Is it too late to be Nancy Drew?

Is it too late to be Nancy Drew now that it’s hard for me to get up in the morning and one knee hurts so badly but it does stop about seven minutes later? Is it too late to be Nancy Drew now that I forget things and my hair has turned gray and sometimes I look in the mirror and I don’t recognize myself? Is it too late to be Cherry Ames, Dude Ranch Nurse , solving mysteries that no one else could solve because she was smart and beautiful and accomplished. (Remember Cherry was not a doctor but the nurse at the ranch).

I want to be that woman who gets dressed in a three-piece suit with spiky heels and stalks across the courtroom floor and wins the case against the giant corporation making millions of dollars for her firm and saving millions of employees their jobs. Is it too late for that? I don’t know why I didn’t think that I could do that but my parents never read one report card and only looked at the beauty in my face and the lilt in my voice and the trail of suitors following me.

I had a longing deep inside of me like a drill bit that never stopped whirling and now I see the women getting in cars going to work with a confident twitch of their hips and I want to be them. I want to be successful and get a big paycheck and have a room full of men hang on my every word. I want to be brilliant and knowledgeable and respected and powerful and I want to have done it all myself with my big beautiful brain and I don’t want anyone to get in my way and I don’t want someone to marry me and make it happen. I will want this until the day I die.

A Sign

A Sign

My Daughter has been dead for nearly three years and I haven’t heard a word from her until yesterday, that is. You may think that sounds weird, but I was a big believer in communication with the dead.
Before she died, I believed there were all sorts of ghosts, spirits and parents out there who could and did communicate a lot! For the life of me I couldn’t get my Mom out of my head but now I like to hear her. Right after Tina died, I felt her near me, and I felt how worried she was to leave me. She could not get into her orbit and it was up to me to pray for her and to let her go which I did.
Dragon flies were plentiful around the bench she had last sat on in my garden and they stayed for days in the summer sun, something they never do. Reluctantly. They were Tina’s symbol.
She died a painful and terrible death and had quite a few minutes to struggle, to have changed her mind, to face the fact that it was too late, and to realize she would never see anyone here on earth again. I think she died because she didn’t see a way to happiness like many others who choose suicide. I think she had no idea what it would be like.
So, then I lost her and though the silence seemed right in the beginning, after a while it seemed wrong and bitter and empty and very unfair. It was a loud silence as if she had gone so far away that there was no trail to finding her and worse, she had lost the trail back to me.
I would chidingly talk to her photo when passing it in the hallway saying good morning and good night and ask why she was not in touch. I would try very hard to understand what her eyes were telling me. I would think about our time together when she was a child and what she was like and what we did together.
I came to know some of her friends better than I ever had when they were young. I reconnected with a babysitter who had been with us one summer. My way of healing was to keep listening to stories about my daughter and to keep on searching for understanding as to why she had ended out where she did.
I read through all her emails to me over the years both angry and loving. I looked at her artwork. I opened her trunk of childhood and removed dresses, coats, shoes and hats, holding each one in my hands, often pressing it to my face and always asking for a sign that she knew I was waiting to hear from her. That she knew I missed her.
I started to go to church but found many lacking. The expression on the faces of ministers often made me wonder what their diet was composed of. I never felt at home there and hated being greeted by strangers wanting to hug you.
Finally, I went to the church next door where Father Mike, my friend, was the priest. In the cavernous space filled sparsely with young and old, I found some serenity and I remembered how praying had helped me not be afraid of the dark as a kid. I began to pray. At first, it only took a minute before I went to sleep but as time went on there were so many people needing help.
You won’t understand this unless you have lost someone you love very much. Its just what people in mourning do.
Then one day everything changed. I was in the living room looking intently at a photograph of Tina and wishing once again I felt in touch with her. I said it out loud several times. I think I was beginning to cry.

Then my cell phone rang. It was my two-year-old granddaughter Rosemary, wanting to FaceTime with me. Rosemary was born one month after Tina died and my daughter and I think a part of Tina is in her. Rosemary wanted to talk about unicorns. Unicorns were Tina’s spirit animal.

I know I am in touch now and I got my sign

Star In A Sci-Fi Film

I’m a Star in My Own Sci-Fi Film

“Each morning I wake Up

Before I put on my makeup

I say a little prayer for all of us”

I wonder if Diane Keaton is cleaning her own toilet? I know that’s a superficial question but what the heck? What are all the famous and rich people doing without their housekeepers? Today I found that if you use a Q-Tip you can really get stuff that’s been there for God knows how long. I’m a pretty good cleaner having used this obsession for many years to avoid stress and anxiety. Nothing like a good cleaning to make you feel in order.

 It’s not really working.

I walk the deserted streets of my town hoping to have a socially distanced conversation with someone, anyone. I think it still hasn’t gotten through to me that this might be it for the rest of my life. If someone doesn’t come up with a cure for this virus, we will all live like surreal movie stars, alone and unbelieving.

Am I lonely? Weirdly enough I am not. I’ve been practicing for loneliness all my life. Others who have partners seem very concerned about me and call or text often. I’m so grateful for this. I feel like ET is reaching out all the time. I love Facetime and today my granddaughter took me into the bathroom this morning because she “wanted some privacy with Grandma Lulu”

I told her a story about how Harry and Stan (my dogs) went out today to get burgers and fries. Apparently’ she didn’t know what fries were as her Mom is the most amazing Mom and makes everything organic for her. She loves garlic and eats it for lunch in cloves.

What helps is having the focus be on today. If I allow myself to go into fear, I think I’m a star in my own disaster film. I’m the last person alive on the earth and I can’t leave my house. I look upon the UPS guy with deep suspicion and refuse to accept the package and ask him to leave it on the ground.

