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Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Point of No Return


He sat staring at the computer screen, mesmerized by the images. The folder of pictures contained hundreds, maybe thousands, of images of beautiful women -- all sent to him, no one else, just him. He can’t help but feel a rush of power and excitement that comes from knowing these images are his alone, taken for him or by him.
His wife wouldn’t have dreamt of sending him pictures like this, even before her accident. She was too straight-laced and uptight to think about sending a provocative, sex-filled image of herself. Sometimes, though, he liked to lean back and pretend it was his wife on the computer screen in front of him. How different life would be, he thought, if his wife could send these types of images. Sometimes, he almost mourned the life he had lost, but then his mind replayed the phone calls, the Skype chats, the pictures and the excitement he felt at the thought of heading out of town for his business meetings. Any sadness he felt quickly faded into the background with the knowledge that his wife would never be the women in these pictures.
He has a new one now -- a new addition to his collection. He calls them his collectibles. They are his beautiful, collectible dolls who become his playthings. He can justify them that way. There is no talk of love or a future -- just play. Sometimes the playfulness can lead to physical pleasure but never love. He has some training to do with the new girl. In theory, she gets the concept of playing with him, but reality is a different matter. The email he got from her proved this point. She seems a little too naive, in a way, to adhere to his rules. She’s trying to set her own rules. Just for a laugh, he re-reads her email...
“You set down your ground rules. I gave you a sketchy outline of what I expected, but you overwhelmed me a little with your rules. Sooooo, here are my ground rules. I’m (usually) a very honest person. This is all new to me. But I’ll be up front with you when things get overwhelming for me, which I’m sure they will.
Yes, flirt. Be fun with me. Have fun with me. I’ll do the same with you.
Being physical with you is something I can’t consider. Kisses lead to intimacy with me. Intimacy leads to feelings. Feelings lead to problems. I’m not interested in giving, or receiving, sloppy seconds.
So text away but they’re my rules now, Skippy. If you want to come along for a flirty, fun little time, jump on board. If my rules are too much, then you are free to go back to the way things were before. Friends always.”
Oh, she so doesn’t understand this is my game, and these are my rules, he thinks She will need to learn, and it will be so much fun teaching her. First things first, time to make the deal even more attractive. Time to get her number and make her part of his collection. He needs to add her pictures to his gallery.
He logs into Facebook and brings up the messages from the previous night. Hers are at the top of the list. Seeing she is online, he takes the opportunity to pounce on his latest prey.
Hey there, I need you to call me. I have something I really need to talk to
you about. My number is 523-732-7462.
He waits for the immediate response she usually gives him. It seems like it is taking her an eternity to respond when he notices she is gone.
Oh, you’re gone...
With that, he switches gears. He is no longer a man on the prowl. He now switches to work mode. It’s time to make the money flow for himself and others. It’s time to work.

