Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Love in the Old, Love in the New

And so ends a year that was both the worst and the best in my life so far.

Three cancer diagnoses, two deaths, surgeries, illnesses, and a near-death experience for me -- in ways it felt as though we were the Children of Job, a family cursed. For the most part, we chose not to make it mean that. Life Happens, I reminded everyone, And while we often don't get to choose what happens, we always get to choose what we make it mean.

I miss my sister, but at least I am missing only one, and not three out of the four. The long nights sitting at Caro's bedside whispering to her to get up, to get out of bed, to live the rest of her life, how ever long that was -- those nights paid off. She got out of bed, she did her chemo, and she is living her life. The hours and hours with Tess on the phone, urging her to choose life, to choose mental and physical well-being, to choose herself and get out of an abusive marriage -- those hours paid off. She will be flying home to California on January 1. And the hours spent with Granddad, loving him, caring for him, telling him it is ok to go home -- those hours, too, paid off. He died peacefully, before the pain from the cancer grew too great.

And through all this, I discovered that I was not alone. I was not alone in my loss, my pain, or my suffering. The world is full of it. Nor was I alone in getting through this year. I've been truly blessed with friends who are compassionate and loving. I learned a lot from them and through them this year. A breakdown in my health brought a breakthrough in Living. I learned that my own vulnerability brought out the best in people. I learned that people are inherently good. That people want to help, to give back, to contribute. I learned about the intimacy of suffering *with* others rather than suffering alone. And I learned that I am enough. That I am enough for myself, and my family, and my friends, and where I grow thin or tired or worn, someone will provide the energy I need to continue.

I have friends who held me the night my sister died. They offered no comforting platitudes, only the comfort of their bodies, warm and loving, pressed against mine. The antidote to grief is love, and they were fountains of it.

I have a friend who took care of me when I was sick, 500 miles from home. So sick I didn't recognize the seriousness of my illness, so sick that I spent three weeks on home health care after two weeks in the hospital. He was there for me in a way that I never thought anyone would be, in a way I've always tried to be there for others, and his willingness to do whatever it took to see me healthy again was a lesson in the power of my own vulnerability to move others to be better people.

I have friends who gave of themselves and enriched my life and I am grateful, so grateful, for the joy and laughter and the openness and the tears. They made this year a great year for me, one I will never forget.

Soon this year ends. Soon I go to the airport to retrieve the man I love, and spend the remaining hours of this year doing those things and feeling those things which I intend to carry forward into the New Year. And foremost of it all, is Love.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Love is...Mr Feynman for Xmas

It may not be every woman's dream gift, but for Christmas, my lover gave me Mr Feynman. Or rather, Mr Feynman's Lectures on Physics. Yay!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

An ode to a Lemon - Pablo Neruda

Comicsdude made a slideshow of a poetry reading I did.
An ode to a Lemon
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: poetry poem)

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

To Sir, With Love

Within an hour of his death, my cousin and I poured some whiskey and drank a toast to Granddad, a toast taken from the title of the book I'd been reading to him the past two days. To Sir, with love. May he rest in peace.

He was waiting for me to come to him, and his decline once I arrived was stunning in its swiftness. He kept his faculties the entire time, and he died peacefully at home, with loved ones at his side. It has been my role in this family to help ease passings, and perhaps because I have finally fully embraced that role, this passing was the most peaceful yet. I was in a place of love and acceptance, and every thought, every word, every touch was loving and grateful. Thank you for letting me take care of you, it is a priviledge, I told him, after he apologized for his incontinence and need to be cleaned up. Its ok, you can let go now, I projected my thoughts at him. I'll be here to care for the living.

My aunt home from work, I made sure he was comfortable, and then I lay down for a nap, my first bit of sleep in 36 hours. I was unsurprised when my aunt awakened me 90 minutes later to say he was gone. I rose and held his hand and watched the last of his breath leave his lungs and I felt so radiant inside. I could not help but smile through my tears, fully at peace, both with his death, and that of my sister.

