Thursday, November 24, 2022

The Good Life

Life just keeps getting better. If I put the old me next to today's me, we would look alike but actually be two almost completely different people. Healing is a beautiful thing. I can breathe, I can cry, I can laugh. 

I took Number Nine to the lake last night while his mommy took the Little One to Urgent Care for an earache. The ever changing lake shore has captured this boy's heart and imagination. Sticks, stones, and running water. Is there anything more for which a boy could ask? 

In another week I'll be packing my suitcase for my trip to Florida. I'm going early this year. Early for Christmas, that is. I'm looking forward to a wonderful trip and perhaps a meetup with a friend I haven't seen in almost 47 years. I can't wait to give him a big hug.

On Tuesday I left work a little early for an appointment in the Village of Webster where I submitted a passport application. The "long form" birth certificate finally arrived in the mail. Now I wait for the passport. Where will I go? I haven't a clue but I'm one step closer and a little bit excited.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Out With the Old

Who am I kidding? The old typically has to be torn from my clenched and grasping fingers... I'm learning to let go, but it's not an easy exercise.

I have a new (to me) box spring and mattress. My tiny bedroom feels so much smaller and yet the bed is only taller, not wider. And three feet away from the wall. So I can sit up in bed without my head hitting the roof.

Two weeks ago my chiropractor asked, "How old is your pillow?" And "How old is your mattress?" My pillow gave up the ghost long ago. But I keep it because... well, because it's been with me for so long. The mattress? I picked it up at a friend's garage sale. It's not terribly old, but I know it isn't doing my back any favors. 

When I got home I sent my cousin a text message. "Do you still have Maddie's bed?" (She's been trying to find a new home for her daughter's bed since May.) I knew the mattress on Maddie's bed would be much better quality than the one I currently slept on. I was relieved to find she still had it and was still looking to find it a new home. All I needed was a truck to move it.

I sent a text to my friend Dan. "My cousin has a single bed for me," I told him, "but I need a truck to move it. Do you know anyone with a truck?"

"I might," he said. "Let's do this."

So Sunday afternoon, while the sun was shining and November was playing June, he helped me move that bed from my cousin's house to  my garage. Later that day I hauled the box spring, which was wearing a fitted sheet, up my attic stairway to my bedroom. (Don't tell Dan.) Sergio helped me with the mattress and I have a much more comfortable spot to sleep. I'm adjusting to having space between myself and the wall, and also to being a foot higher off the floor. I have another chiropractor appointment on Monday. If I don't smash my head into any shelves at work (did that just after my last appointment) or my own ceiling here at home, my neck should feel better. (I tossed the old pillow on the floor and am getting used to a new one.) My lower back, aggravated by constantly lifting babies at work, should at least get a break from the abuse when I go to bed at night. The mattress is fabulous.

I have yet to clean out my clothes closet and sort through various and sundry items that clutter my room and take up space in the attic. I need to let go of so many things, but I'm not sure how without feeling panicky. What if I let go of the wrong things?

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

This is Your Life (or mine)

I went to my high school reunion looking not only for connection, but to come clean as well. I've woken up thinking about Frank telling me he couldn't find my picture in the yearbook, wondering if perhaps I'd missed some bit of rudeness or an intentional jab, but all I can come up with is an unintentional compliment. For some reason unknown to me, he was expecting me to be there this weekend and had actually looked for me in the yearbook. This is one of the guys that 90% of the girls had a mad crush on 41 years ago. He was nice looking, but not one of my crushes. To the best of my recollection, he never acknowledged me, until the reunion (He was a somewhat quiet kind of guy.) , so the fact that he sought me out and asked the question is accepted as complimentary. Now I'm finding myself more concerned about the friend who, in her effort to protect me from prying questions, may have inadvertently steered people away from me. I wanted them to ask questions, but hardly anyone did.

