Thursday, May 28, 2009

Goodbye, Daddy

So many crushing things, so many amazing things. To write about. Later.
Thank you, all, for being there.
My Dad May 1921- May 2009
I love you, Dad.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Hospice Care

Definition: A model of care that focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting patients with a life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice involves an interdisciplinary approach to provide medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support. The emphasis is on comfort, not curing. It can be provided in the patients home as well as freestanding hospice facilities, hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

I got the call early Sunday morning. To come. Come when we could. The end is very near. Hospice has been called, Dad goes home tomorrow. It was his wish to be at home. I only wish somehow that he knew what was happening. I don't even know if that is the right thing to wish. The one perpetually in control, directing all things (my Dad, not God) is now in the most opposite of positions. Things are changing so quickly inside him. So many struggles, risks, battles lost, losing battles. Failing systems... failing understanding.

We drove 5 hours, spent 3. Dad slept for over 2, then our visit. Through his difficult speech he expressed frustration that he hadn't been awake for the first part of our visit. He hadn't slept in over 2 days. I was glad to let him rest, to just be with him. But like him, when he woke and his bright blue eyes found me there, when his face lit like a light bulb, I did have regret. I have it now.

I did not say "goodbye". I could not; not because I couldn't bring myself to due to my own pain. I don't want to cause him pain. I don't think he is now able to understand, though I'm told it's been explained to him, what is happening to him. That his mind and body are both failing. That he has had another stroke. That the pneumonia is not clearing. That his throat function is nonfunctioning, and that the months of struggling to eat, spending 4 hours to find a way to chew and swallow a tiny meal, is a cake walk compared to now. That his stroke risk and aspiration risk and choking risk and pneumonia and heart risk coincide with the, I'm told, inevitable shutting down of his systems, with his daily increasing dementia, which in conjunction daily decreases his ability to speak, or to swallow saliva, or ice chips. That his throat is nearly closed due to collagen break down from his leukemia treatment 20 years ago.
He is the strongest person I know, in so many ways. A less strong person would not have survived the amazing life he's had, would not have survived the past year, the past week. The doctors have said that the only reason he is able to speak, to form sentences, to converse and relate to us at all is due the fact that his brain is so developed, so many neural connections strong, so very brilliant for so very very many years.

I am certainly walking a fine line at every moment, in denial most times-- I must be, and living in the moment the rest of the time. Is it a sign of maturity, or a free and clear blessing that I am able to exist this way? That I am not superimposing past losses, fears, fear of loss at this time-- am able to think somewhat clearly, and yet still not feel a desperate need to over analyze and find a way out of this, to control it? I feel blessed. I don't feel mature. I do feel old. I am suddenly very tired. I break down more and more. I find myself looking for distractions, a few minutes here, a few there.

Thank you. Thank you. For being there. A few minutes here. A few there.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dear Little One

Dear Little One

My dear little one, home, ill.

My beautiful little Vermeer, or Carl Larsson,

in the light that surrounds you

Waterhouse or Cicely Mary Barker, in your face, the light, the spark that you contribute

from within

My flower fairy, flaxen haired, skin of white gold,

eyes of varying green, bluegreen, gray,

A widows peak, forming, I've only just noticed,

where her silken flax meets her silken skin

Cherubic, become fae

Quiet, soft, on the mend.

Cherished moments,

the world slowed

Sun dapples the green and gray shade on the floor

of her fairy bower

through the windows of spring

green all round, quiet growing

like my sweet one

so rare in stillness

her hand in mine

a book between us

our eyes on the ceiling

both able to

share this moment

sweet like gossamer candy floss

and spun as delicate ephemeral

hearts united

my sweet love.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Twilight Zone

Twilight Tuesdays

* spoiler alert * spoiler alert *

I know... every woman or girl that reads Twilight reserves the right to be "Bella". (And Edward is the reason you would wish to.) This post is not trying to say that this is any more or less true for myself than anyone else. However, some weird things have occurred to me. As briefly as I can, I'll outline what are to me, at least, some bizarre coincidences between my teen self and Bella. Some are pretty understandable, some strangely specific. Most bizarre, debatably, is the fact that not a single one of these things occurred to me while I was actually reading the books! A testament to the universal appeal and the ability of the books to stand on their own? Or plain old denial/repression? You decide...