March 8, 2012
How did things get so bad? Ok, maybe bad is the wrong

word. Maybe it’s just not what I expected. I have a good life, from the outside anyway. Anyone looking in would think I have the picture perfect world. My life makes me think of the song “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” by Mary Chapin Carpenter. In the song Mary Chapin Carpenter talks about how the wife works to keep things looking picture perfect “spit and polish til it shines,” but she falls out of love maybe because of the monotony of her daily life. Or maybe it’s because she didn’t get much recognition for who she is as a woman and a lover, only as a mom and a wife. I think I’m becoming the girl in the song.
I know things aren’t really that bad. Garrett doesn’t abuse me or cheat on me (at least not that I know of). But we rarely talk anymore. The laughter is gone. It’s been replaced with apathy. Where there was once passion, laughter, and a shared ideal about building a life together, now there is only indifference. The TV is the moderator in our marriage. As long as the TV is on, there are no conflicts. I have to wonder how, with no work being put into our marriage, he thinks he’ll keep me.
I have to admit I’m partly to blame for all of this. I used to be the one to pick fights, to try and draw out what was wrong between us and fix the problems. But I got so tired of feeling like a nag and a shrew so I stopped. It was always up to me fix things between us. Garrett has always been happy to bury his head in the sand and let things go. In our early years, I brought up our problems to Garrett. He used to sit and talk with me. He wanted to look interested in fixing our issues, but, things always went back to the way Garrett wanted them. If he wanted to fix things, he would fix them, but if they were my issues things always went back to the way they were before. It was exhausting and unrewarding work, so I stopped. I always hoped, though, Garrett would see how our marriage is becoming empty, and he would want to help fix things before it was too late.
I know things could be so much worse, and I feel like a shrew as I sit here thinking “OH, woe is me!” So I'll take a break from my pity party and try to focus on the positive. The kids are my positive and my world.
As long as I focus on them, life is more than bearable. The five of them take my breath away when I look at them. I am in awe of what a gorgeous young woman Christina is. At 16 she’s in charge of her world and not afraid to show it. It’s scary to think how confident she is. She’ll do big things in her life. Noelle, sweet little Noelle, with her halo of blond hair, she’s quiet and bookish unless she’s with Andrew. Andrew pulls her out of her shell. His boisterousness is combined with an unrivaled sensitivity. I love seeing them together. And the twins, Amanda and Chandler, crack me up with their bickering banter back and forth. Those two are like a little old couple. I am in heaven when all of them are around.
It’s really only Garrett. He’s the void. The empty space in my life.
If I let my mind wander back in time, my heart hurts. I see a man and a husband who used to think the world of me, but that feeling is disappearing day by day. The joy we shared together is gone. Life is flat. Our marriage is mediocre, at best, and teetering on divorce, at worst. Sometimes I wonder why, if it used to be so good, we let it get the point of being nearly irreparable. But then I remember the hurt, the pain
from so many years of unresolved conflicts. I see the lack of trying, on Garrett’s part, to make things better. I feel I always come last with him.
Charley closes her journal, logs into her computer, and tries to drift back in time to happy days gone by. There is not much there, inside Charley’s heart, when she looks at pictures of their early days. Their wedding pictures used to fill her with delight, but now looking at them only serves to remind her she will never be able to compete with her mother-in-law. Will he keep me? Charley wonders out loud. Or is it too late?
Charley’s mind starts to churn as words come spilling forth and
she picks up her journal again and begins to write...
The Questions
The questions I have, there are so many.
The answers ~ I’m afraid, right now, there aren’t any. They’ll come from within, only answered by me.
Right now there is nothing for me to give, you see.
My heart is so heavy, so hurt.
Not a thing can be done for the pain to avert.
Did I love you with all of my heart?
Or did I just love the love the thought of “us” from the start? We seemed so perfect, so right.
Everything was wonderful. You were my knight.
Did I do the right thing?
Did I just want a ring?
Did I rush you?
What did I do?
I didn’t want to be alone.
Oh, how I wish I had known.
Was this the path I was supposed to choose?
Or did I choose the path where we both lose?
I don’t know which end is up or down.
I feel I am ready to drown.
This is not the right life for you or for me.
This is not right, not for either to be.
We are full of despair and not at all right.
I want it back to when we filled each other with delight. We...

Charley puts down her pen. Will the “we” continue, she thinks. She puts away her journal, tucks the memories of the pictures into the back of her head and vows to shake off her mental whining.


