Posts Tagged ‘sister’

That’s Not Mine

September 13, 2017

It’s yours.

Or.

It is mine?

Or is it both?

Turns out yesterday it was both/and.

I hate that.

Both.

And.

I had a client working through some traumatic stuff in session yesterday and I realized later that I had taken some of it with me.

It was hard to shake.

Why was it so hard to shake?

I talked to my therapist today about it.

We isolated it and moved through it and all sorts of stuff came up.

Jesus fucking Christ.

All the stuff.

Fortunately, and I mean this in the sincerest way possible, fortunately, I have been doing self-examination and inventory and work on myself for such a long time that I was able to work through it.

I can’t and won’t divulge what happen in session with my client.

That’s a breach of ethics and I am honor bound to keep those things within the walls of my office.

But.

I can say that what happened had a resounding feel to me of something that had happened to me.

I couldn’t quite pin it.

I know that there was an extraordinary amount of emotion in the room when I worked with my client last night.

I relayed to my therapist things that happened for me in my body, what it felt like, the counter transference that happened and the transference.

And.

That I recognized that some of what I was feeling was my clients and some of what I was feeling was mine.

Thank God for a great therapist.

We isolated it.

Or.

I isolated it.

She did what therapist do, good therapists, she held the field, she let me find my way, she made some connections for me that I didn’t see, she held me with empathy, she validated my experience, she reflected and gave me perspective.

And.

Holy shit.

There it was.

And I broke down and bawled.

Great big ugly tears.

Relieved to get it out.

Although it tried to stick for a second.

It tried really hard.

It did not want to come out.

I was choked with grief.

Stricken.

I got it out though and I named the emotions I was feeling.

Trying to stuff them all into the crumpled ball of tissue in my moist hand.

Guilt.

Shame.

Unendurable guilt.

For getting out, for doing better, for surviving.

For being financially “well off.”

Bwahhahahahaaha.

Have you seen my student loan statement?

I have.

Meh.

Anyway.

Though I may have a fuck ton of student loans, fuck it, I’m worth the investment, I am, I am, I also have a modicum of financial security and I have a nice little home and I have nice little things.

I have a scooter.

I have a bicycle.

I have security.

In so much as I continue working at the pace I am working.

I don’t have much of a security blanket in the savings account.

But hey.

I have a savings account.

When I think about how successful I am in comparison to my mom or my sister and how I have always managed to find a way out, I sometimes, more so than I want to admit, have guilt.

And then.

I belittle my experiences or my own traumas, because, man, they had and have it bad too, and I’ve found a way through.

There is no way through but through.

It’s painful.

But.

Fuck.

It’s so worth it.

And I also see that I am not responsible for my sister, for my mother, for my father, my nieces.

I am, and can only be, responsible for myself.

But the guilt.

It hit me hard.

I was feeling awkward about an upcoming birthday in my family and I was relaying how many times, so many, too many to count, that I have sent gifts trying to foster some sense of connection and love to my family.

And.

Have not received it.

Oh.

I know there’s love.

But I haven’t the emotional connection to my family that I was trying to cultivate, a sort of reciprocation of love and that I need to let go of trying to get it the same way I have been doing so for decades.

We, my therapist and I, talked about how I might be able to establish connection, about what I could do.

I have to say it felt futile.

I was fucking flummoxed.

Then.

As I sat and the grief washed over me and I saw how hard I had tried to do something, taking the same action time and time again, that maybe there was another way.

Maybe.

I don’t know.

But I sussed a few things out and suddenly I had an answer.

It may not be “the” answer.

But.

It felt good to process it all out and find the connections and see how the traumatic experience that I bore witness to when I was with my client last night led me to work through and settle out something that has been nagging me for decades in my relationship to my sister and my nieces.

I don’t have a lot of close family.

Just my sister.

I have almost no relationship whatsoever with either of my nieces.

Although I helped significantly in the first years of my oldest niece’s life.

And I love her so much.

After I moved away from Wisconsin our relationship grew very thin.

My sister had troubles of her own and many challenges that I could not face for her.

Fuck.

I had to deal with my own shit.

The last time I saw my oldest niece was over fifteen years ago.

She was nine.

In a few days she will be 25.

I was nineteen when she was born.

I was the first person to hold her.

I saw her crowning.

I saw my sister endure the most excruciating pain.

I rocked that baby to sleep so many nights, I sang her songs, I can feel the heaviness of her carrier in my arms now.

I loved her beyond any previously known capacity to love.

And that is enough.

I gave what I could when I could and when the paths of my family and mine diverged, it was right to go the way I did.

To allow others the dignity of their own experiences.

To allow others to feel the weight of their choices, the consequences, good, bad, indifferent, to their actions, and not interfere.

I can still love my sister, my mother, my father, my nieces.

I can still love my cousins and aunts, uncles, my remaining grandparent.

But.

I don’t have to do so at the expense of myself.

I don’t have to lose myself in care taking.

I mean.

hahahaha.

Who the fuck am I kidding?

I’m a therapist in training, I may very well lose myself in it all over again, the care taking thing, but I also get to have boundaries and frames and I get to help in a way that won’t drain me.

At least that is what I have hope for.

I have a deep capacity for love and my experiences have borne this out.

I have and will always love my family.

I just won’t put their needs before mine any longer.

I deserve better.

And.

Well.

Fuck.

So do they.

Who the hell am I to decide how they should live their lives.

They have their own God.

As do I.

Thank God.

Grace.

Over.

Drama.

For the most part.

I was a hot mess yesterday and today in therapy but it got worked out and it got worked out fast.  So grateful for that.

Beyond words.

And though it may not seem cause for celebration.

It is.

And.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I am.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

June 1, 2017

Yes.

I am aware that tomorrow is June 1st and not November.

It has been one hell of a month.

So much happening.

Amazing things truly.

I love my life, I’m lucky, I’m graced, I’m blessed.

And.

I might just being going to Hawaii for Thanksgiving!

Yup.

It will be my first time, unless something unusual pops up and I find myself in the islands, which I am not opposed to, but to tell you the truth, I hadn’t expected to hear the news today that I might be in the islands for the holiday.

My family I work for brought it up today.

I will have off that weekend from school and work, well, since it is work, will let me have the time.

It’s not a real vacation for me, I’ll be working, but, oh, the location does not suck.

Not at all.

And like I said, I’ve never been to Hawaii.

I really should go, I am part Polynesian after all.

Puerto Rican and Polynesian on my father’s side.

