Monday, February 25, 2013

The Dream

The little boy was running from me, and I was chasing him trying to wrap a blanket around him. I could only see the back of him, his little legs, hair and laughing as I was chasing him. It was cold and I wanted to wrap him in the blanket, but I could not catch him.

I awoke from my Sunday afternoon nap feeling scared, sad and angry.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Quote of the Day

 
"Some people say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I say a lack of knowledge is a tragedy".
 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Have Become One of Those Mothers

Who reflects back to when she had young children, because she feels old and her children appear to be getting older. I find myself talking about the times when they would cover their own eyes and think no one could see them. That was their way of hiding. I remember the years of braces and dental appointments squeezed into after school baseball practice, soccer and basketball. The days of the swim team, CYO meetings, volunteering to be a lunch mother and/or work in the school nurse's office, while holding down a 2nd shift job in a lab, then becoming a lab supervisor, returning to school and studying when a young one was being tutored for reading or memorizing anatomy notes over a kitchen stove preparing dinner. as the young ones sat at the kitchen table to complete homework. They were the days when I spent more time in an ER (thank God I worked in a hospital & could bypass the waiting room) for stitches, broken arms and asthma attacks, as a result of jumping on beds, riding bikes jumping cliffs in the park, playing football without equipment and allergies.

Dentist, Doctor, ER rooms were a normal part of daily living with three very very active boys.

They all knew how to swim by age five years old. We had a pool in the backyard. They spent many vacations searching for seashells, walking in old cemeteries and riding the largest roller coasters. They have been to Disney, Hoover Dam, Williamsburg, Mountains across many states and beaches across many shorelines. We camped. We hiked. We stayed in first class hotels. We did a lot.

I remember the hugs, the cuddles, the sleeping on the floor next to my bed. I remember the Monday  Family Nights when we played games like Twister, Life and 500 rummy. We danced to popcorn popping in the microwave, and baked cookies on cold winter days. I remember New Year's Eve spent ice skating, then watching fireworks over the river. We had two dogs named Muffin and Skippy. We had two cats named Leo and Alicia. We came home from the pet shop with two Guinea pigs, and then discovered an additional two more one morning. (Apparently, we adopted a male & female). The awful turtle Shaun brought home that grew into a freaking monster. and had to be let go in a lake. The snake that tried to escape and met its fate in the claws of a cat. There were oh so many cats as the oldest thought to bring every stray home.

Laughter! I remember the laughter! Kids laughing. Kids playing basketball in the house. Kids breaking stuff with those basketballs. Dances came. then the proms, driver's licenses and new cars, college tuition and girlfriends.

Principle's office. Many times. Many Many times. Telling one kid to wear his school shoes, not his sneakers to school. Telling another kid, "I know you think Art is a waste of time, but color damn it!" Telling another kid, "I know you think music class is stupid, but pretend to sing, damn it!" Picking up kids from school where one would be the first person out the door, and the other would be the last person out the door. How many times, I sat in that car listening to one son tell me, "just leave him here, because he has to talk to every single person walking out the door". (in reference to his very social brother)

Christmas mornings with the fire roaring in the fireplace, and gift wrap covering the floor. Breakfast for dinner, silly stories, moody faces, tears. We saw it all. Experienced it all.

Yes. I must be getting older, because I am becoming one of those mothers, I never thought I would be,  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Laurel Hill

She died sixty-eight years ago today. I went to the cemetery on Saturday morning and placed a heart upon her grave. I do not know why I feel this connection with her. I never knew her. I only know about her. Some people avoid cemeteries like the plague. I like to walk through cemeteries and the older the cemetery, the better. I guess it is my love of history, and one can learn alot about history just walking through one. It can also be the genealogist in me. God knows, I have walked in hundreds of cemeteries through out this country and in other countries, I visited. Talk to my boys and they will tell you how many cemeteries I took them in just to research, while they were growing up. I wonder if I keep a blog as a hiker may leave crumbs to track oneself back. When I research, I rarely get to read something the person had said. I get to read about where they lived and worked. If this blog exists in the future, it will be those crumbs that track back with one difference. My words will give an inside look at who I am not just where I lived or worked. I have over a thousand posts in draft that will remain in draft until time has passed and I can release them to the public once more.

