Thursday, April 29, 2010

#fridayflash - Lilac

The sound of the traffic outside Emily's window woke her again.

As it had for as many days as she can remember.
She lay there for several moments enjoying the fresh scent of spring wafting in the window and gently blowing the clean sheer white curtains. She gazed at the play of shadow and light on the ceiling then resigning herself to another day.
She slowly climbed out of bed.
Emily slid her feet into the worn lilac slippers, shrugged herself into the matching robe and shuffled her way to the bathroom. She enjoyed the feel of the cotton nightgown as it brushed against her knees.
Emily’s bathroom was lilac as well. It was her favorite colour and looking around she felt the same pride she felt every day in having lovingly decorated it herself. Many years ago now, but she kept it as clean and fresh as the day it was completed. Lilac print wallpaper picked to match the scent of the lilac flowers that drifted into this room from outside the window every spring. Her mind drifted then
Her husband had decided to surprise Emily and so, on a particularly hot Mothers Day. He started hard at work while she was on her daily trip to the corner store. Emily arrived back only to find him laying face down beside the hole he had dug, the lilac bush removed from its pot and laying beside him. No one could say how long he had lain there. Emily had been gone for almost an hour and a half, stopping to chat along the way to the young mothers out on the beautiful spring day, their babies snuggled up inside their carriages, mosquito netting to keep the bugs off.
Late that night, long after everyone had left and her oldest daughter lay sleeping in the guest room, Emily wandered out of doors and finished planting the lilac bush in the cool night, with only the sound of the spring peepers to keep her company. Her tears falling into the soil that she pushed around the root ball and patted firm.
Coming back to the present, Emily looked at herself in the mirror. Wiped the tears and examined the lines around her eyes, and thought to herself,
"Here is another new one. I am sure it wasn't there yesterday"
She opened the sterile white cabinet and removed her toothbrush, loaded it with mint and swirled it around on her teeth.

Emily wanted to die.

She was not depressed. She was not ill, she was just very, very tired.

Her life had been full. Her wonderful husband taken from her far too soon. Over 30 years ago. Emily had 7 children she was proud of and so many grandchildren and great grand children it got difficult to remember just how many and what their names were. She did however recognize them as hers when at family functions.
She had been a social activist for many, many years. Holding strong and fighting for what she believed in. In the 1930s she was a member of the CCF, which later became the New Democrat Party. She was a strong advocate of Children’s Rights and Foster parenthood. And surprising to almost everyone with the exception of her children, she supported the legalization of marijuana.
Most recently, however, Emily became a member of the Right to Die Network.
Emily had all her teeth; she had her health and had led a long mostly happy, fruitful life.
But she was feeling them. She was just plain tired all the time.
Many letters had been written. And possibly many more were yet to be written. She was determined to see this through. Her children had accepted her decision. She wanted so badly to be able to plan her death by assisted suicide. To be able to have her children with her, to reminisce, and finally say thier goodbyes.
Now eating her bowl of oatmeal, covered in sweet melting brown sugar and milk, she composed her letter as she had morning after morning for more than two years. She enclosed it in the envelope and addressed it and would mail it like she had all the others when she went on her daily walk to the corner store. And as always, she would stop and chat with all the young mothers out with their babies.
On her way back to the bedroom to dress she glanced at the small overnight bag by the door.
It contained a freshly washed lilac cotton nightgown, her second robe and a new pair of lilac slippers. Tucked safely away, wrapped lovingly in her favorite scarf was the picture of her husband and herself. Harold, so dapper in his Sunday suit and Emily in her best spring dress wearing the same scarf wrapped over her hair to keep it from blowing. They were heading off to a Sunday picnic in his brand new 1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible. They were seated as close to each other as they could be without being one person. His arm protectively over her shoulder, and she leaning in to be as close as possible. Obviously, deliriously happy and in love.
The bag was ready, should word come that she will be granted her wish. And if she was fortunate enough to get word in the spring, she would go out and cut a bouquet of Lilacs to sit beside her bed in a vase so when the time came she could drift off to lilac scents’ and memories, at peace.
95 years was a long time, she was ready to rest.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

#fridayflash - To Realize a Dream

Susan sat in the reception area. Her back straight, knees and ankles tightly together. Her gaze rested on her purse placed precisely in the centre of her lap and her delicate hands were folded neatly on top.

She glanced up at the clock and sighed. It seemed like she had been waiting for hours, but in truth it had only about 30 minutes.

