Wednesday, October 30, 2013

and on a lighter note. meet calvin.

after monday's post of heavy honesty,
thought I'd bring a bit of light to you today.

i am please to introduce you to my dog. Calvin.

yep.  a jack russel.  he's 13 now and a some of his brown has turned to white.  
not sure what the glowy eyes are about.  just a bad photo i suppose.

calvin and i are having a conflict.  an issue.  a battle i refuse to lose {probably because of all "that" other loss & lack of control, right?}.  over the summer he became an ass chewer-not mine, his.  we went to the vet in hopes of ending his obsession with biting himself till he bleeds.  shampoo.  pills.  cream. even a stinkin' blood test.  the gamut.  he STILL insists upon feasting on his ass.  so i had to resort to the dreaded "cone of shame".  you know.  that plastic satellite dish kind of thing stuck around his neck so he can't reach his bottom.  but then it has somehow turned into a battle of wills and he resorted to his next move which was to hide the cone in our backyard.  sweet brown eyes & i searched under every bush, behind every tree but its gone. we cannot find it anywhere.  it felt like this 12 pound pooch had won & of course he was still nibbling at his tailend.  so i upped my game refusing to be beat by a 13 year old dog-that's 91 in human years {how this whole one dog year is equal to seven human years is still one of those scientific concepts i will never fully grasp}.  so yesterday i marched myself back to petsmart & purchased another cone.  here is a clip of him in his new cone.

dear calvin.
i win.  you look foolish with the cone
but the pink does make your eyes "POP".
 that hue has to threaten your masculinity. 
i am going to take you to dog park for a field trip.
all the other male dogs are going to laugh at you & your chomped up ass.
you wiggle your way out of this one,
and i will bedazzle the next one.
just stop gnawing.
let it heal.
your owner.

dear cone{s}.
i have invested $12.38 twice now, not to mention the vet bill.
your sole purpose here on this earth is to stay on my calvin's neck.
if he tries to hide you under a bush or behind the air conditioner, you best yell for help.
do your damn job or i am going to return you.
your owner too!

dear pjm.
remember that first vet visit with calvin & arthur {our 14 year old lab}
 we were told arthur wasn't going to last much longer.
 you then asked the vet how long calvin would live since he was such a small pup.
the vet replied "perhaps 20 years".
to which you loudly replied "20 damn years with this dog-you have to be kidding me"
i would trade the ass chewing canine in a heartbeat to have you back.
love you.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Honesty.  The best policy, right?  Momma taught me that repeatedly.  Gotta be honest Chrissy. Always. Telling the truth is easier than trying to remember a string of lies you made up.  But then I would watch & listen.  There was so much contradiction between how her lips moved and how she navigated her days. Upon closer observation,  the message imprinted deep in my heart was do not displease...especially with your words because words can cut and hurt, leaving behind a scar to remind all of those painful syllables.  Be a sweet girl, a kind girl.  Like cotton candy, sugar and artificial, spun into a beehive placed atop a flimsy paper stick.  But after the carnival treat is gone, there's just a saccharin hangover in your mouth and hollowness in your tummy.  Momma taught me being {word} honest is bulky. Cumbersome.  Heavy. Like a bean+cheese+sour cream+guacamole burrito.  Honest words leave a heaviness and the aftermath typically spawns some nasty bad-ass gas.  Momma rarely swore but she claimed all bodily functions should occur in only the most private of places.  In solitude.  For no others to hear, much less smell.  That's what ladies & sweet girls do Chrissy.  Honest words were like that burrito.  Keep'em to yourself.  When words are hot and bloaty, take them some place very alone and don't dare share them as it just ain't lady like.  Momma said above all, be a lady Chrissy, especially with your words.

I am still learning to be honest.  Truthful.  Candid.  I am schooling myself to not choose my words like I do nectarines-checking to make sure they are soft-not too firm, examining them from every angle to ensure there are no bruises before I place them gentle in a baggie and own them.  My words don't need to please momma.  I realize the "that's sweet" cotton candy words have no depth.  They don't reflect my soul which is full of wit, insight, fear, confusion. Candy words betray my heart trusting God in the midst of having no idea what the hell He is attempting to accomplish in my life.  Syrupy words don't invite others into my soul.  They keep everything surface sweet.

