Thursday, November 17, 2011

tonight tonight: White Christmas!

blue skies smilin' at me
nothin' but blue skies do I see...

well, tonight is the big showtime night
"White Christmas" will be performed
at Hickman High School 7:30 pm
the first of three night performances
and Bryan's first theater experience ever

they are all exhausted
practicing until 10:30 pm
with all their homework and tests and everything else
they have going on
and all the experienced cast go through this every time and it just is what it is
this past week leading up
to delivering their best

Bryan was complimented many times for his attitude
and creative input as well as steady hard work
the other day the cast put on two short performances
for the student body (over 2,000 students)
and people came up to Bryan afterwards and commented
that he was the only dancer who smiled the entire time (the goal
for his part)
and he just smiled back and said he was just having such
a fun time!

I can't wait to see him and Olivia
the other morning there was another radio performance
advertising the upcoming production
this time on an FM station
Bryan found an ancient cassette tape recorder
and asked me if I would please tape
Olivia and the trio she was part of: of course!
we changed out big batteries
I figured out which station it was
and before work
went out to the car radio and taped their song
it was so well done I sat there in the cold car
crying and hoping the old tape recorder worked
it did /sort of
but I have to find my digitial tape recorder in the mountain
of yet to be opened boxes... another story another day

my boy in a tuxedo with a flashy vest on!
dancing with three other guys
innovative moves he created, adding to the choreography
I will attend all three performances
tomorrow night Gary and his Mom will come, too
Saturday night, Brandon and Mahdi will join me
and we will shower Olivia with flowers and I will slip Bryan
a gift for his wallet... have FUN!

this is a new life experience for all of us
and I am grateful to Bryan for his courage and enthusiasm
to jump into something completely new
and give it his best
a lovely life lesson for anyone
at any age

this morning was so frosty
tonight it will be an early white christmas

Thursday, November 10, 2011

on the radio

this morning
Bryan told me:
"Mom, at 7:20, Olivia and some of the cast members
are going to be on the radio
so we rushed around and got into the car
by 7:19
and sure enough!

it was so wonderful to hear Olivia's
and the voices of my son's good friends
as they shared a little about the musical
coming up next week, hard to believe
they are working so hard

dress rehearsals now
and all the tech things are being pulled together

on the radio
they sang a bit of White Christmas
and my eyes all glittery glistening
and seeing my son's happy gentle face

as he got out of the car
he said he was going to ask his 1st hour teacher
wonderful man
if the class could then listen to KPLA
at 7:45
since the team-of-four
Olivia, Maddie, Mason and Logan
would drive over to the other station
and share and sing there
letting the town know the show is coming

I got home, got on the computer found out where
to get KPLA on the dial
great radio girl I am not
then listened live
but decided to race out to the car radio
just to make sure
I sat there in the cold car
and cried warm tears listening to the beautiful
young voices
singing a lovely old song
memories gliding on the blades
of ice skates
slicing whooshing cutting through roughness
hands warm in a white rabbit fur muff and collar
the ones that made me feel like a winter princess

my own White Christmas feelings long ago

KFRU KPLA in the morning

Sunday, November 6, 2011

planting words

"sticks and stones
can break my bones
but names will never hurt me."

not the truth

I have a sense where that came from
and it may inspire a bit of courage
when faced with angry words
or accusations
name-calling from an emotion-bully
yet it evokes sadness in me
not courage

names and angry words can cut you to the essence of yourself
and the scars can heal, yes,
the damage causing a caution, a sensitivity...

on Friday
I was faced with angry words blasted in my direction
in my three years as a senior caregiver
this has happened several times
and I get caught off guard every time

all the details are immaterial in a way
I made a mistake in judgment
good motivation, wrong timing, sorry me
sorry mess of tears after anger flies at me

all over one package of spaghetti noodles
one jar of sauce and one pound of ground beef...

goofy in some ways, dementia in action
my good intention perceived as usurping power
and so after tears
and a day off
I went back to the scene
and we worked through it
what a long long morning it has been
apologies in both directions
I will be infinitely more cautious
will never ever ever ever purchase anything
and learned something about living-language in the process

we are always planting
planting ideas
planting words, thoughts
planting actions
planting now
what grows into our reality
and the stuff of memories

what do we plant?
words of courtesy?
words of anger?
thoughts of giving?
thoughts of revenge?
actions that are motivated by heart?
actions that explode and damage people's lives?

reaping what we sow...
now that old idea works more in my mind
in the present

what kind of garden do we grow in our lifetimes?
our thoughts, words and actions bloom
in the seasons of our time

I love sunflowers and French lavender
I love bouquets that have many varieties of color
and texture
I love living plants that bear fruit
and surprise us with displays even in the snow

angry words are planted, too, and the weeds
and nasty evasive growths coming from them
are very hard to extract
they crowd a lovely delicate bloom
angry plantings have roots that grow deep
if left to multiply

I could be angry if I wanted to be
I know cancer patients who are consumed with anger
I know non-cancer people consumed with anger
it grows
and you do have choices on how to deal with it

I could be angry that I did not receive the kind
of nurturing love I needed to grow in ways that
seem like they would have been lovely
my father did not give me that
I could continue to blame him
for certain deficiencies in my heart and personality, etc.
I choose not to do that.