Sighing again, she let her gaze move around the room. There were other women waiting to be seen. She looked at the woman sitting directly across from her who chewed noisily on a wad of gum. She dissected the woman’s features. Eyes outlined with dark, heavy makeup. Lips painted on with a deep red. Skin that at first glance appeared flawless but on closer examination showed years of hard living and many lines. All this surrounded by waves of bleached blond hair. The woman’s breasts were outrageously large and bursting from her blouse that was far too small. Her skirt was shamefully short and rode high on her thighs leaving nothing to the imagination. Susan realized she was staring, and blushing, jerked her gaze back up to the woman’s face only to meet hard cold eyes staring back. A smirk crawled across the woman’s face, like she had some dark little secret.

Susan quickly looked away. She observed that all of the women in the room seemed to be cut from the same mold. The only difference between these cookie cutter women was the colours of their tight tops and short skirts.

Mother Nature called now and Susan rose from her seat and swayed gracefully across the carpeted reception area to the ladies room. She passed a woman who was now on her way out of the office that Susan was patiently waiting to be invited into. The woman looked unhappy. This could be good for Susan and she allowed a faint smile to play on her lips. She opened the door and entered the brightly lit room.

She moved across the floor to the last stall in the line. She went in and closed the door behind her and hung her purse on the hook on the door. She lifted her skirt, lowered her white cotton panties and sat down.

She listened.

Absolute quiet, which meant she was alone.

With relief she let go and emptied her bladder.

She pulled 5 crinkly folded sheets out of the dispenser and wiped herself dry then standing, she turned around and flushed the toilet, took her purse from the hook and opened the stall door. Her solid heals clicked on the tile floor and echoed around the room as she walked to the sink. She put her purse on the counter beside it and ran the water.

As she washed her hands, she glanced up at her reflection in the mirror. Honey blond hair neatly coiled into a soft bun at the back of her head, stray strands framing her beautiful face and perfect skin. She dried her hands with the rough paper and reached into her purse and quickly touched up her full lips with the soft pink she bought just the day before. She dropped the tube back into her purse beside the photo of herself she had taken the week before in one of the photo booths in the mall. She snapped her purse closed and quickly picking it up she accelerated out into the dimly lit reception area hoping that she had not missed them calling her name.

There were fewer women waiting now.

She no sooner got seated when a burly man sporting a day’s growth on his face leaned into the room from the aforementioned office and called.

“Susan, Susan Christianson.”

She quickly got up and a wavering smile flashed across her face. On legs that now felt like rubber she crossed the room towards him. He smiled back and ushered her into the office.

He pulled out the chair for her and she sat down, crossing her long legs. She smoothed her dress back down over her knees.

“Thank you for being so patient Susan.”

With no shame he began to devour her with his eyes. Taking in every young, fresh inch of flesh he could see, which wasn’t much, thanks to the dress she wore, but he had a vivid imagination and her curves were still evident under the sweater dress she had worn.

She felt his gaze and shifted in her chair feeling a bit uneasy reminding her that this was one step towards her dream. So many actresses had started out this way. At least that’s what she was told when she made the initial call to the number she found on the page that plastered itself against her leg in a gust of wind the previous week.


It read.


It was like fate, she thought as he started to speak again which pulled her back to the present.

“ I saw your screen test and I have to say I was very impressed. You say you have never acted before?”

“No.” she replied.

“Just some plays in high school but I loved it and have always wanted to pursue a career in it.”

“Well” he spit out.

“Say hello to the start of that career then. The lead part in the remake of ‘Debbie does Dallas’ is yours. Congratulations!”

He walked around the desk and shook her hand. She smiled feebly at him and he guided her to the door.

“My secretary will call you next week with the details.”

Susan now feeling a wave of mixed emotions floated past the woman she sat across from earlier who watched her go.

The woman pulled a worn picture of herself out of her purse and looked down at it.

Soft smile, perfect skin. Warm eyes

It was the picture she sat for in one of those photo booths the day of her first casting call.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

#fridayflash - The Letter

Words had always come easy to her.

The ability to express her feelings on paper or otherwise flowed like a waterfall. And she always felt refreshed afterwards.

But a bad marriage lodged a big rock in place and the words no longer flowed. Her creativity became stifled. Her ability to speak her mind or write her feelings, even the private thoughts that were so important to her, trickled to stop.

Speaking her mind, saying how and what she felt was no longer acceptable. It became a source of ridicule and criticisms. Because she was no longer allowed to feel anything other than worthless and ugly. She was useless.

