Crossing the Bridge without you (Prose)

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can I cross the bridge from life to death
when my last breath is drawn
not knowing what's on the other side
can I leave those I love and say goodbye
what thoughts in my last moments
that I have been granted on this earth
stay ~ please let me stay
as my hand is held in yours

I don't think I'm ready, there is so much
I've yet to do, the pain of leaving
~ living without you
is one that I can't fathom, there's so much
more I want to see; the walk across the bridge
is frightening, not knowing where it leads
cry not, once I am gone
as I walk away from you, be strong and
smile at memories ~ the love I have for you

I am being called now
there is no more pain within
my voice is silently swallowed
my breath begins to fade
I'll walk with unsure footsteps
across this bridge to the unknown
and I take my last look at you
my family and my home

How I wish I could wipe your tears
to tell you don't be sad
I want to see your smiling face
now give your Pop his final hug
I'm glad you were my daughter
~ I'll miss you more than you will know
be strong my darling girl
as I cross my bridge alone

©jmtacken Dec 2013  (Fictional)

For Prompt 32 http://mindlovemisery.wordpress.com

I tried not to have an end pattern rhyme, but I simply couldn't..

Something different from Prose – Just a ramble

I forgot to do a ‘How my weekend was’, mind you I did not have enough to write about.  Friday I spent the day at the penguins and did their weeding for 5 hours, yes my bum cheeks and thighs felt it Saturday.

Saturday afternoon, went to the ‘The Circle’ to watch the fledging mediums strut their stuff, unfortunately no one wanted to talk to me. Sunday? Um Sunday – scratches head – oh yes Sunday in the afternoon went for a demonstration of a Thermomix machine the whizz bang German made cutter, slicer, dicer, scales, cooker, bread & maker everything you can imagine all in one unit that does everything apart from brown the meat. At $2,000.00 a bargain…. no I did not buy one. I hardly cook these days and not working still thought better of it.

Remember the diamond I lost out of my ring, I didn’t have enough Insurance so they only could pay out $1,000 (the diamond was $2000) so sadly instead of putting it towards another gem, I will be using this money to help with the bills etc.

I did see a service last Monday with another Celebrant from the same company as the first one I saw. This one was a gentleman however. It was a bit eerie as the service was held in the same Chapel where Mr. S.’s mum had hers. I watched him ‘do his thing’ and although he spoke quite well, to me he was to business like, there was no emotion in what he said, though he paused at the right moments.

The positive that came out of this was that this time,  I met the owner of the F.D Home. Mal, a lovely elderly gentlemen. He said Liz (the lady I first saw) I know I am testing memories here from previous posts, has been with them for years and she does generic services (I call that lazy). Greg has also been since the company started, so they have to give them priority. BUT  (I know you can’t sentences with but) he said that his niece also did services but didn’t really want to do them anymore, so they have 2, but they could do with 3… and to keep in touch with his son who is now waiting for an appropriate (hopefully smooth sailing) funeral for me to conduct on trial.

So each day I sit and write, and visit the folks – oh yes, sorry,  I haven’t really updated them have I. Dad is doing okay after his 3rd fall. We are off to see the Oncologist next week. We have to wait till the end of Nov for mums Geriatric assessment. We are in the process of getting the medical alerts pendants and also another assessment to how they are coping living in their home.

Pop is feeling weaker though, I went in yesterday and he was asleep at 10 (he wakes at 5) but normally doesn’t sleep till the afternoon. In fact sometimes when I am sitting there during the day he nods off in the chair at the kitchen table. Mum started crying, which got me going and he said he is feeling useless and weak.

Each day as it comes, that’s all I can get through and hope that he is with us for a long time to come.

 

Now just to brighten the mood a little…. Daughter # 2 has a onsey – I tried it on this morning for a giggle, so that you may too. Erm I’m a Unicorn in case you are wondering.

