Monday, September 30, 2013

happy birthday pjm...

today he turns 61.  my heart wants to be all sappy and emotional about celebrating his birthday but he just never operated like that.  in fact, this past week i was thinking of the hilarious, and at times pompous, words he would assert and it makes me giggle at who he was.  please note: he probably did not concoct any of these lines himself, but most likely stole them from a movie or comedian or bathroom stall and added his own cocky twist.

1.  Exercise won't make you live longer-it just makes your life feel a hell of a lot longer..often said in the middle of running or riding bikes together.
2.  Don't want to hear about the labor pains, just show me the baby...he was not a man who reveled in minutiae & this line was often directed at employees dishing excuses about why a task wasn't handled the way the boss {pjm} wanted.
3. Stop circling the airport and land the damn plane already...often said to me when i was retelling a story.  he just wants a recap, not all the beautiful details.
4.  I'll blow that bridge up before we get to it...when anyone expressed concern regarding "what ifs".
5.  Go for the hole {or is it whole?} shot...when he was driving and would beat someone off the starting line of the intersection when the light turned green.  Life was about finishing first-almost always
6.  If you don't look me in the eyes when we cheers, it doesn't count.
7.  Your job is to make sure the ice cubes never touch the bottom of my a waitress regarding his drink.  Note:  he wasn't much of a drinker but had a season of being an arrogant ass.
8.  Few things are accomplished without an awkward conversation...both at work and home.
9.  You gotta spend some money in order to make money...his business strategy.
10.  You cut-I choose...when we were sharing something to eat.
11.  I wish I had his __________ {fill in the blank with Porsche or golf swing or tractor-any item that men esteem} and he had a feather up his ass, then we'd both be tickled.
12.  When you get married the first baby can take 3 months or 3 years to arrive.  It's the second one that takes 9 month.
13.  99% of whatever you worry about, is never going to happen so stop worrying...gee, pjm.  never had dementia on my radar.  how about you?  talking about being bit in the ass by the 1%
14.  If you run into three assholes in one day, you will definitely see a fourth one when you look in the explanation necessary and applicable to most scenarios in life.

and last...blow out those damn candles before you burn the house down!

dear pjm.
happy 61.
miss your arrogant ass.
all my love.
lc {for "little chris"-he called me that}
here we are in all our glory...he stole amber's matching glasses.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

growing wings...

i'm kissing summer good-bye & praying the crisp cool of autumn is soon upon us so i can reacquaint myself to my jeans & scarves and unaquaint myself with my good ole air conditioner.  but i realize the official farewell to summer means i must embrace a new season.  one rich with traditions & celebrations-birthdays {his-his daughters-mine}, holidays {from our annual halloween bash-florida turkey fry-his family's annual christmas gathering-the making of gingerbread shacks & homemade tamales which are all abruptly followed by our 27th wedding anniversary}.  i want to hide-retreat-cocoon from all that reminds me that life is moving on & yet i am not because i am stranded somewhere between life and death with pjm.  it feels like i am a victim of my own midlife crisis-about to turn 50 in a season of impending change.

waiting.  while God transforms.  just as a caterpillar is blanketed in a protective cocoon while it reconstructs itself into a butterfly,  i am enveloped in this season of transformation.  growing my soul cannot happen swiftly or without pain in the dark of night.  i resent God for not accomplishing His task in me & pjm double-quick. our culture demands it fast-trains traveling like supersonic bullets, glue adhering immediately, nail polish drying instantly, espresso providing a quick-fire afternoon pick-me-up, and fast meals served out of a window into our autos.  God works at His pace. many in the bible were stuck in seasons of waiting, and it is in the wait that God's deepest soul growing occurs.  my heart flows with contempt admitting this.  it forces me to realize there is more growing for me to accomplish.  like damn it God.  am i not a big enough girl already?  but if i have to ask, the answer begets itself...obviously, no. there is deeper soul growing He needs to complete in my impatient ass.