German and Scot on my mom’s side.

I had someone tell me once that I was a Polynesian princess mixed with white trash.

Heh.

I might have a little trashy in me.

I definitely have some princess in me, that’s for sure.

Nevertheless, I am thrilled at the idea.

I love that the family really wants me to be included in their lives and I really love working for them.

Tomorrow marks five months of work and it’s been such a great job for me and the parents really appreciate me and the kids love me.

I love my charges.

LOVE.

Both of the older kids were under the weather today and one of them stayed home from school.

Work was huge amounts of snuggling, singing every song I know from my years of being a nanny, and an almost endless repetition of a lullaby that I usually sing to the baby, and all the babies I have ever worked with and a lot of my toddlers too, to the oldest boy while rubbing his back and petting him and just sitting and crooning to him.

He is the sweetest boy and super smart and vulnerable and the request to keep repeating the lullaby and stroking his soft blonde hair, oh, my heart, I just wanted to curl him up in my arms and kiss away the fever.

He got lots of love and I got to be the Queen of Snuggles.

I also got to do some cooking while he was watching a movie, sick days get movies, and I revelled in the cooking.

It feels good to cook, I miss it sometimes, cooking for a partner or my family.

I used to cook all the big holiday meals for my family and oh, the baking, and the stews, the jams and cheesecakes and pies, the cookies and pork chops.

Midwestern much.

Aside.

I said “bubbler” today and the woman looked at me like I was an alien.

Bubbler is water fountain in Wisconsineese.

I made up that last word, rhymes with cheese, bubbler is a total Wisconsin word, there are a few more, but that one slips once in a while into the conversation, or “pop” instead of “soda.”

Once and a while my roots show.

I am, however, not so connected to my Hawaiian and Puerto Rican roots.

My father wasn’t much around growing up and though I always kept in touch with my grandmother, I didn’t have much idea about Hawaii.

I had things from Hawaii that my grandmother would send and I remember boxes of chocolate covered macadamia nuts and once a grass skirt, coming in the mail from my grandmother.

I think we had placemats too and a few books about the islands and where the family was from.

It wasn’t until I moved back to California as an adult that I met my father’s side of the family in a more concrete way.

I remember meeting some cousins for the first time and being blown away by how much I looked like them, how they looked like my sister, and how I was actually lighter skinned than the majority of the family.

“They look like me!”

It was a relief and in a way an almost instantaneous connection that I had not always felt with my mothers Germanic roots and Scottish ancestry.

I was neither pale skin nor blue-eyed, or green-eyed as my mother.

I did not have blond hair.

Nope.

I got tan.

I didn’t really burn.

Well, once in a while, after long ass days detassling corn in the fields around Waunakee during the summers when I was working the crews, I might get a shoulder burn or a heavy crop dusting of freckles.

My mom though, my God, she could burn so easily, such creamy white fair skin.

Yeah.

So coming to California and starting to get those connections to my father’s family was a revelation.

I’m still not as close as I suppose I can be, social media does most of the work for me and there’s still stuff with my father that I have reservations broaching my family about.

I ceded his care when I was in Alaska in the hospital to the head of the administrative at the hospital.

I love my father.

I have exquisite and amazing child hood memories of him.

I also have some pretty awful ones too.

But.

He wasn’t around and when he had the accident that lead to the coma that led me to Anchorage, I went almost more to settle my own heart, then for anything else.

I sat by that hospital bed in the ICU for four night and five days.

He was in a coma the entire time I was there.

I held his hand and talked to him.

I forgave him.

And.

I asked for him to forgive me.

I made friends in Anchorage and the fellowship there carried me when I wanted to collapse into the snowbanks and the cold air and just cry my heart out.

I managed to not get stuck in any snowbanks but I won’t ever forget the dark night sky outside the window of the room the hospital hospitality house put me up in, for families of critical care patients at the facility, and the roughness of the sheets on the bed and how alone I was.

No.

That’s not true.

I wasn’t alone, I had God, I was carried, but I was by myself.

I was grateful, beyond grateful, to be there for my family and to relay messages out to the world and to let my grandmother be in contact with me and my uncle and my cousins and the love seed that was planted there.

I have never talked to any of them about letting go of my father’s care, but I did visit my grandmother that next summer and it meant everything to me to say “I love you,” and in that moment, as I was leaving to get on a plane from San Diego, in my grandmothers arms, I could feel how much she loved me too.

I will always have that moment.

And I look forward to getting to go to Hawaii.

Even if it’s not with my employers, which is sounds like it might actually be, I will go.

I have some more healing to do in that corner of my heart history.

I will swim in the ocean and walk on the beaches and turn my face to the sun.

I will go home again.

Although it has never left me.

Impressed as it is on the cheekbones in my face, the wide plush smile on my face, the curls in my hair, the freckles on the crest of my nose, the wilderness of my hips, the sway in my walk.

I have not forgotten.

I always have had the islands in me.

Always.

Don’t Mind Me

February 2, 2017

Singing French music slightly off-key at the top of my lungs.

I felt like singing and well.

There you go.

And French music makes me happy, especially when I am listening to a play list that my best French friend made for my on my Spotify.

It’s pretty awesome, a. a friend who makes a play list for you and b. that it’s mostly French music.

Although there’s some English music in there, it feels very apropos as I have been thinking a lot about travel today.

Paris in May.

Ten days.

Ten days.

Oh, let me say it again, ten days in Paris in May.

Paris in Spring.

My heart sings.

My feet tap dance a little, I just did a twirl about my room to the guitars and the vocals of Je t’aime Paris before I sat down to type.

I’m also making some other travel plans.

Puerto Rico.

In, wait for it.

July.

I know.

That sounds nuts.

And it’s actually funny, the only other time I have been to Puerto Rico was actually in July, a friend that I worked with at the Angelic Brewing Company got married there, she and her husband were both from Puerto Rico, what the hell they were doing in Wisconsin, I’m still not sure about.

But.

They wanted to get married in the oldest cathedral in Old San Juan.

Where, apparently, everyone who is Puerto Rican wants to get married.

The wait list was years long.

Unless you got married in the off-season.

Like, um, ha, July.

I think they still had to wait a damn long time for the date they did get, but yeah, it was hot.

But you know where it’s not hot in July?

Yeah.

San Francisco.

The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.

Mark Twain had it pretty spot on.

Last July was colder than last February.

In fact, I remember making out with a guy last February on the beach, barefoot and it was warm, surprisingly warm, one of the few nights where it was warm enough to be down at the beach and bare foot.

