Modern Love by David Bowie, Video & Lyrics

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Hauntings, Music, Whining

 

Chooch’s shuffle-fu today has been fierce. We’re working on stuff and planning on stuff and waiting on stuff, and this song came on and stopped me cold.
It’s not my favorite era of David Bowie’s, and I didn’t even know I knew all of the lyrics until I found myself shout-singing along. And crying.

Somehow I thought he’d always be there to shake things up and break himself (and those of us along for the ride) out of whatever category people have relegated him (us) to, every decade or so.

I have not opened his final album yet. Too soon. I am still only encountering “Bowie in the wild,” via library shuffle or radio or movies. (Dear Gods I never realized how many movies used his music.)

For many reasons, it hit me really hard –I’m still in denial that our Ziggy Stardust is gone; personal stuff and goings on; and, did I mention I’m in denial that he’s gone?

#ButINeverWaveByeBye

David Bowie
Modern Love
Lyrics from AZLyrics

I know when to go out
And when to stay in
Get things done [spoken]

I catch a paper boy
But things don’t really change
I’m standing in the wind
But I never wave bye-bye

But I try
I try

There’s no sign of life
It’s just the power to charm
I’m lying in the rain
But I never wave bye-bye

But I try
I try

Never gonna fall for
Modern Love
Walks beside me
Modern Love
Walks on by
Modern Love
Gets me to the Church on Time

Church on Time
Terrifies me
Church on Time
Makes me party
Church on Time
Puts my trust in God and Man
God and Man
No confessions
God and Man
No religion
God and Man
Don’t believe
in Modern Love

A Loss, A Wedding, A Baby and a Donate Button

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Hauntings, Kids, Soulful, Too Long For Twitter, Whining

WARNING – EDITED but still rough draft, LMAO!!!
*Note, I have no time for spell-check. Apologies, I’m doing my best. Derp!

THE LOSS

Patrick G. Holyfield, passed away on August 20, 2014. Less than a month after I knew that long-growing cancer had spread to a secondary organ. Less than 2 months since he started getting tests done (beginning of July) because he wasn’t “feeling well” and had “fatigue.”

He chose to leave this world on his own terms, fighting for those he loved, especially his children. His bravery was and remains EPIC in my mind.

 

*You can click anywhere above this note to go to the GoFundMe.com/PGFund to make a donation.

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THE WEDDING DAY

After a mad dash to the Sonic for a grape slushie and a greasy burger, we went next door to Super Target, because it had everything on my list. With great glee I spent too much money because we were rushing to go home and look glamorous for my son and new DiL.

I didn’t look glamorous, here’s the only pic I took of myself. I wore a Target dress thing with purple and green, (my fave colors in the world). I only had foundation, blush and mascara on and looked like I’d been crying for a month, which I have. Every unattractive thing about me, is my badge of honor for how I was able to pull it together that fast. Because Love AND

And I wore the most badass shoes I could find. Gal and Eldest and Chooch, they know why already — because of the shoes Gal wore the first time we met.

They were surrounded by the six people they invited that could attend, and even the officiant clearly knew Eldest for a long time, somehow.

The service was beautiful. Perfect, even.

They spontaneously had it on a bridge, with his Dad’s parents, my sister and her husband, the officiant and his wife. Because I had just seen a family come together for a man they loved. It was… Precisely So. Perfection. Accidentally more awesome than a Royal Wedding.

I’ve asked the officiant for the readings he did, as part of the perfect soundtrack of the day. Every word was bonding them and healing me.

My beautiful and badass daughter is codename: Galadriel, Gal for shorter typing, lol.

Eldest may even be Naughty Bear again, since now we have another bear to love on. Not sure yet.

Sidebar: I didn’t even take pix. Um, yeah… ME. Too much joy, I couldn’t hold my camera phone. But my former Mother-in-Law had a camera at the ready and was snapping pix the whole time. I’m finding comfort in patterns, rather than saying “It’s the coincidences that are driving me crazy.” I can’t wait to see the pix she took, whenever I see them.  More on why htey had to rush off, later.

Apologies and gratitude to J.R. Blackwell. We scheduled to take engagement pix in June or July (?), when last week, they decided to do the wedding Sunday because they didn’t want to spend money renewing the Marriage License and it was about to expire.

I never even had time to contact J.R. to change the long planned shoot and ask if she’d be able to do a 6 pm wedding. I knew she couldn’t (or shouldn’t try), so I’m glad I never got to ask. It was impossible for me to wrangle the details. And this made it all about my kids, which they deserved.

Praise Baby Jusus that they did! To survive this, I am crying, breaking down and grieving. I got to laugh and love and cry from joy.

I shall contact you soon, J.R. I want, if there’s a way, to do their shoot in Philly. Eldest, Chooch and I love that city, partly because of those we love that live there. Also, because we want to share Philly (and you guys!) with Our Gal.

THE BABY

The wedding was LONG planned and long-delayed when they discovered the pregnancy, and they went (and made us go) on the cheap. Because a baby is coming, and they know what that means — money and lots of work.

If a plane crashes on my home and I die today, it will be knowing my Eldest son is happy in love. Son “LT” started his senior year of high school with plans laid for collete. “Crazy J” who needs a new codename now that he’s ten + years older than when I assigned that code name. All three sons need to pick new ones, I suppose.

