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Archive for March, 2016


June 24

I’ve been sick for the last few days. I’m too tired to make one more trip to the restroom. Charlie brought me a bowl and I just lie on the sofa, while he and Allie take turns dumping it. I know they’re both worried. I can hear them talking in the hall.

“I don’t know how long she can do this,” I heard Allie say.

And I agreed with her. I don’t know how long I can or want to do this.

You think you’ll do anything, give anything to live, but when it comes down to it, sometimes you wonder if it wouldn’t be easier just to let go. I’m worried I’ll feel that way before this is all done and over. Maybe that’s how Mom felt, she just couldn’t go on.

I heard Livia join in the conversation in the hall.

Livia brought Logan in to see me before they left. She wanted to show off his new outfit. I didn’t know which to look at first, the blue argyle sweater vest and plaid pants or the fact that he and Livia were wearing matching outfits.

“Shouldn’t I stay here and help with Mom,” he silently begged Allie for help.

“How sweet. But your Aunt Allie and Charlie have everything under control. Besides your mother wants you to go out and have a good time,” Livia said, getting her keys out.

“Great,” Logan replied though he didn’t sound the least bit convinced.

Allie shoved a bowl of cream of mushroom soup at me. Usually, it was my favorite, but today it was revolting.

“It’s homemade,” she said, coaxing. “Mrs. Wood at the market made it.”

I would have been shocked if Allie had cooked anything “homemade”. Her children weren’t even sure what a grocery store was for. The waitresses have her number on speed dial. She once tried cooking for a few weeks and got calls from restaurants checking to see if everything was ok.

I lied, telling her I’d try some later. I’d be lucky to keep the crackers down.

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June 23

I moved to the sofa today, perhaps a change of scenery would help me feel better. I was hoping just getting out of bed would be enough to perk my spirits and reduce my feelings of illness. Perhaps if I didn’t stay in bed, I’d feel less like an invalid. I was also hoping if I was closer to Charlie’s office, he wouldn’t feel like he had to spend every minute watching over me. If he was within calling distance, maybe he’d work for a while instead of hovering.

“Is there anything I can get for you, Dear?” Livia asked, as Logan came into the room swinging his tennis racket dangerously close to a lamp.

He was dressed in khaki shorts and a red t-shirt.

“I’m ready for my tennis lesson,” he replied, his backhand coming within inches of a long mirror.

“Logan dear, change into your tennis whites. Club rules,” Livia informed us.

Tennis whites? Both Logan and I were perplexed.

“White shorts and shirt,” Charlie explained.

“I don’t have tennis whites,” Logan said.

Livia picked up her phone, called the club and cancelled Logan’s tennis lessons. But if he thought he was going to get a Livia free day, he had another thing coming to him.

“I can take a hint. I understand the need to shop better than anyone,” Livia said, grabbing her purse and Logan. “There are some days when all you want to do is bury yourself in a little retail therapy.”

With that, she swept Logan from the room for a day of shopping.

***

Allie came as dressed for work as Allie ever was. She was in slacks instead of a skirt. With Allie around, I was able to convince Charlie to work for a while. He’d been neglecting his project and I am tired of his constant reminders to eat and drink. I know he means well, but it gets annoying. I know I need to eat and drink and if I could I would, but I can’t without getting sick.

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June 22

I wanted to paint today, maybe even paint my vegetable garden. I call it my garden, but it turns out I’m in it less than everyone else.  I can see it from my window lying in bed. Everyday Charlie or Logan drag the sprinkler around to water rows of lettuce and cabbages, tomato plants in wire cages, herbs of every sort, and corn stalks waving in the breeze.

Today must have been Allie’s turn. While Charlie was making tea, Allie was dragging the garden hose around. Dressed in a brown skirt, orange sweater set, and heeled sandals, she tromped around in the dirt and mud. Usually the sight of her in a skirt and mud would have made me laugh. Today I’m just thankful to have her.

Once she completed her chore, she came bearing tea. I guess Charlie thought if Allie brought it, I might drink more. It doesn’t matter who brings it, the result is the same. I’m already tired of the concerned looks. But, I’m determined to make a good effort. However my mind had other thoughts. Every time I tried to reach for the cup, I missed as if I couldn’t bring myself to take it. After a few failed attempts, Allie pushed the cup into my hand, holding it there for a few minutes while I secured my grasp.

She sat next to me, shoving another pillow behind me to help prop me up. She clutched my hand so tightly I could feel her desperation.

“Remember how I’d wait for you by the school yard gate?” I asked.

“And we’d walk home together. Sure.”