Child of Divorce-- I am. Easy enough.

Junior Year Move-- In my Junior year, I moved from living with my Mother in the East, to the West were my Father had lived most of my life, and where I'd summered/visited him. The move was my choice and was initiated by me.

Climate change-- I actually went from Wet to Dry instead of Dry to Wet. Green Primordial Kudzu and Honeysuckle draped forests and fields, streams and rivers, to Hot Dry Sunny Coastal California. (can't complain there!)Although, it now occurs to me, that for my first 30 or 40 days of school there, it rained. Poured, usually. All day. Every day. We all needed to take off our shoes during class-time so our feet would have a chance of somewhat drying off before we set off for the next class. (outdoor paved hallways with overhangs between and long the school buildings.)

Attention shift-- I received a HUGE amount of positive attention in my new school, as compared with my old school.

Girlfriends-- the first person to befriend me in my new school was named Jessica. Really. And though not as snarky (as far as I know; maybe Edward would know differently) she definitely didn't like my attention shift when I started seeing my -- what do I call him here? boyfriend? guy? first love? all descriptions seem inept and inappropriate given my feelings at the time. Our friendship didn't survive my romance, and after tracking her down years later, remembering her as dear to me and wanting to possibly rekindle our friendship if possible, I was left with nothing but the nagging feeling that she had either "dated" him after I moved away, or had wanted to!

HE--At school, I found myself Watching him from a distance, nothing unusual there. But then there were all the ways he was watching me too, how he would orchestrate things in order to pass by me in a crowd, how he found out my schedule and the seating chart and would leave hidden messages for me at my seat. He would literally drop out of the sky a foot from me when I would be quietly quizzing people about him, from the overhangs that covered our outdoor hallways. We had not yet spoken, save for him saying, nearly breathing "hello" into my ear as we passed, squeezed by each other in a crowd, also orchestrated by him. (my heart is beating just remembering it!)

His name has Edward in it.

Charlie-- the name Charlie figures prominently in my story, too.

Watching me sleep-- Once we were together, in the night, he would run several miles from his house to mine, and through my window, watch me sleep, sometimes suspending a letter or a single fragrant rose stolen from a neighbor's garden, by a thread from the eaves outside my window for me to find when I awoke.

WE-- had a meadow, and hills, and rain, and wildflowers and sun. I would hug my knees, watching him, while he would lie, smiling in the grass, seemingly comfortable anywhere.

He--Old fashioned, yet very hip.

He-- tall, handsome, graceful, well dressed.

He-- would eat things on a dare.(Bugs usually. Pizza he liked!)

He--Music snob, eclectic taste.

I-- my love for him was like a physical entity, and became like the air to me. I don't know how my heart contained it all.

I-- was intimidated by his greatness, his intellect, his accomplishments. Didn't know why he was with me. But I think, unlike Bella, I was able to believe that he truly loved me. He convinced me of it on an hourly basis. Perhaps that was unwise.

He-- was very fiercely protective of me, put me on a pedestal.

We-- worried our parents. "Too intense, too intertwined..."

All encompassing... for two years... Enough passion to sustain three truly passionate relationships... though He, like Edward, was the conscience, the one saying "no".
We-- talked of getting married-- He explored ways around the age of consent for marriage in California... discussed eloping...

He left-- Like Bella, I was destroyed. Like Bella, I had (have) a bit of a temper, and also was in many ways fiercely independent. He strove to have me lean on him solely, which I resisted for over a year. When I began to trust that I could trust fully, it was too much for him. He left. He did come back, but obviously, unlike Edward, his return didn't last. I was destroyed. Only the death of my Mother (5 months later) can compare with the utter devastation and grief. In many ways, it was more painful. Catatonic? Yes, and more. I can still find tears, even decades later, if I think about it.