I remember him kissing me and the moon was sinking slow behind me, it was the day after Valentines Day and for whatever reason, I think it might have been ski week for the private school kids I was nannying, I had off that week.

I had school that weekend and then I had gotten dressed up on Valentines Day, passed out Valentines Day cards to my classmates and after class let out, I went up to the Castro and did the deal and spoke a big gay men’s gathering.

I met my Puerto Rican fairy godfather at dinner that night before the meeting.

We hit it the fuck off.

Fast forward to my birthday this past year, he brings me a bag of coffee from Puerto Rico, a jar of Adobo spice, and a guidebook to the 100 best places to go to in Puerto Rico.

He had just gotten back from a business trip there and it turns out is there currently and will be back mid-February.

He will be making a few more trips back for business and one of those trips, yes, in July, I will be going with him.

I wasn’t originally planning July, but July just happened to happen for me.

I found out from my family that they will be going on a big family vacation for three weeks.

I will have three weeks off in July.

THREE.

So.

Definitely Puerto Rico.

I have the airline ticket voucher from when I cancelled my trip to Wisconsin at Christmas.

The airline happens to fly to Puerto Rico.

I am thinking a week there.

Then fly back.

And.

Then.

Alaska.

Yeah.

I know.

Big fucking mood swing travel.

But.

I have always wanted to go up to Alaska during the summer and I have friends that live there and the fellowship is great.

And.

Um.

My dad is there.

I haven’t spoken to him since I left him in a coma in Anchorage two years ago.

I do not know where or why the thought popped into my head, but pop it did and it felt so right it gave me shivers.

“Go see your dad.”

That was not my thought.

It was planted there.

And I realized as soon as I had it that yes, I need to do that.

I’ve got his phone number and I figure I’ll contact the recovery center he’s been staying in and just feel it out.

I certainly don’t want to make a huge deal out of it.

Although, it is a huge deal.

I just felt very compelled to go and see him and do it soon, I don’t need to question it and though I had some trepidation about it, it feels very much like what I need to be doing.

It’s more for me than it is for my dad, I think, I need to heal a bit more around the relationship and I feel that a face to face, eye to eye, would do me some good.

Oh.

I’m sure it will be painful too.

But through that, growth, and I long for growth.

I want to heal those spaces and holes in my heart and be fully capable of saying I did everything I could to rectify my relationships with my parents while I can.

I also, really have wanted to go to Alaska during the summer and I have a couple of friends up there who just got married and it would be great to see them and maybe get out into the wilderness a little and take my camera and explore.

Then.

I had another thought.

Well heck.

Why don’t I go to Portland too?

My sister just moved there with my youngest niece and it’s been a couple of years since I have seen them.

I could fly back from Anchorage to Portland, hang out for a long weekend, then fly to San Francisco.

I looked up flights with the estimated dates of travel and I could do one way tickets, SFO->Anchorage->Portland->SFO.

Total cost.

$361.

I can freaking swing that.

I’m not planning anything yet, I have yet to get confirmed dates from my employers, but I did agree to take some of those days as paid vacation time and they agreed to pay me for my time for the other two weeks.

I had already bought my ticket to Paris when I had interviewed for the job, that vacation and those days off are part of my vacation pay.

Which means, that I will actually get another three weeks paid off.

Mind blowing.

And the right thing to do.

I’m contracted to work for them and I get paid a minimum of 35 hours per week.

They don’t use me for those hours, they pay me regardless.

When I find out dates I will go from there.

I know Puerto Rico is happening.

I will sit on Anchorage and Portland, talk to my people, make sure I’m making a spiritual decision and not an ego centric driven one, but rather be coming from a place of humility.

It’s family and I have challenges navigating family.

I’m doing better than I have ever in my life.

There is that.

But it is still vulnerable for me.

And who knows.

I may be in practicum and be tied to the city, so who knows.

No plans yet.

Just slow cooking some travel on the back burner.

And hopefully.

In the back woods, the G.reat O.ut D.oors, sounds damn good.

And a coffee shop or three in Portland.

I could get behind that.

I like coffee

Just a little bit.

Heh.

 

 

 

Let Go

December 14, 2016

Move the fuck on.

“Block his number,” my person said succinctly and to the point.

HOLY FUCK.

I had not thought of that.

Then I thought.

Shit.

That’s the right thing to do.

I just unfriended as well off social media and each small step was a little moving in the right direction.

There’s nothing wrong with the guy, fyi, in case you’re wondering.

What’s wrong or perhaps not quite right, or perhaps better yet, what wasn’t working for me, is that I was falling into the same stupid trap again.

Better to let go the person and move the fuck on.

I don’t do myself or anyone else a service when I’m up in fantasy land.

And it wasn’t that good, I remind myself.

No.

It wasn’t bad either, it just didn’t serve, it wasn’t good for me, it didn’t fulfill my heart, I was left wanting a lot more and wanting more from a person who is not capable of offering more is something that I do and I have often crumpled in the face of change, when oh, that rut is so comfy and I know it so well.

And.

Didn’t you see?

I just redecorated and got a new couch for the space.

Fuck me.

I expressed to my person today that I was actually relieved that the guy I was supposed to spend time with last night cancelled.

But in a twist I wasn’t expecting my person added, you deserve to be respected, block his number.

What?

You mean I deserve the time of day, the respect of my schedule, that my needs are important.

Stop the fucking presses.

Yes.

Of course.

And if I don’t step up to that it’s my own damn fault.

So rather than fall down that hole again, Alice decided to take the elevator up to the top of the hill and look around.

See what she can see.

I see yoga in my future.

Signed up for a class tomorrow.

Went today.

Hella stiff and sore and snaggle toothed and old, man I just felt stupid and old.

Then, as I relaxed a little, I did think to myself, lady pants you sat in a desk chair at school for 29 hours, of course your body is out of whack, and you didn’t get more than five or six, max, and I do mean max, hours of sleep for the last four nights.

Give yourself a break and be happy you showed up to the mat.

Expectations always do take me down.

They just lead to resentment.

And a life lived on resentment is not one I wish to have.

Nope.

This lady is all about happy and fun.

Let me repeat that.

Happy.

And.

Fun.

Fun does not need to be roller coasters.

Fun can be writing Christmas cards or sending packages in the mail.

I got my oldest niece her gift today, I saw it last week at Rainbow and was quite taken with it, granted it was more expensive than I had planned on spending, art supplies, but, fuck, I just knew it when I saw it, had her name written all over it.