Some visits with pjm are painful.  Hurtful.  Betraying.  He passes me in the hall with not an ounce of recollection after sleeping by my side for 27 years.  His mind becomes bored with me, so he wanders away forgetting I am near.  He walks the halls holding another's hand & kisses her cheek.  While his actions are a reflection of a disease and not of our marriage, they feel like a betrayal in the moments. They swallow me whole like a tidal wave.  I struggle finding my way to the surface.  My lungs burn in need of oxygen, yet I cannot escape the turmoil of the strong waves.  They leave me confused about which direction to swim in order to breathe.

My {honest} words are bulky.  Hot. And leave a bloat in my belly like that burrito because i don't want to feel betrayed by him.  But honestly, some visits rock me to the very core of my soul.  And hurt. And my eyes burn with tears as I seek the quickest way out.

dear honest words.
i know you are inside begging for me to give you life.
sugar sweet isn't good for either of us.
but when i allow you to crack the candy coating,
i am afraid all that spills out will cause a messy aftermath & life is already so damn messy.
be patient with me-like a young girl on roller skates for the first time,
smoothness will only come with practice.  right?
rookie of honesty

dear disease-
i hate what you have done to him-me-us.
you have left pjm so lost in the reality of life. 
he no longer knows his love ones.
somedays i feel you are not just strangling the life out of him, 
but also out of me.
honestly.  i.  hate.  you.
dementia hater

dear God.
i hate the path You continue to ask me to walk.
somedays i doubt Your presence.  it feels like You're MIA in the middle of  "this".
i am not lithe, yet You continue to stretch me in ways that feel impossible. 
 physically. emotionally.  spiritually.
 but i do find freedom in tell You my honest words.
even when they are like nasty bad-ass gas. 
You love me regardless & always. Your Word promises me that. 
truly.  honestly.  bravely-

Thursday, October 24, 2013

the eyes have it...

my boys.  just a few years back on Christmas morning.
{can you believe they would sport matching pjs for me!  they rock...truly.}
pjm...see his casual smile & the way he is looking right into the camera...
as if he can see my very soul behind the lens.
those eyes.  cerulean, like an ocean in the tropics.
 they captivated me so many years ago.
a brief encounter at the entrance of the restrooms at a bar
which abruptly turned to dating-engaging-marrying-parenting &
lovely memory making brimming with adventure
but those "blues" of his were my initial attention grabber.

as our years together grew, i found refuge in those eyes
knowing they would seek me-protect me-love me-honor me.

but then "that" began to happened.
and it's erasing all that lies beneath those eyes of his.
now he sees thru me-past me-or not me at all.

i have a sick yearning to document what "that" continues to steal from us. 
he is literally disappearing before my very eyes,
and i resent the sea of vacancy i see in his.
i can no longer capture his mischief-humor-drive-love for me & life
because somehow a disease has eroded away that deep blue,
leaving depthless blue-grays that have forgotten so much...of me & us.

dear baby blues-
when & where did you wander off to?
i long for you to know without a doubt who i am.
for you to identify me in a room abundant with people.
for you to reassure me when i lack confidence.
for you to stare sternly at sweet brown eyes when his pre-teen sass erupts.
for you to compute & calculate & make financial decisions
but your depth has been replaced with empty, shallow indifference.
your vacantness leaves me blue.
sad over you

dear jpl-
you are a rascal of a boy...just like your gramps.
you {his 5th grandchild} not only own his name but rock those darn baby blues.
thanks for reminding me of life & love in the depth of all the loss.
love you-
nana c 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

running & dementia.

so today, after a 16 month dry spell, amber & i ran a half marathon.
like so many things we agree to do together, one calls or texts the other and says how about this wild idea and the other always agrees.
{expect for that shopping fast she's on-i must keep amazon in business}

and the race we signed up for was seriously 14 minutes from home.
that means we didn't leave home till 6:45 & were tearing up the course at 7:31.