Angela Weber-- my Angela Weber came along after he was gone (though not her name). Sweet, lovely, gentle, softspoken, intuitive, caring. I can't say she was there to pick up the pieces; there were none, just smithereens and dust. A balm to my spirit were the times spent with her. She is still hugely dear to me today. (Although, as I've said, she deserves to reserve the right to be Bella in her own story, too! As do we all. Like Bella, she had special qualities in her which have become truly powerful wonderful attributes.) She did marry her love after high school (though not right after) and moved to Arizona, of all places, where she lives him and her children to this day.

Motorcycles banned, ban ignored- I was forbidden from riding motorcycles, though, after we were no longer seeing each other, which meant he was no longer picking me up for school in the morning in his classic sports car, which he built with his dad, a warm kind guy friend would often stop and pick me up as I walked, late, to school and give me a ride the rest of the way on his motorcycle.

said he would have asked me to prom if he had known that my former "he" were no longer in the picture. Really, his name was Mike.

MISSED PROM --and really do feel like I missed out. Edward was right about that.

Weird? Or not at all?

Maybe I'm being silly; maybe we all have these types of universal coincidences...

(And you may wonder, after having read this: Do I in any way want him back? No. Not at all. Now, if Edward were to somehow come into my life, that would be difficult...)

Stephenie, are you really that good... ?


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day to the Amazing Women in my Life

What is Motherhood?

We all know the classic, the definition, don't we? But what about all the rest? What is it inherent in us to be, and to have the potential to be Mothers?

Why is it that girlfriends are so different than guy friends... that though our male teachers may mentor us, even care for us, there is not one who can take the place of that oh so favorite teacher, who with her grace and wit and knowing, left us both comforted and somehow desiring to be more than we already are?

One might ask, well then, is the question What is Womanhood? Yes and no... so easily "woman" can be an anatomical description, definition. But I understand this query. What is it?

What makes the power of our caring so universal and so potent? Are we at all times in a process, of becoming? So that the future of HUMANKIND rests so basically and so intricately on WOMANKIND? On Motherhood? On tenderness, strength, energy, peacefulness, perceptiveness, diligence, nurturing, vigilance, loyalty, faithfulness, sacrifice, selflessness? On the ongoing ability for a girl and woman to grow deeper into these qualities, these abilities? As a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, and ultimately, in many cases, a Mother?

Yes, ultimately, a Mother.

And yet, before and between and behind it all, I see we are mothering each other. Even now, I see it. And I think of you.

I am grateful for you, my daughter, my sister, my friend, my Mother, my friend's Mother, my Stepmother, my Mother-in-Law, my Aunt, my niece, my cousin, my girlfriend, my teacher. I am awed and grateful, too that one need never be "Motherless", as I have not been, thanks to you.

I wish the amazing and mysterious blessings of your beauty, your care, your spirit, your womanliness, your motherliness that I see and recognize in you, to visit and tend to YOU, on this day and always...

Isn't that what we are here for? And shouldn't it be so?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

For my Mother

For Helen Marie Budros


Paper Moons,

Tear them up Terry,

Helen of Crete,

The face that launched us all,

The Student Prince,

singing both parts,

Down the street, children follow, calling after

"Oh, Lana!" after Lana Turner

The nightclubs where, with hennaed hair

and fox stole, you stole the show, where

the spot light reserved to shine on stars and twould stop the band

stopped when you crossed the room, lit you and and followed you because and even though

you could all on your own

light up the room and

all could marvel at your striking beauty

Too much strength, become weakness

Too tough, yet soft, lovely

Streetwise, elegant

Sharper than most, shining on both sides.

Multifaceted brilliance.

