Me And My Broken Back

Yep.  I have broken my back.  I heard it snap and said “oh shit.”

It’s no biggie.  I walked home when I broke my leg the first time.  It kept giving away and it hurt like a son-of-a-bitch but I didn’t care.  I was more afraid of the whipping I was going to get.  I have walked around with pneumonia and (thank the head Holy man) it was caught before I completely drowned.

It has been hurting since I did it but I have an extremely high tolerance for pain so I ignored it.  I’m not a big whiner.  I learned years ago that (a) it wouldn’t do any good and (b) it would make somebody mad and he would yell at me and make me feel even worse.

It’s funny, it didn’t bother me that much the day I did it but….holy cow! When I went to bed, I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t even turn over.  As long as I’m up and moving about, I’m fine (except for the constant, nagging throbbing.)  I was even able to mow my lawn.  (I have a riding mower so that wasn’t too bad.)

Consistent with my weird nature, most people find relief when they’re prone…but not me.  That’s the worst.  I can sit and walk with not much trouble but I have to be careful.  I tend to jump up from a chair and it has really impeded my ability to run the neighborhood dogs out of my yard.

I have to be careful if I cough or even worse…sneeze.

I finally went to the doctor because it seemed to be getting worse.  I knew it was inflamed and I have never been one to do the ice/heat thing.  I got the usual questions…why did you wait so long?  Why didn’t you call when you first did it?  Yada, yada, yada.

I refused any pain drugs and I think my doctor wanted to call me an idiot. But, if I was hopped up on drugs, there’s no telling what I might get up to. I might start waxing nostalgic and that’s just not something that’s in my repertoire.

I have taken an aspirin a few times but I couldn’t tell that it did much good.

My doctor wanted me to get a brace to wear but I told her I didn’t need it. She’s the cutest little woman and I think she genuinely cares about her patients but….when I said that, she raised her voice and said “you have a broken back!”

I got the brace and have been trying to wear it but it is ANNOYING.  I figure it will take a few weeks more to heal.  I remember all the times I looked after “somebody” when his back went out.  It’s my turn now but there’s nobody to look after me.  Figures.  Again, no biggie.  I will look after myself. Unlike that somebody, I’m not a big baby who thinks their finger is falling off because they have a hangnail.

It’s actually hurting right now so I think I’ll put that medieval torture device on and see if it helps.

The Entertainer Blogger Award

 

 

Many thanks to Tenacity T. for the nomination. (tenacitydotcom.wordpress.com)

The Rules:

1.  Thank the person who nominated you.

2.  Add these rules to your blog.

3.  Answer all the questions asked.

4.  Display a picture of the award.

5.  Nominate up to 12 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring and most of all, entertaining.

Question Asked:

1.  Why did you start to blog?

I have tried to answer this question a few times.  I used to say I started blogging for mental salvation and also at the behest of my youngest daughter who said “don’t sit around and think about what dad did to you, write about it.”  I think now, I started blogging because I decided to stop lying for, covering up for, making excuses for and defending a lying, cheating, worthless maggot.

2.  What is your favorite book?

I have answered this question as well and the answer is always the same.  I don’t have a favorite book because I don’t read books.  I do have a book though, so I guess it would be my favorite.  It is the family bible that belonged to my grandparents.  Alas, the family history pages are blank and how I wish they had been filled in.

3.  What do you dislike the most?

I would say a lack of honor.  That encompasses a wide range of human behavior.  I despise people who have no honor.  I loathe them and I resent their very existence.

4.  What is your favorite food at the mall?

I don’t go to the mall anymore and haven’t in many, many years.  When I did go, my favorite food was a Cinnabon with an extra cup of icing, accompanied by a cup of coffee from Barnies’.

5.  What is your favorite pastime?

I could say writing is my favorite pastime but I detest it.  I really don’t have a favorite pastime.  Maybe breathing?

I nominate everybody who wants to participate.

 

 

What A Price I Have Paid

A few days ago, the consequences of having been married to Loser once again became clear.

When #2 had just been found by one of the best traveling team soccer coaches in the state, we were all excited about her first tournament with her new team.  I took her to her tournament and Loser took #1 to a different tournament.  I met all the mothers and fathers on the first day.  One of the mothers (who I’ll call Donna) and I immediately hit it off and became instant friends.

One night our daughters were playing on an indoor team during high schools’ off season.  Her daughter, my #1 and #2 were on the same team.  They were playing against some other girls from different counties, who dominated the area in high school.  My two daughters were on the high school team that was always a top contender but never could beat the other county schools until they were upper classmen.  Then they slaughtered them.  Donnas’ daughter lived in another county but that night, she was on “our” team.