March 9

I thought today dawned a little brighter. At least it seemed that way at first. Garrett wasn’t so distant and reserved. He seemed more “in the moment,” as he walked into the kitchen with a cheery “Good morning” and a kiss on my lips. He snuck a quick hug and a little fondle into the routine of the morning, so I thought maybe I’m just imagining big problems where there really aren’t any.
But things went back to normal as Garrett got himself ready to leave for work. He sat at the kitchen table on his iPhone. He got lost in the texts and emails as they came in. As is the case every morning, I worked around Garrett, getting the kids fed, lunches made and everyone out the door. Garrett was the last to leave, and he placed a perfunctory kiss on my forehead. I was left standing in the door, a bit bewildered, wondering what happened to the sweetness from him that greeted me this morning. He, half-heartedly, waved goodbye and headed down the street , off to work. Maybe it’s just the pressures of the job. I hope, sometimes fervently, maybe it’s not us together. Maybe, hopefully, it’s just the job.
Charley closes her journal and wanders back into the silence of the kitchen to get to work on cleaning up and setting things back to normal.
Once the kitchen is restored and gleaming, Charley decides it’s time for her to catch up on the virtual world, and she logs into Facebook. She scrolls down the list of updates from her friends, commenting here and there on things that catch her attention. Charley is messaging back and forth with her best friend, Gayle Myers, when a friend request pops up on her screen. Charley clicks on it and is immediately transported back in time to high school. Peter Pampinelli. Hmmmm....she wonders, why is he “friending” her? She knows it’s not because they were best of friends in high school. Their paths rarely, if ever, crossed. Charley was among the bookish, quiet crowd, and Peter, Charley remembers him quite clearly, was a cool, aloof, artsy type. He reminded her so much of Johnny Depp from the movie Benny and Joon. He was a little different, but he didn’t care. He was self-assured in a way most high school boys weren’t. She remembers seeing him at two of their first high school reunions and thinking he had gotten even more beautiful. He had filled out through the shoulders and chest. His wavy hair dipped across his forehead and made his tawny eyes stand out even more. Charley remembers watching him at one of the reunions and being intrigued by the aloofness he emanated which only added to his mystique. She, excitedly, tells Gayle about the new friend request as she pulls out her old yearbooks.
She reminisces as she flips through the pages of her yearbook. She thinks back to when he moved into town. They were in sixth grade, and she remembers being in awe of his swarthy, dark, Italian beauty. She loved the way he spoke Italian in school to the girls who ran in his crowd. His dad was an Italian professor at the University of Michigan, so the Italian was true to who he was. But she is sure he used those sweet sounding words to his advantage. She flips to the index and finds him there, in the midst of her class. She is stunned by his senior class picture. He has braces, but other than that, he is nearly flawless. His hair is dark and wavy, curling back from his forehead. His tawny brown eyes seem to sparkle with a mischievous glint shining through the decades old paper. His high cheekbones and big broad smile are finished off with a strong jaw and cleft chin. She flips further and further into her old yearbook and sees him on the pages of all of the theatrical performances. She didn’t realize, though, that he was also on the golf and basketball teams. As Charley flips to old pictures of herself on the pages of clubs, not sports or theater, she has to wonder why he would friend her across the virtual world of Facebook.
Charley feels like she has been transported back to high school with her reaction to his friend request. Her heartbeat is a little more rapid than usual, and she can feel her cheeks flood with color. She is not used to being friended by hot high school classmates on Facebook, especially not ones she had a secret crush on. She abandons instant messaging and grabs the phone to pick Gayle’s brain.
“What should I do, Gayle? Should I play it cool and accept it, or should I play it cooler and ignore it for a while,” Charley asks.
Gayle burst out laughing, “You are acting just like you’re a high school girl with a crush! You’re 42 years old, and you’re acting like you have zero confidence in yourself to make a decision. It’s a friend request for heaven’s sake, not an invitation to go to Prom! Just friend him and be done with it, or ignore it and move on.”
“But Gayle, you haven’t seen him! He’s beautiful, and he’s asking to be my friend! God, I had such a crush on him in high school!,” Charley continues.
Gayle cuts her off before she can go any further, “You haven’t seen him either. You’re looking at a picture from 24 years ago. For all you know, he could have turned to mush and lost all of his hair. He could be a 1000 pound manatee with no friends.”
Charley knows Gayle is right, but she still can’t shake the image of Peter Pampinelli asking to be her friend. So she does what any self-respecting woman with a friend request from a hot, old classmate would do. She hangs up with Gayle, and she checks him out on Facebook. She goes on to his page and looks through his pictures.
Damn, he hasn’t changed much. Just a little gray around the temples, but the dark, wavy hair is still there. The sparkly brown eyes, with that same mischievous glint, are still there. The high cheekbones are still there, in a mostly unlined face, and are now made even more stunning without the braces. He hasn’t gained a pound. His shoulders are broad, and his waist is narrow. He is beautiful. Damn!
Feeling a little stalker-ish, Charley shuts down Facebook and turns her attention to work, vowing to wait a day on accepting Peter’s friend request.

Here is a bit of my book  The Point of No Return!  I hope you enjoy and Thanks for stopping by to read it!  I look forward to hearing what you think!!

I do what I do for the love of my children...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"You're Lucky You're Cute"

Last week I wrote a blog post about Lucas' "graduation" from eighth grade called They Can't Stay Little Forever.  After he finished reading it he and I started to chat about our lives raising Lucas.  I took him down my memory lane of little Lucas and surprisingly, he remembered a lot more than I thought he would.

We started going through his memory bank at what he remembered from his toddlerhood.  He remembered counting on his fingers beginning with his pinkie.  He would tell us it hurt to count from one to five starting with his pointer finger so he always started with his pinkie.  He remembered sitting in his rocking chair at night asking us to "rock a minute" as he held up his pinkie finger as a sign for "one more minute."  They were sweet little memories from a sweet little boy.

