Superwoman is Dead

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Curled up in bed on my left side, I opened one eye and viewed the Life Manifesto hanging on my bedroom wall. I struggled to discern the words in the dimness of the coming morning . ‘Life’ the largest word on the canvas, filled my vision as Eddie the Wonder Pup glued his body to mine. I reached behind me and gave his back a soft pat, his crooked tail began to beat against my crippled right ankle. I dreaded getting out of bed. Not because of chronic pain, because there’s always that. No, it was the chill of winter in my bedroom, that made me want to stay snuggled under two comforters with a little baby puppy by my side.

The promise of daylight was beginning to spread across the manifesto on my wall. I could now read the line ‘Life is Simple’, and I shivered. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the line I read or the chill in the room. In the last 16 months I’ve learned how complicated life can be. I ended a 24 year marriage, had a horrific car accident that’s left me disabled, and the job I’ve been doing for the last 14 years has been dissolved and moved to another department.

I shifted my weight on the mattress enough to wake my drowsy fur baby and he moved from my side to begin poking at me with his paws and kissed my ears and face. His eyes smiled as I stretched and lifted the covers from my body. He kept jumping on me and biting at the a few errant strands of hair that had fallen from my hair tie during the night. He knew what he was doing was bad, but he also knew his cuteness would let him get away with it. I slid my yoga pants and slippers on, then Eddie and I headed to the living room to grab his leash.

As I stood outside Eddie relieved himself while I continued to shiver. The wind cut through my rebuilt ankle, and I thought about all of the people that have told me how much worse my situation could be. Though I do agree with them, I alone know how much the last ten month have just plain old sucked. Each time I work with my PT or try to walk more than the length of sidewalk outside my apartment, I’m reminded that the minutes, days, weeks and months have sucked swamp water, wind, and a big old giant ass!

With this final angry thought, I unlocked the door to my apartment building. After entering my unit, I set about the tasks for getting ready for my day with my right foot dragging. I worked hard to shift my weight to the right side of my body while I stood in the shower, brushed my teeth, and did my hair. Though it was painful, I knew the more I stood on it, the stronger it would become. My surgeon and PT have both told me that I’ve healed and progressed more than they thought I would. Superwoman may be dead, but I have been bound and determined to work hard. I’ve fought through pain, depression, suicidal thoughts, and hopelessness, but I still haven’t ‘got’ this. And if one more person tells me that I do, I might lose my shit.

At work I checked the photo stream on my phone and grouped together all of the images of my accident, surgery and early recovery. I wondered, should I delete them or save them for posterity. The post surgery images made me feel sick because of all of the blood, swelling, discoloration and railroad track stitches. I decided to speak to a dear friend about the photos, and get his take on what I should do with them. His advice, look at them one last time and delete them. Let go of the last chapter of the experience and move on. I haven’t deleted them yet, but I swear I will.

There is this shyness to me now, and a realization that being a manic pixie girl doesn’t always pay off. Sometimes it’s good to let the grass grow beneath my feet, and feel the grounding force of a foundation where I once didn’t want one. For even in my slowness, there is a passion that burns within me. A smoldering ember where a wild fire once burned, and it emits heat all the same. I’ve often heard that the embers burn hotter because the fire is contained in the core. It doesn’t burn out easily like that of the brilliant orange flame that can die quickly, even though that flame dances with an unadulterated exuberance.

I’m not afraid of death, and I wasn’t before my accident and the death of Superwoman. After the car accident, I’m even less afraid. No, I didn’t have a near death experience, but I experienced extreme shock. I nearly drowned in the abyss of it, and I can tell you I welcomed the feeling. If it had been my time to die, I would have gone without a fight. I wouldn’t have railed against the dying of the light. There was such peace in that cocoon in the early hours of my accident, that many times during my recovery, I wanted to go back to it.

Even as I continue to heal and realize that the old me is dead, I often wish to return to the cocoon, never to emerge, because I hated the moth I’d become. The one that kept flying to the light and dying each time it was zapped and suffered a setback. I miss the butterfly I once was, and it pains me to know she won’t return. As I endure ongoing recovery, I know I’m going to emerge from my chrysalis. I won’t ever be the same, but I will be beautiful again. And I will dance, live, love and fly…again.

**This will be my last post about recovery and chronic pain. 2015 is already a better year. It’s time to stoke the embers, and write with passion again.**

 

Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh, he don’t know so he chases them away, yeah
Oh, someday, yeah, he’ll begin his life again
Life again, life again

Oh, Love

I witnessed the most beautiful sunrise this morning. I hope you did also, she texted.

