Monday, December 12, 2016

Thankful for the Memories

I could tell you stories about this girl.
She was living in L.A.
It was her world.
too naive to be afraid or cautious.
just out there living,
thought her life was flawless.
Building, making a living, by a string.
Never knowing how much the money pay day would bring.

These stories I could tell might make you blush.
Have your mouth hanging open,
your head would rush.
Like you had a cocktail.
Did she really do that?
Did she wear that?
No shame.
No sorrow.
No worries about tomorrow.

Between twenty and twenty-five
found a deep,
loving relationship.
made her feel more alive
than ever.
So much time together
they spent.
She hoped would end in engagement.
It didn't.
It was over.
He went his way.
She went hers,
with a broken heart,
wondering if she would ever find love again.
Would she ever stop dreaming of him?
Wondering why it had to come to an end.
It had been so right, for so long.
Until it wasn't.
What went wrong?
Exactly, she would never know.
Bad timing.
Not meant to be.
How could that be true
so in love was she.

Twenty-five to twenty-eight.
the party on pause.
She got her head on straight.
Found love again,
of the marriage persuasion.

Before she would settle down,
with the love she had prayed for...
There were adventures.
There were travels.
So many doors
to walk through.
There were lovers, some forbidden,
made them all the more fun.
Friends, jazz festivals, concerts...
always on the run.
Weekends in Palm Springs,
shopping sprees, girlfriends.
A career.
Her own business
making ends
It was cool, wild, free,
unerving at times.
A place of her own
-where she wrote her own rhyme.
Lonely days
-especially Sundays.

What there was not...
were any real worries.
Somehow, the rent would be paid.
Car notes would end, without aid
from anyone or anybody
Enough money for that weekend in San Francisco.
That trip to Mexico,
nights at the disco,
margarita drinkin,
glasses full with libation
would be carried out of bars,
into open air cars,
back to the hacienda.
There would be oceans, bikinis and waves broken.
Montezuma would have his revenge.
Oh, but the laughter, and the ocean.
It was worth it.
All of it was...

The party became a wedding.
The girl became a wife,
a mother, a woman no longer waiting
for true love.
Carefree days
became carefull days,
of nurturing,
and the sweet smells of the most perfect baby
she ever would see
The tiny human
How could she ever love him

Days would come when she would ponder
and wonder
what happened to her?
Where did that girl go?
Who is this new person
she has become?
Is the girl still there,
somewhere deep inside her?

The memories alone would give her smiles for years to come.
Glad that she had them
to reflect on
The distance of those days of fun and freedom
would sustain her.
She smiled at that young naughty girl,
and then she exhaled.
Thankful for the memories.

Monday, December 5, 2016

I was just thinking...

Inside my head 
 there is light 
to-do lists that never end
   simple things 
become complex 
the complex, unfinished 
celebratiion of mastery
open your eyes
you will see it
it's there 
I promise 

 Who am I? 

How did I get here? 
Where am I going? 
 I live here? 
What do I want?

Where are you old friend? 
What happened to us?
Thank you new friend
illumination in a dim world
grateful, true friend
 lifetime friend 

is there 
Wake up! 
Pay attention!  
He's playing music
thinking thoughts 
he didn't think before
washing linens
developing relationships
making a life
simple things
are huge 
if you watch
you will see
It will rock your world
if you let it

Hold up
I hate you 
let it be
the universe is doing it's thing 
without my help
wait a minute
there it is... 
accomplishment in minutia
grace in action
and then some
behind peers here 
light years ahead, there 
 mind -overflowing
 heart generously given
he is me 
the best
 the worst 
a mirror
 a reflection 
I wish not to see

And then there is marriage 
all encompassing 
all in
promises kept
we are one 
and yet, two
growing together
falling apart
giving our all
keeping inadequate pieces
he wants me 
he needs me 
so does he
 so does she
there has to be me 
before there can be we 
without me
 there is no us 

I love you 
I am in love with me too

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Only Way to Walk

I confess  ~I am glad that I was 180 miles away from Blue this weekend. The distance betwen us allowed me not to fully take on his anxiety the way that I normally do. He was overwhelmed with his research paper and other homework assignments. Of course as always, I felt guilty for leaving, but once I did, I was happy with my decision.