All this to say that Little Blessings are all we need to survive, somehow.

It was true when in battle mode and now it’s true in recovery mode.

It is appreciated beyond words.

It is known.

And at midnight, pulling in front of my sister’s house the night before the wedding, my Grand Baby countdown to delivery app (Fuck yeah, I have one!) turned our little raspberry into a Green Olive.

New marriage.

New life.

New love.

Hope.

#BecauseLove
#BecausePGHolyfield
#BecauseLifeIsFragile

 

THE DONATE BUTTON TO DONATE TO CHOOCH AND VIV FOR FUND RECOUPING FOR FUTURE EVENTS HONORING Patrick G. Holyfield’s Children’s Trust.

Note: Anything left after that (HA!) will go to the ramp up of the newly revitalized biz, that Chooch will have to head, to get all these creative ideas out in the world. Vivid Muse Creations, LLC is open for biz, we just have our hands full right now to do work for payment. If you’d like to help but can’t, in an email addy to be provided soon, you can send offers of paid work, when we can get to it, in roughly 3 months to start. Maybe. It depends on what the Holyfield and our own families need from us at this time, as Patrick has inspired raw despair and the result is that lots of relationships in my own life are being healed. It’s a PG Miracle.

When I started the biz, it was completely inspired by the Podisphere and all the unrecognized (by the ‘Verse) creative geniuses. It was to be a harbor for those with creative talent that want to get their books published.

That was 2011. This is 2014.
Chooch and I recently decided to pull the plug on VMC, LLC, since he’s working so hard and can no longer do even the small amount of work coming in from two long-time customers. We were at our max, this was months ago, so never closed the business.

Now, we are considering opening it back up. The harbor needs some construction, but with the help of good people with leet skillz, I hope to make this a business that allows creatitivity to flourish and blossom and inspire others, the way the Balticon/Podisphere/Twitter & FB families inspired me to be brave enough to not only open it, not only promote it (humbly, you know me.), but broadcast it for the world to know. My big challenge to Myself.

Breathing Underwater by Metric

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Cool Links / Clicky Linky, Hauntings, Music

Another soul-touching song from Metric with the links and lyrics for their song, “Breathing Underwater.”  This specific song is one of the reasons I fell so hard for Metric years ago when we first started seeking their other tunes. It speaks to me and brings me great peace and sanity. ‘Nuff said, other than I’m adding the Amazon link to allow for listening and possible purchase.

Hear and/or Buy it at Amazon

See the official Metric video, live footage

Lyrics
(from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/metric/breathingunderwater.html)

“Breathing Underwater”
by Metric 

I’m the blade
You’re the knife
I’m the weight
You’re the kite
They were right when they said
We were breathing underwater
Out of place all the time
In a world that wasn’t mine to takeI’ll wait
Is this my life?
Ahhh
Am I breathing underwater?
Is this my life?
Ahhh
Am I breathing underwater?I’m the blade
You’re the knife
I’m the weight
You’re the kite
They were right when they said we should never meet our heroes
When they bowed at their feet, in the end it wasn’t me

Is this my life?
Ahhh
Am I breathing underwater?
Is this my life?
Ahhh
Am I breathing underwater?

Nights are days
We’ll beat a path through the mirrored maze
I can see the end
But it hasn’t happened yet
I can see the end
But it hasn’t happened yet

Is this my life?
Ahhh
Am I breathing underwater?
Is this my life?
Ahhh
Am I breathing underwater?

Am I breathing underwater? [x2]

(Writer(s): Emily Haines, James Shaw

Copyright: Chrysalis Music Ltd.)


The State of The Muse Address

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Family, Hauntings, Health, No Whining, Too Long For Twitter

Chooch and I have been at a marathon pace of giggles (and pain) the last few months, with a nice 2 week bout of illness in there. We are trying to regain balance in our lives after, essentially a three week uprooting of our schedules.

There will be many posts about Hawaii, if I haven’t said so already. I have many thoughts and house rules now, because of my love of the natural beauty they protect so well on the island of Kaua’i, if not all the islands of Hawai’i.

Our middle son T, now 17 years old, looking out over the beauty of Hawai'i as we drove through Waimea Canyon.

Our middle son T, now 17 years old, looking out over the beauty of Hawai’i as we drove through Waimea Canyon.

Until I can manage the mischief, I am doing a lot of picture posting (visuals are my best communication tool at the moment) at my Flickr site, and because I haven’t bothered my most wonderful husband to help me get this blog, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook to update. And prolly G+ since I am resigned to our future Skynet overlords.

My handle at Flickr and most other sites is Vivid Muse (with or without spaces). I do filter pix of our kids and of the minor children of friends. You have to ask for me to not let a solo photo of your child be public, it truly is a big exception. If anyone finds that I’ve slipped, please message me and I’ll correct asap.

In case you haven’t seen elsewhere, I stopped all assistance to Ditched by Kate in April of last year. I finally admitted that I simply was not physically or mentally able to be representative of their image, so I resigned. Chooch also left the band, months later, for unrelated reasons. Our friendships with the band remain, which was a goal from the very beginning. I’m very grateful that’s happened. I will never forget my part of DBKhaos and wish them all the best, sincerely.