“Those girls, who pushed you around, pulled your hair, and called you names, like Red Head Fred.”

“Not when my big Sis was around,” she said.

I reminded her of the time I lost her or at least thought I had lost her. I’ve never been so scared. I ran around looking for Allie for what seemed like hours. I found her playing hopscotch with those girls like they were best friends. I was so angry. She scared me to death. I don’t know why I keep thinking about it.

I still remember the look on Allie’s face when I was screaming. I don’t know why I did that.

“I’m sorry I yelled at you. It was stupid,” I told Allie.

“I’m sorry I scared you.”

“I’m sorry I’m scaring you now,” I whispered.

Allie tightened her grasp on my hand.

“You’re cutting of my circulation, Carrot Top,” I said, wincing.

She laughed. It was good to hear her laugh again. I haven’t heard her laugh since that day at the sushi restaurant.

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June 21

I could hardly crawl out of bed. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, but I refused to let myself believe it was going to be this hard. It wasn’t just hard for me, but Charlie too. He spent the first few days of my treatment trying to coax me to drink and eat, then watching when everything came right back up. I can’t remember having spent so much time in bed.

I feel bad for Charlie. I thought he’d be able to continue working on his project in spite of my illness, but now he seems to spend most of his time taking care of me. At least he has a break when Allie stops by.

“Do you remember when you first found this house?” she asked, lying next to me as if we were just taking a little nap instead of lying here because I can barely hold my head up.

“Do you remember the look on Gordon’s face when we brought him here?” I asked.

“He thought you’d lost your mind buying some house that would be better off condemned.”

The old house had fallen on hard times. The walls were covered with peeling layers of browning wallpaper. The settling foundation had opened cracks that had torn through the wallpaper, leaving holes large enough to put your fingers through. A beam had cracked breaking through the living room ceiling. The backyard was filled with waist high weeds.

But under all that was a stone farm house built in the eighteen nineties. It was a one story structure that had been added on to over the years. Deep cool porches lined both front and back offering shade from the hot Texas summers. The backyard was almost forested by trees and beyond the weeds was a small creek. I had fallen in love with the tall ceilings; the dark wood floor with planks wider than my hand; and the long windows set into the thick stone walls.

“Remember how you spent almost every day here helping me tear this place apart?” I reminded her.

“And then putting it back together.”

“I thought we’d never finish.”

“I wish we hadn’t. How did we wonder so far apart?” Allie asked, taking my hand.

“We aren’t far apart. We see each other every week.”

I knew what she meant, but wanted to feign innocence.

“That’s not what I mean. How could we see each other every week and not see each other?” Allie asked the question I had been asking myself.

“Just life I guess.”

People continue marching along as if they have all the time in the world, never letting themselves think that their time here is limited. No one can guess how long they have, but we all live as if that day will never come. We all know we should live each day as if there will be no tomorrow, but we don’t. We think that applies to everyone else except us.

There are so many days I regret now. Days wasted in mindlessness. How I wish I had made better use of those days.

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Throne of Glass


Sounds like a great book and certainly a great review. Thanks. Dee

Reading Every Night

Throne of Glass


Title: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass, #1

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Release Date: August 2nd 2012

Rating:

Four Stars

Meet Celaena Sardothien.

Beautiful. Deadly.

Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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The Mill


I love the way this author combines actions and emotions. A great read. Dee

The Sound of What Happens

Mill Photo

Lugach fixed his son with a soul-piercing stare. “I entrusted her to you for no more than half a sun’s climb, Cormac. Where is she!” Seeing the pain threatening to engulf his fathers face was almost worse than the hot waves of shame, flooding him with his countless failures. He felt like he had been a disappointment to his father from the day he was born. Now he would be hated. He shoved the clawing animal of guilt and grief back into its iron-barred cage in his heart. To his horror, he was not quite under control when he spoke. That was the way with him, good, but not good enough. “Lost.” It was a choked whisper. Dazed, he shook himself violently, as if from a nightmare that would not give him up.

“Lost?!” his father roared. “May you find her or die trying!”

Running … running ……

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You never quite got to be here You never quite got to breathe in air I never quite got to touch your face take you home show you your place I never quite got to watch you grow I never quite got to get to know you, your love I never quite got to hold […]

via Never Quite — The writers’ blogk

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he waited for his wife to do the dishes

Home improvement gone wrong.

