Recently there has been a rash of other parents stating their kids have whipped out the “I HATE YOU” at them. Curiously I wonder what that would be like. I surely said it enough when I was a wee one, a teenage one and silently to myself as an adult toward my parents.
I wondered why it hasn’t happened yet so I thought that I would ask my darlin Chica. Her response was immediate and incredulous. I asked her if she thinks she would ever say she hates me or Daddy. Her blue eyes wide, she stopped and turned around and looked at me and said, “GOSH, no. I mean, no, that would be , wow, I don’t know, really mean, right?” (she is a closet Valley Girl) She goes on to say, “I mean, sure I will be mad , I have been mad at you but I would just tell you my feelings like ‘you are really making me upset, I feel so mad, I don’t like that or what you did but I would NEVER say that. I don’t even want to say it now. I would never say that to you. That’s just, HUH, horrible. Gosh. “
I want that printed in duplicate and notarized immediately. I might even get it tattooed on her forehead so she won’t forget.
Sometimes I really want her to grow up already and sometimes I don’t.
All I can remember is how the inside of her purse smelled; that forbidden zone of tobacco, wrigley’s spearmint gum-the green pack, pennies and leather. And I remember how she twirled her hair in knots in a succession of loose knots down a thick strand of her silky straight dark brown hair that matched her dark brown eyes. Her cheek smelled like Merit cigarettes, White Linen perfume and Keri’s lotion.
I remember the horrible fights and all the terrible things I said to her and all the terrible things she said to me. I remember being punished for sleeping with one of my high school boyfriends in my bed and she caught me. I remember the shame and anger I almost continually felt towards her all through my teenage years. I remember longing for her to be my friend, to be my protector and not my warden and irrational judge. I wished she would have chosen my happiness over her own and that I was as important to her as her boyfriend/husband/whatever.
I remember feeling ashamed while she got high in the car right in front of my grandmother’s house before we had dinner. I remember the tense dinners and admonishing tones my grandparent’s used when complaining about how she should get her life together. I remember feeling embarrassed for her, for me -for all those times.
I remember missing her but being glad to be away-living a new life with my boyfriend and being madly in love. I remember how proud I was that she loved Donald as much as I did. I was so proud when she hugged and kissed him hello and goodbye like he was part of our family. I loved talking to her on the phone and felt guilty to be so far away.
I remember the look we shared, that I have a picture of, the day before our wedding when we truly saw each with the deep love we felt, despite all the crazy fights, arguments, petty bullshit that happens when you love someone and they love you.
I can’t remember how her arms felt around me or how it felt to hold her hand and dance around the kitchen. I can’t remember the last time she told me she loved me. I can’t remember really the sound of her voice. I can’t remember how it felt when she kissed my cheek. I can’t remember how it sounded when she told me she loved me but I can remember how it felt.
I felt safe, I felt loved no matter what and best of everyone. I was never a mistake, she was always glad, usually proud and always interested.
My mother dying when I was 27 was a year after I was married, 3 years before I would have our first child, two years before I would buy her house and move back to my home town. 11 years before I would graduate from nursing school. 6 years before I would give birth to our daughter. 19 years before my 20th anniversary.
Too many hours, days, weeks, months and years before all the good stuff started. Where we got to know each other as grown women. She would never see me as a mother. I would never be able to ask her if my kids were anything like me. Like it was to raise me. If it was the same for her as a mother-to feel this all-encompassing love that fills you and crushes you at the same time. If she felt afraid all the time that something might happen and that life without children would be so unbearable. If she worried if she wasn’t enough. If I showed her that I loved her and if she felt it.
Having children without your mother is like driving your car blindfolded to the store. You know the route, it feels like you don’t even need to try really because somethings just are a sense memory and you don’t need to see but it is terrifying-not because you are driving the car blindfolded but because of all the other jackwagons on the road that you can’t control or even see.
A motherless mother is throwing darts in the dark and there is no one to tell you if you hit the bullseye or not, or even if you are close.
Watching reruns of The West Wing on netflix has got me hankering for Kristen Chenowith to BUST out into song every episode she is on. I imagine my life as a musical and she would star because I am that short, petite and blond with a terrific singing voice. I could be on Broadway.
Not really, at all really in any way.
The first act would open with a nearly naked girl clutching some scraps of orange clothing and a small towel that could be a dishcloth. Her bare feet on the tile floor are illuminated by the spot light as the background fades to darkness and the song begins….
(send in the clowns)
Baby cried the first day she was nude
She didn’t want to take off her underpants
She didn’t want to see anyone else whoo-haaaa
Because Baby, is a huge baby, can’t you seeeeee?
DON’T SHOW YOUR ASS
Keep it in your pants
Learn how to hide your cra-ack
…..spotlight fades and the locker room is lit and you can hear the squeak squeak of wet feet on tile.
Exit stage left
I can’t get the picture out of my mind. The couple entwined together in death, after being crushed by tons of rubble, in a garment factory. Their bloated dusty faces, embraced and broken, dressed in brightly colored clothing. If it weren’t for the unnatural thrust of the woman’s neck and back and the dead face of her male companion they would look robust, alive and save-able.
There are no more survivors. Hundreds of people were crushed.
For cheap underwear, bargain t-shirts, inexpensive slacks and socks.
Important news days are like a vortex that has the magnetic pull of a blackhole filled with naked Kardashians. I balance between wanting to know what is happening just like everyone else and the inabilit to process rapid gunfire, bombings, blood and violence. I don’t find any catharsis in watching the news unfold and the confirmation of getting the bad person cements no security in my head.