I have so many things to express, but am needing to organize them. The biggest thing I have to say is about the Charity Cancer Anthology, (title TBD) and my inability to publish it.

I have been battling ever-worsening invisible (mostly) chronic pain for four years now. There are different aspects and associated issues, but basically, my body is hindered by pain, and my mind is hindered by fog and long periods of inability to focus, remember and/or communicate coherently. I am not the person to do this job the way it deserves to be done. However, it must happen. For my Mother’s piece and the other pieces that will be included have amazing messages to share. And because cancer will not stop, neither can those that fight it.

Because my Health Blahs, as I call them, are chronic and not alleviating, I must assume that I must find someone willing to take this on. Chooch is unable to do it for work schedule and personal reasons of his own. Cancer is a common word in our lives, suffice it to say. Too soon, doesn’t begin to cover it.

I will be reaching out and seeking advice on getting someone else to re-promote, take additional submissions, edit, publish and market the book along with Chooch. I have stipulations, because of the excruciating personal nature of this publication, but he will be the one in charge of those.

Please contact Chooch or I at Viv@VividMuseCreations.com if you have suggestions, criticisms, or services you’d like to donate, since this is a non-profit charity book, and also if you have services that you think will help us spread the word far and wide to raise the greatest funds possible to wish this evil disease into the cornfield.

My deepest and most sincere apologies to those that in some case have been waiting years for this anthology to be published. It is in your honor that I show my gratitude with this public apology and embarrassing level of detail of by failings. Please direct any response to Viv@VividMuseCreations.com with ideas, criticisms, requests to add more selections, alter/add to your current submission or any other matter.

Please know that I’ve let myself down more than I’ve let anyone else down. In moving out of cocoon-mode, things have to be completed this year. Nothing that lingers because of fear/embarrassment/pain will see the dawn of 2015. This is my goal. (Warning: As part of my typical foolishness, I will be channeling Mabel Pines from *cough*Disney’s*cough* animated series, “Gravity Falls,” by embracing awkward and embarrassing things and putting them in my rearview mirror. I’m human. I make mistakes. I’m moving on. Feel free to join me.)

As a result, I have something similar to Write or Die in mind for this blog. I have to schedule the post when I begin writing it. I have 1 to 4 hours to hone it, since I get lost in Fibromyalgia Fog frequently or migraines take me down. If necessary, that means posting before proofing. (I can’t wait to see if I screw that one up. Future half sentences ahead!)

And I’m tired of looking at super short thoughts that I’ve captured that I feel like I have to expand on into a more coherent post. I am rarely coherent. If you know me in real life, you know this already. So, my misfires are a part of my “voice” or POV. (We’ll see how long this lasts. I’m coming off a great weekend.)

I think this will help with the 70 or so pieces of thought and 4 journals full of thoughts. Lose all my baggage and keep our beloveds and keep our human and material treasures close.

Oh and we my do a new Into the Blender Podcast, soon-ish. We did a google hangout on Nov 1, 2013, our 10th and 11th anniversaries, but the audio isn’t up yet. We will hopefully be able to do an occasional episode the same as PG Holyfield and Chooch produce our SpecFicMedia.com shows. Record a live show in Google+, while broadcasting live to YouTube channel and then strip out the audio and post in our podcast feed.

And because of another kind nudge, this time from Dave Slusher, I’ll attempt to talk into a microphone soon for my stale, sporadic at best Girl’s Rules Podcast. I have little control over whether or not I’m physically able, but I will try.

Maybe something will come of it that others can relate to and also help with my successful-to-date fight against isolation.

Happy New Year, kittens.
*rooster crow*

Clone by Metric, My Ear Worm of the Day

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Chooch, Hauntings, Music, Too Long For Twitter

I’ve long been intending to post songs of here and there as they wind their way into my brain, unprovoked. I’ll also be including a link to a video from the best available if there’s nothing on the band’s official YouTube channel.

First up is Metric. It’s a band that Chooch and I first encountered while watching Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The song “Black Sheep” was performed in the film by fictional band, The Clash at Demonhead, but is originally a Metric song. If memory serves, I purchased the soundtrack on the way home from the movie (something I’d never done before or since), and our poor house-guest PG Holyfield was forced to repeat listens as we fell in love with the soundtrack. (Completely fair since he and Chooch made me see it.)

Since then, we’ve slowly been taking in their albums, Fantasies, Let It Out and Synthetica with love and fervor. There’s more, but I’m just now really getting to know LIO and am not in a rush.

We even got to see Metric on their first go-round last year, touring for Synthetica. They put on a great live show and we were sad to have been unable to recently when they played locally. It was a really fun show and I can’t wait to see them again.

