Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dream Fairies

The red-throated hummingbird flittered around the nearby feeder, as the couple gazed curiously.  “Look,” she said in a whisper, “there are several dull brown ones near that bush, and one male with a pinkish-purplish head.  Gayle was right when he said we could sit in the plaza and be entertained by the hummingbirds.”

The bottle of wine and plate of cheeses arrived as Jim opened his book to identify the birds.

Time passed slowly for the couple who spoke more through their eyes and actions than in words. Each waiting on the right moment to see a new bird or to capture a photo.  He walked the plaza, and wandered down the avenue to the park where he sat near a Palo Verde tree leaving his wife alone in the solitude of her imagination.

A sudden motion caught her eye and she turned to see the hand and index finger of a little girl pointing at her face.  The high pitched voice of a dark curly haired girl startled her, "Lady, you have a pretty fairy bird dancing by your ear." The little girl's eyes danced like her feet as she jumped in excitement.

“Oh, you see my earring don't you?" The woman reached for her ear and removed the earring.  "Look at this. It's not a fairy; it is an earring that looks like a hummingbird. I wear them for good luck." 

The little girl brushed up to the lady's lap. "May I touch it?"

"Of course." Then she handed the earring to the child. "Here you may hold it if you like."

The plaza was still, no traffic entered, and the lazy day seemed to rub off on those walking by.  At last the little girl sniffled and looked at the woman. "I don’t think it is true." The woman's eyes searched the child for answers. The child continued, "My mother used to tell me that whenever I saw a hummingbird then I'd have sweet dreams.  She said they were the fairies that delivered dreams to children at nap time." 

"What a beautiful story. I've never heard that story. I bet with your eyes the color of the skies you see many hummingbirds all around, and enjoy plenty of sweet dreams."

"No."  Then she backed away still holding the earring. "No, I don't have sweet dreams. My daddy says I scream in my sleep."

The woman noticed a man a few tables over nod as if to say, I'm watching. I'm here with her. Don't worry.

 "Do you like to watch the hummingbirds?" the woman asked.

"Yes, my daddy brings me to the plaza sometimes to help me remember, so I won't cry in my sleep." 

"Come here. Let me show you something." Then she pulled a chair up beside herself for the child, but the child crawled from the chair onto the lap of the woman.

"Maybe you just need to hold a hummingbird fairy in your hand to help you."

The little girl tried to giggle through her sniffles, "You are silly. No one can catch a hummingbird because they zoom front and back, even sideways.  That's why my mother used to call them fairies. No one could catch them."

"Your mother was right. No one can catch them, but I have an idea." Then she reached for her bag, colored in flowers of spring.  Digging around, she eventually pulled out a stack of square cut paper.  "Let me make you a hummingbird that you can carry in your hand, or put it in your pocket." 

Turning in the lady's lap and squealing with happiness she cried, "Come here daddy."  The man sauntered over and sat down across the table. Before he could speak the older woman held her hand up in a pause. "It's ok, I
like to make things with my hands.  Just watch. Placing her arms around the little girl in her lap, she began to work with the paper."

The green square paper turned to a triangle with a simple tear along the diagonal, then from a diamond, to a hexagon. No words

were spoken, but two pair of eyes watched the women’s hands fold the paper over and over until at last a tiny bill appeared with wings that flapped. The woman held the bird on the palm of her hand. "Would you like to hold this little fairy bird?"  The child nodded, as did her father. The woman smiled. 

"Please make one for my daddy, so he can have sweet dreams, too."

Jim walked up beside his wife as she handed the father the paper bird. He saw only the tears in the man's eyes as he held that tiny green hummingbird in his hand. The little girl's blue eyes beamed with delight.  His wife, too, saw the joy, and said, "Maybe holding the tiny bird will give you sweet dreams like your mother promised." 

“Thank you. Thank you.” The father and child replied in unison.

These links below provide instructions on how to make origami hummingbirds, and there are many books at the public library that will help you 

Origami hummingbirds 

Origami birds

Monday, August 8, 2016

Somewhere In Between

There’s a jagged line between real happiness and deep sorrow.
I’m somewhere in between.

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you she said when we moved back to town.  
Her love and needs pulled our hearts and souls.

