May 6, 2010

the dogs clink their chains

at the end of the bed

and it comforts you,

and makes me crazy.

I lay with you

and a tear

slowly falls down my face

traces the lines of of me and then


I watch you sleep

and want to shake you.

I want everyone to stop asking you if you are ok…

you are not.

We walk shaky like to the bathroom

and I think you are the baby bird

in “are you my mother”.

I want to pick you up..

I want to make you ok.

We cover you with more blankets than time

and it scares me.

We shuttle you to the poison

that will “fix” it and kill you

and i want a rewind.

I wake at night sweaty,

I hear her yelling my name.

My dream is still fresh in my mind

as I help you to bed..

I am wearing my black sheep costume

the one that is too small….

i am hiding in the corner, shaking and alone.

I am clutching 27 dollars in my hand

but feel so poor.

We watch old movies together

excessively loud

and you make up new words

that make us all laugh.

we sit hushed in hiding

and everyone talks way too much

about all that we fear,

and losing control.

Our words drop out of our mouths

in suffocating form

and we trade them around.

I sit in the backseat of your beloved

and wonder if you ever named her

and just how in the hell

we will get you into treatment today.

Mom drives

braver than she has ever been

wipes her tears

before they are visable

and tells me

this is all normal.

I want to corner your doctor

the one younger than my 34 years

i want to beg her

so many things

i want to have the conversations

that i play over and over in my head.


i will just sit with you

buy a colander

rearrange the tupperware 33 times

rid the house of unseen lint.

i will take you for walks

push you up hills

i didn’t know i could climb.

i will listen to you

absorb each and every sound you make

and play you 8 tracks all night long.

i will let you call me Gordy and Bob

and cherish it even in my fear

i will make you chicken strips

and beg you

to please stay.



November 21, 2009

they come easily.. and yet not.  and they are hidden and tucked away in corners of not only myself but of my computer.. and I just don’t know who to trust anymore.  i put on the front and i try to fix it… whatever it is… i sit and i listen to the silence and sometimes it startles me… and i wonder..

i know i have wondered it a thousand times…

how did i get here?

he sleeps sound in the other room so sound… unaware… surrounded by babies he begged for.   i sit up way too late… drinking white wine and listening to songs my mom sends me on itunes that make me want to cry.  i try to figure out everyones schedules and dramas and life… and i can’t.

i stay up to hear myself breathe i think… i am not screaming… i am not crying… i am just.


and who is that anymore?

the song plays….  ” honey i miss you… are you ok? baby i miss you…. are you coming home”


i wish i could answer that. and honestly i wish i knew where that was.

sometimes it is here… sometimes it is not.

sometimes i want nothing more than a day of no yelling for juice or crackers or more.

and i know… i know, they will grow and leave and i will be left here.



sometimes i want to yell for me…

selfish as it sounds.

he has become something and someone i dont know.

and i love him

i do


i am unsure.


how in the hell do you wake up unsure with 5 kids?


unsure is not acceptable.

be ok.


l&c it wasn’t the curly one..

altho i loved him dearly.. and always will.

the 25th will work out…

even if it is martinis on the 28th…


all is well right?

im coming home……….



it was a wedding………

September 7, 2009

a wedding and a change of life.  a wedding where i realized that i was capable of being loved.  a wedding where they said I do……..but meant i dont……a wedding that changed it all…. he had always been a kid, the younger one…… the one with the curls that we would tease……… and yet …… at that wedding he was the one.  And I was in a place that was so lost… a place so foreign……….  survive maybe………. and they were so mad………so so so mad and yet now……..looking  back…… that you are gone….. I am ok with that.  You brought me wine and told me I was beautiful and I hadn’t been told that in years and you loved me that weekend with no questions………loved me with the kids and the sand and the chaos more than I will ever hope to ever be loved again……

and now…….

you are gone.

i sat with you as you were dying and I told you how much I loved you and how sorry i was……..  we had planned many things……….we had so many places to go……so many things to do.

and i didn’t understand how much i loved you.

and it creeps in……

3 am

or mid afternoon

and i am there

begging you to live

to go to cabo

begging you to let me make it ok…………

and i cant.

i couldn’t.


you slipped away as i went one last time………

the drive……..hours and hours… with kids screaming and crying.

i arrive………everyone is in death mode………

and it scares me.

you cant die.

your kids?

your family?