We went on to talk about how stinking cute he was as a little one.  I told him how the picture in the blog is such a good reminder of how adorable he was.  But those looks were a little deceiving.  Sometimes Lucas' name was synonymous with devilish behavior.

And it was Lucas' devilish behavior that was the launch pad for Lucas to read my sweet, little blog about my darling, little, blond boy.

I walked out of the TV room and into a scene that blasted from the past.  Lucas was jumping on the ottoman and I said, "Lucas Ford Pokrywka.  GET YOUR FEET OFF THE OTTOMAN!"  His response was classic.  He stopped jumping and I could see the words, "OH, Shit!" forming on his lips.  He slid down, remorseful and this is how our trip down memory lane began.

Lucas told me he remembered the first time I said those words to him, telling him to get his feet off the ottoman.  He was doing EXACTLY the same thing I had just caught him doing; jumping on the ottoman.  Stan and the kids have often taken that phrase out of context and tried to turn it against me, making me sound a little coo-coo for never wanting feet to be on an ottoman but the God's honest truth is that I said it in response to jumping on the ottoman.

I decided to see if Lucas could remember anything else about his devilish side. He told me he could remember leaving the house and going to find open cars on our street where he would just climb in and pretend to drive.   He told me he remembered stabbing that very same ottoman from the above story with scissors, causing nice little slash marks in it.  But to me, the best part about what he can pull from his memory bank is that he remembers what I said to him after he cut up the ottoman.  I said, "You're lucky you're cute!"

And I truly meant it as I dealt with the little devil we knew, and still know, as Lucas.  That saying is as true now as it was back then.  Only now, Lucas is a big blond boy.

Oh for the love of Lucas...

Friday, June 14, 2013

I'm Not Normally Like This

I'm not normally a nervous, fretful mama.  I'm always a pansy mama, as was evidenced in yesterday's blog post, but I'm not normally worried and nervous when it comes to my kiddos and their activities.  But today, I'm feeling all out of wonk when I think about them.

Claire, as you know, is in North Carolina at a swim meet.  She's with her team and her chaperones, who happen to be three of my all time favorite mamas and one of them is the one Claire calls "my second mom."  I should be feeling fine about her, but after yesterday's trip into a storm I'm still out of sorts.

Lucas' last day as an eighth grader is today.  And in true "I'm growing up form" he asked if he could walk to a pizza joint near their school with a group of his friends.  Zach asked the exact same question three years ago when he finished eighth grade.  I said yes to him so I really couldn't say no to Lucas when he asked the same thing.  The problem with Lucas walking there and Zach walking there is that Zach and Lucas went to different middle schools.  Walking from Zach's middle school to the pizza parlor didn't require crossing a major four lane road with cars going 45 to 55 miles per  hour.  I'm a little on edge thinking about Lucas crossing that street to get to his destination.  The school secretary told me yesterday she would make sure the school police officer would be at the street corner where they are crossing, but something is still not feeling quite right about letting Lucas walk.

And then there's Zach.  He wants to go shooting today with a group of his friends.  Now, I love and trust these boys, but something about shooting guns makes me nervous.  Huh, go figure.  Guns and boys.  Stan told me he is going to take a trip out to where the boys are and make sure they are practicing good gun safety.  I know Stan went hunting as a kid.  I know Stan knows gun safety, but I don't know that Zach knows as much about gun safety as I'd like him to know.  I do know he is conscientious and he pays attention to what's going on around him, but I have to say I breathed a huge sigh of relief when Stan said he was going to take a ride out there and check on them.

I really don't like being like this.  I don't mind being thought of as a pansy mama, the one who doesn't like watching milestones pass so quickly.  But I don't want to be the nervous "helicopter" mama, the one who doesn't give their kids any room to spread their wings a little.  While I don't like time with my kids passing so quickly, I do know that they will grow up and lead lives of their own.  So I want them to experience a little freedom with me on the periphery  if needed, but I don't want to hover.  I just wish the feelings of worry would recede a little so I can go back to bemoaning the fact that they are growing too quickly.

Oh, for the love of my children....

Thursday, June 13, 2013

This Mama is a Hot Mess

Just yesterday Zach told me I am a pansy.  And I am.  I admit it.  And I'm fine with that little term of "endearment" he bestowed on me.