Travel teams were a mixture of those same girls.  Girls who were rivals in high school, were comrades in arms on travel teams.  Indoor soccer teams had the same dynamic with the addition of several college players as well as a few local professionals.  Indoor teams were highly competitive.  There were rankings and trophies and accolades.

Our daughters were playing a hard game one night and the indoor center was full of cheering parents.  I was sitting on the top rung of the bleachers, flanked by Loser and Donna.

#1 was a diminutive player who was slower than molasses in January but faster than lightning in skill.  An opposing player could be running down the court at fifty miles an hour and #1 would stick that little foot of hers out, take the ball away and have it at the other end of the court before the other player realized it was gone.

She was tough but she took hits.  One of the fathers once said “I have never seen anybody take harder hits than #1.”  He was right.  At some point in the game, a girl “knocked #1 off the ball” and sent her flying.  This was the same girl who would later freeze her pupil.

Loser jumped up and screamed “YOU PIECE OF SHIT!”

Everybody in the place heard him.  All the players heard him and everybody on the bleachers got up and left.  I mean EVERYBODY, including Donna.

He sat down and all I managed to get out was “you know,” before he turned around and with his famous rabid dog snarl said “SHUT UP.”  I did of course, just like always.  I sat there and wondered how my daughters felt but it occurred to me that a man who would call one of his own children a piece of shit, would have no compunction about calling other children the same thing.

That was the end of my friendship with Donna but having been conditioned to believe that everything was my fault, I thought I had done something wrong.  Technically, I had.  Donna, like so many others believed that I was just like Loser.  How could I not be?  I was married to him and had been for years.

I was recently able to reach out to her through a mutual friend.  Telling her that I had divorced Loser was the impetus for a continued conversation and she asked the same question I had been asked over and over and over.

“How could you stand being married to him?”  I didn’t have an answer.  I never did.  She remembered that night and said she made the conscious decision that she didn’t want to be linked with him in any way, which of course meant that I lost.  He didn’t care if she stopped talking to me and he sure as hell didn’t care if she stopped talking to him.

We left it with the thought that maybe if I came back down to Florida, we would get together and have lunch.  I don’t know if that will ever happen and I don’t know if she will ever call like she promised.  But at least now I’m finally realizing that the friends I lost through the years wasn’t due to my lack of character but was instead due to my association with the loathsome, offensive prick I once called my husband.

What a price I have paid.

The Road To Mercy

There is a place where worn and tattered souls go.  A place where the broken, bruised, battered, forlorn and down-trodden are welcomed with open arms.  There is no cover charge nor is a membership required.

It is a place for those who have been condemned simply because they were different or who have been judged because they finally broke under the weight of agonizing, soul-killing despair.

It is a place for those who were discarded after they sought comfort and understanding for illnesses which could not be seen or touched.  It is a place for those whose cries for help were ignored.  It is a place for those who fought for their very existence only to wish they had failed.

Mercy does not offer healing…for some souls can never be healed.  But Mercy offers peace.

Those who have suffered a lifetime of abuse, neglect and numbness of the heart find respite there.  Those who have felt so much that they no longer feel anything, find solace there.

Those who are touched starved will no longer be paralyzed with fear. Those who have lost a lifetime of everything they once held dear, have a place in Mercy.

The road to Mercy is well-traveled, and even though it is known that there is no outlet, it is no deterrent to those who seek to escape their torture.

Whether they decide to open a vein or a bottle, tie a noose or a load a gun, those souls are walking the road to Mercy.

When they finally get there, they’re home.

 

 

Scarlet Rose – Chapter Five

Noah and I arrived in New York and made our way to St. Mary of the Angels Convent.  We were met by sister Agatha, who cheerfully invited us in.  We told her why we had come and she begged forgiveness when she said she would not be able to help us.

“Perhaps the Reverend Mother Katherine could be of assistance,” she said.  She asked us to follow her to a small room, decorated with crosses and statues of the Virgin Mary.  “The Reverend Mother Katherine will be with you shortly,” she said.

A few minutes later, Mother Katherine walked in.  She had to be hundred years old if she was a day.  She smiled and asked how she could help.  I don’t know why but I was surprised by her British accent.

I started talking.  Actually, it was more like babbling.  “This is Noah King.  We’re trying to find some information about his birth parents and we’re hoping that you can help.  He was adopted here and his mother was a young girl who had apparently shamed her parents somehow.”  I went on to tell her about the DNA test and how it indicated that he was 99% Scandinavian but we didn’t know which Scandinavian country his parents were from.

