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Thoughts Of Suicide

Confession: March 24th was going to be the end for me. Months with no car, pain, painful treatments, meds screwed up, isolated, low on cash...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Well I Thought It Was Funny!!

This morning I was shopping for silk stockings when I heard a clerk say, "You look like Santa Claus." I looked back at the voice and sure enough, there was a man who from the neck up looked just like Santa, Kris Kringle, etc., and apparently was "licensed" to let everyone know when Christmas would arrive.
I turned to continue shopping but all of the sudden "Santa" walks towards me with a Smartphone in his hand and in a loud voice for all the other customers to hear verbatim he says,
"Hey Little Girl, would you like to know how many days you have left?"
 Never one to miss an opportunity to shut something like this down I said, "Actually, I'm battling breast cancer right now so if you don't mind, I'd like to keep the "days I have left" a surprise!"
Well? What do you think?
I thought it was funny.
In my defense, he didn't ask me if I wanted to know how many days it was until Christmas--he SAID "do you want to know how many days you have left?" Besides, nothing good ever happened to me when the sentence started out with, "Hey Little Girl."
I think I've always been a smartass/comic because of necessity. It's not safe for a "girl child" to be around in the world alone...to paraphrase "The Color Purple." But sometimes Girls, don't you just want to shop in peace?
Apparently, the young clerk first speaking with "Santa" was giddy at the idea that he had actually seen the jolly old elf's license. He said, "I'll be a good boy from now on, ok Santa?" Now we are all grown people here--not a child in the building! Got a bit creepy to be honest.
"You do that." Santa said, "You're going to love your presents in 214 days."  
Santa didn't have to say a thing to me--I know exactly what will be in my stocking this year. A big lump of coal! At least that lump of coal will be in silk stockings!!!
So what have we learned?
Today is May 25 and there are 214 days left until Christmas!!!!!

(BTW--my last radiation treatment is June 5th and that will be the day I declare myself as "Breast Cancer Survivor!)

Happy Memorial Day

Friday, May 15, 2015

Understanding Alice.

I hadn't seen Alice, my biological mother in more than a year. Readers of my blog may recall the "relationship" she and I have. The last time I saw her was March 2014 when I went to the hospital to bring her the glasses that were found out in the yard at her apartment. She hadn't been seen that day so when a neighbor had gotten curious and looked in her window, he saw her lying on the living room floor unconscious--or dead. By the time I was notified, the next day, she'd had total hip surgery and would be going to a nursing home upon discharge. Later that evening, I took her glasses that had been found in the yard--apparently dropped by the ambulance crew that had gotten her the previous day. I knocked, walked into her room and said, "I brought your glasses."
"You get the hell out of here," she said, drawing her fist back at me, "don't you come back and that goes for that bitch Lily and Tommy, too." (Lily is her sister and Tommy is her son.)
I don't know why this exchange shocked me. Oh sure, the little girl in me always wants that "Lifetime Movie" moment when mean old Mom sees the err of her ways and begs forgiveness for everything she ever did or said--but this still "Alice" and to her, I was the reason she never got the life she wanted or deserved. But I understand.
"Mom" was 18 months old when she was sitting in her mother's lap that day. Dad came in and began stabbing her mother with a butcher knife. Aunt Lilly was four years old but got away, ran to a neighbor and told them her Daddy was killing her mom and baby sister. The police arrived to find their mother dying on the floor and Alice beside her unharmed but crying and soaked in her mother's blood. Unlike "Dexter," Alice grew up unguarded, unguided and unloved...but not a serial killer.
It must've been rough growing up with Lily as her sister. Lily was the first-born, the beauty, the "good one," by contrast--Alice wasn't any of those things. So I understand. Lily got pregnant and got married...Alice got pregnant, got dumped. She had me--then I got dumped.
Over the years, Alice let me know that I had her life. "We were getting married and then you showed up." she'd say. "If abortion were legal back then, you certainly wouldn't be here," she'd say. "She doesn't know what she's saying," I'd say to myself.  But I understood.
I was a cheerleader from fourth grade to my senior year of high school--she never saw me once. She didn't come to any of my graduations but she did come to my wedding--walked right by me, kissed "him" on the cheek and said, "I always wanted a son." She never married and here was my wedding. Her question was always, "Why did you get everything?" But I understand.
Last June, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and have been in treatment after my double mastectomy. I can't help but smile to think what Alice would say if she knew I'd "had my boobs cut off." She was barely a 32A  while I was a 38DD. (My fakes are that size, too!) She'd be very happy. I understand.
I hadn't seen Alice in over a year and there'd be weeks that she wouldn't even enter my mind. Was that okay? Was I hanging onto that sad hope that we'd someday be "Mother and Daughter"? No--but I was missing something. May 10th was Mother's Day and it hit me. I knew what to do.
After church, I went to the nursing home. A woman who looked like her was sitting in a wheelchair draped in a little green blanket. "Alice?" I asked.
"Who are you?" the woman said--it was Alice. So I went to her and said, "I'm just someone you used to know." Then I gave her a box of "honey buns" and a single red rose surrounded in 'baby's breath' tied by a red ribbon with a card that read, "Happy Mother's Day---I Forgive You."
It wasn't done for her, it was for me. Face-to-face, end of an era. She'd be spending the rest of her life in this nursing home, pretending to be senile. She's finally being pampered, waited on hand and foot and at last, rid of me.  That's all she ever wanted...and I understand.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

