Tag Archives: sisters

The Time Warp

7 May

I have had the song, “Time Warp” swirling around in my head all day long.  You know the song, from the movie, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”  So then of course I had to recap, via Google search, the actors who portrayed the fictional characters from the cult classic.  But really, all of the info I just now shared is irrelevant to the subject at hand.  Though my sharing it does give one insight into the nuttiness with which I constantly live…inside myself!

The real reason I have the song stuck in my head is that I feel as if I am living in a time warp.  I honestly cannot keep track of time.  It seems to fly by me without so much as leaving a note.  My son moved into his own apartment February 1st, it is only the beginning of May, yet it feels like he moved out only a few days ago.  Then at other times it seems longer.

My little brother married his fiance this past weekend.  The wedding plans have been on all of the family radar for the past 9 months, and just like that, it’s over.  We spent the entire weekend together down in San Diego, all of us crazies piled into the same hotel (minus my son), and yet the festivities flew by.

My mom came into town last Monday, visiting from Nicaragua where she now lives.  I can’t believe all that we were able to “do” while she was here, and yet today I could hardly remember what those activities were…my husband helped pin a few down.  She left us this afternoon, our time together is over (for now).

As I travel within this warped space in time, I find myself struggling to catch a breath.  My cousin comes into town this coming weekend for a visit.  My sister flies into town the weekend after.  I will travel north a few days after that.  My sister will then return in the beginning of June to cover for us as we head out of the country visiting two continents for a month on business.  Yes, I did write one month.  And upon our return from that excursion I will begin a new full time job.  How is all of this even possible?, I find myself asking.  And how do I ensure I do not miss one wink of the experiences within all of the travel opportunities/familial visits?

I don’t have the answer to my question…not today anyway, for I am still reeling over the fact the wedding has passed.  Which is probably why The Time Warp is playing over and over again in my mind.  Especially the line which repeats, “let’s do the time warp again.”

It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right, put your hand’s on your hips…

P.s. What ever happened to Peter Hinwood aka Rocky Horror?!P.s.s I’ve opted to not post the link to the video of the song…purposefully! 😉


Unintentionally Imperfect

28 Nov

I am sleep deprived today.  I was sleep deprived yesterday too, but today I’m “feeling” it.  The cause of my shut-eye deprivation was fear.  Grippingly, wrenchingly, nauseatingly, and awfully imposing was this terrorization of my soul.  Not to worry, my faith (which I have discovered is actually an action more than an idea, and translates as: trust in an unseen G-d and his Word as recorded in the Bible), has conquered my visitor from Hell.  Yes, the state of my being, while suffering the fool of being afraid, was something straight out of what my impression of Hell would be…a place devoid of the presence of my loving father.  Not a pleasure, I assure you.

I will bring you thru to the occult slowly, by traipsing back to the catalyst–which is actually quite wonderful and exhilarating…

My husband, Brian, and I have decided that an additional investment (aka:privilege), into our daughter’s education would be a worthwhile endeavor.  She is currently finishing up her second year of learning her third language, French.  And because she has weathered this past year and a half like a champ, we have decided to send her on a trip to France this January, during her one month respite from classes (though she will engage in studies while on her visit).

Now rewind to 1983 for the back-story which helps to illuminate my fearful state.  It was the aforementioned year and I was thirteen (funny, up until writing this post I held this memory as if I were 9 or 10 years of age…but now looking up facts smooths out the wrinkles of a hazy memory), for reasons still unknown to me now, I watched a movie about a little boy who was kidnapped from Sears while shopping with his mom.  And who was subsequently found murdered.  The little boy was Adam Walsh.  You might know the, made for TV movie, it was titled, “Adam”.  The account of this story of abduction rattled my young soul to the core, and its impact upon my mind was profound.  At that time I babysat my younger siblings (god brother and sister, for those of you who are thinking, “wait a minute, aren’t you the baby of the family?), with a new, keen awareness of evil.  I developed a philosophy and guideline for our public outings of, “If I can’t touch you, somebody else can!”, which I later applied to my own children, in their younger years.  Essentially, they were allowed to be within my arms reach and not further.  While raising my children I felt strongly that I’d rather lose them to a Mac truck then to have them (or me) live through the horrors of abduction.

