The silence of a falling star lit up the early morning sky. I wonder where you are, Bruce. I’m so sad…… it just can’t be true. But it is… his son, his daughter, his daughter-in-law all say it is so.
This candle is for my friend, Bruce Shubert, he passed unexpectedly yesterday, leaving so many of us in shock.
Hank Williams knew how to put it into lyrics… the heart ache that never goes away when your loved ones pass.
After Johnny died a man (Bruce) I didn’t know very well at the time reached out daily. Initially, it was just to let me know I wasn’t alone. Bruce offered kindness in the dark hours when I couldn’t sleep. He understood how difficult it was being a grandmother who has lost her grandson and was terrified of losing her son as well.
Sometimes, people say I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m only a phone call, don’t hesitate. Time passes and they’re always too busy. Bruce wasn’t like that. He lived up to his promise and then some. No matter what was happening, he always found the time to check in . We became good friends though we never physically met.
He was very active in many Facebook groups and his presence was felt around the world. Oddly enough yesterday morning he posted this meme. All of us are going to miss his good morning and many blessings post.
I hope he’s right because this world feels very alone today. I found myself wondering if somehow he knew his time was coming, you know like a premonition.
As if there wasn’t enough sadness in my world, the phone rang to tell me Yeatsie is back from the crematory. I stood looking out the window, trying not to cry. Mother Nature thankfully, had it covered, it’s pouring…. all the tears that I’m ready to shed.
Bruce, please give, Johnnie, Sammy, Logan, Yeatsie, Purryl, Quasi and Fluffy… each a hug for me.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you every week by Linda Hill. Check out her blog for the rules and the contribution of other bloggers.
This week’s prompt: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ring.” Use it as a noun, a verb, an adverb, or an adjective…use it any way you’d like. Have fun!
Initially, my brain went to first wedding ring. I can’t help but smile. Man it took a lot to get my woodstove hot enough in my old house to melt my first wedding ring. It was the second step in my reclaiming me. The first step was when I dragged the couch he left behind in our home after our divorce. It wasn’t the one we had agreed upon in the splitting of our personal belongings. Just another example how little he valued me. I burned that dang couch in the middle of our driveway along with 30 years of his Guns and Ammo magazines that he dumped in the middle of the living room taking the trunk they were inside. The flames rose high that night as my freedom rang in snaps and cracks into the fall air. I don’t know why I didn’t toss the ring in that night but I didn’t.
I melted the ring after he took the hinges off the door while I was at work. I had to do a mad dash to the lumber yard to get new hinge pins for the door. It was chilly as all get out so I stoked the fire in the stove. I was furious with the man, and that was all it took. I grabbed the ring from the bowl on the window sill and set it on the stove. Then I set about trying to put the pins back in the door alone. I had to put scraps of lumber under the door to hold it up so I could slip the pins in. I tossed some of the scraps in the lumber and that was the push the stove needed to melt that damn ring and the life sentence flat. It was immensely satisfying.
But I thought of another ring of truth. None of us likes to hear the numbers are escalating again with Covid. Nor do we want to hear anymore of the Trump circus. Face it instead of being a poor sport. So I turned to music.
American Scandal came up on YouTube. It’s Ashley McBryde and this song struck another ring of truth. American Scandal lyrics were written by Randal Clay, Terri Jo Box, and Ashley McBryde.
Hold me, baby, hold me like you ain’t mine to hold Oh, kiss me, baby, kiss me, like you don’t care who knows Oh, love me baby love me like Kennedy and Monroe
Typically, we remember the awkwardness of our first kiss. If yours was anything like mine, it was horrible and so embarrassing. Then there’s the beginning tentative kiss that happens when you’re just exploring the waters, and you’re not sure whether to simply caress their lips or to dive in with all the pent-up passion that you have because your heart is involved. We’re filled with so many emotions. Unfortunately, the kisses evolve to only greetings over time, maybe a random peck on the lips during the day or goodnights. Kisses with barely a thought become just another one of the motions of many in the day.
