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I’m Glad I’m Not a Rock.

I’m Glad I’m Not a Rock.

I touch no one and no one touches me.

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Eleven Seventeen.

Eleven Seventeen.

I’ve been sitting at my desk for hours. My stomach growls. I check the time to see if I can eat lunch yet. It’s 11:17. Of course it is. ****** A few days later: I’m cleaning up the kitchen. My eye catches the clock on the stove. 11:18. I giggle and sigh, relieved. I turn to the microwave, forgetting my appliances are rarely in sync. 11:17. Damn it. ****** Another time: I wake up on my couch, a rerun of Parks and Recreation playing on Netflix. I check my phone to see how long I’ve been asleep. Not long. It’s 11:17. ****** I’m in the car running errands around town. “Here Comes the Sun” plays on the radio. Mom loved this song because George Harrison wrote it. George was her favorite Beatle. I park and check the time. 11:17. I sit in the car to finish the song, singing along through tears. ****** It’s been like this for weeks now. Nearly every day the clock catches me peeking at 11:17 even when I’m consciously avoiding knowledge of the specific time. Mom’s birthday was November 17. 11:17 is her time. I know it’s silly. When it’s a random, occasional thing, I rather like the small reminder from the universe. This constant barrage is something else entirely. I’ve been reviewing old emails concerning my mother’s care from the last few years of her life. Doing so is like picking at a scab. The emails are in a saved folder on the AOL account I used at the time. The last one from the executive director of the nursing home is dated April 11, 2010. The next email in the folder is from April 28, 2010, regarding the memorial fund I set up in my mother’s name with the National MS Society. So much went on between those two that isn’t documented. It doesn’t need to be. I looked back to see if there was a flurry of emails around this time five years ago, perhaps a reason for all the reminders of Mom right now, but no. It seems things were quiet in February and March of 2010. I remember my husband and I were busy looking for a new house at that time, so I’m sure I was thankful for a break in the drama that typically surrounded my mother. I know one thing for sure: I didn’t know she’d be dead two months later. I’m not beating myself up that she wasn’t the center of my focus until April 13 when she last was admitted to the hospital. I couldn’t have known what was coming and having been down similar paths so many times in the previous year I had no reason to think it would be different that time either. I had learned not to take the calm for granted. There’s always a storm coming right behind it. I’m not sure who made the five year mark a milestone. It hardly matters now because this is where I am, on the precipice of what feels like it’s going to be a difficult season of grief. featured image...
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Fade Away.

Fade Away.

Am I even really here?

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It’s Best Not to Wonder.

It’s Best Not to Wonder.

If I had to guess, I’d say my father was probably fishing on Sunday. He once told me that was what he liked to do with his time. He also used to do projects around the house, like that year he spent digging out a basement underneath the cabin he lived in, but I’m not sure he’s in any shape to do that sort of thing anymore. He turned 65 last month. At that age, I guess anything is possible though. I really wouldn’t know. While I did my best to keep the focus of Father’s Day on my husband, thoughts of my own father kept creeping into my mind. I pictured him sitting in his rowboat, that one he had shown me all those years ago when we went for a walk along the lake he lived on. I could see him sitting there, the oars perched off the sides in a way that I honestly don’t know is even possible as I know nothing about rowboats. Maybe it wasn’t a rowboat. I’m not sure now. But it was blue. Or white. I actually can’t remember too much about it. In my mind he was smoking. I wondered if he would pitch the finished butts out into the lake and risk hurting the fish or if he’d stamp them out in an ashtray he’d brought along with him. I pictured the old lunch cooler he used to bring to work, the red one with the flip down white lid. I’ll bet this one didn’t have beer in it though. He’s been sober for over twenty years. Well, last time I talked to him he had been sober. He probably doesn’t have that cooler anymore, anyway. I wondered if he would head home at a certain time to sit down to a meal with his second wife, the woman he married some time in the last 15 years or so. I’m not sure when that happened. They weren’t married when I met her and then the next time I talked to my father they were. My father’s remarriage was one of those big things that remains a mystery to me, mostly because I wasn’t included in it. I wondered what he’d think about, sitting there in the boat. What would he talk about later with his wife? Surely he knew it was Father’s Day. Did he wonder where his children were and what they were doing? And then I wondered what kind of father abandons his children, gives up without a fight, just walks away. Not just once, either, but multiple times, over and over. I want to think he had a good reason, but in all this time he’s never once shared that with me. I want to think that if I were in his position, if I had been given the second and third and fourth chances, I wouldn’t squander them. But maybe I would. Maybe I couldn’t turn it around either. Maybe some people aren’t worth fighting for. Maybe he feels the same way about me. Edited to add: This post took crowd favorite over at yeah write last week! Thanks to everyone who read, voted, and commented! Featured image...
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Sometimes I Get Sappy.

Sometimes I Get Sappy.

Last year I posted one sentence because I waited until the end of the day to post. Today I’m getting it out early so it can be a little something more. I’m going to go with the obligatory theme of thankfulness, what with it being Thanksgiving and all. I’m thankful that Nathan is finally feeling better (I think) and that he slept all the way to 5:41 this morning. I’m thankful he only woke me up one time during the night (4 a.m.). I can assure you that I will be thankful when he goes to bed. I am truly, truly thankful for such a wonderful boy whom I love so very much. He has taught me so much. I’m not even going to make a joke about how he’s taught me how to live without sleep, because that would be obvious, and also because this is the part where I proclaim my love for my child without a sarcastic remark. I’m thankful for my husband – for being by my side for so long, for working so hard for our family, for all of it. I’m thankful for wonderful friends. I have friends who know what I need, sometimes before I do. I have friends who are like second parents to my kid, which is something I never thought I’d need so much, but, you know, the village. I have friends who let me dump on them daily and they are still there, friends who call just to talk, friends who care about me. I never wanted to need friends, but need them I do, and I’m so thankful to have them. I’m thankful for a job that makes it easier to keep my family as a priority. It’s not an easy job, it’s not all sunshine and roses, but there’s understanding, and that’s not easy to come by. I’m thankful for a house full of stuff. Even if I want to get rid of all the stuff and live that minimalist life I keep yammering about, even when that house threatens to fall apart in a new way every other day, I’m so lucky to have what I have and for that, I am thankful. I’m thankful for the ability to write – the physical ability, the mental ability, the time, and the resources. I don’t know where I’d be without that. I’m thankful for every single person who reads this blog and for every single comment (OK, not the spam, let’s not go overboard here). I’m thankful for the writers I know who keep me going, feed my writer-spirit, and who gently say, “Don’t publish that.” I’m thankful that even when things are crummy, I have hope and dreams and someone to share them with. I complain often, but I’m thankful. Maybe I don’t say it enough. Maybe all my lamenting makes it seem like I don’t know how lucky I am, but I am lucky and I know it. Happy Thanksgiving. This is NaBloPoMo Day 28. You can read more here. Featured image credit:...