I went to an adult party Friday night at my friend's house in Houston. Well, it wasn't exactly all adults. There were children and teenagers present, but not mine.  It's difficult for me to socialize at a party if my children are present. Who am I kidding? I'm so out of practice, it's hard for me to socialize period, these days. I've reached the point in life, where I don't like small talk. It feels like a waste of my already limited energy. If we're not going to connect --if I'm not learning anything real about you, your life, your world view, or sharing something real about mine, I would rather sit in a corner and play with the animals and small children. Children and pets are always authentic.

But of course, I digress...

During the party, I started getting a texts and missed calls from Blue. He was freaking out about his research paper that was due on Monday. He had gathered so much information and couldn't sort through it all, to narrow it down to a reasonable size, in order to complete the paper. He had already used extended time over the Thankgiving break to get it finished.

After several panicky texts. I called to talk to him. It ended up being a waste of energy. He wasn't listening to anything that I said. He was just venting and spriraling himself up into oblivion. When he finally stopped to take a breath, I redirected him to some of the resources of help that he does usually listen to (his mentor Kylie, his Language Arts teacher and his therapist)  and then I hung up.

The next day, I talked to him one more time where again, he would hardly let me get a word in.
Okay, I get it. Lesson learned. It takes me a while sometimes.

Talking to him is a pointless energy drain when he's like this. After this conversation, I decided that we would only have text communication for the rest of the weekend. This way, I could temper my reactions and empathize with his feelings, instead of being compelled to offer advice that he wouldn't take anyway. I would give short, concise responses that would not translate my heightened state of emotion. Hopefully, therefore, not increasing his emotion.

He continued to rant via text about not having enough time to do everything and feeling pulled in too many directions. He came up with objections to all suggestions given to him by his support system.

Instead of getting upset and emotional, I texted responses saying things like...

"When you're ready, I'm sure you will take one step at a time. It's the only way to walk."

"I know you will get through this."

"A lot of people have issues with procrastination. I know I do. Sometimes, I have to force myself to start working. I just do my best.."

"I can't afford to be a perfectionist when I need to get things done. I have to relax my high standards, because I just want to finish."

His reaction...

"Nothing is going to work!!! I can't do anything! I'm too slow at everything!"

My response...

"You sound upset. I'll be glad when this nightmare is over for you."

"I know that there will be a resolution in the end, and I'm willing to bet it won't be death."

 "As Dory says, "Just keep swimming!"

His reaction...

"What if I can't complete it? What about this other assignment? What about the other project?"

"Feeling like I will never finish, makes me want to shut down and do nothing."

My response...

"It must suck to feel that way. Well, all you can do is your best."

Then, I started sending messages about chunks of time that I would not be available at all --where my phone would be on do not disturb.  This would give him chunks of time to choose to do the work or not.

I was in Houston with my husband visitng my girlfriend. I needed this time. I don't have much adult socialization (other than online) when I'm at home.

I texted statements like, "I'm going to take a nap now. I won't be available for a while."

Or, "I'm going to brunch. I will not be able to respond for the next three hours."

And then finally, "I am going to dinner and a concert. I won't be able to respond for the rest of the night."

Finally, Sunday night while I was at the concert (Barbra Freaking Streisand, by the way! And Yes. She was phenomenal! It was the concert of a lifetime, that I will never forget. Thank you bestie for getting tickets for us! I love you more than cookies!) I received this message from Blue...

He said, "I know you won't read this tonight, but I took the rest of the day and finshed my final paper. Ms. A. (our neighbor) will be picking me up early in the morning so I can finish my test review then."

Ah yes! He has risen to the expectation!

At the intermission, I responded, "I am so proud of you!!!"

He didn't finish everything he had on his plate, but he did finish his paper. One of the reasons it was so difficult for him, is that he such felt deep emotion for his subject, which was Racism in America.  He wanted to put everything in that he had learned in the paper, but he was out of time and it was only supposed to be a 5 page paper.

Here is one of my favorite lines that he wrote.

" order to eradicate racism once and for all, we primarily have to face the discomforting battle of defeating implicit bias, along with peacefully advocating for racial integration, reform the criminal justice system, and most importantly, remember to fight oppression with love instead of hate."

Has he been listening to his mama, after all? 

I think we both made progress this weekend.
His was putting together a brilliant piece of writing, despite his challenges.
Mine, was letting go just a little bit more.
The distance between us allowed us both to grow.
I knew he could do it.
One step at a time.
It's the only way to walk.