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Posts Tagged ‘memories’

dresserI have learned a lot about Attachment. According to the dictionary, it is a feeling that binds one to a person, thing, cause, ideal, or the like; devotion; regard. In my case it was a fond attachment to furniture and clothing.

Blame it on my new dresser but I had to purge which sent me into a nesting mood. Seven new stately and majestic dovetail drawers stood in front of me. Once put into the place in my bedroom, this dresser or bureau was calling my name. First it was the begging for nurturing which came very quickly with a soft cloth and Murphy’s oil soap. And as if it was thankful for the care and concern, it suddenly took on a new life. As quick as the sparkle and shine came back to the weathered wood, it started begging me for attention. I heard the call loud and clear and wanted to answer that call. I wanted to offer my new family member the best I could give whether it be the tattered and torn or the new and stylish clothing stuffed in the back of shelves. Funny how a piece of furniture could be a call to action and in the process teach me a lesson in attachment.

As I have frequently mentioned in posts on face book, I have no closets and not a lot of space so this was a much needed addition. But with every addition there comes a change and learning curve. Could this fit into my life and be functional and not replace other furniture which has always been tried and true? I have always had a major attachment to my armoire which was unfinished furniture from Bradlees which I stained and put it all together by myself in my early twenties, saving my paychecks from Friendly’s in the Post Mall.

The minute I moved my armoire to the other room, I felt a strange sadness come over me. I opened the drawers and removed the clothing. I held up each item, piece by piece, examining and frequently reminiscing about when, where and if it was by my own purchase or a gift from others. Shirts from my college days (Up the Hill and Off the Wall Gallaudet Hall 6); Subway country shirts (employees got a t-shirt each time we opened a store in a new country); Myrtle Beach vacations while visiting my mom and dad, vacations taken with friends, partners and others. I never really understood the word attachment until I was saying goodbye to a vital and important part of my past and the times in my life which shaped and defined who I am today. As the trash bags got filled, I took each one to my car with a bit of melancholy. I felt that a piece of my past was leaving and it was a choice that was made without their knowledge or opinion. Not that clothes or material things have opinions but I believe they do hold the spirit of those who they belonged to in a sense.

I never considered that I had an attachment to clothes that were sizes too small or big; an attachment to things I have not worn in many years or an attachment to a color, style or brand. But I learned that it is better to face up to something as simple as going through old clothing and possibly giving it a new life in someone else’s closet and home.

I have to admit that some clothing did not make it out of my house. Years ago, I printed instructions on how to make a quilt out of meaningful t-shirts. I now have a full bag of the fronts of at least 30 t-shirts. This will be one of my next projects.

Just like the stately and majestic aura and history of my new dresser/bureau, each piece of clothing had its own majestic story. In no sense am leaving their stories behind or forgotten. As many will tell you I have a memory that is golden. But I am releasing their “material” physical form to hopefully find their afterlife in a Salvation Army or Goodwill store or a third world country – a small blessing to those who have less and may strengthen their being and soul.

As for my Bradlees furniture, it will someday be passed on to a second hand store or friend and I sincerely hope it will carry the spirit and aura of a twenty something girl, trying to grow up and find her individuality by replacing her white childhood furniture (which she thought burned when Furniture Transport caught fire in Milford). A young girl who felt that by buying several unfinished bedroom furniture pieces it would define her new grown up identity. I can only hope that someday, someone will feel that free spirit who not only stained each and every piece but had the perseverance of following instructions that made no sense but still tried and put pieces together, A, by B, and C, with a D thrown in to confuse things – and who felt proud and accomplished – even though she had screws and nails left over and the main doors were never really level.

With many drawers now set and organized and the spare room taking shape (but still in shambles), I glance over at my new bureau and adopted family member. It fits in perfect and doesn’t replace the tried and true but is an addition and enhancement. It has a long, rooted history in this area and an admirable one at that. It belonged to a gentleman in every sense of the word. – One that often gave to others without asking for anything in return. I just know him by the name Buddy, but I feel his name is so fitting. As Buddy’s furniture taught me so many things about happiness and paying it forward, as only ones “Buddy” and friend should do. The bins at Salvation Army are happy – the clothing is happy to be given a second chance – I am happy with my new adopted furniture – and my spare room is happy to finally be given a thorough cleaning and makeover (still in progress).

