Father`s Day, this June 18, 2017

me as a childHe crawled on his hands and knees and made me laugh; he tickled me until my tummy muscles hurt; he took me on car rides in wooded areas…just he, me and

©clr`17 GrandPapa

my sister.  He played the mean old man just for fun so he could quickly turn into my saviour and took me in his arms to rescue me. He was my saint and still is my saint to whom I pray when I feel frightened and vulnerable…Merci, Grand-Papa! You also passed Father’s Day weekend, giving me, every year, time to truly thank you for being in my life.

He pushed me and encouraged me and instilled determination and hard work. He believed in me and knew I was smart and could do better. He wanted more than me sometimes and yet, he made me see my potential. He was fond of me and even named his daughter after me. Thank you Mr. Lagacé, for being a teacher who saw more in me than I could fathom…I succeeded despite many obstacles…I DID it and you planted the seed.

 

He looks upon me with pride; the love he feels is overwhelming. He’s gentle; he’s funny and makes me feel so special. I even feel a bit possessive with he has girlfriends and wonder if I will lose my place…he protected me from wolves and walked me down the aisle as my “dad” at my wedding.  He will always be a Dad to me.  Bonne Fête des Pères, Bernie.

 

How I loved my Fridays after school!  I’d go with Jane and have supper with her family.  If I was late or did not go, he would say,”Where is Lynn?  It’s Friday!”  He taught me to be proud of my slender (lanky to me silhouette); He convinced me to stop nail-biting so I could one day show off my engagement ring on my finger. (That actually worked at the young age of 13!) He counted me as one of his daughters…for a night or two or three sometimes…Thank you,  Mr. Wilkins for making me feel special.

©Clr;17 Mom & Fred

He took me for my first drink after winning a college scholarship at 17 years old. He stood by Mom when I walked down the aisle, with pride. He paced the floors for hours when I was in labour…he was always there…Thank you Fred for making Mom feel so loved and for being a Dad to me. You left us June 18th and making this year even more memorable, on Father’s Day.   I love  you and still miss you, Fred.

 

Fall2005FamilyMaeFred_12
©Clr`17 Uncle Fred and Ma Tante Mae

It took me 45 years to feel that specialness a “Dad” can bestow on an older daughter.  Remember those teenage years and young adulthood when you were in love?  Remember when your father wanted to “check him out” to make sure your heart would not be broken.  Well,  I was a late bloomer!  I remember when I lived with my aunt and uncle and sometimes I would hang up the phone and say, “Oh, gee I have a date. What am I going to wear?” He would smile and sit on the couch with his lovely mate  (Ma Tante Mae) who was as excited as me.  The fashion show would commence and he’d look, smile and sometimes raise an eyebrow.  The raised eyebrow was probably a more sexy outfit 😉  He would tell me discreetly, “Be careful not to fall head over heels too quickly and get hurt.”  To which I would say, “I may need  your shoulder to cry on if that happens.” And I did and he was there. Thank you Uncle Fred for being such a cool and understanding dad!

And Dad,  no matter how distant our relations were over the years, I still remember how special I felt if you would “Wink”  or say, “How’s it going,  Kiddo?” and my heart would melt.  I know you were always proud of us and in those last few years you mellowed and you let me see a softer side of you. I love you, Dad!

Happy Father’s Day to fathers world wide and for those special men who really make a difference with their selfless love.

 

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

©Cheryl-Lynn ’17

Embracing emotions (haibun)

Heeding-haiku-with-Ha-emotions

 

One expresses emotions in varied ways and for some it is spontaneous and simply who they are.  Perhaps you are like me when you see someone you love and have not seen in a while, you run up to the person and hug them, kiss them on each cheek.

Overjoyed the morning I felt my son moving in my tummy…the basement of our new home had flooded and I could not hide my joy.  Could not relate to the damage, the flood or any problem whatsoever for a human life did somersaults in MY tummy!!

Oh how I weep with joy when I see my child performing in a choir, when my son did a guitar solo and sang a Bob Dylan song, when they graduated both from high school and college;  and even today when I see them smiling and teasing each other…the joy just takes too much place in my heart and so I weep.

Perhaps your emotions are too close to the surface and your heart swells so much you weep the moment a word hurts your feelings; perhaps it is anger that is too difficult to conceal and you shout, rage or cry again. Maybe you have always felt life dealt you a raw deal and everyone and everything you touch must be for your loss, like a child who stomps off angry because Mommy would not let him eat candy before dinner.