What could possibly have made my 17 year old call me a pansy, you might ask?  Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Zach having his driver's license.  One. Whole. Year.  And so I did what I never should have done.  I looked up the blog I wrote the day he got his license.  Zach saw the tears in my eyes as I re-read what I wrote last year and he put his arm around my shoulder, squeezing me tight and said, "Mom, you are such a pansy.  I can't even imagine what you're going to be like next year when I graduate from high school."  I can't either, Zach.  I can't either.

Today, though, I'm not only a pansy.  I'm a mess.  Actually, I'm a hot mess.  My heart is in my throat right now.  You see, today I put my baby girl on a bus for her first ever travel swim meet.

Her excitement and nerves were evident.  I tried to hide my nerves.  I think I did a good job.  Her excitement far outweighed her nerves.  

I really am thrilled for her.  It's going to be a good weekend full of good friends, lots of swimming and a brand new experience for her.  But as Claire and her bus pulled away, the skies darkened, temperatures fell and the wind started gusting.  The storms were rolling in as the buses were rolling out.  

I've been keeping an eye on the weather, not that I can do a darn thing here, but I just want to know what she's headed into.  I've been on edge watching the storm's path intersecting with the buses.  My heart sprang to my throat when I got the text from Claire saying, "We're in a BIG storm.  And still driving."  For her, though, I had to present a strong front.  I responded by telling her she'd be OK and that the bus drivers know what they're doing, but what I really wanted to say was, "I'll be right there!  I'm coming to get you!!!"  

Zach would call me a pansy.  I'll be more honest and say, "I'm a hot mess!"  (So I'm doing what I do when I get agitated...I write!)  I'm sitting here watching the weather, hearing the weather alerts and not able to do a damn thing!  Shit!  There's not one damn thing I can do, except pray.  And I am.  

Oh, for the love of my children....

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

They Can't Stay Little Forever

Last night I sat through another milestone event for my children.  Last night marked the end of Lucas at middle school.  I never really think about Lucas growing up and getting older.  For some reason I still love to think of him as my sweet little blond two year old who loved his fleece footie pajamas and reveled in a good snuggle.

This is the picture of Lucas I have implanted in my head and I can't shake it out, even though I know how far from the truth of the matter it really is.  And last night the fact that Lucas is no longer this sweet, adorable, blond haired, brown eyed little one was brought home to me time and time again.

Yesterday I posted on my Facebook wall that it was another day and another milestone.  One of my friends said, "They can't stay little forever."  (Thanks Frank for the title of this blog!)  I know, in my heart they can't, and I know you've heard me say it before, but I'll say it again.  I absolutely love, Love, LOVE being a mom to these incredible kiddos of mine.  Time has flown by so much faster than I could have ever imagined and sometimes, ok most of the time, I wish time would slow down just a little.  Last night, though, I had to accept the fact that time is not slowing down.  It's speeding up, it seems it's almost faster than the speed of light sometimes.  

Enter 8th grade graduation...

As we walked into the school for the ceremony to begin we ran into Lucas' 5th grade teacher.  The one who put up with so much from a goofy 11-year-old Lucas and took to calling him Pokrywka in class, making Lucas beam.  I couldn't have imagined a better fit for Lucas in 5th grade than Mr. Burke.  I was, and still am, so thankful to him for his love of Lucas and his 5th grade class.  Mr. Burke and Lucas then began a new journey together.  Lucas, Mr. Burke, 278 other 5th graders and the rest of the staff all opened a brand new middle school together.  Mr. Burke thought it was time to teach middle schoolers.  He thought the fit would be better for him and the kids.  So Mr. Burke has had his eye on Lucas not only in elementary school, but throughout all of middle school as well.  And he said last night that the time has gone by so quickly.  He, too, can't believe that these kids who were his last class of elementary schoolers are now moving on to high school.  As we walked into school together Mr. Burke was called to talk to other parents.  We parted ways, found our seats and waited for the ceremony to begin.  

Cue the sappy music and slide show....

Luckily my attention was diverted and I didn't focus on any of that or I would have been a puddle on the ground. And I was so thankful we didn't do a full parade of these teens to the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" sounding through the speakers.  I don't think I could have handled that either.  "Luckily" for me, we went right to the speeches.

But from the minute the speeches began, I had to accept the facts as they are now, not as I want them to be in my head.  Lucas is growing up.  His time in middle school is over and he is headed off to the big, wide world of high school.  My throat constricted with sadness and my eyes glittered with unshed tears as the speakers began to encourage and build up a new class of freshmen.  