I can only hope that I can live up to the history, the caring, and the presence this gentleman projected and continue on my own mission and make him proud of where his furniture was adopted and taken in. I also hope that he is looking down and smiling … knowing that his bureau has found a new place to call home and that it helped a person he has never met have a realization that brought on action in so many senses of the word. My action plan is also still in progress as it takes patience in knowing in which drawer I placed things (especially when I am half-awake in the morning). But my action plan also includes finding those instructions on making a t-shirt quilt before the colder weather settles in, and continuing to organize and maybe finally get the spare room in shape. Many thanks to Buddy, and my new adopted bureau (which will always be in my heart and mind…my new “Buddy”).

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Wednesday, I was faced with a decision that I wished I never had to make.  It was coming to the realization that I had to weigh the quality of life of a very dear, very loved feline family member.  Wednesday I said goodbye to my little, precious and beautiful girl Indigo.  I want to first say that she was peaceful and in no pain in her final moments.  I would hope that in those moments she also realized just how much she was loved and cherished.   These past two days have brought up so many emotions, but I keep taking into account that she is no longer in pain, she is no longer losing weight, or having issues.  The past year and a half really took a toll on her and I still cannot fathom that  her brother Trooper is 16 and Buffy is also 16.  I never thought I would be saying goodbye to my little girl first.

As far back as I can remember, I have always had pets…As a child, my family had Rusty 1 a big orange and white tom cat which was from what I remember Kevin’s cat.  After Rusty passed, of course we had to adopt Rusty 2.  Another big orange and white tom cat.  After that there was Nosey and her sister Suzy Q.  Suzy Q was my cat and I was devastated when she was killed by a car.  Shortly after that, when Nosey had kittens – one looked just like  Suzy Q and I begged my parents to keep her.  I guess my begging worked and  I named her Precious as it was such a coincidence that Nosey would have a clone and the same facial markings of Suzy Q (a calico).  Then there was Cleo (short for Cleopatra – another calico).  At some point my brother Keith brought home Skeeter from Long Island and then there was TJ (formerly Thomas Joseph named after a friend’s boyfriend and my dad).  TJ was adopted from the barn at my Uncle Monroe’s house in Woodbury.  He was the runt of the litter but he was a Maine Coon cat.  He grew to 22 lbs. and had a wonderful life tromping through Robert Treat’s Farmers Field in Milford.  Of course there was also Charlie brown our rabbit, followed by Buttercup another rabbit.  Not to mention the little turtles, my brothers fish tanks, gerbils (thanks Lorelei) and all the rescue birds the cats caught.   I guess you can say I grew up in an animal loving family…I was also surrounded by animal loving friends and over the years have adopted in my mind their pets (better known as their children). 

When I purchased my condo I wasn’t expecting to get a pet as it would have to be a strictly indoor pet since I was on the second floor.  Well, that changed when Trooper was brought home from a New London parking lot weighing in at 3/4 lb.  we adopted Trooper.  Fearing that he was lonely, we adopted Buffy 6 months later who had a family blood line of Maine coon cat.  When these two did not get along, we figured if we added another cat, then something magical would happen.  So under Carol Forleo’s porch we went to choose the pick of the litter.  And something magical did happen…  She was a tortoise shell/calico little fidget and she became my little girl (in all senses of the word).  From day one, there was something special and comforting about her. Of course i love and adore Trooper and Buffy beyond belief also, but with Indigo, something just clicked…We connected with our eyes and she was forever engrained in my life, and especially my heart.  She was named after my favorite band … the Indigo Girls. 

Well, immediately, Trooper the male decided to take her under his wings and became quite the motherly figure with Indigo.  They walked around the house together, they slept together, he groomed her.  They were inseparable.  Indigo was tiny and even in her healthy times, never made it more than 7 lbs. Still she was my little girl.  Jake our Golden Retriever joined the crew and as much as he wanted to hang with the cats…Trooper would not allow it.  Funny thing is…Indigo picked up Jake’s puppy tail wagging trait, thus getting the nickname Waggy..Whenever I walked into the house or called her,  she would come up wagging her tail…not something a cat normally does. I smile when I envision how she used to get the play ball stuck in her claw and she would wave her paw up and down looking at the stuck ball until I would go over and get the ball off.  Or how she would mix the water in the water dish with her paw before she drank it.  She also had a habit of not liking to eat food out of any dish so she would bat a bunch of food onto the floor and then eat it.  She loved to chase flash light beams or the laser pointer.  And did her circles around my legs when it was time for soft food. She was also fond of bug watching and would sit at the slider door waiting for any type of flying insect to come within her reach.  That was our summertime ritual, bug watching and if I even said the word “bug” , Trooper, with Indigo in tow would take their positions in front of the slider screen door.    I used to call her my Chakra helper as she used to stabilize me in so many ways.  She was my friend in good times and bad, and knew my moods and habits probably better than anyone other than Trooper and Buffy.   Cats love unconditionally, without judgement.  They nurture their owners and show love in each headbutt, meow, lick, rub and snuggle. 

