First, I’d like to say thank you to all of you who expressed sympathies about losing my dog Maggie last week. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me except to say, it meant a lot. So, thank you to everyone.
Going against my natural instincts, I decided to adopt another dog, rather than wait. I think that Maggie would’ve been happy about that. In fact, I am too. Because out of the deep sorrow I felt at losing my dog of 13 years, I am now feeling immense joy from the new puppy. Lily.
I will always have the old memories of Maggie – she was a remarkable dog – a remarkable ‘person’ and can’t be replaced. But Lily is a little white bundle of joy and I look forward to making new memories with her.
If you have lost a beloved pet, I empathize with you. Deeply. It is a profoundly sad experience. But if you are holding off in adopting a new pet, don’t. Please, don’t. There are so many wonderful animals out there just waiting to find a loving family. And you could be that family.
Love each other to their very souls
Argue, fight, cry, and refuse to forgive
Hate springing from love
Defiance of wills
Both want to be the woman of the house
But one must lose
For the other to win
But neither wins
Because they are a part
Of each other
They must come back
Together or it all remains broken
And it can take years
To find the glue that can mend
Those broken pieces back
Into the whole they were always
Meant to be
And those years can be
And when you’re not looking
You see a part of her
A hand flutter
A shrug of the shoulder
A sudden laugh or gasp
You hear yourself
And you sound just like
Gasp. No, not that
I am me, not her
But later you don’t mind
Not so much
You’re okay with the fact
That you love cooking
Because she taught you
That you love flowers
Because she showed you
That you love to read
Because she bought you books
And just because you’re a grown up woman
Doesn’t mean you don’t need her arms
To hold you
To comfort you
To tell you it’ll be all right
That she was your first person
Your first emissary into the world
That she knew you before you were born
That she grew you in her garden
And when you look at her
It’s with her eyes
Mothers and daughters
Complicated, crazy and yet so easy
So basic, so simple, so real
You’re just a part of her
And now you know
That that is how it is meant to be
That when you look into your own eyes
You look into hers
When you dig into dirt
It’s her hands that help you
And finally, being just like your mother is what you want to be.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom
A mathematical approach to love? It can’t hoit, right?
Happy V-Day. 🙂
You’ve been gone a long time.
And you’d think by now I’d be used to the idea. You’d think that I wouldn’t wonder what your opinion would be about all the crazy crap going on in the world today.
You’d think that the arrival of Father’s Day wouldn’t still hurt like hell when I realize there is no place to send a gift, a card or place a call.
But hell, you’re my dad and I still miss you.
I still want to call you up when I’m feeling blue or when something kick-ass happens. Or when I hear a really funny story. Or even when I see a Budweiser commercial.
I still feel the need for your wisdom. For your perspective. For your cantankerous attitude about all things flaky.
I laugh when I imagine what you’d say about political correctness, climate change and the outlawing of plastic bags and light bulbs.
The worst part is not knowing where you are.
Are you living a new life in Minnesota as a slack millennial? Are you organizing a country band in Heaven? Are you blissfully floating out there in the ether? Or are you just sitting on my shoulder, whispering, everything is going to be all right?
Wherever you are I hope they have boats, Budweiser and country music. I hope they have good coffee and color TV. I hope you’re happy.
I hope that you know that I love you and miss you and wish you were here.
All my ♥
She painted her fingernails
the color of love
It matched the roses
on the kitchen table
that the dog knocked over
in pursuit of a spider
She saved the petals
and swept up the glass
ate another truffle
then planned a dinner for one.
He tires easily these days.
But sleep is a tangle of the past and waking moments a fog of routine.
Mornings in the park with the pigeons
Afternoons playing pinocle at the senior center
Evenings inundated by nightly news and game shows
Nights….waking and listening for her footsteps.
Lost he is without her.
“You weren’t supposed to leave me,” he mumbles from his heart.
“Til death do us part,” her spirit whispers. Or was it just a breeze?
And the band plays on.
Christine’s tires roll
And Clancy Jane’s tires go round and round
“I’m a little teapot, short and stout – here is my handle, here is my spout…” Before I ever knew what those words meant, I sung them to amuse grown ups. Mommy…Daddy…aunties and uncles. The words gave me a fleeting power to command the eyes, ears and attention of adults. For those few moments, I ruled, cavorted, made them laugh and praise me — using my blond ringlets and fetching dimples to their maximum power.