And then there are those who do not express emotions as easily and it eats at them, fester and makes them sick…they are not “at ease” hence it stirs “dis-ease”.  The persons who cannot weep when they grieve, express their love when they long, show their joy when they are gripped with such a powerful love…yet to look at their body language, one cannot read the joy, happiness, rapture or sadness.

Sometimes I speak to a person who has gone through the most dreadful experiences in his past, heard such hurtful comments, witnessed such atrocities and yet I hear no emotion in the voice…flat, no affect whatsoever.  Over time the dam may open slowly when a person feels safe…In this case, a person had to hide all emotion to survive. To give in to emotion may weaken him/her and so life goes on with explosive emotions inflating his/her soul…heart, like a ticking time bomb.

Emotions are not excluded to humans, and we can see that with animals that we love. It could be a horse you would groom for hours before riding, your dog you have walked, bathed like a baby and cuddled with a towel to keep him warm, a cat that leans in close to get a pet, a scratch but deep inside we know it is to be close to you…expressing their emotions in their loving and natural way.

My grandfather had rescued a golden mix a few years before he got sick.  GrandPapa died later in his bed at his home; when the ambulance came to take his body, Princess followed the cot whimpering along the side and then went running in the basement howling so loudly. She did not come up for a whole week, so great was her grief.

 

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confused and scared

a stranger whispers in her ear

“…luv you mum”

~

this frail body

seasoned with dementia

puckers her lips

****************************

beaming,

hand on her belly

feeling flip-flops

© Tournesol ’15

Heeding Haiku with HA ~ MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

Longing (haiku)

wistfully
stirring her cup of tea,
milk curdles
~
weeping salty tears,
pillow case no longer
carries his scent

or

weeping
on a pillow case,
scents lost

© Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem Special # 113, Shiba Sonome’s 4th “longing for someone”

I’ve got your back

I have always believed that books find me.  You know when you are searching through stacks of books at a library or when you have a list of authors and the book  you want is not on the shelf?  But hey,! your eyes are drawn to the title or the book jacket of the book next to where your find should have been.  You take out the book, read a bit about the author, perhaps a snippet about the novel and you bring it home. You discover you truly enjoy this author and you read several of his or her published works. You have made a new friend, the characters in the book are a part of your life for a little while.  Has that ever happened to you?

I find that happens with people too.  Some people come into your life because you were meant to meet…there is a reason, a purpose. Years ago when I was completing my internship as a Family Life Educator, I became closer with my supervisor and my mentor.  My mentor became a good friend, a confidante and spiritual guide in many ways.  I aspired to be like her…if only a tiny morsel of her some day.  She was a very compassionate person.

When I completed my internship, I was hired on contract to continue offering life skill workshops for the rest year at this community clinic. My friend and mentor, had worked as a Family Life Educator at a private school on the hill of our beautiful city, for almost 10 years.  She wanted to take a sabbatical and complete her degree in English Literature. (I never saw the relationship with writing and English there too considering how much I have turned to writing in the past year.)   She asked me if I would replace her at the school and she would recommend me to the headmistress for an interview.

I was so excited.  I had returned to university as a mature student, graduating in a less conventional degree than our province was familiar in the francophone community, so finding work, I was aware, would be a bit of a challenge.  So many institutions were not familiar with the intensive and comprehensive programme our department that Applied Social and Human Sciences offered students especially with our rigorous applied characteristic. We had to apply much of our learning to ourselves, be in counselling if we wanted to pursue counselling courses and to take our learning to a higher level and an option to take part in the internship and be certified.  But, all this hard work was not known, hence not recognized  in our province. This opportunity D was offering me was a godsend!  A great way to improve on my skills as well as get experience.  So I said, yes.

A few weeks later, I had an appointment for the interview.  I was so nervous. I had let my punk shaved head hairdo grow out a bit and it was now a more natural colour (did away with the orange or purple) and dark blonde on a short bob looked just right.  I wore a long skirt and blazer with pumps (not time to wear my comfy Doc Martens) and arrived twenty minutes before my scheduled time.  I was so impressed driving up Mount Pleasant in my humble Renaud V…up, up, up, the steep hill avoiding the rear-view mirror as I would visualize my car flipping over backwards.  The houses around this school were like being somewhere in England with the old and beautiful  stone houses; they were spectacular!

I sat quietly across the secretary’s desk. She had a nice warm smile. I sat and admired the woodwork on the walls, the dark stained molding and started to get a bit nervous.  I decided to freshen up before the interview. The washroom was just in front of the secretary’s desk.   Final check in the mirror, lipstick applied, hair in place, I went to take my seat and waited again.  The secretary got a buzz, and that was the headmistress calling me into her office. I thanked her and turned around to walk into the office when the secretary called me softly, “Um, you may want to adjust your skirt a bit before going in Madame G’s office.”  I place my the palm of my hand along my hips to smooth my skirt and as I reach the back I feel a huge bulge! My eyes widen, my face turns white, then beet red…At that moment I quickly turn facing the secretary still wide-eyed and tug my skirt out of my pantyhose so quickly…no one could have noticed except Ms. S and me. Phew! I just exhaled in a loud whisper, “Thank  you” with pleading eyes and went into the office.