i am not ready………

i  go and get a smoothie for you…………….. and it is not enough………

nothing is

and i think of you telling me you love me

over and

over again………

i make bargains with god…….. i plead…………….

i cant make it right.

i cant make you ok…..

i leave……….

a drawn out process that breaks who I am………. I drive thru that valley i told you of………

i beg you in my dreams to be ok……………..

she calls…….

screaming and i knew.

the void.



am sorry.

so god-damned sorry.

i sit here  now


it is not quiet

and i wonder just where in the fuck you are……………..

and i miss you

in ways that no one will ever


and i

love you

more than i care

to admit…….

i still play your voice

on that machine

and i still wish

that this was not

what is.

you know i have a

son now…..

named for


but not……..

remember the valley? i know you do.



cant look at him



of what we lost………




what we




and i just miss you.

and i just love you.

and im sorry……

i tried to make it ok.

really, i did.

meet me in McCall……………………….



July 12, 2009

He wants to go.  He is ready.  4 weeks… 26 days early.  I am counting the minutes the hours until he goes…. I have begged… I have pleaded.  I have made contracts with God.  It is all in vain.  He wants to leave.

I am not his dad… nor his lackadaisical life there.  I am harder and more real.  And he resents me for it all.

All the foundations

the love

the plans

the nurturing

the nursing

the dreams…

all of them… are just that…. what they were.

And I am so sorry for it all…

and left with nothing but regrets.

I can’t make him understand.. or feel….

but I do

and it is killing me.

so much nothing to say…

June 14, 2009

I am listening to somedays by Regina Spektor on repeat…. I get like that sometimes.  I get lost in a song and it feels safe and I dont feel so alone.  I cant explain why… not to him, not to anyone.  The last couple weeks have been rough….

M is here for the summer….  he came with his suitcase full of mind games and his fathers issues… handed down so that he can carry them around.  The dynamic here is confusing… he doesn’t want to be here… he doesn’t want to do this.   He misses his dad.  He misses his life where he is the only one… not one of many.  He is angry at me that I want to make him more responsible, more amazing.  He walks around with anger in his pocket and I cant make it better.  He wants to go and it makes me feel like shit that somedays I think this might be ok.  I want to grab him and shake him and tell him how much I have always loved him.  I want to tell him how much I miss him…. the words are spoken but he looks at me like I am speaking greek.  His father can do no wrong…. he doesnt understand that I left for a reason… that I couldnt stay.

He is mad that we moved states away.  He is so mad.  He tells me I love them all more…. 

he couldnt be more wrong.  

and it confuses me…. that we left to save and protect her and in doing so I am losing him.

i know he will say it soon… and the courts with the men in suits and ties say he is old enough to choose.  That realization, that fear is swirling in my head and confusing my head more.

this year seems to never end.

each month brings with it a new set of consequences…. a new set of promise….. a new set of emotions. 

things i did without thought so many years ago are starting to rear their ugly heads…… i am being held accountable and it is killing me.

the kids all scream and fight as do J and I.

I have never felt as distanced from him as I do now.  


We have sex and try to cling to that moment when we feel as one.  it is fleeting….   

and it makes nothing and everything ok.

“Somedays aren’t yours at all,
They come and go
As if they’re someone else’s days
They come and leave you behind someone else’s face
And it’s harsher than yours
And colder than yours”


i keep thinking that it will all pass…. that it will all make sense…. that I will wake up happy…. that my anger will go and I will be left with answers.


The hardest part……

May 16, 2009

I love lyrics… the way they remind me.. the way they let me let go all at the same time.  I must have listened to this song by Coldplay over 100 times today……..  and the worst part is that I am sure that this, this now… is not the hardest part.

“The Hardest Part”

And the hardest part
Was letting go, not taking part
Was the hardest part

And the strangest thing
Was waiting for that bell to ring
It was the strangest start

I could feel it go down
Bittersweet, I could taste in my mouth
Silver lining the cloud
Oh and I
I wish that I could work it out

And the hardest part
Was letting go, not taking part
You really broke my heart

And I tried to sing
But I couldn’t think of anything
And that was the hardest part

I could feel it go down
You left the sweetest taste in my mouth
You’re a silver lining the clouds
Oh and I
Oh and I
I wonder what it’s all about
I wonder what it’s all about

Everything I know is wrong
Everything I do, it’s just comes undone
And everything is torn apart

Oh and it’s the hardest part
That’s the hardest part
Yeah that’s the hardest part
That’s the hardest part


May 8, 2009



there. i said it.  I am uncertain to why, but it is overwhelming…. my thoughts are cluttered with you and I want you to go away.  I want so badly to purge the part of my memory in which you still hold court.  I keep getting these flashes of you, of your face and your anger.

they posted photos of your funeral on facebook.  exactly how wierd have people gotten?  So I sat here, and stared at them, at the box that had become your prison.  At the box that held my closure.  i sat and stared at it.. i didnt want to… 

but i did. 

i still can’t believe it is over.