It wasn’t long though before I connected the words to the vessel that made tea. A wonderous liquid with healing capabilities far beyond touted claims. The power to comfort. The power to reassure. The power to warm. The power to make a sick little girl feel not so sick, not so lonely.
And tea had its greatest power when I was ill. Mama always made me tea and toast whenever I was sick. Oddly, when I was sick and Mama went through the tea and toast ritual it was the only time I felt unconditional love emanating from her. Bringing a tray into my darkened sick room, Mama spoke softly – felt my forehead and smiled at me as though I were the center of the universe. Truth be told, there were times when I wasn’t as sick as I pretended to be. I craved her love so—to be the owner of all her attention and care. To remove my siblings from the equation…
Granny’s teapot, a relic we inherited, was once grand and lovely. All the way from County Cork Ireland it traveled to find its new home in America. I don’t much remember Granny because she left us when I was very small. Eyes the color of jade, clear and unmutuable—hands white as milk with fine blue veins pulsing beneath the skin.
That teapot became Granny in my mind – fine structure, but ancient in its wage against time. Pale and edged in faded gold and a spray of faded pink roses front and back. And from it came comfort, strength, love and reassurance. And I cried the day it finally died by suicide from a high pantry shelf. Tea never tasted the same after that and I spend my weekends looking for another Granny teapot and the curative powers it imparted.
What powers does Christine’s teapot have?
Take me home – take me to meeting, take me out to the ballgame. Take me anywhere but here. This place called memory. This street called misery. This town called lonely.
Slap me, snub me, say bad things but don’t say you love me. Don’t tell the lie of all lies. Don’t pretend remorse, regret or reconsideration. Contempt, in the end, is more palitable and more honest.
Blame me for my words, my actions, my failures but not for your inadequacies. Hold me accountable for anything I have done to you and not what you have done to me.
Hate me, despise me, avoid me, cut me out of your life because I deserve it not because you can’t face my presence. Because you can’t deal with truth. Because I see you in all your glorious flaws but still choose to stay.
Turn your back, turn around, turn your words into any shape you like but leave mine intact and unaltered.
Take me fishing, take me bowling, take me on a moonlight cruise – hell take me to Starbuck’s. Take me anywhere but here.
copyright words and photo 2009
Where is Christine’s anywhere?
November Moon has stolen Summer’s kiss and cast it into the abyss. I watch from frosty windows as she covers the sky with black velvet robes and adjusts her crown of artic icy sparkle.
My cheek feels her chill and brings the light of her last escapade and offense. Heart stops and aches a little – tears freeze halfway down, throat catches breath before it fogs the pane. I do not welcome the snow but I miss it now. I am a child of the Sun but the Moon brings dark winter into my embrace and I hold steadfast. Stubborn.
To forgive and forget is a lovely cliche – but it has no use in the real world. To forgive is divine, but I am not a god – just a mere human, frail and volatile, confused and conflicted, sad and regretful.
I want to forgive you. I try to forgive you. But I can’t forgive you. Why? I ask the November Moon but she only smiles her sly, albeit radiant smile and eases further across the sky. Making me want to follow her but I am too weary.
It’s true. Love is not for me – the magic and joy will always elude. Pass by my door and dance after more deserving souls.
Where has the November Moon taken Christine?
The judgment in your eyes surprised because I thought I would find love there. I thought I would find kindred and hope but most of all – future. But the color was doubt – the promise, betrayal.
And I gave up my mountains and eternal sunshine for you. I surrendered my worldly, my material – all that I owned and all that owned me. All that I knew. To learn the geography of you.
And you gave me your stormy days and flinty sky – your shadow and hooded eyes. Your trust hid and lurked among the fortress of books you kept with care. Unlike my heart – which you stuffed in a drawer with the other junk you couldn’t part with.
I was the trophy you kept in the attic of some yonder day, some nether dream of what could never be. A victory won in your dream of dreams. Too good for the real. Yet the real wasn’t good enough for the now.
And when you slept your flight was solo – always. Your back, a closed door to my eager and hopeful embrace. Always time for details but never time for me, or us. Mocking danced in your blues and derision smiled in the silence that I could never pierce, never find ingress.
And you judge me still for daring to see you. For uttering the words that tell my truth. For opening the wound and letting it bleed all over your dotted i’s and crossed t’s. For making it messy and spilling out of the box you call home.
But let the moon and the stars and the open fields judge me. The sky, the night air, the jasmine whose tendrils stand watch at my window. The sun and the trees, the eyes that beam kindness, the hearts that know love. Yes, there I will be judged in the purple glory of dusk.
What judges Christine?