The year began with a death and now it ends with one. Another few days and it will be Solstice, when the dying of the light is transformed into renewal. A new year, with new beginnings, and new endings. I can live with that knowledge, just as I can live with the uncertainty of details. Life is a brush that paints in broad, sweeping strokes. When I look ahead, I can see the outline, the dips and curves. But the details, ah, those are completed in the fullness of each moment -- and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

His kiss was gentle

His kiss was gentle. His lips pressed softly into mine, and they were warm, almost chaste. I leaned into him, sighing a little, and turned my head so my cheek leaned against his bristly one. He had not shaved all weekend, so his shadow was heavy and it stung deliciously. His chilled fingers sought the warmth of my flesh, sliding themselves beneath my waistband of my jogging pants. I hissed briefly as his fingers pressed into me like an icy brand. He turned his head and kissed me again, and this time his tongue sought mine. I opened my mouth to him and let myself relax against him, enjoying the cascade of sensations tapping on my nerve-endings. His hand slipped farther down, his fingers just a bit warmer, until the tips touched my panties. With a flick he snapped the elastic, making me jump a little. He chuckled, flicked a finger again. Again the snap of the elastic against my skin, and again, I twitched. With his free hand he pulled me closer and I leaned my forehead into the place where his neck met his shoulder. The scent of him was strong and heady. His naturally spicy smell teased my nose. My mind shut off, all resources dedicated to critical thinking abilities abandoned to the heightened demands of my sensory net. "Mmmm, " I breathed into his ear. His hand wriggled farther down until I could feel his fingers on the globe of my ass, teasing the cleft there. Another kiss, this one hot and penetrating. It left me somewhat dizzy and wet, that kiss. I became aware of my hips rocking against him, of the little noises I made as the nub of my clit rubbed against a seam in his pants. He surprised me as he pulled me tighter against him and his hand dived downward, deep into my seat, until they found the wetness he was seeking. He moved back and forth between the two openings, making his fingers, and me, slippery. I lay against him, moaning open-mouthed into the skin of his neck, my hips rocking to speed him up. The teasing was a becoming almost unbearable when he drove his fingers into me, up into the hot slippery core of me, and it made me gasp and jolt. He rocked his fingers deeper and his knuckles rubbed against my pubic bone once, twice, three times, and then I convulsed, my body goaded beyond the limits of sensibility. I cried out, and my tongue tasted the salt on his skin. I shuddered through a long climax and he urged me to keep coming with his voice and his fingers. Just as I was beginning the slide into relaxed orgasmic bliss he pressed a finger against my ass and popped it in. I gasped and jolted and sank my teeth into his shoulder, coming again to the feel of his fingers skillfully penetrating me and the sound of his delighted laughter. We did this for what seemed like eternal moments, until I was breathless and trembling. When I finally went limp against him he withdrew his fingers and slid out from under me, leaving me draped over the arm of the couch. I started to move but he bade me lie still, and then his hands began inching my pants down. I smiled into the leather of the couch. His turn. And fortunately, the only thing I'd have to do is come. Again and again.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Surprise! Its December.

(Tammy and her niece, Nov 2003)
December has come, to my surprise. It has crept up on me. For the past 10 years December has always been a hectic month, a headlong dash into what we in the fiscal/accounting field simply call "Year End". But not this one. Last month I quit my job and my life to move nearer to family and love. I am no longer tied to the grueling schedule, but neither am I tied to the certainty of a salary. It is an interesting adjustment to make.

The past couple of weeks have been a pleasant interlude, and opportunity to rest after the hectic pace of November. I've been waking up when I want to, which is usually between 8 and 9 am. I see my housemate off for work between 10 and 11. I go work out. I come back and work on my writing and recording and websites. For the first time since Tammy's illness became life-threatening, I've had both the time and the creative energy to think about how to put my work out there to touch more lives and perhaps earn a bit from it. I unpack a bit. I read some. I ride my sybian and leave naughty voicemail messages. And when my lover is free, I ride him. It is lovely, having sex almost daily. And it is interesting how our relationship has changed.

Next week I will be at my Grandfather's. It gives everyone in Tulsa a bit of a break, and my grandfather is asking to see me. Then the following two weeks I'll be with family back in California. It will be the first time I've spent Christmas with my family in over 10 years. And it will be the first Christmas without Tammy. I'm grateful that my other two sisters who had grim cancer diagnoses are still with us, and grateful, too, that Grandfather will live to see the New Year. But I am sad, nonetheless. Tammy loved Christmas.

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