Humor surprising

Joy like beams of light through clouds

A fighter, my advocate. Unafraid

of everything, except being too alone with her sadness and loss.

Wind beneath my wings,

Angels stole my wind

too early

too long since

your lovely smile, and happy twinkling eyes

have been any more than a memory

your broken heart, followed

eventually by your brokenness


your were taken from us

too early

so that I nearly

never want to be

early again

Mother of Seven, bereft set adrift loser of one, Great Depression survivor, minor depression sucumber, sister to four, Electrician's Apprentice, Rosie the Riveter, War Widowed by the love of her life, and yet not leaving my Father in Viduity when she left us because, Fool that he was, in one way at least, he'd already left her, all of us, really, artist, writer, crossword puzzler, mathemetician, strong tea with milk- hot or cold, stronger coffee without, wearer of Mitsouko, mover of Mountains, classic beauty, master- with Helen Cook- of the streaming multiple simultaneous conversation, Dubbed- with Helen Cook, "Fountain of Useless Information" by Col. Cook, drinker of warm beer (also with Helen Cook), smoker, broken heart.

For my Mother. Happy Mother's Day, Mumma. I love you. I miss you. I wish you could see them; they're really beautiful, amazing. I know you love them. You're in them. I know they'd love you, too.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Twilight Tuesdays ( vol. 1)

"For now, Tuesdays shall be for Twilight... as long as it lasts for me, so shall it for you."

Well, I didn't really think it would happen to me, didn't foresee it, even with all the available evidence. I am reading Twilight again. Well, the series. I've already finished Twilight. Again. I'm now reading New Moon. Again. I've also read Midnight Sun, but only once. (So far) I'm saving it, as for me the first time through, after having finished the four, it was the most delicious. In fact, I attribute my current addiction to having read Midnight Sun (the available chapters on Stephenie Meyer's website) after the fourth book progressed and culminated in a way that left things at a sated stopping point for me. And then. Then I read it. Imagine watching or experiencing your favorite film clip of all time, or music video even, in an isolation chamber in super hd, with that amazing surround sound system you only ever dreampt of ... Sure you loved that film, that clip, that video, that song before. That goes without saying. And could visit it from time to time. But now, you have the opportunity and experience to be INSIDE it, all the things about it that you already loved, cut to the heart of it's essence and mainlined directly to the heart of you. Well, then. You might become somewhat addicted too.

Of course, I am speaking of Edward here. But the concept I suppose applies to the storyline, too. In a more temporal fashion, perhaps.

This little blog series will document my thoughts and musings on these stories, and also some on the film. So far, I have been intrigued by several forums, and blogs dedicated to just this topic. However, even given my initial addiction to the books, I think that writing here is thusfar a more satisfying way for me to continue my experience. I think in particular Twilight Moms is a terrific site, and was tempted to join their forum for all the reasons it exists. I suspect, though, that there will come time all too soon when I will likely put away my Twilight; I wish to chronicle in part this amazing and unexpected experience before I do.

Perhaps I will reach others with similar musings. Welcome to you then! And welcome, too, are your comments.

Among the best of all from discovering these books, are the thoughts and discoveries I would not have likely made if not for the (hopefully temporary) obsession and exploration of Twilight elements. The apple photo, above, and it's photographer Diane Varner are one example. Her gorgeous art came up in a Google search for "Forbidden Fruit".

The surprising and moving music of Robert Pattinson, who stars as Edward in the film is another example. #83 on the player at the bottom of the blog is Never Think by Rob Pattinson.

As I was playing Never Think, while composing this, in trying to avoid interrupting the song, I clicked the pop out player, but it wasn't already playing, so I clicked it there too. Amazingly the first player (for once) didn't stop playing when I clicked away, and I was able to experience the most amazingly harmonious and haunting version of the song with both of them playing simultaneously, even having begun at different times... Wow. Incredibly beautiful and moving. Such a gift. And I wouldn't have thought that could have been possible; it's a seemingly simplistic song and yet NOT-- pleasantly surprised that it held it's own harmonies and rhythms so beautifully against itself. : ) Bravo, to you, Rob, on your quite old for your young years soulful musicianship. I'm hooked! And finally understanding (sometimes tearfully) the lyrics, now, I am doubly moved. (ahh, *sigh*...mmm....)