She knows how to care for others but not so much herself.
She'd rather talk than sleep, or watch the squirrels play tag around the trees than eat.

I'm somewhere in between.

She makes music for happiness
and I tell stories.
She raised a loving caring son
and I married him.

We've shared our heartaches, fears, and sorrows.
It's something women carry from deep deep within.
We laugh at memories our children gave us,
and pray that we were good mothers.

I'm somewhere in between.

I'm losing my friend.  Her health is failing every day,
and I carry sorrow so near to my happiness that the jaggedness strikes a pain in my heart.

An afternoon escape to Sonic for a corndog and shake, or a drive around Lake Thunderbird gives her time to reflect and remember.

Papa and Mama built a home on the other side of that hill, she pointed to a wooded area.  Mama cried over the dirt floors.

She was somewhere in between.

We still talk about the time she ordered a chicken pot pie at Nona's Kitchen.  It arrived with a baked flour chicken on top of the pie.  She giggled and smiled so brightly that we nearly laid an egg laughing at her delight. She gingerly cut if off the top, placed it on a napkin and took it home.

My friend of thirty-three years is slowly leaving us for a better place.  Her pain radiates down her body, and yet she smiles when we walk into her room.  Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you she smiles. I'm so glad you're here.

I’m somewhere in between.

Donuts and a cup of coffee with heavy cream, or the touch from a loved one brings such joy to our faces.  We forget how much joy can be found in life's simple pleasures.
She reminds us.

Time is passing for each of us. Today is a new day.
The sun slowly spreads the light and the dark fades in the west behind me.

I'm somewhere in between.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

I'm Angry

Our Father, who art in Heaven...

I'm Angry.
It's not my nature to be angry, but I sometimes yell at the dog.
I'm Angry at Dementia, and the way it eats through our lives.

Hallowed be thy name.

Her eyes once so full of sparkle are now dulled by Dementia's presence.  Her smile questions who she is, where she is, and why, why, why.

The nightmares seem so real.  The fears send her joy filled songs of life into a vault that time occasionally opens. 

Thy Kingdom Come,

It's never quiet in her mind.  Her early years sustain her.  
She smiles at each and every person who passes through her day.  She listens to their stories, and shares her own.  She makes the world a better place everyday.

Thy Will be Done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Why, why, why.  "I'm old. My brother and sisters are all gone. Albert died.  The shingles hurt so badly. Why? Why did I have to live this long? ......Those big men from Pond Creek came into my room last night and drank their liquor. They're mean. They scared me. I couldn't sleep."   

Give us this day our daily bread, 

I kiss her head, rub her hands, and hold her when I can.  We cry.  "They are gone.  They are not there.  Your room is safe. Jack won't let anything happen to you."
              "But Jack's dead." She sways and cries. 
"No, No. Jack is fine.  Jack makes everything safe for you.  He was here this morning.  Take a breath and sing your favorite song, then you will remember that Jack is still alive."  

     So I'll cherish the old rugged Cross
     Till my trophies at last I lay down
     I will cling to the old rugged Cross
     And exchange it some day for a Crown.

Slowly a smile emerges, her head lifts upward, and her eyes make contact.

Forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.

I beam with the pride of a child's mother when a friend sits beside her. Stepping away, I listen as they recall a better day.

Sitting on her walker Georgia slapped her knees, "Didn't we have fun when Bob Wills came to town?  I could dance all night long. Didn't we have fun?"

  "Absolutely.  He came to town twice, you know.  One time I played my guitar on stage right beside him.  My papa thought I was the best guitar player he'd ever heard.  My papa was so proud of me."

  "I think Bob Wills thought you were pretty good too, or he wouldn't have asked you to play."  Georgia slapped her knees and taped her feet.  "Look there," she pointed to her feet. "That's all they do now, is tap.  These feet could dance all night long.  I could out twirl any woman in the barn, and now look at me."

The story, like a music box, wound down and quiet overtook the space.

Lead us Not into temptation
But Deliver us from evil,

She is frail. She fell. She broke her hip.  
She told the nurses in the ER that they needed to cancel her music program at the VA that day.  She didn't think she could play.  The nurses fell in love with her. 

For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. 

She is determined.