Monday, June 27, 2011

The Dream

Once upon a time, in a land far away, before my reality, I fell in love with a dream.  It was a beautiful dream,
filled with a rainbow of wonderful emotions that danced across my sky.  The kind of knee weakening, butterfly in the belly dream that you don't want to wake from but would rather snuggle down under the sheets pulling the pillow up over your head to get lost in.

I got so caught up in the dream that it began to transcend my reality. I'd wrapped myself in the feelings of euphoria, bliss, excitement, happiness and love. But alas, the dream was but a dream and soon it
began to change.  The kaleidascope turned, the shards of colored glass tumbled, and the beautiful feelings were no longer quite so beautiful.  

Some sneaky little feelings, "disappointment", "heartache", and "pain" raked their fingers across my emotions. picking at them, leaving them raw and me feeling vulnerable. The feelings did this any time the dream began to lose shape, shimmering, wavering, it's substance tearing along the edges. Each time this happened, the dream became weaker, slowly losing it's hold over me. My conscious mind could no longer accept the fragmentation of the dream. It was time to wake up.

I can't say exactly how long I was lost in the dream but I was there an awfully long time.  I was held there by an innocent childlike wonder at all it's pretentious beauty.  A sense of awe kept me spellbound.  A belief that somehow I could make it all REAL lulled me with false promises. The dream had lured me in with beautiful pictures and lovely words.  I was totally caught up in the illusion.

I was both sad and scared to emerge from the dream, but as with many things, my emotional rubber band had snapped, catapulting me into action, thrusting me back into the real world.  On shaky legs, I stood gazing about, blinking my eyes against the  blinding light of my reality.  Silently, I took stock of who I'd become since my last visit here.
I didn't rush through my assessment. I took my time, reviewing how the dream had impacted me, asking myself if it had changed my reality in any way and questioning how I myself might have changed throughout the dream state.  I knew that I had evolved. I'd emerged from the dream with a new understanding.  I'd become stronger, wiser, less encumbered, more empowered.  I'd been and  had all I ever needed BEFORE the dream.  I could be and have so much more now. And so I emerged from the dream (reluctantly) confident, excited, knowing who I am and all I'm capable of doing. I have a new purpose. 

Funny thing about dreams.  They have no substance.  They're only an illusion of our altered reality.  Whereas reality...reality has meat.  It has substance.  It's the clay we mold to define our existence and we define it the way WE choose it to be.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Letting go of the rope

I repress alot of emotions.  Emotions that lay boiling just beneath the surface sometimes waiting to explode.

Nearly 5 years ago I was a healthy, vibrant, physical, energetic and successful woman.  A woman who was sure of herself, who knew what she wanted and could obtain anything she set out to acquire.  A woman without doubts, without fears, without limitations.

At that point in time, I'd made some major changes in my life and was excited about starting over again, about still being young and healthy enough to do so.  In the blink of an eye, all that changed.
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Nearly 5 years ago a little girl lost her life and I was left shaking my fist at the sky screaming "Why? Why?" 

Though the accident was no fault of my own, the guilt I lived with (that she died and I didn't) wounded the very soul of me.  Before, my mind was a peaceful place.  Suddenly it became tormented with nightmares.  I'd wake up screaming in the middle of the night,  reduced to a mass of helpless tears.

I'd look at my body, a body then unrecognizable to me, and I'd shudder.  And then...then  I'd remember the little girls body when rescue teams pulled her from the wreckage.  Over and over my mind  replayed the sight of paramedics gently straightening her twisted little arms and  legs, smoothing the hair back from her brow.

I'd see the tears in a rescue workers eyes as my subconscious mind registered the mechanical whine of the jaws of life working to free her mother.  I'd see the little girl's eyes slitted open but unseeing.  I knew she was gone as soon as I saw her but at the time Image and video hosting by TinyPicwas too numb with shock to cry... my mind recoiling from the reality of death.  That was the one and only time I would ever see her but I will never forget her.

You'd think I would have been grateful that my life was spared. Back then I wasn't able to find that place of gratitude.  I felt sorrow for a young mother who had lost her daughter and would spend the rest of her days without her.  My heart cried for that mother, knowing she would never see her little girl grow up, finish school, marry, have a family of her own.  Of holidays missed, her first kiss.

I grieved too, for the teenage boy who had just graduated high school the night before and had a promising life stretched out before him.  His life would be forever changed by one tragic moment in time. By one error in judgement. 

Such thoughts defeated me. 

Back then I raged over the fact that I'd become as helpless as a baby where before I'd never needed anybody to do anything for me. I couldn't crawl, walk or wheel myself around.  I was angry  that I couldn't turn back time and undo it all somehow.  Perhaps change my schedule, drive a different route... I was filled with "what ifs".  What if I hadn't gone to the store first thing that morning.  What if I had left a little later.  What if I'd been in the other lane.  What if....

