Thursday, April 19, 2018

Because I could not stop for Death

Mortality is not infinite.
We won't live forever, even if we believe in an Afterlife where everything is peachy if we have been good while on Earth.
We're going to die.
We will cease to exist and those we leave behind will put our remains in a box and forget all the bad things we have done and say nice things about us if they can remember anything.
I've come close to death many times so far.
I've been scared every single time.
The thought of not being around confounds me and hurts me and scares me. I don't want to be nothing.
Have I left behind anything good?
My husband and children sure are good. But what would he do without me? How would the girls feel?
Would they cry or just be glad I was out of the picture?
Not saying they feel that way...but a long, slow death makes people wish for the end to come. No matter how much you are loved, if you are slowly, very slowly dying and exhausting your loved ones and worrying them and causing them great pain, they will wish for you to pass as soon as possible, with their permission.
Given gladly.
Every little pain, every pinch, every headache, every sore, every hiccup makes me worry about dying.
If I do not accomplish all I am supposed to do on Earth, I guess I will come back to haunt my house.
Oh, I am not on the verge...just thinking about it and THE END.
I'm not relishing the idea one bit.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Anne's Ashes

In the mid 1930s, the government allowed the CCC to create a small lake as a bulge in the Ambrose Brook that ran from Piscataway through Middlesex, NJ and down through parts of Bound Brook to end up in the Raritan River. They gov't named it Creighton Lake, or Lake Creighton, and nearby, houses were eventually built that were included in Creighton Manor.
There were two islands full of flowering trees that were beautiful in Spring and a wooden bridge at the narrowest end to enable people to cross to the other side where the elementary school was, still some distance away.
The workers created a "boat house" cobbled out of stone and at the other end, a small construction, similar to a pergola and castle (depends on how you looked at it and how young you were) that in Spring was covered with wisteria vines. This was beyond a small dam and relief valve that could keep the raging waters of the lake from flooding.
All in all, the lake was beautiful, the islands were beautiful, the park that contained these man-made structures was beautiful, and lined with forsythia bushes and some fruit trees. There were many open areas in which to fulfill dreams of dragons and army men and baseball heroes.
In later years, however, due to hurricanes and nor'easters, the lake would overflow its banks.

The first  big flood I remember, my older brother had gotten a rubber raft for his birthday in July. It was tied onto the railing of the cellar stairs to get it out of the way. When we woke up that morning after the violent storm, the raft was floating in over a foot of water. We rode that raft around the cellar before we bailed the water out back into the swollen lake.
At these times, the water table rose and with it, the water in the cellar of our little house on the next street, the one that bordered on the park. I have written about the flooding several times.
The lake became more threatening after Hurricane Donna. It covered the park road and definitely got into the cellar of our little house. Things in the cellar were ruined. This kept happening with the biggest storms, but my mother worried as she checked the lake level against some sort of raised sewer thing across the lake. She worried about the cellar and would dash downstairs to make sure that everything was off the floor so she would only have to mop up the dirty water.
Hurricane Floyd ruined the sheetrock walls and reached the top step of the cellar stairs. Everything floated up. She refused to abandon her house, though, and when the water receded, my younger brother and sister in law managed to get rid of the damaged sofa, piano, rugs, whatever, in the cellar for her. It was quite a cleanup.
Mom never trusted the lake again.
Now that she is gone, and her ashes need a place to go, I intend to throw some into the lake. Sort of sweet revenge.
Goodbye, Mom.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Thrills and Chills

Okay. Early this morning I dreamt that I was in Antarctica. Living and working there.
Problem is, there was a part of the frozen continent that was green and had a little town in it...with a main street and stores.
The Gilroy was there with me, showing me the ropes.
Herb was in some sort of supervisory position, so I had to figure out how to adjust all by myself, with The Gilroy's help.
Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Find some hidden meaning in that, Dr. Jung.

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Early this morning, I had a dream that I was in charge of some sort of tribute to my paternal grandmother. Now, since she died a very long time ago and my mother just died recently, I think things got a little fuzzy there. But the horrifying thing was that I had rented a hall for the celebration and people kept filing in...hundreds of people and outside of my immediate family, I did not know them.

Now, I was one of 17 cousins. One passed away while quite young, leaving a daughter who went to live with another cousin. All my cousins married and had children and probably grandchildren by now. But still, that wouldn't be hundreds!

So, this morning I went on the old desktop and plugged in the last name and asked for a list of all those sharing this last name living in the US.
To my shock and surprise, there were a couple hundred.

I know that there were 17 cousins in the old country. I know that there were clans in upstate NY (I checked that years ago) and some in California. I have no idea how many stayed in Europe, nor how many came to the US.

But it could have been enough to fill the hall of my nightmare.

I think that all the folks listed on the computer page are related to me.
Oh, my God.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Acting Class

Remember that I have always wanted to be quotable? I've wanted people to pull an Irene saying out of thin air and have people nod their heads sagely and say, ah, yes, how insightful and true?
Well, I happened to think of something today and thought, maybe, just maybe, it might be THE ONE.
"I can't stand the drama, especially if I have the starring role."
Or, conversely, it could read "I can't stand the drama, especially if I don't have the starring role."
Can't make up my mind which I prefer.
Or do they both mean the same thing?

Friday, February 2, 2018

Words in my head

Sometimes, a word just pops into my brain and I think and think about it, wondering why I thought about it. Sometimes I wonder what it means. Sometimes, I wonder what brought it up. Somewhere, in the recesses of my brain, I must store these oddities and just to screw with me, they float up to the surface.

Today's word was "Doncaster". Now, I really don't know what it that is, but it came to me in the shower that it is the name of a race track in England.


Why did I dream about an immature cobra that walked on its tail the other night?

How messed up am I?

And the worst part of it all is that I can't call Mom to tell her how weird these things are.

I miss you, Mom.

Saturday, January 20, 2018


My mother passed away this morning.
She's been in hospice at a nursing home since October.
The past two weeks, she's been completely out of it.
When we saw her on Thursday, she was a corpse,
just skin and bones, unable to move except she did manage to squeeze our hands, which meant she knew we were there.
I could write volumes about my mother. She was generous, kind, loving and practical. She coudn't cook worth a darn, but we all got fat enough. She was scrupulously clean, kept her house sparkling and her laundry white in the sunshine.
She loved our father. She loved her three kids and she adored her six grandchildren. She always had candy and little presents for the neighborhood children and she held court on her front porch on summer evenings with many of her wonderful neighbors.
But Mom was basically shy and reserved. She did nothing to put herself forward or stand out from the crowd. I think she had low self-esteem, but I knew she was pretty damned smart and beautiful. Beautiful enough to marry my good-looking father!
I will miss her. Everytime something happens, I want to run upstairs to call her and tell her. I won't be doing that any more.
I just hope she's listening....
                        Together again, at last.