My Dad worried about a nuclear disaster and we had a bomb shelter in my basement. There was a handgun on the wall right next to the heavily barred door. He said it was for the neighbors who would try to get in and be safe. I knew then I would never go into the shelter with my family, but I had to find a way to be outside with everyone else preparing to die. I don’t blame my Dad as he loved his family and protecting us was his goal. I just didn’t want to be the last person standing.

I could see clearly it wouldn’t be fun to be the last family alive on earth or at least in Greenwich, Connecticut.

I have a schedule because I love schedules. It makes me feel safe to have one. I am meditating longer and walking longer. I’ve found a new walking friend but It’s hard as we must walk Indian file so as not to be too close. Luckily neither of us has a hearing problem yet.

I think I will put two lawn chairs six feet apart in my driveway and set up a Peanuts sign saying “advice” and entice other walkers to stop and sit a spell. My sister once said if I stepped into an elevator in the Empire State building by the time, I reached the top I would have 50 new friends. I am compulsively friendly believing everyone really wants to communicate. In truth, it’s because I suffer from abandonment.

I have volunteered with a local church as well as a neighborhood group to call and check on people and the good thing is that most of the group I call are also calling people. The worst thing is calling and getting a machine saying the message taking part is full. I don’t know what to do or who to call. And its worse when you go to the house and no one answers the door. Where have they gone?

We all had a choice a few weeks ago to leave the area with our animals and drive to Wyoming or God knows where. Most of us stayed knowing instinctively that if this quarantine were going to be for months it would be better to be at home. Some believe it will be over by summer but I’m certain it will be Christmas at the earliest.

If you take it day by day, the days become softer and more pleasant. It seems natural to take a nap or lie down on the sofa after folding the laundry. I find myself being captured by the site of my blooming Camelia tree several times a day through different windows in my house.

My best advice: start some type of creative project whether it’s a book, poem, picture, painting or collage. You will be amazed at how the time flies once you get absorbed in it.

I have no real advice only the thought that if this is my own sci-fi film, I’m making the ending a happy one and so should you.

This time its different. We all care about each other. Its harder to live like this for some than others. We are all hurting but those of us who are approaching the end of the runway are really hurting. We know how how little time we have left anyway to spend with our grandchildren before they are no longer children. It’s all speeding up but also slowing down.

Save Our Global Community: Stay Home

The Virus

Remember the children’s game “gotcha last”? In our family we played it for hours. It actually drove our mother crazy but we couldn’t help ourselves. The game would stop for hours and then there would be a little subtle finger touch during the dinner hour that one of us would feel all too late and know we had been tagged and we were it.

Now it’s become a reality. Chances are, if someone is infected with the virus and comes within 6 feet of someone else, and then they happen to sneeze, another person will catch it. If we go to the gym and we use hand sanitizer but happen to miss one tiny spot and wipe our noses without thinking, boom, we have it.

This isn’t an exaggeration. No one in America likes to be told what to do. Everyone I know in my group of friends has claustrophobia.Everyone I know has abandonment tendencies and hates to be alone. Everyone I know thinks the idea of being told to stay home and in their house and to avoid social interaction is akin to being incarcerated.

Well, guess what? If we don’t stay home and we don’t keep our families at home we are jeopardizing our freedom to live. Yes, we are jeopardizing our right to stay alive. Yes, we are jeopardizing the right of all of our neighbors to stay alive and be safe and healthy.

It’s really time to realize that this is no joke. We need to take care of our country. We need to look after our elderly population and make sure everyone is taken care of. Staying home is not such a bad thing and it’s what we all should be doing right now.

I  walk around my house and see how lucky I am because my house is filled with books many of which I have never read. Now I can read them.Now I can go in my garden and sit and reflect on a single camellia or the tenacity  of an ant.

 I am so grateful for the texts from my family which happen almost daily and the phone calls from my friends. They warm my heart and make me feel less alone than I’ve felt in years. Now is the time for us to reach out through our wonderful technology and communicate with our children and our grandchildren and our friends and our family and tell them we love them. Finally, technology is a good thing.

Now is not the time to go out to restaurants and cafés and parties and risk catching the virus and then spreading it to other people who may not be strong enough to survive it.

Now is the time to respect our medical personnel who risk so much to take care of us. Now is the time to guard our families by realizing that  staying at home is actually a wonderful thing to be doing.

Consider our future and the future of our world and the safety of our population and make a decision to do your part in preventing the spread of this virus. Stay home. Read a book. Eat lightly. Take a walk. Pet your dog. Play a game with your kids. Delight in the sunrise and meditate longer. Take a bath. Practice deep breathing. Look at your scrapbooks. Get in touch with everyone you love and tell them you love them.

Do the best you can to stay safe and healthy and carry the world in your hands as if it’s a precious breath you would like to share with everyone around you. Just think, if everyone did this we would be safe.

Musical Chairs

Musical chairs

I feel like we’re playing musical chairs in the world.
I am not good at that game.

Where can we go?

What can we do?

Where is it safe?

When I was a kid people used to scream

at me because I would never leave my chair.

If I did it was to slither

over to the next chair
before the music even thought about stopping.

In my house there are many chairs.
There are many photos.
I like to stop

and sit on the chair that looks directly into the photo
of my family surrounding me.

That’s all I see
That’s all I pray for.

How to stay healthy

Here is a nice summary of how to stay healthy in these scary times:

“Live in rooms full of light. Avoid heavy food. Be moderate in drinking of wine. Take massage, baths, exercise and gymnastics. Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water. Change surroundings and take long journeys. Strictly avoid frightening ideas. Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements. Listen to music.” ~ De Medicina – Aulus Cornelius Celsus c25 B.C – 50 A.D.