As fall brings about change it seems fitting that I too am undergoing my own set of changes. In just a few weeks I will have a new last name and a new extended family. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think something like this would ever happen to me. I never thought I would meet someone who I wanted to be with forever, or he would want to be. This thirty-something is finally reaching a true milestone. I remember scrolling through Facebook a year or two ago and thinking when I saw all the engagement photos and married statuses “I truly am a late bloomer.” But, late bloomer or not I finally get to have my day in the sun.
We chose fall, it happens to be my favorite season and neither of us enjoys sweating to death in fancy clothes. I was smart enough to start researching places early because fall, as I realized, is just as popular as spring now. After previewing numerous venues with escalating price tags, we chose a historic inn with a rustic feel. The ceremony will be held outside under a large tree in a meadow. We were told by the venue that the tree is known for its beautiful fall color so we knew we just had to do it. This is, of course, providing that New England weather does not throw us a curve ball. Naturally, we decided to do things slightly differently, so we have a bagpiper for ceremony music. We wanted people to walk away thinking this is not like this person or that one.
In true wedding hubbub style, we agonized over excruciating details like food, sides, table clothes, suit and shirt colors, hair, makeup, and flowers. But, as we are down to the very last we can now see all our efforts paying off. I would say here and now wedding planning is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for the broke. We made many sacrifices this past year and a half to get to this point. Our only hope and wish is that our family and friends attend our event and they truly enjoy their time. As it will be the first day we embark on the journey of life as one. ~
The conclusion of my Poem Alzheimer’s (My Homage to The Wasteland)
“I never meant to cause you trouble, I never meant to cause you harm…”
The dream is real
The danger is near
I am in the tempest of fear
I walk in and there she is
Radio is alive and she’s on the floor
Maybe this too is a dream,
Maybe I am insane?
No one believes me
“I am what I am, I’ll do what I want…I can’t hide…I won’t go…I can’t breathe..”
She is gone in the white van with lights
I am left lost
I know this is the beginning
Of the end.
In and out she goes
Where she stops no one knows
Nursing home, place, assisted living
All adjectives I am sick of
All lost their feeling
Locked ones unlocked ones,
Doors with locks but no key
My mind is a swirl
Why so many times?
Why so many places?
“You used to speak so easy…your afraid to talk to me….it’s like walking with the wounded… out there with the wounded… and were missing you…”
My life is a tempest,
I am the continent being battered
By the storm
My personal El Nino
“Sometimes it takes a long time for the candle to burn out… sometimes it takes a long time for the bird to fly the coup.” (CAH)
I sit there in the dark
Listening to her chat
She and I are from the same cloth
Same blood, same bone
We were on the same page always
But now things are different
The pages are ripped and torn
The book works backwards
Erasing words, thoughts, hopes
I race to read its contents
All that’s left is lost phrases to a song
In my mind I recall a time when we read it together
I am left to read it alone.
The book of life is mine to discover
I walk alone now on this road
With her notes in my head
And his words in my heart
Why can’t I replay time?
I wonder if the choices I make are right
Would they exclaim “Oh, NO!”
Would they say “it will be alright ?”
Time will tell for me
If this book is the one that will save me
Or damn me.
I fill its pages now with hope.
Notes from the Writer: The music mentioned helped form the backdrop for this piece. In Loving Memory of CAH
- Christmas in Killarney – Bing Crosby
- White Christmas -Bing Crosby
- Cheek to Cheek – Fred Astaire
- Trouble – Coldplay
- Here with me – Dido
- Wounded – Third Eye Blind
His callous hands that are the product of hard work and diligence dig into the soil. He has just unearthed a giant chunk with his pitchfork and placed it to the side. He delicately frees the wiggling captives from the soil and places them into a bucket. The rocks that he sees go into a neighboring bucket. The rest of the soil is heaved onto a makeshift window frame that has been adorned with mesh wire and placed on a wheelbarrow. He uses the prow to carefully separate the soil and slowly sifts it free and clear of any blemishes. This is a tedious and careful affair but every year he preforms this ceremony.
The garden that blooms every year is one of his hobbies, but more than that it has become a living symbol of the person he is. The leaves he carefully collected during the fall will be placed in the giant hole he has created and then with a toss the worms join in. He will place the fine sifted soil on top and turn it over several times. The garden always yields a variety of fruits and vegetables. There are always two rows of tomatoes, two pepper rows one red and one green, squash, and green and wax beans. The strawberries are always designated a row, the blackberries line the outside of the fence next to the raspberries. The chives are always close to the gate, as a final afterthought for any salad maker.
The two apple trees always provide shelter for hot summer days, but the peach, and plum tree are nothing to sneeze at. The two walnut trees in the front yard do yield a good deal of nuts, but the competition with the squirrels is fierce. He has added several rose bushes next to the front yard fence, and the honeysuckle bush has attracted quite a few little visitors over the years.
The garden was always a fascination for any visitor but most especially to me. The garden was a perfect showcase of his talents. He was always dutiful and consistent, two qualities that allowed for his garden to flourish year after year. These qualities were not the only ones he was gifted with. He was always patient, loving, gentle and kind. Anything he found lost or foundling he tried to mend. My mom always said this is how she ended up with their lamb Eddy. Eddy was going to be put down, when my grandpa heard this he decided to adopt the lamb. There were other animals along the way a couple of dogs, a cat, and some bunnies.