April 25, 2009


What in the hell am I supposed to tell her?


April 23, 2009

They buried you today….. they who love you so. I drove north to get the kids a kitten as I couldn’t stand the confinement of my house anymore. I drove and I thought of you and of what you may be wearing in your casket and then got mad at myself for even caring. Your obituary came yesterday with no mention of her.. and I breathed a sigh of relief and was pissed all at once.
I can’t believe you are dead and that you get to skirt all of her questions of where you were. I can’t believe that I will never hear your voice again or look over on the road and see you.
I sat here… 600 miles away from where they put you in the ground and I imagined it all… the flowers, the music, the words, the sorrow the tears….
and I was thankful that it wasn’t mine.
thankful and sad and pissed…..

I watched her sleep tonight… her breathing… the sweet way she curls up… and I am torn at how I feel. How is it that I can be thankful that you never held her and yet so sad all at the same time?


April 20, 2009

It was a song. A stupid song and I was pissed at all that it unsurfaced. Granted it had been swirling around in my head for years but I had quieted it….smothered it. Until that moment, until that song. And it wasnt even the words at first, it was the tune, the melody reminisent of moments buried. And then I listened and I grasped what it was that I was hurting for.
And it was too late, the floodgates opened and I was struggling again to breathe.
That damn song, with its question of how anything could ever resemble normal again. I wanted a rewind, a stop, a pause. I wanted not to go there. I wanted to step back five minutes to my chaotic house and my crazy kids and my semi-normal life. I have never wanted crazy so much in my life. The noise the chaos of everyday had helped me forget. I had not thought of it, of him, of us of her. It was too much to think of too much to handle…. it had been so many years.
The first words he spoke to me were “you bitch” and somewhere in my seventeen year old mind I found that amazing, or endearing, or cool. I had inadvertently shut a door in his face and he said it. I was hooked, enamored… in love. I wanted nothing more than for him to want me. He was the ultimate bad boy and it was an immediate challenge. I wanted to love him, to fix him. I think about those moments now as I look at my daughters and I can only pray that they want so much more. That they are smarter, that they dont settle.
I remember the warmth of the sun and the changing of seasons. I remember him coming to pick me up in his old Ford with the windows down. I remember music blaring and dogs barking and excitement. It took less than a week before he came to pick me up drunk. He jumped out of his truck with a beer in his hand and yelled “lets go”. My dad said if I left I couldn’t come back.
I did, and I didn’t.
We stayed at his parents with their carpet that smelled of cat urine and their towels that stunk of sulfer. The hard water had stained everything it had touched in their house. It was one week and a bottle of wild turkey. One week. And when he hit me that first time I remember sinking to the floor and biting my lip. I remember pretending that the blood I tasted was from my own hands. I justified it. I washed myself up and slept with him. I have often wondered how different my life would be today if I had just left then. If I had had enough self respect to go.
We lived like that for months in that dirty house, until we decided that we needed a place of our own for him to beat me in. A quiet place all our own. My first apartment furnished with hand-me-downs, sunflower dishtowels and hate. It was a tiny apartment where I would hang plants and hide in the closet while he dealt drugs to our friends. An apartment where I thought we would evolve and yet we just became those people. We lived the classic cycle just as they teach it in school…. hurt…sorry…makeup…..hurt.sorry….. hurt again. It was my reality.
We moved a lot… a new number, a new street, a new town…. and I assumed a new start. I still vividly remember the smell of fresh paint and the sight of white walls…. free of the holes and the scars and the stories that they would someday hold within their beams. We never stayed long enough anywhere to make connections. Gradually all my friends and family were gone. Separated by the thick line of chaos that I called my own. As a mom now I can only imagine how my mother felt. I don’t remember calling her or if she even knew where I was. I don’t remember telling her that I needed or loved her. I can only imagine her fear. I remember feeling completely alone and yet I remember feeling like I was supposed to be there. I didn’t want to quit, I didn’t want to lose. I didn’t want to fail no matter the cost. I thought that everyones relationships were like mine even tho I grew up in a completely functional home.
