2018 started with residues of 2017 months to heal the soul by the ocean in California and the soul slowly mended. Yet, the body takes so much longer to heal. This was a year of change, negotiating her first collective agreement…something she never thought she would ever take part in but thinking of her peers, she wanted to give as much as she could to these angels who make a difference in the lives of youths and heroes of the night.
Positive change is on the rise comingled with a tsunami of
service demands. Let’s try to focus on
the positive changes and see how they can manage the flood of demands a wee bit
The summer was blessed with a trip to Mexico celebrating the
promise of forever love between her son and his new bride. A beach wedding and
dining by the ocean at sunset. How can
one not embrace life and love!?
Here we are the last day of 2018 and she still feels like
she is playing catch-up. 2018, a year of
shedding tears, not enough to fill an ocean but certainly enough to fill a
lake, a river or pond. She wonders how fresh water fish could thrive in salt
Today, she listens to their pain for the last time this year. She feels her joints screaming blue murder. Is it possible to have sympathy pains in your body for the emotional suffering of others? The more the hours move forward, she feels her body get heavier and heavier (no wait, that might be the chocolates and mid-afternoon pastries!). Ah, yes, comfort food…soothing taste buds feeling like that nice cookie and milk mama gave after she had fallen and she had kissed her boo boo.
wedding vows by the ocean
barefoot on the beach
rolling with the waves
salt water floater
wedding vows by the ocean
even spirits are moved
Mom’s picture fell
barefoot on the beach
playful and delightful
This is the time of year she hears pros and cons (mostly cons) of Baby It’s Cold Outside, so she decided to watch the video once more. The message she remembers getting from this since she was a young child was “DON’T TRUST MEN!” She learned that if you go home for a nightcap at a man’s home or hotel room or whatever room he borrowed for a night was, do NOT trust him. You must keep your drink of soda in your hand ALWAYS even if you have to go to the washroom…like her mom always said, “Keep your drink within your sights at ALL time because your drink could be spiked with drugs.”
Isn’t that intersesting that in the 1960’s her mom was warning her about getting raped but we did not say that word in those days. When an older man, creepy drunk uncle, granddad or dad was too touchy feely, you were told to just squirm away politely. Yep, none of this was discussed openly. Why not? Why did we not just call things as they were? A lot of girls and young women may have skirted sexual assault, incest and RAPE. You know that 4-letter word that describes NO CONSENT!
Yeah, this really irks her thinking back how things were swept under the rug.
She remembers in the late 90’, newly single in her 40’s. She did not know much about dating. What does one know about dating when one is engaged at 16? She remembers going to a dance club with her girlfriends and at 02:45 (15 mins before closing time) the vultures checking their prey from the mezzanine would come down to pick a gift to take home…or hope to take home. A freebie, no doubt since they were too cheap to even buy a lady a drink. The music got louder the last hour before closing and the beat sounded like jungle music. Really!! And that is when she started smoking again so she could sit at the bar and give an excuse she had to finish her cigarette to NOT accept to dance with any of the losers fellas there. She liked dancing with her girl friends but when men tried to join them, she felt it an intrusion of their free spirited fun. It was sad to see how some people (men and women) hoped to meet the person of their dreams at a meat market dance club.
What is that about? Looking to score with a drunk woman was their goal. How pathetic is that? The remorse the next morning and that was not guilty feelings from the hunter but the prey turned victim turned guilt ridden blaming herself that she should not have dressed like that, should not have drunk so much, should not have gone out to that dance club…period!
And so she watches the video a third time in one sitting and tears run down her cheek as a memory of something- something flashes by her eyes…a memory she had buried so far away, she never had time to process. And now the song Baby It’s Cold Outside plays for a third time and she mourns her innocence of long ago, she grieves her loss of makebelieve where peole do not take advantage of other people. She mourns the thought that doctors, priests, dentists, ministers, teachers and other professionals are to be trusted, that fathers all over the world only love and respect their daughters, that dirty old men are only those dressed in dirty ragged clothes.
Now that song takes on a whole new meaning. The song makes her sad, then angry and she is disgruntled on her way to work and impatient with people sitting too close to her on the bus and she mourns her innocence because innocence used to be oh, so bliss.
when she was six
laughing with GrandPapa
watching her hero
resilience and honour
when she was six
heros began to fall
November 30th, 2014 I dreamed the same dream three times. It was scary but you were there with me in my bed, trying to save a child from death.
I forced myself awake for it scared me so…then slipped back into slumber and the same scene appeared two more times. And so, at four in the morning, on December 1st, I waited until dawn to call the nursing home. I knew there had to be something wrong…no one had warned me. Not one relative had called me but I knew because you came to me and I knew you wanted me by your side.
The nurse at the nursing home said softly “Come quick, she does not have much longer.” The taxi took so long to get there or maybe I just wished he could have gone over the speed limit. But an hour later, I was by your side all day and all night until passed midnight…you raised your head slightly and turned towards me, taking your last breath.
Blessed I am you could not speak you found a way
blessed I am to be by your side
you could not speak but acted out your plea in my sleep
you found a way with the grace of God to summon me.
