Archive for the ‘aging’ Category

My last post dealt with my husband getting tagged with ALS. I was all over the place with my emotions. Grief, anger, pain, back to anger. He is a GOOD man who never caused harm and he does NOT deserve to be taken out this way. Then today, like a tidal wave, thoughts of what was to come slammed me against the rocks.

I haven’t worked outside the home since 1992! I have CMP, bulging discs and degenerative disc disease. I live with chronic pain, weakness, fatigue, numbness and mental fog. My hubby and I worked out a life that fit us. I shop, cook and take care of the kids schooling, paperwork for their medical care, their social life, our social life and more. He, works for a wage, services the car, pumps the gas, cuts the grass, fixes leaky pipes and deals with the cable company. Put aside the mechanics of life and there is more. He is the first to take my hand when I walk. He is the one who sees if I am upset, sad or in pain. He gives hugs, he makes it ok on days I can’t get out of my chair to cook. He pushes me to listen to music or watch a favorite movie to take me away from the pain. He reads me, he gets me, I get him. We can summon each other to hand out a napkin at dinner with a hand gesture lol. Drives the kids nuts that we talk without words. Thirty-two years together!

What the hell am I going to do if he leaves me?  How will I take the pain out of his leaving from his shoulders? I don’t want him feeling guilt for leaving me. Yet I am in a panic over his leaving.

He will lose his job, hence our medical insurance, income. We owe on the house. I can’t lose the house. I can live anywhere but I am raising grandkids, still in school who need the stability. I can’t cut the grass with a push mower! If a pipe breaks I know how to fix it, but I am physically unable to do so anymore. Hell, my car is twenty years old, if it dies, I can’t buy a new one without his income. I can’t take kids to band practice, they may have to give up band and I won’t be able to pay for uniforms etc.

In full flop sweat here, when I should be focusing on how to be there for my mate. I will be there for him. I guess I can panic all I want, but I will be damned if any of this will taint the time he has left. I will deal with it later. Just another rant from someone dealing with the monster that is ALS.

 

 

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I vividly remember a Saturday afternoon, the summer of nineteen-sixty eight. A summer I was camping with my parents. I had done something wrong, I don’t remember what, but it was enough for my usually lenient mother to send me to the trailer, and bed as punishment. After what seemed like hours, my father came to talk to me. Feeling abused and unjustly treated, I wanted to tell my side of the story to my father. I also decided to include a new phrase I had  heard around the lake in my talk. When he told me how upset my mother was, I sat up and spouted my newly learned phrase.

“Well, she didn’t need to shit a brick over it!”  I did it! I pulled out an adult phrase showing my displeasure over their actions! I felt proud and strong. Then the hammer dropped, the room fell silent, my fathers face turned to stone. I shriveled in my skin, I had done something really bad! I spent the rest of the weekend in the trailer while my friends swam.

Years later, in the fun times known as the ’70’s, I sat in my usual place at the table during a family dinner. Feeling hip and grown up, I said, “pass the potatoes dude,” to my father. Things changed so fast I could hear the tinkle of ice as it shrouded the room. Dad slammed his fork on the table and mom fixed me in her stare. I was excused from the table and learned that I could call people dude at school and play, but NOT at home. I began to see the social rules, the morals and norms that kept families together. The values that helped us navigate the world.

Then came the children of our generation. We had already tested the water,  using lingo unique to our generation. Many of these new parents didn’t want to be “un-cool.” They let their kids be kids, speak anyway they wanted, with few boundaries. They continued to evolve, using new words and giving less respect to their parents and family. This has evolved into;

Suck it
This sucks
What ev
Meh
omg
Hate

We need to teach our kids  how to speak, with respect to themselves and others. We have to stop being “cool” and be parents. I don’t want my kid uttering the word “sucks” all day. I don’t want a “what ev” when I ask t hem to empty the trash. I want them to be able to converse, spell and build healthy adult relationships. It is up to us to give them the tools and discipline. We owe it to them to teach them how to speak, listen, learn, show respect, command respect and act. We can’t sit back and let their teenage, online communication form their adulthood. We need to have as much, if not more, input in their lives as social media.

Join the Friday Fictioneers, a wonderful group of writers who submit a 100 word story or poem based on a weekly photo. This is flash fiction at it’s finest. You can read submissions or add your work HERE.  Comments welcome, as long as they are respectful and helpful, not hateful.

Congrats Madison! Marriage is cool with the right person!

Category: Fiction//Drama

Words: 84

Rating: PG

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Marriage  was death, a stance she had clung to for years. Then came Jim. The last four years had been fun, comfortable and full of love, thanks to him. He had proposed seven times, but this time was different. Something in his eyes seemed to say “we either take this step, or we’re through.”

Realizing she couldn’t live without him, she said yes. That was yesterday, this morning, she took a deep breath and entered the shop, hoping to find a gown. Realizing she was opening more than one door.

Picture it & write it is a fun, flash fiction group that meets weekly. Read the stories or submit your own HERE.

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2021 in the U.S.A. wasn’t pleasant. Special interest groups and big money had legislated the country into an unbearable stew pot of chaos.

Slang words, racially descriptive words, such as Caucasian or Latino were illegal. It was also illegal to possess soda, beer or liquor. A strict dress code was enforced and anyone caught frying food was jailed and subjected to rigorous dietary training. Persons caught smoking or using narcotics were put to death in public displays designed to set an example. Anyone caught in a relationship with a same-sex partner was castrated or mutilated in some way and sent to live in a desolate penal camp.

