Tracking The Time

The loss of my mother haunts me. How could it not?

I know not everyone has a deep bond with either parent, and others have different scenarios of their family dynamic, which I understand, but my mother was my best friend. I was never embarrassed of her or ashamed of her. I took care of her. I helped her with anything and everything. I paid her bills and kept everything up-to-date. I cooked. I took her to doctor’s appointments. I dropped her off at work, walking her to her desk, and repeated the process at the end of each day. Sometimes, my brother was the one doing that, when he was available. We often dreaded it, but we did not complain. Two failed back surgeries left my mother partially paralyzed, so the extra assistance was necessary. Her biggest fear was falling and being wheelchair bound. 😦

I always question what I could have done to save her. I would have given her the heart out of my own chest. Ultimately, her life was in her own hands and she refused invasive medical treatment. Medical treatment my brother would later receive, and still receives. She gave up and her heart did, too. I don’t think she realized how much heartache and pain she would leave behind. Nor do I think she cared. She was too far gone to care anymore. While I understand that, it’s the polar opposite of how she expected me to be. It’s hard to reconcile the fact that she always wanted me to fight, but wouldn’t do it for herself.

So today, on what would have been her 74th birthday, I tried to do normal things. I’m wearing one of her favorite colors of nail polish in homage to her. I do it every year; I try to find a shade of purple that honors her life and what she left behind. But ultimately, as the day comes to a mental close, I am deeply saddened and feel the loss in every part of my life and heart.

If your parents are still alive and you have a good relationship with them, please realize how blessed you are. Some of us aren’t so lucky.

May you seek sweet Serenity, madre. May time heal, even though right now, it still tracks.

Numb Dismay

It’s hard not to be angry and numb today as an #American. I’ve seen a lot of ugly, racist comments made, all under the guise of, “If those people had been…” Just stop. I don’t want to see ANYONE shot, choked, tear-gassed, or harmed because of one psychotic person who bought an election in this country. The hatred is alive and well without his encouragement. The white supremacy needs to stop, and people who are wholly white need to stop their bullshit, because a lot of it comes off hateful, even if you mean well.

This morning, some white privileged pig told me (and the several million people I represent as an American Jew) to leave this country, “for my own safety”, and proceeded to made assumptions regarding how I vote. To be perfectly blunt; Fuck you. I will take up arms and I will fight back against all forms of hate, including someone telling me I’d be safer somewhere else. REALLY? Where?! “Go back to Israel.” Are you fucking kidding me with this shit?

🌏 My family, like many others, helped build this young country with their bare hands. Half of the things you admire in New York City were physically built by my Great-Grandfather, an immigrant who worked until the day he died, and my Great-Uncles, only one of whom was not born here. No one gets to tell me I’m lesser than everyone else because I’m #Jewish. Nor does anyone get to make assumptions about which way I vote, because unlike many people, I’ve been voting since I was legally allowed to do so. I was raised to know my voice has meaning. I’m tired of the assumptions based solely on my skin color and where I reside.
Let’s see how the transition from racist AF “President” who can’t stop playing golf on taxpayers dollars, to seemingly laid back, sane President goes. It’s NOT always red versus blue, or vice versa. It’s about HUMANITY. This country seems to have forgotten its history, and the future is on shaky ground. I’m hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst. More importantly, we’re fighting a #GlobalPandemic. It’s not a hoax. It’s not going to be gone the second you’re vaccinated. These are facts. Today, try to be a lot more civilized than you might feel. You’re not alone.

Discussions of Funerals and Such

Today is the funeral of a friend of the family who died as a result of Covid 19. My brother is there now, and there’s nothing I can do except be encouraging, even though it puts me into the headspace where I relive every funeral I’ve ever been to. Funerals aren’t usually anyone’s cup of tea, but my brother especially, is not good with them. He has his reasons, and they’re perfectly understandable. That’s why he texted me this morning to ask if he looked okay and to go over certain things since we don’t usually get asked to attend non-Jewish funerals. There are religious and cultural differences between the two, believe me.

I’m in an okay element at the majority of funerals I attend. I’m being brutally honest when I say I’m invited to funerals, but no one ever invites me to their wedding. I’m serious about this, too, so don’t invite me to a wedding out of pity. I have nothing to offer there.

Having always been honest about life and death is likely crucial to how I handle things as an adult. My mother didn’t try to pretty it up for me when my Grandfather died, or when subsequent family members passed away after the fact. There were no bullshit stories in my home growing up, and I had no tolerance when people attempted bullshit stories with me. I haven’t changed on that level.

