The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Monday, January 13, 2014


Momma called last night.

The phone rang long enough after I had been in bed for my feet to get warm. (Is cold feet part of the aging process?)  "It's your momma", she said, and I could tell she felt a bit hesitant though I didn't know why so until this morning when I spoke with my brother.  I thought it was because she sensed that the call came in too late at night for a non-emergency but that didn't make sense because she has always seemed to believe that everyone should be on her time so that consideration would never occur to her, and now that she spends most of her time in na-na land, she really may not know if it's 11 in the morning, 11 at night, or where 11 even fits in the grand scheme of time … she is at that time in her life and I instinctively accommodate her.  She wanted to wish me a Happy Birthday.

"Momma called last night."  I said that to my brother this morning when he called to wish me a Happy Birthday.  "Yeah, I reminded her yesterday".  He said she was fiddling with her phone saying she didn't know how to reach me and he told her that he had set me up on her speed dial which she said she didn't remember how to use.  He said he wrote it down for her and tacked it to her bulletin board near a picture of me.  To call DeAnn push 2 on your phone.  She must have decided to try it.  I bet that was the weirdness for her.  It must seem kinda magical to push one button to connect with someone half way across the country … someone who isn't even a part of your world.

I know, it sounds pensive, or maybe whiney.  I'm okay with it.  I have actually come to prefer it.  I like to look at other mother/adult-child relationships … the ones that seem to work well.  I have five very important reasons, make that more then five 'cause excellent reasons seem to multiple, for figuring out my part in that dynamic.  I've always said my mom did the best she could and I'm going to stick with that … I would like to do my best as well … and for that cause I look for successful examples.  So … Momma called, "happy birthday, how old are you now, I'm really old too (lol) but I'm not on any meds and I still get around well and your brother is on me about forgetting stuff but I don't know what that's all about … ."  I just listen.  I know the steps to this dance.  My attention drifts from what her words are to what she is experiencing behind her words.  She sounds afraid … and small, vulnerable.  "I love you Momma, thank you for calling", I say and I feel her smile.  "It's tomorrow, isn't it? (my birthday)" She sounds suddenly lucid.  "Yes, tomorrow, you are the first to wish me a happy birthday (not really, but it doesn't seem like a lie to say so and I know it will please her)".  She seems satisfied when we say goodnight.

It's easy to just chat with my brother.  I tell him about the goofy dream I woke up with …
"I dreamed that we were young again, but in my garage here, cleaning it out.  Momma was cutting down stuff in the back yard with long lopping shears, she was wearing a red shirt and overalls and she had a towel wrapped around her neck (uh … never woulda happened in real life, lol, as I remember the dream attire it makes me laugh, she would never have on overalls) and she came running across the yard in to the garage and grabbed a fishing pole and started whipping at me with it and one of y'all (my brothers) said "you can't hit her with that" and it made her furious and she kept on swinging it at me and I caught the end of it and I was looking at the welts on my legs and she grabbed my wrist and bent it back and it hurt even in the dream and I woke up … really weird huh?"  He said it sounded like I was reliving my past.  While we were talking I looked up fishing pole on that dream dictionary site …

To see a fishing rod in your dream represents your quest and exploration of your subconscious mind. You are ready to confront issues and emotions which you have suppressed.

That's some weird.  How do they get that from a fishing pole?  The first thing I think of when I think fishing pole is the intro to the Andy of Mayberry Show (was that the name of it?), fishing poles make me need to whistle.  Hmmm … ready to confront issues and emotions … okay, I'm in.

He, my brother, told me that he had recently dreamed one of his reoccurring dreams, he said, "It's starts with me in an old building like my Jr. High and people are swarming everywhere, brushing and bumping against each other, not seeming to get anywhere (like between classes) and I am looking for you, and then I see you with two of your girlfriends and then suddenly a big guy comes at you fast and body slams you and knocks you down and I hurry over there to kick his ass and you hop up and you say don't worry about it, no big deal, I'm okay."  He says he knows he dreams that every once in awhile.  They were protective of me.  I wouldn't have wanted him to get in trouble at school for "kicking someone's ass". We didn't get in trouble at school.  And … nobody at school would have body slammed me … or been rough with me in any way.  School wasn't like that back then if it is now.  It's just interesting to see his dream with him.  I would handle it like that … .   What does it teach someone to be unjustly hurt by the person who they are supposed to be safe with?  And … what's it like for him where our stories overlap … where his instinct to protect is dampened by me "being okay".  I don't feel like I need protected now even if I maybe did back then.  But … I do say I'm okay when I'm not, not really … I'm always okay, I don't want to be a sissy pants  (lol … those childhood words crack me up).  And here we are 35-40 years out of the home we grew up in still circling back to review "issues and emotions".  

Well, that isn't what I wanted to write about on my birthday.  I note it because I guess I will be thinking about … not those weird dreams but the tangle they are maybe trying to undo.  Yesterday, in Sunday School, some reference was made to Charles Cooley's notion of Looking Glass Self.  I've been thinking about that some … and I guess we do drag along some of our old scripts and I guess one of mine is that people one allows to become important are liable to hurt you.  I mean, it makes sense and … being hurt is just a part of being alive.  That's true for everyone I think … not everything "feels" good.    Well … maybe more on this later.  I'll let myself be available for whatever is trying to seep out of my self conscious if it wants to.  

taken yesterday, after lunch
For now … on with life!  I am super excited about this year.  I think it's going to totally rock!  And … it's already off to a great start.  What I am mostly thinking of today is already I have received sweet birthday wishes from my people who know me (and love me anyway, lol).  
And … this one (IV, pictured) has sent me a note asking for a doctors appt. today because she thinks she broke a bone in her foot playing basketball last night … and, I'm sorry that she is hurt, but I'm really happy that her instinct is to call me to help her fix her stuff … that's really a wonderful thing.  My "looking glass self" is happy to be a mom among other cool stuff.  (II has been consulted on this foot thing and she says it's probably the fifth metatarsal … broken … needing a "boot" … we have a bunch of sweet "mothering" going on in our nest!)


John Venlet said...

Though I may be a tad late in wishing you a Happy Birthday, D, this fact takes nothing away from the sincerity of that wish.

May you be blessed with many more. Happy Birthday.

DeAnn said...

Thank you John.
And not a second late - I intend to celebrate all week (at least)! I think these double digit years (55) are kinda neat!

John Venlet said...

I'm 1 year and 2 months behind you, D, achieving 54 in March this year. Like you, I'm enjoying the addition of each year (think fine wines aging). Looks like your cats were in a celebratory mood, too. It's a bit early for a toast, at the moment, but I'll raise a glass to you tonight.

DeAnn said...

L was having a drink before we left the house for dinner … one cat likes to sit on that black and white throw near were I was sitting and that prompted the first pic … then we though why not all three of those guys. They didn't cooperate. Cats don't cooperate.

They do make me laugh though!