Heartful purging…

Date:  February 14, 2016…Valentine’s Day

Place:  Kent Cliffs, New York

Time:  Not enough

Subject:  Purging


Living in the Northeast blesses us with seasons; some we love and others just cause everyone to scatter and climb onto the nearest soapbox to complain.  

Really, people?  It’s Winter and it happens once every year, why the shock and dismay?  Why not just move, become a snowbird and settle down in God’s Waiting Room, aka/Florida, to escape Winter’s wrath …snow, ice and brutal temperatures?  Funny thing is, everyone who makes such a move can’t wait to avoid the Florida sun.  Once they get there,  many hide inside their air conditioned condos or other dwellings of choice, mostly at all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants where they fill their Tupperware and complain about, what else, the Heat!

Sitting here at home on this day of hearts and romance, I’m doing my own hiding of sorts here in my office, that little room-of-my-own.  In fact, most are doing the same as the siege of an intense Arctic Freeze has our area in its icy grasp.  It’s almost impossible to move without feeling a chill reaching out to poke you from under every door or glare back through frosted windows.  Early this morning it was -14 but has now warmed-up considerably, reaching a balmy 8 degrees in the early afternoon hours.

I decided to peruse my files of writing ideas and drafts, realizing that I’ve fallen-off considerably with my postings.  But, there is no soapbox waiting for me to vent any lame excuses like life keeps getting in the way and other blah blah bullshit.  When you are a true Writer, the creative process is always present.  Laziness is the real culprit behind our, inability to produce material, excuses.  I especially need to stop blowing that smoke up both my own and everyone else’s patootie.  Let’s get real, when someone has a passion for the arts, little gets in their way.  For example, Peter Robinson, Jr., a dear high school friend is a very talented photographer who shares his work without hesitation and graciously allowed me to place some of his talent in my blog post today. Peter is a true visionary who captures everyday scenes through his camera lens and the result is just magical.  Rarely does a day pass without at least one photograph from him, the sign of a dedicated artist.






Amazing, isn’t he?  


I’ve finally learned one important thing , whatever the form of creative expression, it should never be done selectively, as if one is doing the world some random favor.  Don’t you agree?  <Note to self:  recite this pep talk into the mirror every day>


The whole subject of purging hit me when our daughter stopped-by to borrow a cooking item and as I rummaged through a kitchen closet,  she suggested that it was time for me to “P”.    Hold any/all wisecracks.   It did make me stop and think, about that finite wall of time that is ahead and all the stuff that is entwined in our lives; things that are important, not to be misplaced, and others than make us wonder what in hell we were thinking when we purchased them.  Of course, the feeling one gets from purging either material or emotional baggage is beyond cathartic.

For now, I’ll hold onto my stuff.  I will also endeavor to make every possible effort to clear the traffic-jam of ideas and thoughts in my head put into some intelligent format while, hopefully, there is still…time.



 Don’t die with your music still inside you.
Listen to your intuitive inner voice
and find what passion stirs your soul.
– Wayne Dyer


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.


It’s all…relative


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 ghost-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.

  workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop…Update and republish a blog post you wrote during the month of May in a previous year.

I wrote this post in May of 2012.  Nothing has changed since then and it never will.  Mixing memories with any so-called perspective involved doesn’t result with the true facts of many situations.  Especially when it comes to already-fractured families and, sadly, when a serious illness is involved.  What should bring people closer together often widens the rift of separation.