Sunday, April 3, 2016

Remembering

In eight months, my life has changed drastically. It may be a little like learning how to walk again after years of immobilization, however it is likely much more complicated than that. Troubles began early on, I remember. My chubby hands grasped the splintery wooden handle as I fished around the filiment of green grass in the bottom of the Easter basket searching for another jelly bean or chocolate egg with foil. A few times I popped the chocolate into my mouth with foil still clinging to the candy. Mindless eating. Mouthful after mouthful. My basket was empty before 8:00 a.m. mass. 

I am uncertain where my issues with food originated. As a child, food was as plentiful, as love. I was adored and the center of my parents life for my first ten years until I became a big sister. Weighing just a few pounds at birth; my life depended upon accepting nourishment. Maybe it began that early. 

Food is the perfect companion for any occassion and remedy for any emotion. Just now at nearly 60 years old am I working to establish a healthy relationship with food for the remainder of my days. Not many succeed. I am reading everything I can about those who have been able to keep excess weight at bay over time. I am reading article after article listing habits of healthy people. 

I want to remember how I would become breathless walking up five steps into my house. I want to remember how most days I had to sit in the recliner with my ankles and feet elevated because swelling made them throb. I want to remember the humiliation of trying on outfit after outfit and having to reach for larger and larger sizes, eventually settling on frumpy. I want to remember how I would have to unzip my pants while at the table, so I could continue to eat way beyond the point of being full. I want to remember the ache in my throat as I held back tears after being called fat. My life depends upon remembering.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Mother

Oddly, Ben a guy I hung out with in college began calling me Mother. For some reason he thought I would be a good mother, "You're  born to be a mother," he'd say. At that point I barely ever had a boy friend, just secret crushes that grew exponentially in my mind. 

This June, I will kiss and hug my youngest son not holding back the ache in my heart. He is the seventh to leave home and embark on adult-things, but not the last. Soon, my mothering will morph into something undefined that will benefit me as a person and my aging children. It is the work I am doing on self-compassion and self-acceptance that has brought me peace.  My mothering has at times been over-bearing, controlling and filled with uncertainty. I have made mistakes, however my kids know they are loved. It has been the enormity of my mother's love for me to help me to realize that I am worthy of love especially self-love. This too is a gift to my children, if they accept it.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Prepared

This is the last day of the Slice of Life Challenge offered by The Two Writing Teachers. It is always great to be part of such a supportive writing community. Until next year...


Sometimes you just have to put up with it. Maine weather is particularly unpredictable. Period. Arriving home late from school meant that I walked in the dark. It was basically a lesson in chance when it came to dressing according to the temperature and weather. Regardless of the fact that in less than three hours the calendar will transition to April, I pulled the wool cap on my head, the soft cable knit cowl brushed against my chin as I donned my long down jacket. Clutching in each hand my Thinsulate gloves meant that they would be handy just in case. Walking unzipped, the wind whipped my jacket this way and that with the lower part wrapping around my body.  At times I turned away from the force and turned back closing my eyes while I marched ahead. My face was pelted by dust and dirt that accumulated on the sidewalks. The wind came out from all directions like a child seeking 
attention suddenly jumping out from a series of hiding places; unexpected, but yet expected at the same time. 

Had I known it was a balmy 52 degrees, it is likely I would not have over-dressed. But then again you never know what weather you may encounter during an hour-long walk in Maine. It is best to be prepared.




Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Silence

Quiet. So quiet and alone. A rarity. It took the flu for my husband to stay in bed all day. No dinner together. No news. No Parcheesi. 

Instead I am reading. It is a memoir written with such emotion; my heart aches. Presently, the only comfort is Jules, my big money cat who is curled purring in my lap reminding me of what contentment is all about.

Quiet. Alone. Did I mention I am seldom alone?  However I do value alone time in small bits, but not for a whole night. Perhaps there is a fear raging beneath that has been silent and not acknowledged for decades prior to meeting my husband.

He was sick through the night. I slept in my son's bed last evening. A big double bed for one feels really huge. I slept alone with walls separating me from my husband and the possibility of contamination. I woke to him yelling for help. Disoriented I stumbled out of the bedroom and into the steamy bathroom. I spoke to my husband through the shower door. My eyes looked for the blur of his image through the foggy glass. Instead his face was pressed against the glass, his head leaned on the ledge as he was sprawled on the bottom of the tub; his eyes closed.   I caught my breath and stammered, "Are you OK?" Silence followed.

I realize I fear being alone.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sit and Stare

My fingers idle,
The screen blank
As I sit and stare
Trying to extract
Something,
Anything
From a brain
Muddled after
A day's work
With so much more
Yet to tackle
At home
I just sit and stare.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Perfect Storm

The rain drops off of the eaves. It is a late March afternoon; a bit dreary, cold and damp making inside extra cozy. The wood stove contents crackle, while the furnace hums. Comfort cannot be found outside under the dull gray sky. All these elements create a perfect storm for reading, while nestled under a blanket and sipping hot tea. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Family Traditions

The 30 minute drive to Portland was made, but twice a year, late summer for school shopping and again just prior to Easter. Each spring my mother made sure we girls had little white cotton gloves, patten leather shoes, a purse, a fancy hat and a frilly dress. No matter how cool the weather we wore bobby socks fringed with lace. Whatever still fit from the previous Easter season was utilized and worn again. I would walk into church clicking my heels and swinging my purse as the quarter for the collection rattled inside the all but empty vessel.

Things are so different for us now. I wanted so badly to peel off my jeans and dress in a frilly dress with heels. Certainly, I would have been out of place during our present day Easter festivities. However, the family tradition of sitting around that table after dinner and telling family stories remains. True stories of varying perspectives of running white water with one paddle and a lost canoe, firework fiascos and the hilarity of a wee one's invented words. This is what makes a family a family-celebrations, traditions  and stories that bind us to the past, the present and future. I may not have had a chance to dress up, but the stories certainly made up for it.