In recent years, my aching heart is aware of stories of abduction through media coverage.  Specifically, the Chelsea King case.  There is a trail near my house that I like to walk the dogs on.  For some reason my heart hurts for her and her parents during one section of the terrain.  I always, and I mean ALWAYS, pray for the King family (and the parents of the perpetrator) during that leg of my hike…it’s kind of creepy, I admit!  In fact, there are occasions that I cannot complete that particular leg of the walk because my empathizing mind becomes too burdened by the evil which crossed the King’s path and fear then runs a muck within me.  You will still find me in prayer for the families, though my own insecurities are also being addressed at the same time.  And as fate would have it, I had the pleasure of interacting with the King family attorney this past summer.  He is a most gracious man with a truly empathetic and giving heart.  Anyway, this is my back story.  I do not normally walk in fear…at least that is what I thought.

In fact, this particular year I have declared, with my husband, it is a year of “NO FEAR”.  Now making this declaration seems simple enough…not so, not so.  For it has, in fact, acted as illuminator of the many, let me write it again, MANY underlying actions we take in life that are directly motivated by fear.  Example, when fighting cancer do not cook your vegetables…they are most effective when consumed in their natural state (what to do when raw vegetables are difficult for the cancer patient to ingest? Aaahhh Scary!).  And of course they can only be organic, and the quality of the soil and farm is integral to the nutrient content (but when one is on a strict budget, that rabbit hole has to be left for another fox to find…also scary).  Milk is bad and probably the cause of many illnesses (one friend of mine is convinced it is the origin of my migraine headaches, I am slightly afraid as I drink every last drop).  Cardiovascular exercise is important for longevity, but don’t forget strengthening techniques which help fight the naturally occurring degeneration of bone mass (if you don’t move you just might die–one day).  Don’t consume just any oil, it has to be cold pressed.  Or hard pressed, or who knows which one!  I don’t think you want me to get started on fish, the mercury content, and the wild vs. farmed issue.  How about the environmental issues.  Or sex before marriage issue, and the ‘must attend a university directly out of high school’ issue–or else!  Of course, at my age, the retirement fund and long term care insurance issues come into play.  As does the fear of disease and getting older.  Oiy Vay…fear has its roots in much of our life.  If we let it.  For the most part, I utilize my knowledge with a knowing that this physical life is a temporary one.  I do what I can, with what I have, and trust in the good Lord for the rest.  …and this last statement is coming from one (me) who thoroughly enjoys learning.

So with our 2012 no fear policy has come the facing of many root fears which have permeated our lives.  No matter, I like the purging…until this past week.  The week Brian and I decided to move forward with allowing Esther the opportunity to travel, on her own, to France.  As I shared our decision with a family member (whose travel booking advice I was after) she promptly suggested I, and Esther, watch the movie “Taken”.  Actually, I think I’ll expose her.  Only because she is such a squeaky clean individual that she needs a little soiling, just to keep the “chi” in balance. 🙂  It is my younger sister.  The one who suffered, as a little girl, the squeeze of my hand because I was under the influence of the Adam Walsh story.  The one who traveled, to France herself, when she was twenty, with a girlfriend.  So upon her advice I watched a 4 minute synopsis of the film.  And the wretched ax of terror hit me so hard I was shaking–honest–because this film has the underlying story of two girls who travel to Paris, are abducted and then sold into the sex slavery trade (last word hurts to even use–sorry, it’s late and I don’t want to take the time to correct it).  I was, after that, gripped.  My stomach was clenched with fear and my head a swirl with evil.  I somehow managed to get myself back to a quasi normal state, just enough to get some sleep.

However, the next night my daughter returned home from a work dinner party, where her 17th birthday was being honored.  Only instead of being showered with birthday blessings and wishes, she was being smothered with curses.  They went something like this, “Oh, you should watch that movie Taken.  You are so going to be taken, just like in that movie, because you are too nice.”  She came and shared that news with me as I was already tucked in bed and again at peace with her upcoming trip.  I will spare you from having to re-live the scenario with me, especially as the torment and mental torture I endured carried forth until the morning.  It was a horrific night.  And Brian, Esther, and I have had to thoroughly examine the circumstances of her travel arrangements, her host family, and the realities which come from living in an imperfect world.  Bottom line, our mantra of 2012 remains.  “No Fear.”  Because fear is a destroyer of life.  It might seem harmless while living in a vegetable, within imperfect soil, or even in the milk we drink (though the Center for Science in the Public Interest  doesn’t consider these things harmless, http://www.cspinet.org/).  Yet it likes to take hold of that which is biologically sound and squeeze from it the essence of being alive.

Though difficult as it may be for me to recover from my wrestling match with the devil, my daughter will travel to France this winter.  She will be blessed with as much opportunity as we can provide for her.  And she will know that no matter how hard it is for us, her father and I, to let go of her hand, we will allow her to bloom and grow.  And what of my little sis, my now-a-principal-of-a-high-school little sis, who first led me to the rocking of my soul movie trailer?  She is also the first to say to Esther, “just be aware and cautious, but most definitely go.”

