Stellie Pearl's Thoughts......

I Keep Hoping That My Tomorrows Will Catch Up With Yesterday

Saturday, October 31, 2009

"I Want My Mommy"

Sometimes I forget how close my mom and I really were. When I got into my late teens we argued more, but, she was and always has been my rock, my shoulder to lean on. When I left for college, the first semester I was so homesick, I kept getting sick; ear infections, sore throat. I had PE class at 8:00am, and about 7:15am, the pay phone out in the hallway in my dorm would start ringing. It would be mom, saying "Get your ass up and get to gym!" I found some old letters that I had written to her that semester, pleading with her....please....get me out of here. I tried everything....I told her I was starving. I told her that the school was making me physically sick. I told her that there were lesbians in my dorm, and they were after me (that was stretching it a bit...there WERE lesbians in my dorm, but they were all very nice). Mom never rescued me.

My parents marriage broke up in 1983. I missed my high school graduation because my granny died in 1983. I left for college in 1983, my parents put the house up for sale. Then in January 1984, my mom moved back to WV (where I was, in college). We had all been through a big upheaval. My mother and I seemed to argue more then. I moved back in with her, and stayed until 1989. When I moved out, and then moved to Florida, we got close again. I
guess that is what they mean by "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

The years play back in my mind like a mom and I shopping on Saturdays, renting movies on Saturday nights, us going to a Christmas Tree Farm to cut our own tree, then trying to string cranberries while listening to Christmas music, cussing up a storm when the cranberries would fall apart (my mom has always been a big cusser). She and I would get tickled at something, and laugh until we would cry.

Now, my mom looks at me with absolutely no expression on her face. She doesn't respond to any of my questions, and will sometimes face the wall when I am trying to talk to her. I am so thankful that she and I were close while I was growing up, and really needed her, but I need her now, too. But she isn't here anymore. She knows who I am, but she is too angry to speak to me. She is blaming me for her being sick and in a nursing home. We used to talk so much ~ I told her everything. Now I can't tell her anything. I can't talk to her. And worst of all, I don't want to see her. I feel sadness and great amounts of guilt when I visit her. One day last week, I had such a bad day at work. Used to be, I would get home and pick up the phone to call her. I almost did that....then I remembered. I told this to my dad in a tearful conversation that I had with him later that evening. He said "You can always call me....." that made me cry even harder.

The holidays loom ahead. Thanksgiving was always spent with my mom. I don't want the holidays to come this year. I might be able to sleep through them. If I can just shut myself out, nothing can hurt me.

I watch the movies in my head, and cry. I look at pictures, listen to music, and grieve for my mom. She is still here. But yet, she is gone.
I miss you, mom.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Teenage Angst

My Gang Summer 1981

Today I got to thinking about my year in tenth grade. So much happened in that one year...things that would change who I was, and what I thought about myself...and o

It was 1980. The year started out well. I remember having seen the movie Urban Cowboy several times and loving it. My best friend bought the soundtrack and we listened to it a
lot. In early October we attended a church dance, and met a group of boys that went to another high school. They looked cool (leather jackets and all) compared to the nerds that we went to school with. We started meeting up with them on Friday and Saturday nights, after much pleading with our mothers. The first night we met them on our own, our mothers dropped us off at a Baskin Robbins, then continued to follow us slowly down the street in my moms about embarrassing! My best friend hooked up with Dave, and I began dating Mike. They were fun, like the same kind of music we did, and really were our "first" steady boyfriends that we had ever had.

Since they went to a different school than we did, the weeks seemed long...they called us every night. Friday and Saturday nights were spent with them, going to movies, bowling, or just hanging out. I was in first steady boyfriend!

1 week before Christmas, I came down with Mononucleosis. I don't know how I got it...Mike wasn't sick. There was some speculation that I might have been infected by sharing Pepsi's with my fellow cheerleaders during practices and games...who knows? I was sick for weeks...I missed almost 2 months of school. During that time, Mike would come to the house to visit, but I was not allowed out. (Me and Mike, above)

March rolled around, and I was allowed to go back to school for half days. In the time that I was out, a new girl came to our school - Trish. My best friend had become friends with her. Upon my return, we formed our little group. She was even able to join the cheer leading squad for the rest of the season. A new guy had also come to our school mid-year. I met him at a party in March...a party that I was at without Mike. Uh oh.