It should be no surprise to anyone that he came to mend me. I was only six when my parents got divorced and I was 11 when my father passed. Grandpa had already raised five children he certainly had earned a chance to rest. But, I was a foundling and he saw in me troubles that he thought he could fix. He was careful like always with his first sprouted seeds. Protecting them from the harsh sun and providing them with nutrients and care. He would keep a quiet eye on their progress but never quite left them alone. He was always a constant warmth even on the coldest of days. I miss him always but especially as the spring weather arrives and the flowers start to bloom. I want to thank you Grandpa for being my faithful gardener. I am sure I would not be half the person I am without your loving care. Happy birthday grandpa.
Perhaps it is customary at times like these to think of memories. You always carry around the knowledge that people are gone but it is never more evident than the holidays. I spent most of mine at my grandparents house. My grandparents would spend the week before cleaning and preparing for Thanksgiving day. My grandmother would fret over not having enough food even though at the end we always had way to much. My grandfather was meticulous about the bird and would continue to get up and peek at it though the window.
I would watch the parade in awe on the TV and wish I was dancing on the floats. I would exclaim about the giant balloons and call my grandmother out of the kitchen to see. I would wait till the very end when Santa appears waving from his sleigh. I would smile and wave at the screen thinking for certain he saw me. These times were magic for me. The smells of food would fill the air. Rolls, turkey, potatoes, gravy, pies and more would enter my senses.
My grandparents, my mom, my uncles, aunts, and cousins would sit down at the large table. I was always so happy to sit down with my family at the grown up table. I would eat my first plate super fast and then reach for more bread and munch on it while my family discussed politics, school, holidays, memories etc. I never much participated in this particular part but I always enjoyed listening to their voices. Grandpa would always finish eating last and we would all wait for him to be done. He would then help clear the table and we would all help washing and drying the dishes together.
Then we would all put coats on and walk around the neighborhood. Sometimes we would go down to the pond and feed the ducks, other times we would just stroll about looking at houses. When the walk was complete, we would go into the house and warm ourselves with coffee, teas, and deserts. It is these small moments that I miss the most. Over time the table became more vacant, the chairs left without a companion. Thanksgiving started to become a thing we did in restaurants. My grandparents house was sold and they both passed. We stopped cooking meals and started eating out. The things I loved so much about the holidays seemed to fade and pass too. There was no anticipation, no walks, no real conversation. We ordered ate and left, and it became just like any other day.
Today however, I am happy to say I am spending Thanksgiving eating with family. I ate French toast and watched the parade. I watched in awe at the floats, the balloons and the bands. I waited till the last and waved at Santa and as I started to smell the food cooking I was transported. Transported to a time and place that had been almost forgotten. I am thankful for my memories of the past because they have always carried me through. But, today I am thankful for the new ones I will have because those will be all the sweeter.❤️
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
After celebrating my birthday last Sunday I took time to reflect, not just about previous birthdays, but experiences in my life. I realized that there was something I wish I had been given when I was younger. Going through my teen angst years, I wish that I was given guidance. As a teenager you want to rebel against your parents and separate yourself from them in any way possible. The act of asking them for help or guidance would never cross your mind. I want to think that if I had been given guidance from myself I would have listened. So enclosed is my letter to my teen angst self.
Dearest Teen Angst Self,
It’s okay that you don’t fit in, no one really does. The idea of “fitting in” is an illusion that people create to feel better about themselves. Don’t feel that you have to “try” an be something you’re not, you won’t feel any different about it after. Don’t worry so much about your braces, your glasses or your zits on your forehead. The braces will eventually come off, you’ll be able to get contacts and your zits will go away. It’s okay that you don’t know what you want to be. Adults don’t really know what they want to be or what they want either. You don’t need to figure your whole life out right now. Life changes in an instant and all the plans you made will have to change too. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, you are enough. There is no one more capable than you at changing your destiny.
Teen self be your own advocate. You can handle yourself, believe in yourself and don’t back down on what you believe in. I know you think right now is a struggle, but believe me later on teen self life gets harder. Life as an adult is a lot more difficult than deciding what dress to wear to semi formal or what your term paper will be about. At times, I wish I could go back to you. I wish my only plans were to put on my Lip Smacker lip gloss, put on my Fiona Apple CD and lay on my bed. The adult me now has a huge list of chores, bills, and responsibilities that consume life on a daily basis.
Teen self don’t be afraid to be alone, you will cherish that time later. I know you think you have felt heart break, but believe me when I tell you as an adult it’s much worse. I know he promised he would call you back but believe me he didn’t deserve you anyway. As an adult, love has so many outside variables that make it hard to know if someone truly cares. If only it was as simple as a boy liking you and calling you back. I know it doesn’t make sense right now but your heart will heal and it will be broken again. Always remember that no one should be able to put your eternal flame out. Give parts of yourself only to those that matter and never look back if they don’t.
You are different from others and it’s okay, you don’t need to be the same. I know right now you hate your frizzy hair and freckles but soon enough you’ll have a straightening iron and wrinkle cream to content with. Be thankful for your freckles they make you look youthful anyway! Don’t be frustrated with hating cliquy people. Later on you will still hate them and unfortunately they are everywhere so get used to their presence. Be careful of fair-weather and toxic friends. It doesn’t matter how long you have known someone unfortunately there are people out there that will always want more from you. You do not deserve to have friends that pretend to be your friend and use you.Teen self you don’t need scores of friends, just a couple true ones. I know it’s a difficult choice to make but it is the right choice in the end. Always remember to love yourself first, everyone else second. On this last comment I will leave you with this, remember life is about quality not quantity.
Thirty – Something self