Murderer

Like wind blowing across hot dry sand my memories are fleeting

But the stones so heavily in place keep the things I want to forget 

As if branded like cattle before slaughter

They are always here

When I thought like a child I had two abortions. 

When I felt like an adult I made decisions that scarred my womb, my heart, forever.
The thought of what I was about to do, the life I knew I was about to end, made me ill. I threw up all the medication they gave me, and because I didn’t show them my vomit and flushed it, they refused more meds and told me I’d be fine. I wasn’t. I felt the life they took on my behalf. I felt the tearing as my eyes welled, and tried to get away. They held me down. They did an ultrasound, and found more of my unborn, and held me down again while they leaned up the mess I had made, and vacuumed out what was left of my aching heart. 

I lay there, and imagined what my birth mother chose not to do to me. For the first time in my life I was truly thankful for the life I had, and thankful that she didn’t have to endure the same pain I was in. 

I was alone.

I took a pill that was meant for abortions at under seven weeks. I went in for an ultrasound. The nurse took my lies while looking at my womb, grey and alive. She took them and made them her own and signed papers giving me permission to abort at home. 

I took the pill, alone, on a spring morning. I sat on a toilet as my body spasmed when the medicine kicked in. I cried. I held my body close. I was alone with my choice. Alone with yet another life I CHOSE to take. My body bore a tiny life, in which I gathered up in a specimen jar, and placed in a bag, in a freezer, in a doctors hands, in a trash can for human waste, in a burning pit, deep deep in my soul. 

I knew the lives I took. I felt their end. I love them even now. 

Alone.

What the Media Takes Away

Please read this post by my friend and fellow blogger Deb. Her perspective of the last few days of violence and the media circus surrounding it has given me perspective. Her words are touching and filled with truth..and I can’t find my own words just yet.

https://deborah-bryan.com/2016/07/07/policemen-let-names-be-names/

Love, Freedom, Choice

I woke up weeping at 4:03am yesterday.

It was the kind of sadness one feels when there is loss which cannot be measured.

I looked around my room.

Baby, husband…

I wandered my house…all accounted for.

There is a heaviness in my soul for those who will wander their halls looking for their children.

They wake weeping for those they love.

I’m sure they search for answers as they view the empty bed, the deafening quiet.

I mourn with you. I cry for you. 

I was driving home with my husband and our youngest last night.

To the left, was the most vibrant rainbow.

Behind it was the dark and turbulent sky.

I thought of the young woman’s face I saw on television.

She was killed by a man who pledged to take her life.

Taken from this world by a monster.

A monster that craved vengeance above understanding.

I imagined what she would have given to this world.

My eyes filled with tears that burned my eyes.

May her face and all victims of terrorism not be forgotten.

*****

We all know what’s to come. No one is immune to the hatred that follows us, our freedom, our choice. 

A woman on the news begged to know where her son was. She didn’t distinguish life or death, just the need to know something, anything, about her child.

Young men and women carry a wounded friend away from the carnage, away from the death in hopes that he would survive.
The scenario repeated on our own soil is one I see often in the news from (not so) far away lands like Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, etc. They are at war, and it can only make sense to come to an understanding as a country, unified, that WE are at war. 

While people die we watch and hope it gets better. 
While mourners gather, we sit and watch.

I believe that every human being has the right to live a life of freedom, safety, and choice. 

I believe that every human being has the responsibility to do their part to make this world a safe place for those that cannot be free, do not have safety, and aren’t allowed to choose their own path.

I believe that freedom, our freedom, comes at a price. I see it daily. Hourly. The safety so many of us take for granted is being paid for by those who fight behind enemy lines, and ironically give up that same freedom to do it. With this freedom we as Americans have, there will always be those individuals, whether home or abroad, that want what we have or want to take it from us. They choose that. Let us not follow in their foot steps and choose to hate, vilify, and isolate. Let our lights shine brighter, show the victims and their families we are going to do more than just watch and sit idly by. Do something.