My Church Dilemma

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June of 2014. Proper doctors and proper treatment have given me a pretty good chance of beating this disease but there seemed to be an emptiness in my support system. I wanted to start going to church. I wanted a "church family." I basically wanted someplace to go where I could blend in and hear something else besides cancer talk. But church members don't come knocking at your front door. Right?
Two days after this thought occurred to me, a woman actually did come knocking at my door with a flyer describing a "supper" being sponsored by her church. It seemed like an "Ask and 'ye shall receive" type thing to me so I decided to check it out.  Preconceived notions aside, I had a good time. They served spaghetti and salad with very little "Bible talk." I've always heard of a "praising church" but I hadn't been in one and was really surprised at the themes of love, happiness and the "father" God and His love for all of us, not the hateful old man "God" who was just waiting for us to screw up.  I started going to this church every Sunday.
The small town church is idyllic and a few people I had known from high school attend there.  "James" was the first male cheerleader our high school ever had--his wife and six kids attend as does "Belinda" who at age fourteen was swimming at the neighborhood pool when her "Kotex" decided to detach and float right along side her! Back then, we didn't know about tampons, pantiliners or why swimming when you were having your "monthly" was a good idea at all! "Reggie" and "Tina" were still together after marrying during their senior year and NOT because she was pregnant! Almost every Sunday it seems that someone else from the Class of 1980 re-appears though most of my high school memories don't!
At last Sunday's service, reality hit. The congregation stood up for opening prayer and as the assistant pastor was bringing his prayer to a close  he said, "and may God remove the idea of gay marriage."
What the ****??!!
I raised my head and opened my eyes without thinking. Not only was this a surprise to hear, I didn't see the relevance. In all of the time I'd been attending, I hadn't heard anything but encouraging words and examples of how God loved "each and every one of us." Well, that includes gay people, right? God made them, too.
I was very disappointed and shouldn't have been so surprised but what did surprise me was the assistant pastor's unusual reason for opposing gay marriage. According to him, churches refusing to perform gay weddings would lose their tax-exempt status. So he was afraid the church would pay taxes? I began to wonder if I could continue going to this church with it's sudden anti-gay marriage stand. It may have always been their stand but this was the first time I'd heard any anti-gay remarks at all.
It reminded me of the times when closing prayer at Mass included requests for God to end abortion. The priest would use words like "sin" and  "abomination" of abortion, some of the same words used to describe homosexuality now that I think of it. I'm pro-choice and pro-"who you love is who you love and it's none of my business--just be happy." Could I "agree to disagree" with this assistant pastor and keep attending? Ignore this assistant pastor and keep attending? Deep in my heart, I think he is wrong, he doesn't speak for the congregation and he may have just taken it upon himself to "enlighten some of the deacons about a potential money issue" if gay marriage is granted to the entire country by the Supreme Court.
I find a family-style comfort in this church and can't let one man make me stay home on Sundays. Besides, Gandhi reminds us that "the only thing wrong with Christianity, at times, is its Christians."