The way we were…

The Way We Were…

The way we were is no longer but has become the way we are.

The way we are is ever changing, here today gone tomorrow.

Here today and gone tomorrow are the fleeting bits of reality we wish didn’t exist.

Fleeting bits of reality we wish didn’t exist are here to stay.

Here to stay with nowhere to go, we struggle to swim in what is now.

Struggle to swim in what is now is no easy feat when it was so easy to swim in the past.

So easy to swim in the past when waters were familiar, trusted and predicatable.

Waters were familiar, trusted and predictable when the way we were was in the present and not the past.

The way we were was in the present and not the past but the past no longer exists as it went out the door October 2018 and never came back.  

October 2018 will never return and neither will you so the way we were has now became the way I am.

Death Be Not Proud or…Get busy living or get busy dying

It’s so easy to live and so easy to die

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You can live, take in air, eat, go to the bathroom, physically healthy on the outside and dying inside of a broken heart too weak to fight depression

When you die, you die, no air, no food, at times a final bathroom break, sick on the outside all while the heart fights desperately to live on the insidePicture3

It’s so easy to live and so easy to die

Living is a struggle, learning and navigating through a ‘new normal’ one did not ask to have. I want the old normal where stuff happened the way it should, predictable and expected

Dying is a struggle, learning and navigating through a final stage of life you did not ask to have. Death had no right to disrupt all that was normal, true and kind

It’s so easy to live and so easy to diemom 2

Life is a given.

We live our lives day to day, hour to hour, not thinking once about what it means to live. We take life for granted until we realize it’s gone

Death is a given.

For after the life we’ve taken for granted is gone the aftershocks of raw emotions will be unpredictable, coarse, sneeringly painful and at times forgetful until you wake up in the morning and realize death is not bringing back the one it took recently or those in the past. Your mom, tobias and pi patel are never coming back

It’s not so easy to live when the ones you so loved have died

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Three little birds or…Signs from Heaven Above

The last two weeks have brought water from my eyes. At times behind closed doors and while walking down the middle of a crowded street.

Because of…

Sparrows.

Native to NYC as rats are to the subway as pigeons are to rooftops as hawks are to Ppark as racoons are to Cpark as squirrels are to the ‘hood,

Sparrows rule NYC.

Little dictators who at times remind me of the honey badger when competing with pigeons for bread crumbs.

Mom loved birds, particularly cardinals, blue jays and cockatiels which she had as pets. She kept bird feeders in the backyard filled with seed that attracted every animal imaginable as well as providing seeds for seedlings erupting in the ground below.

 Mom loved birds and I miss her.

The last two weeks with July 4th approaching brought unease and depression.

But,

Three little birds brought awareness.

Situation one…giphy.gif

happened in front of a church during a work-related training. I was feeding a sparrow crumbs from a bagel and thought it strange how the bird would pick up a crumb, fly away, return and repeat the process. It finally dawned on me that the mom bird was actually bringing food to her nest. What an incredible workout her wings endured as she flew across the street, near the opening of a roof to feed her young.

Talk about free food delivery.

Situation two…

During a training run in Ppark, spotted a sparrow I thought was in distress. Not sure what was going on or if interference was required. My run slowed as I approached the tree filled area. This smaller than normal sparrow was trying to fly and at first it looked as if it was cray-cray as I was or directionally challenged as I am. The beautiful being flew down then up, down then up, down then up, down and up then finally, flew in a straight line to another tree across the pathway. 200w.gif

Guess the youngin’ ain’t coming home anytime soon.

(” Fly robin fly. Up, up to the sky” and yes it was a sparrow I saw and not a robin but I like the song)

 

Situation three…

Katie (the greyt) and I strolled up Lincoln Place, a route we normally follow, one block over from our crib. The song of high-pitched bleeps grabbed my attention as it was harsh on the ears. Of course the sound did not bother Katie’s as her nose was to the ground leading her mind. On a low branch in a Ginko tree sat a nest comprised of twigs and NYC’s finest collection of plastics and weeds-yeah bird, for keeping it real and with some serious improving! Three hungry open beaks protruded from the top of the nest. I was in awe.!IMG_0909

A city slicker seeing an actual bird’s nest for the first time!! As I was staring and Katie sniffing the ground beneath our feet, I heard a squawk from a near-by tree and turned to see Mama glaring at me with the biggest black eyes for miles and…she wasn’t no sparrow. But she wasn’t no crow. We exchanged mutual glares and I went on my way because I          remember Alfred Hitchcock’s movie!

Three little birds… 

 I’d like to believe my mom was sending some signs:  eat properly, leave the safety of the nest and explore,  and a home is what you make it to be worts and all.

She always told me to take care of myself and I know she loved me deeply, defensively, and unconditionally.

Thank you mom and I love you round the world and back!

 

 

Driving That Train…or Vacation!

Driving that train…

No. Not the Casey Jones’ song as I wasn’t driving any train and LORD truly knows I don’t do cocaine!!

But…

I was on a train, an Amtrak train.

Rolling, rolling, rolling up to Massachusetts to Arlington.

To be exact en route to visit my niece, my adopted niece who I consider family as my mom considered her to be.

It’s all good…

It has been a while and let’s be transparent and say years since I had a vacation. My vacay buddy, mom (who will forever be 91 years) could no longer travel and I decided to stay close to home near her. Mind you, she didn’t agree with my decision but felt comforted knowing I was just upstairs.61060119_10219548377085814_932831570585190400_n

But onto traveling for the first time in so long.

As I mentioned before, I was on an Amtrak train, not driving but here’s a look at what a driver might have seen:

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For the longest time I planned to visit my niece and mom’s upcoming birthday, oh better yet, first birthday without her here on earth, seemed appropriate enough, to get on that train.