I got the position and taught social skills and sex ed.  there for five years and Ms. S will forever be my friend and saviour…her offering that very first day, to me was like hearing, “I’ve got your back!” in more ways than one {smiles}.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/04/04

Written for: Dungeon Prompts – Season 2, Week 14: Entertain with the Mundane

Daisies

Photo shopped by Michelle Marie at Tell me About It
Photo shopped by Michelle Marie at Tell me About It

A daisy for my birthday

a bunch for an entire year

I’ m happy either way

this gift they gave me here,

colours popping I love you

whispering forget me not

I’m grateful for all they do

and so I’m saying Thank you!

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/03/21

Photo edited by Michelle Marie at Tell Me About It Thank you, Michelle Marie 😀

I was blessed with a lovely bouquet of flowers for my birthday last week from my daughter and grandson and a yummy brunch.

Counselling or confession? (haibun)

I grew up in a small French Québécois village with approximately 5,000 in population. We had two huge Catholic churches at each part of the town, one United Church and one Anglican Church. There were three French Catholic primary schools, one Protestant primary school, one Catholic collegiate for boys, one convent (primary and high school) all French. I was not permitted to go to the only English school because it was Protestant and in those days the priest threatened to excommunicate us from the Catholic Church.  I suppose that was like waiting for the roof of your house to cave in, in those days.

My sister and I went a French Catholic primary school that housed two English classrooms where we fit Grades one to seven included. The first Friday of the month we had the same Catholic priest who came to our school to hear our confessions. That was basically when we would say, Bless me Father for I have sinned, my last confession was last month and I listened to 2 dirty jokes, swore at my sister, slapped Tommy for tripping me and disobeyed my mom once or twice. I remember seeing the shadow of the priest…he often sighed out of boredom and we usually always had about the same penance…Three Hail Mary’s and an Act of Contrition.

When I went to high school, we were bussed to a bigger town nearby. But that meant I had to find a way to get to confession OR ELSE! Well or else nothing, I just couldn’t go to Communion if I had not been absolved of my sins. Keep in mind that was how we thought then and today I am NOT that person and the Catholic Church has certainly evolved with the times but this is not the purpose of this post…I am getting to my point real soon…confession is the point.

My parents were struggling in their marriage for various reasons. Without getting into details, home life was tense, my feelings towards the situation was concerning me because for one thing, it is a sin to not like your parents and my dad was not an easy person to like. We didn’t have school counsellors in our schools then and quite frankly, I was not too pleased that my mother had told my principal and Grade eight Latin teacher about “our” family situation. I get it now but then, I was so ashamed. As a teen we don’t particularly want anyone knowing about our personal life. We had worked so hard keeping our family troubles private. In the 60’s it was frowned upon if marriages failed (well in a Catholic village in Quebec it was) …it was just, well, not allowed!
I started going to confession at the church. I loved going to that church because it was so beautiful. It had been originally built to be a cathedral, the stained glass, the architecture, the marble, the statues…such beautiful art! I even enjoyed doing the Station of the Cross. The huge paintings of each station were lifelike and it was always a deep spiritual experience at the 13th station, a magnificent life like statue of Mary holding her son.

Jesus Is Taken Down from the Cross

13th Station of the Cross

(haiku)

Heart filled with sadness
kneeling in prayer for our sins
  a solemn moment.

Sometimes I would go to confession before doing the Stations of the Cross, other times it was after. But I always felt good after leaving the confessional. I also saw the same priest for my confessions because only one  priest understood English; he was le Curé, the parish priest. Every month sometimes every other week, I would go confessing my sin of having mixed feelings about my father… {Okay, maybe I threw in saying a few swear words or listening to a few dirty jokes}. He would never judge me or scold me for not respecting my father or the other transgressions.  He would simply nod; I felt his presence, his empathy and his kindness. He would give me a tiny penance of a few Hail Mary’s but always, he would end with the sign of the cross granting his absolution and saying, Je vais prier pour toi. (I will pray for you).