I hated the "thing" that I'd become, because it wasn't the person I was.  And I was scared. More scared than I had ever been in my life. Scared that I might not get any better. Scared I'd be trapped in a body I no longer recognized as my own. Scared that the horror of that morning would always arise at night to fill my dreams. I was trapped in my own personal hell.

I despised the weakenesses that kept me from being able to care for myself, do my own laundry, feed my pets, clean my house, wash my clothes, run, jump and laugh. I hated the body that seemed to have betrayed me.  I detested the fact that I could no longer find peace in prayer when prayer had always been my strength. I was angry at God. 

But that was all nearly  five years ago.  To be continued....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

That old, restless feeling

I wrap myself in a tshirt worn by him, his fragrance tickling my senses as I curl up on the bed.  This shirt that's cut for a 6'7' body is too large for me and the fabric folds itself between my legs. I roll over, stretching a hand across the bed, feeling cold where the warmth of his body should be.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicNight time is the hardest. Sometimes I wonder if he's ever coming home though  I know he is. It's just that he's been gone so very, very long.  I scrunch a pillow up under my head and lay staring at the ceiling, wishing the night away.

I can hear the wind rattling the outside of the house and unseen objects are blown up against the structure.  I rarely question living this far from town but then the solidarity creeps up and the emptiness I feel makes me restless.  I try to outrun the night but I can't hide from it's inky chill.

I toss and turn watching shadows dance across the wall, a beam of light reflected from somewhere outside.  The t.v. screen flashes a DishTV message at me but I ignore it. 

I press his shirt against my nose, close my eyes and breathe deeply.  It's the nearest thing I have to his touch and I revel in it...for the moment. I can almost hear the soft thudding of his heart, his slow, steady breathing, feel the heat from his flesh.  I swim in a sea of warm memories. 

Soon.  Soon he will be home.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Somebody should have told me...

I headed out the door this morning, a spring in my step, excited about hitting some thrift stores and finding some interesting items. My morning caffeine fix rushed through my brain and I fairly buzzed about.

I visited one store after another.  At each checkout I asked the same question.  "Do you have any discounts or specials today?"

The shocker came when I visited the last store and unwittingly asked the same question.  The cashier asked if I was a "Senior".  I laughed, shaking my head no.  Out of curiosity I questioned at what age they considered a person to be a senior.  When  asked if I was 50 I felt the blood flush through my face, searing my scalp. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPicWhy yesYes!  I had  just turned 50.  When the cashier stated I qualified for the "Senior Discount" something inside me snapped and I wanted to yell "You take that back!  Take. It. Back.  NOW!  I'm not one of those...I'm not a senior...I'm not...I'm not... (dissolving in tears).

A quick mental picture of myself flying over the counter feet first planting one stiletto heel right between the cashiers eyes snuffed itself out before I could act.

I maintained my composure, graciously accepted my discount and scrambled to make a hasty exit, tucking my dignity between my legs.  After all, I did ask for it.  (How many times did mother warn you, be careful what you ask for?)

I sat inside my truck.  Stunned.  Surprised. In some sense even horrified. Many things ran through my mind.  I am now considered a "Senior".  I turned the key in the ignition and headed home, still in a bit of a daze.  I mean 50.  To me it was just another birthday.  No big thing.  But 50?  When the hell did this happen?

Image and video hosting by TinyPicI dragged myself through the front door, shrugged my clothes off and pulled on my fluffiest bath robe. My feet found comfort in a pair of fuzzy old house slippers.

Shuffling to the bathroom I wet my hair and put it up in big metal rollers (the kind with the spiky plastic thingies in the middle-heavens only knows where those came from!), washed off my makeup and put on my anti-wrinkle cream while contemplating where I would find a donut to sit my poor old tush on.  I squeezed in a couple of kegels for good measure.

A cup of weak, watered down tea sat cooling beside me taking the place of my usual double espresso while images of "Maxine" danced in my mind.

In front of the mirror, I opened my robe and much to my surprise I didn't see a "Senior" standing there.  My breasts are still perky, my butt cheeks aren't sagging, my belly still looks pretty darned good.  I continued to stare in confusion.  My mental image of "Senior" just wasn't fitting the image reflected back at me.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicI checked my teeth.  Thankfully I won't need polygrip, polident or any other denture grip because I'm blessed to still have all my own natural teeth.  I looked at my eyes.  Yes, there are a few "character" lines (I refuse to call them "crows feet") around the outer corners but my eyes don't droop and I don't have bags under them.