I did, he typed back.

There was so much more she wanted to say to him, but the sun coming up was all she could think of. She wanted to say come live with me. To say she couldn’t live without him. That all she wanted to do was go to sleep, and feel the warmth of his body next to hers.

I hate my life, but I get up every morning and deal with it, she typed.

He didn’t respond right away, but she knew what he was thinking. He wondered what happened to his Sunshine and the only light in his otherwise mundane life.

He replied simply, we all are trying to muddle through.

At least we enjoyed the sunrise, she quickly responded.

His final response was an emoticon, a winking smiley face. She sent back an emoticon kiss, snapped on her computer and began her workday.

They wished for each other on those sunrises. Maybe someday they’d get the chance to watch one together.

 

And…We Have Touch Down

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“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.”-The Outsiders

The opening lines from The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, floated around my head while Meggie drove me to my follow up appointment with Dr. Perdue. The day wasn’t particularly sunny. In fact, the skies were threatening rain and the humidity slicked my skin with moisture. All I could think about was taking my first steps after a 95 day journey that changed my life.

Meg helped me with my last wheelchair ride, all the while calling me an ‘old lady’. We laughed together, me and my Chica. We checked in, had x-rays taken, and were guided to the surgeon’s cast room. I hopped up on the exam table like a pro, and removed my boot cast. I conversed with Meggie and the nurse while my vitals were taken.

“Is it hot in here?”, I inquired after the nurse left.

“No old lady, you’re anxious”, Meg chided. “Stop fidgeting.”

As we waited, I surfed through the pictures on my phone, until I landed on the ones I took at my two week check-up. There, in full color was my ankle, purple and swollen. The three incisions still angry and fiery red. Black sutures protruded from my skin looking like railroad tracks to hell. You would have thought I would be disgusted by the sight, but I was utterly fascinated. I grinned as I slid my finger across the smart phone screen and viewed the progress of my recuperation. I had come so far.

“Mom, you look weird.”

“I’m…Just…Happy.”

Dr. Perdue and Pete the PA joined us in the cast room. The surgeon smiled his teddy bear smile and shook my hand. We chatted about progress and recuperation. He said the Talus bone was turning white, meaning it was getting blood flow.

“I’ve never seen healing like this after such a traumatic injury,” Perdue said.

“Are you saying we are like Wolverine from X-Men?”, Meg asked.

I giggled anxiously, “I just did everything you told me to, I didn’t want to screw this up.”

“You’ve got good genetics.”

“And I had lots of people praying for me. I prayed a lot. I yelled at God too, but mostly I prayed.”

We talked about the future. That I wasn’t out of the woods yet, when it came to the Talus bone dying. For right now, we focused on walking. I got the go ahead to stop hopping on my left foot, and start walking on both feet. I laughed like a little kid and shook the doctor’s hand. After 95 days, I was going to learn to walk again. The busy doctor left the room and I secured my boot cast. I ruminated on the exam table.

“So…are you going to walk?”

“Gimme a minute, I’m trying to psyche myself up.”

Meggie aimed her smart phone at me and took video of me walking for seven seconds. Every tendon, ligament and muscle from my right knee to my foot screamed as I bore weight. Right foot first, then left foot. And so on. I…was…walking. Again…

We pushed the wheelchair out into the vestibule by the elevator. Meg carried my purse as I took my first walk outside in 95 days. Sure, I’d been outside, but it was not on my own. It was in a wheelchair or hopping with the support of a walker. No, this was different. I could walk on my own. In sunshine, moonlight, darkness or rain. I was free.

The rest of the afternoon was a blur. Lunch with Meggie and Adam Boy. My phone being blown up by friends and family asking if I was walking. A script filled and then home. For the first time in three months, I walked up the 13 steps to my apartment door. I unlocked the door and there in front of me was an old friend, my wheelchair. I burst into tears when I realized the magnitude of the change in my life. I had been reborn.

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Last night rain poured down, and I craved to walk in it. I wanted it to wash me clean while I drew in the scent of clean earth. To baptize me. Though exuberant, I was too sore and tired go outside. My right knee hurt more than anything.  I’m thankful for the pain, because it’s nothing like I’d felt three months ago. My body ached, but my spirit is soared. You know the next time it storms, this woman will be out in the middle of it. In a summer dress and barefoot, hopefully.