Just talking about these things solves absolutely nothing. No matter your views – if you want them to matter, to make change…get up and vote. Protest what you find wrong with this country and support the values you hold dear. If we don’t, we have no one to blame but the person staring back at us in the mirror. ***

For The 22 We Lose

 

For him some days are harder than others. Behind the green eyes I fell in love with is another time and place that I cannot go. Hidden deep within his heart so very broken are the lives that have made him unbreakable. The men whose names are forever etched in his mind and closer still as he paces, smoking…

Some things are best kept between him, God and his infantrymen. A loss that I can never fathom but that I have felt, often, as he sleeps – at times running to those he’s lost, to the one he still searches for. In all these many years there are finally heavy moments which quickly fade…or so he would have me believe. I know it is the silence he fears. That quiet goodnight that allows the demons he fights to strengthen. Still after all this time he wakes to check on his brothers. Like a photograph – he lives in a world paused by the scars he has endured. The body he pushed to save all those beside and behind is now turning on him. His heart beats harder, faster. His new knees buckle. His back aches.

 

For several years after I met my husband I saw his struggle with the service he chose and the severe PTSD he did not. It is never easy to watch someone we love make an enemy of themselves and as a result…those that love them.

Through it all his ability to laugh at himself and the shit and mire he went through with his brothers was unchanged, and is what I love most about him. Bravo and I have spent many long nights talking about those he has served with, and in many ways still carries the load for. Loyal and tough, my husband has done well hiding his pain from us, but it lingers behind his smile and beautiful eyes.

As with most of the brave men he has served with the desire to remain in the fight ebbs and flows with the tide. The internal conflict between his sense of duty and the resounding effects of being abandoned by the government and civilians whose freedom he chose to fight for does not leave him. There is rarely a night that his battle goes quiet while he sleeps.

My husband decided to write down the angst bottled up over the years a long time ago but his heart had always stopped him, or the symptoms of his PTSD would be just enough to push him from the paper. When he finally dove in I was proud of him. I understood the long sleepless nights ahead would in the long run be healing…even if in the short term I knew the man I love would fight his demons all over again.

It is never easy to stand by while our husbands relive these stories, and writing them, reading them over and over takes its toll. My husband has lost years to his past and his present is once again filled with nights pacing our deck. Tears for those moments he will never share but that play like a broken record in his mind. He keeps going for his fellow men, and for those that can’t tell their own story. He has shared many things with me over the last 17 years, but to read of the life that most nights haunt him, well, truly breaks my heart…but never have I been more honored to be his wife.

I am not sharing this for what I feel is deserved gratitude for my husbands service but for the battles that never left him and for those who’s fight with combat related PTSD has ended needlessly. 22 United States Veterans commit suicide each day. In 24 hours, 22 amazing human beings will have their struggle end and for the people who love them, a new struggle begins. 22 men and women-fathers/sons/brothers, mothers/daughters/sisters die each and every day fighting with the same heart beat as my husbands. Wives like me lose their best friends and children like ours will never again get to hear their fathers laugh. Their deaths are not to be ignored and their lives still stand for those they protected even in such tragic loss. Their sacrifice is not in vain. Their beautiful souls simply couldn’t contain what they felt every moment of every day – saving those who wanted a life of freedom and choice – while seeing the very worst of humanity.

I love you my sweet husband. Do not think I don’t see you struggling tonight. I am here, always. I will never give up on you. Thank you for standing tall, and for showing me what it is to be human.

*Please take the time to watch this. Thank you.*

 

 

 

 

A Dash of Hope…

 

 

A simple ‘Sorry‘ does not seem to accurately portray how I feel about the first year of your life my sweet darling son. Though you are so wanted I find it hard to want to be here. I know when you nurse in the middle of the night, that as you caress my face so lovingly you feel the moisture my tears have left there as they stream down my face. It’s not because of you I promise. They are weeping from deep within my sad heart FOR you. I cherish your kisses you share with me after your bath time, when you wake every morning. I adore that you hold my face still just so you can look into my soul. I wonder if perhaps you do see the mama I long to be, to feel like, rather than the mother I more often than not seem to be. Thank You for loving me when I feel so unworthy of such a gift. You are most precious to me my darling son. When I walk into our room to pick you up from your naps, you light up like the lilies in our garden as they follow the Suns light in the morning. All that joy just at the sight of me – it melts my heart. Thank you for finding happiness in me, in our kitchen dancing sessions. I’m so glad you’re not a picky listener…as I sing off key…and you still hum along to our favorite songs. You never seem worried that I won’t be here, for you, even when I feel so far away. I hope that never changes, as most days it is my saving grace. Your laugh reminds me of your fathers, and beyond that your grandfathers. You must be a very old soul to understand the things you do and see, and still laugh so whole-heartedly. Your patience takes my breath away my darling son. Always waiting for your mother to wipe her tears, always with the knowledge that you are my reason to keep going.