Wednesday when I realized something had to be done, my mind was numb, all over the place, racing.   It doesn’t matter how the morning unfolded.  I tried to call my mom but she was at bingo, I spoke with one friend who was en route home to MA and she turned around without me asking and just came over and surprised me and helped pass the time until I had to go to the vet.  Another I tried calling and didn’t want to leave a message.  

 Before Indigo and I  left the house, she was sitting so calm on my lap – Indigo and I had a good few hours that morning and afternoon together.  Letting me pet her nose and up her tail…something she always loved.  talking and just being in the moment together.  Trooper came over to her and basically licked her from head to every toe.  Kissing her, nudging her.  Even once I put her in her carrier, she stuck her nose out, as Trooper once again kissed her.  With one paw outstretched from the carrier, Trooper gently walked up and licked her paw and gave her a final lick on the nose.

In the end, it came down to bringing my precious little girl to the vet with the original parents she was adopted by 14 years ago.  I was right by her side along with her other mom who she knew for the first five or so years of her life and also on occasional visits.  Indigo cried a bit during the two minute ride to JFS and then the nest two minutes to the vet but she was calm, at ease, and a certain peace came over her as she sat on the vets table.  She was purring, and even gave me several head butts, and licks.  We were there by her side, talking to her, petting her and ushering her into the next phase of her life.  Allowing her to let go and for her soul to rise to see Jake and all those who passed before her. 

I can say that in the past few weeks, or actually the past year and a half when she started to have more serious  issues, she was more of a lap cat than she had ever been. I would not trade those times for anything.  My cats have been my life and one of the only sure thing for the past, basically, 9 years of my life living alone.  They shared my life 24/7… more so than some couples, or parents see their kids, husbands, relatives, etc. for that matter.  It is so sad that pets cannot say when they are hurting, when they want to just go to their maker, when they have had enough.  Maybe this is because they do not want to burden their owners, hurt the very person who has cared, loved and taken care of them.

I want to believe that Jake and my dad were there to greet her and introduce her to her earlier four legged relatives and family members. 

I would like to believe that she holds no contempt as I would never purposely let any type of animal suffer and I hope she understood that it was out of love and care that I made that decision on Wednesday.  I also would like to believe that when I said goodbye she believed that we would meet again and that I would never forget just how much she enhanced my life everyday.  And most of all, I sincerely hope she realizes just how much she was loved by me, Trooper and Buffy and all those who had the chance to meet her.  Rest in Peace my beautiful, precious little girl.  I am totally heartbroken  – and  Trooper and Buffy miss you so much.  As for me…that goes without saying.   Sweet dreams my little girl.  Always in my heart and mind.

PS … many thanks for all the phone calls, comments on facebook, cards, and the love and support of my extended family and friends.

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Since last year, a lot of strange things have been happening in my waking moments and dreams.  I get thoughts, inklings, a feeling.  In many cases, I feel that I can almost determine conversations, and/or experiences.  Weird things have happened in re-connecting with people from my past.  I must admit that I have become extremely paranoid with the reconnection part.  Almost as if saying why now, why here, why after ALL these years. The dreams are so vivid that I sometimes wake up wondering if it really happened, the conversation, the scenario, the outcome.  They say that tornado dreams signify a rapid change or turmoil…I have been having a LOT of those lately.  Whether the instance brought back memories of a relationship or friendship from a few years ago or a decade ago or 30 years for that matter – I wonder why and if something is going to happen to one of us or a family member in the present, or if there is an underlying reason as if maybe the powers that be felt it was best that “we” reconnect at this moment in time.  I am brought back to one of my all time favorite songs by Harry Chapin.  All My Life’s A Circle. 

“All my life`s a circle;
Sunrise and sundown;
Moon rolls thru the nighttime;
Till the daybreak comes around.

All my life`s a circle;
But I can`t tell you why;
Season`s spinning round again;
The years keep rollin` by.”

I know exactly when this all began.  It started last fall when I facebooked and found my RA from college and wouldn’t you guess, the weekend I emailed her was the homecoming weekend and a bunch of people from my dorm floor all met up at CCSU – I believed she travelled from TX just to be there.  Of course I was not there as I normally do not attend homecoming weekend at my college.  She posted photos and it brought back SOOOO many times, memories and validated my years at college in a sense.  I was not in the yearbook (that is another story to be told) but anyway, it was an awakening in a sense. 

