Laughing…through tears

I’m supposed to be a Writer and, for a while, I thought I was one.  So many of us who blog come out blasting in the beginning, sometimes unable to keep up with everything we want to share.  We don’t always care who reads or leaves comments, it’s just satisfying to sit back and read our thoughts staring back on the screen in front of us.

Then, the doldrums hit.  Words stop flowing and we keep meaning to sit down and get busy with our chosen passion.  We want to write but don’t, start yet never finish and agonize over a dozen promising posts that gather cobwebs in our drafts folder.

Recently, someone I greatly admire mentioned that she missed me, asking if I was okay.  Just that one message stirred me, deeply, and I started wading through various outlines I’ve been ignoring.  Still, I continued to find excuses to write, allowing life to keep getting in my way instead of giving it free reign to whet my creativity.

Yesterday, at the salon where I work, a man called to make an appointment for his wife, explaining that she was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and that he wanted to do something special for her before taking her on a “Doo Wop Cruise” in a few weeks.  He sounded so confused, explaining that he had reached out to the Alzheimer’s Organization for help and received nothing but mailings asking for donations along with information on subscribing to their publication.  Having experienced the same response when my late mother was diagnosed, I understood his complete frustration.  He went on to explain that his wife is just 63 years old and is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s,  a form of dementia that often moves more rapidly than what strikes the elderly.  I gave him all the short term advice that I could during our twenty-minute conversation and scheduled time for his wife with one of our best salon stylists.

Shortly after, I had the pleasure in having a conversation with one of those people who really listen, you know, the ones who ask questions and stay totally involved in what you have to say?  We briefly spoke of my writing and how this blog came to be born; we spoke about Alzheimer’s and my difficulties in being a caregiver, how I often laugh in the midst of the chaos in my life.   My inspiration became re-invented when she said…”laughing, through tears”…the title of this long overdue blog post.  I thank you, “Melanie Cricket”, and hope you stop by to read my humble offerings!

So, where have I been?  Like so many others, dealing with things I’m unable to control.  An emotional fracture, caused by foolish disagreements and outright vindictiveness, which has impacted a long-standing friendship of forty years; painful endings of new beginnings; our miserable economy and, worst of all, cancer hitting much too close to home with the recent diagnosis of my husband’s brother, his only sibling.  Each passing day has been full of debates and lectures, mixed-in with a dose of depression that lingers in the background, waiting to pound its gavel down on my existence.

It’s not the end of my immediate world, not by any means.  Countless other human beings have so much more to deal with and I’m reminded about “There but for the grace of God…” when I feel so overwhelmed.  My heart breaks and tears mix with anger over the young girl from Colorado who was robbed of the chance to grow into the beautiful woman she should have been, for those who struggle to survive on a daily basis, for those who cry for help and no one listens.

All of this will pass and I will laugh whenever possible, but, my tears won’t be far behind.

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It’s all…relative

Flicker of Inspiration #52: Speed Writing Prompt and Linkup

So your prompt is this: Write. Write for ten minutes without stopping. Your topic can be anything.  The important thing about this prompt is just writing. Get your thoughts down on paper and share them with us. Don’t edit. Don’t polish. Just write.

…….Timer set:  Go!

One thing any writer quickly learns is that the words you share aren’t always met with approval from others, especially family members.  However factual a story that one relates might be, there is always a different perspective from another source.  So be it.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect that.  Respect what I have to say as well.

The years in dealing with my late mother as she struggled with Alzheimer’s were beyond difficult, the same as it is for anyone standing helplessly by as the disease creates a stranger where a loved one once stood.   It was during that time that I made the decision to document every incident and write my book of memoirs.  I don’t have to get long-winded about the amount of detail that goes into writing any book but one must always state the facts, without exaggeration, without innuendo and without malicious intent.  But, for me, there are times when some undercurrent of anger becomes pervasive.

I have journals with endless notes that chronicle my late mother’s medical and other issues as well as any interactions with her siblings.   Here on my blog, I’ve shared several chapters of my book and it was no surprise to me when a relative landed on a particular post while doing a Google search and elected to voice their opinion.  They were certainly entitled to do so but…the facts remain and I firmly stand my ground with anything that I’ve written.

There are always multiple sides to any story and people will believe what they choose, what makes them feel justified in a given situation.  As family relationships ebb and flow, the emotional tide of reason is anything but constant.  Enter an illness and all too often the confusion and fear associated with fleeting mortality tends to impact sensibilities.  Blood connects us as families, for the most part.  Years without communication drastically changes those dynamics. 

That is… until curiosity is piqued by an Internet search.

 

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Somewhere…in my memories

It’s a little more than two weeks away and, once again, I am digging deeply into the world around me to find some Christmas spirit. Much like snowflakes in bright sunlight, my enthusiasm for the season disappears quickly.  I keep holiday music tuned on every radio within reach, make endless To-Do lists and watch one more day breeze past.

But, I remember…

When there were so many presents under our tree that the huge evergreen was almost dwarfed by the packages festooned with colorful ribbons that spread across our living room.

When the season used to take forever to arrive and seemed to stay around longer.

When people didn’t line up in stores, like mercenaries, the day after Thanksgiving,  intent on inflicting pain and suffering just to purchase gifts.

When I had time to bake dozens of Christmas cookies that hid away on our pantry shelves, only to be found by sensitive little noses and prying fingers.

When everyone wore some type of holiday corsage or festive button on their coat.

When toys were simple and operated by imagination, not batteries or a power cord.

When packages that came in the mail were wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string.

When Bloomingdale’s was the main attraction where I lived and everyone raced to see their fabulous window display each year.

When outside decorations didn’t have front lawns looking like Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, packed with teetering-tottering airblown holiday figures and mechanical reindeer.  Simple lights and a wreath on the door told passers-by that Christmas lived in that home.

And..I remember how my mother would walk into our home and remark how beautiful everything was, how she enjoyed all the traditional holiday food.  She loved Christmas…back before she started to forget.

All of this is somewhere, in my memories.

 

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