After the reunion was over, I posted this on their Facebook page. For those who wondered and didn't ask. For those who asked someone other than me, for those who didn't ask but were told something anyway, for those who have known all along, and for those who didn't even remember me. It's not "water under the bridge" as one friend put it. It is my story and it deserves to be told.
Although I started kindergarten in Webster (I was part of the group who walked to Spry from Indian Village for a week or so when the school budget didn't pass in 1969) and attended Webster School for all of that time, I ended up not graduating with the Class of 1982. It's one of those things I've grieved silently for years. When the Class of 1981 was graduating on June 20, I was getting married. Our first son was born in Albuquerque, NM that September. We would go on to be married for well over 30 years. In that time we had seven beautiful children. I received my GED after our third child was born, not quite the same as a regular diploma but it brought a small sense of closure at the time.

Today I am back in Indian Village, living in the tiny ranch my parents called home my entire childhood, looking out the front window at one lonely Webster water tank where there used to be two. Our children are grown and we have more grandchildren than most of you could imagine. (I have a hard time imagining it myself...) 
I am so grateful to have been included in last night's gathering of the Class of 1982. The sixteen year old Martha thanks you. (And the 17 year old one too.) Thank you to each one who signed my 40 year old yearbook. It's no longer completely empty. I'm looking forward to seeing last night's pictures and meeting up with some of you for lunch or coffee in the future.
The mind is still settling. It was quite the weekend in more ways than one.

Monday, November 07, 2022

The Vulnerable

Years back I read that being vulnerable could be healing, that sometimes a secret is harder to live with than the truth. 

There are still days when I'm uncertain as into whose universe I've been dropped.

Will I ever find love?

Will I learn to love the solitary existence?

How can something feel so comfortable and yet lead seemingly nowhere?

Sunday, November 06, 2022

The Savage Salve

Still absorbing the weekend... trying to put words to the tangle of emotions swirling through my mind. There have been laughter, tears, and sighs of relief. I confronted long held fears. After 41 years  I went "back to school" (by way of the 40 year class reunion) and owned my past, a past that isn't near as frightening today as it was at seventeen. (I was 15 in this photo but it was all I could at the moment.)

"Martha, I looked for your picture in the yearbook," a former classmate told me on Friday evening, "and it wasn't there. Did you know your picture isn't in the yearbook?"

"I wasn't there," I answered, "I didn't graduate."

Gail said it was a weird question and she was annoyed he'd said it. She was more offended than I was. I hadn't been offended at all. I hadn't even thought to be offended. Whether it was an honest question or not didn't really matter. He was absolutely right. My picture is not in the yearbook. Besides, he addressed me by name. I wasn't invisible. He saw me.

Another classmate stopped to say how he'd always had a sweet spot for me. I'm not sure I ever spoke with him in school, but he saw me... Another called my name and gave me a big hug. One of my favorite guys at school. He's still loved by everyone and he still makes everybody smile. He saw me too.

Being seen is healing. Being seen for who I am and what I have been through is healing. I still might need a good long cry, the cleansing kind that washes away the built up tension, but that will come in time.

Friday, November 04, 2022

It's Been A Week (Almost)

Crazy busy. Something going on every day and night. I've consumed more coffee than usual, partially on purpose and partially... well... on purpose, I guess. Ha ha!

Sunday. The birthday party for Idris. It was a huge success. All of my area kids were here, and all of my local grandchildren except one. There were cupcakes, there was pie, and thanks to Abuelita, there was a Bounce House.

Monday. Work. Chiropractor appointments.

Tuesday. Work. Hannah took my car for an evening appointment. I watched the kids and made dinner.

Wednesday. Work. Therapist at 6 pm.

Thursday. Work. Grand Opening Ceremony at the Chiropractor's new office. (It was a fabulous party!)

Friday. Work. Pre High School Class Reunion gathering at the New York Beer Project. (I'm digesting this experience. Processing, processing... ) That's me and my second cousin Kathy. I haven't seen her since we were in high school forty years ago. It was a fabulous evening and I am looking forward to the dinner tomorrow night.

The week's not over yet. We still have tomorrow.