Each week is a mystery nowadays. No, actually each day is a surprise with the weather. Last week she surrendered to her warm down filled coat and even wore her ski mask walking home! And this week the rain washed all the snow away and little bits of ice hang on for dear life (or to scare the life out of some poor clumsy person like her!)
The first days of warmer weather were welcomed for sure but now, it is with mixed feelings. She looks out the window with total apathy. “What again! more grey skies?!” She shuffles back to the kitchen to make a fresh pot of coffee. “Not enough coffee” she sighs like a martyr and takes out the espresso beans and grinds enough for her pot and a little bit more so she does not come up empty handed if she wants a cuppa later in the day.
Her cats are sitting on the carpet looking at her expectantly. The black kitten, Kali, wants to play but would be just as content to cuddle. She will soon be a year old in two weeks. Bette, on the other hand, looks up at her with her dreamy emerald eyes and barely utters a”meow”. When she gets her mistress’ attention, she forces out a few more sounds pleading for food. Not a surprise to see that from this voluptuous Siberian cat who loves to eat.
While the coffee is brewing, Emma decides to make her bff’s (best feline friends) work a little for their food like true feline hunters. She takes out her fishing-pole wand with long feathers attached. Bette is really into the game and shows off to her competitor by jumping up and falling on her back ready to eat that silly bird like prey. Kali runs back and forth, so innocent and clueless but succeeds to catch her prey a few times too.
Treats are out and food for the beasts and now the mistress sits by the window sipping her cup of java with a sense of dread. It is her day off and she had plans to get things done and purchase those Nordic Walking Poles today. Looking at the jam packed parking lot of the mall across the street discourages her to even step out of her comfy chair.
Her head is heavy with a million tiny hammers knocking simultaneously and she hopes the caffeine may help a little. It is challenging to be cheerful looking out at so much grey today.
lingering grey mockingly hover deserted grounds
lingering grey mud, clay, sand turn to dust
mockingly hover abandoned gravesides mourning our loss
deserted grounds footsteps on rich soil whispering adieu
How I have missed writing to you, dearest Emma! Ah and to spend a day of searching for prompts on different blogs, teasing my muse here and there, are rewards after a long week. This morning I started writing and it seemed to match the weather, unfortunately. Well, I should not say it is a misfortune since any kind of writing is a way to remove clutter in my mind and allow my muse to cleanse my soul. My oh my, doesn’t that sound a bit dramatic?!
I do believe that pent up emotions, processing a difficult work week or just getting the angst of the holiday season or personal affairs, out of your system is a good way to start fresh.
We are nearing December 2nd and I have noticed that my moods darken a few weeks leading up to that date. I am not usually conscious of it but this year I want to be a little more aware on how I express it, especially at work. It is already a heavy and dark time for any kind of crisis/ helpline with broken hearts, abusive relationships and sadly the urge to end it all and leave this f&%$ng world. Many speak with words of despair and others with such anger, I can see them raise their fist up to the sky.
This year I have tried to compartmentalise my thoughts and feelings so I could address the needs of our service and not allow one to drown the other when I come home. However writing was my way of shedding all negativity and helplessness. Despite lack of writing, I think I have succeeded for the most part but three intensive weekends of school have tested the boundaries of sanity somewhat.
Firstly, I am NOT a morning person and to get up at the ungodly hour of six and see the sun rise…well, alright, it is bittersweet. So radiant a sky even though I am dreadfully exhausted.
Secondly, I have just been accommodated to work three days a week hence two-day intensive weekends for three weeks brought me back to a five-day week. Yeah, that was certainly more than I had bargained for.
But it has been a wonderful experience and I was blessed with an amazing group of students…each and every one is so interesting, kind and helpful. Each one added to the richness and uniqueness of our class experiences. Our teacher (for my type of learning anyway) was perfect! She allowed us to learn from each other and not spoon feed us all the time which, I know, would not have helped me and by the afternoon, I would have fallen asleep. She motivated us, encouraged us and inspired us with her past experiences, giving us a taste of what to expect.
She reminded me of my university professor and Dean of the department teaching our practicum in Family Life Education. She would share odd, scary and funny situations to prepare us for teaching children and adults. The most intimidating stories were from her high school experience in Sex Ed. And they helped me during my five years where the students labelled me the Sex & Drug Teacher. [I suppose that sounds better than the druggy sex teacher.]
I still have online grammar assignments to complete under 40 hours [crossing my fingers that will be cut in half] to get my official TEFL certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). I am planning to enjoy a 2-day weekend (Friday and Saturday for me) and hit the books on Tuesday.
I think I really need this time off. Perhaps I will rent a car tomorrow so I can pick up some poinsettias to place at my mother’s graveside. I know it has been already four years and I am certainly not a young person. I am fortunate to have had my mother in my life so long. I know I am blessed to have had so many wonderful years growing up, as a young married adult and mother of two children. We have been tied to each other so closely for forty-five years until I moved to Toronto and even then, we spoke regularly and she would end her calls always with, “Don’t forget to say your three Hail Mary’s and Act of Contrition before you go to sleep tonight.” My visits to Quebec were spending time with her and my children. How my children had a great relationship with their Nanny. I remember coming down from Toronto for 24 hours to reassure and calm her a the hospital in Montreal for tests. I often wish I could have had my transfer much sooner so I could have spent more time with her.
