15 Empowering Things to Tell Your Kids (and Yourself)

AWR say I love u a lotAbout a year ago, I was cracking up (not in a good way). I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. So I did both. Often. And intensely.

I had been caring for my then 83-year-old mother with insufficient support for about eight months, and I was about to lose the plot, cash in my chips, throw in the towel, give up the ghost.

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Life Breaks My Heart

Life Breaks My Heart (Image thanks to GraphicsHunt.com)

Life Breaks My Heart (Image thanks to GraphicsHunt.com)

Life breaks my heart.
Life breaks my heart.
There it is land-sliding
Down my lover’s shoulders
When we discover his dog:
Dead in the backyard.

Life dissolves my heart.
Life dissolves my heart.
There it is flowing in the river
Of my mother’s tears
Because she can’t go home:
Yet. Continue reading

See me?

See me?

I’m writing.

I’m writing a play. A book. A blog post. A dozen blog posts. Articles and particles, bits and pieces, nuts and bolts.

A lifetime. I’m writing a lifetime.

I’m writing a lifetime in which the main character is invisible. Unseen. Unheard. Unnoticed. She barely exists in her own story. Or so it would seem. At times. Continue reading

An Endless Prayer

This is part of an endless series of posts about my experience of Alzheimer’s disease. Some others are: I see you and me. And love. Loving Words at Sunset, Life Breaks My Heart, The Lost and Found, and See me?

An endless prayer

Pinkie Patti prays with “her beads” (Spring 2012)

An Endless Prayer

She has fat little fingers now.
Her precious rings don’t fit them anymore.

At night, she counts her rosary:
one bead after another after another after another.

In the day, she sits and strokes the tops of her legs:
up and down up and down up and down.

Her hands, the days and the nights:
soft, gentle tides going in and out in and out in and out on a desert island.

I wonder what she feels as she comforts herself and gazes,
mindless, into the near and far.

She turns to look at me.
“Hi Punkie, I’m so glad you came to see me,” she says.
My heart is in a million pieces.

Post notes

I wrote this poem in this morning’s writing group. The prompt was “Five easy pieces,” a quick warm-up exercise in which we were asked to write five discrete sentences thus:

  1. describe someone’s hands
  2. say what they are doing
  3. add an exotic location
  4. ask the subject a question
  5. have them partially answer the question

Tweak if necessary when done and voila!

Oh Mom! (A mother/daughter moment remembered)

All business in the ring

All business in the riding ring

“Oh Sue.”

I’ve heard those words from my mother at least a million times:

“Oh Sue, you’re so opinionated. Oh Sue, you’re so serious. Oh Sue, why do you have to be so argumentative? Oh Sue, did you have to get your hair cut that short?” Oh Sue, something-or-other-that-doesn’t-quite-measure-up.”

Like many mother/daughter relationships, ours has been fraught with issues and challenges (as well as joy and happiness) about which I blogged a year ago today. So, it’s curious that the one “Oh Sue” I remember most specifically isn’t a criticism, but a little cheer. And I hear it as clearly today as I did forty-four years ago across a riding ring one late-summer afternoon. Continue reading

10 Notes in an Ode to Joy

A beautiful accident

A beautiful accident

According to a happiness test I once took, I score highly on the “happiness scale.”

But I don’t often feel happiness. Rather, I frequently feel joy, which for me is a different and deeper emotion, and which can be evoked by the simplest everyday things.

There are countless notes in my continuing ode to joy; here are 10 of them: Continue reading

The Lost and Found

AWR we will be foundAmazing grace.

The words “lost and found” always make me think of amazing grace.

Not of lost mittens or keys or caps or a single red shoe. Nor of the “lost and founds” one must call in search of them. No.

“Lost and found” makes me think of amazing grace:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, and now I see… Continue reading