I turned on the computer and searched the bombing in Boston and clicked on the first link in google and then clicked on the link that had footage of the nighttime gunfight. You can hear the volley of shots back and forth, back and forth and then suddenly it is a stream of gunfire. Continuous, multiple, too rapid to distinguish individual shooters and all I can imagine is that whomever is being shot at with that stream of gunfire is going to be barely recognizable as a human when the bullets run out or the arm of the gun holder is too weak to fire.
That sound, that sound of death, destruction, endless, blackness, evil and blood. That sound of misery, hell, fury, anger and destruction. That noise, that horrible noise that does not make me feel protected or safe.
That noise makes me feel sick. It makes me feel afraid and alone. It makes me think that there is something horribly wrong with all of us on this planet. No one is exempt and we are all in it, in it together in this planet filled with oceans, clouds, birds, flowers, food, sunshine and rain. This wonderous place, our Earth, we walk on and live in its shelter and receive what we need to exist.
But we choose to rape 5-year-old girls, strap bombs to our bodies and blow up strangers, lay mines in fields our enemies gather food in, throw garbage out of our car windows into the gutters, leave the water running while we brush our teeth, use disposable dishes because we would rather take out the garbage then do dishes, deny our children food and beat them when we feel angry, burn the house down of a man who is black because he is married to someone who is white, pass laws denying the legal citizens of our own country the civil rights they legally are entitled to because they have a penis and fall in love with other people with penis’, refuse to pass laws governing gun control because it infringes on civil rights, require national standardized testing to measure school teachers and children’s academic progress but we won’t inspect a fertilizer plant that is right next door to an assisted living facility for the elderly since the 1980′s, men shoot their pregnant wives, young women are sold into slavery by their parents, children are kidnapped and tortured and killed, young men shoot and kill other young men over drugs and money, children in the riches country in the world go to bed hungry every night, mentally ill people are jailed and refused trials.
This beautiful Earth, filled with beautiful people making terribly violent choices.
What is wrong with all of us?
Not me, you think? Really? Not you?
I have been hearing and agreeing with the sentiment that the good people of our country out number the evil. That the good people of our country run toward danger to help those in need. I believe that and feel not everything in the world is bad when I see strangers reaching out to one another. I am afraid the bad people are so proactive. The bad people always have a plan. The bad people are so relentless and bent on hurting other people. The good people react well to the bad but what are we doing to stop the bad?
Certainly not passing laws and legislation that moves to keep certain guns out of anyone’s ownership. Certainly not assuring an equal quality education for all children. Certainly not providing mental healthcare for anyone in need. Certainly not making citizens who immigrate here feel welcome and needed, certainly not conserving our resources, certainly not feeding all the hungry people.
What is wrong with all of us?
Usually I love my job. I love the science, I love the puzzle, I love the interaction between doctors and patients. Sometimes I contemplate the possibility of going to jail, being fired and losing my license because it’s too hard and I just can’t get anywhere or do anything that seems to help anyone.
I am a surgical nurse, meaning I work on a surgical floor. This is the place you come to after recovery from the operating room or before you go to the operating room. I care for patients who have had all manner of surgeries including orthopedic, urologic, vascular, bariatric and every other kind of surgery you can think of. I love it. Truly. The body is amazing.
Did you know that you make urine, or pee-pee if you want me to speak more plainly, because your brain tells your lungs to make a chemical that signals your kidneys to excrete or conserve fluid? Nuts, I say, nutty.
Recently I had the pleasure of caring for a very elderly patient with dementia who had broken a bone. She is at baseline (more of that RN speak…meaning, she is normally confused and does not speak, act or participate in a manner that constitutes a normal train of thought) and she perseveres, is difficult to console and forgets almost immediately whatever it is that you have told her. It’s a terrible disease process and frustrating for both the possessor of dementia and the people caring for that person. Sometimes it’s funny. I don’t mean that person is laughable but sometimes the disease process makes people think in funny ways that make you laugh and would make them laugh if they were able still to put it all together.
My patient was very thirsty and I was spoon-feeding her some ice and pudding, I brushed her hair, gave her a massage of her hands, arms, shoulders and legs in an attempt to calm her down after her transfer from a more critical floor to our floor. It worked. She smiled and told me with glowing eyes that I was so pretty and that she loved me. She was a beautiful lovely woman who has lived a long life that I knew nothing about but I get to be in that moment, this moment with her and for that I am grateful. I am grateful that my interventions and attention ease her mind and body and appreciate her kind words expressed in love and compliments even though I know she has no idea who I am or what the hell she is doing in the hospital. In fact, she kept forgetting she was even in the hospital even though her body was aching painfully in ways she couldn’t put together.
Later I had to help her and in that help it caused her great pain but it was inevitable. She was, ahem, pretty mad. She yelled “you’re bad, you’re bad, you’re bad…” over and over. She said over and over again, “if you had children you wouldn’t do this, you’re bad, you’re bad, you’re bad…” Yikes. She was so upset. I tried distraction. I tried comforting. I brushed her cheek gently, I smoothed her hair and smiled at her. I sat down and held her hand and reminded her just before she had told me I was pretty and she loved me.
In a complete moment of clarity she stopped yelling and persevering and looked at me and said, evenly, clearly and with confidence, “Well, I was wrong about that.”
I love my job. I feel so lucky to connect with people on this level. I feel powerless at times and that is supremely frustrating but sometimes, rarely but with startling clarity I am present with someone and I am thankful for that moment.
Thub-lub, thub-lub, thub-lub. My heart beats its own electrically charged determined path despite and regardless of what might be more interesting, better, easier, harder, worse and different. When you are born your body is programmed to change and erupt at prescribed times; teeth, breasts, hair, fingernails, bones and muscle. All of these things inside you waiting to become fully what they are intended to be but slowly unfolding without permission from the self bursting forth-allowing you to capture people, places, things to make memory or possession of adding to the structure of your self.
Constant change as you get older, changing to become more of the same.