Cemetery walkers are nothing new. People have been walking in cemeteries for two hundred years, especially during the middle to late 1800's when it was not unusual to pack a picnic basket and go to the cemetery. Laurel Hill is a prime example of such traditions. Folks took a boat up the river, got off, climbed steps from the river into the back of the cemetery across what is now called Kelly Drive. They made a day out of it. Picnic basket in hand, small children in tow and off to their loved one's grave. Death was a natural part of life. Unlike today, where we want to avoid talking about it, let alone see it or even acknowledge it actually occurs. When my grandmother died in 1945, she was laid out in the living room of her parents' home. Her newborn son was placed in his cradle next to her casket with the belief that he would know something of his mother, and she would know something of her child. Family members took turns standing by the casket 24/7 until the day of burial, when the casket was hand carried across the street and walked through the cemetery to the burial plot.

The family had two burial plots at the time in the North Section of the cemetery. Marie was interred in a grave beside her thirteen year old brother who died in 1938. After Marie's death, her father purchased several plots never knowing that later in that year 1945, he would be in one also. Today, there is room for eight with five interred; my grandparents, my great grandparents and a young uncle. My grandmother was the second oldest of sixteen children. Earl who is interred in the family plot was the youngest. He had a twin sister known as Pearl who died at birth.

And to think I once lived across the street in that same house.

My grandmother was 38 years old when she died. My great grandmother (her mother) was 90 years old when she died. My aunt (her sister) lived until 102 years old, so I believe longevity is in the Mervine (great grandmother's maiden name) side. My great great grandfather Alexander Mervine also lived a ripe old age and even outlived three of his four wives producing children well into his late 60's.

And to think I once played in that cemetery as a child.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

No Title

The sun shines. The air feels cold. The birds chirp. From the outside, all seems well in the world. What one does not see is the turmoil within what seems like perfect harmony. Kindness mistaken for weakness. Silence mistaken for acceptance. Once upon a time, I was told to "always take the high road". The "high road" is the hard road for anyone who has taken a trip down it. It requires biting your tongue when you want to spit the poison. I know my own tongue. The poison can puncture and hurt to a level most have no idea. I control it. I try to take the "high road". Problem is the high road is a tiresome place to travel. I am afraid one day the storm within will hit the shoreline as fierce as a hurricane. It will spare no one in its path. It will shatter and crush. The repair will be enormous and the cost high.

As I grow older, I know less, see more, understand nothing. Each morning I awake and put in place a mask. The mask's persona displays a well adjusted intelligent person with a sense of humor, deep compassion, empathy and selflessness. Always giving. Never receiving. Fake it til you make it. One day at a time. Give it up to God. Live as if it is your last day. By the time, I get home, I feel exhausted, fried and take off that God forsaken mask and say "fuck it".

Do I feel angry? Yes! Do I think the world is unfair? Yes! Do I recognize the behaviors of insecurity, control, selfishness, hate, self-rightness? Hell Yes! You would never know what I think, feel or desire to behave, because I will never show it. However, it does not mean it is not there. While one is busy judging, I am looking in their own closet. It is amazing what one can find by looking behind, beneath and above in that closet. The dressing on the outside may look pretty, but the horror on the inside is beyond frightening. I guess that is why it is so easy to judge. While one is busy judging, condemning, they do not have to take a look at self. If they took a look at self, it would be a horror show and so damn uncomfortable.

People think I assess them at all times. Frankly, if I am not in work I have no desire to assess. Hey, that is my job, so why would I want to do it at home? On the other hand, I can recognize behavior when I see it. I am a behaviorist afterall. I see beyond the words said. Words are just that words. Human nature communicates more with tone and action. I pay close attention to these two, especially if I have good reason to. But, even that becomes tiresome. I am tired. Probably beyond tired. I am not in the mood for head games though I permitted myself to participate in them. I know why I allowed this to occur. I play or I spit poison. At this time in my life, I will continue to take the "high road". Keep my boundaries in place. Remain silent but watchful. And most importantly, prevent the storm from coming ashore. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Grandmother

As the days approach closer and closer to my birthday, I can't help but feel some sadness as well as loss. I do not grieve for what I had and lost. I grieve for what I never had. I have her painting in my dining room. As I glance up to it, I see myself in her face. She is a woman, I never got to meet. She is a woman who died fifteen years prior to my own birth. She is a woman who died two days after childbirth leaving behind a husband and two children ages 16 & 11 in addition to a newborn son. She was my paternal grandmother.