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June 20

The treatment has kicked in with a vengeance. I spent most of the last few days sicker than I can ever remember being. If this is how sick you get with a low dose, I’d hate to see how bad a heavy dose would be. The medication that was touted as taking care of this nausea doesn’t work for me. Despite the illness and exhaustion, I’ve kept on painting. Not for hours at a time like before, but for minutes, whatever I can manage. Charlie moved my easel so I can see it from bed. I study my painting for a while and then work for a few minutes. I’m so exhausted, I can’t see straight sometimes, literally. My vision blurs and I know I’ve pushed myself too far; it’s time for a nap. A little sleep and all is right again.

Allie came by, as is pretty much her usual now. I’d been thinking about Mom lately.

“Remember the day Mom died?” I asked her. “You ran off and no one noticed until dark.”

“Everyone was looking for me, but you’re the one who found me.

“Sitting by the gate to the schoolyard.”

“Do you know why I went there?” she asked.

“Not really.”

“I knew you’d find me and bring me home. I knew everything would be fine if we just walked home together. Mom would be in the kitchen again, fixing dinner. Nothing would have happened. You could fix anything.”

“But I couldn’t fix it.”

“I know but you brought me back,” Allie said.

“I wish I could have done more.”

“Without you, I wouldn’t be here now.”

“I’m glad you’re here,” I said, squeezing Allie’s hand.

“Me too.”

“Hey, meet me by the gate.”

Allie turned to look me in the eyes, like she was searching for a truth.

“Always,” she replied.

I’ll always be waiting by the gate. No matter what, we’ll always have each other.

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June 17

Tomorrow is the big day, first day of treatment. I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. I wanted to stay there, hiding, hoping tomorrow wouldn’t come. Then I realized this is my last day of freedom at least for a while. I don’t know how radiation and chemo will affect me. Most people have some form of illness with it. I heard of a few friends of friends who weren’t sick at all and even start feeling better. I’m hoping I’m for the later, but fear the former.

I thought I’d paint the day away. I had pictures taped to the wall of landscapes that looked like they’d come from a French fairy tale. The more I worked, adding more color, the darker the painting became. It began to look like a storm was waiting just on the horizon to take over my painting and my life.

I heard Livia’s voice calling to Logan, she had decided to show off her “grandson” to Louise today.

“It was not funny and your etiquette classes start next week,” Livia called after Logan.

She didn’t sound happy.

“Do you know what your son did?” she asked, pacing in front of my easel.

“No, but I’m sure it was an accident,” I tried soothing.

“Accident? Burping the National Anthem isn’t an accident,” she fumed.

It seems Louise asked him if he played an instrument and right there at the table in the middle of the club, he burped the National Anthem. I wish I could have seen their faces. I told Livia I’d have a talk with him.

But she insisted I didn’t.

She laughed, “He’s a pistol, that one.”

She even commented on my painting, saying, “You’re not half bad. Your paintings I mean, they’re actually quite good and I know art. I have been the chairman of the Arts Committee for more than eight years now.”

I heard Livia talking to Allie in the hall.

“She’s painting. She’s really very good. I should have realized. She has that artist personality. Doesn’t care about her appearance, a kind of obsessed with something else look.”

“I don’t feel like fighting,” I called out after Livia left, “So if you’re here for round two, forget it.”

“I’m not here to fight.”

Allie paused behind the easel.

“She’s right, you know. Did you ever think you were meant to be an artist?”

I lied when I said, “I haven’t thought about it in years.”

I had thought about it, not every day, but periodically I would wonder if I could have been an artist or if I could still be one. After a while of day dreaming, I’d put away the fantasy in regards for reality. Knowing that someday when the time was right, when I had less responsibilities and more time, I’d come back to it again.

“You quit because of me,” Allie replied.

“I quit because of circumstances. You weren’t even out of high school.”

“I made you quit. I practically insisted.”

So Allie felt guilty.

“It was my choice. I made a decision.”

“I couldn’t do anything without you. I should have gone to college alone. I didn’t need you. I’m sorry I took your dream from you,” Allie insisted.

“I didn’t quit because of you. I quit because of me. I was scared and you were an excuse. After Grandma died, I had no one to go back to. I was alone too.”

That was the truth. It wasn’t Bryan’s fault. It wasn’t Allie’s fault. It wasn’t my parents’ fault. Ultimately it was my decision and my fault. I had no one to blame. If it didn’t work out now, it was only my fault. I had taken responsibility for everyone else except myself. I had been avoiding myself out of fear. As long as I never tried, I’d still have the dream. If I failed, then I would have the truth, it was just a silly dream. I might as well be dreaming of winning the lottery. At least with the lottery I’d have a chance. Once I tried and failed, my dream of being an artist would be over.

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