The school board official for our area, was the first speaker.  She talked about what it takes to be successful in life.  She quoted Sam Parker and his philosophy on 212 degrees; how just one more degree makes all the difference between just hot water and water that makes steam powerful enough to propel an engine forward.  That's what she wants the kids to focus on in life...that one extra degree of effort.  It was a great message for this group of kids as they head off to begin high school.  

One of the next speakers was the teacher of the year for the middle school Lucas is leaving behind.  She talked about the three F's in life our kiddos need to hold onto for dear life.  Friends.  She told them to choose wisely.  Choose the friends who are there for you, encourage you and never let you down. Family, was her next F; a family who loves you unconditionally, no matter how you come by them.  Family is always there.  Foundation, was her last F; with solid foundation you have life at your feet.  If you have these three things you will succeed in life. 

These two ladies did a fabulous job of encouraging and building up these new, almost, high schoolers.  These ladies gave two of the best speeches I've heard at an eighth grade graduation (OK so, I've only been to two but they truly were great speakers with a fabulous message).  They kept it at the kids' level but also let them know they are growing up and more is expected from them now.  They also did a tremendous job of keeping a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I thought about Lucas growing up.  

It was the Principal of the school who nearly brought the tears coursing down my cheeks, though.  He told the kids how much he was looking forward to watching each and every one of them walk across the stage at their high school graduations in four years.  All I could think to myself was, "Please don't rush it. PLEASE don't rush them."  I'm not ready to think of Lucas as a high schooler, let alone a high school graduate.  The tears were close to the surface and I was happy the auditorium was dark as the principal delivered his message to the kids.  I was glad Stan didn't see the tears in my eyes as I blinked furiously trying to keep them in check.  I was also glad when the principal took his seat and I didn't have to think anymore about fast forwarding to Lucas' high school graduation.  

I do have to admit Lucas looks the part of a high schooler.  He looks like he's ready to move up and move away from middle school.  The look on his face after he walked across the stage for his folder of memories proved it.  

So now it's official.  I have two high schoolers ~ a freshman and a senior.  Frank, I know they can't stay little forever but do they have to grow up at the same time??  

Oh, for the love of my children...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Bit of My New Book

So, as I promised yesterday here is a little, tiny bit of my next book! 