Then there’s the time when you realize that you don’t want to be kissed by this person. Not everyone goes through this but the ones who’ve divorced you know what I mean. The revulsion is intense. And you wonder if you’ll ever kiss anyone with passion again.
Life happens, and suddenly we’re faced with the last kiss before you let them go forever. Those kisses hurt so much. We’re never ready. I miss you, Johnny so much. I wish I had kissed you more often.
We’ve all experienced kisses over the years, but do you remember when the last time someone kissed you like they didn’t care if anyone knows?
I’ve been fortunate because I did find someone I wanted to kiss passionately. My life came around full circle like a ring.
I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve said to my husband, that I love how he kisses me. Life’s too short. That’s the unfortunate ring of truth. We shouldn’t let it slip through our fingers…. we need to love and kiss like we don’t care who knows.
I saw some of the other song choices so I went with George but I did see I wasn’t the only one to choose the King of Country. He’s always appears to be so together in any performance. Classic. By 2009, he broke Conway Twitty’s record for the most number-one hits on Billboard’s Hot Country list wit his 44th number one hit. Conway had 40. I had forgotten that George’s daughter Jennifer died in an automobile accident when she was only 13. That’s how old my grandson was to when he died. It doesn’t get easier regardless if your famous or not.
It started way back in third grade I used to sit beside Emmylou Hayes A pink dress, a matching bow, and her ponytail She kissed me on the school bus but told me not to tell Next day I chased her around the playground Cross the monkey bars to the merry-go-round And Emmylou got caught passing me a note Before the teacher took it I read what she wrote
“Do you love me do you want to be my friend? And if you do Well then don’t be afraid to take me by the hand If you want to I think this is how love goes Check yes or no”
Now we’re grown up and she’s my wife Still like two kids with stars in our eyes Ain’t much changed, I still chase Emmylou Up and down the hall, around the bed in our room
Last night I took her out in a white limousine Twenty years together she still gets to me Can’t believe it’s been that long ago When we got started with just a little note
“Do you love me, do you wanna be my friend? And if you do Well then don’t be afraid to take me by the hand If you want to I think this is how love goes Check yes or no”
“Do you love me, do you wanna be my friend? And if you do Well then don’t be afraid to take me by the hand If you want to I think this is how love goes Check yes or no”
Check yes or no Check yes or no Check yes or no Check yes or no
It’s a sweet song that reminds me of my first childhood crush and exchanging notes. I was never that bold in the beginning, so my girlfriend gave it to his friend and his friend gave to him and the notes response came back the same way. Seems like a life time ago. Today, it’s so much easier to communicate discreetly or anonymously.
It’s been an emotionally difficult week with Johnny’s birthday on the 15th. It would have been his special one. You know 15 on the 15th. I talked with my son, looked at a lot of pictures and cried several times.
Johnny, friends posted Happy Birthday on your facebook page. Mom put a video of you up. People shared memories. All of us wish you weren’t gone.
Gram’s hair is your favorite color right now. Yup, my hair is definitely bright pink. I know you would give it a thumbs up.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Aaaand … drumroll … Here it is:
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “medium.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!
“the intervening substance through which impressions are conveyed to the senses or a force acts on objects at a distance.”
Medium is what a psychic or tarot reader is called. Although, more recently tarot reading, pendulums, and runes are advertised in some groups online. The going rate varies all over the place.
I enjoy reading tarot cards but don’t feel comfortable enough to charge people. I like runes too. Pendulums are pretty enough but I’ve never used them for what supposed to be used as. But would I call myself a medium. Nah.
But then I decided to look up what dictionary.com had and there was the site that Fandago blogged about in his entry. Apparently, it’s been around since 2012. Who knew?
I agree with Fandago about WordPress forcing blocks on the writer and making writing less satisfying here. Who wants to have frig around with their new format. So yeah, I did some looking around., too! Thanks, Fandago.