 

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I use to have the most terrible dreams when we were one. Dreams that all the things the doctors were telling me could happen did happen, and yet, so perfect was your smile, your heart, your tiny beautiful body when you were born. All the tests, and all the ultrasounds could not quiet this fretful mind I have. Forever lingering on the first words rather than the last of each specialist that kindly tried to calm my fears and assure me that you were healing inside of me. I counted the days until your healthy arrival, and then, suddenly when you were about one month in age – I started to weep at what I thought was a case of built up fears and stress finally allowing themselves to be released – having been given the ‘all clear’ at the sight of your glossy eyes staring into mine. The weeping never stopped. And now here I am, with you, thankful and without a way to show it. I tell you daily that I am, because I feel you need to hear it. I need you to hear it. I’m so afraid that you don’t feel my love for you. Trembling with guilt that I haven’t done enough as the sun goes down to show you I’m still here fighting for us, our family, you. It may seem like it’s all for not just now my darling son, but with Gods grace and loving kindness – one day soon all the pain your mama holds back from her world will subside. And I will truly be here. And you’ll be waiting… my darling son.

There is much to be said about my life as a mother, your mother. It is a job I adore and am beyond thankful to have. I know so many women who do not have this and would give up everything to have a baby just like you…perfect in every way. That thought is never far from me. As I carefully toss and turn in the bed we share, I think about how I can do better, show more love, be more patient and kind. It dawned on me this morning before the sun was even up…you are the example God has given me. For you are my inspiration, the vibrant ying to my tattered yang. The banana to my peanut butter. The best of me. I love you my darling son. I’m not here yet, but I’m not going anywhere…I promise.

 

 

It’s Only Natural…

 

image

Watching the wind blow through the trees.
Kicking up the dust and
watching it cross and cover the path made
on that bright, crisp morning –
Early enough that the dew was still sipped
by the wild flowers following her
road to nowhere.

As the sun begins to beat down on her face, the dew has now dried and
the leaves are curled to protect the
moisture they’d gathered.

Reaching out to the tree branches
covered in moss and web, she
breathes deep.
There is an ephemeral beauty in what
is taken from and what is lost in this place.
Though its sounds are of such
sadness…
much like the last song
of a dying bird…

There is a decrepit Redwood that, though
rotting, it
still holds her secrets.
She imagines that perhaps her struggles could
be buried there, and
that the lone song of her dying dream might be
buried there as well…
deep within its roots.
Deep within its safe place –
where life still exists.

In the spring
seedlings may shoot
from this dirty place, and
a new chance at life could begin, if
only the sunlight could get in.

 

 

A Spoonful of Sadness…

 

(I’d like to apologize in advance for this post. Typically I try like hell not be this person. I’m sorry.)

 

 

I am trying not to break, really I am. I lay in bed awake, sometimes until 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning praying that I don’t die, because I don’t want these last few months to be the way my children remember me. I cry in my closet. It’s not even one I can walk in to, so I just lean into my sweaters and wipe my face with their sleeves. (It sounds so pathetic…and it is…really.)

When my son JJ was born (he’s 6 now) I had a bad case of the baby blues for about three months. I just cried. Good, bad, anything changing in my bubble of a life and I would weep. Stress was manageable, but challenging…like undoing duct tape with wet fingers.

*I have tried not to write this, as over the last few years I really have been working on being the woman who chooses to see the goodness, the sweetness my life gives me. My optimism is what keeps me hopeful, and filled with desire for each tomorrow.*

 

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I can’t do this, I think to myself. But I keep going and act as if I’m fine…which seems to be working in my favor. Short of the mess that is my house (which is easily explained away with the sheer volume of humans and pets living under our roof) no one says anything that makes me wonder if perhaps they know I’m struggling with severe, debilitating and at times terrifying postpartum depression…and have been for the better part of a year.

I just don’t have the words to write this. My desire to be held, well it just cuts through those words and leaves them empty and dangling like wet, freshly cut grass.