I greatly enjoy the music, but it’s the lyrics that stop me and make me put a song on repeat for 10 plays in a row. They have a way of capturing unnameable thoughts and impossible-to-express feelings/snapshots of my life with near-perfection. Lyrics provided by AZLyrics

 “Clone”
f
rom Synthetica (2012)

Call me out
My regret
Only makes me
Stronger yet

Nothing I’ve ever done right
Happened on the safe side
It’s the other way
I’m missing everyone I know now

Clone, from Merriam-Webster dictionary

1clone

 noun \ˈklōn\

biology : a plant or animal that is grown from one cell of its parent and that has exactly the same genes as its parent

: a product (such as a computer) that is a copy of another product produced by a well-known company

: a person or thing that appears to be an exact copy of another person or thing

2clone

verb

: to make an exact copy of (a person, animal, or plant) : to make a clone of (something or someone)

November 1st, In Great Detail

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Breast Cancer, Hauntings, Mom, Whining

Lots going on, kittens, but I am still determined to clear out my Draft posts. Only relevant ones, natch, and I decided to go from oldest to newest. I flinched and nearly fled from this one during editing, but for reasons I won’t explain here, it is miraculously timed.

The last edit date was mid-November, 2010. It’s very, very stale but I’m powering through it because I don’t want to ever have to remember it in detail again.

Apologies for the scattered nature as I try and capture the chaotic and ancient thoughts to pin them down to the page. I don’t know why I started writing about the bittersweet nature of my wedding anniversary the way I did, but I’m honoring my old draft by way of keeping the format and filling in holes.

I’m also creating a Kamikat Alert to warn when emo is flowing freely. I give this one the highest possible. I’ve been crying nonstop while reading/editing it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On November 1, 2002, Chooch and I went on our first official date. The following summer, we became engaged and then my mother told us her cancer had returned. A few months after that, we married. Completely by accident, we were married on the same exact date, a year later, on November 1, 2003. (When I say by accident, I mean it. Chooch would have to confirm, but I think it was well after our first wedding anniversary that we realized that it was a double anniversary.)

In the fall of 2005, my mother was over two years into her second occurrence of breast cancer. Nothing had worked, and as a last resort she had pushed really hard to get into a clinical trial for a new medication that was in its first round of human trials. She was that determined to live. I watched her fight like a battle-hardened warrior, but she couldn’t beat it alone. She needed the medical community to fight for her, too, so she got them.

This chemo ‘cocktail’ was particularly nasty, and while I won’t go into details beyond that, we realized too late it was killing her instead of the cancer, which continued to grow and spread. She was hospitalized in early October 2005 because her body functions were shutting down. At the time, it was just one more hospital trip that I drove her to, in a very long line of them in the few months since I quit school to help her and my dad as they were overwhelmed and I worried for my dad’s health. I am still haunted by the fact that when she walked into the emergency room that day that we had no idea that she would never go home, or that it would be the last few steps of freedom she would ever take.

Her body barely recovered and we almost lost her at one point. She went in and out of a sleepy/coma-like state and lost the ability to walk. She slowly emerged and then on November 1st, we finally got the answer we were bugging her oncologist for – we were told that there were no treatment options. One of us must have asked what was next, if not chemo, because he started talking about “making her comfortable” and “managing her pain” and that he believed she may have as long as six months to live.

As was common at this point, Mom and I were alone when we got the news and after he left us we grieved as you might expect. We clung to each other and wept. I reassured her and she reassured me. I don’t really remember much more of the day. I know we told my dad, but I don’t remember it. I got home that night, and don’t remember much other than picking up the phone to resume my usual evening activity after spending time with her during the day — spend the next few hours on the phone with my siblings and Mom’s siblings and whoever else wanted an update. I knew I was lucky to be able to help her and it was important to me to relay the news, in whatever detail they needed, to family and friends.

The first person I reached was my Mom’s sister. Needless to say, this particular pronouncement required an excruciating retelling of every detail. She knew that I would be on the phone with this news for anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, explaining, reassuring and relaying requests and information to and from my Mom.

Mom’s sister offered at some point to make the calls so that Chooch and I could find some time to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary, which was also that day. I was hesitant, but also in desperate need for a reprieve from it all.  I agreed and she promised to call my brother and sister as well as her brother. I didn’t know how much I needed to not be the messenger of this particular message any more, until she moment that she took the task from me.

Tangent: I can still remember seeing the bag of candy she had on her hospital table as we talked about what the oncologist talked. The day before had been Halloween, and she’d wanted to have candy to give out in case any kids that were stuck in the hospital were trick or treating. To my knowledge, the only trick or treater she had was my son L.T. He was eight years old. Once in his costume, we went to visit her again and she loaded him up. When I looked at that nearly full bag of candy the next day, I was thinking how impossibly wrong it was that her last Halloween was spent in the hospital. She always loved Halloween and the joy it brought kids, all kids. I still wonder if that thought occurred to her, too, the next morning as we hugged, cried and tried to make sense of it.

Back to my wedding anniversary night, and not even an hour passed before I got a call from my sister. I don’t even think we’d had time to decide whether to go out to dinner to celebrate or order in and coccoon. My baby sister (9 years younger) was crying inconsolably from my aunt’s call. Some of the information got confused and it scared the living hell out of her. At the time, my sister was living with her husband was in the Army and stationed in Texas while all the rest of us were in Virginia. She carried a lot of guilt about this, and it’s possible she still does. I really wish I could take that from her. Mom was over the moon that my sister was starting a new life married to the man she loves, rather than sitting in the hospital room, watching as she wasted away. Their mother/daughter bond was so strong, she never once questioned my sister’s love or loyalty. In typical fashion, Mom saw beyond herself and could only grin with joy for the happiness sis found and still finds with her husband of now nine years.

