Posts in Relationships
Fair Skies

My mother calls to tell me she has just seen Daddy in the clouds again. I am standing at my front door, saying goodbye to the plumber who has fixed my leaky toilet for the umpteenth time. As I write him a check he tells me the old toilet is past its prime and I laugh and say well I am too and I’m still here. And he laughs right back. Every time we do this.

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Very Afraid

The writing prompt is to write of a time when I was very afraid.  What shall I choose?  When did I start feeling afraid as a child?  When did I realize that something was not right, not safe, with my mother?  Is a "time when I was very afraid" my whole life?  No, because I'm no longer very afraid.  Or maybe I am, actually!  I have certainly found ways to cope with the fear that started early on!  Very afraid.. that word "very" in front of afraid causes me to pause.  What qualifies as very afraid?

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This Winter

I laid in bed most mornings last winter wanting to disappear, imagining what it would be like to just let myself sink from the darkness to the blackness below. One morning, I looked at the Strophalos I wear around my neck and simply said aloud, "Help". That was it. No tears. No drama. No fear. Though the depression was threatening to pull me in deeper, I remained willing to do whatever it took, although I was certain nothing would change, that help for me was not in the cards. 

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Last night while a storm lashed the house, my daughter and I sat up in bed listening to the tree scrape the window and the wind rushing through the street and the sky. She asked me again why her father and I split up two years ago. She said she deserves to know more and that she’s old enough to understand better now. She is nine. I watched her face gazing out at the storm, and one corner of my mind imagined, with the usual mild hysteria, the tree outside suddenly smashing the glass in front of her. The rest of my mind worked on how to explain adult relationships to this sensitive, perceptive kid.

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Letting Go

I tried to let go with your diagnosis of ADHD and no impulse control
I let go a little each time you lied to me over and over 
I let go some more when you moved out and I knew in my heart it would not be in your best interest
I let go even more when you went through substance abuse treatment and I begged you to tell me what was hurting you so much

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I love the word “estranged.” Firstly, it’s an adjective, born of a verb. Secondly, it perfectly describes the feeling of being distant from someone with whom you have formerly been affectionately connected.

I have an estranged sister. That’s what I call her, and that’s what she is. She’s my only sibling, and we grew up in the same house with married parents. What’s more, we grew up in a house without exposure to much television. Imagine, if you can, instead of a childhood defined by Charlie’s Angels or Mork & Mindy or the Cosby Show; a childhood defined by imagining alternate realities, or rearing many litters of kittens, or traveling Europe, one remote village at a time. That’s the childhood I shared with my estranged sister.

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We put feathers in each other’s hair in my basement. My basement is still crawling with them. Feathers swim on the air filter’s breeze, landing on and launching off of my mandala rug.

It was a silly thing, that time we found ourselves connected. It was silly because it was true. You loved me and I loved you and we loved in the midst of a sand-covered desert, a space that was almost completely sand. We were best friends for a while, chicks hatching out of best friend eggs, and then we weren’t.

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