’s and such we saved up for our true old age and various other odds and ends that sort of waft in the wind until you truly connect with another person. Some of this is the same as the youngsters have, but so much is unique to us Boomers stuck between young and old.

I believe we have paid dues enough to be afforded these so-called Sunset years to be full of love, peace, harmony and genuine enjoyment of each other. We are still working out how we can blend that with our lives before we met that are part of the tapestry unfolding as we live today.

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God’s Favorite Vacation Spot

I went on a sort of mini vacation this weekend, up to the Central Coast of California. I went to see my cousin Jan and her husband Dave. They are my anchors in this world of chaos, she is Piglet1 to my Piglet2. Sometimes, when the world gets just too very scary,she and I just need to hold each others paws.

My boyfriend went with me; although I think that at our age a better decripter could be found than “boyfriend”—sounds like 8th grade. The weather was perfect, warm sun, cool breeze, best company, fine food and wine at dinner. A Soul-Haven retreat that healed.

The best part of the whole weekend was the relaxed way it unfolded. Being not young has its advantages, especially when you travel. I know that sounds a bit opposite of some folks ways of traveling, but for me it holds true. I have learned these things: take only what you truly need, one extra pair of socks and underware, make sure your personal items are truly there, journal, meditation books and if dog is going have his own bag (this makes him feel much better which is good for everyone in the car). I can be packed to go within an hour. To go any where I mean, not just a weekend. I can pack to go for a month in the same amount of time–just need a bigger suitcase.

The weekend was spent in a state of grace I believe. Grace-filled moments with both Dave and Jan. Shopping trip to SLO with just Jan, her daughter Tiff and me; kayaking on the bay for Dave and Terry. Both of us were afforded the thing we needed the most to put life back into a more balanced and clear perspective. Guys on the Water; Girls in the City. Coming together for dinner and to share our adventures made the day so much sweeter. We had new things, new ideas, new happenings to exchange.

The only small glitch was the sleeping arrangements. To my cousins themselves, i have a great respect for their solid faith and belief in God. Terry and I expected to be sleeping in different rooms out of respect for them. When it came time for us to get the beds out and made, they said to us “do what you do at home”. It literaly floored me. Stopped me in my tracks. They, in their incredible was of loving others, accepted Terry and I just as we are, together. I felt like Jean and Lionel at Aunt Penny’s and Uncle Stephen’s. In that episode of As Time Goes By, the sleeping arrangements became much too complicated as ours threatened to. In our case, reason prevailed, reason and the love of Jan and Dave.

Maybe “boyfriend” does fit as a description—I sure felt like an 8th grader for a while there on Friday night!

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