100 Word Song-Passionate Reunion Kisses

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She remembered their reunion kisses well. Moist lips meeting, and the bristling of his whiskered chin on her smooth one. How his tongue invaded her mouth, and the way it tasted. Like hot sex on a summer night when she was 16. Oh God, the way he smelled.

The mere presence of him left her breathless. His hands cupped her breasts through her clothing. She moaned into his mouth, and sucked his perfect tongue.

As they said goodbye, she knew she’d never see him again. Their lives continued to be complicated, and no amount of passionate kisses could mend them.

Robot-Badge

Thank you Lance Burson for hosting the 100 Word Song. I’m honored to write stories with all of you.

Sliding Glass Window Oberservations From A Grenade

Yesterday I watched from my sliding glass window, five young men wearing the same color suit. Four of them wore ties folded in Windsor knots. One of them wore a slick bow tie. There was a sixth man. A photographer wearing khakis, took candid shots of them as they changed from gym to dress shoes, straightened each others ties and goofed off, like young men do. My guess was, they were the groom and attendants for a wedding. Or maybe they were an a cappella group. Who knows?

My apartment complex is set back in a wooded area, so the photographer took them behind the building to get more shots. They left their gym shoes and back packs resting on the hoods of their vehicles. Their doors were left wide open. When they returned, they grabbed all their crap and jammed themselves into their vehicles. They and the khaki panted photographer headed off to parts unknown. I was excited to observe them as they smile radiantly and wore the same color suits. Four of them with ties folded in Windsor knots. The other, maybe the groom, wearing a slick bow tie.

Often, my observational posts begin on my personal Facebook page. An idea hits me and I have to write it down. I’m sure it drives many of my friends crazy because my posts can get a little lengthy. Whatever, then take me out of your news feed! On second thought, please don’t, because I want you to read my observations. Looking at my window is about the only place I can draw inspiration right now.  I’ve kinda been stuck in my apartment for 70 days.

My focus waned and I didn’t write much more till I arrived home from My Trivia last night. At 1:00 a.m I began writing a lengthy email to a friend, when the following quote popped into my Sparkly little head:

 I wanted to know that he would be okay if I did. I wanted to not be a grenade, to not be a malevolent force in the lives of the people I loved.–John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

I wrote to my friend, I am a goddamn grenade.

I realized that in my married life and when I was raising my kids, I was a grenade. I was a malevolent force that ruined everything in my path. I was an F5 tornado or category 5 hurricane. And I was hell bent on self destructing. The self destruction included being a horrible drunk, a slow suicide with food and conversing with men that I had no business talking to.

I don’t want to be a grenade, anymore.

My ultimate goal is to try to find peace within my stormy, passionate and romantic heart. My ultimate goal is to not judge others and somehow rise above the transgressions of my past. I’ve sought forgiveness from God. I can’t go back and change anything. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not even looking for forgiveness from Roger Darling, Meggie or Adam Boy. All I can do is keep my mouth shut, my mind clear and try to be happy.

I wish for the three I’ve hurt the most to be happy, because I don’t want to be a goddamn grenade, anymore.

I talked to my mother today and I asked her when I should stop saying I’m sorry for all the havoc I wreaked? Her response was as soon as put down the bucket of guilt I continued to carry around. I may never be completely forgiven by my children or the man I shared 24 years of my life with, but I’m going to put down that bucket. I’m sure there will be times in my life that I will pick it up again. There will always be a part of me that knows that I fucked everything up.

I’m also acutely aware that I will probably be alone for the rest of my life because of what I’ve done. I have to be okay with that.  I have to realize that there is no such thing as unconditional love, except for the love we give our children. On this journey to myself, I’ve discovered I am a child of God. I am a sinner, but even sinners need to forgive themselves.

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches over me…

He watches over Meggie and Adam.

And I know, He watches over Roger Darling.

 

A Final Rendezvous With Renee

In my Dreams

These days words leave me hollow like a rotting tree stump. It may be dying, but there’s life buzzing in it anyway. Insects and animals colonize within, while the stump slowly decays and becomes one with the earth again.-Heath

I’m hollow. An empty vessel. Spent. And my story has been told. Every single one of my posts have helped bring me peace. I’ve poured my heart into every word I’ve written. Doesn’t matter if the story was real or fiction. I still bled on these pages.

The fictional stories have all had some grain of reality. A real person. A need. A want. A longing and desire. I have never created characters. I’ve created living, breathing people. Maybe someday I’ll tell you the origin of some of them, but probably not.