My mouth looks fine.  A couple of smile creases at the corner but nothing major. Definitely not any "road maps" crisscrossing my face.  Thank heavens.
With a final assessment of myself in the mirror I had to smile.  All in all, I look pretty danged "hot" and, if I'm going to be a "Senior" at least, by George, I'm a sexy Senior ;-)

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Last days of Summer

Image and video hosting by TinyPicI lay in the warm sun-kissed grass with the wind gently stirring, the sun glaring off my lashes.  I shield my eyes with one hand as I watch the clouds dance across the sky.  Soft puffs of cotton candy.  If I stick my tongue out, surely I can taste them.

Laying here, I have one ear turned to the sound of rustling leaves.  A sure sign the deer are traveling through the pasture and a clear indicator  the season is changing.  Fall is right around the corner.  The air is more languid, life has slowed down to a slumberous crawl.  A fly buzzes lazily nearby and dogs bark in the distance.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicThere's not much definition to the clouds today.  No fluffy bears or puffy dragons. A jet shoots by overhead leaving white streaks in its wake.

I roll over on my belly, propping my chin in my hands.  I'd hoped to recapture a childhood memory of calling out cloud shapes.  Oh look!  There's a monster!  Over there!  It's a clown!  A boat! A kite!  Whatever tickled my fanciful imagination, if I looked hard enough, it would be there.

I remember wonderful summer days doing this very same thing with my sons when they were little.  Each of us excitedly vying to be the next to find a really cool cloud.  Laying here makes me drowsy and I let my mind float back in time.  I drift away...slowly....with a small smile curving my lips.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Out of the darkness there came a light

During the darkness, before the doctors and God recreated me, I could find no relief from the torture of my traitorous body.  Unable to walk, to wheel, to move I sank into a dark depression trying to will myself to die and failing miserably.  I was denied what I craved most.  An eternal end to the mental and physical suffering.

Thrust against my will into the world of the living, surviving, the recovering, I grew angry.  Angry with God, angry with circumstances, angry with myself.  That anger got me nowhere.  Eventually I entered a state of resignation.  I resigned myself to fighting my way back.  Apparently God wasn't done baking me yet. 

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Day by day I forced myself to get up, get moving.  It was hard to do trapped in a body I didn't recognize.  My physical self had betrayed me.  It was no longer ME.  Not the me I'd known all my life.  The me that was physically fit, active 24/7, energetic...this new physical self had lost tone.  The muscles had collapsed on impact.  The bones no longer worked as they used to work.  I cried over the loss.

Unable to find relief from pain I began to experiment.  Doctors remedies weren't doing the job.  In my incapacitated state I had plenty of time to lay around and research.  Experimenting was more challenging, but it drove me, carrying through those dark days.  And then, at the edge of the darkness I saw a light.

The light came in form of a young boy.  A burn victim.  He became a candle, lighting my way, drawing me forward.  His pain became my own.  I wanted to absorb his pain, to help him find relief.  And in some small respect I did.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicBy the time I encountered "Christopher" I'd already experimented for quite some time and had begun marketing my own bath and body product line.  Everything I created was based on purely natural ingredients.  These creations I had used on myself and were the very things that had brought me relief.  They were my own natural therapy.  Christopher was my opportunity to share with others.

I packaged up some bath items that I thought would help soothe him and shipped them off.  Thus formed an ongoing relationship that has helped me on my own journey back.  It's truly amazing that such a huge gift could come in the form of such a small person.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicI thank God for sending me Christopher.  Little Christopher became the candle that chased away the shadows cast in my darkest hours.  A beacon on storm ravaged shores...Thank you Christopher.

(Christopher's mom, Lynn, is an ebay seller, Blue Diamond Products.  It was on ebay that we first encountered one another and I am forever blessed in having met her and Christopher, albeit, it was all online.  They may never know the huge impact they have had on my life....)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another man done gone!

I flew into the dental office like Marie Laveau, hair streaming wildly behind me, eyes flashing sparks of pain, long nailed fingers pressed harshly against my mouth.

I'm sure the dentist heard screams of "Another man done gone" as he looked at my wild appearance. I was in and out in record time! A simple replacement filling turned into a complicated extraction when said dentist shattered the tooth.

I lay writhing in the dental chair, my back arching, as two dentists pried at my tooth using my face for leverage.  My nose was skewed toward one eyebrow, my lips mashed painfully against my teeth. A passage from the song Marie Laveau flashed through my mind:

"Then Marie started mumblin', her fangs started gnashin'
Her body started tremblin', and her eyes started flashin'"

Amidst the dentists curses and mumbling I wondered if they were feeling fear...Mentally I was zapping them into hellfire.  Grrreeee!  ANOTHER MAN DONE GONE!

Now, a couple of Lortab later I sit here typing, one eye swelled shut and the entire right side of my face marching in time to native drums.  Lortab inspires inertia and my fingers drag along the keyboard.