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Posts Tagged ‘dark’

My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to a dear friend who just lost his wife after many years. I do not know his pain, but my thoughts needed to be expressed.

 

I know

I open my eyes in the night

     The room not quite dark from the glow of the clock

            Reaching my right arm over to where you should be

I know

                        But my hand does not feel you there

The empty place on my bed matches the empty place in my heart

I know

                                     Death, this is your sting?

            Death, this is your victory?

                        The ache in my chest makes it hard to breath

I know

            Your pain is over as you found your eternal rest

                        My pain lingers on day by day

                                    I am alone

I know

I believe what the Bible says

                        Christ fought the final battle of death and won

                        My hope is your promise of life

I know

                        You are waiting for me to join you

                             To die is gain

                                    To be with you again

I know

         But for now, my earthly pain is real

                                       I am empty

                               I am hollow

                        I am alone

I know

            For you, I will press on with life

                        Waiting my turn to pass through the vale

                        My tears will be gone when once more I see your face

                                    Eternity will be ours

                                                                             I know

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The title I chose should give you the reason why I have not written here in a very long time. I find myself still writing, but mostly on Word. I have not shared much here because being completely honest, blogging is baring your soul for others to see. When life is going fine, I do not mind if others get a glimpse of my soul, but lately my life has not been anything to brag about. And so…I have gone silent.

Things in my life since 2015 have spiraled out of control and left me in some very dark places. From the death of my parents and many friends, to even a time when my own demise was so close, I could reach out and touch it.

I have a recently new friend that I have shared some of my writings with and he tells me that he enjoys my style of writing. But style is very different than content. Most things over the past couple of years have been what I have dubbed as “dark writings”. Similar to Poe in many ways. Not his genius of turning those dark thoughts into fascinating reads, just the dark thoughts.

My new friend encourages me to continue writing and so blogging seems to be about as close to writing as I care to get right now. I do have one small piece that I wrote, that I have decided to share here. Of course all of us know that once something goes to the internet, it cannot ever be changed or retracted.

It is one of many memories that I have growing up. Sometimes my head feels like bursting with things and typing away on my laptop is one way to open the pressure valve of my thoughts.

I am not sure how many, if any, of my thoughts I will choose to share here. I guess time will tell on that one. Words can be very hurtful. Much more so than any physical weapon. So if you should read anything I put here, and you take it personally, or adamantly disagree, I apologize now. Hurting anyone is not my intent at all. Which is why I am reluctant in sharing. I will start with something simple and see how it goes.

You may want to get a drink and some popcorn for this one. It is longer than I remembered.

Asking you to enjoy this is like asking someone to enjoy reading the obituaries. So in the words of Betty Davis, “Fasten your seatbelts, it is going to be a bumpy night”.

Remember

I laid in my bed tonight, wanting to drift off to sleep, but my mind would not let me. My thoughts would not allow the slumber that my body craved. My eyes were shut, but my mind rushed to a place that I had not seen or been to since I was 13 years old. With my physical eyes shut, a window in my soul opened to a place I could never forget…my grandparents’ home.

A seven-year-old scrawny boy, with cropped bright red hair, stood on the granite slab that acted as a step at the front door. I looked down to my right to see the familiar chiseled markings on the side. I stepped on the far-right corner and the stone rocked a little just as I knew it would.

The house was a small New England Cape. I thought the house was so beautiful. Now, looking back through the years, my aged eyes realized what disrepair the house had been in. The small summer kitchen and wood shed that at one time had linked the house to the barn, was no longer in existence. Long ago, I am sure it was a very quaint house with the large attached barn. But the barn was dangerously close to caving in upon itself and the house was not much better.

I harbor many memories here. The memories were mixed emotions of love and awe, to hate and fear. My mother came almost every day to visit her mother. Memories of my grandmother were all good. I felt an unconditional love with her. I knew that nothing could ever change that. A dull ache formed in my soul 44 years after her death for a time in my life that I would never be able to relive.