There were other instances, though I will not put them in chronological order here as that would be too hard… For example, I was at a local watering hole where I met three of the younger brothers of a forth brother from my childhood neighborhood.  The youngest brother seemed SOOOO much younger when we were kids.  It was such a mind trip in a sense.  Shortly there after, I received a facebook email from brother number four who was my age who played a BIG part in my younger years.  I was totally elated to hear from him and although he did not attend the same high school, he did marry someone who I thought was absolutely wonderful and they actually had a connection with one of my brother’s and his ex-wife (as through our new connection, they also reconnected). 

Another instance was at a benefit for a family friend (my little brother was friends with his little brother) though I knew him and most of his family way back when and he was the one who the benefit was for.  He also married someone I worked with at Subway Headquarters so we originally reconnected about 15 + years ago in one way or another. At that benefit I had the opportunity to see people I had not seen or talked to in 12+ years from my “corporate”  job at Subway. 🙂

In June of this year I then attended a reunion of (get this) grammar school classmates.  I saw people I had not basically seen in 30 years or so.  Each bringing with them images I remember so vividly, just like my dreams.   Would this ever stop???? 

It continued at Peoples Bank where I saw a daughter of an old friend – last time I saw the daughter was probably shortly after she was 6 years old! and she was all grown up, yes a woman!  I ran into her recently, again, in an aisle at the Milford Shop Rite.   She motioned to me that her mom was coming up the aisle and I basically put my foot up and stopped her cart…only to see her mouth drop in amazement when she realized who it was blocking her way up the aisle.  I was whisked back so many years and to memories that I thought were forgotten forever. Meeting at Friendly’s at the CT Post Mall (as it was called then) and then eventually working many years later at Subway together. 

Summing up the reconnections here, then there was a conversation with an ex, an email from someone I had not spoken to in many years, an IM invitation to become friends on facebook with someone who basically “unfriended” me due to circumstances beyond their control and finally.  a call to wish someone who was very dear to me a happy birthday.  All these people from my past, suddenly popping up in my present life.     What’s up with that or this???!!!

It seems like I`ve been here before;
I can`t remember when;
But I have this funny feeling;
That we`ll all be together again.
No straight lines make up my life;
And all my roads have bends;
There`s no clear-cut beginnings;
And so far no dead-ends.


Once again, thanks to Harry Chapin (RIP) for his wonderful lyrics…anyway (YES, I say that a lot)   I have been pondering over and over again why so suddenly (well over the past 8 months or so) did all these links to my past reappear and what did they mean?  I wondered as some of these connections dug up things I would have rather kept buried deep beneath the surface of my mind.  I wondered why the connections stirred parts of me I thought were forgotten, ignored, erased from my mind. But most of all, I was surprised that these reconnections brought back so many emotions – up front and center, in the present, like it was only yesterday. 

I have been thinking just what my life would be like if we kept in touch.  I think about why we did not keep in touch or the moment that the friendship or relationship changed to lead to where we are today – maybe it was other relationships, distance, different goals or paths or something happened between us…a tiff, a discrepancy, or likewise….But I was still left wondering in many cases.  And most of all in these past few days or actually weeks and months, I wonder if my heart and mind would be able to handle my memories and if we did reconnect again – could I take the good times and push aside the bad.  I wondered if over the years and absence could an understanding or a common ground be reached.

It’s funny as I knew for several people….that at that moment when we reconnected, it was like no time had passed – that time basically stood still –  and we could go back to where we left off in many ways…no matter how many years ago.  Others, unfortunately brought back too much baggage (and it actually freaked me out in more ways than one) as I am trying to leave drama for the stage and tv soap operas and to not have it as part of my life.  Some things will never change and for some I knew this within five minutes of our conversation.  I also realized through conversations how much we moved on, changed for the better (or worse) and that our lives were no longer parallel, and that we no longer had the same goals and dreams, nor were we on the same paths to the future.  

In the past few weeks, I’ve looked at a collage I have on my kitchen wall. It has been there for three years at my current residence and many more at my previous condo.   I walk by it every day, multiple times…I am aware of it…I glance at it, but I’ve lately been really looking at it and studying it.  It contains photos of most of these friends, relationships and acquaintances over the past 20 years.  I remember fondly exactly when and where the photos were taken and under what circumstances.  I remember making the collage and the importance of including each photo, person and experience.   I remember at that time what each person meant to me, us, and life in general.  I guess I am now coming full circle with my life and as Harry Chapin  would continue with his song…

I found you a thousand times;
I guess you done the same;
But then we lose each other;
It`s like a children`s game;

As I find you here again;
A thought runs through my mind;
Our love is like a circle;
Let`s go `round one more time.