Viva Cinco de Mayo!


When the kids are older, I shall one day return to me old stomping grounds to celebrate as I once did...

Madam's Organ in Adam's Morgan

Heaven & HELL

On the roof at Perry's...

Ah, El Tamarindo... yum... !

Celebrate Safely!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Cherry Twist

Formerly titled: Twisted-- "No more Twist!"

"Everything was finished except just one single cherry-coloured buttonhole, and where that buttonhole was wanting there was pinned a scrap of paper with these words--in little teeny weeny writing--

I Love the Tailor of Gloucester. (by Beatrix Potter)

So much in there; it's chock full. Usually, I get so swept away by the illustrations, and sense of wonder, but recently came across it here: without illustrations and the words and messages spoke to me all the more.

I post it, however, because I'm working with "No More Twist!" in the sense that I want to make lemonade out of my lemons. I want to embrace the blessing and possibilities of the Cherry Twist and have the original essence of my more difficult twist fall away. Turn something dreaded into something somehow decidedly divine. And I have always loved the synaesthetic aspects of the "Cherry Twist". Delicious to me, even since childhood; I can smell and taste it. I suspect I am a minor synaesthete.

The strains and sadnesses that have recently been twisting me up inside have not gone away.

(One example, pertains to my Dad, and the VERY TWISTED way in which his children are blocked from seeing him or even speaking to him by phone on any sort of reasonable or regular basis, while he is in his final days here with us. The way therefore he is made out to be the one doing the blocking, by reason of his health, frailty or even desire, when in fact he is confused, and bored and frequently questions why we don't visit more often. Can you say "court imposed necessary & required medication for the prevention of the isolation of a dear sweet old man, ordered given to an OCD riddled, frantic, fried, resentful, embittered, germaphobe care giver stepmother constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown"? I'm sure it SOUNDS like I am exaggerating; I'm not. Though, I do UNDERSTAND. I just don't agree that the way to keep him alive is to keep everyone away. Nor do I believe that he is too tired or overwhelmed to talk on the phone for 2-5 minutes; I do believe that she believes she can't handle it in her current state. And by "it" I mean stopping her routine to monitor the phone call which she invariably does, or to think about us, or about how she is keeping us away. How can she possibly respect us after we let her get away with this so much? Yet, any ripple we cause in her emotional state will leave my Dad suffering even more. It is like a hostage crisis but with seemingly more limited negotiations.)

However, I have found rest at times from these cares over which I have no real control... And instead of just hiding out in my own isolation, I have begun to peek out and have found other more healing and happy escapes.

My amazing spring break was one. I shall write about that soon.

Intertwined as an aspect of that time away, and also standing apart, has been the Twilight series. What a gift that it should come along for me at this time when I need something irresistible to pull me from the constant reality I face these days. Needing to be irresistible, because it is admittedly hard for me to justify avoidance of worrying over these unresolved, heart wrenching things, hard to avoid the (self imposed-- no-one said it was rational) guilt, I think. I don't drink much. I don't carouse much. I am not a shopaholic. So I'm grateful, even if a little guilty to sometimes make my getaway-- to temporarily dwell in such places.

I know there is purpose in life, in my life, even in the seemingly trivial things, like which flower blooms on which day, which book I may stumble across to read and when, when the clouds break and the beams of light shine down, however briefly, just before the return to the darkness of cloud cover, or of a building, or of the burden of my own grief.

My burden thusly greatly eased, just as for the Tailor. So many button holes taken care of completely; only the one left for me to sew...

I only need to find just the tiniest bit more...

Cherry Twist!


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