But when I heard the terror in my lil’ sister’s voice, I was immediately shamed. Yes, of course, I realize that I was entitled to a night off to catch my breath and stay sane and have some joy for ourselves. Just not at this price. I was grateful that she called, as the thought of having gone off for a romantic dinner while she sobbed desperately would have haunted me forever. Chooch and I agreed that it was more important that I untangle the information. I don’t even remember what exactly it was that upset everyone, it’s too deep in the shadows.

I soothed my sister and called my brother. Sure enough, he was reeling, as well. I again went over all the information and gave reassurances. I then called my mom’s brother and cleared up his questions. Finally, I called Auntie, to reiterate the information to her to make sure she understood, because what she relayed wasn’t completely accurate. I was frustrated, but never at her. After all, she’d just found out her big sis was really and truly dying now, of the same thing that took their mom and their grandmother before that. Her intentions were the very best and I remain grateful for the love she demonstrated by trying to give me a night off.

Hours later, I finished the last call and vowed to myself to never delegate that job again. Somehow, when there was something that needed to be done, I was able to push my fears and horror at what I was hearing and seeing to the side and get things done. Maybe it was because I was the one “in the trenches” with Mom, and in every way we were at war. It was every day.

A few days later, my parents celebrated their wedding anniversary. My dad snuck a bottle of wine into her hospital room and they had as romantic a dinner for two as possible. It was hard, lifting the mood before I left, but we all did our damnedest. I can’t imagine how bittersweet that dinner was, and I love them so much for celebrating their last anniversary.

Do you want to know what I think was the hardest? The cancer was already in her bones, had spread to her Mom’s skull, and we believe, to her brain. We aren’t sure because the scans and most non-life-supporting testing stopped. When it’s terminal, why continue putting her through it? We already knew from DNA testing that it was the breast cancer from 1991. It had returned and was in her colon, bones, stomach and skull. We knew she was going to die, just like her mom and her grandma had, from breast cancer.

Our suspicion that it spread to her brain was because she started losing memories, when her mind had always been sharp as a tack. Just another horrible degradation before she dies, why not? Grateful that you still have your mind while you’re dying from cancer and unable to walk? Not for long, with this disease. It’s when I first got a taste of the cruelty of a failing memory, at least as I experience it. You don’t get to choose who’s face you’ll forget. Hell, you don’t even get to remember that you forgot them to apologize later!

But the possible spread of cancer to my mom’s brain was confirmed, in my mind, by her question upon my arrival one day. The only silver lining was that LT was not at my side as he frequently was, since it was a school day.

Her question? When her oncologist would be coming to meet with her about resuming her chemo? The cancer was growing unchecked while we did nothing. Would I call him to her room to discuss it?

I froze. I blinked. The words made no sense. Wait, I thought, what’s wrong with my brain? Nothing. I just couldn’t accept what her question meant. Tears sprang to my eyes. She didn’t remember the death sentence she was given, weeks earlier. I don’t even think I took a breath.

I wanted to say, “Okay, Mom. I’ll get him here as soon as possible. Want a pedicure? How was breakfast?” Deflect, distract, redirect. Sure, it would be a lie. But it seemed like a kindness. Maybe she’d remember on her own? Was that kinder? Maybe, but I feared what would happen when she found out the truth. In my mind, it was more cruel to waste what little time we had left with deception and lies. She took great pride in being a strong woman. She hated lies and had never been a delicate flower in need of babying. She was NiNi, Warrior Queen, and she hid from nothing. Khaleesi, would’ve been more fitting, if she’d known the reference.

Yet… silence. No words came out. Just her looking up at me with those beautiful, trusting eyes.

Ah, yes, another blow, just so. I immediately understood. Our roles had switched. She was the innocent and helpless one now, and I was the one in charge (by family agreement) of protecting her. Keeping her safe. Casting out her fears. Comforting her.

But, how? She was my touchstone and my source of unconditional love, my central support beam my entire life. She was my mommy! Then, when I needed her more than I have ever needed her, to be stronger than I could ever hope to be on my own, I couldn’t reach for her hand to comfort mine.

In my head, I screamed, cried, kicked and fought against it all.
I refused.
I would not do it.
No way am I strong enough.
Nope, the doctor can come back and tell her.

Instead, I found myself holding her hands in my shaking ones as I told her, again. We cried as we had the first time, because to her, it was the first time. I don’t even know what I felt. I just curled up with her on the hospital bed, tightly clinging to each other, with vigilant and respectful eyes checking on us from the door from time to time by the palliative care staff. We grieved again.

And when she asked a few weeks later, I told her again. It’s foggy after that, I don’t know how many times I had to tell her, in total. I’m grateful that I was there for her, but she was drifting further and further away from me, one shimmery silvery wisp at a time.

By way of bringing it current, and possibly to a point (*gasp*), the intervening years has let go of our anniversary as a bittersweet day. I do think of Mom, but instead of sadness and tears from the hospital room, I now see her laughing and smiling with us at our wedding. I picture she and Chooch killing the bottle of Dom when my parents toasted our engagement. (Damn, she was adorable tipsy, although I rarely saw it.) I remember her teasing me that Chooch was using me to get to her because they were the true soul mates — straight faced and with a wickedly cocked eyebrow, as only she could do. And letting me know what I needed to know most, because she knew the three of us (my two sons and I) better than anyone else: that she approved of him as my husband and as step-dad to my sons.

