Thursday, November 29, 2007

What I Should've Said...

What I should’ve said was “I love you” before you walked out the door. If only I had known it would be the last time I would see you. If only I had known that was my last chance. You were not yourself that morning. The spooning didn’t linger too long and you jumped up out of bed almost as fast as toast popping up when its ready. When I came downstairs to say goodbye I took in the image of you sitting on the couch wearing your favorite Giants baseball cap as you tied your high top sneakers. I asked if you were ok. You snapped back at me, something you just never did. It made me feel uneasy. I wondered what was wrong. I wanted to fix it. I always wanted to fix things then.

Your last words to me were “Hey Cat, can you at least take out the garbage for me today?” Cat was one of the many pet names you gave me. I told you that I would and looked at you wondering what I did wrong. I wondered why we didn’t say “I love you” to each other before you jetted out the door in a huff. I took those things for granted then. I took you for granted. For years I lived with many regrets, that was one of them.

Later on that day I would have the chance to see you again but it would be in the morgue. Then it would be your coffin. Then I would never see you again.

Today I am remarried and I never want to live with regrets. None of us knows what the future will bring. Every morning Lou leaves for work I always say “I love you”. And he always says it back. Then we hug before he walks out the door. I hope he will always come home to me where I will be waiting for him with a big hug hello…….the hug I never got the chance to give to you that day……

And sometimes I can still feel you hug me from heaven……

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Finding the Sun...

Here is my little boy, Bosco, laying in the sun. Wherever it is, wherever he can find it, is where you will find him. No matter how hot, he practically burns himself to fully worship the sun.

Over the weekend I was having a bad, panicky morning and as I sat on the couch worrying about stuff, the stuff I can’t control I watched my boy laying on the floor in front of our all glass storm door. It has become his spot, it is the spot in the house where there is the most sun. The sun is so intense at times that the wood floor gets very warm. There he was flopped on his side just laying there taking it all in and I could tell he was enjoying every minute of it. Peaceful and serene. That was what it looked like to me.

I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous. Which may sound crazy to some of you but its true. As I watched him soaking up the light and the warmth I wanted to enjoy it too. I thought “wow, he has it figured out” That is really all we need…..the sunlight, its warmth, and a place to just lay down and relax. We need to have more time in our lives, in our days to just sit back and face the light, enjoy the moments….the moments away from the chaos, the anxiety, and the fear. Sometimes it can consume us and when it does it can steal so much time. Time that is too precious to waste.

I think there is so much to learn from our animals. Bosco has taught me many things about life. In my many observations of him going through his day for him it is all about food, sun, love, and companionship and not necessarily in that order. I need to focus on more of those things during my day. Ok, maybe not the food but the others….yes.

I need to look for the sun in my day, in all the things that I do. If my dog can figure it out, than why can’t I?

Where do you go to find your sun?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Death Doesn't Take A Holiday...

That was the headline nobody wanted me to read….the news they didn’t want me to see on September 5, 1994. The day my life stopped.

I remember sitting at my dad’s house after we had just come back from the morgue where I saw Paul’s body, the last time I would ever see him, ever. Forever seemed impossible to me then, and sometimes still does. As I sat in the chair sobbing till I had nothing left in my body, till I was dropping to the floor there was a lot of bustle around me, I heard muffled sounds, voices that I couldn’t make sense of and yet they were so close. The news was on TV that nite and everytime I wanted to watch nobody would let me. Apparently Paul had already made a headline that nite. I was angry because I wanted to see it…nobody understood it was all I had left….all that was left of him.I was clinging to any thread of hope that he would come back to me….that I could see his beautiful face, feel his strong arms around me. The place where I felt safe.

Safety became something I would never feel again. Love was something I feared I would never experience without him in my life….until I met Lou.

The next day when the newspaper came out I got a hold of it somehow and read the headline…. “Death Doesn’t Take A Holiday”. It was like someone was cutting through a wound so deep, till more blood came weeping out of it. It was Labor Day that year, the day of the accident. What creative writing. I wondered if that person ever lost someone who was their whole life, I wondered if they realized the impact of their words….the words that have stayed with me for the past 13years, about the special person in my life who couldn’t stay…..

The one who went to fly with the angels……

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What I Didn't Tell You...

What I didn’t tell you then was that I had cancer. I didn’t look like a sick person yet. It was our third date, I had started my chemo and as I walked up the stairs to your apartment I noticed shedding hair on my white shirt. Luckily my boob sans its headlight was hidden underneath.

As I brushed the hair away and reached the top I felt my heart pounding and I was out of breath. And not in a good way. Not in the “I am excited to see you, butterflies in my stomach” kind of way. It was my surgery and chemo fatigue setting in and I didn’t want you to know.

As I stopped to catch my breath there you were in the doorway smiling. Smiling at me……the cancer patient. This was to become my new identity.

I didn’t want to tell you that I was afraid I might die, I didn’t want to tell you my hair was falling out. I just wanted you to like me. I didn’t want cancer to scare you away. I was angry that it was taking away my life but not by my death. Which is worse I wondered….actually dying or having a life and not truly living??

I didn’t want to tell you because I thought you would leave, I thought it would push you away……and that is exactly what it did.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Writing From the Heart

That is the title of a great book written by Nancy Slonim Aronie. It is one that every writer should read. I believe it will change you in many ways and not just in your writing. You see it is a spiritual journey that Nancy takes you on in both her book as well in as her workshops. Nancy has been a writer for many years as well as a commentator for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Nancy does not believe that anyone can really teach writing. What she does believe is that she can provide a safe place to write because if one feels safe than they can achieve many things. And as someone who has attended a few of her workshops I certainly can attest to that.

I read Nancy’s book first which takes you on a spiritual journey of what it means to be a writer. In the book she shares her own experiences as a writer but more importantly as a human being. She includes many exercises throughout the book which are really good and fun. It is in no way an intimidating process. I for one can say that writing workshops/classes have always greatly intimidated me. As a writer I never felt worthy enough to attend a workshop, probably because I didn’t feel like a true writer! But what exactly makes one a writer? I believe that we all have stories to tell, stories that have the power to heal us. When it comes to writing do you write from your heart?

In her workshop yesterday I sat and listened to her describe the difference between the brain and the heart and how it relates to writing. She described the brain as the computer and the heart as the place where you feel emotions. If you just write from your head or rather your brain you may be getting the information down on the page but it will be devoid of meaning, of inspiration. It will be missing the poetry, the rhythm that our emotions can create as we bring our words to life.

The other unique thing about her workshops is that you are given a writing exercise which is a lead in sentence, you write for about 15 minutes and then return to a circle where you have the opportunity to share with the group your creation. Everyone is given the opportunity to give feedback to each other. But it is all positive, that is Nancy’s rule. By the end of the day, there was much laughter, and many tears. I felt bonded to those in the room with me listening to stories of loss, and even of love. Stories of tragedy and of triumph. But what resonated throughout it all was the emotion being conveyed through each person’s words. Everyone seemed to be sharing parts of themselves that may have been tucked far, far, away. I have had this experience with Nancy’s workshop on more than one occasion and am still amazed at this environment she creates where we all feel safe to write. Where we all feel safe enough to write from our hearts……