Monday, December 5, 2016

Sissy Loves You

💖According to the coroner and paramedics, my sister died on December 6, 2015. But in my heart I know she died the night of December 5, 2015. But the medical personnel didn't "call" it until after midnight.  Thankfully, the paramedics said that she never felt a thing: she just dropped to the floor in her room. Thank God for small favors...

So I'm using her computer to write a little tribute to her. She was totally computer illiterate but felt like she should get one and join the 21st century. But she didn't use it. I wanted to teach her about Facebook at least. However, she said she didn't want to get all involved with that. So I became friends with her school friends so she could keep in touch vicariously! And the funny thing was: her friends all thought I was her, and had changed my name after high school! So that was interesting trying to convince them that we were really 2 different people!

And we were totally different. She was a homebody: I loved the nightlife. She was an introvert: I tried hard to be an extrovert. I liked to tease her about liking to dress like "Garanimals": she teased  me that I wouldn't wear a bathing suit because it was improper but would wear sheer clothing out to the club. I was married and divorced with kids: she didn't even date.

In spite of this we were best friends. We shared a love of movies, music and Jason Statham. She turned me on to the series "Roswell" which I thought would be lame but was phenomenal. I would go to her house every Saturday afternoon and we'd watch an episode, or 3. Then we tried to do the same with "Nip/Tuck", one of the nastiest shows on television (until "Sons of Anarchy" rolled around. But I digress). We watched a couple of seasons but then most of the sex scenes were so raunchy I had to bow out. It was a great series, quirky with great story lines but I just couldn't. I think she finished the series but she did it without me!

We used to always ask each other for favors, or would use the barter system. Like if she wanted something from the store, she'd offer to buy me something. Or if she wanted me to drive us to our hair appointment, I'd say yes but then I'd want to drive her big beautiful Nissan. We'd borrow money from each other, go shopping or to the movies together. And we always knew when one of us wanted something because the phone call would begin, "Who loves Sissy?" That's how we knew!

I would love to hear her say that one more time. But that's not going to happen until I see her again in the presence of the Lord. I'm just glad that I know she's there.

At the end of those phone calls we'd always say, "Sissy loves you".  And to this day that is true. Miss you Robin. Sissy loves you. Thanks for the memories.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Happy Birthday Robin

Today my sister would have been 50 years old. I still can't believe it's been 7 months since she passed away...

Brie asked my friend Bonnie Miller, who is very crafty, to make a plaque for me for Christmas. When I opened the box I took one look and then quickly shut it. I saw the word "sisters" but knew I couldn't read it. I didn't think I'd ever be able to read it.

But since today is Robin's birthday, I took the plaque with me to work and left it in my car. Then after work I drove to the cemetery so I could open it with Robin and read it to her. That's exactly what I did...

The plaque was beautiful, and of course had a piano and music notes on it. It's purple: Robin's favorite color. And the poem Bonnie wrote was so beautiful...I cried and cried as I read it out loud. It said all the things I felt about my sister. Then I put it back in the box because it's painful for me, still. Maybe one day I'll be able to actually take it out and hang it up in the house I moved into that was right across the street from hers. Sadly, she never even got a chance to see the inside.

However, I don't want to end this on a sad note. Here's one of my favorite memories. Probably 28 years ago or so, when Freihofer's was still awesome, Robin and I used to go there whenever the mood struck us and buy a birthday sheet cake. Was it one of our birthdays? Nope! We'd just buy it and then eat it at her house! And when Marie told us we didn't need to eat all of that cake: then we'd just do it at my house so Marie didn't know. Ha ha Marie! And if they didn't have cake we'd get the 6-pack od cupcakes with the real icing and eat those. Sooo delicious!

I wish I could get a cake or cupcakes in her honor but I can't. So I'll save the calories and think of the Heavenly celebration she had today; at least in my mortal mind.

Happy Birthday Sissy. I love you.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

It Could Only Happen To Me

When it comes to stuffed animals I like to pick out my own. I have to study their faces, gauge personality and think how it will get along with the others. But occasionally Schmoop-Dog likes to pick up one for me.  So knowing I like dinosaurs, he picked up a pillow-pet dinosaur in his favorite color: brown.