This past year our Bent slogan was created because my husband has been suffering the fool of fear for a while.  I have been so tired from his own sleepless nights (as he insists upon my help through his torture) that I actually installed the “NO FEAR” policy as a measure of ‘risk management’.  This is probably my first time experiencing the robbing tactics of its presence.  And yet, today I purchased her airline tickets.  And today I share in her excitement.  …fear, don’t come around here no more.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7


Bonne Vie

22 Dec

As I take in the meaning of the title I have chosen for this post, all I can do is sigh.  I sigh because I have to decide if I really mean it, or not.  You see I typically do not write anything I do not believe.  Like I tell everyone (before playing a game of cards), “I am not a liar.  I am a cheat, but not a liar!”  Of course not being a liar makes for pretty weak cheating.  But anyway, I really have to evaluate my sincerity regarding my title choice before casting it as the winner of the post.  Naturally, I chose to “disguise” it in French, but even so, I have to truly mean it.  And I do;  “bonne vie” = good life.  Let me tell you a little bit about this good life, though I forewarn you, you might question my sensibilities.

Off the top, let me tell you that circumstances have been such that I am still NOT unpacked from my trip up north with Cole.  And up until an half hour ago, our Christmas tree had only one ornament hanging from its Douglas Fir needled twigs.  And only that one because it arrived via a FedEx package we received today from my sister.  It has a few more ornaments placed upon it now, thanks to the special request made by my mother, over the phone, just 30 minutes ago.  I suppose I could forgo the writing of this post and put away the contents of my suitcase; or I could stop writing and fold the clean clothes that have been awaiting my attention since Sunday.  But this week, (forgive me–this life, well at least this past year), has been such a paradoxical experience that I need to purge so my lung capacity is not swallowed up by the overwhelming yin yang-like circumstances surrounding me.

I think today is Wednesday, I honestly can’t remember…

On Monday it became apparent that the master bathroom toilet was no longer responding to our many years of “jimmy rigging”.  So I announced to Brian that he was receiving a new toilet for Christmas.  Then I called the plumber (our dear friend Chuck Edman/Integrity Plumbing) and spoke to him about the potentiality of the toilet falling through the raised foundation floor due to the leaking at its base.  So Chuck told me he could replace it on Tuesday.  He also told me the cost; which I confess made my knees buckle.  Somehow, I thought the cost of a new toilet was akin to a trip to the local grocery store.  Turns out the cost of materials and living have increased some in the last 10 years, and since I just made a Trader Joe’s run this afternoon, I am now assured that the cost of groceries has also increased!  Where have I been hiding?!  Back to my tale…out of jealousy or spite, I’m not sure which one, the other bathroom toilet decided to leak and by the evening’s descent, the kitchen sink felt it no longer needed to drain, and in fact chose to regurgitate some interesting objects it must have been saving for just the occasion.

So the next day when Chuck and his associate came to our toilet rescue, they found their affection was needed in more places than one.  And while they were busy tending to our ‘mess’ Cole and I went up the road to the hospital to pick up his MRI report.  As we perused the information presented from the observant eyes of the radiologist, our psyche became concerned.  So I called my mother and asked her the following, “Mom, what is a venous angioma?”  To which she replied, “Essentially a little tumor in a vein.  Why, who has that?”  Well for a kid and his mom who have lived through the brain tumor scenario, her words weren’t exactly the comfort we were hoping for, though she did assure us they are typically benign.  So we returned home and I made Cole lunch before we headed out to see Dr. Li.  Chuck finished his work and presented my bill.  Now I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, when it comes to mathematics (my Aunt Susie can vouch for me on this), but I needn’t pass calculus to notice there were obvious figures missing in Chuck’s calculations.  He smiled and said, “Merry Christmas.”  And then before he left he asked about the MRI report and then asked if he could pray for Cole.  As he left  I was drying my eyes, for I still had to drive Cole up to Irvine.  The MRI report?  It will have to wait until we meet with the neurosurgeon on January 13th, but doctor Li told us that from her perspective everything is stable; though she hasn’t been following Cole long enough to truly evaluate the report-according to her.