A negligent wife.

A bad mother.

A sponge.

A pig.



She fought desperately to hold her head above the pain and keep a tight hold of who she once was but his constant criticisms and abuse held her down so firmly she thought she'd drown. She grew weaker. And like a person lost on the waves of the ocean, no life preserver, no land in site, she succumbed to the fatigue and let herself go under.

Her eyes fell to the words scrawled on the paper. “To my babies”

3 words.

It was all she could scribble in her now increasing fatigue. A fog was closing in. She searched in her daze for more words. They were there on the edge of her consciousness before she consumed the cocktail she had mixed, so she figured she was ready.

Now they were gone. It would seem there were now no words to make them understand why she had chosen this path. She just didn’t want them to feel they were responsible in any way.

She looked down at those words again. “To my babies” She noticed splotches of water had caused the ink to run. She reached up and felt her cheek.


She couldn’t remember the last time she had cried. Yet now they were streaming down her face and blurring the words on the paper that rested on her lap. A hard ache developed in her chest. Her throat closed on a choking lump. A light breeze kissed the dampness on her cheek and made it tingle. She was feeling something after an eternity of nothing. Then the realization hit her. Nothing she could write, no matter how clear or well said could make them accept that they no longer had a mother. Nothing would take away their pain any sooner.

On legs that she could barely control she got up and made her way through the hallway. The thick air grabbed at her, slowing her down. But now she was determined and battled it to her destination.

She picked up the phone.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some releif

Worry has consumed me for days. Wearing me out, making me cranky.
No matter how old my children get I still fret, fuss and worry about them.
My oldest boy is a bit of a loner. He keeps to himself for the most part but occasionally enough I'd get a communication from him.  Just often enough to keep me from becoming frantic.. as I was today.
For the first Christmas since I can remember, he did not join us at all during the holidays.
Why? Lack of funds to get him here. No work in Guelph for him. Not yet anyway.
In Sudbury he never lacked for a job of some sort so I never had to worry. At least not that I know of but this time.. after years of me saying "if you ever need anything" he contacted me and he needed some help, which I happily gave. Since then, despite many communications from me I have had no response. No one had heard from him for some time. So, doing what I seem to do best, I began to worry, and as the days went from a few, to more than  month, I began to imagine the worst. I cried, I felt paniced, I had bad dreams.
Tonight, I got a call from my father, his grandfather to say he had recived an e-mail from my son early this morning. He called me because he knew how worried I was. I still am, but less so.
I hate this part of being a mom. The worry. How I am now vulnerable to so many more things than I was when it was just me I had to worry about. I wake every day and wish to myself that my children make it safely through the day, I wish for their health and thier happiness and I recite the same mantra when I climb into bed at night. I have done this every morning and night since the first one was born and I will do every morning and night till the day I die. It is the one habit I have. The one routine that I am faithful to every day of my life.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Weekend

Easter Weekend... It couldnt have been any better weather wise. I ate too much.We had a birthday celebration on Saturday for Rogers brother, and went for an Easter Brunch on Sunday. Again, way too much food.
So, today, we went for an hour and a half long walk. That was when I realised just how out of shape I am. I want to lay down and have a nap... no....need to lay down and have a nap.
I won't though. I will struggle throuugh the rest of the day and crash hard at 9. Work tomorrow, bright and early because I do not have to get Liam up for school.
Tueusday, Liam will be presented with his orange strip in Karate then I am off to the big city for my annual check up on my eye at the Princess Margaret.
I go every year.
During a routine eye exam a spot was discovered on my eye that was not there during the previous exam. I was referred to a specialist who diagosed it as a tumour and now I visit every year for 5 years.
3 more visits after this one and if it does not grow, I won't have to go back.
Either way... It is a trip out of town and to the city. A bit of a nice change. I grab Cinnabon cinnamon rolls and shop at a few places then head home til next year, same date, same time, same place.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Game Night

Tonight, we play Hedbanz.
The object of the game is to guess what you are (The card in your headband) Everyone, with the exception of you of course, can see it and you have a minute to ask questions about it to figure out what it is. It gets silly at times and we eventually played by our own rules.

Does he know there is no card on his headband?? We could seriously mess with him.

It took almost 6 rounds before he guessed this one.

Alyssa playing her version of the game. "Am I green?"

I just like the way he is in focus and eveything else is blurred

Brother and Sister

"Seriously?? You think I can pull off this look?" You're just saying that."