She told us in a hundred different ways that she thought he was right for me/us, but most poignantly when she asked us to move up the wedding to ensure she would be alive to attend. We did, and she did. It was a chaotic and magnificent day that I treasure all the more because she was there. She was beatific, at peace over my sons and I with Chooch in our lives and the knowledge that my sister would be soon married to the love of her life. My brother and his wife were happy and strong. Everyone else was healthy. What more could a mother need to know before she dies?

She passed away in the wee hours of January 13, 2006, a little over three months after that walk in to the emergency room. She was 62. She and my father were together over four decades. She had three kids, seven grandkids and, since her passing, three great-grandkids. She wrote, painted, baked, worked gardened, taught, played and gave hugs that could make you forget why you needed one in the first place.

 

I’ve reclaimed November 1st as the celebration of love and family, as it’s intended. Chooch and I celebrate our love, our bond and our marriage, with number 10 later this year. Times are chaotic, but our love is like Valyrian steel baby, folded a thousand times in fire. Besides, Mom would kick my ass if I let anything get in the way of celebrating our anniversary. She certainly set the example on that one.

There are several songs that are intertwined with Mom in my mind. This is one of the most powerful. I didn’t find a video by Colin Hay for the song I first heard on the Garden State soundtrack, but this is my favorite of the fan submitted videos I viewed. I almost didn’t include it for fear of being accusations of being maudlin, overly sentimental or pity seeking, but…

Fuck that. I really miss my Mommy today. I’m going to treat my broken heart to a good cry.

“I just don’t think I’ll ever get over you”
Song by Colin Hays, formerly of Men at Work
Video submitted to youtube by EmjayTulip.And as always, Mom was right. Chooch is my soul mate. No one else could have given my laugh lines and wrinkles in the intervening years.

RIP, Bryan

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Cool Links / Clicky Linky, Hauntings, Too Long For Twitter

I found out earlier today that a friend from my younger days killed himself on Monday. I still can’t wrap my head ’round it.
Many tears have been shed.
Confusion voiced, to an unfortunate and extremely sweet friend that I stumbled into immediately after receiving the news.
Guilt over being a Debbie Downer on that friend’s evening.
Decision to not wallow, and to celebrate life instead, in Bryan’s honor.
Shame over not reaching out after hearing through the grapevine that his mom passed away last year.
Rage over the waste of confused yet kind person with great musical talent.
Guilt over causing my extremely hard-working husband to delay watching the Walking Dead, out of respect for my raw feelings.
More tears, more rage and a few impassioned proclamations, including one to climb out of sadness and celebrate, again.
Happiness while briefly connecting with a far away beloved for a silly video chat and much giggling.
Guilt over pushing sadness to the side.

And now, just puffy eyes and a simple plea remain, as clichè as it is:

If you are considering harming yourself, don’t. You are not alone. There are resources available to help you. Please reach out to any of the countless suicide prevention charities or local services available to you.

If you know someone may be contemplating harming themselves or someone else, please try and get them help. You cannot “rescue” anyone, only they can. Don’t fool yourself, you are not in control. They are. But you may be able to help them get on the path out of the darkness. And you aren’t alone. Those same organizations will help you get help for your friend. You can Google it for fresh results, but below are a few from my search.

And if you have no one that you feel is in need but still want to help, please consider donating to charities that help those that find themselves unable to cope. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Take Five to Save Lives

Veterans Crisis Line

I hope you found the peace you were seeking, Bryan.
*blows a kiss*

An Epiphany Triggered By Friends?!?!

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Family, Friends, Hauntings, Mental, Too Long For Twitter

I am loved.

Deeply.

By more than one person.

It doesn’t matter who doesn’t love me, so I will no longer waste time on that.

It only matters who does love me, on some level, regardless of whether marriage, friendship or bloodline is the reason for our connection.

I don’t even care if it sound like bragging. I’ve spent my entire life talking myself down and struggling to find anything positive to say about myself. So, if it is bragging, fuck it. I’ve earned it.

I am going to now cast a suspicious eye towards all my insecurities, self-loathing, shame and guilt and do an honest assessment. If I’m as awful as I think, why do such amazing and fascinating humans think I’m not? I trust their opinion on everything else- events, movies, books, foods — why not their opinion of me? Oh, right… a life time of conditioning (according to T-Pain, my therapist) leaving me with the core belief of, “I am not, and never will be, worthy.”

I have grown bored with carrying this belief around and constantly measuring myself with it. So I now choose to measure my inner beasties by the same logic I use when considering other people, rather than the much harsher scale I use for my own actions/inactions.

I’ll also be granting myself benefit of the doubt, as I do for everyone else. Hell, even those that have “wronged” me whether in person, verbally or on the ‘Net.  I pick up on things that people think I won’t, and I know more than people think. Still, I’ll be choosing my battles more carefully and only expend energy in areas that merit it.

