A part of me remains the same

watch cow.

Image by tobym via Flickr

A part of me will always be the same.

“That haircut makes you look more like your old self,” my mother remarked.  My oldest sister agreed in her rather pleasing and generally consistent neutral way.   “You know, back when…”  Mother smiled remembering the past.   She spoke briefly to how I used to look.

“Actually, that was the young me,” I said, “and this is the old me.”

We laughed.  I like it when my family and I laugh together.  Being able to have a sense of humor and fun was always a part of my family experience growing up, which I believe was our saving grace and most likely still is.

Mother and I had gone out to eat and shopped at a thrift store for nearly two hours before we got to my sister’s house.  I couldn’t believe I was able to walk around a store that long.  I did start to hurt but took my medication and felt fine.  My mother was hurting by that time too, only she didn’t have medication.  She endures chronic pain.

Sometimes I feel a little guilty for having better medical care and treatment than my family members have, but then I feel a little guilty over just about everything in life.

Mother bought me little things at the large thrift store, which she clearly enjoyed.  I found a stunning little wood carving of a bird, along with a couple of unique handmade Halloween crafts.  I spent most of my time browsing the coats.  I found my son a lined corduroy one in perfect condition and myself a truly classic thrift shop gem.

unintentional designs and natural flaws

“Well.” my mother remarked with a mild reservation.

She looked at the coat I’d found with her eyebrows raised but a smile on her face adding,  “It’ll sure fit in where you live,” which is true.

My favorite part is the soft furry lining, but I do like clothes with a little creative touch or character.  My family knows this about me.

It’s good to have people who know little things about you.

Arriving at my mother’s house earlier that morning had been pleasant.  The windows were open letting in a breeze too cool for my arms, but it was quite refreshing and in more ways than one.  Before she moved to the country she seemed afraid of the outdoors.  She’s always said she didn’t want her windows open because,  “somebody could just stick their arm inside, reach in and grab her.”

Her backyard is a cow and horse pasture.  The absence of city noise and lights, with a view of rolling hills evokes in me a fantasy of sitting outside, watching cows, (which is good for the soul) and writing a novel.  watching cows is good for the soul

Mother was playing soothing, albeit country, music when I arrived.  I love it when I hear my mom listen to music.

I absolutely love it.

It reminds me of, “back when.”

The day was perfect for a family visit.  The recent rains made way for a clear blue sky and interesting sounds.  The most surprising part of the day was that I didn’t get fatigued.  The best part was sitting on my sister’s deck and visiting.  No rush, no running around, just sitting and talking.  It was a time I hope to recall in the future.

“Did you hear that woodpecker?” my sister asked.

I did but I don’t think my mother heard it.  She worked in a cotton mill for many years and says the noise from those large weaving machines impaired her hearing.  “I didn’t like wearing those ear plugs,” she’ll say.  “They just didn’t feel good.”  I imagine they didn’t look good either and my mother did enjoy looking her best, even while weaving.

I wondered about my sister when she pointed out the sound of that woodpecker.  Not that she doesn’t appreciate her yard and those trees.  I know she does, but she’s usually busy either cleaning her house or getting ready to go some place.   Sadly, she’s in pain and has been for longer than I think I could tolerate without treatment.    She’s preparing for a hip-replacement in a few weeks.

I’ve talked to her over the phone but seeing her slowly limping around struck me differently. Her lameness broke my heart.

Was it pain, I wondered, that beckoned her to listen to the peace of nature in the first days of the falling leaves.

My sister has worked every working day since she was 15 and got her working permit.  She and my other sister, who are only eleven months apart, used to earn money cleaning people’s houses when they were adolescents.

“You’re too young,” I was told whenever I asked to help.  That never changed, which one of my sisters seemed to resent, but this was not something I could help.

One time after pleading with my mother I was allowed to go with my sisters to clean a house.  I was around ten years old.  I stood between them while they washed dishes.  I knew they were basically tolerating me.   I got to pass the dishes from one who was washing and the other who was rinsing.

I dropped a fork and it stabbed my right toe.  I remember them saying not to tell the owners of the house and talking about the blood stains.  I never got to help them again.

I didn’t learn the same things my sisters did.  One learned how to sew.  The other learned how to run a riding lawn mower and finally a tractor.   I learned to ride a ten-speed bicycle.

The day was perfect for a family visit.  The leaves are falling.  The season is changing.  Our differences and shadows from the past didn’t matter.

A part of me remains the same.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by ruthieannsings on December 21, 2010 at 9:36 PM

    i truly wish i had a friend like that



    • Hi Ruthie!
      My friend CJ, she is amazing. She is so kind. I met her through my blog, along with a few of the nicest women I’ve ever known. Having a blog is fun in lots of ways. Maybe you ought to start one of your own.




  2. I wonder sometimes whether there is anything of “me” left. You are so right, though, being around family can help me see that there is some small part of me left. My husband and daughter and son-in-law just left after a four day visit. It will take me a month to re-coop. There were some brief moments when I felt like my old self. But, this time they were so very brief. I am losing “me” more quickly now. Each day seems to get worse. How can I be me when I have no clue how that feels anymore?

    Miss Dogkisses, I love to read your posts. It doesn’t matter to me what you are writing about, I simply love the way you write. I love that I can be transported in your writings. It is not always a good place that you take me. Sometimes it is quite sad. But, somehow that’s okay. Am I making any sense? Probably not.

    But, this is clear: I love the way you write. I wish that you would write some kind of novel–a long one. I want to read about the places you have been (even if its the corner cafe), about the people, the weather, the food, the clothing, the everything. You have a way of making me experience what you are writing. I can see the rooms, be in the rooms, feel the people, know the people. You make me hungry for your next post.

    But, its not only all of that. Its the way you share your life, your feelings, your thoughts. You touch me deeply. That is why I feel like you are a life long friend, though I have only known you for–what?– 5-6 months?

    Thank you, Miss Dogkisses for letting me get to know you. And, for transporting me.

    With much care, concern, enlightenment, fondness, and gratitude,



    • “There were some brief moments when I felt like my old self.” — me too CJ.
      I get glimpses of the past, who I used to be, who my mom wishes I still was, I guess, who causes her to smile when she sees that… that part of me that is me, that stays the same.
      I had a good day. Ever since I’ve been in pain. And horrible fatigue. I did manage to wash my dishes today. How could a good day wear me out? You’d think it would be the other way around. Give me life and energy but instead my body is extra tired.

      CJ, thank you for the awesome compliments on my writing. I know sometimes it doesn’t make sense and I can’t for the life of me stick to one subject, but I write and that helps. Especially when it feels like somebody took something from it, hopefully something positive, even when I do visit the darker places. I guess the reason I don’t try to write a book, aside from CFS and fibro, is because the stories that I feel inspired to write about are too hard to write.

      I admire you for being able to write about your pain, esp., while you are in the throws of it. I just want to go to bed and cover my head. I’m soo tired that I can’t get any thoughts out clearly and my fingers weigh a ton. Thank you for sharing your heart and your life the way you do.

      To have you as a friend is a blessing and I am honored, truly, that I may be a friend to you.

      Now, I wish I had the right words, but I don’t… Thank You for coming here and sharing your thoughts and feelings. It means so much to me, and so do you.

      With all you say, and more :),
      Miss Dogkisses.



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