I was told she had blond hair and blue eyes. I heard she was sweet and kind. I heard she was unhappy in her marriage and knew she would die. I was told, she hung baby clothes out on a line to dry and glanced back at them as she walked away saying, "I will never see the baby wear those clothes". She gave birth at age 38 yrs old to a son February 17, 1945. She had a blood clot to the brain that facilitated a stroke. She laid in a coma two days before she died on February 19, 1945. She never held her newborn child nor placed those clothes on him that once hung in the wind in the backyard.

She was laid out at home. She was buried across the street in Laurel Hill. It was said, the infant child was placed in a cradle next to the mother's casket as he would know something of his mother as she would of her child. It was the custom. Though morbid to modern life, it was normal for years gone by.

I never knew her. I only knew about her. I wish I knew her and often wonder if her influence in my life would have impacted my decisions or lack of? I know I lost out on a loving sweet kind grandmother. It is sad, her husband was abusive. It is sad, my own father would lose his mother at age 11 yrs old and live with a father who neglected him. It is even sadder that the one positive in my father's life, his own maternal grandfather would die later in that same year 1945.

Life seems so cruel and unfair. God gives and takes away. I guess I should be grateful that I never got to know her and then have her taken away. I would change it all if I could just to know her love for one single day.

Grandparents are important in a child's life. I believe that with all my heart. God bless and take care of you Mary (Marie) Anna Schroeder Weleski.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

1910 Dentist Clinic at City Hall

Makes my skin crawl just looking at this picture and thinking how much fun, the dentist was in 1910.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Word of the Day

self-ac·tu·al·i·za·tion

[self-ak-choo-uh-luh-zey-shuhn, self-ak-]   
noun Psychology .
the achievement of one's full potential through creativity, independence, spontaneity, and a grasp of the real world

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Word of the Day

1: fatigued by overwork : exhausted
2: made dull, apathetic, or cynical by experience or by surfeit <jaded network viewers> <jaded voters>
jad·ed·lyadverb
jad·ed·nessnoun

Old Fall's Tavern

Built in 1731 and Demolished in 1971
 

                                                             
 
Located at 4145 Ridge Ave (circ 1963)

Monday, February 04, 2013

The Circle of Life

I think they call it melancholy. Existing. Giving up. Not caring. I really do not have the exact words to express the thought or feeling. I see this expression in the field I work in. I probably experience it myself. I think life in general can become so overwhelming that the only thing left is to step back, regroup, move on. I wish there was more joy in this move forward. The sun comes up everyday even if the sky is full of dark gray clouds. The seasons change. New life begins. Old life ends. It is all part of this huge cycle.

Change. Adapting. Change was never difficult. Change is really difficult today. I look in the mirror and I see change. I look older. I feel older. Where do I go from here? I never had high blood pressure. I have it now. I never had asthma. I have it now. Nothing will ever be as it was.

I cannot reach back into the past and change it. The should have, would have and could have will only keep one stuck. Stuck. A small word with such a huge meaning.

Once upon a time, there was this woman who surrounded self with family. She got down on the floor and played with children. She laughed. She had adventure. She could hike with the best of them. She was smart. She worked hard. She loved. She learned to see life through the eyes of a little one. She overcame adversity. For every step she took forward, she took a step backward but never ever gave up. She defied the odds.

What happened to her? Where is she? I want her back. I do not think she will come back. She is gone. Once the caterpillar turns into a butterfly, it cannot go back to its cocoon. On one hand, there is magnificent beauty. On the other hand, the safety of the cocoon is gone. The butterfly may last , but a day. However, the caterpillar has prepared for this moment its entire life. I want the beauty of the butterfly and the safety of the cocoon. I do not think, I will see either. I am at the cross-road. Stuck. Do I turn right or do I turn left? Which road should I travel upon?

I will do what I have been doing these past few years. I will follow my conscious. 

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Unknown Writer

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you're looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . ... . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . ... lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . ..my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. ...Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ... . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It's jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. .... . ME!!