So.

I got it.

And then I mailed her card and my mom’s Christmas package and my sister’s too, which included a few things for my youngest niece.

It really felt so sweet and good to put their packages in the mail.

I feel blessed that I can send them gifts.

It wasn’t always that way and there were years and lapses in time that I didn’t send my family gifts.

It feels right to make up for that now and to continue fostering connections.

Even if it’s just a card in the mail.

It means I love you.

I do you know.

So much.

Breaks my heart.

I’m ok with that, heart break, I’ve had my share, I’ll probably have more before my days here on this plane are done.

And that’s ok too.

It means I’m alive.

What a fucking gift, this, to be alive, to be in this skin.

It’s not perfect, but it’s mine and I’m ever so grateful for it.

Yup.

A beautiful gift that I get to treat well and respect and care for and love.

I’m getting better at that all the time.

And I do deserve respect.

It felt good to remind myself of that this afternoon.

I had made the phone call check in to my person this afternoon while I was at the beginning of my work shift, although certainly not the beginning of my day–that had started hours and hours before I even got to work.

But I did not block the phone number until late in the afternoon.

When.

Ha.

I was wondering vaguely in the back of my head if he was going to text me today and what would I say and.

What the fuck, Martines?!

Ugh.

Block the number now.

It’s like a dangerous default, I don’t even know my brain is going there.

This is why I work with people, this is why I make myself accountable to others, their perspectives are so fucking important.

I walk around with god damn blinders on.

“He’s totally interested in you,” my girlfriend said to me years and years ago.

“No he’s not, he’s gay,” I told my friend.

“Gay?  Are you out of your mind, he’s literally beating your face with his penis, Carmen, he’s so not gay,” my friend said with incredulity, then dipped her french fry into the pool of ranch dressing on her plate.  “Seriously, he has a great big boner for you and it’s a not a gay boner.”

Turns out.

He wasn’t gay.

Once in a while.

I think.

Oh, look, a new perspective, I’ve taken off  the blinders.

But.

You know.

I’m always in my way.

I’m the one thing in my way.

So, pray to God, I’m serious, get the fuck out of your own way.

Go have fun.

Go play pinball.

Go to yoga.

Let go.

Move on.

And don’t worry.

You’re on a collision course with what is supposed to happen.

You just can’t see around the corner.

You’re not blind.

But you’re not a mind reader either.

Just saying.

Back At It

May 26, 2016

Holy shit do I feel better.

Nothing like a little 24 hour bug to put my health in perspective.

I had no idea I was that under the weather.

Until I woke up this morning and felt so much better, so rested, so ready to conquer the world.

Which was a good thing since the family missed having me around.

I made so much food today.

Holy shit.

Triple batch broccoli soup.

Double batch turkey and black bean chili.

Oatmeal for the boys for the rest of the week.

Cut up raw veggies and fruit for lunch boxes and snacks.

And.

Cheese tortellini with pesto sauce.

Oh and a dozen hard boiled eggs.

Not that boiling eggs is such an ordeal, but yeah, I did the food up today.

Plus.

Getting back into the routine with the boys who seemed so much bigger and older and well, sassier.

Which is generally what happens when I go away for a long weekend or don’t see them for a little while, they are going to push my boundaries and see if I will hold them the same way I normally do.

And I did.

Little struggles here and there but after a tiny bit of acting out, a few time outs and quiet time moments, we got our groove on and had a really nice day.

I felt great.

Until I didn’t.

And that did, thankfully pass.

Although it did freak me out for a moment.

I got super dizzy and head rushed running up the stairs to grab a book for the six year old and suddenly found myself standing and wobbling back and forth in the boys room.

Hot and cold by turns and almost passed out.

Granted I ate almost nothing yesterday, but I ate well today, and I caught myself before I toppled and breathed and it passed.

But it was a spooky moment and I am grateful I had neither boy in my arms or anything in my hands had I fallen.

I was also absurdly grateful that I had taken yesterday off.

I would have not made it through the day.

No way.

No how.

It is nice to get back into my groove, though I adore the traveling, I am also a creature of my comforts, my tea, my music, my space, my transportation.

It was hella nice to be back on my scooter and not on a subway.

“You’re an above ground kind of girl,” he said to me–the gentleman I stayed with via Air BnB, “you’re not much on the trains are you?”

I do prefer to be above ground, I love trains, but sometimes subways and undergrounds I can do without, I like to look at things, I love to watch the landscape go by, I like to see the sky.

I also like to walk and that’s always a good way to experience a city.

Or any place I travel too.

It’s good to see things and smell things and take in the environment.

Today I was happy to smell the sea and drift wood smoke and a charcoal pit being lit up, the eucalyptus in the Pan Handle, so good.

I felt happy and free and alive.

And I also smell of fabulousness.

I got my new perfume!

It came into Tigerlily and I picked it up right before work.

Rose Flash.

Fuck me it’s so good.

Super sexy and lush and floral, tuber rose and spicy and a bit musky, but not too much, just a hot kiss of it and the dark rustle of angel wings on fire.

Oh.

I fucking love it.

I could just rub it all over my body.

The girl at the counter was so happy for my happiness that she threw in a body oil on the house also in Rose Flash.

I shall go about my days dipped in deliciousness.

And my nights drowned in the lovely of it.

I like to put on perfume before I go to bed, especially on my wrists and on my neck, behind my ears, so it floats in my hair.

I will crawl naked into bed, float down under the comforter, raise my arms over my head and bury my face in my hair or my shoulder and breath the perfume into myself, my heart, my spirit.

I don’t know when I started that.

But I think it may have been when I was sixteen or seventeen and had splurged on a bottle of Calvin Klein Eternity.

I wore it all the time.

In fact, I probably over wore it, not realizing that my nose got accustomed to the scent, I would put on a lot more than I needed because I wanted to smell it on my body.

“There goes Carmen, wafting again,” one of my mom’s friends snickered as I passed by.

I was horrified.

I had no clue.

I learned then to put it on at night as heavy as I wanted to, the scent washing me to sleep and curling me into dreams.

Feverdown.

Eiderdown.

Soft warm clouds.

Ambient lightness.

Like a lit globe of fairy dust and tales of adventures and wandering.

My sister told me after we had moved out of the house in Windsor, that there were times she would go hang out in my room and lay on my bed and that my sheets always smelled of my perfume.

I found that sweet.

I still find that sweet.