 

Onesy anyone

 

 

from warmth to cold..holiday ends

blah grey..maybe if I shut my eyes
squint my face, turn three circles
anti-clockwise
the sun will shine again
..nope that didn’t work

blah rain…maybe if close one eye
twist my mouth to the right side
tilt my head towards the ceiling light
the sun will….
nope no joy there

blah undomestic bliss returns
…maybe if I grab the doona
shuffle my whole self underneath
it will disappear…
nope you guessed it
that didn’t work either

blah…the time when you
come home, unpack
put a load of washing
on, hang it up on horses (not real ones)
that would just be stupid

watch telly, look at each other, both
say “can we go back?” we know
we can’t, switch the station
YAY …. cricket…no not YAY at all
and daughter’s on my MAC
right where’s my IPad

The let down, the exhilaration of being away, having a holiday, viewing the world in a different light…only to return to the same furniture, the dishes not put away (thanks daughter #2) and the ..well the same ol shite. Ho hum holidays so good in one respect, so nasty in another. We left at 27deg C we returned to 100km winds, rain and Eskimo temperatures.
What more can I say (and yes the poor dog next door which belongs to the couples daughter and they have been minding him all winter) is outside on concrete and cries….that is stressing me more than being back.

A Review of my memoir The Empty Nest – A Mother’s Hidden Grief

I have just met Michael on WP and he very kindly bought my Memoir and may I say read it within a day or two. He has been absolutely gracious by submitting a review on Amazon which I post below.

Those who know me, also know that I do not push my book onto you, this is not why I started this site, for I feel uneasy about self promoting. I post this because I am humbled knowing that people have read my work, read the words that I had written, this is an absolute joy for me, whether they like what I have written or not, I have pride that I can call myself a writer, something I have dreamed about for so long.

My penned words about what I experienced when my girls left home, have now been read by 72 people – this may seem small – to me it is huge. Large profits – I make not – knowing that people can resonate with what I have written – that is worth so much more.

To Michael I thank you, from the bottom of my heart for this review.

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Review

The Empty Nest

A Mother’s Hidden Grief

J M Kadane

Jenny Kadane’s book chronicling her life bringing up two daughters is an excellent account of her life exploring the journey she makes with them from birth to the present time. She takes us through the good and the bad moments of parenting with great honesty and clarity.

Her writing is straightforward, accessible and at times you find your self laughing at the funny things she recalls but there are other times where you find yourself expressing your own emotional response to the stories many of which, as a parent, you relate to.

There are features within this text that give it a universal appeal.

As parents we all have to deal with the day our children decide it is time for them to leave home.

We often agonise over them leaving, fearful of what they will have to deal with in the big wide world and always we want to be protective of them.

No parent ever wants to see their child suffering and we go to great lengths to provide support and back ups for the times when they do break free and leave the nest.

All of these issues are dealt with in great detail and the reader is able to easily empathise with the writing and sentiments being expressed.

There are times in this text where Ms Kadane comes across as a highly emotional woman. (In fact she does make the point at various times in her work that she was aware of her emotional outpourings.)

Rather than being a text, which could have descended into a study of emotional angst, she is clever in reflecting constantly on her own emotions, and on the significance of the events that occur in her life.

Ms Kadane’s daughters, like most children grow and become their own persons.  As a parent we know our children do not grow up to necessarily reflect our attitudes nor do they always do what you would wish for them to do.

The factor for me, which made me connect so readily with her words, was the attitude that she was always there for her girls. It is easy to say these things but as a parent when your children transgress from what you consider the norms of society and test your patience and fortitude ‘hanging in there with them’ can take great courage.

‘The Empty Nest” is a record of the love of a mother, the fierce determination to be the best mother she can be along with her own reflections and understandings of how each development in her daughters lives impacted on her.

As a male reader I was immediately taken by the depth of her writing. I could relate so well to the emotions she was experiencing.

Fathers also feel a sense of grief when their children leave. We like to have our children ‘within’ arms length’ so to speak. Like Ms Kadane we also crave a regular contact with our children.