“Normal” couples wishing to have children underwent rigorous testing. Those  found lacking were denied. If they committed a crime, had arthritis, asthma or were otherwise deemed unsuitable, they were denied. If they couldn’t  maintain state health insurance they were denied. Abortion was illegal unless ordered by the state. If you were pregnant and didn’t pass state mandates, your pregnancy was terminated. Any child born with undetected illness was put down.

The obese were locked away until they reached normal levels. Once released they were re-checked,  if they regained weight they were terminated. Senior citizens were put down at the first sign of illness.

A new revolution formed, no muskets,  just the same desire for freedom. The first to fall were the insurance carriers who guided laws in the name of public health, while making millions. Next came the corrupt government. The movement could succeed, or they could die, but they had to try.

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I already released two kids into the world. One is gone, and one is near with his spouse and kids. Now I am raising three grand kids. It doesn’t get any easier. The oldest has turned eighteen, he was dragged through high school kicking and screaming, but we pulled him through. He is done with all high school classes and all that is left is the graduation ceremony. He attends the local vocational school, specializing in Aviation and Aeronautics. He is a math and engineering whiz who thinks far beyond my capabilities. He will graduate from there in less than three weeks.

However, he is still young!  Even though he is eighteen and almost done with school, I could pull out the  “it’s a school night” excuse to enforce a curfew, but he was always home at least an hour before his curfew.  As a parent, I LOVED this! He was home and all was right with the world. Time after time I would give him permission to stay out late on a Friday or Saturday night, but he would be home by ten or eleven.

He works flight simulators like some of us breathe. His brain is a human calculator. He doesn’t drive, smoke or drink. He is home after school each day and is here until bed. He has friends over and they work on computers, listen to music and eat. He is a good kid with little world experience. I tried to push him out of the nest, urged him to join clubs, go to friends houses or get a job, but he was happiest at home. I know that I have to shove him into the world. He has to drive , get a job, a place to live, form relationships.

But, the mommy in me was pleased that he was home safe and I didn’t have to worry. Then today came! He left here at 7 pm with a friend and at midnight he still wasn’t home. I was thrilled and nervous at the same time. He is over eighteen and able to stay out as late as he wants, but you can’t turn off the worry or desire to have your chickens in the coop before bed. I had to. He is a hard-working man, with above average intelligence who was taught core values.

He came home, later than usual tonight, and I found out why. In the late 1970’s a “friend” stole a large portion of my vinyl record collection. I know they sold them for drugs but didn’t have valid proof, I let it go, but I have always mourned the loss of those albums. Many were gifts from friends, my mom, aunts and cousins. Turns out, my boy was out scouring second-hand shops and music outlets for these records. He purchased many for mother’s day! He only gave me three as a teaser, but he left my mouth-watering!

This encounter left me a greater gift. I know that his heart, and head are in the right place. He is ready to enter the world, meet women and pursue a career. He is green, but he is well armed. My conversations with him have shown me that he is an intelligent man. He is open-minded and tolerant. He has a strong work ethic. He embraces music and the written word. He has a soft spot for animals and children. He is a computer geek and math whiz who talks about aeronautics as easy as as I take a breath. He is good with people and adjusts to each circumstance. He will make mistakes,and ask for help and I will stand by and let him, it’s my job.

Once again, I have to release the hand of a boy and let the world have the man. I can still see him running over the yard, his golden curls bouncing in the sun.  He will do great things and I have to back away and let him do it.

Alastair, a talented photographer and writer has started a new fiction group that meets weekly to pen 150 words based on the photo.  Check out this weeks offering and submit one of your own HERE.

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She woke, realizing the man at the wheel was a whack-a-doodle who had flattered her into his car during oldies night at the diner.

“You are the passenger we’ve been waiting for”, he had crooned.

The last thing she remembered, was caressing the leather seat, then she woke, clad in an unfamiliar dress, in a strange car that was careening backwards down I-71.

“Stop! What the hell are you doing?” She shouted.

“Fulfilling our destiny!” He crowed.

“Let me out, NOW!” she screamed.

“No can do buckaroo, we’re going back baby. We’ll be young and you’ll be my woman!”

“Stop this car you freak! NOW!”

The first thing she noticed were the age spots disappearing  from her hands. Then came the lack of pain and the auburn hair she hadn’t seen in thirty years. Somehow he was rolling back the clock.

She stared at his morphing hands as he backed through traffic.  She didn’t want to go back, she wanted this life, the one she earned and all the wisdom and experience that came with it. Grabbing the wheel, she screamed as the car rolled. Her last thought as they loaded her into the ambulance, was how to explain her youthful hair. Small matter, at least she was still here.

Submit a poem or short story of 100 words or less, inspired by a weekly photo in this fun, flash fiction group. You can read submissions or add your work HERE, or click on the little blue guy at the bottom.

Writing tips, typo alerts and comments welcome, as long as they are respectful and helpful, not hateful.

Category: Drama?
Words: 99
Rating: PG

kent-bonhamCopyright Kent-Bonham

In his youth the balconies resembled glasses, spying on his every move. His mother peered through, calling out if he wandered close to the street. His fondest wish was for her to let him alone.

Thirty years later, his young son in tow, he fought tears as the building watched their approach. Watching no longer, Mom was in bed, nearing the end. He took her hand as he kept a watchful eye on his young son, riding a bike  on the walk below.  Gratitude and love stung his eyes.