And I am so happy to have this new scent to waft me into sleep and dreams and reverie with.  I am a very lucky girl.

I’m happy and healthy and taken care of.

I paid my rent today.

That always feels good.

I get to go to yoga in the morning.

That will feel lovely.

And.

Cherries are in season.

Oh so sweet.

My life.

A bowl of cherries.

A wash of spiced perfume.

The moon riding over the wine dark seas.

My heart on my sleeve.

Exactly where it should be.

All is right in the world.

Love.

Love.

It’s all around me.

 

 

Saying Hello

December 15, 2014

Just to say goodbye again.

Goodbye papa.

I love you.

I kissed his cheek.

It was surprisingly warm, and the warmth and the prickles of stubble startled tears from my eyes.

I left his room.

I had said my goodbyes.

I told him what I needed to say, I wrote him a card, I held his hand, I stroked his arm, his knees, and the tops of his feet.

If he wasn’t wearing a helmet to protect his head, I would have stroked his hair, so like mine, still so dark, the gray is in his beard.

That was new.

I have never seen my father with a beard.

It was not a full fledge beard, but it was far more hair on his face than I can ever recall having seen.

“Does anyone know what happened,” the night nurse asked.

“No,” I replied, but the nurse who I checked in with on Friday read the intake notes to me and it sounded like he was assaulted for his wallet.

There was no need to say the rest of the story, my father’s body tremors spoke the rest of the tale, the bruises and scrapes and scars, the toughened skin, the cracked toenails, the hair, too long—another thing I had not seen on my father, long hair—the swollen hands, the alcohol withdrawal was hard to watch and bear witness to, but bear I did.

“You did a fine thing, you showed up as a woman of valor and strength and whatever happens this is between you and your dad, and you deserve to go out and experience every rich and wonderful thing that life has to give you, you let yourself have those things.”

Thank you Honey.

I needed to hear those wise words.

And so many others.

My darling boyfriend.

My dearest best friend.

My mom.

My sister.

My grandmother.

The worlds all convened in one spot for me in one fulcrum of pain and sorrow and grief and joy and gratitude.

The gift of my father.

I thanked him for helping me find closure.

I don’t know if he will come out the other side of this, but I do know that I will.

Breathe and pray.

She said to me.

Breathe and pray.

And that’s really what I did.

I prayed and held his hand.

I also cried.

But have I had a really good sob?

Not yet.

I did for a moment break down when I left the ICU, said thank you to the kind nurses; I lost it for a moment there in the waiting room.

Barren but for I.

I crumpled.

My face fell.

The tears scalded my cheeks and I let loose a wail.

Then I breathed in and prayed out and asked for a little more strength.

There was no one to hold my hand through the walking out of that waiting room, but I was held nonetheless.

My eyes so blurred with tears that I could barely respond to the texts from my boyfriend, then, the elevator, the intake desk at the ER, the cab called, the wait while the crazy of a busy ER bloomed around me.

“Please, sit, really, the driver will come and call out your name,” the receptionist kindly spoke to me.

I thanked her, looked at the melee in the waiting room and withdrew to stand by the doors.

I am done with this place, this space, this ER, this ICU; I just want to go home.

Home.

San Francisco.

I met so many kind people while I was here, was helped immensely by the fellowship, welcomed and hugged, picked up and brought places, asked to read and share, drank many, many, many large cups of coffee, and cried in the safety of rooms that I knew would hold my tears and keep them safe.

I am so thankful, grateful, and in deep debt to these rooms and the amazing people I met, especially one lovely lady who really stepped up to help and be of service, may I have the graciousness within me to play that service forward.

I have thank you cards in my bag, which of course, I did not find a mailbox to mail them from, but they are there.

I bought them as well as a postcard and a refrigerator magnet at the Anchorage Museum.

I got out a little today in between the church basement and the hospital.

My new friend took me to a museum and we talked and laughed and shared our experiences and then went to a café and I had a big old green salad, oh San Francisco I do miss your lovely food, and it was so wonderful to connect with someone.

I met her just yesterday morning and she feels like an old friend.

Just one of the many gifts I am sure will come of this experience.

The gift of seeing my father and finding my way through to an adult experience to deal with the being there for my family and to also find a small space for myself to have my own experience and interaction.

My heart hurts.

I am tender.

I am wrung with tears.

“The Christmas lights are so pretty in the snow,” I texted my boyfriend.

The Christmas carols in the hallways of the hospital, the crying child, the mountains capped with white, the blue sky, the blaze of golden orange at 3:30 in the afternoon as the sun began its fast descent, the mix of cheer and pain and sorrow and joy.

The richness that is my life that I can hold more than one emotion at a time and allow space for all of them.

I am a vessel of love and I found that the depth and parameters of my heart are far bigger than I suspected.

That’s what happens.

God breaks open your heart to fill it further.

A split open heart has more room, more area, a cup, a chalice, and a field of blazing aurora borealis against the deep indigo sky, to hold love.

It’s a feeling I have not gotten used to, but it is not unfamiliar and in the feeling I know that the rendering of it will only make me love harder and more if I keep my heart field open.

That’s the best I have.

I let go.

I let God.

I surrendered.

I accept and am loved.

I was brave and will continue to honor my family, my friends, my love, myself, and most of all this wilderness that I have come through to another pivot point in my life, and that, that is the choice for me.

Life.

I choose to live.

Thank you, my father for my life.

I will live it well and full of love.

I promise.

 

 

 

In Blackwater Woods: Mary Oliver

Look, the trees

are turning

their own bodies

into pillars

 

of light,

are giving off the rich

fragrance of cinnamon

and fulfillment,

 

the long tapers

of cattails

are bursting and floating away over

the blue shoulders

 

of the ponds,

and every pond,

no matter what its

name is, is

 

nameless now.

Every year

everything

I have ever learned

 

in my lifetime

leads back to this: the fires

and the black river of loss

whose other side

 

is salvation,

whose meaning

none of us will ever know.

To live in this world

 

you must be able

to do three things:

to love what is mortal;

to hold it

 

against your bones knowing

your own life depends on it;

and, when the time comes to let it

go,

to let it go.

 

Sometimes People Die

December 14, 2014

I should rephrase that.

We all die.

Sometimes people die and then, well, they don’t.

I expected the worst when I got the phone call this week about my father, the surgery, the injury, the coma, the low quality of life he has had over the last few years (in and out of homeless shelters), rampant alcoholism.

Hell, the last few decades.

However, he’s tough.

Like me.

I get my toughness from him.