You finish the text thinking what a brave woman she is to have sat and reflected as she has done on her life. She owns all the mistakes she admits she’s made, there is no glossing over the truth and for this reason the book has great value to other mothers and I might add fathers as well.

No reader will regret the time spent on this excellent book. A great read.

Michael Grogan

Parent

Teacher

July 2013.

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Back in April, Meditating Mummy also read and wrote a review, to her I am immensely grateful. I am ‘chuffed’ that people have taken the time to read and to write their thoughts. You may see her review on the below link.

Reblogged from Meditating Mummy’s Blog:

I thank you.

Winter in Melbourne

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Photo Credit: Dandenong-Range-Photography.com.au

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As ice clears on my winters morn
heavy dew melts ‘tween the blades
that crackles under shoes
I smell the smoke of open fires
creeping from houses nestled in my
neighbourhood, circling from chimneys
into the atmosphere, vanishing
as it dances with the grey
I wonder if I will feel the sun again
my body warmed against the chills
the smell of hot scones freshly baked
plated on kitchen benches toasty
warmed from those that sit
conversations with hot tea

no snow, but cold enough in Melbourne
in a winter, frost that paints the windows
of cars parked along the streets
house windows, trickle panes with water
as cold clashes with the heat
and I rub my hands together to stop
the chill entering my bones
rugged in boots, coat and scarf
I walk the path, the biting air
nips my cheeks, breath exhales white
into the air, teeth chattering

the sun will come around once more
a few months, is all I have to bare
of waking in the darkness off to work
returning in the same stilled black
but I know, as sure as every season comes
longer lit days will arrive once more
where smiles are more readily seen on faces
venturing out of doors, ceasing the will
to hibernate as short beaked echnidas do
for we have no bears that hide in caves
as I wish at times I could

This is how he sees her

Sunlight filters through
our kitchen window
between the frame of wood
bounces off the laminate
brushes tea cups on the sink
I watch as you make toast

and I smile at fluffy slippers
with your pilled old dressing gown
the pale blue towel wrapped
around your head from
your early morning shower
it’s old and stained with
hair dye but you refuse
to throw it out

I hear the kettle singing
out it’s boiled call
I watch you dangle tea bags
and hum your favourite song
I see you grab the butter
and the milk out of the fridge
and screw your pretty nose up
as you unexpectedly sneeze

you grab a piece of toast
and feed it to the dog
and tell him he’s a good boy
I love how you say that
yes it is the simple things
that I could watch for hours
the moments of your ‘everyday’
that I so love and admire

Elderly and my Pop

I have previously written posts about my Pop but today I needed to write once more, so forgive me for not having a ‘cheery post’ to submit tonight. I simply need to be able to talk about how I feel.

I am watching my father decline rather rapidly. It is the most heart breaking thing I have had to witness (apart from having to hold my 16 year old dog as the Vet put her to sleep) and anyone who has cared for their elderly parents will know what I am writing about. This.. this is something almost unbearable to face.

He will be 86 in July my dear Pop.  Pop

The last few weeks he has been experiencing so much trouble walking, he struggles to actually raise his leg to place one foot in front of the other. His hands also shake uncontrollably and he is embarrassed to eat in public.

Thankfully they are only a seven minute drive from where we live, so I am visiting as much as I can, helping in whatever way I can. Mum is also struggling with walking but currently she is managing better than what Pop is.img012

They both are so frustrated with life. The last couple of days I have heard mum say,  “If I could end this I would, I can’t do what I use too, I hate being this way”.  This afternoon around 4pm mum phoned,  just as Mr. S and I were heading out to watch a Movie. The call of help – “Dad had a lie down in bed and he is standing but can’t walk”.