I cringe when people tell me how they (tried to) explain death to a child (at age three-ish or so), and fucked up royally (My words, not theirs. They think they did the right thing. My eyes rolled to Japan and are on their way back. Excuse me one moment.). I’m mortified by the shit they tell their kids because that level of dishonesty will shape them as they get older, and I’m not good with it. To this day, I still can’t tolerate the lies people tell. If you ever wonder how dishonest you come off, ask me and I’ll tell you.

Yes, I was the kid who told all the other kids that Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy weren’t real. And I’d do it all over again, too. I mildly got in trouble for my honesty growing up, but it was mostly in the sense that my mother understood why I was being so honest, and told me it was the responsibility of other parents to also be honest with their children, or not. And if “not” was on the table, then I needed to try and keep my mouth shut, so as not to interfere with what they wanted their children to believe. I don’t think I’ve ever been on board with that.

In my eyes, a funeral is where you go and pay your respects. You’re not doing it for you or those involved (unless you’re really close with them), you’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do. Period. Respect is something I find lacking in so many relationships these days, and it’s disgusting to me. If you are unable to attend, then you send something, based solely on your relationship with the survivors of the deceased. I generally send cards and fruit baskets, but last year, when my cousins lost their mother to cancer, I had trees planted in Israel in memory of her, because I knew it would mean more to them, and it did.

When my father passed away, I sorted through hundreds of cards. I’m not exaggerating; cards came daily for over three months, and there were a decent amount of people at his funeral. When my mother passed away, I didn’t get five cards in total, and I got only three phone calls. It was bizarre as hell. My support system (i.e: Family) sucked then and it sucks even worse now. I cope differently than I used to. The person who buried her parents five months apart is a completely different woman now. I am colder, harsher, and darker, but I respect myself more for that than I once did. You see, these hard things change you, and when they do, you should honor the change, and not think of it as something awful. Change means growth. That’s not negative, and don’t let people tell you otherwise.

Did I want to burn my Aunt and Uncle’s house down after my father’s funeral? Absolutely, but I didn’t (Instead, I marched over to my Uncle’s grave and tore his spirit a new asshole. It felt good to get the anger out of my system, in the moment.). Did I want to rip people to shreds at my mother’s funeral? Yes. Instead, I stayed quiet, behind dark sunglasses, like a lady, and spoke when spoken to, after eulogizing my mother. I admire the woman I was that day because behind her pain, she was poised as hell. I am still poised. If you’re kind to me, I will be kind in turn. If you’re disrespectful, it’s not beneath me to throw you into the nearest open grave and shovel dirt over you. Everyone picks their own poison with me, no pun intended.

Today, I am sad. I’m sad that people still don’t seem to understand how serious this pandemic is and I’m sad many people have had to say goodbye to loved ones way too soon, and I’m angry with the knowledge that much of this could have been prevented.

I’d like to go back to normal. I’d like to not have to wear a mask (I’ve nearly walked out without one so many times.). I’d like to not have to worry about whether or not I’ve touched something that may be contaminated, etc. I’d like for people to feel safe again and not be worried, but I’m too realistic for that. Naturally, I have definitive opinions on the three vaccines that were pushed through and approved in less than a year, too, but that’s a discussion for another day and, possibly, a different audience entirely.

For today, I wish everyone the best and hope that you’re safe, healthy, and coping to the best of your ability. If you’re not, please know you’re not alone.

copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Eerie Stillness of Bad News

Today, #Covid19 claimed the life of a family friend. His crime? Being told it was safe to have surgery, so that he could get back to being the healthy, active person he was. 😡 They are NOT preserving a life if Covid is part of the diagnosis, and it’s important for people to know this. They’re too afraid to try and help them in any real way, except keeping them comfortable.

PLEASE, STAY HOME. WEAR A MASK if you must go out or interact with people for work. This person died less than a week after testing positive, and he died alone. I tested negative at the beginning of the month (And I’m STILL sick, but not severely.). This easily could have been me, someone who is immuno-compromised, or anyone I know who has been forced to proactively handle their health during all of this insanity that no one could possibly be prepared for.

My primary care physician keeps telling me it’s safe to go into the office. 🙄 Two other doctors of mine were much more honest, telling me to stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go in. “It ISN’T safe and they CANNOT claim to provide a virus-free environment. He should NOT be saying this at all.” No, he shouldn’t, and I will be canceling my March appointment with him. I will be canceling other appointments for the beginning of next year, too. I don’t want to risk exposure, and I really can’t afford to be put at risk. None of us can.
I’m not saying you should be scared to live your life, but please, be mindful. Use common sense. Take precautions. Be mindful of the situations you’re putting yourself in.