But then I remembered a show I used to watch named Medium. 2005-2011 Suburban mom Allison DuBois attempts to balance family life with solving mysteries using her special gift. The dead send her visions of their deaths or other crimes while she sleeps. The show was created by Glenn Caron. Her co-stars were Patricia Arquette, Miguel Sandoval and Jake Weber.
My mind wandered to the poem I’m working on for Johnny.It’s still in draft mode. Originally I wanted rhyme but the more I look at it, rhymes would minimize the anger and sadness that consumes us like the shroud of fog.
Dense fog shrouded the ships in harbor like my grief resisting moments of joy. It wasn’t his time to die, he was only 13 But like the ship’s mate, death said ahoy.
This is a picture of Stonington Harbor, where Johnny lived with his Dad.
As I thinking about the picture, and memories we shared there. I remembered the song The Foggy Dew.
We took a car load of stuff to my family (granddaughters and son) in Maine. It was great going home again. I’ve missed them immensely with all the stuff happening. My doctors were adamant about me being quarantined with all the tests. Fine, we made it through the first batch. I have a little bit before they begin again, and hopefully everything will be fine. No everything will be fine. I refuse to think otherwise. Letter c, I will not let you win.
It was interesting going to dinner with the two oldest granddaughters and having margaritas. I’ve had wine with the oldest granddaughter last year when she visited at a restaurant in NYC. It felt awkward at first to me. Most grandparents don’t ever see themselves drinking with the grandchildren. But this time was with both girls at a Mexican restaurant near them named El Rodeo.
I chuckled because when I visit my Navy son we usually go to El Rodeo by where he lives. Both make exceptionally good margaritas. The food is good but not five star like the drinks.
The girls and I enjoyed our dining and drinking experience while Vic patiently endured. Three women together and drinking, it is hard to get a word in. Vic graciously drove their inebriated selves home and then took us back to the hotel.
Not having my gallbladder has made drinking interesting though, I have less of a tolerance for consumption than before the surgery. Or maybe my liver is more sensitive now. Who knows. Not that I drink heavily or even daily but I do enjoy the occasional indulgence.
Anyway, the lime margaritas were wicked good while I had them but they soon departed, making quite the mess all over me inside the car. Nope, I didn’t even make it to the room. Nor did Vic get angry at me. I’m so lucky to have such an awesome husband.
Luckily, no headache or leftover reactions once I did reject the margaritas. I was surprised that I didn’t have the reflux I’ve been cursed with since this all began. I’m really curious about that since my food was spicy too.
My granddaughters found that quite amusing. Needless to say… they laughed a lot. It was a memorable night and hopefully, we’ll have many more but this Grandma will probably skip the alcohol. Although, I did have a drink with my son two nights later and no consequences but that drink was very weak compared to El Rodeo’s. We’ll see, I know better than to say never.
It was simply awesome not thinking about my health just enjoying good conversation with my loved ones. No politics, no religion, no health, or death conversations. It’s been a very long time since that has happened especially since Johnny’s passing.
I did hear the chimes ringing at your Dad’s Johnny. Annie has puppies, you would have been so excited. Dad’s okay. Mom’s getting another tribute for you on her truck in pink since the moose destroyed the other one. Yup, Mom’s truck collided with a moose. Truck survived the moose didn’t.
Oh yeah, Debbie got a bear up in the Forks. She was quite pleased. Your Dad and Debbie are going to have matching bear skin rugs. Dad was beaming telling us all about it especially telling Deb it was only a short way to the bear when it was a lot longer. But you know how your Dad is, he enjoys yanking people’s chains. He always did yours. You were missed immensely. It’s hard to believe your birthday is just nine days away. You would have been 15, nagging for a learner’s permit and working on the truck you bought non-stop. We love you, Johnny so much. No, it doesn’t get easier with out you. The pain is always with us. I saw your sisters, they miss you too.