I’m not detached from my beautiful baby, by Gods grace. From the moment I saw him there was this intense infatuation I could feel…all the way to my very soul. My depression came on slowly. I have no love lost…but being here (though I know it’s my depression) all day and every night…here…alone with this beautiful little boy is so hard to do right now. I nurse him, I sleep with him, eat with him. He touches my face with those small loving hands and I want to escape. This feeling is killing me. The shame, the heartache…it’s inescapable. It’s torture. I feel like I’m dying inside and nobody can hear my screams for help. I don’t want to kill myself, although the immense guilt for feeling these emotions make me want to die. I just want it to stop.

I am exhausted. I don’t want to eat, or be. I eat pounds of food when no one is watching and when they are I feel ill for doing it. I don’t know why. I eat so I can nurse and for no other reason at this point. I missed my baby’s first adventure at the park. I missed his first push on a swing on Easter Sunday. I didn’t care until I realized what I had missed, and felt so sad that I was happy for the time alone, even if all I did was clean. (Why can’t I just be fucking happy, get over it.)

 

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This monster, it shadows me, it haunts my waking hours with a fear I can’t describe. It’s horrific the things I find myself pondering about. I find myself saying things like “If something happens to me…” – I taught my daughter how to bathe her baby brother ‘just in case’…

The kids have clean clothes, and they’re fed. There are dishes to eat out of…and it takes everything I have to make that a reality. I haven’t done homework with JJ for well over a month. I can’t remember the last time I painted with my child, or just sat and let myself be consumed with joy by my daughter Birdie’s desire to just be with me. It feels smothering.

I wish I could sit down and say “I need help. I think I need hospitalization. Please help me.” Instead I started cutting myself…just to feel anything other than this. I’m a fucking wreck. I just want to have someone hold me. Let me cry. Help me.

My husbands job ended today, and I’m sure he will be disappointed if he reads this. I’m just letting him and our family down…again. And now I’m crying. God help me. I’m a failure. Miserable in this world of lost battles, whispers of loneliness, having been broken and betrayed by the mind and body that carried the same human beings I would die to protect, to be with. Ironic.

It’s times like this that I wish we had family here. I could use some family love. Help. Rest. I need someone to come kick my ass back into proper order, before I emotionally damage my beautiful family – because I am fine with me being damaged, but they won’t be.

*I feel like a fraud.*

I do have times of clarity where I muster up what reserves of energy I have to do things like mopping, vacuuming, grocery shopping. I sit and play with the baby everyday, no phones or tv, and laugh while I’m crying inside. I really do try to hide it from him. I want him to feel safe in his new and amazing world. I don’t want him to feel even an ounce of my suffering.

Our family means the world to me and I don’t understand (even though medically speaking I have a full understanding) why I can’t get myself out of this. I don’t understand why the thoughts are so persistent that they are drowning out the love I know is in there…somewhere.

I want my little bit of heaven back.

 

 

 

The Art of Loss…

CeeCee, my mother-in-law loves slim-jims, Reese’s pieces, Oreos and Diet Pepsi. She has an affinity for very hot coffee and cheesecake. CeeCee has never had a child of her own, but has taken in many a stray both human and four-legged alike. Though our differences are many, she is the grandmother to my children, and we adore her.
CeeCee has Alzheimer’s Disease. It has taken much from her as of late, including her ability to find her own bathroom, her obsession with Reese’s and her health. My father-in-law Harry has taken the necessary steps to care for her in every way he can. He’s put a stop-payment on his job, rallied the troops and been the most loving, kind, humble husband I have known. His second nature to be abrasive has been swept away by his knowing she may not be ‘there’ tomorrow.

This morning we received a short, sad call from my Harry.

CeeCee has been placed in intensive care. She is on a respirator, heart failing. Harry, for the first time in many years doesn’t know what to do.
While our lives carry on in a very human way, a part of his will not. My soul aches for him. Holding fast to my faith as I watch his little bit of heaven slip away, I ask that you keep Harry in your thoughts and prayers today. Thank you.

Of Pain and Pressing On…

 

 

**{ For those that are survivors of sexual assault/abuse please be aware that the following  may bring up the trauma of your past/present. This post is not for the eyes or minds of children. Thank you. }**

 

 

There is a deep, throbbing, hypothermic kind of loneliness that gnaws at my soul. The kind of chosen exile a victim seeks and though no fault of their own, feels guilty for wanting as they grow older. Though the moments of such pain are fleeting with the change of each season…the off putting desire for isolation rears its ugly head from time to time.

