Thursday, September 3, 2015

Life, Death, Life

I knew how hard this would be so I waited a bit.  Funny, it's not hard at all, it's a comfort to talk to you.  This is RICHARD and KAREN in better days, when they were alive and full of the joys of being so.  This night, I think they were appreciating Dad's fine Italian white wine.
Ricky and Karen DIED last month, about a week apart.  I had been caring for Karen as best I could, with her intolerable cancer which robbed her of everything but pain.  Ricky shut himself away a dozen years ago in full shame for looking and talking so poorly - I wouldn't have cared, I only wanted to visit him, but we all were turned away and now he's gone home.  He went first, so Karen would have someone there to welcome her.
I loved them, will mourn them, and the 6 of 8 remaining including myself find ourselves outguessing who will go next.  It's somehow cathartic to hear "Oh you'll out-live us all."  Hope not, I want to go home too. 
My parents each died of cancer.  Another brother is living with his cancer and fights so hard so well.  I wanted to be the one to cure all of them.  I'm very dramatic.  Selfish.  Afraid and confused.  ANGRY.  My spiritual base helps, I pray my little chants and stay clear of organized religion which I believe has nothing to do with God by any name, it's an invention of humans to soothe their need to gather, to connect, to bond, or just to show off a new outfit.  To me, religion is the most dangerous invention of humankind.  It has nothing to do with an almighty power like God. 
Saturday we survivors are gathering again, this time in the church we were raised in, for a memorial.   None of us are practicing Catholics but since neither Ricky nor Karen wanted a funeral or burial or any of the finely-honed rituals of death, we had one for Karen's multitude of friends and this one will be for both of them.  Ricky cut off contact so I don't know if anyone who knew him pre-MS will show up.  All I can do is be there for my remaining siblings.  This is for the living, the dead are fine now. 
While caring for Karen I came to start resenting her and found it very difficult to even look at her, and this I'll have to find a way to live with - somehow.  She barely weighed 100 lbs, was heavily medicated, and said things her sweetness never would've considered.  Yelling, spitting, cursing, crying, desperate for "more time!!" she'd say.  I couldn't give that to her.  The cries in the night became torturous sounds to my ears for nothing I did helped fight off her demons.  One night I soothed her hot forehead as she drifted in a kind of semi-coma, thanking me even then in her distress.  My Lord she was generous!  So caring, so funny, so loving.  I never heard her shout in anger at anyone - until then.  The cancer and Rx caused her to yell at people, all the while making them coffee or a meal, trying to stay on her poor boney feet, in a state of utter nonsensical acts.  This was not my sister.  So I came to resent this person.  She disturbed me in her neediness, and I can barely get up and down stairs so I decided I was making a great sacrifice of love as a good sister would, while deep down I felt ridiculous limping through the house with my cane, cleaning, doing laundry, vacuuming, caring for those 2 cats (O those cats!) and all the minutia of someone's home and life who is dying in a painfully protracted way.  Karen thanked me constantly, even in her insanity of cursing and yelling.  I did everything I could - dressed her, bandaged her poor ulcerated legs, drove her food shopping or just did crosswords together, which she was pretty good at.
She loved "yard-sailing" as she called it and was an expert at getting a dollar from a dime.  All of us have in our homes some little trinket(s) she picked up especially for us, always generous, always thinking of family.  Karen has a daughter, Alexandra, 26, a beautiful replication of her own light from inside always shining out to guide those lost on the path.  Alex was there when her father died only months before, now her Mom was being lost to her and somehow she managed to get through each day.  I'm so proud of my niece, who now has no parents.  She does have us.
You'll notice I don't talk of Ricky.  There's nothing to talk about, not now.  Yes there are old memories but I lost him before he died, lost to his pride and shame, and now his spirit is home and his useless body is ash.  Karen was cremated too, it's what they both wanted.  Wakes and funerals are the us, the living.  We don't need their bodies in a box underground, hard as rocks from the embalming and of no use to anyone but those who make a living from the business of death.
There's life, there's death, there's life again, and logically there's death once more - on and on in the great cosmic circle of whatever this all is.  I think our souls or spirits, whatever makes us conscious and aware, is something beyond understanding and cannot die - like energy.  Perhaps we're pure energy at the very basic level and once shedding this flesh we return to that collective of energies from all over the world.  The universe.
Karen used to say "I love you times infinity".  The night sky will never look the same to me now....
Fare well, my brother, my sister, until my own return home when our spirits reunite and we recognize each other right away.  Help me through this.  Please.
My heart is full and I cannot cry.  I cannot cry!

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Zone

We all have them.
Somewhere in your habitat, and wherever you travel, something called The Zone is close by.  It is always where you are.  It is invisible.  It makes no noise, has no smell, no one knows its size, and it cannot die even after you do.  It is a mystery.
Not quite a black hole, but very similar.  A black hole eats all cosmic matter falling into its orbit.  At some point it then spits it out.  It doesn't "pull" things in, it's just there for stars and planets to drop into. 
The Zone is very similar.
Nothing is pulled into The Zone.  Things simply "enter" as if instantly transported.  Zap - it's gone.  These items are usually a sock, an earring, one-half of anything, a precious letter, a glove, a shoe, a remote, your last AA battery, a favorite shirt you just had in your hand, your lower denture, the only working pen in the house, and a zillion things from your computer files.  Are you relating to this yet?
Research into the origins of The Zone have resulted in more questions than answers,  For instance, why do these Zones apply only to humans and no other animals?  A dog or cat has none, nor a bird nor hippopotamus.  Only homo sapien sapiens.  The wisest of wise man.  Indeed...
At some indeterminate time, The Zone will spit out the thing you've been looking for over an hour.  Maybe two.  It will not make noise, it will not give any clue to giving up the "thing".  It just zaps it back into your dimension.  If your eyes are good and you still have the sanity to keep looking, this is the time you find it.  Nothing feels as good as when you actually see that _________(insert anything)
There's no point in cursing The Zone to hell.  It is sociopathic and has no feelings.  It is cruel beyond measure.  You will have this shadow-place of mystery all your life, and when you pass away it is still unknown what happens to it. 
The idea that it follows you into the afterlife is too monstrous to consider. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