I remember making friends once with the couple who lived next door. I remember craving their normalcy. I remember finally wondering what I was doing wrong. I never led on to her what was going on behind my walls, but I know she knew. She called the cops one night when she could hear me scream. They came, macho boys our own age that laughed with him. When they left the real fight began. We moved weeks after that and I have never gotten over not telling her thank you.. or Im sorry…. or Im ok.
The years we spent together made me a better liar and him a better abuser. And I just loved him more. He eventually became more brazen and started to hurt me in front of others. He would lash out with a knife or his fist and I would be where his anger would land. I still cover many physical scars yet it is the abuse that had a more emotional undertone that still seems to affect me. They are the memories that sneak in at night that you just can’t seem to shake or hide. I remember a wonderful camping trip where when he got drunk with his friends he tried to drown me. I remember the struggle for air and the laughter of those I thought of as peers. To this day I don’ t swim. With him I never knew what would set him off…. I would wait with anticipation for him to come home only to endure a fight over the dinner that was not perfect. It was always petty… always controlling. I didn’t dress right, or clean the house right. Or I was smiling
because I must be cheating. I became a shell of a person. His disection of each and every part of my body has left me a confused self destructive adult. He questioned my thoughts and memories and reality to the point that I felt like a liar in my own head.
I became pregnant with her in the fall of 1996. I remember vividly sitting on the nutmeg colored carpet in our latest apartments. I remember looking at blank walls and a positive test. I remember my fear and my determination. I knew that this was one thing that I would not allow him to take from me. I remember speaking the words with trembling hands. I did not waiver tho as he shook his head over and over again no…no…no. You will get rid of it or you will leave. He drove me to my parents home the next day.
I waited for her birth lost and alone. I waited for his call that never came.
She was born on a Friday with the help of a surgeons sword. Tiny and pink and perfect. He came drunk and called me a whore. Her hair was a darker shade then his own so she couldn’t be his. His escort out was swift and loud. A sheriff sat at my door for the remainder of my stay. I begged him to see her for the whole first month of her life. I wanted twisted validation of her. Instead I got a phone call that his girlfriend, the one I had found in our bed… was expecting.
It was five years and a string of men who all treated me the same way later that I saw him again. Drunk, high and separated from his wife he came in where I worked. I touched my hair and felt my face. My stomach still lurched, he still had that pull and he knew it. He wanted pictures of her, he wanted to know if I was raising her right. I spent ten days with him as my family feared every moment. Ten days of drugs and chaos and memories and proof that nothing had changed. He never asked to see her….not once. I think he just wanted to prove that he could still control me. I told him many many things during those days that I had never said. I asked him many questions that still held no answers. One night on a binge he put a gun to his head and told me if I left him again he would kill himself. I told him he had better go home and be a good dad to the kids he had with his wife. I told him that someday my daughter would ask and that those
people would be the ones who better have something good to say about him. I swore it would not be me.
Time has had a way of softening memories that once held me so tight. Years passed, I married became a mom again, moved away, moved on. Infrequently I would hear thru the grapevine that he had gotten a new job, or went back to jail or rehab or moved. My daughter grew and I began to wonder what I would tell her one day. I wondered how I would make her understand. I fully believe that it was she alone that saved me and I thought often of the ways that I would tell her. I hoped that she would not hate me for taking her away from him. I hoped with all my heart that by the time she was grown that he would finally be ok.

She called me two nights ago at 4am. She, the other one. The one he had married, the one that he had had babies with that he actually held. She told me that she was sorry but that he had died. I thought it was a sick twisted joke.

Died. Heart attack. Uppers. Downers. Sorry.
Died. Dead. Funeral.

And in an instant my memories became all my own and my pain became confusing. And no one knows whether to say “Im sorry” or “thank God”. My feelings rushed to the surface in an embarasing mess. I cry and then I am thankful and then I cry again. I guess that I will someday tell her that he didn’t make it until she was old enough to know. And I will hide my anger and bury it back in the far depths of me where no one dares to tread. I will know that he was selfish even in his own death.

I already knew that he had his ending.

I guess now, I have mine.