For Chip: He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. —Unknown

Monday, January 28, 2019

"Monday, Tuesday, THURSDAY, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Saturday" (The Go...

The stylist called and asked that I come early.  “Great". Get it over with and enjoy the rest of Sunday.  I rushed over and do the usual which is “overall color”.  The stylist is gone for quite some time before she retrieves two bowls of color.  I knew something was wrong because she was gone a long time. 

She starts to apply the color.  I politely ask about her recent vacation and she explains that the airline tried to detain her in Mexico, and prevent her from boarding the plane.  Before boarding she had one bottle of champagne and that was not enough to have any affect on her.  However, after chatting with the airline personnel they suggested that she wait to board for an hour because they determined she was intoxicated.  She explained all was well because she made such a scene that they reluctantly let her pass and board the plane.  She did them a favor by drinking champagne instead of having a glass of whiskey and Xanax. 

Color is applied, and I go to a rather stark room to wait.  I am alone in the room because it is Sunday and the salon was closed.  Before you know it the thirty-minute wait has turned into over an hour.  Hoping that my slightly blonde locks do not fall out I wait for her to return.  I wait and wait and wait.  By now I am searching hair dye and side effects processing.  Is it a phone call or what is going on?  

I finally hear the clip clop of shoes coming my way and I am quite excited.  She appears but looks angry.  I need to get out as quickly as possible.  I assume that she is having boyfriend issues and that assumption was correct.  The boyfriend dropped her off and she did not have a car. He had gone off with some other men and was drinking.  That sounded lovely.  I could offer to give her a ride, but considering all the crazy incidents in the world and that she is packing sharp scissors I decided to stay out of it.

She points to a basin to rinse my hair.  At this point I feel like she could be my mother and I just broke her best china. “God Knows” what she might do.  As she rinses my hair with the hottest water tolerable I almost scream out, but decide to let her enjoy her technique.  As she is washing my hair it feels like water is dripping down my back and I wonder how that is possible.  When she is finally done I reach under the smock and not only is the whole back of my shirt wet but also the front.  How could that be?  She is a professional and there was a towel behind, but I will be home soon and just change my shirt.

It is time for my haircut that she suggested earlier.  She grabs her phone and says she hopes I do not mind her calling her friend while cutting my hair.  I suggest that I really do not need a haircut and we can do it later.  However, that would mean less money for her. Good Grief!  There are ear buds that make multi- tasking easy, but she prefers snapping her scissors a few strokes while she asks her friend for a ride.  The suggested drop off is not at her residence, but at a club.  My expensive haircut resulted in about four cuts….but at this point I don’t care.  I just want to change shirt sand get out of this place  and away from the heated lover.  She dries my hair and I am  hoping that my hair does not fall out while she is styling.  I am relieved that another client walks in.  I feel comfort in numbers. 

It is time to pay but, her attachment for paying from her iPhone is broken and she disappears again.  As I bend over to get my purse the salon chair goes forward in slow motion.  I can feel I am falling towards the mirror.  Aren’t these heavy chairs stabilized with screws or some reinforcement?  Miraculously, I manage not to fall and bring the chair back up. 

All the way home I debate whether I will ever return to this salon.  At work this morning I greet my co-worker who had Lasik over the weekend and is in pain.  Her eyes haven’t healed, but she energetically proclaimed that my hair dresser must be wonderful because my hair is beautiful.

 “That is amazing!”.  I explain that the stylist was having boyfriend issues, left color on my hair for over an hour, cut my hair while on the phone begging for a ride, and my blouse was drenched front and back which I cannot explain.  My co-worker laughs, and I am concerned about her vision after Lasik.  Maybe my hair is fabulous. 

Did I give 20% tip for outstanding service? Of course, I did.  Just another expensive day at the salon and what if I go back? 

Dallas to Manhattan

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


                            Fact or Fiction

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Abandoned on Earth

It could have been a child, a spouse, a friend, but in this case it was my mother.  How could you have abandoned me while on earth? She was so strong.  Little did I know that a stroke could cause the loss of swallowing and the only alternative was a feeding tube?  It’s been three years and I am not sure that the grief has subsided.  The most common advice given freely is that time will heal all wounds.  This advice is total rubbish.  There is absolutely nothing in this mostly material world that will replace a mother or any loved one.   I had my mom for 98 years and I still wanted more.  Is that a bit selfish?  It might seem so to others, but I could have used a few more days or weeks or months. 