For some odd reason, my mind is remembering when I took her skinny dipping for the first time in our pool in Saint Mathias. She was giggling like an nervous teenager. We went into the water with our bikinis and slowly removed one piece and then the other. I think about that now and I wonder if Mom was just pretending to be new to this just to make this experience our special mother-daughter thing.
How I miss her laugh, the scent of her cologne (Clinique Aromatics Elexir for one) and her soft voice singing along with Englebert Humperdinck and missing most of the words (like me). Fred, who was her second husband, love of her life and the dad I adored so much, shared her love for Englebert. They met at his military retirement party. She was his blind date and it was love at first dance. I think I loved him even more because he loved my mother and treated her with such respect and affection. Their relationship was what the movie, Love Story was all about. He died thirteen years later but was there for my two children and he paced the floors during my labour and loved us all as his own. My mother is buried next to Fred, so I can chat to both of them when I visit now.
Oh, Emma, did I tell you that I found love letters between my mother and Fred when they were dating? Ah, such a treasure this is. At first, I felt guilty as if I was eavesdropping but then again Mom knew how much I loved Fred, so reading them brought me back to my teen years when they met. It was such a great time in her life and mine as well. I was engaged during the same time. Yes, at sixteen secretly and at seventeen on Christmas Eve we told our family who were in shock!
Oh my, Emma, my mind is all over the place but that is what a diary is for, isn’t it?
Thanks for listening as usual, you never interrupt me.
tu me manques tu sais chaque jour
tu me manques quand le soleil se couche je te dis bonne nuit
tu sais je pris encore tous les jours comme tu m’as appris
chaque jour ton sourire rayonnant nourrit mon coeur
you are missed you know each day
you are missed when the sun sets I say goodnight to you
you know I still pray every day like you taught me
The other day there was a cute joke on Facebook saying that maybe it would be best to NOT worry about dusting so much because it is possible the dust on your furniture is actually “someone” who has turned to dust.
It was a cute post and many got a lot of laughs about it including reflections on worrying too much about dusting our homes. It will always come back!! Oh, and that we know, right? Unless you are allergic to dust, why must your furniture be dust free every day? Hmmm?
This morning as I sit in my comfy chair with a bench on my left for Bette, my siberian friend and a bedding placed on my right on a shelf of my bookcase, I sip my coffee and look around at my living room. The table near the patio is dusty. Oh my, I had not noticed the bottom shelf there too! It sure does not show at night. Thank goodness I work late and when I come home at midnight, my home is dust free everywhere…well, I cannot see it, so I’m fine with that.
But coming back to the dust on the table…particularly the black shelf, I wonder if there is a possibility that someone could be there. What if Mom was sprinkled a bit there? What if my father sprinkled a bit of dust around the pipe rack. It was his, after all! Wouldn’t that be comforting that your loved ones left a part of themselves here and there? And yet…no need to have physical proof of their presence because I have always felt my departed family since I was a child. I am so glad my mother told me that my loved ones turned to angels and were with us always. I am glad that I modified that story over time and sometimes they are angels watching out for me when I cross the street, making sure the bus waits for me and help me write down the correct answers on tests…oh boy, did GrandPapa ever help me with those tests!
I have since thought about Karma. I used to wonder how can there be enough room in heaven if all the souls went to heaven, purgatory or hell? I mean, let get real here!! That is a lot of people for all those years. So then I thought that it made more sense that the souls were recycled and came back into new babies’ and started all over again. That made sense because, well, have you ever met someone and within a few moments you felt like you knew them all your life? That must have been a recycled soul, right? And then I thought about Karma and it all makes sense!
My new black cat that looks like a Bombay cat, I named, Kali, after the Hindu goddess, she seems to have connected with me from day one! She jumps onto my chest and then spreads her body lenghwise on me, purring like a humming machine and surrendering herself to me like she trusts me with her life. Gosh, I love this one as much as my Bette…two different personalities and two beautiful souls that warm my heart.
I have better time to spend today than dust that table. I want to buy 4 birthday cards for my colleagues who are born in December. I do enjoy being the birthday card lady at work. We all have some task to contribute but this one is like choosing a special Happy Birthday for each person I work with during the day, evening and for those working night that I may not see often, well then, all the more importance to that card, right?
Making choices is so important. Will you go for a healthy walk during daylight since our days are so short now or will you dust that dresser or table? Will you go play with your young child in the snow or must you really finish washing that floor? Ah go for it, go for that cuppa with a friend…you will not realize how much this makes your friend happy and how it uplifts your spirit too.
And if it is just to get out, well now, bring your tablet or lapttop to a coffee shop and people watch a few moments. You will be surprised how your muse will tickle your fancy and you will be writing again.
dust to dust is that you, Mama? always present
dust to dust living in the here even now
is that you, Mama? Have I told you how much I love you?