Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hot Damm!

Scene takes place at a local cafĂ©, while I’m talking for a few minutes with another mom during children’s storytime.

Me: “Is it hot in here or is it me?”
A Mom: “It IS a bit warm in here. But you’re also drinking hot latte. [Touching my forhead] You don’t have a fever.” 
Me: “Man… I’m so hot I want to take off my shirt and go bury my chest in the snow”
A Mom: [blinks and looks away, not knowing what to say]
Me: “Sorry, that was too much information, wasn’t it?

------------------- an hour later-------------------

Scene takes place on the street; it’s 20F and the wind chill makes it feels like 11F. I’ve bumped into my babysitter’s mom, Jenny, who was a Dr. in South America. While talking with her I begin opening my coat, removing my scarf, taking off my gloves and finally my hat.
Jenny: “Aren’t you cold? It’s freezing out here.”
Me: “No… I’m actually kinda hot.” 
Jenny: “How many layers of clothing do you have on?” [I’m known for my layering. Tammi doesn’t know this but when I met her for dinner I had wool/cashmere blend tights, a pair of leggings under a pair of corduroy pants. Over all my clothing I wore my Michelin style, full-length (sub-zero) down coat.]
Me: I’m wearing just 2 light shirts and 2 pants under my down coat. [I remove my coat to show her.]
Jenny: Let me see… [touches my forhead], you don’t have a fever. [she asks lots of medical questions, which I answer]. Hmm, you’re too young to be going through the change.
Me: What change?
Jenny: You know…the change [she says frowning at me for not getting her meaning.]
Me: What change?
Jenny: The…. change [she says speaking slowly as if talking to a retarded child].
Me: “Who’s on first?”
Jenny: “What?....”
Me: “What’s on second.”
Jenny: “What are you talking about?” [she’s got major frowning action going on now].
Me: “I don’t know [“he’s on 3rd”]. I have no idea what YOU”RE talking about.”
Jenny: “Well it doesn’t matter because you’re too young to be going through it anyway.”
Me: “Well, thank you for that non-diagnosis, Dr!”
Jenny: [She laughs, but I’m wondering if she really understands my sense of humor.]

------------------- 2 hours later-------------------

Scene takes place in my kitchen. As I wrestle with dinner options I call my blog-bro _Jon..
Me: "Jon, can I ask you a question about your wife’s chemo treatment? Do you mind?" 
Jon: "Not at all. What do you want to know?" 
Me: "I’m having insane cravings: Today I bought anchovies, feta cheese and olives for my dinner. Did she ever get cravings for foods like that?" 
Jon: "Yep, she had some pretty strange requests." 
Me: "Okay, I’m glad to know it’s not just me." 
Jon: "No, it’s not just you. Oh by the way, she also had some major hot flashes." 
Me: "Oh. My. God… I thought I was either going crazy or there was something seriously wrong with me. How did you know I needed to know that?" 
Jon: "I just figured you did because it’s all part of the chemotherapy."
Me: "Oh, I can’t believe it… so that’s what’s been going on?" [I momentarily think about sharing how I wanted to take off my clothes and bury my chest in the snow earlier, but the look of that mom’s face came back to me, so I spared him. Some things are better left unsaid.]

Lucky for me I have this blog, so I can remind myself – it’s the chemo stupid – if I forget!

Jon, one more question. Is insomnia also part of this? It's 3:00am and I'm still not yet sleepy.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Playing Cyrano - A Man's Post

For the past 48 hrs. I've been writing little notes, leaving text or voice mail messages, letting some of the incredible people in my life know that I care about them and that they are much loved. In return I have received a number of requests (a total of 5 in the last 48hrs) from my guys (deployed soldiers I correspond with) who have asked me for help in writing to their wives/girlfriends/loves, letting them know they are loved. They are looking for the perfect letter. I was hoping my previous post in which Daz'd wrote a poem to his wife would be enough. But they don't want poetry because it's not them.

When I wrote back to the first few, they essentially replied they needed "a sample" or something to go on for inspiration, because love letters were "out of their area of expertise". Hmmmm, I know what that feels like, when you struggle to say the right thing to someone not knowing if you've said it well because your emotions are all jammed up inside.

