Learning To Fly 4-22-2021

And days go on. Days counting down slowly and cruelly since I lost one of my best friends. Cindy Bergin, I miss you with every inch and fiber of my being. When I had forgotten how to swim, you taught me how to float, then how to swim again, and then you taught me how to fly.

And how do I go on? Without you, I would have never learned to stand on my own, to walk away when the moments called for it. You taught me self-sufficiency and hope for the future.

Cindy, you were one of the most self-aware and self-sufficient person I have ever know. You lived life to its fullest. How do I go on?

It is hard to put into words what you meant to me and what I know you meant to all your other friends and family. You were a light in the darkness. You were a fierce friend, willing to drop everything in an instant to support your friends.

I enjoyed writing with you. You were wild and free and happy to go to the extremes of the universe. Our ships will never fly again without you. How do I go on?

I remember the first time I met you in person. It was at Breyerfest. I hadn’t even known you collected Breyer horses and then you were coming down to Kentucky. We passed each other by at first, neither of us recognizing the other for a moment. And then you were there and my life began to change for the better.

After that, I looked forward to Breyerfest not only because it was a celebration of the model horses I had collected since childhood, but because you were there. Going home from Breyerfest was like a loss, but there was always next year. Now there are no more next years.

Nine hours is too far to separate friends, but, at the same time, those nine hours meant nothing. We saw each other once a year and yet, no matter how long between times we talked, every time was like we had spent no time apart. How do I go on?

You made me laugh at the world and at myself, but, even more important, you showed me the power of love. You never ended a phone call without saying “I love you.” And I suspect, you ended every call with every friend and family member with those exact same words. How do I go on?

I know, one day, the pain of your loss will fade. It will never go away completely, but it will fade. I will learn how to celebrate your life and live with the emptiness you left in mine. But right now all I have is tears for the loss I will feel for the rest of my life.

Cindy, you were, and still are, a friend of a lifetime. I will never know another person like you. How do I go on?

More importantly, how do we all go on without you?

Question of the Week 4-21-21

What words or phrase do you need to hear today?

“Everything is going to be all right.”

That’s what I need to hear today. Two weeks ago, I lost one of my best friends. My whole world changed and I need to know that, in the end, things will be okay. My world will keep turning and the empty space in my life will not always be so large and….. empty. I can’t even write about it, the pain is so fresh. So, today, I just need to know it will be all right in the end.

What Is It You Are Avoiding At This Point In Time?

A fellow blogger, Reena Saxena, asked this question in her Exploration Challenge. This question stopped me dead in my tracks. Well, my reading, thinking, tracks.

It made me wonder – what am I avoiding at this point in time? How about a bunch. A passel. More than I could put into one post.

But really, this isn’t true. Saying there are too many things to count is just another way of avoiding. If there are too many, why bother? Let’s just toss the question aside and move on.

Which, in itself, is a cop-out. So is my life an endless circles of cop-outs?

I sincerely hope not, but what do I know? I can’t even list avoided ‘things.’

So, if I brave up and seriously think about the question, what do I find?

I find I am avoiding the world right now. But no, that’s quite true. I am avoiding myself. I am out of work and feeling like anybody else in the world can get a job except me. I am often told, so-and-so called this place and got a job.  She put in an application here and got a job. He interviewed here and got hired. And on and on.

I’m told, “With your skills, you will have no problem finding a job.” Truth is, I don’t have a job. Where are these ‘no problem’ jobs?

So what the hell is wrong with me?

Sorry, got carried away there.

But I hope you get the point. Which isn’t, by the way, me freaking out about the job, but that I’m avoiding the whys or hows or whens. I don’t want to face myself if I’m somebody who can no longer get a job. If a medical mistake had changed the entirety of who I am.

I don’t want to face myself as I stand on the threshold of financial failure. The Bi-Polar me doesn’t even know how to see myself anymore.

Who am I? This is what I am avoiding.

Am I better knowing this? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s safer to pretend.

So, then, the question is:

Am I willing to stop pretending?

I don’t know.

I do know I am thankful to Reena for asking the question in the first place.

What are you avoiding at this point in time?

