Never Take Me To A Church That Uses Incense

I have been thinking about what to say about healing between the genders.  Once again, these words do not come easily but that is okay by me.

Life would be so boring without a good struggle with which to motivate ourselves.

I miss the men in my family.  My Dad, who died in 1990.  Two older brothers, deceased in 1992 and 2009.  Finally, I miss my brother (by my father’s second marriage) who died in February this year at 26. All of these losses are tragic but I still have hope.

Sometimes when I am in the drug store, I stop by the after-shave department, twist off the cap of one and take in a nice long inhale of Aqua Velva.  Then I head for the hair product, Brylcreme.  With both of those scents fresh in my nose, I enjoy a strong memory of my father.  I loved him!  So very much. I thought I would die when he did — the pain rocked my already-fragile world.

Many men in my family were alcoholics, violent (beating spouses and each other) and had little or no respect for women.  However, one man taught me about healing.

Steve was the most gentle, tough, compassionate, well-intended male I ever knew.  Unfortunately, it took his illness to bring us together.  Everything fell by the wayside when it came to him.  I lived three thousand miles away but we were just so close emotionally. And little did I know that by trusting him and that love, my whole world would unfurl and flutter its wings.

Many times, we sat together and I would watch his mouth, eyes and facial expression, as he tried to speak.  Prior to his first brain surgery, his language skills began to deteriorate. So we decided it would be useful to him to have cue cards to flash as he needed things.  “May I have some coffee?” I wrote on one, while listening to the squeaking as my fingers clenched the fat marker and formed the letters.

“Promise you’ll never take me to a church that uses incense.”  No. He didn’t ask me to write that.  My brain just unfiled that one.  A nice memory.  Yes. Steve fainted during Midnight Mass while the priest made the signs of the cross with incense.

I remember his look of pale horror as he slid down between the pews.  Now I see his face when, close to his death, he said: “Nobody can understand me at all.”

When it got right down to it, we both felt that way in life.  In each other, however, we found our way.  My love and acceptance of him was unconditional and infinite. And his for me?  Later, I’ll tell you how much I changed due to our friendship.

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Another Note on Mothers

It was a good day today.  I have been fighting with a bit of depression but it could just be a touch of flu.  I’m not sure. I have been so exhausted.

I hoped to write more about May’s topic before now but the words have not been flowing.  In fact, I’ve been quite blocked on this issue.

To me, it is important to add that I am in awe of great mothers!

So often society blames mothers for every little thing, while the father’s role is diminished.  I grew up without a father.  In fact, when I met Dad again (after my parents divorced), my brother introduced me. I had not seen him for 18 years and couldn’t recognize him from his brothers who were visiting that day.

Mothers work so hard and give endlessly.  They love those little scrunched-up and red faces from the second their baby is born. At first cry, they fall in love and never fall out.

So, for the moment, please know, dear readers, that my own experience aside, I support mothers in every way.  I encourage and respect those who fight so hard to shape and enrich the lives of their children, thereby chiselling out our futures.

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About two days ago, I realized that I was avoiding this blog.  No. It wasn’t because I felt like a prisoner to it, nor was it due to an evaporation of all ideas.  I stayed clear due to the topic: Mother’s Day.  I honour this day so much!  However, this is probably not for the reason you might think.

My mother died on April 15, 2000.  She was 63 and had a heart attack that killed her at home.  I forgot how I got word but, of course, it was a blow, even if a hollow one.

You see, Mom and I were never close.  I do remember a handful of good times but that is about all.  In addition, it is hard for me to say that. I loved my mother but she beat and berated me until I despised myself and the very feel of my own skin, so thoroughly, that I first tried to commit suicide at 13 or 14.  I was locked in the basement shortly after I had swallowed a whole bottle of over-the-counter pain relievers. The fighting, yelling, kicking and crashing of dishes became too much for my nerves and my hands shook incessantly.  I did not plan to overdose that day but when the hitting started, I did this with no thought at all.

I will write more on this later. I am not sure how I even feel about saying this much. I do not want to be stigmatized by these tragic events. I love life and have grown emotionally to such a degree, I sometimes find it hard to recognize this new life as the evolution of mine from decades ago.

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Adventures Between The Ears of Bookmark_Terry

I am at my laptop so much, the dust-bits that hang out between any two keys, are claiming squatter’s right.  Do you believe it?

I wouldn’t either.  In fact, they want more than that. They want a support group to help cope with the hostile setting I provide for them. That’s unbelievable!

It certainly is. Still, given this utterly ridiculous crisis, I decided to scour my whole apartment from top to bottom.  I even bought a steam cleaner to make it ‘stick’. I may be an Aquarian – allegedly a constant procrastinator — but not this time. I was going to expel those flecks of self-righteous, freeloading dirt. I’d do whatever it took and without delay.

Okay. I didn’t need to power-wash the whole place, especially given all the water damage it caused. Nor did I need to search every corner and crevice to figure out how it gets in. Dust may be like bellybutton lint (where in heck does it come from?), but I refuse to let it rule my life. I mean, my investigation took 172 hours.

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted. I’m so tired; I need to collapse on my waterlogged couch.

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Musings of A Woman Who Aspires to Be a Bookmark

Uh-oh. Brain Freeze. This is my third post here yet it is as intimidating as the first. How silly of me!

Anyway, today I want to recount for you a little incident at the supermarket yesterday. My friend and I were at the cash, crossing fingers and toes that somehow the scanner would burp and slash our grocery prices to, at least, a reasonable range. The very least I wanted from that cash register was for it to shriek in jest as it calculated the ‘customer appreciation day’ discount — which is, in other words, pretty much non-existent. Ah well! The struggle to survive goes on.

Anyway, as I stood there, a young mother approached the end of the line about a foot from where I stood. She was carrying her beautiful baby girl in a harness on her front and I instinctively cooed at the little one. As I admired her, the package the mother maneuvered around her baby’s body suddenly slipped from her hand and crashed down on my foot. Oh no! (My left foot was crushed twice over the years — once pinned under the back tire of a taxi and in 2006, flattened out nicely by a wheelchair ramp on a local transit bus.). This time there was no searing burn in my foot! I was so happy. The wayward item was only a light package of diapers or something slightly heavier.

“I’m so sorry”, the concerned woman said. She cradled her baby’s kneecap nervously and I marvelled at how tiny that little person was.

“No worries.” I smiled at her. “No problem at all.” My friend and I exchanged a grin at what had just happened. Funny little events like this were par for the road for me.

Suddenly, I leaned in a little closer to the mother, speaking very quietly. “I would sue but . . .” I said, touching the wee girl’s shoe with my right hand. “I really want this little beauty to go to university.” We shared a giggle as she sighed in relief.

Secretly, I wondered if she really knew that I was just kidding. When that mischievous streak flushes adrenalin through me, it’s just so hard to resist. I headed home cash-poor but, as usual, anecdote-rich.

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