I didn't mind the pillow-pet. I didn't name it or anything, but I had it on my bed. After awhile I decided since it was a pillow-pet, perhaps I should use it as a pillow. That's when the trouble started...

Apparently this pillow-pet did not like being used as a pillow. I would Velcro it together and it would be too high and bumpy to be comfortable. I would lay it flat and it would be too flat so I'd put it on top of my regular pillow. Because of the material it was made out of: it was too hot...You get the idea.

Then I started waking up and it would be gone. I'd find it behind my bed on the floor. I lost count of how many times I'd pick that thing up, put my head on it, and have it escape during the night. What the heck was wrong with that thing?

Finally one morning I woke up and began my morning ritual. I went into my bathroom and washed my hands. I looked up into the mirror and saw this red line in the middle of my forehead. Curious, I touched it. It was blood. There was a slit in the middle of my forehead: oozing blood. Where did it come from?? Not my nails: they weren't that thin. Not the Fuzzywigs: they didn't get near my face. The only other logical conclusion: the dinosaur did it! While I was sleeping that thing attacked me!

Once Brie stopped giggling she said, "That is ridiculous! Why would the pillow-pet attack you?"

"Because it hates me for sleeping on it and knows I don't like it! That's the only explanation! It does have teeth and claws!"

"Um...okay mom. But the teeth and claws are made out of cloth." She walked away but I could still hear her giggling. And that was pretty much the reaction I got from Schmoop-Dog too. So much for love and support!

When I went to bed that night I looked at the thing lying innocently on the bed. "You've got one more chance to act right or else you're out of here!" Yeah I showed it who's boss!

The next morning I woke up rested and refreshed. I got up, played with the puppies, set Lilly on the floor and got Pumpkin to put her on the floor too. I opened my room door and they ran out. I heard Brie in the bathroom and called out good morning. Then, when I turned to close my bedroom door it happened: I was attacked from behind! I screamed and turned around swinging. Brie came running out of the bathroom yelling, "What's wrong? What happened?" The Fuzzywigs were barking. I turned around and looked at the floor. There, in a heap, was the pillow-pet! "Did you see that? It attacked me!"  That's right: that freaking thing attacked me from behind.

Brie laughed until she cried. "Mom, the Velcro attached itself to your sleep bonnet!" (Please disregard the fact that I may or may not, in fact, have a sleep bonnet.)

Then how did I do all that stuff in my room and never feel a thing? All the bending and lifting with the dogs? Nope: it was laying there innocently but I know what really happened. It jumped on my neck! It was banned from my room from that point on.

I wanted Schmoop to take it, but he said that we should give it another chance. Why: so it could finish the job?? He is relegated to the first floor landing with a pink tee shirt draped around it. Because Schmoop thought it might be lonely he bought it one of those big-eyed beanie babies to keep it company and domesticate it.

So even though it looks all cozy with its new best friend, I keep a wide berth. I'm not going to give it a chance to do anything else! So Schmoop, when it comes to stuffed animals for me: thanks but no thanks!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Power of a Smile

I was on my way to work this morning when I realized I needed to stop for gas. As I was pulling into my favorite Sunoco station the song "Hello" by Adele came on the radio. Adele 25 was the last CD my sister bought, so whenever I hear that song it makes me think she's saying hello to me. But since it was a dreary, gray and rainy morning, it made me sad. I got out of the car and began pumping gas: gazing up at the gray sky and wishing I could feel...different.

As I was nearing the amount of gas I wanted to purchase, I happened to glance towards the window of the convenience store. One of the employees was by the window and looked out. When she saw me, she smiled and waved. I smiled and waved back...and it was transforming. That simple gesture from that woman made me feel brighter and almost like my old self.

It's amazing what a smile can do. I'm so thankful for that woman because she changed my entire outlook on the day without even knowing it!

The next time I'm at that Sunoco station I'm going to go in and tell her what she did for me. And I will try to do the same for others. You never know what might be going on in someone else's life. But one thing I'm sure of: a smile can certainly help. It helped me...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

By Request for Kitty

Her Majesty Ms. Kitty loves the Broadway show “Cats!”  She has the video, DVD, scrapbooks, pictures and has written 5 books featuring the characters.  She made her own costume one year, by hand, for the Halloween season and was Victoria, her favorite character.  She also quizzes me periodically to see if I can identify any of them (I’ve gotten better over the years!).  I figured since she was so enamored of the show, why didn’t I just take her to see a live production of it?