Mr. S. and I drove over immediately. Dad was standing holding onto his walker, his whole body shaking. I gave him some pain killers and helped him onto his chair, his middle back and hip are hurting and he has sciatica symptoms. The issue is that he is not walking or able to exercise and his muscles are seizing up. After making sure he was comfortable (as there was really nothing else I could do to help), we went to the pictures (the whole time me watching Oblivion) thinking of how he was. As soon as it was finished, I went back to see him.

Dad in the Middle

Dad in the Middle

He was standing cleaning his teeth holding onto the basin. I asked him if he wanted to get his pyjamas on so he would be more comfortable. Then I changed him, taking off his glasses, his jumper, undoing his shirt and slipping his pyjama top on carefully and very gingerly. I then took his track suit pants off (sweat pants) and put his PJ pants on.

This gorgeous man, my father, telling me it was all right for me to see his ‘privates’, thankfully no embarrassment from his side and certainly none from mine.

Then I gently rubbed some pain cream into his back and put his dressing gown on before helping him back to his chair.
He sat there shaking his head, feeling so depressed about how he had become, how he felt that life was not worth living anymore. This is the hard part, watching the man that you have idolised since you could remember feel that their life no longer holds any purpose.  I gave him a sedative, which I told him to take 20 minutes before he went to bed to help him get through the night without pain, I turned down his bed and placed a pillow for him to put his legs on. I gave him a drink of water. I watched as mum put her arms around him and stroked his white hair with tears in her eyes saying “We are here for you”. It is so hard to be strong in front of them, I turned my head not to show my tears. He replied “My girls”.

I have tried to talk them into moving into an Aged Care facility, but mum unfortunately is being a little stubborn and refuses to move anywhere.  Granted uprooting yourself from your family home at their age is a difficult proposition. I worry constantly about how they are coping and I feel guilty that I am not there 24 hours a day to help and support them. My life is now centred on being there for them whenever I can, this is what a child should do, as our parents age, we are the ones who then have to nurture them,  as they did for us all those years.

I wrote a card for Pop some time back and he must have misplaced it and I found it on his bed head this afternoon. I wrote what I thought of him as a father as a man as an individual. This soft spoken caring human being who has never said a wrong word about anyone in his life, who has always tried to be there for everyone is now in need of my help. He said  “I read your card Ginger” (my nickname) you have a way of making a grown man cry”.  I just hugged him and tears came to both of us. I sat in front of him and told him I know how frustrated he must be feeling and that he has to think that now he is in this stage of his life that he is limited with what he is able to do. I told him not to get depressed about his situation or mums, but to try each day to simply do what they can and what they aren’t able to do, I am there to do.

I fully understand why the elderly want to pass from the earth plain, to obtain relief from their suffering, from the embarrassment that they feel of no longer being fit and able without requiring or asking for help.  It’s humiliating for them. For so very long the mere thought of either of my parents passing has made me almost physically ill. No one wants this, no one wants to say goodbye to those that they love. Now though I understand, when I watch them, barely able to walk or in pain, now I understand…it terrifies me beyond belief,  this is something I hide in the back of my mind wishing for it to go away, to bring me back the parents that I had, for their sake not for mine. Sadly I know this will not happen and they will decline further and all I can do as their daughter is to be there.

We can say they have a ‘good innings’ but that does not bring me comfort.

If I could be by their side all day to help them I would, but as I am working now it is an impossibility. Tomorrow morning I am going over to do the weeding and mow the lawns and just be with my mum and dad.

Oh my darling Pop I wish that you weren’t facing this part of your life as you are, knowing that you were once able bodied, I understand how this must be tearing you apart inside.

I love you, I adore you, I am so proud of you and I am here for you……..your Ginger. xxx
Pop

Unanswered – Visdare

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For three miles every morning Rose and Henry walked through the newly settled town to the School House.
Their mother Elizabeth dressing them best she could, the day of worship reserved for wearing their ‘best’.
As instructed by their parents, they talked to no-one, held their books of learning and each other’s hands.