I was sad to see so many of the trees missing their leaves. I was looking forward to the colorful leaves but Mother Nature had other plans. She came through with sixty mile hour gusts and knocked a lot of the leaves off the trees.
Eddie Van Halen passed away today. He lost his battle with the letter c. He wasn’t Hendrix but he was good. I loved what he could do with his instrument. I decided to write a tribute poem using his song titles.
silenced guitar strings strum damn stillness shatters my ears right now in a pitter patter array running with the devil spread out like dirty movies that once mourned sinners swing
silenced guitar strings strum a vibrating whisper why can’t this be love finish what ya started fore they make it about a little guitar or drop dead legs.
silenced guitar strings strum in a simple rhyme, Pretty woman… I’ll wait for the ice cream man… eruption dances the night away in atomic punk until death, really got him in a house of pain
RIP in Eddie Van Halen
On a happier note, I was notified one of my poems was published today in Black Poppy Review.
Doleful as an adjective is expressing sorrow; mournful.
I’ve chosen a poem I wrote about my grandson. We raise our children to believe they can do anything but sometimes that fearlessness goes to far. Johnny had ridden a dirt bike for years but like all boys wanted a bigger and faster bike. He worked hard and saved for the bike. 24 hours after he purchased it, that bike killed him.
I’m still in mourning. We’re all still in mourning. I think we’ll always be.
antics of a boy invincible illusions echo silently reverberations define self-inflicted martyrdom
It doesn’t get any easier without you. I was standing in the kitchen looking at the school pictures on the book case and began crying. There won’t be a new school picture but then I realized with the distance learning I probably want be changing any school pictures. I cried even harder. Everything Gram’s always taken for granted is changed. The biggest change of all is you’re not here.
Your friends are struggling with the distance learning, no football games as of yet. I would give anything to hear you bitching about all the stuff happening right now.
Your chimes were active this morning… the wind was coming from the northeast. Just like where you used to be from Grandma.
Your sisters both have their own places now. I’m putting stuff together for them both. Grandma won’t need all of this stuff once she moves. It’s time to downsize. Or as your Dad would crap… crap.. Grandma has too much crap.
Time once again for #SoCS. Our host with the most, the lovely Linda G Hill writes and I rewrite “Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “sharp.” Use it in any or all of its definitions. Have fun!
Sharp as an adjective (of an object) having an edge or point that is able to cut or pierce something or producing a sudden, piercing physical sensation or effect. Sharp as an adverb precisely (used after an expression of time). in a sudden or abrupt way.
When I use the word sharp generally I apply it to describe physical sense like. She looked sharp in that outfit. Or Her tone was sharp. I need to trim Macavity’s claws, they are wicked sharp. Macavity gave me a sharp reminder with the piercing sensation and blood spewing that he runs this house. All work for me because sharp indicates an edge. (Macavity wasn’t very happy with my clipping his nails.)
Yet, when I think of sharp with a wider view…. an artist I really enjoy and miss Kevin Sharpe comes to mind especially because one of his songs I feel has an painful point or edge to it. Nobody Knows it but Me.
Kevin Grant Sharp (December 10, 1970 – April 19, 2014) was an American country music singer, author, and motivational speaker. Sharp came on the country music scene in 1996 with his first single ” Nobody Knows , which topped the Billboard country chart for four weeks. The same year, Sharp released his first album, Measure of a Man.
Having survived a rare form of bone cancer in his teenage years, Sharp became actively involved in the Make a Wish Foundation. He wrote an inspirational book about his life and his fight with cancer, and occasionally toured the United States as a motivational speaker. One could say his speaking skills were sharp. ( he cut right to the heart of the matter) Unfortunately, that cancer returned and stole him away.
“The pain is real even if nobody knows it but me.”~ Sharpe’s song is about a lost relationship but for me it’s a a dang reminder about all the lost time we didn’t have …my grandson, Johnny and I. So much time lost. All the missed football games, wrestling matches because we lived so far away. And now it’s too late.