Sooooo, I'm thinking this is a post my wonderful male readers can help with. If you don't want to be recognized you can send an email to: lettersfromnyc [at] yahoo [dot] com with your "sample" note or letter. It will not only help these men, it will also counter some of the negative vibes the cynics of the blogosphere have been spreading. So, I hope you help your fellow man and guide these young ones in the way of love, and in so doing show women out there that some of you know how to sweep a lady off her feet when you put your mind to it!

I asked one of my incredibly talented and most wonderful blog brother Jon, to help some of these men out, with sample he would write to his wife. Here's what he contributed:

Michele: My idea here is for men to take these templates and expand upon them. If your correspondents read these and are inspired to expound upon them, I think they can create some wonderful - personal - letters of their own.
Thanks for the chance to help, the chance to create. - Jon

----- Template: Strength -----
The love I feel for you exceeds words. I say "I love you" each time I hug you, each time we kiss, each time I touch your hand. I think of your love during my most difficult times. Your support - your love - renews my strength and helps me get my work done. There is a special strength I gain when I think of how much love we share. Many times I want to hurry and finish what I am doing so that I can return to you. When a soft ray of light touches my skin, I often feel it is your touch, even when we are far apart.

----- Template: Time -----
When I smell your perfume, I am transported to those special times we've shared. Holding you is like being wrapped in a warm blanket - so soft and comforting. When I wear things you have given me, I recall the moment of joy when we first touched. Each of these feelings is permanent in my heart. These memories are etched in my mind as solid as carvings in stone. My love for you will always be strong. The time we have spent together is but a small down payment on the time I wish we could share.

----- Template: Religious -----
I am so very blessed to have your love. I feel as if God had selected an angel to love me. When my faith falters, a simple reminder of your love restores everything. At moments when I question, your love removes any doubt. Knowing that you - My Angel - are watching for me, waiting for me, loving me - that boosts my spirit. In those moments when I pray, all of those prayers include thanking God for you in my life. From the moment I say "Amen", I feel the strength of your love in me, helping me up, keeping me going. With your love, I have an unshakable faith.

----- Template: Without -----
Without your love, I would be hollow. Not only do you fill me, your love causes an overflow within my heart. I do not cry because of our love - I shout, I do little dances in private, I smile and laugh for reasons only we understand. I cannot say how much I love you because it is beyond what words can express. Only my actions can show you the depth of my love for you, and as you will see through the years, my love for you is without end. Without your love, I would not be me.

----- Template: Query -----
How much do I love you?
How much does a flower love the sun? How much does a singer love the song? How much does the painter love the brush? How much does the driver love the open road? How much does the pilot love the take-off? How much does the eagle love the wind? How much does the tree love the earth?
There is no limit to my love for you. It is the ultimate question - it can only be answered by another question.

Of course, for those of you who want to be a little more naughty, you can visit Harvey's treasure trove of Daily Love Notes for inspiration or out right swipping. Please feel free to contribute your own notes to help others. THANKS!

Update: The submission below was contributed by Laughing Wolf.

You complete me. Though the distance is long, you are here with me, a vital part of me. Your love is a warmth that surrounds me, your laughter brings a smile to my lips, your eyes are a memory into which I sink each night, and the silk of your touch is a comfort from within when things are rough. The distance is long, but to spirit and mind it is as if you are here. Memories of you fill my thoughts, your love my heart, and your strength and support surround me each day. Know that you are in my thoughts this day and every day, and that I send my love to warm you and surround you every day.

Great job guys [fanning myself to bring the temperature in the room down] all those are great contributions and pass my swooning  inspection.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Battle Weary - A Work in Healing

My battle weary body
collapses... tired.
Sleep escaping...
sad thoughts
like a train
aiming for
my brain.
I’m gripped,
by age old fears,
while shedding tears
through all these years
which never end.

If only this were:
… a bad dream;
… a tired scream
that’s dying
from within.

But it’s not,
…a hurting soul
…not yet whole
a high cost.
with life & thoughts
for caring
and loving
when it should have not.

Its new pain…
like an old refrain
playing endlessly
without restrain.

Comfort can’t be found
in memories,
nor in those that live
for they so easily
can deceive.

I turn to God,
my source for all,
who provides,
healing love,
and patience
from above.

~ me ~ 1.31.07
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