I am sitting in my spot on the red tufted leather couch in our library.  My view is the expansive New York City skyline.  The weather outside looks crisp and clear.  Christmas is in the air.  I can see families on the other side of my windows decorating and preparing for the holiday as I sit and watch the world go on without me.  My legs are stretched out on the couch and are covered with the same throw I’ve been using for the past two and a half years.  Rebecca, my nurse, is due any time now.  I’ve been thinking a lot about what she wants me to do.  I don’t know if I can or not.  She wants to bring him here again.  She brought him to me once before.  It was an ugly time two years ago.  Not that now is much better but with Rebecca’s help I’ve healed a little.  She’s been a godsend to me, the only one who could have ever helped me and Peter doesn’t suspect a thing.  
She and I met in the rehab center where we were both patients.  Both Peter and my parents watched her as she would talk to me and try to work with me along with the multitude of doctors, nurse and therapists.  They all saw she was the only person who could calm me when everyone else failed.  My parents thought she was a miracle worker when it came to me.  When she was near, I was calm.  Peter.  He knew he needed help caring for me.  He knew I was going to be released soon.  He knew he needed a strong case for taking me home to our penthouse in the sky.  Peter realized my parents never would have agreed to a group home for me, which is precisely where he wanted me to go.  He didn’t really want to bring me home.  He told me so one day when no one else was listening and he thought I was sleeping.  He wanted me to just leave, to disappear.  But that wasn’t to be, I heard him mutter under his breath.  My parents told Peter they wanted to take me back to my childhood home.  I listened to them plead their case to Peter, but he needed me home, he told them.  He needed to be the one to care for me.  He told them he felt responsible for my accident.  He should have been there with me, he said.  He should never have let me drive out to our house in the Hamptons alone.  I watched the single tear slip down  his cheek and I knew.  I was going home with Peter.  He sold my parents hook, line and sinker with his story.  Their love for Peter grew the day he told them he hired Rebecca to take care of me.
If only they knew.  The truth is locked inside of me.  Waiting.
I think back on the day I was released from the rehab center.  It’s been well over two years. The physical pain of moving me here was nothing compared to the agonizing mental pain I was about to under go.  When I was in the rehab center, my life, my focus was trying to heal my body and relearn skills.  The fire stole so much from me.  But I didn’t realize how much it stole from me until I came home and my world became confined to these walls and three faces.
Peter.  My husband and my warden.  I remain locked away like Rapunzel, Princess Fiona or, the worst thought of all, Anne Boleyn.  Will he kill me if he finds out what I know?  I move quietly and slowly because I can’t risk him finding out about me.  
Lucretia. Our house keeper and my jailer.  She watches everything while Peter is gone.  What she doesn’t know is that I do all my work at night when she is not here.  But I have to be careful.  Her reach is far and wide.  And my fear is palpable when she is around.
Rebecca.  My protector.  She is the only one who is working to help me heal.  But I have to be careful.  I don’t want her to get hurt, to get tangled up in what I know.  I feel like need to protect her too.  
So much has changed, yet so much has remained the same.  I sit in the same spot, day after day while Rebecca comes and goes, always making sure I’m taken care of.  She is my protector but she doesn’t know what I do while she is not here.  Luckily for me nobody does.  But that is about to change.  My day is coming and it’s almost time to start telling my secrets.  
Rebecca.  I start to think about her and all she’s done for me.  It’s been a long, painful two years for both of us together.  We’ve known each other for four years now, but I’m just starting to let my guard down more and more with her. She has almost earned her way in.  There is no way she would have stayed with me for two years if she wasn’t there to help me.  But I still don’t think it’s safe to tell her everything yet.  I think she suspects a lot of bad things lurking in the background and she wants it all to come out.  It will.  It’s almost time for all of our work to pay off.  
As I think about what she wants me to do my mind drifts to her story.  Rebecca was an Army nurse who wounded in Afghanistan.  She was tending to a soldier when she was shot in the head by a Taliban sniper.  Her wounds were tended to quickly and she was airlifted out of combat and back to the civilian world.  She worked for years to overcome her disabilities and her fears.  Her insight into my reality has been the only thing that has kept me on this side of sanity.  She knows how debilitating panic, terrifying thoughts and self-loathing can be.  She has worked with me quietly to make sure Peter still thinks I’m still mentally unstable.  She told me one day that Peter also thinks she’s unstable. She heard him telling someone on the phone that her instability is why he lets her stay.  She’s done a good job of making him believe both of us are too mentally damaged to be of help to one another.  His belief in our deception keeps him away from me and keeps both of us safe.
What he doesn’t know is that we’ve been working together to heal.  

And now I ask a favor of you all...if you read The Point of No Return and enjoyed the story would you all be so kind to head over to The Point of No Return on Amazon and leave a review for me? I would be forever in your debt! Reviews are one of the ways my book can be found and grow. The more reviews I have the more views I can get to help other's find out about my book! THANK YOU and ENJOY!!!I hope you enjoyed these two little, very raw, pieces from my next book.  Please let me know what you think!  I can't thank you all enough for your support and encouragement!!!  

This whole ride is a total blast and Stan and my kids are my biggest cheerleaders (even though the kids aren't allowed to read my book).  So I'll keep cruising along for myself and the love of my children....

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Senior

It's official.  I have a senior in high school.  Zach and I were just talking about the new role he and the class of 2014 is assuming.  The senior class of 2013 is gone.  They have left the building.  The juniors are now the new senior class.

I never thought this day would come so quickly.  In 1996 it was hard to fathom writing the words, "Zach is a senior."  And it was impossible to imagine the thought of looking up into the sweet face of a handsome young man who stole my heart the minute he came screaming into this world.  I have to say I'm not ready.  I'm not at all ready to say, "I have a senior in high school."  I am sitting here with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I think about how quickly this year is going to pass and then I will have to say, "My oldest just graduated from high school and he's now in college."  How did time pass so quickly?

I was looking back at pictures this morning and I found these two pictures.  Two polar opposite pictures of the same young man.

They exemplify the reason I am not ready to say, "Zach is a senior."  I still see Zach as the goofy eighth grader who decided to make his class picture memorable by smiling in a way that only an eighth grade class clown can.  But the two polar opposite pictures go on to tell the story...even though I'm not ready.  Zach is.  He has matured into the handsome young man on the right.  And he is ready.

While it may be official that I have a senior in high school I still don't have to like saying it, but I have to admit I so enjoy the young man who has become The Senior.

Oh, for the love of my children....