Look away…

It’s a standard warning on car mirrors: “Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear”. Mirrors don’t always give a truly honest reflection. Sometimes, the mirror is warped; sometimes, it’s only our perceptions. When Alice went into her mirror, it was the world itself that was distorted. And yet at times, the mirror will show you true things that you weren’t aware of; something around a corner, or behind you, or on another spectral plane. People can even act as mirrors; they can show you yourself as others see you.

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She constantly refused to look into a mirror, any mirror.

My mother.

It wasn’t because of vanity or due to failing eyesight.

She could see clearly, without eyeglasses, towards the end of her life.

It didn’t matter.

The reflection staring back was unrecognizable

To her.

That person, that old woman with gray hair and wrinkled skin was someone else.  “A witch” she often said as she quickly looked away from what she had determined was some creature hiding in the glass.  She would cover her face with both hands.   It wasn’t her, not by any means; she was young, in her twenties, still with dark hair and red lipstick.

In her mind.

Mother lived in long ago realities; the aging process stopped and did a U-turn back about fifty or more years once Alzheimer’s took control.   In some ways, I was envious.  She didn’t have to deal with life’s sorrows and responsibilities but that was nothing new.   For as long as I could painfully remember she always managed to look away from bothersome issues, seeing only what she wanted.  Comfortable, happy reflections.

I was never her mirror of choice.

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workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Workshop…Writing Prompts for 4/4/19…Write a blog post inspired by the word: mirror.

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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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