And my mouth and my hair and I hate to say it, my big old Hawaiian flat-footed feet, I mean, really, those are my feet.

And my nose.

And my hands.

And my hand in his.

It’s just a slightly smaller version.

Watching him struggle, watching the tubes tumbling out of every single limb on his body, was like watching a version of myself and what it could be like, well, if it weren’t like what it is, which is that–

I have recovered.

From a seemingly hopeless condition of mind and body.

My father has not.

Maybe.

Maybe he will.

Maybe he’s still digging that bottom of his.

Maybe he’ll die.

Maybe he won’t.

Well, he will, I will, you will, we all will, but maybe there might be some juice left, some special spark, some tremolo of love that sings out, come walk with me longer, look at the mountains, see the sunrise over the snow-covered trees and breathe the air–crisp, cold, bracing–let it fill your lungs and soul and heart.

Whenever it got to be too much I would walk the sky bridge between the ICU and the wing adjoining the Cancer Center.

It’s a skywalk with views of the mountains and it commands attention.

Nature.

God.

Great.

Out.

Doors.

What ever you want to call it; that which is a power greater than myself.

That tree, yes, that one, over there, its older than me, it was here before me and it will be here after me.

I am just a blink.

A particle of time and space and love.

But oh.

Such love.

How many times did I tell my father I loved him today?

A lot.

More than a few.

I told him, I told friends, I told my sister, and my mother, my grandmother, my uncle, my great-aunt in New York.

You know who I didn’t?

My boyfriend.

Not because I didn’t want to.

That’s another blog.

But out of fear.

And perhaps that lesson is the greatest one here.

Tell them all, tell them you love them, smother them with love, and tell yourself you love you.

“I have to go papa,” I said and squeezed his hand again.

It’s disconcerting, he’s so lively, so responsive, but it’s not cognitive response, it’s nerve response, it’s like watching a fish with electrodes moving it’s tail back and forth.  I don’t know how much is real, and I don’t want to give myself false hope or for that matter, anyone else.

He twitches and jerks and occasionally an eye opens and it rolls and I don’t see much there and I am afraid to not see it and afraid to see it all at the same time and then I think, he hears me, his head it turned, but then it turns back.

I squeeze his hand, my hand, that is my hand, there and stroke the pad of flesh with my thumb and rub it and touch it and warm the skin.

I lean in and find a place in between the maze of wires and find a spot I can kiss goodbye.

But not yet.

Not goodbye for good.

Just good-bye for a meal and a hot shower.

I stay as long as I can, then I go.

Twice today I went out, out into the world and then in and down into a church basement.

The great thing about where ever I go, there’s a church basement with a pot of coffee and some big styrofoam cups and some principles in red ink hanging from the wall and someone to offer me a suggestion.

“Pray and breathe,” she said to me.

Yes.

Pray and breathe.

It’s that simple.

And say I love you.

Again and again and again.

I love you for your brown eyes and your dark hair, and your big hands and strong legs, those legs, you gave me those, I recognize those knees and thighs–I use them every day on my bicycle or to walk or to kneel down and pray–for being so smart, “you got your intelligence from your dad” so my mom says (although I suspect I got my heart from my mom), and you gave me stories and you told me I was a writer.

“I always knew you’d grow up to be a writer,” my father said to me on the front porch of Patty’s house on Monroe Street in Madison.

We had just gotten a couple of cans of Barq’s (Famous Olde Tyme) root beer from the soda machine at the market–when it was still 35 cents a can and we’re drinking the cold pop on the steps smoking cigarettes and (watching Captain Kangaroo) watching the cars go by.

“You’re a story-teller, just like me,” he said and sipped on the pop and dragged off the cigarette.

The sun was warm, my feet were bare.

I was nineteen.

I was lost, pretty much a college drop out and my dad was basically couch surfing and dating the daughter (18 years old and therefore younger than me) of the woman who lived in the house whose porch we were sitting on (I ended up sleeping with her son, so I think we’re even on that score), living on food stamps and borrowed time.

But in that moment.

Exquisitely happy to be hanging with my pops on a porch, shooting the shit, telling stories, remembering when I was  little girl and he would ride me around on his motorcycle.

Not all my memories of my dad are so golden and shimmering and flecked with creamy root beer spiced carbonation.

I don’t know that I would cast the memories that I am creating here in this hospital as golden either.

But they are a gift.

It is a gift of immensity that I expect to be exploring with new and different eyes for some time to come.

And maybe my papa will come out of the coma while I am here.

And maybe he will not.

But I am here.

I showed up.

I grew up.

And in my heart, I’m still sitting on that porch listening to my father spin yarns and drink root beer in the dusk of a summer evening.

I love you Michael Martines.

I am your daughter.

You are my father.

And whatever happens.

Nothing will change that.

Love never dies.

Or grows older or fades.

It always stays.

So stay a little longer.

There are so many stories I haven’t told you yet.

 

 

 

The Kindness of Strangers

December 13, 2014

And those not so strange.

Perhaps I should just entitle this blog, “The Kindness.”

It has been a strange run of hours, surreal, be-spattered with rain and heavy tears.

Sorrow and grief and shock and then sleep and more tears and more rain.

My father is in the ICU at a hospital in Anchorage, Alaska.

A hospital I am on the way to.

I’m writing this blog from 10,000 plus feet on my connecting flight from Seattle to Anchorage. A flight, the kindness of strangers, that I should not be on.

“Stop, you don’t need to say more,” Rebecca at Alaska Airlines said to me, as I struggled to get out the words.

I had gotten off the plane from San Francisco and used the bathroom in the Seattle airport and figured I would find a snack or some dinner in the airport before connecting to my Anchorage flight.

However, the flight I was supposed to be on was showing a delayed boarding of more than two hours, add that to the two-hour layover and I was suddenly stranded in Seattle for four hours.

I’m only going to be in Alaska through Sunday night, I thought to myself and I walked in circles with my mom on the phone nattering about this and that and trying in her way to be supportive of me and my actions.

It’s not everyday a girl packs up her suitcase to see her father who she hasn’t seen in twelve years.

I finally saw a free agent at the airline and asked him for suggestions, he told me to head to gate 16, tell them that I needed to fly standby and see what they could do.

“My maiden name, Martines,” the woman at the airline counter said, followed by, “I just lost my father last month.”

We both teared up.

I had nothing in common with this woman, yet I had everything in common.

“I’ll get you on.” Rebecca said, “Go stand over there.”

And she did.