The house was covered in faded white paint, cracked wood and large paint chips missing. There were two windows on each side of the front door. Beneath these windows were bunches of tiger lilies and old-fashioned bluebell flowers. Seeing the tiger lilies made me smile because I called them freckle flowers. They reminded me of myself. Carrot-red hair and freckles.

I reached for the tarnished door knob that was as loose now in my mind’s eye as it had been so many years ago. The door slowly creaked open to the very small front hall. Directly in front of me was one step up to a door kept closed with an old-fashioned thumb latch. To my right was a door, rarely closed, that entered the kitchen. To the left of the step up was an antique hall tree. By antique I mean it was old, banged up and not worth very much. But I loved sitting on it to take my shoes off. Then standing up, I could lift the seat up to place my shoes into storage. It was like a secret hiding place to me. Then I would look in the mirror on the back and see the reflection of green eyes looking back at me.

To the left of the hall tree was a very small door that opened into a closet. This small door, also kept closed with a thumb latch, held many hours of exploration for me. Dusty boxes that held marvels for a small child. Old shoes and clothes that were far too large for me but were great fun to try on and show them to my grandmother who would laugh at how funny I looked. Small empty trunks and carpet bags that I used to hide my childhood valuables in.  Old, round tins full of assorted buttons, wooden thread spools, and many other things to intrigue me for hours of pretend. Behind me, opposite the closet door, was an old-fashioned steamer trunk. The clasp was always down, and the cover sat at a crooked angle due a broken hinge on the back. Inside of the trunk was a various assortment of mittens, caps, coats and such. A type of catchall to toss things in that had no other place to be tossed. In front of me was another closed door. My grandmother would only allow me through this door with strict demands of my behavior. No running or touching things unless she had given me permission to do so. I turned around and looked back toward the open kitchen door. I started walking toward the open door and with each step I took, I felt a chill in the air growing stronger. I stopped just outside of the door and swept the kitchen with my eyes. A rush of cold and dread knocked me to the floor.

My eyes flew open in the real world and I was laying back on my bed in the dark once again. My heart was racing as I remembered the fear that I felt as a child but could not explain. However, years later in adulthood, I recognized that fear as an evil, and I shivered as I realized how it destroyed the childhood of my mother and her family. And how that evil was always present and wanted to destroy everything that held any goodness.

I closed my eyes again and found myself still sitting on the floor looking into a very sparsely furnished kitchen. In the center of the room sat a large kitchen table with four carved legs and cross pieces to hold them in place. The table was far from being fancy and was painted white to make it look new. The wall to my right, the front of the house, had a tall metal cabinet used as a pantry cupboard. Between the two windows sat an old steel spring framed mattress folded in half and held by a clasp at the top. The mattress was thick and dark green. There were tears in the fabric with tufts of white stuffing poking out. Sitting in the corner was an old ringer washing machine. Its four legs had wheels, so it could be rolled over to the kitchen sink and be used. Small rust spots here and there around the screws holding the many pieces of the machine in place. Not much better than washing one’s clothes on a scrub board in a river but was a leap in technology for the house wife of the time. The side wall of the kitchen had numerous cupboard doors and shelves, a refrigerator with rounded corners, and an old chipped porcelain sink in the center. I knew if I ran and opened the cupboard on the far left, I would find a chipped, white coffee mug that I had claimed as my own. I did not drink coffee, but I would sit with my grandmother for hours sipping on a cup of weak tea with lots of milk and sugar in it, pretending to be an adult. A small window over the sink allowed natural light into the room filtered by old lace curtains. At the back of the kitchen were three doors. The one on the furthest corner was my grandmother’s bedroom. The next door opened to some very steep stairs that went down to a dirt floored cellar just large enough for an old wood furnace and a root cellar that sat empty with glass canning jars covered in cobwebs. The last door on the left now opened into an indoor bathroom. A very small room that had been my mother’s bedroom when she was a child. In that room was a closed door that went into the part of the house that I was rarely allowed into. Coming back along the center wall of the house was an antique Hoosier kitchen cabinet. The wooden doors at the top and bottom were painted white. The enamel baking top was also white with chips of missing enamel along the sides showing the black color of the metal. It had the enameled bread drawer on the left with a built-in sifter for flour and such. Four metal legs which had scratches and rust on them, held it in place. Next to that was an antique Barstow kerosene cook stove. There was a large kerosene tank on the back, eight cast iron cook plates on the top with an oven door on the front. On the side of the stove were two small square holes that were covered with mica. I used to love to watch the flames inside the burner as they made different colors on the mica and moved across the windows in waves of red and gold.