My journal entries, now those were something weren’t they? They taught me a thing or two about over sharing. Without them, I would have never learned about this gift that I have. It’s a curse too. See, once you begin to write,  it controls you. You immerse yourself in fiction because reality is too much to bear.

Sometimes words came so fast, I couldn’t write or type them fast enough. I was obsessed, to say the least. Photographs and paintings brought forth words and stories. I never realized how much I had to say.

My first fictional piece was called Ascent. About a girl that wanted to die. She didn’t though. Her newly discovered wings saved her as she began to plummet toward the sea. Little did I realize I was the one sprouting those metaphorical wings.

My writer, he pushed me to write for Friday Fictioneers. What began as a lark proved to be a much needed exercise in discipline. My writer fled, but I stuck with FF. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has been a terrific mentor. I’m honored she worked so hard with me. I adore her for every criticism and kudos. My best flash fiction story was, The Invisible Man. I may submit it to Narrative Magazine. They’ve rejected my work before, but you never know what can happen.

I’ve had five short stories published by EtherBooks. Alan and Melissa from Ghost, and Damon and Rhiannon from Sounds will always be my best creations. The stories are still available for download on your iPhone or Android phone. The app is free, so please download and critique my stories.

‘The Ghost of a Great Love’ 

‘A Night Swim with Marilyn’ 

‘Dawn at Antietam’ 

‘Sounds of Orioles and the Taste of Lemonade’ 

‘On a Hot Summer Night’ 

Sometimes God Sits on a Stoop is a favorite recent post. I saw the face of God that day. I’ll never forget Curt, or his story.

I’ll keep the blog active for awhile, but don’t be surprised if one of these days it’s gone. Like me, she is a force of nature that can’t be contained.

Real life is waiting. I’m going to live it. I suggest you do the same.

Love,

Sparkly Girl

P.S. Don’t hate on me for posting the 1D video. This song is the shit. Even if it’s sung by a British boy band.

P.P.S. How can I forget Rory, my brother in arms? My world will never be the same now that you’re in it. I love you.

Although I am broken, my heart is untamed, still
And I’ll be gone, gone tonight
The fire beneath my feet is burning bright
The way that I’ve been holding on so tight
With nothing in between
The story of my life…

Tuneful Tuesday-Pearl Jam and Sirens

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Don’t ask me why, but this song reminds me of my brother Troy from As Long As I’m Singing on WordPress.

I love you my friend.

Want you to know, that should I go, I always loved you, held you high above too.-Eddie Vedder

Hear the sirens, hear the siren
Hear the siren, hear the circus all go found
I hear the sirens more and more in this here town
Let me catch my breath to breathe then reach across the bend

Just to know we’re safe, I am a grateful man
This light is pit, alive and I can see you clear
I could take your hand, and feel your breath
For feel that someday this will be over
I pull you close, so much to lose

Knowing that, nothing lasts forever
I didn’t care, before you were here
A distant laughter, with the everafter
But, all things change, let this remain

Hear the sirens covering distance in the night
The sound, echoing closer, will they come for me, next time?

For every choice, mistake I made, is not my plan
To see you in the arms of another man
And if you choose to stay, I’’ll wait, I’’ll understand

Oh, it’’s a fragile thing, this life we lead, if I think too much, I can’’t get over
When by the graces, by which we live our lives with death over our shoulders
Want you to know, that should I go, I always loved you, held you high above too
I studied your face, the fear goes away.

It’s a fragile thing, this life we lead, if I think too much, I can’’t get over
When by the graves, by which we live our lives with death over our shoulders
Want you to know, that should I go, I always loved you, held you high above too
I studied your face, the fear goes away, the fear goes away, the fear goes away.

Tunesday-Taylor Swift

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Everything has changed…..

I can NOT stand Taylor Swift!

And I’m a big fat liar pants. I want to hate her music. Tell you she has annoying beady blue eyes and she’s a hack. But I’ve come to realize she is quite genuine. She plays guitar, sings marginally well, and writes her own music. Taylor’s music is a little too pop for me. I want to hate her, but I just can’t.

I listened to the song, 22 and couldn’t help but sing along. As I took in the lyrics, I envisioned myself running around with one of my best guy friends, and acting all kinds of stupid.  However, the little heart sign she makes with her hands in every damn photo, makes me want to slap her.  This self-proclaimed Music Whore is on Taylor Swift crack!