Jim was very nice, and I just fell right in love with him. I had to break it off with Mike, which was not an easy task. But...I just knew it was the right thing to do. Our little group of friends was quickly growing. We were all sixteen, and we thought that we were invincible. Me, Trish, Eleni.....Jim, Todd, Chris, Pete, Brian......there were more. Every weekend, like clockwork, we would gather at The was a park that was right next to the Bronx River Parkway in Bronxville, NY. We would have a boom box, and beer. We would party until curfew. REO Speedwagon's Hi Infidelity was huge tha
t year, and we rocked to Don't Let Him Go, Take It On The Run, and Keep On Lovin' You. We played air guitar to The Stroke by Billy Squier and Tom Sawyer by Rush. Nothing could touch us....

Of course, relationships began and ended. Our little group would have been considered incestuous if we had all been related, because we broke up and dated each others boyfriends/girlfriends. But it was ok....we were fine with it. As long as we were with who made us happy at the time, nothing else mattered.

My parents were extremely unhappy during this ti
me. They considered Trish "wild" and the group that I hung out with "uncontrollable". I was the only one with a curfew. My parents were "the enemy". They checked my eyes when I would arrive home, to see if they were red. Had I been smoking pot? Was I drunk?

There was one unfortunate evening that came about after my mother read my diary. She claims that I left it open, on my desk in my room, for her to purposely read (which is so far from the truth). In the meantime, I was out....with Trish, Brian and Peter at Peter's house. Peter was my boyfriend at the time. We were up in Peter's room, listening to Kansas's Leftoverture album (I will never forget it) and Trish looks out the window and said "Uh oh, Missy...its your dad!" My dad drove a bright yellow VW bug...everyone knew that car and who drove it. We went downstairs. My dad grabbed me by the arm and drug me to the car, threw me in, and drove home. Apparently, what I had written in the private pages of my diary angered my parents immensely. While the heated argument was going on, Trish called. I told her to come get me. My friends came...and I walked right out the front door to to them...they were more of a family to me at that time than my own parents.

Its funny how I can look back on that now, and think "What the hell were my parents trying to do?" I KNOW I didn't' leave my diary open. I loved my friends. Having them was so special to me...especially since I had spent my junior high years not being accepted by others at my school. I finally had a group of friends who accepted for who I was. I wasn't an outcast anymore. I felt that my parents were trying to take that away from me.

1981 was one of the best summers of my life. It was short-lived, but memorable.

Eleni, Me and Trish 1981

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Good Old Days Don't Last Forever

When you're young, you never think about what your life is going to be like when you are older. At least I didn't think about it. When you're young, and happy with your life, you tend to believe that things will ALWAYS be good...that is what I thought.

Throughout the different stages in my life, things have changed slowly. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the not-so-good. Then, it is later on, that we reflect on those happy times and think "I can't believe that things are not the way that they used to be."

For instance, I lived at home with my mom until I was 24 years old. We both worked, and came home exhausted. We took turns cooking dinner. My aunt (my mom's sister) stopped by our house every evening on her way home from work and had dinner with us, and then we all had cups of hot tea, and talked.

My mom's other sister lived right down the road. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, we would go to her place and have coffee...sometimes spending the day together shopping. Every Christmas, she would host an Open House and fix tons of food and invited everyone. When I moved to Florida, I missed those Open Houses every year. But there was some comfort in knowing that she was still having other aunt was still stopping by my mom's every evening after work for dinner and hot tea....things were the same, only I was not there.

I think of the past now, and grow melancholy. The present is filled with harsh realities...some of which I never even dreamed that I would face; My mom is in a nursing home, with a broken hip and mild dementia. My aunt that came every night for dinner has multiple sclerosis, and lives in a nursing home in Kentucky. She and my mom haven't seen each other in years. My other aunt passed away in her sleep 6 years ago. She was there one day, and gone the next.

When we were young, my cousin Dawn and I used to lament about things changing. We hated change of any kind. If the radio station that we listened to changed their format, it was the end of the world for us. My dad used to always tell us "Things have to change. If things stayed the same all of the time, it would get boring." We used to stare at him as if he had three heads. He just didn't get it.

All I have now are photos and the memories of the past. It hurts my heart...especially at Christmastime, that my loved ones are no longer in close proximity; that some of them are sick or gone forever; It. Just. Hurts.

Aunt Jo, Aunt Jackie and Mom