Quiet in nature, their family circumstance brought no smiles to their young faces. Newcomers that arrived daily into town, some not welcoming nor friendly in appearance, jeered and passed comments, Rose and Henry stealthily walked on, ignoring their taunts.

One afternoon Rose and Henry did not return from School, the law could not explain their disappearance. Elizabeth’s grief could not be comforted, hanging herself in the parlour, she ended her life.

To this day, Rose and Henry are still seen walking the street to School.

Elizabeth watches them, cries and waits, till they found their way home to her.

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150 words –  I so wanted to include more!

Thank you Angela at Anonymous Legacy for another fantastic photo to work with.

For  VisDare 15: Unanswered

Happy Birthday Daughter # 1

EPSON scanner image25th March 1983
a little princess was handed to me
chubby cheeks and darkened hair
my first born baby girl my daughter
tears of joy and happiness
with so much love I could not speak
 She grew into a girl with spirit
a girl with wants and humour
infectious
a girl who now
is a remarkable young woman
one that I can say of whom I’m very proud

there was no teenage rebellion
her grades were high
her fortitude strong
a girl that strived from day one
to be the best that she could be

and yes we have had our battles
like daughter/mothers do
but we ‘know’ each other well
and today it’s your 30th birthday
where has that gone I ask?
those years when I first held you
to now
the time has moved too fast

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I wish you happiness in life
and all it has to offer
your were my first born little girl
and what I wish to say is
I send you love and give you hugs
on this your Very Special Day

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Happy 30th Birthday ‘B’ – I love You

xxxx

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You can see my second daughters birthday blog for her 26th birthday here https://ramblingsfromamum.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/happy-birthday-to-my-youngest/

Picture it and Write – I am blind but still I see

From Picture it & Write gallery   pictureitandwrite2copy-1  the pic this week is stunning! touch-reflection-creative-writing-prompt

This week I shall continue with the original theme with my own version from a post I wrote some time back ( you shall find in Poetry and Prose) ‎which I have altered slightly.  I have used a basic rhyming pattern. I hope it is worthy. My entry is in bold black.

My fingertips reflect the world back to me. What I cannot see, I feel, smell, taste, and hear. I feel shadows as I reach for the sun and smell the coming weather on the wind. I’ve never felt deprived of sight even though I’m blind, but sometimes my fingers have a mind of their own. At first, I felt nothing. There would be periods of my day missing; people actually accused me of drawing. At first I didn’t believe them, now I’m awake when I draw. Despite feeling shoved to the back while something else controls my movement, there’s a wave of serenity that keeps me calm. Am I crazy, or just weak? Everyone else has their magic under control.

I hold tulips as they start to unfold, hold the wedding ring and imagine what’s gold.
lift my face to the clouds that I’m told drift through the sky,  sadly miss the expressions of those that walk by
touch the leaves that curl brittle on trees, listen to buzzing from the hive made from bees
Fingers embrace spider webs lacy and glossy, hear as a mother shouts, finger pointed and bossy
imagine the stars on warm summer nights, though never to witness them sit in the sky
jump in the crest of the waves at the beach, set my goals high for things I can reach
Cannot see faces of those that smile wide, or the glow and the love on the face of a bride
can hug all the animals four legged or two, won’t see the lovers face that bids me adieu
painting butterfly wings coloured and frail, touch my words that are penned in braille
Visualise the flight of a woodland hawk, or the joy I would feel to see my child walk
I can feel shiny, the dull, old and the new, wet my fingers on blades in first morning dew
I grasp hold of tree trunks standing tall in the forests, run my fingers across sculptures and paintings of artists
I wish to see happiness in the faces of lovers, or stare into eyes of lonely street beggars
love I would feel sighting a newly born babe, I cannot have this, there is no escape
let me see those who share wealth with the poor, show me the sadness of those who yearn more
I feel the sunshine on a hot summers day, I feel the winter snow, slowly drifting away
I see things that the sighted do not see, is it a gift or simply just me…