No! We can’t stand it anymore! Day after day. We haven’t been free since…..October!
Please, please don’t cover us up. It’s dark in here! Do we embarrass you?
Now you are going to shove us in this confined space? What are you, cruel????
I know your laundry is sick of it, too. Every day those black, dark hoods stack up in the hamper.
All we want to do is feel the air and sun. Instead, we have lint rolling over and between us in here. It’s nasty.
Really, we need to breathe. One day very soon you are going to get a paint job. When you do that you are going to HAVE to show us.
Maybe you should go shopping? Yes! Some new clothes will definitely call for a fancy pair of the open-toed variety.
We have always been here for you. Without us, you wouldn’t be able to get around. Walking would be impossible.
Please. For the love of God….Let. Us. Out.
Come on spring! It’s time to break out the sandals and brightly colored toenails so these little piggies can live free for the next 7 months, or so….
#SOL18 Day Thirty-One
Something magical happens in the month of March. Stories begin to pour out of me like water. In the days leading up to March 1st, my brain is firing on all cylinders. Memories, ideas, connections, and small moments in my life start bubbling up.
Once we start the process of writing and sharing of our innermost feelings another quite magical thing happens. People respond. This special community of writers also becomes our audience. This is so amazing. The feeling of validation – of being heard – and understood – is exhilarating.
One of the comments that I received this month was from a fellow blogger; Persistenceandpedagogy. You can check out her slices from this month right here. “Persistence” talked about a book she read recently and mentioned that she felt she could have seen my slice in this particular book. I. Was. Floored.
I couldn’t wait to run to my Kindle store to check out this book. Textbook, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, is a sweet and funny compilation of stories that are packed with various life lessons and messages. It’s beautiful. Amy passed away last year, in March, in Chicago, my hometown and she was only 51 years old. She was a really special person who wrote many insightful, witty, and poignant books.
I am forever grateful to “Persistence” for teaching me a little something in the process of giving feedback on my slice. And to all of you who have provided comment love this month – my bucket is filled. My belief in myself as a writer grew exponentially from the 1st through the 30th. I understand the process of writing when I participate in this challenge more than I do any other time of year. This translates to great work with our students. My wish is that we can find ways to fill each other up, much like we do during this March challenge, every single day of the year. It feels so good.
#SOL18 Day Thirty
Opening day of baseball represents a new beginning.
A shot at second-chances.
An opportunity for our team to wipe the old (2017) slate clean.
There are approximately 162 games in a season to make it right.
Even though we usually come to our senses and see the “real” team somewhere around game 30, the beginning of the season always starts strong.
#SOL18 Day Twenty-Nine
“Thank you for your patience!” she said happily.
Why do they say that? They are (incorrectly) assuming that I am patient right now.
“We’re so sorry. We’ve just been swamped today! This is highly unusual!”
Of course. I am here on the highly unusually swamped day.
“We book patients in 15-minute increments figuring that some of them aren’t going to show. But, everyone showed up today!”
Then why do you book appointments in 15-minute increments? How is it humanly possible for the Dr. to see four patients in one hour/eight patients in two hours/thirty-two patients in one day???
“We’re just going to take your vitals and then take you to the sub-waiting room until a room for the Dr. opens up.”
So, I waited out there for an hour only to be brought back here to be taken to yet another waiting room? This day just kept getting better and better!
Ahhhh, spring break. I had higher hopes for thee. Hopefully, things will improve and I can begin to take charge of this day!
#SOL18 Day Twenty-Eight
It was early in the morning. An especially dark, very dreary and very gray morning. I was sitting in my car at a light waiting to get onto the expressway. I looked to my right and there it was. “Tent City.”
Whoa. People live there? I asked myself out loud. I studied the sprawling community, first with my eyes and then with my heart.
My eyes saw various tents set up all along the Kennedy Expressway. Red, gray, black, and yellow tents.
My heart saw the wind gently, sometimes forcefully blowing the tents. I wondered who was inside.
My eyes saw piles of junk. Paint buckets, grocery carts, chairs, pillows, grills, blankets, bikes, and so much more.
My heart saw desperation that caused people to hoard items from nearby stores to be kept and used later. For what? I wondered.
My eyes saw ugliness with potential for crime and disease.
My heart saw fear, sadness, urban blight, a group of people who are seen every day by city residents, but not really seen at all. This heart that I was seeing with ached for these human beings. These citizens of our city/state/nation who feel they have no other choice than to live in a tent community literally feet from the entrance ramp to a major highway.
My heart continues to see even though it’s been hours since my eyes first saw.
#SOL18 Day Twenty Seven
Four different patients inhabited Room 419 over the course of the 6 weeks that my mom called Room 420 home.
Three of them died.
The jury is still out on the fourth because we were discharged before knowing her fate. But, I can assure you that I had a very serious conversation with the son of #4.
“Stay on top of things here,” I warned. “I’m glad to see you here every day. It is imperative that the people here know you are involved in your mom’s care.”
I didn’t go so far as to tell him that the three previous residents of Room 419 were no longer on this earth. It was just so depressing.
All three of them occupied Room 419 for short time periods. I got to know the relatives of #1 and #2, which made it all the more heartbreaking. I saw the look of fear, confusion and all around sadness in their eyes at the beginning. I could recall that feeling in myself so well.
Number 3 was especially tragic because he/she didn’t have any visitors. Absolutely no family or friends ever managed to grace the door of Room 419. It’s true – I wasn’t sure if this patient was a man or woman. He/she sat cross-legged on their bed looking straight ahead at the T.V. whether it was on or off. Very large, dark sunglasses covered half their face while a sizeable machine that was plugged in nearby hummed white noise with every labored breath he/she took. Every single time I went to visit my mom #3 was in that same position…until one day they weren’t.
As I walked down the hall toward Room 420 on a cold December afternoon I saw a woman sitting outside of Room 419, her head hanging down. I could also see two policemen in the distance. I was worried about my mom until I realized what had happened. Room 419 lost another one.
I searched my mind…What is happening here? Is this a place where people come to die?
I left there feeling a strong sense of urgency to get my mom the hell out of there…before the curse of Room 419 crept next door.
#SOL18 Day Twenty-six
This writer’s block.
It won’t let up.
I want to be funny.
I want to be light.
What I have going through my mind is neither.
So many good things to think about – so much to be grateful for. But, there was this text.
A text message with ramblings about feelings, worries, concerns, fears….
“I can’t text anymore – we need to talk by phone,” I replied.
We finally talked two hours later.
“That text wasn’t supposed to be sent. I’m so sorry. It was just a bunch of feelings I’ve been having, but I didn’t mean to send it,” she said.
Let this be a lesson to you kids out there. Never – EVER – type a text message that you don’t mean to go public – because you just may hit “send” by mistake.
And when that happens….you can’t ever take it back.