Ms Boa signifies

Ms. Boa looks the way I have felt this week. And hearing that Aretha Franklin died, I think this expresses my mood.

This is for the Ragtag Daily Prompt: respect. Respect for loss, grief, and cat knowledge too.

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Princess Mittens, the cat on the left, is gone. One day she was in the living room, sitting under the vent and staring up at it. I finally paid attention and realized why.

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There was a bat in the vent. I could see claws. Ms. Boa became very interested too.

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We did get the bat out, by opening the windows upstairs and the vent. Keeping the cats downstairs.

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Ms. Boa was sad when our other cat was killed by a car.

Thank you so much for the music, Aretha Franklin.

 

Stages of Grief: anger

I am thinking of the songs that comfort me in grief.

And thinking about the stages of grief. Five, right? Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Grief and Acceptance. My sister said, “They left out Revenge and Acting Out. ” She died of cancer in 2012 at age 49. Six days after her birthday and the day after mine.

Anger songs for grief. But denial is first, right? Not necessarily. These are not stages you move through in a certain order. This is more like a spiral, where you go from one to the next and back to the start, from day to day or even hour to hour.

I’ve already written about My Name is Samuel Hall. That is an angry song, unrepentant, that my sister wanted the last time that I visited her. I knew that she was furious about dying and leaving her husband and daughter. And me and her friends.

My mother sang:

“Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I think I’ll go eat worms. Big fat slimy ones, little tiny wiggly ones, see them wiggle and squirm. Bite their heads off, suck their guts out, throw the skins away. I don’t see how anyone can live on three meals of worms a day… without dessert….”

She also taught us this:

“I don’t want to play in your back yard
I don’t like you any more
You’ll be sorry when you see me
Sliding down my cellar door”

My parents had songs for every mood I can imagine. There were moods they would not speak about but they sang them.

My favorite angry groups are The Devil Makes Three, Hank Williams III, The Offspring, and Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Sweet Honey in the Rock? Yes. They sing about death a lot. This song is not about death: it’s about a “bad” woman, wanted dead or alive. But listen to the song: they are singing about a real event and a woman who fought back against a rape. On the thirty year album of Sweet Honey in the Rock, the group says that their first “hit” was this song, played by news stations. “It was a hint that we were not going to be top 40.” The song is Joanne Little.

So here are three songs by the others:

The Offspring: Why don’t you get a job?

The Devil Makes Three: All Hail

Hank Williams III: My Drinking Problem

And how do families show anger? They fight. They fight with each other. They fight about how someone should die, what should be done about mom, whether dad can live alone any more, about the right way to grieve. They fight about small things or big things and they even sue each other. Before you wade into the fray, step back. Remember, families grieving are always a little bit insane, very stressed and it’s all grief.

Hank Williams III: Country heroes

Blessings on the people I know in hospice right now and on their families and loved ones. Third one today. Sending love.

 

 

 

dish prayer

Beloved, thank you for these dirty dishes.
Thank you that I have hands to wash the dishes.
Thank you that I have water, clean water, hot water and soap.
Thank you that I have a sponge and a sink.
Thank you that I have a home, that it has not burned or flooded or been destroyed by war.
Thank you that I had food to feed my family and my self, to dirty these dishes.
Thank you that I have food to put on clean dishes today and tomorrow.
Please, Beloved, help me bring food to those who need it, clean water, soap, dishes, homes.
Please, Beloved, open our hearts to others in need.
Thank you, Beloved, for these dirty dishes that now are clean and for the circle of life they represent, clean to dirty to clean again.

 

The Olympic Peninsula only has one wild fire currently, but the sunset last night was lit by smoke.

The extroverted feeler and responsible behavior

My son is an extroverted feeler and my daughter is an introverted thinker.

When he was 12 and she was 7, their father and I were working out the details of a divorce. Their father moved out for a year, moved back in for a year, and now was out again. It had taken me two years of couple’s counseling to decide that yes, we did need to get divorced. Now we were in the year of hammering out the details.

One day he came over and was obnoxious and rude. I got angry and yelled and threw him out. I slammed the door after him. I didn’t usually do that and it felt both good and bad.

The kids were conferring. I wondered if I’d scared them, losing my temper. They both came to me.

“Mom, we don’t want you to yell at dad and make him leave.” said the EF, arms crossed. The IT stood beside him. “And no slamming doors.”

“But he was rude first!” I said, realizing as I said it, uh, lame. And where have I had this conversation before?

“We know that he was rude. But we aren’t talking about him. We are talking about your behavior. We don’t care what he does.” They both looked stern and fierce.

“So I have to behave no matter what he does.” I said. They nodded. “You are right. I apologize for yelling at dad, throwing him out and slamming the door. I need to behave anyhow. That’s what I tell you, right?”

“Yes, mom.” And then they both hugged me to comfort me.

I felt sheepish for behaving badly, but mostly proud. Proud that my kids felt comfortable confronting a misbehaving adult and the one with whom they were living, me. Right after a yelling tantrum, too. And proud that they were giving me back the message that I’d given them for years: I don’t care what the other kid did, that is not acceptable behavior. And overall I felt pretty good that I really had not yelled and slammed doors very often: we’d done the majority of our fighting in the counselor’s office and had tried to make it very clear that it was not the kids’ fault.

The photograph is of my son in Thailand. He was a Rotary Exchange Student, to Trang. I don’t know who took the photograph.

Previously published on everything2.com.

 

left foot, left foot, left foot, right

This is for the Ragtag Daily Prompt: challenge.

What odd challenge is this? I took this stealthie downtown two days ago. I am wearing my almost not socks. Or minimal socks. Anyhow, they are elastic lace bands around the instep. These particular sandals are very comfortable but I tend to fall off them when I am tired. Somehow the almost not socks help.

But… challenge? The picture reminds me of The Foot Book. It starts: Left foot, left foot, left foot right. Feet in the morning feet at night. And it goes on, a kids book. I have a loved picture of my sister reading it to my son when he was a year old. They are on the porch in Portland. My sister’s feet are turned in and my son’s feet are turned out.

The challenge is do you have a children’s book or poem or story or speech from school memorized from 20 years ago or more. I am not counting television or movie songs here: this is something read or memorized on purpose from multiple uses….My children are both over 20 and I still have a huge number of children’s books memorized.

Have a wonderful day.