Beside the stove was a battered chair with worn and cracked brown vinyl cushions. I only ever saw two people sit in that chair…my grandfather or a friend of his named Henry that would sometimes be there. Henry never said much but just sat in the chair with a lit cigar in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other. The cigar smoke was a welcomed scent that helped cover his horrible body odor. He was extremely overweight and always wore the same clothes that were far too small for him. He barely acknowledged my presence in the room which suited me fine. He would be talking with slurred speech to my grandfather sitting at the kitchen table with his own cigar and beer. The last piece of furniture in the room was a rather battered rocking chair that set right in front of the cook stove. This was my grandmother’s chair and Grampa or his friends new better than to sit there. Especially since Henry never bothered to get up to use the bathroom. He would just sit in the old vinyl chair and wet his pants. I did not care for Henry at all since all he did was upset my grandmother every time he showed up.

A country kitchen can give so many people memories of love, laughter and the smell of fresh baked cookies. In my case, it was quite the opposite. I remembered arguments and quarrels that sometimes ended up in drunken brawls between my grandfather and his many friends and relatives that would always show up intoxicated. My grandmother did not drink at all and was pretty good at holding her own in the arguments until more of them would show up. Then she would call my mother in tears and Mom would drive the short distance to Grammy’s house. My mother, who also did not drink a drop of alcohol, was very good at dealing with a room full of drunks since she had grown up in that environment. Within a very short time, people started leaving the house very quickly including my grandfather. My grandmother would take me to the back part of the house and close the doors, but even as a child, I knew what was happening. Foul language filled the air, sometimes kitchen chairs would get overturned, the sound of breaking dishes, and once I remember seeing through the windows my mother swinging a cast iron skillet at more than one person, and she did not miss. She knew them all by name and could turn the air around her as blue as the best of them.

I once again opened my eyes in the darkness and as an adult, I now knew the chill that filled my memories of that small country kitchen. It was fear, lies, and hatred that alcohol could cause in a family. I would say very little during those escapades, and once things had calmed down, I would set to work cleaning up the mess in the kitchen, now listening to my grandmother and mother argue about letting that trash in the house especially if I were there. I hid my own tears and fright as I listened to my mother threatening not to let me visit any longer. My grandmother, still in tears, would plead with my mother not to do that. The volume and tone of the arguments would slowly calm back down once the influence of alcohol was cleared away. Years of growing up in a life like that, my mother did not want me to have the same battle scars that she had. She would take me to the front yard and open the car door for me to get in. She would then get into the car herself, start it up, and drive away. I remember looking out the rear window of the car and see my grandmother, still in tears, waving goodbye from the front door.

My heart ached at that memory and at last from pure mental exhaustion, I closed my eyes and this time there were no more memories for me to relive. Just the blessed quiet of sleep.

I woke up from a noise. Everything was still dark, so I figured it must still be night. But I felt disoriented. I could not see anything but slowly things started to come into focus. But they were things that did not make sense. I felt like I was in a fog seeing shadows of things as the fog swirled around me.

A door closed behind me and I finally realized where I was. I was back at my grandparents in the front parlor of the house. The room that I had to be very careful of. I was alone and just looked around me remembering every piece of furniture, the decorations, books, rugs, everything. And unlike the kitchen, this room was immaculate. Old fashioned wall paper. Built in corner cabinets. Marble top stands decorated with hurricane lamps, pictures, and beautiful pieces of glassware and china. I could look through an arch into the next room which was complete with a beautiful dining room set. China closets that sparkled. Even an old phonograph that still worked.