while that caterpillar is within that cocoon, it turns to liquid and then somehow gels itself in to a stunning butterfly. imagine popping open that chrysalis & liquidy caterbutterpillarfly dripping out.  a halt in nature-not allowing what was purposely started to reach its full potential.  i, too, am swathed in an envelope of protection while God does his transforming work in me.  every cell in my body wants to bust open that silky cocoon and announce this girl is DONE already, but instead i must find a pause-moment of still and refocus my trust back on God and his perfect timing.  science says the ugliest of cocoons, reveal the most beautiful of butterflies.  this cocoon of dementia & death are pretty damn ugly.

dear cocoon.
i appreciate your protection during this transformation.
i love that i can meander through life,
instead of being hung in a silk bag by my feet from the branch of a tree.
i am thrilled your invisible silk pouch is one of great strength,
containing this wild-hearted, impatient-assed girl.
i would hate to slash you with my restlessness
 and ooze out drippy wife of demented dying man all over my carpet.

butterfly in the making

p.s.  moths come from cocoons too.  
please don't let me spend the balance of my life swarming around a stranger's porch light.
do these wings make my impatient ass look big-or perhaps it's because of the white shorts after labor day?
actually-who the hell cares.  not i said the butterfly.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

what i learned from a roller coaster...

no school.  what's a mom & son to do on a friday in september.  go to disneyland? that sweet brown eyed boy thinks disneyland is for the faint of heart, and his heart seeks that which produces adrenaline.  knotts berry farm it was.  all day, yesterday.  one adrenaline rush followed by another and another.

this is his favorite...its called "xcelerator" because it accelerates from 0 to 82 mph in just a few seconds.  the ascend is 200 feet with a twist and 205 foot drop straight toward earth.

i was never much of a thrill rider.  as a child i would stare up at the twists of metal & cables competent disaster would strike the moment my chubby ten year old body was harnessed in. with each subsequent visit to an amusement park, i would feed that veracious fear monger.  then i became an adult, and that vendor of terror became bolder and audacious convincing me i would most likely die {or at least snap my neck}.  so i would spectate, never participating in the smallest dose of that adrenaline.  

lessons about living, and being brave, and doing really hard things have become the new normal for our family. yesterday sweet brown eyes & me...we rode that track of pink & green metal together.  his eyes dancing with excitement.  my small & still with incessant fear.  

dear xcelerator.
glad you were only a 30 second wonder.
but you taught me so much about overcoming in those few moments.
 the line is worse than the ride.
kind of like waiting is harder than the actual doing of life.
you allowed me to scream louder than i believed humanly possible.
it was the perfect storm of panic & exhalation of air from my windpipes.
having sweet brown eyes buckled in next to me
reminds me there are lovies traveling thru life with me always.
and that monster of angst i nurtured all these years,
i left him sitting on your platform.
thanks for teaching me i can live wholeheartedly-bravely-all while still deathly afraid.
rider at 11:34 am yesterday.

p.s.  could you please stop snapping those photos of all the riders.  totally unflattering.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

i think i just heard you say pantie liners

so remember a few months back when there was a "test" of the fire alarms?

try this story on for & pjm had just finished lunch in the dining room {pjm eats and i observe and chat...never do i eat there.  it is utterly unappetizing.  kind of like witnessing a collision between a food truck & a frat house.  i digress.} we were casually strolling down the hallway when a usually bubbly resident {let's call her muriel} comes marching around the corner about as angry as a raging bull with his testicles tied up in a flank strap.

i so kindly ask:  gosh muriel, what's wrong?

muriel retorts:  an intruder has burglarized my room and something most valuable is missing!  i want it returned now or i will be moving out of this place.

i so kindly respond:  it is very frustrating when something precious is missing and i bet the staff at the front can help you locate it.  {so logical & helpful of me, right?}

muriel declares while point at pjm who is unaware of her and her rant and is instead busy loading and unloading himself in and out of his bedroom slippers:  he is the thief who has stolen my valuables!

i so kindly reply:  why muriel, that's impossible because pjm and i have been together all morning and i know he never went in any room but his own. i seriously have been with him for the last three hours. he took nothing of yours.  promise.

muriel shouts:  well someone has stolen all of my pantie liners and i am going to find out who or i am leaving-moving out of here.

i so big-eyed and broad-smiled giggle:  why yes muriel, that's is truly an issue.  i have not seen any pantie liners but lets find someone that can help you with this.

