legacy

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I do not share specifics of my life in this blog. Privacy is important to me overall (a bit of a
contradiction, I know). However, it would probably not be too revealing to say that more than
one of my offspring resides with me, and at least one of them is old enough to have noticed….the
opposite sex.

She is not giddy or giggly by nature. She is quick and clever and does not suffer fools gladly.
I admit this is a relief to me because she is also beautiful. I never hear her speak of “hot guys’
or “cute butts,” and thankfully the word “yummy” is reserved for food and not for boys.

So I was listening carefully when she spared more than a passing sentence for a boy who was
a little older than she is, who attends her school. She was seemingly casual, but a mother’s
intuition sensed more.

Then she made this statement…

“He fascinates me. He is intriguing.”

On the outside I chuckled and shook my head, smiling as she said “Whaaat???” in that young
lady voice.

On the inside I silently moaned, “Oh God, no…it’s genetic.”

I hope she forgives me.

 

heart trouble

I wrote this a couple of years ago….but today I feel a bit of that ache again….

It begins behind the sternum, just below where the ribs meet. Sometimes it is a dull and growing ache; other times it is more like a sucker punch. The heaviness that can steal the breath spreads to both sides of the chest, filling the cavity with a painful hollowness that exaggerates the intensity of the heart’s pounding. Sometimes there is a burning or tingling, sometimes it is a seemingly unbearable pressure. It moves to the throat and neck, tightening them, as the arms become heavy at the sides. It aches, and something within screams and wails in protest.

Have I just described a heart attack? Well, in a manner, yes. But not an attack IN the heart. It is an attack, an ambush, a starvation OF the heart. One that needs its own type of intervention, much different from a call to 911 or the administering of CPR. This disease is sinister. It may lie dormant. It may come without warning. But in its most deadly form, it is always present, always looming, and any relief from its pain is short lived. In some ways, even a moment of relief is welcomed. But then, when the relief wanes, the returning pain is that much more crushing.

I am not sure how long I have suffered from this disease. Like many, I did not immediately recognize the symptoms. They came on slowly and intermittently and gradually grew in intensity. Then I thought I had encountered a miracle. But it was only a false remission….and then my disease slowly overtook me again. There are treatments. There is even a cure. But they are hard to reach, inconvenient, and require consistent and daily attention. And my doctor has lost the prescription pad…..or perhaps it is just hidden inside his desk. I am afraid to ask.

So I feel the ache, struggle to breathe, and die a thousand little deaths. I know the life span of those who continue in this sickness of the heart. Without treatment, the prognosis is negative. So I will endure the disease a little longer. And then I will write the prescription myself.

A Deb, a Ball, and a Green

Jane pressed her hand to her forehead as she watched her daughter through the window.  The girl marched down the driveway without looking back and jumped on the motorcycle, which was driven by a boy who looked like he was wearing long sleeves decorated with macabre images.  Jane knew they were tattoos. As the chrome monstrosity roared out of the driveway and down the street, she let out a shuddering breath and muttered a prayer, “God, don’t let Julia die on that thing, and please don’t let me kill her when she gets home.”

Shaking her head, Jane turned back to the dishes.  She remembered with chagrin how proud she had been when her headstrong six year old daughter had declared she did NOT LIKE pink.  Jane had always been determined that HER children would have their own mind, something Jane herself never felt allowed to have growing up.  Her daughter’s strong will was endearing and impressive when she was small.  At fifteen, however, it was, well, damn annoying sometimes.  Disliking pink was one thing, insisting on all black and dying her beautiful strawberry blond hair, however, had just about broken Jane’s heart.  And now this boy. The inner battle worked her over as she scrubbed the lasagna pan.  She could try to forbid Julia from seeing him.  But the die had been cast long ago.  She had determined NOT to make her daughter beholden to a mother’s every whim, and now she was playing some of the price.  Surely it would be worth it, though.  Her daughter would grow into a strong woman who knew who she was before the age of forty….if she lived through this motorcycle riding boyfriend.

