Hello, or not.


I think of him and smile.

I call to say hello and such, he answers, but is not present.  This feels weird.  I wonder what is wrong; if I’ve somehow done something wrong.  Next, an awkward pause and then he mentions that he has picked up his son.

It seems that statement was code for “I can’t talk right now” or “I can’t be myself at the moment” or “I don’t want him to know how I feel about you” or 4 billion other things or none of them.  The call ends with an “Okay, I’ll talk to you later.”

I continue to play out each of the 4 billion scenarios in my head, distracted from work and life for the rest of the day which is now 14 hours after the event.  That, folks, is the story of how my feelings were hurt this morning.  Likely, unbeknownst to him at all.

Welcome to life behind the wall!


Smiley Face


“You add value to my life,” he said. She smiled. The ice around her heart melted a bit. She kept smiling. 

Ambiguous, but mostly weepy


An unpredictable chain of events happened yesterday that has left me in a state of slight distress and ambiguity.  I was babysitting for the foursies (kids, ages 6, 4, 2, 2) for the afternoon.  Toy Story was playing in the background.  I’d seen it many times when my kids were little ones.  I giggled when I heard reference to Pizza Planet in the movie.  My son called the pizza place down the street Pizza Planet once he had seen the movie.  The sound of the arm laser of Buzz Lightyear brought me back to many years ago when my son had the Buzz Lightyear toy and made that sound over and over and over and over.  These thoughts made me smile.  I also felt a longing for the time when my baby boy was truly a baby boy.  He is 21.

Toy Story 2 was next.  I’d seen it once.  I caught bits of it but when the sad song came on I turned my head to watch.  The toy, Jesse, was dusty under the bed while her owner/kid grew up—friends, nail polish, high heels, etc.  I thought of my daughter who, just the other day, picked up one of my old toys from a storage bin and asked if it truly needed to be kept.  I paused.  I understood the logic behind her question, but there seemed to be enough contemplation on my part for me to just put it back in the box, not really knowing why I needed to keep it.  She is 19.

Then, Toy Story 3 happened.  I had never seen it before.  I was watching off and on until about halfway through.

Me:  Wait!  Where are they now?
Lu:  They are in the garbage place.
Me:  Oh no–The purple bear is stuck!
Lu:  That’s okay, he’s mean.
Me:  No, it’s not okay!  We have to love our neighbor, even if they are mean.
Lu:  But, he’s a bad bear!
Me:  It doesn’t matter, though.  We still have to—wait, is that a furnace?!?
Lu:  Yes, it’s not the light to outside.
Me:  Oh, look!  The purple bear is going to push the emergency stop button.
Lu:  Just wait.
Me:  [GASP] What?!?  He didn’t push the button!!!
(This is where my eyes start leaking and I realize that I’m in front of 4 children.  Also, I’ve just made an important point about loving your neighbor that is now all shot to hell.)
Lu:  Now they are in the furnace and they’re going to die.
(This is where I watch these damn toys hold hands together in the furnace as they are about to die, eyes still leaking, and I pray that none of the kids look at me.)
Me:  Oh, Thank God!  The grabby thing saved them!
(This is where I say that I have to use the bathroom so I can gather myself together and stop weeping so I can go back to being a responsible adult.)
Me:  Wait, is Woody in the attic box or the college box?
Me:  What is he writing on the sticky note?
(This is when my face contorts into weirdness in order not to burst into tears and my eyes start leaking again.  I watch as Andy takes the box to the little girl down the street and gives her his toys.  Then, Andy smiles at Woody and he smiles back.  That’s when I lost it.  Back to the bathroom to get a grip!)

Too many emotions all in a matter of hours.  My kids left for college and growing up and adulthood.  No more Pizza Planet, laser noises and giggly sleepovers.  It’s just me.  It’s just me, the cats, and my storage bins of Woody’s and Jesse’s, pictures, and other stuff that is meaningful…and other stuff that is crap.  It was a beautiful, eye-opening, heart-opening, happy and sad day.



He came to me in a dream again.

I felt his presence and warmth before I could see him.

He looked at me. He looked in to me. He tilted his head slightly and smiled.

All chaos subsided and contentment settled in for a long visit. A peaceful night’s sleep ensued. This was a welcome change among the many potholes during my journey as of late.

Just Smile


I saw a glimpse of my future self today. I did not like it. She said things that I have said, felt things that I felt, and she has now ended up old and alone. “I didn’t think it was worth trying again after all that,” she said. And then she laughed. I laughed when she laughed. 

My mind was cluttered with thoughts and questions—not for her but for myself. Somehow the laughter made things easier for her–as it does for me. 

There is a song about that and I’ve never truly understood why I have disliked it until today. 

“Smile, though your heart is aching…smile, even though it’s breaking. When there are clouds in the sky you’ll get by…”

What a giant pile of horse shit. But, it’s what I do. 


The Long Walk 


My head is heavy as I walk. I look at the ground, feeling each step drag on and on like an endless desert with no end in sight.  Do they see me?  What is the purpose and why do I keep walking?  Walking away or walking toward…the question not to be answered to anyone’s satisfaction.  Just smile and keep walking.  (September 2013)