In effect saving me not only the two-hour delay on my flight, but gaining me an additional two hours to be in Alaska.

It’s not as dire as my blog sounds.

And it is.

I received a message from my uncle, as I was, irony? Heading into General Hospital, the locked down psych ward, with my boyfriend who does service there once a month.

I was going to assist and be sharing that evening.

As I reached for my phone as we headed into the doors, I heard a little ping.

Normal behavior?

Ignore it, turn off the phone, I have things to do, places to be, experience to share.

But as the doors locked behind us and we headed to the secured elevator, something prompted me to check the message.

“Emergency, call now.”

Followed by two numbers.

I called my uncle.

My father was in surgery, it didn’t look good.

Fact is.

My father hasn’t looked good in a while.

“Where’s my sister?” I asked him as he stood leaned against her apartment door building the winter of 2002, I had come back to surprise my friends and family in Madison from a recent move to San Francisco.

“I’m babysitting for her, she’s out,” my father said, sheepish in the light coming from behind him. My heels crunched in the snow, I felt the slip of ice under my feet, I had already lost my “snow legs” after just a few months in California, the ground wasn’t holding firm.

He smelt.

Beer.

Sweat.

Cigarettes.

Pot.

Fear.

And under the rank and file odor, he smelled like home, like my papa, like my dad, but I hadn’t called him either of those monikers in a long time.

He was Michael and he became that to me at an age when most kids are fostering a relationship with their fathers, not wondering where their dad was.

I have since grown up a lot.

However.

I have not sustained a relationship with my father.

He has been too active in his disease, that of alcoholism, and whatever else that has served to numb out the pain of existence.

I stopped engaging a long time ago.

I cut him out.

I cut him out with a machete.

I dropped a wall.

I said, I don’t ever want to see you again or speak to you unless you are sober.

He has not ever gotten sober.

But I did.

And in those moments of clarity when I look back I can see I was protecting myself, but maybe, just a little too fiercely.

Maybe just a little too hard.

“He thinks the world of you,” my sister said last night, sobbing when I told her the news that I was going.

Insert the kindness of those not so strange.

My employers.

They gifted me their frequent flyer miles.

I did not pay for this airplane ride.

I am still in shock at the largess of the gift.

“What! You have to take it,” she said to me over the phone as I sat numbed out (but warm—oh the loveliness of a car seat warmer) in the passenger seat of my boyfriend’s car.

“They want you to have it, they really do.” She continued.

And I realized, right then, right there, she was right.

And I wanted, no, I needed, to go.

I also decided, at that moment to grow up.

I called my grandmother, I got the name of the hospital, I called the hospital, I talked to the nursing staff, and I got the news.

The doctor was smiling, but the news wasn’t good.

He was alive.

But they don’t know, they wouldn’t know the extent of the brain damage for a few more days, he suffered blunt head trauma, they had removed a large clot and stopped several other bleeders, but “your dad’s a very sick man, he has a very sick brain,” the nurse said.

I think he may have been referring to more than just the trauma he had suffered.

I don’t know how the injury happened.

I have some suspicions.

Suffice to say, that’s not important now.

My dad came out of the surgery alive, with the brain swelling alleviated, they took off part of his skull to let the pressure go down, he was in a coma that from what I understand was medically induced to help with pain (but folks, I may be wrong about the details, the fog of grief makes distortions, it does).

He can track with his eyes; he can squeeze the doctor’s fingers.

I don’t know what to expect.

My heart aches.

I have hope.

One small sliver of hope.

He’ll recognize me and know I forgave him a long, long time ago.

That I love him.

Always have.

Always will.

And maybe

Just maybe.

He’ll squeeze my hand too.

Slippery When Wet

December 3, 2014

A. The name of an album my sister gave me when I was a sophomore in highschool.

B. The roads this morning and evening on my bicycle commute through the wilds of San Francisco.

C. The two-year old jumping in and out of the bathtub this evening.

D. All of the above.

It was an intense day.

Not a horrible one, but lots of small things that put me just a tiny bit off kilter.

I don’t believe that I acted off kilter though, or mean, or upset, or anything generally, other than serene.

I gave myself extra time this morning to ride my bicycle to work–it’s rainy out their folks go slow–the roads are slick, the paint on the roads is slippery and the leaves and acorns and walnuts strewn across the bike paths are a veritable mine field of slick danger.

Plus, there’s the drivers, the weird that comes out of the drivers in the city when it rains, I just don’t understand it, even after being here in the city for twelve years and actively riding a bicycle in the city for the last eight years, it never fails to astonish me the odd things that people do in the rain.

Pulling out in front of pedestrians, not using turn signals, suddenly and for no apparent reason backing up in the bicycle lane on the down ward slope of Oak Street as it’s about to cross Divisadero.

Without using a turn signal or flashers.

I couldn’t figure out at first if I was just going faster than I thought and coming up on the car, when, no, it’s moving and it either doesn’t see me or it doesn’t care, and I have to flash out into the traffic pulling up alongside me and I have limited vision with the hood of my rain jacket over my head.

Ugh.

It was nerve-wracking.

Slow.

Treacherous.

I had to get off my bicycle at the corner of 17th and Church Street and cross my bicycle over the MUNI tracks, I wobbled on them the last time it was wet and slippery and I had no desire to repeat the performance while skidding out into the middle of the intersection.

I had more than a few moments of fear fantasy monopolizing my brain with ankle breaking road accidents and broken arms and hips and legs.

However, despite the fear factory chugging along quite noisily on my way to work, nothing happened.

Which was good as work has been intense this week.

There’s construction happening and the entire kitchen has had to be packed up and moved out of the kitchen.

I walked into the melee yesterday with movers packing and crating and dismantling and moving.

A lot of stuff went into the downstairs bathroom and office, some into the house next door, and the kitchen there had to be set up and unpacked.

I was in charge of dismantling and putting away and moving the boys toys and books.

Up and down the stairs into the two bedrooms, plus pulling out and trashing a few things, organizing spaces, recycling a bunch of things, cleaning out the refrigerator, making food the best of my ability between the two kitchen’s until things got set up and dealing with two wild little monkeys who couldn’t get out to the park because it was too wet.

That’s a lot of intense little boy energy to deal with.

Bath time was a riot of monkey shines.

But in the end it all got done and I found myself with 45 minutes between work and my next commitment.

I went and did some grocery shopping.

I also picked up a few little gifts for the family.

Slippery When Wet.

That was the hint my sister gave me when I asked what she had gotten me for Christmas.