dear muriel.
you have left me with so many unanswered questions.
what brand were they?  lightdays-kotex-carefree or just plain old generic liners.
were they the kind with wings or without?
and most importantly why, when you are pressing almost 80, do you even need pantie liners?
auntie flo is not swinging by your parts of the woods regularly? is she-please say no.
wait.  can i retract that question?  i have just crossed over the line.
i am not honestly ready to know about 80 year-olds & their need for pantie liners.

investigative team member

p.s.  this is not muriel OR her pantie liners.  just some random pic from google images.
how do you think this curious boy wrapped that one around his penis?  or more importantly-took it off!
and for those of you that don't know...
these are lightdays brand {see the box behind him-by his right heel}
and they don't have wings.

Friday, September 6, 2013

practical{ly} coping

People tell me I am so strong as I travel this path with pjm.  First, I must admit this was never a path I would have chosen to walk down but I promised him & Him I would honor my marriage in sick & health.  Second,  I am not sure what my other options are.  It isn't like a multiple choice test and I can pick A through D or that all-time favorite “E-none of the above”.  How fabulous would that be!  Oh God, actually I would like choice “C” which reads “happy & healthy until you two are 89 and 100 years old” instead of choice D…which of course reads “dementia”.  Just re-bubble in the answer on the scantron of my life.

Along with those age old "de-stressors" like eating right, exercising three times a week for at least 30 minutes, staying away from too much caffeine, and taking deep-cleansing breaths: three things help me cope.

1. Do something. ANYTHING.  The longer I sit & fester the scary my thoughts can become.  We live on 2 ½ acres & I have taken to mulching all the planters.  Crazy I know, but it keeps me busy.  So far I have loaded, unloaded, dumped and spread over 100-56 pound bags of mulch and all my planters aren't full yet!  Yes, there are more productive ways to spread mulch I am positive, but that's what works for me so that’s how I do it. It's more comfortable to just sit on the couch or in bed and stew about the twists and turns life takes, but physically doing something shifts my focus away from the crazy what ifs and after countless bags of mulch, I can take a step back and see the progress I have made.  
{it's kind of like rolling out the red carpet but in my, love, love}
 2. Counseling.  Go to therapy.  Seek a professional.  Friends are fabulous & the back bone of my support system but I realized I was stuck in all of the gloom. I needed a professional to help wade through the shitty parts of life.  Sometimes friends just like to stand in the shit with you which is what I want my friends to do-to stand in the gap and hold my hand while I wrestle with dementia & loss. But, honestly after a short time, I don't like being stuck knee deep in shit.  It stinks & flies love shit & I hate flies.  So I march myself therapy to learn new strategies on how to deal and grieve and step away from the shit pile.  

3. Medication.  Yep.  Some will raise an eyebrow at this one but there are nights when I board that crazy train and just can't get the conductor to press on the brakes!  Yes, I pray for calm & peace & plain old sleep but more often than I would like to admit...hours of restful shut-eye eludes me.  I talked to my doctor and she gave me a mild anti-anxiety pill to take on those nights.  Works like a charm. Take it & 20 minutes later I am sound asleep and wake in the morning ready to spread more mulch.
{please disregard the chipped nail polish-mulch has the potential to make a manicure messy}

dear mulch.
you look fabulous-so woody and brown.
thanks for making my planters rock.
i need more of you but it has been to damn hot as of late.

dear counselor.
thanks for shooing away the flies I abhor
while teaching me how to waddle out of all the crazy shit.
you are amazing at assisting in sifting thru worries vs. reality
and you never laugh or roll your eyes at my angst.
i would if i were you.
glad you are a heck of a lot more mature than me.

dear xanax.
you are a true friend in this season.
when the messy, out-loud life gets scary in the pitch of night,
you allow sleep till dawn.
the crazy, out-loud mess doesn't feel as daunting after a night of rest 
the morning light overtakes whats dark & scary.

dear God.
thanks for mulch, therapy and drugs.
they are true travel companions when life gets turbulent & days are steep
& I am knee deep in shit.
could you work out that thing with the flies?
they are truly annoying.
or perhaps it is Your way of pushing me to step out of the shit &
into your grace-strength-provision.

disliker of shit & flies

p.s.  I am not fond of that thing called dementia either