And I did…

Rolling, rolling, rolling.

Amtrak rocked and cradled my bod as green trees and concrete buildings passed by the window. 200.gif

Leaving NYC…

so exciting, when the mind is in the present.

Returning NYC…

not exciting when the mind is in the present.

Ease of transportation had avoided my niece for a while, regulating her to trains and buses. Luckily, she inherited her mom’s used Toyota Yaris!

So, she drove…

and refused to let me drive through turn arounds, round abouts’ or whatever you wanna call them.

All good because…

on Mom’s birthday we drove.

We drove to Gloucester and walked along the cold sandy grey beach with dark clouds floating over our heads. The cold sand massaged my feet and grounded my soul.IMG_0814.jpg

So needed…

with grieving and missing you.IMG_0822.JPG

 

 

 

 

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The Fisherman’s Memorial, the picture I took of the names of the fisherman lost at sea and portrayed in the movie; ‘The Perfect Storm’ stirred in mi alma.
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The families of those men and myself share the final ending of knowing a loved one will not be returning.

At Lexington, I learned more about the Revolutionary War than I cared to absorb but…IMG_0840.jpg

I was grateful to have the history told to us by a volunteer dressed in clothing of the time. IMG_0833.jpg

Harvard, yes, we went there.

Although the trip wasn’t to visit the photography archives of the United Fruit Company, a research project I was so into while aiming for my Masters, being on campus was a reminder of what is still attainable, still researchable.

We stopped at a GAP where I bought ‘boyfriend Chino pants’ and argued with my niece because…well that’s what we do and we do it well.

Vegan Galaxy?!!!!

Best Vegan joint I’ve eaten at. The place makes their own vegan burger which just may surpass Impossible Burger.

Along our driving we ventured to the quarry at Halibut Point. At that point I was tired and wanted to get the cake mom always had at our birthdays.IMG_0825.jpg

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We drove to Woodman’s and ordered two slices of Strawberry Shortcake which was mom’s favourite cake to have on our birthdays.

Once we arrived at my niece’s apartment we broke out the cake and I must say it was the best Strawberry Shortcake I ever, ever, ever, ever…

had.

Thank you, mom for I feel you had a hand in this day, your birthday and making sure I enjoyed it to the fullest with my niece, who you accepted as family.

Happy Birthday Mom, my mom!

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling…no. Running, Wobbling, Running…

Marathon #2 sits on the horizon and, god willingGod Willing I’ll cross that line again.

Marathon #1 was an all-out disaster that almost didn’t happen due to my mom’s illness but did happen due to my mom’s illness and her unrelenting push for me to train.

I trained through, tears, stress, worry and crossed the line many times arguing with incompetent doctors who destroyed my mom’s will to live and her health

And,

I finally crossed THAT LINE at the end of the marathon which my mom did not live to see.

-Actually, she did see, for she was on the corner of Sackett Street and Fourth Avenue, just not in this realm and as I woggled towards that street, I stopped, crossed myself and bowed for the Queen.

So,

back to Marathon #2 in which training has not officially begun but I’ve started anyway because well, I have nothing better to do than pound my knees via my feet kissing asphalt, concrete and dirt trails.

Love the trails, love my feet, love my knees, hate the dirt.IMG_0758.jpg

And at least I’m not kissing someone’s ass

So,

I’ll tie up the laces tomorrow, that are tied already, just need to slip on the sneaker.

-(I’ll set the garmin, set the interval timer, wear the running glasses that get dark in the sun, put on the Panache Bra, set up the Spotify, put on the lip balm, make the Nunn for the water bottle, separate Tara-Habby from the treacherous cat posse  (worse than the Sharks but just like the Jets) out to dethrone the Queen ( not me this time)  and ultimately sit on the throne (corner of my bed).)

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The Green Throne

And hit the road…not like Jack in Ray’s song for

I’ll be coming back, god willing.

 

Serenity prayer or…feel so different

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference

Every morning I wake up with a broken heart and every night as I lay my head down on my mom’s pillow I try to keep the broken pieces from traveling far.

You are gone and it’s not even a question of accepting that reality but trying to adjust to a new reality that no longer includes you, my best friend and my mother.mom 2

October 7th, should have been a normal Sunday with you getting ready for church, asking me if I’d go and gathering your dollars for the plate collection.

Instead…

on October 7th, I woke at 2:15am and did not hear your breath with the oxygen machine.

I got up…

turned on the light and saw the look of vacancy on your face even though your eyes were closed.

I knew…

you were gone.

I felt your forehead which was warm to touch and my hand traveled to your back which was cold. I reached for my stethoscope and placed it on the honey coloured skin on top of your heart.Mom 1

No sound, no breath, an empty shell void of the pulse of life it once contained.

At first, I was relieved.

The previous day, as I held your hand, I begged you to go, to let go of the body that so betrayed you. To let go of the organs slowly shutting down. To let go of the month of starvation your body endured. To let go of the dependency on the morphine I resented giving you for I knew each dose sent you further into oblivion and I so badly wanted to see you smile at me with eyes that saw me and not death.

It is almost six months since you’ve gone.

The morphine and the Percocet sit in my medicine cabinet.

Sundays are bad and I always hold the vials in my hand contemplating, while being angry at you for not taking me with you. Each Sunday that passes the urge to take them diminishes.

You so loved life and I’m trying so hard to learn to love and dwell in it as you often wished I would.

 

Continue on…

I have no choice, trudging through trying to find the new ‘normal’ while desperately holding on to what was, knowing the was, is in the past and no longer has a place in the present.mom3

I so miss you mom, my butterfly and my best friend. You are at peace, flying through another dimension. I pray you will be there, when it’s my time, to welcome me into your world as you welcomed me into this world.

I love you.

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