I’m too damn hip for this. Oh my fucking God what’s wrong with me?

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22!

I’m obsessed.  Give me more Taylor, PLEASE!

Awhile back I wrote a Friday Fictioneers story, about a sculptor, seduced by a man she thought loved her. I ended the story with the song, Trouble. The main character knew that the man was no good for her, but she fell anyway. He was trouble, yet she wanted him all the same. My character knew she would be left broken, but she had to try.

The Madness of a Woman Seduced

There’s Mean, Love Story, You Belong With Me, and my all time favorite, White Horse. I can’t forget Back to December either. Yeesh, I’m a sucker for lovely lyrics and a simple tune.

Say you’re sorry
That face of an angel comes out just when you need it to
As I paced back and forth all this time
‘Cause I honestly believed in you

Holding on, the days drag on
Stupid girl, I should have known
I should have known

That I’m not a princess, this ain’t a fairytale
I’m not the one you’ll sweep off her feet
Lead her up the stairwell

This ain’t Hollywood, this is a small town
I was a dreamer before you went and let me down
Now it’s too late for you and your white horse to come around

Simple words to tug at my sparkly heart . They make me want to write romantic stories about a knight in shining armor that comes to save the damsel in distress. Thing is, I’m no distressed damsel. I’m not looking for a white knight on a noble steed. I want to be my own KISA (Knight in Shining Armor).

Somehow Taylor’s music inspires me, to chew giant wads of pink bubble gum and blow bubbles the size of my head. To wear one of my many tiaras, act like a princess and wish for the age of 22. And to hope that someday, someone will be….Mine.

And I remember that fight, 2:30 a.m.

You said everything was slipping right out of our hands

I ran out, crying, and you followed me out into the street

Braced myself for the goodbye, because that’s all I’ve ever known

Then you took me by surprise

You said, “I’ll never leave you alone.”

You said. “I remember how we felt, sitting by the water

And everytime I look at you, it’s like the first time

I fell in love with a careless man’s careful daughter

She is the best thing that’s ever been mine.”

 

 

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Woman in WoodsNot all who wander are lost….-J. R. R. Tolkien

I awoke at nine last Sunday morning intent on spending at least an hour in bed reading a book that Harry recently gave me titled, Telling True Stories. Seems he’d found it in the bargain bin at a bookstore (Harry is a very, shall we say, thrifty man.) and knew that I would adore reading it.

As I snatched the book from the nightstand, my text alert chimed. Seems my young friend Cami needed me to check in on the animals where she was house sitting.   After my positive reply, I put the book back with plans to read a chapter or two before bed that night.

Once showered and dressed, I set out on my adventure. Travel to Plymouth, a little town east of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The fall day was flawless and the sun shimmered with an unusual brightness for this time of year. My left hand lightly gripped the steering wheel. The diamonds in my thumb ring,  displayed tiny prisms that danced around and dazzled my eyes. I chose not to wear my sunglasses. I wanted to delight in the radiance of the day.

Acoustic Brunch on 107.1 was tuned in on my car stereo, and Serena Ryder sang about a Brand New Love. I depressed the automatic window button and let the wind rush through my freshly washed hair. I cared not that it was in disarray. Humming along with Serena, I felt such stillness in my heart. Contentment too, and dare I say, happiness.

I zoomed past trees full of vibrant color. Blazing crimson, and dazzling lemon and gold. Various colors of orange, like apricot and titian. The life of some of the leaves had expired and were the color of dust. Had I stopped and run my fingers through the branches, the leaves would have crumbled at my touch. My sky-blue eyes devoured every sight, and my ears received every song as if it were communion. I felt as if the gate to my life was finally open.

I displayed no symptoms of anxiety and panic disorder. There was nothing to stop me from arriving at my destination. I’d never been there before, but didn’t care. The quote, ‘not all who wander are lost’ came to mind and I began to beam, like the reflected light emanating from my thumb ring.

I exited M-14 and traveled from Ford Road to my destination. Of course, I got lost. Twice! Yet there was no fear to prickle the hairs on the back of my neck. I just went with it, and continued to smile and sing.

When I arrived at my destination, I was wildly greeted by two of the cutest dogs I had ever seen.  My spirits soared as they frolicked around my feet. They wanted nothing more than to be loved on, fed and walked. I did all of those things for them. In return, they gave me a reason to view the fall colors liked I’d never seen them before. With freedom. Without fear. With wild abandon.