Somehow, I knew he did not mean he was praying for my sins but for our family situation. Little did I know that he was listening to my sister’s confessions; my mother would visit him for spiritual counselling as well and he encouraged her to leave our father. He had been silently, confidentially hearing my stories, my sister’s tales and my mother’s struggle for years.  My mother trying to do the “proper” thing for a good Catholic mother and wife. Confession for me actually became my very first experience with counselling from 1965 to 1968. Curé Chapedelaine made an impact on my life more than he or I realized.

Who would have thought that today, I would be counselling on an anonymous youth line? I knew what it meant to share something private and confidential.  He listened with respect and from a place of compassion; he very discreetly  gave my mom his blessing to separate from our father. I don’t know many Catholic priests in 1967 who would have given such advice.

Confession to me
a long time ago
meant so much more
than just fighting my foe
Satan was not my spur
in any way
I must concur.
Confession for me
was my first experience
disclosing my personal story
forming a first in my counselling history.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/03/14

#28 Most Beautiful Thing,

They say smiling is contagious. This poem is inspirational and warms the heart and inspires so much hope. I want to share this especially with Leslie and Sandy, big hugs!

sunflowerrosecw

Image

There is a question I used to wonder,

And the answer lies deep under.

What is the most beautiful thing that exists?

There, the answers remains a long wide list.

Could it be the wide blue sky?

The place where hope lies.

Or could it be the rainbow,

Where the dreams soar up so.

It was at the point of time,

When I felt like making everything mine.

Realisation hits right at me,

And I saw what I always wanted to see.

The most beautiful thing,

Where different stories sing.

It cannot be seen with bare eyes,

And cannot be covered with lies.

There it go,

Following the flow.

When we start to feel with our hearts,

Then that is when the journey really starts.

– CW

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Ms Calm and Ms Anxiety

the-surreal-arts.deviantart.com

Penny Calm came in the diner
one cold snowy Friday
ordered a cuppa camomile
and the soup of the day;
sipping her herbal tea
lost in thought totally
she waited patiently
for Ms. Sue Anxiety.

Sue arrived in such a state
trembling and rambling
about why she was so late
“A loser on the interstate
slowed me up a long time
twenty cars were tailing in line!”
she ranted and she raved,
an order of soup she then gave
with a double Cappuccino.

“No wonder she’s so nervous”
thought her friend, Penny Calm,
“drinking cappuccino all day long.
If only she changed her diet,
her nerves might soon be quiet
and not be so distressed.”

“Now, now, Sue, calm down a bit,
let’s just enjoy our visit.
We have so much to share
Now tell me, how you are?”
Sue Anxiety , no time to spare
she complained all afternoon
’bout this and that and not aware
the impact of  her attitude
had managed to stir Penny
no longer was she calm, rather
started to panic, hyperventilate.
she had to use her inhaler
to calm her breathing rate.

By the end of the day, Sue Anxiety seemed much calmer
“This was such a great idea, to meet and spend the day
Talking and getting things off my chest I feel so much better.”
Penny Calm just stared at Sue, not sure what she should say
and left the diner, saying, “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

And so the story goes that Penny Calm never
did call Sue Anxiety, and calmly lived forever.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/02/06

Motivation

Photo credits: KellieElmore http://kellieelmore.com
Photo credits: KellieElmore
http://kellieelmore.com

Photo credits: Kellie Elmore

James’ wife had left him and took the children too.  She told him it was no longer safe with his alcohol induced rages.  He lost his job. He still drank day after day, night after night. He’d finally hit the lowest of lows.  What could he do?  His friends shunned him, his family no longer trusted him and now he was alone.

James tried selling house items that might give him more cash for “drink” but soon there was little left.  He called his favourite aunt and asked for help.  She offered to bring him to hospital for detox and from there he would have to decide his future.   He called Alcoholics Anonymous.  He wanted his family back, he wanted his self-respect back…and that motivated him to work the programme (AA) until he could find the courage to ask his wife to take him back.

Every day he went to meetings.  His sponsor was a kind man and after 6 months, he offered James a good job.  He was originally a brilliant Chartered Accountant and his sponsor saw his potential in offering him this opportunity.

He worked long hours and continued with his meetings.  After he got his one year chip, James asked his wife if she would consider getting back with him so they could be a family again.  His love for his wife and family motivated him to persevere with this difficult struggle with addiction.

Many years passed and the family fell apart eventually again.  James had drifted into over working and dating many women.  He lived a single life far away from his family and over the years he slipped back into his addiction.  He’d been faced with adversity, pain and suffering and he could not handle it.

James eventually found his true love…his purpose to motivate him to stop drinking again.  His love for himself…to regain his self-respect he had to find love for self first.

The End.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, January 4, 2014

Story prompted from DungeonPrompts, Season 2, Prompt #1 Motivation