It's Not About Me

Time to introduce myself to a few home-truths in these cruel days of the shadow of death:


IT'S NOT ABOUT your instinctive need to comfort her when she cries out in the night yet wants for no comfort and will not be touched;

IT'S NOT ABOUT cleaning the house for her when it's already spotless and she never asked you anyway;

IT'S NOT ABOUT seeing if she's taken her medicine when she knows how to do that almost too well;


To Raise You ....

You sit in your corner chair, pillows, blankets, medicine...

You smile. My heart feels a tug and I pray God to humble me in this task. Time to help you up.

I open my arms like an encircling embrace of strength and love, and you hesitantly reach around my neck -

As you rise, your o-so-slender body slips from me

like a long white feather from a dove's wing.

You cannot rise. You are back sitting again, sad.

It's all about what you CAN do”, I say softly, “not what you can't. Let's try again,” You moan but try once more, and

After a few attempts you finally rise into my strong arms
and I release you to your world.

A world of medicine bottles and bandages, pain and frustration at a life which is as fickle as it is glorious.

You have an ocean of friends, who love you almost as much as I. This makes you happy, and you connect each day to these people of your heart.

We will do this, you and I, like sisters of another world who need each other to be complete.
Take your time, my sister.  Take your time in these, your last earth-days.   Never will I leave your side.

It is you who must leave me .....

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Holy Beetle?

We call them "ladybugs" but they're not bugs at all, they don't even qualify as insects yet they ARE beetles.  They're basically classified as a form of beetle with a hard exterior shell hiding delicate wings - a semi-exo-skeletal beetle is what I'd call them.  Where did they get such an unusual name, and what are they actually?

First they're a farmer's best pal, wisely used instead of pesticides as they munch on aphids and other pests.  They're also not hard to look at and don't sting or bite. 

The "lady" was named out of gratitude mostly from farmers centuries ago, who prayed to the Virgin Mary, the mother of the son of God, (wait, what?) yes well, it's called a glorious mystery just go with it for now; the Virgin is usually depicted in her red cloak which many believe to be the cloak of Jesus after his death, and when praying for a healthy crop farmers saw these red speckled bugs eating the aphids and were sure it was a gift from Our Lady.

Hence Ladybugs.

Don't ask me about that other thing....

Friday, March 27, 2015

Is That A Cell Phone In Your Pocket, Or...

How in hell am I expected to "measure up" in an electronic isolation tank called the e-age, when I'm just an old hippie looking for someone to smile at?  This is easy though, instantly spreading the minutia of my life out into the universe where once upon that time I used to play with stars and swim through nebulae.  An unfaithful me deserted this blog to favor Facebook as I edged closer to following the procession of my friends, and though I've made more they're still "imaginary" with names and faces but no bodies. 
I don't expect it to get worse, but it will - and I'll like it because most of those people are terrific, they really are.  It's the ones I see all around, the faceless unknowns...
More than less, these electronic people are isolated in personal "tubes" as they sit on the bus with heads bent in hard concentration looking down at their cell phones, thumbing in the unseen codes which make up their lives.  No one sees what they're doing, but it always looks important.
Cell phones?  I had a hard time accepting pagers!  Phones are now mini-computers you take everywhere.  Once upon another time, the only computer alive took up a whole room.  I don't think I like this, and I don't think I want to be forced to either, but I know I will because I need people and they need me.  We're connected you see.
Standing wobbly on the sidewalk this morning, leaning on my cane and sipping diner coffee from my cardboard cup, I heard my name called and was startled to see someone from the past rise up like a bad dream in the middle of hell.  This wasn't going to be good, I thought....
As he walked over to me, smiling like a shark, I decided to finally punch him in the face - with words.  I would list all the times he angered me when I held it back, all the lies I knew he told, the thievery from my home I knew he performed, and mostly, the condescending words he'd showered on me for many a year.  He inched closer and I got ready in my mind....
Funny how things never happen exactly as you plan them.  No, maybe not so funny.  I smiled and said hey long time no see how ya been how's your mom are you still with Dee find a job yet whaddaya think of this nutty weather and by the way it's great to see an old pal...hypocritical coward that I am, this mantra spilled down from my brain and fell out of my mouth.  I hate myself.   
I offered to buy him a coffee.
We chatted side by side at the diner's counter, pushing ketchup bottles and napkin holders out of our way and nursing our coffee.  I noticed his face was cracked and greenish-gray like an old sea turtle who's been under water too long.  He hadn't aged well - and he had the scent of his home on his clothes.  
I turned my head to meet his eyes.
"So tell me, what's new in your life these days?"  I wanted a better answer than "aw nothing".  Without a second's hesitation, he said:
"Boy do I love my computer!"  He took out a cell phone.
Time for me to leave...