I have sat on my bed, many many many nights trying to write a ‘story’ about being a sexual assault victim, but it’s just not going to happen. Unlike the things I usually write about, even after all these years, it’s just so hard. It’s more than just a small moment in time. It’s the smells I fear. It’s the music that haunts me. It’s the man that took a part of who I was, and not just my body. It’s the things I will never get back, that he still takes from me. The people who still blame me, who use it as a means to bleed me emotionally.

Writing as if I was old enough to understand the intense trauma that was happening to me is impossible. I was thirteen, just a child. To say that the man who raped me was just some guy is not realistic. He is a predator, a man who worked for my father, and, looking back groomed me, gained my trust for several months. My father too busy, my rapist would offer to pick me up if I missed the bus, wanted a ride into town. He was 29, had short brown hair, clean shaved. Light eyes and tall. Unassuming.

I was told it was my doing, as I went there with his promise to buy my friends alcohol for a party. It was New Year’s Eve. He lived in the building my father owned. The Chaplin lived below him. I was told I deserved it, that I got exactly what I should have. By adults, by people that should have loved me, by people that say ‘I love you’ even now.

He made me a screwdriver, in a big gulp cup. He turned on The Cranberries song so popular for the time, and told me to relax. He walked out of the room. It smelled of overly ripe fruit…and Palmolive dish soap. A man I didn’t know left, closing the door quietly behind him. After a few drinks I started to feel sick, not drunk, but foggy, things became blurred. I remember trying to smile as he walked toward me, but I couldn’t move my mouth. I remember trying to talk…nothing. My arms were heavy like they had been weighed down or tied.

As he raped me, I could see out the window across the street. My friends were on the porch celebrating the holiday, drinking, laughing. I prayed one of them would look up and see me. Praying for help. Silent.

My mind was screaming for them. I tried but could not fight. My body was worthless, and he made it so. Like molten glass against my womb I screamed and screamed. Nothing. I felt my eyes bulge as I tried to move. The strain of my muscles searing in pain to escape. I could not move. Silent. Petrified.

I don’t know how long it lasted, or how often I faded in and out. I know I don’t remember everything. I remember the pain. I remember the smell of sweat, fear. Life altering pain. All consuming fear.

My friends were suppose to pick me up 15 minutes after I got there. I don’t know when they showed. In my younger years I would’ve said an hour, if you asked me now I would say hours, a lifetime, eternity.

They began pounding on his door. One friend found me on the couch. The other confronted him. Two more blocked the door. I was picked up, pants down, and brought to the bathroom. Cleaned my face. Held me up and carried me down the stairs while someone called someone and then I was whisked away to a home I lived in briefly, while I came to. The sun should have been up by now, but the world was dark. The police were called, I was taken to the hospital, a rape kit was used. I was stripped. I was photographed, swabbed, nails were dug in to. Prescriptions were given to prevent pregnancy, and to protect from std’s. Statements were given by the friends who showed too late. Blood was never drawn.

The man that raped me ran. He drove far away, stealing my fathers police scanner from the funeral home, and ran like a coward. He told someone a few weeks prior to raping me that he ‘liked them young’. I was young enough that I looked like a little girl. I was maybe 5 feet tall, blonde hair, 90 lbs, and I was wearing Levi Silvertab jeans, faded light blue, and an oversized Columbia ski vest over my white t-shirt. I was a child. I shutter to think that perhaps I wasn’t his first. God I can’t think about it.

I was told my father tried to find him, he wanted him dead. The police interviewed the Chaplin. Devastated when he realized it was his friends daughter, he later told me he cried. Beside himself he said if only he had known. He was a good man, a military Chaplin. Covered in tattoos from a life far gone but always given away with his sad, loving eyes. Detectives tracked down the roommate, who never looked at me, and he said nothing. Nothing. My rapist turned himself in some time later, hours away, and was brought back to be formally charged.

I remember walking into the prosecutors office. It smelled like copy paper, and freshly printed paperwork. Terrified. Told it was my fault I said nothing. Only that I wouldn’t testify. My mother looked at me with contempt…disgust. I was a child.

My friends refused to be totally honest about why and how we all ended up there, surely because they feared being arrested.

My mother went to the hospital, and the police station to retrieve my belongings from that night. I told her I didn’t want them. A few years ago she was still wearing my ski vest. It’s tan, with an aged black and brown zipper. It’s soft and comfortable. She wears it without a care. It makes me ill.