I love you Johnny so much. I miss you. Yet, it’s hard to express how I feel with the family because my loss is nothing like the pain your parents are experiencing. I ask them how they’re doing and try to be supportive. But sadly, that’s not a two way street.
We’re your grandparents, we loved you too and we lost you too! That pain is just as sharp for us even 14 months later. I’m grateful because good friends ask how we’re doing.
Grief and family both are like dual edged swords because with one wrong comment they’ll pierce deeply. If I Die Young was played at his service. The lines in the song “The sharp knife of a short life” and “funny when you’re dead how people start listenin'” really hit me so f-ing hard. They drive the guilt of not being with him more and sorrow of his death even deeper.
“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.” ― Elbert Hubbard
But the pain has also become a driving force for me I can’t miss anymore of my granddaughter’s life because I live so damn far away. This house is too expensive and the move has to happen. Our location comes down to what I really need and for me that is spending as much time as possible with Olyvia.
Today’s theme is “your best job ever.” What is/was your best job ever? What was so great about it? Do you still have it? Even if you’re still in school, you must have had some kind of job, like babysitting, flipping burgers at McDonald’s, delivering newspapers, cutting lawns or shoveling snow. Share a story, a poem, a photo, a drawing, some music, or whatever you wish to share about your best job ever.
I drove school bus for 31 years. It started by accident, I hadn’t really decided what I wanted, let alone drive a bus. I had simply gone to the bus garage to complain about this elderly man who drove 20 mph on a road with a 45 mph speed limit for over 13 miles. He never pulled over just stayed firmly in the middle of the road and only moved over into his lane completely when a car approached him. This was happening too many times for me since this was the road that directly went to my home. So on this afternoon, I followed him back. I asked him why he drove so slow in the middle of the road so no one could pass him. His response “take another road if you’re in a hurry. ” Needless to say that infuriated me.
I went inside to speak to the supervisor. I told him about the driver’s behavior. His response” if you think you can do this job better then be here Monday morning at 5:30 am.” That totally pissed me off more. But I replied, “You’re god damn right I can do it better. I will be here.”
I thought about driving a school bus over the weekend. It was more about proving that smug son of a bitch wrong than wanting to become a bus driver. And, It wasn’t like I was locked into this forever.
I wish you could have seen his face when I walked in the garage at 5:25am. I was sent with one of the drivers who showed me how the circle checks were done and then we left for the high school run. After we dropped the high school kids off he said, “you’re turn to drive.”
“It’s no different than driving a car, only bigger. ”
Except, I stalled it at least 20 times throughout the course of the morning. But I did finally get the basics of driving a stick behind the wheel of a school bus. I went with the same driver every morning and afternoon until I got comfortable with the bus and the stick shift. In between I learned how to parallel park, and to back into parking spaces between buses. That was frigging scary at first. I must of had a guardian angel because I didn’t hit the other buses but I did run over a few cones until I got it right.
He told the supervisor I was ready to take the driving exam. The supervisor scheduled the necessary test for the following week. He handed me a book on school bus laws and safety to learn. I practiced driving and memorized the handbook until the day of the exam.
Of course, it had to snow on top of everything. My mirror kept fogging up and I couldn’t see the rope that you have to back up to without touching on the skills test. So I failed that part but had a 100 on the written. The examiner suggested I reschedule the road test. I did and returned two days later. The sun was shining and I aced it.
Imagine that I learned how to drive a stick shift in a school bus, and now I had a school bus certification on my driver’s license at 18. I waved the temporary license at the supervisor with a big grin. I thought it was going to be easy but that wasn’t the case.
Unfortunately, I was the same age as some of the kids on the bus. They took perverse pleasure in giving me a hard time. Because I wasn’t an adult to them. But it didn’t take long for them to realize I wasn’t a pushover nor was I leaving just cos they wanted to be dickheads.