It just happened to be playing at Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady; but I’m not going to bore you with the details of the nightmare that was actually getting to Proctor’s.  Why do you not have an exit off of the Northway?


Just because we have the DVD and video of Cats doesn’t mean I had actually seen it.  Whenever Kitty would put it on I would immediately tune out or get distracted by a shiny object.  So I was kind of looking forward to seeing it live.


What a spectacle it was!  The characters were coming down the aisles, climbing in the rafters and otherwise behaving just like felines. Then all of those people were on stage dressed as cats, singing and dancing: what’s not to love?  And I actually recognized one of the characters (finally): Grizabella.  I could kind of empathize with her: she used to be a Glamour cat, I used to be glamorous; she was a little shaggy and worn around the edges, I’m a little…less stellar than I used to be.  Plus, the other cats shunned her at the Jellicle Ball because she was grizzled.   Who hasn’t been on the outside looking in on occasion?


And then, miracle of miracles, at the end as Grizabella was singing “Memory”: what’s that?  Is that Victoria, befriending her?  Holding her paw and giving her a hug?  It is!  Now all of the others are accepting her too!  Hooray!  And look: Old Deuteronomy is escorting her through a receiving line made up of the other cats!  I think they’re going to get married!  And if an old Glamour Cat can get married, there’s hope for me!  I am Grizabella!


Look how happy Grizabella is as she and Old Deuteronomy, arm in arm, step up onto the old tire that is now lifting them up.  They’re waving!  Weddings are wonderful, aren’t they?  From the sky comes a lighted platform.  Old Deuteronomy helps Grizabella onto this platform, and now it lifts her up and away as OD and the others wave at her.  She didn’t get married: she dies!


No!  Say it ain’t so!  Why didn’t anyone warn me?  I feel tears fill my eyes and Kitty says, “What’s the matter with you?”  “Grizabella died!”  “Of course she died. You saw that at home.” “No I never watched it!” “Mom!” So of course I kind of embarrassed Her Majesty by actually crying.  Poor Grizabella: did she know she was going to the big litter box in the sky?


So of course I immediately changed my mind: I ain’t Grizabella!  I’ve got too much left to do before anyone puts me on a lighted platform to the sky!  This Glamour cat has plans to make the most of the lives she has left. So stay tuned!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Behind The Music

I’m not a big fan of the Beatles. I prefer them individually as opposed to the entire group. Ringo was always my favorite and I’m sure that opinion is unpopular too! But I digress…

I do enjoy some of their songs.  However, the one I like the most is “Eleanor Rigby”, another one of their simpler songs. It is such a sad song, made sadder by my own interpretation of it. So here's my "Behind the Music" moment for my favorite Beatles' song.

 Eleanor Rigby was the cleaning lady for the church. Never married, no children and no family: she was very lonely. Father McKenzie, being the priest, was always very kind to her and didn’t look down on her like the other townsfolk did because she was just a cleaning lady.

Father McKenzie was also rather lonely, because people revered him so much that they put him on a pedestal as their spiritual leader. They only visited for confession and the services; or if he did a home visit with the infirm.

One evening, his loneliness got the best of him. As Eleanor was leaving, he invited her to have a cup of tea with him before she made her way home alone. This became a habit, and they would sit by the fire and gently chat.

As you can imagine: they fell in love.  They fought their feelings for each other, but the flesh is weak and they ended up…assuaging each other’s loneliness in a way unbefitting of a priest. They swore it would only happen the one time, but once the seal is broken…you know the rest. 

When the townsfolk began to wonder at the change in demeanor of Eleanor, the secret smiles and pep in her step, they became suspicious. What did she have to be happy about? So they followed her one day, and discovered her with Father McKenzie! And they were not kind at all…

Eleanor Rigby died of a broken heart. Father McKenzie atoned for his sin, but lost his congregation. He was unable to save the soul of anyone else because no one would come to the church: much like no one attended Eleanor's funeral.

Man, what a heartbreaking story! Maybe I should become a writer…J This is just my musing of what the song is about. I bet if you were to ask Paul McCartney, I wouldn’t be too far off the mark!
Now go and listen to your favorite Beatles' song, and think about what it might mean...