The man who raped me pled guilty to statutory rape, was sentenced to 3-5 years. I don’t know when he was released, but I remember seeing a man that I thought could have been him years later, and suddenly I remembered the smell of his apartment. His walk. His breath. Terrified I left the store.

A young man with the same first name as my rapist touched my belly when I was pregnant with my first child and I had my first panic attack. I was beside myself. Frozen in time. The young man wasn’t a bad person. He was mortified at my response. I hit him so hard that my hand was bruised. I had hurt someone because I was so very wounded, after all that time.

About five, maybe six years ago I received a check in the mail for just over $800. It was from my states victims compensation fund. The man who raped me had been arrested, and in order to be released he had to pay his bail…and restitution. My mind, my heart, my body, was worth $800 and a note in the checks memo…my case number I think. That child remained terrified. After all those years, I could see his face.

I remember after I was raped that I would constantly walk out of my bedroom to make sure I wasn’t alone. I remember how conflicting that was with the need to escape myself. I began cutting my wrists, the inside of my thighs, never too deep. Enough to feel a mental release of my emotional torture. To wound my sickening body. It was euphoric, yet I cried. I was afraid of myself. He took everything from me, and I hadn’t even begun to live. I showered constantly and scrubbed myself until I was raw, until hives would appear. I needed to feel clean. I wanted to die. I wanted to find him and cut off his dick. I wanted to torture him. I wanted him to die so that I wouldn’t have to in order to survive.

It’s been many many years since I was forced to carry the title of rape victim. My life has changed. I was given a family of my own. I was baptized, and found Gods Grace. Rarely do I think of my sexual assault. It’s been a hard and painful road. Climbing up a steep and burning slope before I could see the light of day, of God, of a future I wanted to be a part of. I have little value in myself, and to be honest I’m not worthy of love in my heart, my mind. But in my soul…deep within where only God can touch, I’m beautiful. I’m whole. I’m loved. In that small place, I’m not a victim but a survivor. It is with that still small voice, and my faith, that I’m able to let that small light shine bright. I made it. I’m here. And for those who suffer alone…I won’t be silent.

 

 

**{ You are not alone. You are loved. You are beautiful as you are. Time, as it is, will pass on and can become part of your healing rather than  the still burning embers of your loss. }**

These Hands

I had a dream last night.
I was standing in my kitchen and I dropped a casserole dish. As I watched it fall to the floor it’s shape became that of a heart. It’s rounded edges were thick. My reflection hit the floor and as it shattered I looked down at my hands. They faded as I reached for the shards and I was helpless…

My hands are, much like the rest of me, failing.

My hands.
Hands that held my fathers, as we walked to the coffee shop and where they caught me as I fell to my knees.
Hands that reached for my mother when I was afraid.
These hands have seen the worst of me.
They stole. They begged. They wiped my tears.
My hands.

Unable to carry the burdens of my life at times, my hands have held my face as I sobbed.
Fists tight. They have fought for me, battered and bruised.
These hands have tried to protect me, even when I would not.

My hands.
My hands have washed my beautiful children. Reading them stories as my hands held them close. These hands have tended to their cuts and scrapes, and wiped their noses. Fingers that once braided my daughters hair are a tangled mess. Hands that helped my children to grow and learn are now keeping me from them.

They have caressed my husbands face, they have held fast in his arms.

My hands are tired. They just don’t feel the same.

Ever defiant to what my heart feels, my hands have always held fast to what I could not. At times I have wanted to let go, my hands were strong when I was broken.
My hands.

Hard working. These hands have planted and toiled, made meals, washed clothes. At times barely scraping by for the family I love more than life itself, and now…they are shaky.

*****

The simple things are getting harder to do. I can’t open juice for my children. Holding a cup, folding a towel…such matters are whittled with frustration. Breaking the seal on my aspirin bottle feels like I’m only reminding myself that I can’t do it, or anything else on my own. My pots and pans though dry, feel slippery to my finger tips, and I’m worried I’ll burn myself. I drop my phone. I can’t feel it in my hands sometimes. I feel like my hands are betraying me. Once a joyous event, bathing my little one has become a chore as I am ever aware that he could go under the bubbly water and I would struggle to help him. I slam my cup down as though my hands have forgotten how to be gentle. Things that should be second nature are now things I have to work at, do over, clean up.
Often I used my hands to write of love, life, and to make works of art, create beauty, plant. Now, my hands, much like the rest of me, are failing.