Archive | September, 2013

my Jameson

29 Sep

I am not a drinker of alcohol.  I drink water regularly and enjoy my two carefully measured cups of coffee each day.  But alcohol, including wine, is something I’m just not a fan of.  And yet…

The week my Coley passed away, I could not sleep at all.  Now the one alcohol I knew would help the insomnia was whiskey.  I have not had trouble with whiskey in the past.  Primarily because one shot is all it takes to put me down.  Down as in, to sleep.  So one of my dear friends brought me over some whiskey, in a plastic water bottle.  I had a shot and sure enough went right to sleep.  But awoke at 1:30a.m. with the same despair as before, only with a slight tinge of a headache.

A headache from whiskey?  Not something I was accustomed to.  But the whiskey was a lower end product (I am honestly unable to remember the brand right now) and I attributed the slight ache to the cheap brew.  Yes, my body is particular to quality.  My palate? No.  For any and all brands taste the same to me–like junk!  I really have no pleasure in the flavor of any type of alcohol, whiskey included.

So I gave the “water” bottle back to my friend to replenish her supply.  And then off to Europe we went.  And then off to Japan.

While in Japan my sister and brother in law came to stay with our daughter for a few days.  And knowing my struggle with sleep, and the nightmares that were keeping me up (even the nightmares while awake) my brother-in-law bought a bottle of good whiskey for me to have on hand…Jameson.

That bottle is still unopened in my kitchen cabinet.  I have decided that now is not a safe time to open it.  Why?  Why wouldn’t an opened bottle be safe in my house?  Especially when I do not like the taste?  Because life right now is hard.  Facing each day from a mourners perspective is fragile.  And because the sorrow of our loss is so great, so prevalent still, and because the call of the spirit-filled elixir is upon me, I’ve decided the bottle remains closed.

My filled-to-the-top and ready to serve, Jameson, will wait its turn.  And when it’s opened, perhaps it will be amongst friends and family who will help partake in a small portion causing no harm to themselves or me.  Right now it reminds me that healing is not yet mine.  Healing from the loss, healing from cancer’s touch, healing from the hardship as result of Cole’s brain tumor.  Not mine, not yet.  And neither is the whiskey.

Now I can, on occasion, have a sip or two while at a friend’s house or family member (my other brother-in-law happens to love Jameson).  That is a different scenario.  But in my house, the bottle will remain closed.  The road that its opening beckons me to is not a safe one.  Is not a road I wish to, now at 43 years of age, traipse upon.  I miss my son too much.

So what do I do, in the meantime?  Well as soon as I post this note, I will go to my kitchen (my laboratory) and create something out of almond meal, lemons, strawberries, and some good cinnamon-sugared pecans.

Now cake I can handle! 😉


Cole’s empty room


Missing my son, a look inside


My Many Hats

8 Sep

I have a collection of hats.  Some of which belonged to my grandmother, Ella, from the 1950’s and beyond.  Her collection, in particular, is special to me.  I am able to keep Ella with me, though physically her absence is felt.

vintage hats

A few of Ella’s collection

In many ways, I wear different hats throughout the week.  I am speaking metaphorically, of course.  The hats I wear involve, or reflect rather, the varying ways I make it through each circumstance of each day.

I put on my ‘professional hat’ while at work.  That hat remains devoid of my sorrow.  I put on the hat of ‘faith’ which encourages others facing a challenge.  And encourages me as well.  I wear a hat of ‘progress’ which propells my every, sorrow-filled step forward.  I wear the hat of ‘normalcy’ when my daughter and husband, and dogs, require it.  I wear, too, the hat of ‘mourning’, the black veil that fictitiously remains intact–pinned perfectly, to my coife of the day.  This is the “hat” I wish were more of a presence for the world to see, but that is not the culture of my society.

I am a woman of many hats.

I don’t think it wrong to don whichever hat is needed, in the moment it is required.  This is living.  This is life, this side of Heaven.  In fact, I think it right.  I think it honors those of whom have traveled to the great beyond before me.  I think in their state of peace, sorrow no more, and fulfilled earthly mission, my wearing of each hat pays tribute to their journey.  …and in this perspective, you may feel free to call me a “wierdo.”

I am weird.  My hats are weird.  My life is everything strange.  Your perspective of me, whatever it may be, is justified.

I also wear a cap of self pity.  This particular hat, I wear, when I step outside of myself and look at our loss from those around me.  When I go to the end of my driveway and pick up the newspaper, only to see a few of my neighbors conversing in the crisp of the morning.  They look at me and wave.  I wave back.  Yet as I return, paper in hand, to the kitchen table where I will read the news, I know their hearts are filled with sorrow for the reduction of our family unit.  I feel the eyes of “the other people.”  The idea that our new Bent life reflects the obvious–the, this can happen to you, feeling.  For when a loss is felt, close at hand, it reverberates the possibility of, it happening!

Are you able to follow this wild train of thought?  My soul feels my intention, though my use of language, at this time, seems to be failing me.

It is not a self pity that is debilitating.  As I have described above, the other hats come into play to thwart “debilitating’s” victory.  It is more the realization that my life’s reflection speaks of the possibility of sorrow’s touch.  Again, my use of language is failing me.

Should I just stop here?  With this post?  Is it too heavy a concept to pass along to the reader?  hhhmmmm…I pause to ponder.

I miss my son.  My family unit misses his presence.  And my world around me, misses our unit.  Sorrow is right, for this time.  I look forward to the day when the fictitious black veil is no longer adhered to my head.  I look forward to the day when our unit, and those connected, can celebrate the memory of Cole and the many memories his short life gave to us.

But for now, I am a woman who wears many hats.  And with that, I shall take my leave.

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