I do not know or frankly understand why it is happening now or what the meaning might be.  I do know that I am taking each reconnection for what it is, regardless of what it might bring up from the past.  All of these people played a significant part of my growing up years, whether childhood, adolescent, high school, college or my adult world.  And to tell you the truth, I seriously would not trade any of these memories (regardless) as each instance has helped shaped me and made me what I am today.  And these fun loving, great times (and in some cases…painful or confusing moments) from the past are making me think, re-evaluate and take a serious look at life … my life in general.

It is just the circle of life…my life

As I find you here again;
A thought runs through my mind;
Our love (OR FRIENDSHIP)  is like a circle;
Let`s go `round one more time.

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Tag Sale of Life

The past few days, I have been sifting through boxes and plastic totes of “things” in hopes of having a tag sale in the coming weeks.  Things I’ve accumulated over the years.  Things I wanted to sell on ebay.  Things I know are worth money and really have no use for.  Things that I just couldn’t let go of and saved.  It’s amazing how much just one person can accumulate over the years.  Noooo, I am not like the couple recently featured on the internet who were found buried under piles and piles of “things and stuff” in their house.  I am not a professional hoarder and not yet like Sanford and Son, from the old tv sitcom.  But I do have a lot of “things.”  Some of the things have a story or memory behind it (like the Boston Red Sox Ortiz Jersey I won in a 2nd chance drawing – still in the plastic) while other things were just items I acquired, or just had to have for one strange reason or another (Furby’s in their original boxes; sets of McDonald’s beanie babies; Elizabeth Taylor’s Limited Edition White Diamonds 15th Anniversary collector’s box complete with a Swarovski Crystal Pin; 2006 Bud Light Promo T-shirts still in the original packaging; Life magazines from the 1970’s) and of course VCR tapes that I never watch; and baseball and football cards. Heck, I still have my size 8 clothes that I wore 8 years ago …2002 to be exact…and believe me it seems like and was a lifetime ago when I actually fit in size 8 and not even close to fitting in them any time soon …  LOL!  I am not an ebay whiz and have no idea how to price half these items.  But I know in my heart, that I do not need these items and thus, I am preparing for my tag sale.  I have always believed that it is the quality of one’s life…not the quantity or what one has accumulated or has that defines a person.  A person can have all the money or possessions in the world and still not be happy. 

While sorting through all this stuff, I found some unbelievable stuff that I could never put a price on and things I wouldn’t sell regardless.  The family photos from my birth to present including high school, college, friends, jobs, etc,; every article I wrote when I worked as a reporter for the Milford Citizen and various other outlets, and the Milford Chronicle; Hallmark and Blue Mountain Arts cards from family and friends and ex’s and my CCSU tattered sweatshirt and Gallaudet Six Pink and Blue striped shirt from the mid-1080’s.  (Sidebar here to this topic….Actually, years ago I did go through old photos and mailed a bunch out to others so they could keep them in their pile of things and enjoy with their families for years to come.  I sent them to people who I no longer really kept in contact with but were at one time or another friends or an important part of my life). 

Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand….Going through all this stuff, items, boxes and in some cases bags, I realized that there are many other things I originally thought I would like to sell at my Tag Sale of Life but how do you put a price or value on things such as Heartache or Heartbreak (for that matter): Guilt; Unrequited Love; Hurt; ill health; Fear; Broken Promises, Missed Opportunities, or Hopeless Dreams.  No one in their right mind would want them and to tell ya the truth, I don’t even think I would be able to give them away free.  I don’t think I could find a proper way to package them even if I were to go to the local Goodwill drop off box.  Then it hit me…many of these things were packed away among boxes or pages in a scrapbook.  They were things from my distant memory in a sense and only come out when prompted by a thought, a sound, a smell, a song, a sight or a situation. Maybe these things are not meant to be sold or given away.  Many of these things are instances or experiences that are more valuable than any photo, card or article ever written of or by me – they were more valuable than any trinket, item or antique I acquired over the years.  Each one of these were things that shaped me and made me into who and what I am today, right now.  They had to be experienced and will always be tucked away amongst letters, cards, drawings and deep in my mind.  Sure, there are many things I have let go of over the years, but not to the highest bidder and not without some thought….they were let go for free and those are the heartaches and heartbreaks in life…and maybe I tossed in some hurt, humiliation or disappointments along the way.  They were let go when the time was right, when I was ready to let go, move forward or beyond. 

My tag sale of life is coming up and you can bet that it is the material things that I will place up for sale.  I have a “not for sale” sign ready for the rest as NO money in the world would be enough to sell my experiences and memories or my hopes and dreams, regardless of whether they brought me joy or tears.  These are the invaluable lessons that can’t be bought or sold, bartered or traded.  They are and will always be a part of my existence.

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