Friday, January 9, 2015

I stood there. In my somethings.

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I almost forgot my wallet on the check stand in Target yesterday. That was after I left the discount card for my skin cream (why is that stuff SO expensive?) in my car twice. I'd held idle conversation with the cashier like you do in the evenings when everyone's tired and trying to remember common kindnesses.

As I'd loaded my bags into my cart and started for the door, she called after me:

"Honey, you've forgotten your wallet! You need that dear girl."

I could feel the burn in my cheeks -equal parts embarrassed and frustrated. I bowed my head in gratitude. And she seemed to know, with the silence and the nodd.

"Honey, have you got somethin' goin' on?"

I told her no and smiled a half-hearted, sort of smile. Tried to chuckle for fear I'd cry my eyes out. Making a messy puddle of my stresses at the foot of her checkstand. But she knew it, she knew that I've got something going on.

I stood there -wallet in hand- still reeling from our last visit with Popsicle and the evidence that he is failing to thrive -slowly dying. He's thinner than I am and looks like he's made of sticks, not flesh. His head bobbles atop his body -a head looking so large I expect it to topple him over. And his neighbors are dying, there one day, gone the next, and it just makes life seem so fragile and fleeting.

I stood there -tucking that wallet safely away- thankful for the New Year, I was sad about all the fun and festivities being, finally, completely over. No more cheat meals or buzzed nights, no more sequin tops or lack of routines, no more sparkle lights or Christmas trees. And while I crave routine, it's hard to say goodbye, to see those trees naked and prone on the sidewalks, to know evenings will fall slowly around us.

I stood there -fixing my scarf tight around my neck- wishing I knew the answers to our timeline. Wanting to know when things will start and others will end, how our goals will measure up or fall short, what is happening to the whole wide world that has had tragedy slam in and break up the delicate dance around us.

I stood there -slowly turning my cart to go- thinking this is the promising New Year that was going to bring a blank slate upon which I could fashion a fresh start that looked like anything I wanted. I uncomfortably realized the something from the Old Year were coming with me into this blank space -heavy and laden with olden things. And, at the end of a red cash kiosk in Target, I knew that the promise of the New Year only laid ahead so beautifully because it was comfortable atop the mess of the Old.

I stood there -frozen and awkward among the bustling customers- slightly disappointed in the way the fresh blank whiteness carried by the Ghost of Yet to Come only looked lovely because of the muddled heap being dragged begrudgingly by Ghost of That Done Passed. The two Ghosts so comfortable next to one another, reminding me that future promise is accentuated by the past taken for granted.

I moved -slowly, tepidly- towards the automated doors. And I was thankful for my somethings. Yes, I've got something, a whole lot of things, going on. Nothing new, or surprising, or wild, but just so much. And it makes me hungry for later and for what's to come and all the timing and control. But it's slowed my roll, made me look at the here and the now, birthed the Ghost of Life in the Present in my heart. And so, the rush, the hustle, the constant busy bustle: that's not what this life and living thing is all about.

Yes, I've got somethin' goin' on.

And so do you.


  1. I'm so sorry about your father. I cannot imagine the feelings you are going through each day. I'm sending all the positive and healing vibes I can! I agree that life isn't all about the hustle and bustle, but sometimes work can make it feel like that. I go to work, I come home, sleep, go back to work... it's such a routine and sometimes I ask myself "why? Why am I not doing something more adventurous?"

  2. Oh Amber. I am so sorry about your dad. I experienced the same things with my grandpa and I remember the feelings like it was yesterday. But things will always turn out just fine because HE sustains us. Ive had a tough time with this year so far and as while we all plan for this perfect, fresh start, sometimes we carry things with us from the previous year. I am thinking of you and will send many prayers your way!

  3. And I'm standing here with my arms wide open wanting to give you the biggest hug and squeeze x

  4. I hate that you're hurting, but damn girl. I could read 4168 novels worth of your writing. You have been blessed with a serious gift, lady. Don't ever stop writing what's on your heart ♡

  5. you do have a gift for writing I do agree. I am sorry to hear about your dad. It is a struggle but when they are no longer here physically you know they are with you spiritually and it makes it easier to cope. I always feel like my grandpa is with me on a daily and listens to all of my prayers. Feel better love.

  6. theblahblahblahgerJanuary 9, 2015 at 10:59 AM

    When my grandpa passed last year, my cousin said something poignant. You don't just grieve when an Alzheimer's patient start to grieve at diagnosis. Obviously, his passing was terribly hard, but I think along the way, I grieved bigger at other times. It's a lot...I'm here if you ever want to talk.

  7. You are amazing, friend, and I so admire your strength in this situation. Your dad and your whole family will continue to be in my prayers. But I think this goes so well with your word for the year: savor. Savor ~ the Ghost of Life in the Present.

  8. What a beautifully written post. Sending you love and the strength to have a fantastic year with all of your amazing things that you've got going on <3

  9. Hugs to you sister. On days I know you may not feel it; but I can see your growth through your writing in the shorts year(s)? that I've known you. Through such a heart wrenching process you have shown grace, love and respect for time. You are wise beyond your years and I don't think you give yourself enough credit for the impact you make through these posts. Pop raised one heck of a gal! Always rooting for you!

  10. Amber, I read your posts about your father and I cry every time. I cry for what you have to endure and I cry because even though I am not walking a parallel line to you my time that does parallel yours is coming. I don't have a dad, but my grandpa is more like a daddy to me than any DNA test could make anyone else. And he is older and he has so so many 'things' and I know that time is coming. And so my heart breaks for what you are going through and not in the way a third party looks into a hard situation but as a third party who can see that her time is coming into that same hard situation. Also, my entire life I've called my grandpa Papa or Popcicle or Poppyseed and so when you call your daddy popcicle it brings it that much closer to home for me. You and your daddy are in my prayers and I send hugs from over here on my little corner of the web. ((hugs & prayers))

  11. sometimes your words break my heart in the best kind of way.

    i hope this makes sense because i'm bad at feelings.


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