We came home and I holed myself up in my room to get an expense report done for Brian because the deadline to turn it in was the next day.  Midway through, Brian yells to me that Cole thinks he broke his hand and needs to go to emergency.  I hung up on my sister who had been helping me navigate the trickery of Excel and came out of my room to find Cole pale and beading with sweat from the intensity of the pain.  His hand, below his thumb, was extremely swollen so I packed him up and off we went.  Brian was in the middle of a painting deadline so I insisted he stay home and finish.  The ER was packed! And as we pulled up, two ambulances came zooming in the driveway.  Terrified by the prospect of being there at least 5 hours, I called the hand specialist who evaluated my broken finger and asked if he would be willing to see my son.  He said, “yes”, and so Cole and I raced out of the ER and up to the doctors office.  His hand is not broken, though his Marine pain tolerance has suffered some, due to brain surgery.  His diagnosis: he overextended the thumb and therefore has a sprain.  So he is using his cane in his right hand and elevating his wrapped left hand simultaneously.  As if he needed one more thing; though it isn’t broken!

More to come…

One of my best girlfriend’s, Candice, was in a car accident on Monday.  And since we have a surplus of automobile options, I offered our Jeep Cherokee for her to use in the interim.  In anticipation of delivery to Candice, I took the car in, this afternoon, for an oil change and wash only to learn that it needs a new serpentine belt.  The oil technician who suggested the replacement said, “Your belt is in very bad condition.  If it were me, I would drive directly to the mechanic otherwise you will have to replace the engine.”  So I took the Jeep home, hopped into Esther’s 1962 Mercury, and because Candice and I both needed to go to Trader Joe’s picked her up and went shopping.  I deposited her and her groceries at her house, and rushed home where Brian was waiting for me to meet our loan broker and sign documents.

More pile on the heap:

  • Tuesday night I went shopping and didn’t leave Target until 11:00p.m.–when else would a shopping window open up for me?
  • The company Brian works for filed Chapter 11.  His position is secure today; but not tomorrow.
  • The appraiser devaluated our home by way of comparing our property to a townhouse community.
  • Monday night I burned the, labor intensive, loaf of bread I was baking for our neighborhood get together, because I was distracted by the overflowing kitchen sink and Brian’s need for ink replacement in the printer.
  • I rudely brought burnt bread and dirty dishes to our neighborhood party (yes, I washed my dirty dishes in the Recupero’s sink.  And for the most part, the action made it seem as if I were helping them clean up).

Amidst all this “stuff”, blessings are so evident.  Here are some new and reiterated gifts:

I have driven the Jeep twice up north and the serpentine belt remained intact.  Cole’s physical therapist is applying laser treatment to his hand, a healing accelerator.  She is doing this without charging us or insurance.  My cousin blessed us with a Trader Joe’s gift card.  The sister of a friend of mine sent us a check, with no explanation.  The sink and other toilet malfunctioned BEFORE the plumber came; not after.  The company, Billabong, has offered Brian the opportunity to add his sparkle to their artistically challenged stores.  In the mail today we received a very generous Christmas gift from my mother.  Last night, when I arrived home from Target, there were two Chanukah coffee mugs mysteriously placed at our door.  (When the hot beverage is added, the candles on the outside of the mug “light up”.  And just this morning, when Cole’s emotional threshold had been overtaxed, the candles on the mug lit up and helped counteract the difficulty of his present circumstances).  Because of the delay in our re-finance, as a result of our challenging the appraisal, we gained a better interest rate and actually receive a rebate.  Our faithful friend who owns and operates our local postal annex refused his wage for notarizing our loan docs.  Integrity Plumbing is that and so much more.  Esther is healthy and helping pick up the slack of my household chores this week of winter break.  Candymoto is here bearing our burden alongside us; and doing laundry and dishes when she can.  My brother surprised me with a new “Coton Picker”, fresh off the ebay market.  Last week we had a reunion with two of Brian’s cousins he hasn’t seen in over twenty years.  This Christmas eve we will again host the celebration for our family who are local and not snowed in at Big Bear.  Do you know what?  I am blessed.  Our family is together and strong.  I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I have blessings of love and peace showering me today…even while living in my perfect storm.

So you see, this paradoxical life is truly good.  The Chinese yin yang isn’t merely reflecting the good and evil of life.  No, it is more in line with the concept handed down through scripture where the Lord G-d tells us, his children, that He will never give us more than we can handle (paraphrased from 1Corinthians 10:13).  The wording from scripture is more specific, it speaks of G-d’s faithfulness to make a way for us.  And as you can (hopefully) gather from my lengthy presentation, his word holds true.

I realized, earlier this evening, the reason I can still be happy–given the many trials of this past year (or this past week for that matter).  I am happy, even as I am overwhelmed by the weight of what has been handed me, because my happiness does not depend upon the tangible things of this world.  For that, I am most grateful!

“But what does it mean to “overcome” trials? It means the trials do not overcome our faith or our position as children of God, and we come through the trials intact.”  Here is a link to a better understanding: http://www.gotquestions.org/more-handle.html

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