I walked over to an old hutch and opened the bottom drawer very carefully. My green eyes sparkled at an old cigar box that somehow, I knew would still be in place. I carefully lifted it out and set it on the table. I turned and closed the drawer and then returned to the table. I pulled out a chair with a soft, flowered upholstered seat and wooden back. I sat in the chair and remembered the feel of being there so many years ago.

I pulled the cigar box over to me and slowly lifted the lid. Inside of the box was something that meant so much to me, but probably would have meant very little to others. I called them peanut people. The reason why was because the bodies were made from actual peanuts. Each peanut was dressed in handmade clothes, hats, and painted faces to represent a different country. A well-traveled friend of my grandmother had made them and given them to her. At the bottom of the box was a map of the world with each country labeled for the correct doll. I carefully took out the peanut people and set them on the table. Then I unfolded the map and placed each peanut on the right country. It showed me where my grandmother’s friend had traveled to around the world. I would carefully study each one and see where they were on the map. My imagination brought them to life and with the hope that someday, I would be able to travel to all the same places and meet people that were dressed like the peanuts. I wanted a life that would be filled with awe and amazement of so many beautiful things around me. Just how I felt in this room.

I looked around me and my eyes settled on an old framed painting. I got up and walked over to it. Studying every detail and remembering the many stories that my grandmother told me…about herself. It was her high school graduation picture. I could always see a likeness in the face, but there was a difference. The difference was not apparent to me when I was only eight years old. But I now could see it. Her smile. She had a beautiful smile that the artist captured. A smile that no longer existed. I looked over at the closed door leading to the kitchen, and now I understood.

Alcohol. The evil influence of it had stripped the smile from her face over the years.

She appeared before me and I looked at her as an adult. She was not a ghost, but a memory that I had of her. She was laying in a bed in a nursing home. She had high blood pressure and because of a stroke, she could no longer move. Her eyes probed mine as she lay there with a small amount of drool coming out of her mouth that sagged open to one side. There was a plea in that look that I recognized as tears filled my eyes. The scene began to swirl away but the message remained.

Remember, Ricky. Always remember how the evil of alcohol destroyed so much in our family. Never give over to the evil but keep your life pure. Remember.

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I’ve been in the hospital for 14 days now. It has been a bag of mixed tricks up to this point.

I got some good news this morning. They are going to leave me on the antibiotics until Monday and do the surgery on Monday. So I will not have to go home and come back. That is great news to me. Going home sounds wonderful but coming back again for the surgery did not. At least now I am settled in.

The procedure itself should be pretty minor and fast. A camera is inserted into my penis and run up to my bladder. They will then use a laser to break up the stone and suction the pieces out. The journey then continues up into my left kidney. They will “pulverize” the 7 stones there and suction out the pieces. A stent will be put in for two weeks making sure everything is clear.

When I get home Palliative Home care will be working with me reduce pain an get my life back to normal! 😁

After that, my life can hopefully get back to normal!

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My youngest daughter came down to visit me this weekend. I asked her to bring her guitar so we could sing. I love music. We sang a lot and she played and sang many songs for me. I could not have asked for better medicine!

My wife and two daughters hold my heart in their hands.

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My diseased prostate

A cancer I do not need

Extinction for you

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Lupron Shot

I had my last Lupron Shot on Tuesday. Out of the many side effects I would say I have fatigue, swelling of legs and feet, overall weakness, and mood changes.

This Shot is good for three months. I still take me bicalutomide every day. Nine radiation treatments to go.

My numbers look good according to my blood work.

My moods are the scary part. We all have good or bad moods. But as adults we know when to control them. As for me right now I just need to avoid people and all will be good! I’m so tired that all of my filters are gone. So I apologize in advance for what may come out of my mouth.

I’m normally a pleasant person…really!

😂😬😠🤪🤨😇😡🤬

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Here at Dana-Farber for my three month hormone injection.

Eleven radiation treatments to go.

Do I feel like blogging?

No. So this is all there is to say.

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