 

Here is the link to Reena’s challenge

 

 

Sunday Photo Fiction – January 8th 2017

The idea of Sunday Photo Fiction is to create a story / poem or something using around about 200 words with the photo as a guide. Please try to keep it as close to the 200 words as possible.

189-01-january-8th-2017

They sat quiet, button eyes staring, fur smooth beneath her stroking hand. They hadn’t been loved enough to show the caress of a child’s grubby hand. The tight hugs of comfort. The bare patches, the shifted stuffing, the lost eyes, hadn’t yet touched them in their casual yet honest lounge against the pillows.

She picked them up, kissing each lightly before settling them down, arranging teddy bear limbs just so. Her own bear lay in the bottom of a drawer, patches holding him together for one more day. Button eye lost but still smiling.

Mandy would never hug a bear, whisper secrets into cloth ears late into the night. Still, she liked to think that maybe, in her dreams, Mandy had whispered her hopes and fears. She needed to know something remained of her baby. Something in these three bears, some love, some hope, some unknowing happiness. Something tiny tucked deep inside.

The bears sat on the bed for the rest of her life, accepting the kisses she would never give her child.

 

Daily Post One Word Prompt – Fish

Fish

He threw the fish up on the bank with a puff of dust. It flopped for a moment then stilled. I remember daddy telling me fish can’t breathe air; out of the water they drown. I watched it flop and then lay still, gasping. Drowning in a people’s world.

Splashing out of the water, he looked at the fish, toed it with his boot, let out a curse. “Ain’t enough on this one to eat,” he growled, gathering up his gear and moving down the river to try again.

I stayed with the fish. Maybe it was playing dead? Maybe somehow it kept just enough water inside itself that, once our backs were turned, it would slither down to the water and swim off, a wiser fish for having been caught.

But it lay still, eyes blind, too small to eat, yet not too small to catch. Reaching out a hand, I touched its side. It’s scales felt smooth and damp, fins sharp along the edges and along it’s back. What kind of fish was it?  Had it had a family? Friends?

I didn’t know if fish has such things as families and friends, but I felt sure they must have. Had daddy looked like this when he was dead? My sister wouldn’t let me see him and so I imagined he had looked like this, sleek and beautiful, drowning in air.

Picking the fish up, I brought him to my nose, fishy smell taking me back to daddy’s boat, nets folded, desk cleaned for the next days fishing. He promised when I turned eleven, he would take me out to watch the fishing. I was fascinated with the nets and he let me play among them as long as I didn’t tangle them. Everything smelt of fish and sweat and daddy.

Somebody took the boat away the next day.

When he drowned in the air, my sister had him burnt. I couldn’t understand how my big daddy fit into such a little container. Where are his legs, I asked my sister. In the urn. Where are his arms which held me tight, swing me up into the air when he’d come home from a good day fishing? In the urn. His smile? In the urn.

A boat took us away from the coast. My sister clutched the urn, looking out over the sea. I stood beside her, holding to the stiff material of her shirt. When the boat stopped, she turned to me.

“This is where he wanted to be,” she told me. Knelt down. “Do you understand, Jonny? Father is dead and we are burying him at sea. This,” she held out the urn, “is all that remains except what we remember.  We will always remember him, Jonny, always.”

She hugged me.  “Don’t ever forget. Don’t ever forget.”

She poured some of him into my hands and stood, urn on the railing.

“Goodbye, Father,” she whispered as she turned the urn over. He floated out, tiny grey sparkles of him, catching the winds, tumbling down to the water and gone.

I looked at the handful of daddy in my hands. I wouldn’t let him go. If I never dropped the ash in my hand, he would never leave. I’d carry him in my pocket forever.

“Come on, Jonny, hurry up.”

As she turned to walk away, I dropped daddy into my pocket. Maybe when I was eleven, we could still go out and fish. I could hold his pole for him. I would be eleven, old enough to hold the pole.

Picking up the dead fish, I walked to the edge of the river, looked into its eyes one more time. “I don’t have anything to put you in,” I whispered and gave it a kiss. “Will you find my daddy for me? He’ll take care of you.”

And then I slid him into the water, watching his tiny body drift away on the current. I lifted my hand in farewell and he was gone.