I had an advantage because back in those days when kids got out of hand you could leave them beside the road which I did … a few times. In one incident, a boy refused to put his cigarette out. I asked for the cigarette again. He grabbed my wrist and put it out in the palm of my hand. I opened the rear door, grabbed him by the shoulders and threw him out. His girlfriend started hitting me. I simply said,”Jump yourself or I’ll throw you as well.” She jumped. They weren’t used to a woman being strong let alone being 6 foot tall. After that incident, things eased because they knew I could and would handle whatever.
Fortunately, we found a way to work together because when I finally retired from driving I had reached a milestone I never anticipated. It was kindergarten orientation day and I had brought a boy to school with his mom and grandmother. I recognized the mom immediately. I didn’t recognize the grandmother but once she said her name I knew. Oh my… I had brought her to high school when I first started driving bus. I had been her daughter’s bus driver all through school and now I was going to be his bus driver. 3 generations because I had driven that same area for 31 years. Prior to that occurrence I had driven a parent and then their child but never before a grandparent, a parent and a child until 2007.
I loved driving and I genuinely enjoy children. I was the one that said good morning to them, have a good day at school and in the afternoon I was the one who asked how was school and I’ll see you tomorrow. So many of these kids began their day with their parents already gone to work by the time they left for school. And many of them arrived home to a empty house as well. I knew how important our simple daily exchanges were.
People used to ask how many children I have and were shocked by my response, “4 by birth and 104 by adoption”. I’m still friends with the majority of my kids from the bus on Facebook. I was very fortunate to drive bus in a time when community’s were more like families …unlike today with it’s very different environment.
There were several funny incidences after I retired with my grandson, Johnny that were connected to my driving all those years. I had asked Johnny about school, and naturally being a boy who hated school; he complained about his teacher. So, I asked the teacher’s name. He rattled off her name. “I brought her to school.” I found out later that he had asked his teacher when he returned to school if I had been her bus driver. As if that couldn’t possibly be true. She told him it was true. She reached out on Facebook to let me know he had asked about our relationship.
I went to a wrestling match to watch him compete but I also had the opportunity to meet his friends and their parents. (Which I had also brought to school.} He glared at me before asking if there was anyone I didn’t drive to school. Yes, his coach. Where we lived people tended to stay in the area because at that time work was good unlike now.
When Johnny died, I called his teachers directly and his friend’s parents because I didn’t want my son or his mom having to make the difficult phone calls nor did I want them reading it in the newspaper. We’re one big family, that will never change.
My heart goes out to the bus drivers of today’s world because it will never have the same connection as it once did. Even when I retired, you couldn’t hug a child or give them a gift for doing well. Things had changed because now there were cameras mounted inside the bus to watch our every move because some one had violated the cardinal rule of never hurting a child so every bus driver was assumed guilty. I was happy to retire, because it wasn’t fun anymore… it was all political.
I pulled weeds in the garden like the ones you gave me that day.
My heart clenched like back then, startled by the chime
But then I saw you holding a handpicked bouquet.
You looked so very proud, all covered in grime
but then life’s harsh realities stole you away.
I wish my sadness didn’t taint all the gleeful times past
and I could laugh again,, oh how I miss those places.
Laughing back then, never thought it wouldn’t last.
The twinkling of the chimes used to bring a smile to our faces
But now they remind me how much I miss you …. I feel like an outcast
every where I look are grandma’s holding their babies in embraces.
My birthday is a week away and Johnny was always so much a part of the celebration. My last birthday with him, he wanted to show me where the lobster boats come in. We’re climbing on rocks in the harbor because he said it was the only way to get to the point. I slipped and got soaking wet. He giggled. I splashed him but that didn’t faze him.
We meet his Dad who asks why am I all wet? I tell him that Johnny was showing me the point where the boats come in and I slipped in the water.
He looked at Johnny and asked why he didn’t take me up the road so I wouldn’t be all wet.
The little stinker shrugged and laughed. It was always like that between us, one practical joke after another. I would give anything for those moments again.