I walked into the nursery, plant and flower nursery that is, enjoying each inhaled, distinctive scent that floated under my nose.
Ah-h-h my blood pressure was dropping down to a normal level even after the unhappy morning at work where the boss was way out of line with his demands, red-faced shouts at everyone about everything that was wrong in the office.
We all knew it was really wrong in his home but none of us were about to speak up or even look him in the eye because good advice about divorces might slip out.
The man wasn’t living a decent life and wouldn’t be living a life at all if he didn’t seek some therapy to get him over the bumps in a disastrous marriage.
I cringed inside for the man and his suffering ignoring how he was making us suffer because of his choice of bride.
Then again, my therapy is in place with the cat that waits for me to come home to be the perfect companion to me.
Sitting in front of my computer I began to deflate, almost crumbling into a fetal position in a chair, if that is possible. It seemed like yesterday that I began with excitement, enthusiasm and pure joy to be writing this story that was building a fire within me for what seemed like a lifetime. For sure it was a lifetime because there were so many bits and pieces of me scattered throughout the words that lay on the page after page after page unfolding before me.
The excitement of something new and challenging changed in time to plodding along with questions burning inside me; like should I include this or would it be better left out. The plodding along changed to struggling, feeling like pushing a ball uphill, not being able to see the sun setting on the horizon to complete this all-consuming project. Finally the flow of words fizzled down to a few that stumbled along until I tapped the last letter of the last word and my passion died a heavyweight dead, letting me know it was over.
So we could have argued because I knew he was in the wrong, even though he explained it to me exactly as he saw the situation. He repeated it over and over as if that would make it all clear to me and how he saw it was the only way. I kept quiet and let my mind run around the whole story he was telling me with such passion and earnestness pouring out of his expressions and the words he used so carefully.
There were a couple different choices before me that I was pondering to use in my answer to him as he waited and paced in circles so impatiently. Caution, I was using extreme caution searching for the words I wanted to use to convey my thoughts without crushing his enthusiasm. No longer could I hold out or keep my thoughts from him because he would be frothing at the mouth if I waited any longer before saying something that would nurture him without my needing to be RIGHT.
Afterthought: so many people in the cemetery swore they were right.
I scurry around quickly picking up exactly what I need while shopping at Costco in this strange atmosphere of where everyone wears a mask and keeping a 6-feet distance from each other.
Sometimes that means using extreme patience waiting for another to finish in the area that I want to step into for what I want to buy.
In silence they nod to me that they are finished now moving away and I nod a ‘thank you’ nod in return trying to smile politely behind my mask.
I think a particular thought process hanging in the air is working because I notice that no one has been rude or inconsiderate.
When I leave the store by way of the crates they have piled up to guide shoppers in and out of the store with as little interaction as possible, the drizzle of rain that began in my journey today has turned into serious rain falling.
I pop my umbrella open charging forward to my car, open the rear hatch and begin unloading my cart with one hand while holding the umbrella with the other until a masked woman approached me, holding her umbrella over me so I could load my car with much more ease tells me kindness is alive , healthy and ETERNAL
The navy shipped the body of my first born son home to our friendly neighborhood undertaker on a 4th of July weekend.
A numbness covered me as I just agreed to whatever his assistant suggested we do for a wake service that he would direct and take care of the details before I halted him at wanting to have an open casket because there were no marking on my son’s face from his car accident that took his life on a rainy Wednesday night.
Oh, no, I was not ready to face the fact that my son would no longer be calling me with his adventurous stories or sending me a birthday card and mother’s day card as he always did along with a sweet note to make it personal.
I figured I would take it slow and easy in accepting that fact because there was no rush now was there.
His pea coat hung on the trim around my living room doorway where I could see it and pass it several times a day for months on end, driving the stakes of memory into my heart, but the final irritation that drove me near crazy was his watch laying on the roll top desk with the band broken, my son’s head broken but the damn thing kept running.
Over many years, I talked and listened to women tell their stories. Whether I waited tables, tended bar, sold or appraised real estate, or leaned on the counter near the cash register on a quiet afternoon in my book shop. I mention the last item because a quiet afternoon in a small town book shop was perfect for a conversation with a woman who needed to release her story to someone who would listen. It didn’t need to be a close friend, maybe even better because I wasn’t. Each one of those stories, though not written here, were not forgotten by me, is honored with this publication. They reveal the various lives we have lived as women.
An anthology is the perfect vehicle to reveal stories untold; to explain, represent and disclose. Like a whisper in my ear from a feminine ancestor, the idea slid right into my mind. It wouldn’t let me sleep until I put thought into action. Timing is perfect, I said to myself. Women’s achievements of the past are now coming out of vintage trunks. There are tales of heroines of long and not so long ago. Women who made great changes behind the scenes are stepping into limelight they deserve. No more hiding behind curtains or in the backroom.
Reading Jeanmarie Evelly’s History of a Body inRattle #66 set me on fire! It boiled the blood in my veins! It slapped me alert! Excitement charged through me as images passed in front of my eyes. I needed to invite women to tell their stories. I wondered how many women experienced incidents only because they were female. I felt their stories could only be told correctly and completely by them.
It is time to let the world read our words; words reveal who we were, how we lived, loved, and who we are today. We went unnoticed, doing great things in small ways. We influenced others with our quiet deeds.
We postponed and sacrificed our dreams to benefit ones we loved and never mentioned it. Let each reader laugh or cry, cheer for us, or get angry at what happened. Let some disagree with our decisions or shout ‘Brava!’