Reverend Mother Katherine interrupted and said “is he unable to speak?”

A little embarrassed, I apologized and told her that I was just excited about the possibility of finding out about his heritage.

Mother Katherine asked Noah what he knew.  He said “I know very little, except what you’ve already heard but I would be interested in anything you might be able to tell us.”

He told Mother Katherine his mom and dads’ names and the date they had adopted him.  He said they told him that he was three days old.

“Do you remember this at all?” I asked.

Mother Katherine said “I do recall a young girl who was brought here by her parents.  They acted as if they were dropping off an unwanted pet.  She was only sixteen and in a family way but she was a beautiful girl with blonde hair and the bluest eyes I had ever seen.”

“She spoke very little English but Sister Beatrice took her under her wing and began teaching her.  She was very intelligent and a quick learner but she rarely spoke unless spoken to.  She was ashamed and felt no sense of self-worth.  She told Sister Beatrice that she believed she had traded her virtue just to feel the warmth of another human being.”

Mother Katherine said “she did give birth to a son and he was adopted by an American couple.”  Then she sighed and said “they never wrote to her and they never returned so this became her home.”

I asked if it would be possible to talk with Sister Beatrice.  Mother Katherine said “Sister Beatrice went to be with our Lord some years ago.”

I asked “do you know where her parents were from?”

She said “you must forgive me.  My memory isn’t what it used to be but it seems that it was from somewhere across the pond.”

I knew that was how British people described going across the Atlantic Ocean but there was a lot of land “across that pond.”

Noah asked if there were any records that could be checked.  Mother Katherine said “unfortunately, most of the old records were lost to a fire.  I do wish I could remember more.”

“Do you know what happened to her?” Noah asked.

“I do, child.  She too, was lost to the fire.”

I asked “do you, by any chance, remember her name?”

“That I do remember,” said Mother Katherine.

“Her name was Scarlet Rose.”

 

Diwedd.

Scarlet Rose – Chapter Four

Two days later we took my note to the college, along with the biggest shard of glass from the bottle.  One of the professors said that he could translate the note in a jiffy.

I asked if he recognized the language.  He laughed when he teasingly said “there is this marvelous invention called Google Translate.  It’s available through the internet.  You may have heard of it.”

Of course, we’d heard of it.  I had the internet at work and Noah had it at school.  We just didn’t have it at home yet and neither one of us liked to spend hours on the computer so it had not been a priority.

I was old school anyway.  If I didn’t know what a word meant, I looked it up in the dictionary that my dad had given me when I was 12 years old. Unfortunately, it didn’t have translations of other languages and certainly not the plethora of “new” words that have been recently coined.  Still, it was my go-to source for definitions.

The professor looked at the note and asked where I got it.  I told him that it was in a bottle that I found on the beach, when I was eight years old.  I showed him the broken piece of my bottle and he said “this is pretty old glass and I can tell by the little bubbles inside that it was hand-blown. Hmm.  Let’s have a look at the note.”

He went on to say “okay.  This is in Swedish and it says ‘my name is Scarlet Rose.  I live in Sweden.  I am lonely.  Will you be my friend’?”  He said “that note traveled a long way.”

I asked if there was any way to possibly find out who wrote it.  He said “there’s no town and there’s no date so I would think it would be difficult, but there are websites for this kind of thing.  Who knows?  You might get lucky and find something.  I would guess, considering the bottle glass, that this note was written quite some time ago.”

We thanked him and as we headed home, I said “see?  I was right.  I don’t know how but I knew that my bottle held sadness.  Some young girl or maybe even an older woman, was so lonely that she sent a message in a bottle, hoping to find a friend.”

Noah said “you know, you may never find anything out about that note.”  I knew that he was right.  I would keep the note and I would always treasure it but I would admit defeat.  Several times I had been called “the girl with the bottle.”  Now it was time for a different moniker.  I would be “the girl with a purpose.”

My priority was to find out about our heritage, particularly his.  I put the note away, covered with the shard of glass from its broken home and said “goodbye” to Scarlet Rose.

To start the journey of tracking our ancestors, Noah and I decided that we needed to get the internet right away.  I wanted to know more about my family and as I said, I really wanted to know more about his.  Although he wasn’t resistant, he seemed rather nonchalant.  He had never even asked about his birth parents, even though his mom and dad had told him that if and when he was ever ready, they would tell him what they knew.

The first order of business to me, was to get as much information as we could from them.  “Now is the time to ask questions.” I told Noah.  “Now is the time to try to find answers.”

Noahs’ mom and dad had never shielded him from the fact that he was adopted and they had always told him that he had been selected, not rejected.

