When Dad died in 1995, Bernard Jr and I saw a counselor because my son was so hurt and angry at Dad for deserting him, and just couldn’t “process” all his conflicting emotions. The sessions were difficult to schedule and attend because I had no leave due to using it all up because of ankle surgery in January of that year. If I couldn’t get an evening appointment (which was rare) I had my pay docked when Bernie and I went during the work day.
I did manage to learn some things that helped me, such as It’s ok to be selfish because if you don’t take care of you, you can’t take care of anyone else. The counselor also said Bernie and I were too close, which bothered me for the longest time because I felt like I was destroying his life or future, but as time past (and we connected with Bernard Sr’s family) I realized Southerners do seem to be closer than Northerners.
Anyway I digress from my story… My son and his wife have split and I can only imagine how he feels. It’s been about a month and Bernie’s slowly opening up and talking with me. I’m trying to keep my mouth shut (which ain’t easy,) but as I learned from my divorce: There’s always enough blame to go around for everybody.
Bernie and I ate out Thanksgiving Day and he was going to borrow my car to run errands on Friday, but his plans changed so he stayed here with me Friday night and returned to Dothan Saturday.
He stated that he’s seen me more in the last month than throughout his 6 years with Alexa. (Sometimes that’s what happens when you’re trying to appease people). I “jokingly” told him, “You can come up here and sleep any time.” Sometimes ya just gotta know you can come home. Onward…
With pen in hand I sit here
and force these jumbled emotions
Pain, fear, dissapointment, despair still haunt me since the news of Bernard Jr. and Alexa’s marriage demise.
Was it just them? Was it me?
How could this be?
To think they may be grateful
for being childless sears my heart, but I understand.
So I bury my pain as best I can
and counsel if asked for advice.
For in the end, it’s their lives
and to that, I must adjust.
Sigh and wave goodbye
as you press the send button
to make your creditors richer
and you poorer.
Each month you say you’ll “cut back” but then the car breaks down
or cooking another meal
makes you want to vomit
So out comes that piece of plastic
to make this memory “priceless”
like so many others before
If only that were true…
A quiet neighborhood
Filled with children’s laughter cause
A cop lives next door
I sit and stare at blank paper
or empty computer screen
trying to create words
out of jumbled feelings
Sometimes I manage
to accomplish my goals
of word and image creation.
Other days are spent
languishing away the time
searching and waiting
I’ve often heard people wondering how 9/11/2001 could happen. How could security be so lax that 3 planes could be hijacked? Perhaps my tale will help you understand.
Months before the terrorists’ attacks happened, security was increased in Federal Agencies because college students of Middle Eastern descent were entering facilities selling paintings and magazine subscriptions. Security thought the students were doing this so that they could see the layout of offices. One even entered our St Louis OSHA Office and was talking to the receptionist when a supervisor joined them and escorted the student from our office. She was the person who told me about the security increases at military installations throughout the St Louis Metropolitan Area.
My son and I flew into Baltimore 8/20/2001 on a mini vacation. My sister was supposed to join us, but had to cancel at the last minute. I had purchased advance, nonrefundable tickets so we rented a car upon arriving and drove to Langley, VA. Our 5 days were spent sight seeing and enjoying ourselves. On 8/24/2001 we checked out of our hotel and returned to Baltimore for our afternoon flight home.
We drove to the car rental return, and were told we could leave our bags in the trunk and come inside to wait for the airport van. Drivers entered and were assigned cars to return to the airport to be re-rented. A man re-entered and said a rental car still had bags in the trunk. I looked at the agent who apologized and told the driver to bring in our bags.
We climbed into the van and were taken to the airport for check in. The ticket agent asked if our bags were ever out of our sight and when I hesitated she said, “If you say yes, your bags will be pulled and thoroughly searched and you will be detained and miss your plane. Now I’m going to ask you again, were your bags ever out of your sight?” I said no and we watched our bags be checked in for the flight back to St Louis, MO on August 24, 2001.