confession:  i have a furious competitive streak when it comes to running.
not against the other crazies running ahead of me but against myself.
i want every race to be a "personal record", 
and define myself as a runner based on my finishing time.
i know it sounds lame, but i am just being a teensy vulnerable.

today was purposely different.
i had made a decision when am & i signed up.
she has walked this "demented" path with me since moving pjm {actually before that}.
i promised myself to run this 13.1 miles with her & to hang the "PR" thang on the self-absorbed shelf.
pre race glam shot...notice those hot air balloons in the background?
wine & balloons.  that's what our town in known for.
sitting on the couch with sore legs & a bloated tummy from bad "post-race" breakfast choice,
i have learned running a half-marathon & dementia have parallels.

half-marathons & dementia are best with a lovie at your side.
half-marathons {especially in our small town} & dementia have lots of twists, turns and paths that few other people will traveled.
{we were on dirt roads at least 75% of the time}
half-marathons & dementia have peaks making you questions your strength to reach the top
& downhills so steep you fear you will lose your footing.
half-marathons & dementia feel exhausting,
but there are friends cheering you on confident you can finish.

dear ams.
thanks for another #teamamazing event today.
i loved running at your side & finishing with you at mine.
mostly though,
thanks for teaching me it is comforting to travel the hard paths of life with a lovie, 
reminding me we can do hard things...together.
and the art of the "selfie".  don't we look good running?
 what the hell are you trying to catch in that gullet of yours?
dad would often tell me to "stop & smell the roses" when i pushed workouts.
while it wasn't "roses" we stopped for,
spartacus was the course highlight.
doesn't he look like he's smiling-i think YES!
probably because he took a dumper doodle just before the photo.

yep, this adult just called horse shit "dumper doodle".
love & thanks ams for teaching me to live-love-finish hard things together,
especially when it means placing self absorbed on the shelf.
hope your ass is as half as sore as mine.
see you at the gym in the AM.
mama "sore legs" bird

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

dear sweet brown eyes...

it someone's birthday today! yep, sweet brown eyes has two handfuls plus an extra to make him 11.
in what feels like a blur. we have gone from this-a few days after we met for that very first time,
 to this...a boy, quickly changing into a man, who is just a mere few inches shorter than me
{i am wearing heels in this shot & that's my other sweet son on the left}

dear sweet brown eyes-
thanks for teaching me to seek joy in the middle of pain.
your eagerness for life each morning is stinkin' contagious.
that morning latte is an essential to staying up with you.
you remind me there is a God & that He has all of "this" figured out.
not only have you grown me as a parent but as a person.
people often told daddy & me, we were saving you-changing your life forever.
you, son, are what is saving me in the middle of dementia.
you bring out that care-free girl who i buried in the back of my closet under the jeans that are too tight.
 belly laughs, wild & out-of-rhythm public dancing, eating popcorn in bed while watching duck dynasty.
you have taught me to push aside that uptight grown-up self that says "no",
no to giggling in church, no to extra dessert, no to swimming in the dark of summer nights
you remind me to delight in life...often.
happy birthday & thanks for calling my mom.
love you to the moon & back.
mama bird

dear lenesha-
though we have never met,
thanks for trusting me with your precious sweet brown eyed babe.
you chose to carry him & then bravely let go.
i pray you know how loved he is & what a blessing you have given me
especially in the middle of "this".
he is strong-humble-honest
& he looks just like you-long limbed, slender, flawless chestnut skin.
happy birth day.
grateful to the moon & back for trusting us with him.
beholden mama bird

dear God.
i appreciate you for having all "this" worked out.
there are days when i fret & fester over how it's all going to unfold.
but then i hear his raspy voice askin' for an oreo shake.
i am reminded of matthew 18:3 where you say
"unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven"
dementia & all its complications could suffocate my soul.
sweet brown eyes has changed me.
he reminds me to delight in the simple childlike ways of life-to be a joy seeker in the middle of sick.
to live deeply in the present immediacy of life & not in the what ifs of tomorrow.
thanks for loving me to the moon & back.
childlike mama bird