The phone interrupted Jane’s thoughts and dishwashing.  She sighed as she saw her parents’ number n the caller ID.  Saturdays were usually a reprieve.

“Hello,” Jane answered pleasantly.

“Hi, Peach, how are you hon?” her father’s voice surprised Jane.  It was usually her mother who called.

“Doing good, Dad, you?”

“Well,” he sighed.  “You mom’s had a bit of an accident, baby girl.  I’m afraid….it’s not good.”

Jane sat down with impeccable posture at the kitchen table.  “What happened, Dad?”

Her father paused, and she heard him cough.  “She’s gone, Peach.”

Jane couldn’t respond, and her father launched into the bizarre story.  A Junior League ladies’ tournament at the country club, a rogue ball washer, some sort of malfunction that resulted in her mother’s Top Flight XL becoming a projectile that flew into her head.  A golf ball…..her mother was killed by a golf ball.  What the finger sandwich was Jane going to tell her children?  “Your grandmother died on the thirteenth hole today when her golf ball attacked her….but at least she was three under par….”

Three’s a Crowd

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I tend to be a bit ADD in my writing; I like to have several works in progress at once.  It helps with boredom, writer’s block, frustration, and the like.  I do the same thing when I clean house, plan lessons, do homework.  If I am tired of washing dishes, I can always tackle a load of laundry or sweep the entry-way.

The downside of this approach is that sometimes it seems as if nothing gets finished, which can be frustrating.  For example…..unfinished laundry that includes all of the good towels can be a problem.  I like a fluffy towel.  I mean, the old, smaller ones are fine for my hair turban, but I really need a good one to dry off with…….

ANYWAY….

I find myself wanting to finish some writing, or at least make some significant headway.  However, there are three works vying for my attention, and my preference seems to change each time I sit at my laptop.

The story work involves a sociopath named Eric.  He is an online predator who is unexpectedly “outed’ by one of his prey, an unlikely woman named Beth.  I have posted a snippet of this story, which takes place in a warehouse (at least some of it) on this blog.  I have just finished reading “The Sociopath Next Door,” so it seems a shame to waste all that research.

Then again, Josephine is already through puberty, judging by when I began her story, The Traveling Shoebox.  She is an eleven year old girl who goes to live with the father she has never met after her mother attempts suicide.  Her only connection to her mother is a shoebox filled with sketches and pictures.  I began her story in 2005, so technically she is 18 now.  It really is time she finished the sixth grade.

Finally, there is humor and sarcasm.  I love humor and sarcasm.  I still have a bit of a wish to be a stand up comedian.  And the nano-novel I began a couple of years ago, You Need Lipstick: Memoirs of a Southern Woman’s Daughter, could give me some much needed comic relief.  I mean, I have a brain tumor….I could use some chuckles, especially if I find out my hair is going to be shaved.  I really really like my hair…it is my one really sexy feature…sigh…..In this story, Martha Jane has to travel to plan her mother’s funeral after her mother is killed in a freak ball-washing accident on the 13th hole of the country club course.

I just don’t know which direction to head.  I could draw them out of a hat, but with only three slips of paper that seems less than climatic.  It really is a dilemma.  What to do, what to do.

So if anyone who has made it to the end of this blog post has an opinion, feel free to share it in the comments (no that isn’t shameless at all, it just looks that way in the blog funhouse mirror).  Maybe I’ll thank you in the forward after Random House clamors to publish it. Bwaha

from where tears

what causes these surprising tears

to gather in their wells?

is it aching for a friend

or whisperings of spells,

or is it simply chemicals

rebelling ‘gainst their chain,

or that new invader that is

growing in my brain?

there was no warning trigger,

no passing cruel remark,

so for the logical voyeur

no cause on which to hark.

and yet the blurring of the words

confirms that they exist

despite the absence of events

or causes i could list.

i cannot now explain their time

or presence on this day

and so i blink and then distract

and will them all away.