I uprooted myself
and planted myself in other soils...

every day I am the gardener of my life

Thursday, November 3, 2011


a couple of weeks ago
Brandon told me that he and Mahdi
bought a couple of big pumpkins
and they carved them, making great looking
jack o'lanterns

it was funny for me to see photos of their
experience on Bryan's FaceBook page
with all the goop and mess involved, smiling through it
when he was little he hated cleaning out
the inside of the pumpkins - total yuck to the max!
but when you grow up and you want your traditions
established at your own house,
goop goes with the deal: bring it on

when Bryan and Olivia eat over at our house,
we are developing traditions of our own here
like candles, flowers, simple but special table treatments
that they have come to enjoy
(me, too!)

I love watching Brandon and Bryan develop traditions
some they have learned from us
some they have learned in other ways, books, movies...
some they make up on their own...

what a privilege to see them bloom
hands in the goop
holding hands
exploring the past in new ways
creating their lives as men
with warmth, and heart, humor and intention...

we will share Thanksgiving
that is an American tradition I love
this new home will be a good Thanksgiving
destination for them

after chemo yesterday,
I am pretty tired right now.
these happy thoughts wanted to be written
before a rest

love from me
happy dreams, afternoon and anytime

4:13 a.m.

several nights ago, I woke up and felt
a bit disoriented
looked squarely at the clock
4:13 a.m.
and figured that I had more time to sleep
before going to work
and wondered why there was more light
coming though the door than usual

got up
saw Bryan's room light on
his bathroom light on
and my art-room-to-be
had the light on and door closed

I tiptoed into Bryan's room
thinking I might find him asleep with a book in his hands
but he wasn't in his bed


quiet knock on the bathroom door

thought I heard some very soft music,
but I was 3/4's asleep
opened the art room door

and there he was: dancing!
at 4:13 in the morning!

"I love dancing, Mom, and need to practice these moves
for the play... do you want to dance?"...

of course I want to dance with my son in the middle of the night
in the middle of a small room
with little floor space
and big imaginations
on both our parts!

dancing has not been a feature presentation in our marriage
that's okay, I like my toes for walking,
yet it has been somewhat of a missing piece
for me until the other night

Ginger Rogers (sp?) I am not
Fred Astaire would have applauded Bryan

my Einstein hair aside
I grabbed a fluffy short turquoise robe
he turned the music up a bit
and we danced!

"I could have danced all night,
I could have danced all night,
and still have begged for more...
I could have spread my wings and done a thousand things
I've never done before..."
"My Fair Lady" I know
we were doing "White Christmas"
it all blended together

the next day Gary did wonder about the noise upstairs
and we explained
the day after that, I had the inspiration
to try to reach his choreographer, Mrs. Steinhaus,
at his high school...
we have yet to meet,
and she just happened to be there when I called
and available, close to miraculous,
so I was able to:

1) apologize for calling Bryan on his cell phone
and interrupting practice (I thought they were finished)
She was very sweet about that
2) thank her so much for giving Bryan the opportunity
to be a dancer even though he has no experience whatsoever
3) share with her the story of dancing at 4:13 a.m....

she said so many wonderful things about Bryan
and said that the call "made my day"
which in turn, made mine

the day after that, Bryan's girlfriend, Olivia,
who has one of the two female leads,
laughed when I shared the whole story with her
she asked what time I had called the drama teacher
and it was just before Olivia had a class with her
Olivia said Mrs. Steinhaus was smiling
and exceptionally nice... ah ha, my phone call
had that nice ripple effect we love so much...

clothes pins and little books

this will be my third attempt to respond to
the comments from my last post...
instead of using the "comment" feature
I will share here

thank you, Janet, for breathing in some Santa Fe air
on my behalf
and for having happy memories of us together
it has been a long time since breathing there myself

Doe, in the past several months, I have purchased
small books
two books each time, twice,
with the intention of making these for my sons
one with more words
the other with more art
now my desire reached your dream so I will get started

how could you know about clothes pins?
several months ago I bought a bag of tiny little
miniature clothes pins
I have this set of very large flat baskets
from China
I used one to cover up a strange wall feature (square panel for some reason)
and used one of the tiny clothes pins
to attach a lovely gingko leaves card from my mother

it looked very pretty and interesting
and when Brandon's sweetie, Mahdi, saw it
she loved the idea
and I just so happened to have another big basket
and gave her the rest of my bag of tiny clothes pins
so she could make a photo bulletin board of her own
at her apartment...

I had forgotten where I bought them,
kept looking around and found another bag
which I bought and last week added more cards
from friends

so small handmade books (though not for sale!) and clothes pins
shall we?