Is it odd that it hasn’t even occurred to me before to give myself the benefit of the doubt? Regardless, I’m not wasting time on wondering why not, I’m just going to do it from now on. Now, it must become the standard. I know my motivations. They are to leave a positive imprint wherever I go. I may or may not be successful, as I am a puny human, but I must try to make things a little better for my fellow Earth-trapped neighbors.

I also choose to be more selective where I spend my time and to plan less. One of the simplest ways to gauge a relationship, after all, is if people make an effort to spend time with you. Not while they are in the midst of a crisis or busy time of their own, but besides that. Friendship is a two-way, sometime three-way (or more) street.

I am releasing myself from the burden of believing it is all on my shoulders to feed and water friendships on my own, except in extremely rare friendships (you know who you are), where I am not the only one that appears to be doing the heavy lifting. I am rich in True Friendship and will not criticize or judge those that don’t reside there. I choose to try and have fun every where I go. I want to laugh as hard and as often as possible and make deep connections with people. You do your thing, I’ll do my thing, and hey — let’s have fun when we’re together, regardless of possible past drama! Life is too short not to be snorting in laughter more than is considered Appropriate.

I choose to make no time for hate, manipulation or lies in my day. How others choose to spend their finite time on this Earth? Beyond my control, so letting it go.

I am humbly grateful for the things that led me to this today, for it is a good day to know. The path ahead appears to be mired in confusion, sadness and chaos.

Luckily, there are some people showing up to help us find our way in the dark, as we have tried to do for them in the past, so we will eventually be right as rain*.

Now, off I go to scale Mt. Laundry and clean LT’s now-empty room. (Sidebar: Boys are gross. But damned if I don’t love ’em!) Counting down to Wednesday evening, when I get to see him again for a few days before he returns to his distant home.

Today Shall Not Be Wasted. **

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Note: After typing that long used phrase, I immediately wondered what circumstance “right as rain” came from. Here’s what I found, for those interested.

**And if you are unfamiliar with the humble battle cry of heavenly hobos, I again recommend Mur Lafferty’s Afterlife Series. The quote is, I think, from book 3, called ‘Wasteland’. But you must start with the first one, I insist,  called ‘Heaven’. It has helped me embrace the Universe in a different way since the devastating loss of my mother six years ago. Plus, her phrase, “Turtle Tits” from one of the books, is in my top 5 curse word phrases.

Ahhh! So, That’s What’s Wrong With Me

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Hauntings, Mom, No Whining

I realized the day after writing my last post, WTF is up with me?, exactly what was wrong with me: it’s January.

Over the years, it has become a month full of emotional landmines, one right after the other. My son LT has flown back to his father’s, the 5th is the anniversary of the death of a dear friend and also the birthday of Chooch’s deceased brother, the anniversary of my mother’s death from breast cancer, and my son’s 15th birthday (won’t get to celebrate with him this year either, thanks to finances) is in a week.

It was six years ago, also a Friday the 13th, that my brother called me and said the words I had feared hearing since her first occurrence of breast cancer in 1991.

I was fresh from the shower, rushing around and getting dressed to stay with my Mom so my brother could go home and sleep after spending the night with her. We knew she was near the end of her life and in clear moments she knew it and was scared. We never left her alone. It was bittersweet that she spent less and less time clear of mind as the cancer had spread into her skull and brain.

I was half-dressed and rushing to the kitchen to make a PB&J to eat in the car on the way to the hospital. I didn’t have a scheduled time to get there, in fact, in hindsight I’m no even sure I was expected that morning. I just felt an urgency to get to her as quickly as I could, waking hours before my alarm was set and bolting out of bed.

The phone rang and I immediately collapsed to my knees mid-stride and started crying and praying. My husband woke up instantly, which never happens, and answered the phone. He then came to find me and wrapped his arms around me on the dining room floor, telling me that she was gone, crying just as hard as I was. (I now have a begrudging smile, because I again recognize that there are no two other arms on this planet that she would want comforting me more than my husband’s. She adored him on sight.)

I knew what the call was (why else would the phone ring at 6:30 am) and immediately went from praying for her release from the horror of her life to begging for her to come back because I wasn’t ready to be without her. I needed her to teach me more, to make me a stronger woman. The kind of woman that could lift a burden from the heart of my children the way she could do for mine. Tirelessly and full of unconditional love. And I mean unconditional, because I was not an easy person to parent. I frequently rebelled, still do, even against myself. But I still needed her and suddenly was unable to imagine life without her presence.

Shortly thereafter, I reflected that to be in the room where your Mother is and know that this body, the one that you had been pampering, comforting and consoling, is no longer your Mother… well, it is the strangest bit of surrealism that I have ever experienced. My Mother was literally 2 feet away from me, but she was no where to be found. Still, I couldn’t help tucking the blankets around her feet as I always did, because they were always cold. I felt a fool when I realized what I was doing, but no one mocked me. Hell, wrapped as deep as they were in their own grief, they probably didn’t even notice.

So the subconscious knowledge that this day was coming, along with all the other anniversaries, good and bad, are what I believe to be my huge sense of being swallowed in negativity. In talking with my therapist about the dates mentioned above, the excruciating negotiation process in selling our home, an devastating ongoing family crisis that I am not free to discuss here (we are fine), frantically packing and selling everything we own without sentimental value in preparation for downsizing to a smaller living space, having a near-death experience with Kaylee and missing another birthday of my son’s – these have all managed to make this a real crapper of a month to get through after the stress of Christmas.