I was flummoxed.

What the hell was slippery when wet?

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the gift was.

I never in 100 years would have guessed it was the vinyl record for Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet album.

Never.

I had no idea who Bon Jovi was.

My sister, on the other hand, knew who the he was.

I suspect the gift may have been more for her than for I.

And that makes me laugh now.

It also gives me a sense of gratitude, for my sister, for my family, my mom, my nieces, my sweet female centric family.

I have been more in touch with them over the last few years and it is nice to have a family to think about at the holidays again, there were so many holidays when I wasn’t able to be in contact with them, it’s nice to have them back.

I love giving people presents.

It warms something in me and I especially love giving presents at Christmas time.

My mom used to call me Martha Stewart around the holidays and I suspect I was making up for the lost holidays of my childhood when I never quite got what I wanted and the tally of gifts that I did get was nowhere near the haul of loot the kids in school got or my cousins, for that matter, who were all too eager to share the tales of largess.

I still have aspects of that in myself and I am reconciled to it.

I have also balanced it out.

I know how much I can spend on others without hurting myself financially.

I am able to stand for myself and give to those I love.

I did my spending plan today during a moment of quiet when the little one was napping and the older boy was still at preschool.

I figured out how much I can spend on gifts and still take care of my needs.

I have my family and a new boyfriend to account for.

Lovely things to have.

Plus friends and family that I send Christmas cards to.

I have bought two boxes of holiday cards and a packet of seasonal stamps.

I am on it.

I even mailed my first card out today.

With the last payment on my scooter!

She’s mine free and clear.

Not that I have any desire to hop on her in this weather, but it’s nice to have that all done.

I don’t mind the rain, though, when it’s falling the world sparkles with a different kind of sheen and reminds me that beauty is everywhere, the neon red of street lights smeared on the bike path, the Christmas lights on the tree across the street from work, the reminder of the wet roads in Paris when I was there in the winter a couple of years ago now.

Things may be slippery and wet, but they are also shiny, sparkly, and new.

Look at me.

Already full of holiday cheer.

Thank You For Wearing Flowers In Your Hair

January 16, 2014

She said to me this evening as I was leaving the neighborhood to hit Irving Street and play defensive bicyclist trying not to die so you can find a parking spot.

“They really suit you, I can’t get away with it,” she concluded.

“Thank you,” I said and smiled.

It is San Francisco.

Here, as the song goes, of all places, I am allowed to wear flowers in my hair.

Even hot pink roses with glitter on them.

What it felt like I was being complimented on was being myself.

Whenever someone comments on a colorful outfit or a bright pattern, or an interesting hair do, flowers, sequins, feathers, anyone?

I always feel that I am being told, thank you for being you.

That by allowing myself the freedom to express my personality, I give permission to others to do so as well.

I could be reading too much into that, but that is what it feels like and I am more than happy to oblige.

I like this me.

“She gets more and more glamorous!” My grandmother told my mother recently.

My grandmother on my father’s side who is a Facebook friend.

My mother and she re-united recently, first through the post then over the phone.  That was news I wasn’t expecting.  It was also some news of my father whom I have not heard from in sometime, news that he is still up in Alaska and well, still alive.

Sometimes I feel that I won’t get to see him again, but in the wake of all the family reconnecting I have gotten to have I won’t make any sort of assumption.

There was a time that I never thought I would see my mom or my sister again, so who knows what may happen with my dad.

I would love to see him.

Even if just to hug him and say, hey, I love you, you did the best you could, and I am pretty awesome.

Just check out all the geegaws in my hair.

Ha.

Individuality, despite my wanting to fit in and be accepted by my peers, is a huge thing for me.  I like to be different, to try, to stretch, to be fabulous.

Then, I think, ha, part of my peer group is the Burning Man community, I fit right in just fine.  Fact, most the time I am not the most crazily dressed, but I do take care to express myself and I like pretty.

I do.

I like girly.

Who knew?

I could keep writing about this and if I’m not careful I will be pulling out my crinoline to rock around the park tomorrow with my little girl Thursday.

Which, when I think on it for a minute would be awesome.

She has a black tulle crinoline with little black sequins on the edges.

I could wear my white one and we can play dress up.

Or.

Heh.

I could wear my bibs, which is what I think I am going to wear, especially since she has a pair and we can play twins that way.

If my career as a nanny doesn’t take off I can always be a child stylist.

Bahahahahaha.

Actually, I bet that is someone’s job.

I mean think of all the commercials out there with children in them, I bet there are folks that do just that, style kids.

Hmmm.

Well, for the moment, I am not looking for work, having accepting the nanny career in an unstinting manner.

“How old are they?” She asked me at the park as one crawled over the other and zipped down the slide.

“He’s twenty-two and a half months, and he’s eleven and a half months,” I said pointing out each of the boys.

“Oh my, did that hurt?” The woman asked looking quite alarmed.

“Huh?” I said, then realizing what she meant I laughed, “oh no, they’re not mine, I am their nanny.  I do a nanny share with the boys.”

The boys.

Oh, such lovers, such pumpkins, such non-nappers.

Ugh.

I couldn’t be upset though, the snuggles, the hugs, the kisses, I missed my little guys when I was down in Florida.

And should you have seen me showing off the photographs of the two of them and the little girl I care for as well; you would have thought I was the grandparent at the retirement village.

It was a great day with the boys and I loved being out in the weather.

I know we need the rain, but man, I couldn’t get enough of that warm sunshine on my face.  In fact, there was a cold front moving into Florida when I left and it was warmer here than it was in Orlando today.

That is saying something.

I got the sweetest message from my mom and I thought again how glad I was to have made the trip.  Glad as well to know that I have a few things I want to send back to my family, things that you can only get in San Francisco.

Coffee for my mom from Philz.

It turns out the last time she was here and I took her to Philz that it was the best cup of coffee she had ever had.

I had not known that, so I asked if she would like some Philz coffee sent to her and she would.  So, I will send a little care package to her.  In fact, I will do that this Friday.

I am going to be in the Castro nannying in the afternoon and there’s a Philz nearby.  I will grab her a pound and send it off.

There are a few other little things I want to send my sister and her family too.

Nice to know that I don’t have to wait for Christmas to send love.

I can just do it because it feels nice to give things.

Whether it is the freedom to express yourself or express your love.

It’s all a great big gift.

Thank you for acknowledging my flowers, it makes me happy to make you happy.

And who doesn’t like pink satin and glitter anyways?


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