Yes, we’re all going insane with restrictions and closings, etc. But you have to be alive in order to go insane even a little.

Another family is shattered tonight. 💔 Do your homework. If you can get vaccinated, weigh your options (It’s too early to be good for EVERY person. There ARE risks involved.). If you feel safest at home, I will NEVER judge you for it. But please, think about receiving a phone call at 2:30 a.m. and then wondering how you’ll cope with the aftermath. And if you don’t think about your family and friends, think about how you’d feel if the person was your mother, daughter, wife, father, son, husband, sibling, etc., and they died because you exposed them, unknowingly, to this crap. Yeah, it’s not a good thought or feeling.

Rest In Peace, Robert. You didn’t deserve this. 😢

Emotions, In My Experience

“Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “The happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “The disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “Intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members.” connects with “The hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “The sadness inspired by failing restaurants,”, as well as for “The excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever. ” ―Jeffrey Eugenides

Perhaps Some Day

“Perhaps some day the sun will shine again,
And I shall see that still the skies are blue,
And feel once more I do not live in vain,
Although bereft of you.

Perhaps the golden meadows at my feet,
Will make the sunny hours of spring seem gay,
And I shall find the white May-blossoms sweet,
Though You have passed away.

Perhaps the summer woods will shimmer bright,
And crimson roses once again be fair,
And autumn harvest fields a rich delight,
Although You are not there.

But though kind Time may many joys renew,
There is one greatest joy I shall not know
Again, because my heart for loss of You
Was broken, long ago.”
―Vera Brittain

Brief Moments Of Joy

I’m having one of those days where I’m upset, angry, hurt, depressed, extremely sad, trapped inside myself, and trying to process each emotion individually. It’s easier said than done. Silent migraines have attacked a lot these past few days. They involve little or no head pain, but everything else makes you wish you could treat it without getting sicker. I’ve used everything from caffeine to try and break it, but now it’s anti-nausea medicine and hydration. I’ve never been so happy to have Lime Cucumber Gatorade in my life. Sounds like a bizarre flavor, I know. When you’re sick like this, it’s heavenly. If you’ve never found this flavor, look for it in a store that sells a lot of cultural foods.

Today, the lyrics from, “Soon You’ll Get Better” made me cry. As someone who doesn’t cry often, maybe I needed to? Maybe I connected too much. 🤷 And sadly, the reason why I connected are for two separate reasons.

facebook_1566587835624-1

Thank you Target (who originally posted a delivery date of next week), FedEx, and Taylor Swift for the brief joy of #ReleaseDay. #Lover #DeluxeVersions 🎉

Tools of The Trade

photogrid_1559769284227

Being without my laptop has been trying these past few weeks. I’m SO READY to be writing and creating, and I hate being stalled. Poor thing is a very expensive paperweight at the moment. 😔 I don’t want my creativity to dry up or meltdown. If anything, it’s ramped up considerably. Talk about frustrating! I found something that could be the perfect fit for 75% less, but I still have to wait, which sucks.

This week, I picked up some notebooks so that I could at least get some chapters written. The pens I already had. I purchase a box or two of the pink Uni-Ball Signo pens each year. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The ink is black and these pens are my faves. We won’t discuss how many pens are in my purse at any given moment. I was teased last year for signing something in purple ink while wearing a purple t-shirt, sneakers with purple accents, and I had a bottle of water with me that matched. “Do you usually match your ink to your outfit and water?” 😂 Smart ass.

Current hardcover inspiration: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare, Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu, and Next Level Basic by Stassi Schroeder. I finished the latter this afternoon. It’s decent, but I cringed over the editing, which, in my humble opinion, was not well done. 🤷 However, I supported three different libraries, so that’s a positive. 👍

At the moment I’m on page two of a new scene, and I started reading Red Scrolls a few days ago. I always have 2-8 books in my current rotation. I’m trying not to be too miserable or upset, but I won’t lie; I’m getting there. However, I feel like there’s a lesson to be learned here, so I’m trying to keep calm-ish.

I’m having an in-office medical procedure done Monday afternoon. The anxiety is already creeping in. 😔 It’s 30% procedure and 70% Boston traffic, which is a fucking nightmare, and makes other major cities look GOOD. Especially if you don’t have to view the nearly three billion dollar casino that has yet to open. It looks like it was accidentally dropped off in the wrong neighborhood, except this monstrosity is intentional. I feel like it’s going to be an epic fail, but to each their own. I always come back with a vicious migraine, but after eight months, my migraine medication was finally approved! Celebrate the small things, yes? The photo series will continue.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

li