We drove to their house and told them that we wanted to talk to them about his birth parents.  I was asking most of the questions but as I said, Noah wasn’t resistant.  I told his mom that we had done the DNA thing and he was almost entirely Scandinavian.

She said “I guess that could be possible.  He came to us through St. Mary of the Angels Convent in Ithaca, New York.”

She couldn’t offer much in the way of information, other than Noah had been born to a young girl who had been surrendered to the convent after having disgraced her family.  The circumstances surrounding her surrender were never made clear and Mrs. King had made no assumptions or judgments.  Whatever they were, she was forever grateful to the young girl who had given them such a wonderful gift.

They weren’t the only ones who had been given a gift.  Noah had been raised by these two extraordinary people who had provided him a life filled with happiness and love.

Mr. and Mrs. King gave their blessings and offered hope that Noah and I could find what we were looking for.  “Heritage is important,” his mom said. “And if we don’t know from where we came, there’s always a yearning to fill the emptiness inside.”

Noah and I arranged a few days off and were on our way to Ithaca, New York.  We were cautiously optimistic but we were also prepared to accept defeat, just as I had done with finding the author of the note in my bottle.

 

To be continued______________

 

Scarlet Rose – Chapter Three

I managed to scream but I couldn’t move.  Noah came running over and asked what happened.  I looked at him and said “I broke my bottle.”

He said “I’m sorry.  I’ll help you clean it up.”

‘NO!” I said.  When I said that, I could tell that he was puzzled.  I said “let’s go read our ancestry tests.”

He asked “are you sure you don’t you want to clean this up first?”

Again I said “no.  I want to wait.  When I clean it up, it will be real and I’m not ready for it to be real just yet.  You have to remember.  I’ve had that bottle since I was eight years old.”

He gave me a hug and told me that I was going to be alright.  Of course I was going to be alright but I had just destroyed something that had been a part of my life all these years.

I felt like I had failed as its guardian.

I settled down and we were ready for the big reveal.  He had the idea that we should switch.  He would read mine and I would read his.  Then we flipped a coin to see which one of us would go first.

He won, which meant that he was holding my heritage in his hand.  He opened it and suddenly got this serious look on his face.  I said “what? What is it?”

He shook his head and said “well…it says that you are 50% European, 45% Irish, 38% Scottish, 53% French and 98% pure Martian.”

I threw a pillow at him and said “seriously.  What does it say?”  He laughed and said “it says that you are 45% Irish, 38% Scottish and 17% French Indian.”

“I knew it!”  I said.  “I told you that I had Cherokee blood.”  Noah smiled and said “I don’t think the Cherokee originated in India.”

I got that famous pouty look on my face.  I had never lost the ability to be the queen of “poutdom.”  I said “pffft.  So my grandmother lied to me when she told me that my great-grandfather was Cherokee?”

Noah said “maybe, but at least we now know that you get that pouting from your Irish blood.”

It was my turn to read his.  I started reading and said “wow.  You are 95% Scandinavian!”  Noah said “don’t tell me.  The other 5% is that sideways gene.”  I laughed and said “no, it says the British Isles.”  I said “you know when you think about it, you do look Scandinavian.  You could be Norwegian or Swedish or Danish.”

All he said was “I guess.  Let’s go clean up your bottle.  You can’t just leave it laying on the floor.”

I had been able to forget for a while but he was right.  I couldn’t leave it laying on the floor.  We walked over and I just stood there, looking at it. Noah came in with the broom and dustpan.  What I feared when I was a little girl had happened.  I had just released something sorrowful…I just knew it.

I picked up the folded piece of paper, yellowed with age and held it in my hands.  Noah said I should go sit down and read it.  “But what if it’s something private?” I asked.  “What if it was meant for only one person to read?”

Noah said “I have always thought that everything happens for a reason.  I think it was meant for you to find that bottle and I think the message inside was meant for you to read.  Why else would someone go to the trouble of sending it out to sea?  They wanted it to be found.”

Noah always had a way of making me feel better…a way of making the world make sense…a way of making me feel special, like telling me that this note was meant for me.

I sat down and carefully unfolded the paper.

He came in and asked what it said.  “I don’t know,” I said.  “What do you mean you don’t know?” he asked.

“It’s in a foreign language.”  Noah looked at it and said “I’ll bet we can find a professor at the school who can translate it.”

I said “I can read Scarlet Rose but I have no idea what the other words say.”

I stared at the words and wondered who wrote them so many years ago.

Jag heter Scarlet Rose.
Jag bor i Sverig.
Jag är ensam.
Vill du bli min vän?

 

To be continued______________________