Happily, we have no fewer than four loved ones born in January to celebrate. And we got to ring in the New Year with people that rejuvenate us. Moving forward we also have the unexpected joy of taking part in the daily lives of powerfully close friends, and by extension, two beautiful young girls. This includes watching a dance recital for 3 and 4 year olds that was so magically rejuvenating that I could feel the weight of sadness falling off of me in chunks as we giggled and cheered their performances. I told their father that I wished for a pill that could impart what we were feeling as we watched these vibrant little spirits dance and twirl in front of us. Nearly all of the adults to a one were shiny-eyed watching not only their child, but also being charmed by the other girls, all of them working so hard to be brave with such nervousness and barely controlled frenetic energy. I found that it filled my heart containers to over-flowing and used the memory of the two sisters dancing together to pull me out of a panic attack the next day. The memory is truly powerful and medicinal to this old girl.

The highs and lows of this month, in addition to new health issues for myself and for my husband (we’re fine), have me both hiding and clinging to the people that give me strength, whether we talk about the hard things or the good things going on in each other’s lives. It’s just the being with them, the contact with them, that soothes.

I will go to Arlington Cemetery to take my Mom flowers and will return home to work on the book I am creating in her honor. I will survive the emotional landmines of January as the tough chick she raised me to be. And I will take time to revel in the joyful moments that occur along the way, exactly as she raised me to do.

I will love you forever, Pocket Mom!

WTF is up with me?

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Hauntings, Mental, No Whining

Sorry for the lack of posts here. I’m having an internal crisis of late, and am torn in different directions. I’ve been starting posts and leaving them unfinished. I’ve been writing titles that interest me, never to go back and write the post. I’ve been outright deleting posts after I start them, due to their lameness or lack of interest to even me, the writer. I respect your time too much, Dear Reader, to post anything more than mildly boring, rather than an outright snoozer.

I’ve been wondering to myself about the recent months of perplexed thoughts and actions, and have come to no conclusions. I turned 42 last year, and know that if I’m to find the answers to the great questions, I’ll have to find them myself. This has grown even more necessary recently, and I feel that I’m having to discover myself all over again. This is a surprise as I’ve already done that a few times in the last decade:

  • When my ex-husband became my ex;
  • When I finally met my soul mate and resigned myself to an ever-expanding blissful existence at his side;
  • When my Mom died;
  • When our home no longer had my children living in it.

I had thought I had all points mastered, in spite of occasional but intense bursts of sadness from the last two. But it’s possible I’m still in the midst of the identity crisis of not being a “Daily Mom.” Yes, my kids live, laugh, breathe and have experiences every day, but my role is no longer daily. I’m still haunted in our over-sized home by the silence that used to include game sounds, arguing about homework, and footsteps or music pounding from above. That is something that we have made progress on, as our next home has a combination of characters each more magnificent than the last.

Lately, I’m coming to think that it’s hormonal changes, triggered either by my weight loss and subsequent regain, or perimenopause ~ the beginnings of menopause. *tick*tock* I don’t fear that change any more than I’ve been fearful of any of life’s other mileposts. I just have to find a way to organize around it an move forward.

I have more love in my life than ever before, and am accepted for who I am by more people than ever before. And yet, I’m finding that some of my old stumbling blocks still cause me to stumble, and the old insecurities still leave a nasty mark when they come out swinging. When folks have installed our panic button, they can tap it easily and often if they so choose.

Many of these things were so private that only my husband knows about them since I keep nothing from him, no matter how gruesome. Although I’d love to share more here, I’m afraid that while I am wholly honest , I can only be so revealing. We don’t know each other that well, after all, so can you blame me?

I’m trying to rapidly sort myself out, especially as I’m letting those around me down. At least, I feel I am, but I’m told that those that really love me are never as hard on me as I am on myself. That being said there are many strange currents in my life right now, and with fewer than a dozen exceptions, I find I don’t know where it is safe to expose my heart put my trust any longer.

With all the changes occurring in my life right now, it would have been awesome to have had stability in some corner of my life. Well, I do have it and I know I’m blessed. It’s one corner of my life, but it’s a big one. There is no passive aggression, there is no negativity directed at me, there is only love and support shared from person to person. If I am to be judged harshly for finding joy and appreciating it, so be it. Just because things are hard doesn’t mean you can’t find laughter along the way. In fact, I am very sorry for you if you cannot find it when you need it most.

The focus for me now is therapy. To figure out all that is causing me to continue self-destructive behavior. To fight some lifelong demons to the ground and disarm them once and for all. To live and laugh without occasionally stop to rub my head from the weight of all the guilt and stress I feel over things I have no control over. To try and make failing relationships work with those I love and miss.

So, it’s late. And I don’t know what I’m trying to say. But, I will say goodnight now and hope that my next post makes more sense.

Oh, and see Paul, if you haven’t already. It’s freaking brilliant. Simon Pegg, Sigourney Weaver, Sci-Fi conventions, ’nuff said.