Do you know that the hospital sends in “palliative care” who basically reassures you that if you use nursing care it will not last long because this person will be dead soon.  Then you have hospice, which is wonderful to families, but are they not a little blunt as they tell you the signs of death that will occur hours before death? Well it was an eye opener, but not what I was looking for.  I really needed a servant of God to reassure and help me through the journey.

Why can I remember the details of various chapters of the end of her death?  Like a director of a lifetime movie I can recall every scene, every word, and yes every tear.  I would like to say that this person who was my mom is in a better place.  I hope that is true, but you have to have incredible faith to completely believe.

I never took her name or number out of my phone.  I am sure my co-workers are delighted that I quit talking about death and dying every darn day.  The only way I could get around grieving was to shut down.  How do you shut it down?  Well you program yourself to not think about the details in the same way people stop thinking about other hurtful memories. 

My mother’s former neighbors seem to still be proponents of her life and even told me once that they were going to text me, but wanted to hear my voice.  I do not think they wanted to hear me, but they missed my mom.  She gladly interrupted their life randomly.  I began to see how older people become less concerned about etiquette and manners as she would sometimes answer the phone with a gruff voice and say, “Who is this?”  She would not hesitate to call a neighbor at the drop of a hat if she needed something.  She often called me and asked, “Where were you?”  Most of the time I was at work and never had my phone on me.  Her persistence was amazing.  One time she called me thirteen times in a row.  Of course she probably would not have done that in her younger years, but this woman knew what she wanted.

I sometimes am puzzled as to my loyalty to her even after death.  After all, I considered my dad my savior as a child and who would keep me from her sometimes-extreme wrath.  Moms and daughters have their ups and downs, but I could always depend on her. The advice she gave always seemed like the right thing to do.

I was a very small child and we were standing in front of the bathroom mirror.    My mom wanted me to say I was sorry.  There was no way I was  going to spout that phrase.  I was just as stubborn as her.  Eventually, she got very tickled and started laughing as we both starred at each other in the bathroom mirror.  She did love to laugh, but she could be harsh and slightly rude to others.  I think my personality developed as  a way of avoiding confrontation at all costs as a result of being with her.  She was the most incredible “bargain master”.  If a sales person said an item was $10.25 she would turn around and say $1.25?  It was the most ridiculous response and she kept going in the store like a “proud peacock” and never showed any weakness. 

Her most memorable and grueling interactions were buying a car which was her passion.  A new car meant success and achievement.  She grew up so poor with many older siblings.  Although she had many half sisters and brothers she was the only child of her parents.  Her parents remarried with both having large families and she was the only product of their marriage.  Unfortunately, she was the only child left after every sibling died.  She outlived all her friends.  She had a church directory near her chair and she had an “X” on everyone’s picture that had died.  By the end of her journey there was hardly anyone left in the book that had not been eliminated.

Driving or sitting at work I often find myself as a spectator viewing before and after death scenes of my mom in the most intricate detail.   I quickly grab a Kleenex and try to pretend I have a teary eye or bad contact hoping no one walks in.

Does grief ever end?  I can tell you grief enjoys company and is as certain as death itself.  I feel like letting grief have the upper hand robs you of your life.   You keep living in the past instead of the future.  One of my friends in desperation blurted out that it was the devil’s fault.  It was the devil that was robbing me of my life.  I quickly pointed out that they had never had a loss such as mine. I know my story is not special or better or more dramatic than anyone else’s.  However, it is now part of me and I will cherish every memory close to my heart.

There is a Jewish custom of putting a pebble or stone on the grave of the deceased.  I did that the last time I visited my parent’s grave.  When I consulted my Jewish co-worker about the custom he laughed and said he really did not understand that idea and would ask the Rabbi.  He said he had seen people move the stones from one grave to another.   I like the idea that the grave had a visitor.  By the way I know my parents are not in the grave, but as my mom’s neighbor relayed “Where else can you go?”

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.