Her being was intoxicating and her mind was as deep as the oceans blue. She appeared as a silhouette, mysterious and cautious, leaving only a shadow of herself. She cast an outline of her deepest thoughts and caught visions of dreams that never came true.
When I hear the words “forget me not” I used to think of the little blue flowers who’s origin describes a love never forgotten. During the last few years the words “forget me not” have taken on a new meaning. You see my father was diagnosed with dementia at over the last four years…a memory impairing disease that slowly gets worse as the months and years go on.
What I envision now is my father never wanting us to forget him….forgetting the way he was before this horrible disease took over his mind. The hardest part to wrap my head around is the fact the my dad is aware of the change. He is in this phase of knowing his “brain doesn’t work that well” anymore, his words not mine. Can you imagine being aware that you are slowly losing the ability to do things as well as used to? Not being to read out-loud because the words get jumbled but still knowing what you want to say, to want to run and instead saying “I’m sorry I’m so slow Rach”….that’s the stuff that breaks my heart.
What my dad may not know (or maybe he does) is that I never want him to forget me. I fear the day he doesn’t recognize me, the day he says he doesn’t have a daughter, or any children for that matter. I am his Rach, his Rattler, his Miss Muffet. All nicknames that over the years have brought to mind happy memories.
When I was about 6 or 7 years old I would sit with my dad watching and listening to him use the CB set. Yes I was a ’70’s child and loved every minute of those simplistic years. His handle was “Mr. Coffee” and as all cool dads do, he gave me a handle too, “Little Chickie”. “Breaker, breaker this is Little Chickie, anyone out there? 10-4.” We would sit for hours and wait for truckers and drivers to reply. When you’re six years old you don’t think of how special those hours will mean to you later. Now 30+ years later and the memory of Mr. Coffee and Little Chickie is one I share….I guess you could say it is a love never to be forgotten.
10-4, Over and Out.
I love the beach, I love the water, I love people watching and I love getting a tan. What I don’t love is the sand. Yes, you read that correctly, I love the beach and despise the sand! How is that even possible? Well I guess you can thank good ole OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) for that one.
A normal beach routine for me would be finding the perfect spot, setting up in right direction to the sun, laying my blanket out just so and then setting up my chair. About 20-30 minutes in I would notice sand on my blanket or maybe on the cover-up I just took off. I would act like it doesn’t bother me. About 1-2 hours later, after I went for a dip in the water, sand would now be all over my feet, my calves, arms and hands. I would repeatedly try to wipe it off with no luck. I would then move on to applying suntan oil or sunblock and proceed to have sticky gritty sand on my fingertips.
I can’t be the only one this irritates?! Please someone out there speak up?
I have gone to beautiful islands, stayed at gorgeous beachfront resorts (with beach cabanas and beds) and still chose to set up camp at the POOL, just to avoid the sand.
The thing is, I don’t feel guilty about it, not for one second. I don’t feel like my hatred for the little sandy granule is causing me to miss out on anything. I can still see and feel the beach within my comfort zone, it’s a very happy balance. As the saying goes “a little sand between the toes, takes away the woes”…or something like that.
There was a quote this year during the Netflix show House of Cards, when Clair Underwood was asked “Do you regret it, not having children?” and instantly replied with “Do you ever regret having them?”. Now I immediately laughed out loud and yelled “Well played Claire, well played!”. Don’t get me wrong, while I love a bit of snark and sass within any conversation this reply emphasized the inappropriateness of asking such a personal question, one of many I am sure.
The decision to have or not to have children is one I always considered a private matter between myself and my husband. I never understood the reasoning behind someone asking such a question. Is it because they think you would have been a great mother? Do they think less of you because you chose not to have children? What if the reply to that question was, “Well because I was not able to have children”. In some ways I bet that answer would be more widely accepted than returning the god awful question with “do you ever regret having them?”, btw it still makes me chuckle!
But what if the reply was something we were not ready for? Why would a person even potentially set themselves up? This my friend is what I like to call “walking the plank”….a method of execution used on ships where the one being executed falls into deep waters of their demise. See where I am going with? Asking these inappropriate questions is basically making yourself walk the plank into deep dark waters of the conversation sea, one you may not survive.
In any event, I applaud the “Claire’s” of this world who answer in such a manner that keep things real, that no one is safe from the inappropriate question(s), that if you give it then you have to take it.
Music is and has been a part of my core upbringing. I remember hot summer nights sitting outside on the porch while my parents turn the radio to a local station and let the sound of blues flow through the open the windows. Some nights (my favorite nights actually) family would be in town and all of us would sit outside laughing, drinking, eating…..my dad or my uncle would grab a guitar and start to play to whatever song was on the radio.
They would reminisce about the “good ole days”….laugh about the lyrics and then talk in-depth about what they mean. This is where and when my appreciation of music and lyrics began and has continued on for years to come.
I remember my mom calling into the radio station and requesting a song to be played. It was Crazy Woman by Buddy Guy, a song my dad “dedicated” to her and the station ended up playing! That moment hearing it was soooo cool! Those memories remind me of a simpler time, when our attention was focused on who we were with and our great appreciation to the music.
We all have heard the saying that “age is just a number” or “you’re only as old as you feel” and while I do believe there is a sense of truth in both of those sayings there is also truth in the fact that wisdom comes with age and age plays a role in who we are today.
May is my favorite time of year. It is in my opinion the true beginning of spring, when the flowers bloom, the sun heats up and you start pulling out the flip-flops and tank tops, you get ready for summer. It is conveniently also the month I was born. This year is a pivotal year for me….it is one of those milestone years when it comes to age…..can you tell I am stalling?? Yes…this year, 2016, this month of May….I turn FORTY…..(or so I think). You know how you refuse to say things out loud because the minute you throw it into the universe it makes it REAL. Well that has been me for the past twelve months…..but now I am okay. I am okay saying the reality of my age.
So what has the past 40 years shown me? A LOT! My twenties were fun and carefree, full of late nights and friends, busy doing who knows what but enjoying every minute it and somehow never being tired. I got married in my twenties, bought a home and started a new job. My thirties were a decade of finding out who I really was, growing into myself and who I wanted to be. I somehow skipped the high school years of drama found myself in the middle of it during my thirties, in a decade of nonsense. During those years we sold and bought another home, I started another new job, I went back to college to finish my business degree, unfortunately experienced death of a few close to me, went through major life events of close friends and began the reality of aging parents. I have to be honest and say I was not prepared for any of it.
However, those years taught me the importance of family, loyalty, self-worth, confidence and the need for self-control. I have to only assume that others were also going through a change and maybe it was a perfect storm of everyone evolving into who they needed to be. Regardless, those years literally made me who I am today and while I say goodbye to my thirties I can honestly say “I am ready”. I am ready to be forty, I am ready for this new chapter of my life.
So is age just a number? Well I don’t feel forty and anyone who really knows me, knows that a good percentage of the time I don’t act my age (haha). I continue to be “young at heart” and find that those in my inner circle (whether younger or older) feel the same way. You see, what I have also learned is those around you keep you young, the ones that make you feel good about yourself, make you feel beautiful. Why? Because a happy heart and a peaceful mind has no age.
So hello fabulous forty! I have been waiting for you!
For those of you who know me well…you will get a kick out of this…
Just PLEASE DON’T FEED THE ANIMALS.