Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gladiator...

(image via pinterest)
I'm grateful to wake up every morning though I do so with a heavy chest.  It's a difficult feeling to describe, like pressurization perhaps, an anxiousness that tingles.  I gather this is the weight of grief.  I'm certain I carry it for all of us: myself, our two sons.  
I no longer cry in front of our kids.  I stopped after one loud-mouthed friend barked, "You're all they fucking have left!  Don't let them see you cry!" 
Ten months later, and it's still unbelievable: I'm the one who's left.  The wild, unpredictable girl with no college degree (my kids think I have one) and a temper readily made for reality television, upon provocation, of course.
I don't know what to make of God's decision, other than I'm here, and I better do the best I goddamn can...
A week before my husband died he said, "You don't always have to be a gladiator Veda." 
I remember standing over his hospital bed, nodding at the floor, swiping tears, finally mumbling, "Okay."
He managed a smirk, knowing I was lying.
I am a determined person, have been all my life.  My upbringing was interesting, at times incredibly stressful.  I add this to say, "I'm prepared." 
Every step in life leads us to somewhere.  And so here I am, Veda x's 1,000 - my own little army, fiercely protecting the fort, gratefully surrounded by people who love us.
Before Jason lost his voice he'd say, "I just want you and the boys to be happy."  They are. Beneath my shield, so am I.  I'm happy enough, still able to recognize all the world's spectacular beauty, more determined than ever to capture as much of it as I can.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

{Found} Inspiration...



You ever write something, forget you've written it, only to find the words later and go, "Hey, who wrote this?"  What's even better is when you find something you've written and actually still really like it.  Yerp...good feelings. 

2nd post in one year.  Woot.  I think I'm on a roll!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lazy Summer Days


I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted on this blog!  What a bad, bad blogger I am.  I vow to do better.  I pinky swear - fingers crossed.  I do hope everyone is enjoying their summer thus far.  Hard to fathom it's nearly August.  I've already started to squirrel away school supplies for the boys!

I recently snapped this pic behind the South Shore Cultural Center here in Chicago.  This beach is so pretty and scenic, you almost feel like you're in the Caribbean.  I've been coming here since I was a child, and now I bring my kids - who breathe for bright sunny days, frothy waves and sandcastles just as much as I used too - back in the year 19-wa-wa-woo-woo.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I remember...


the last time I saw my Dad (in August, 1995).  I’d just hopped off the Metra train eager to get home after a day’s work.  Dad sat in his new car waiting for the train to pass at 71st & Stony Island.  He honked when he saw me and pulled over to the curb.  I skipped towards the car, a two door black Oldsmobile sedan and poked my head through the passenger’s window.  I felt like walking and told him to go ahead on home.  He told me to stop being silly.  I sighed and got in the car.  He drove the few short blocks to my condo a bit too slowly, both hands on top of the steering wheel.  He’d only recently separated from my mother and I remember thinking how quickly his hair was turning gray. 

Dad was always very laid back.  This day he was quite chatty.  He’d just finished golfing eighteen holes at Jackson Park golf course.  I remember getting angry, telling him that was a really stupid thing to do.  Chicago was experiencing record-breaking, scorching heat.  People were dropping dead like flies.  Dad ignored my snipe and mentioned seeing my brother fishing at the harbor. 

Dad had just turned 57, my brother 23; their birthdays one day after the other, two head-butting Leos.  Dad mentioned telling my brother to come home with him so he could get his birthday present, a $100.  My brother said he’d get it later.  Dad couldn’t understand this line of thinking.  Who didn’t have time to get $100?  I shrugged, and told Dad about my new Karate class.  Dad turned the corner and snorted unable to understand why I’d be interested in anything like karate.  He was a bit old school.  Once when I told him I wanted to be a writer, he told me to learn how to type (on a typewriter!) instead.  I’d be able to do more with it. 

Dad parked in front of my building.  I got out too quickly, and can recall vividly watching him watching me through the buildings glass door before he finally pulled off, leaving me still standing there thinking I should've invited him upstairs.  I don’t remember hugging him or saying I love you.  In fact, I know I didn’t.
That night I dreamt of fire engines.  The next morning I woke up late, missing the 7:14am train.  Minutes later my grandmother called, screaming for me to come over.  My father was dead.

Dad died sleeping on his right side, a jar of half eaten Planters peanuts on the floor near the top of the bed, his left thumb up.  I was twenty six years old and the shock of seeing him this way felt like an elephant stepping on my head.  I crumbled inside and wasted many days drinking a lot.  It took more than three years for me to recover from my grief and function as a proper adult  (“proper” being a bit of an overstatement).  There were days I'd follow strangers, convinced Dad had come back from the dead.  I’d see men resembling him on bus stops wearing similar shoes, or the tweed caps he favored in the fall and winter months.

Seventeen years, marriage and two kids later, I don’t think of Dad as often as I used to, no longer recognizing birthday and death anniversary’s; too consumed with working and raising a healthy and productive family.  Lately though I’ve been under enormous pressure, the kind of strain where you have to remind yourself to breathe… 
Last night I went to bed early, my body clogged with congestion.  At some point during my nighttime cold-medicine induced slumber Dad appeared, his large square head sprouting thick dark curls beneath a tweed cap, not looking a day over thirty-three.    Tall and lanky in the dream he hovered beside me and encouraged my creativity.

I woke up early this morning, head still clogged with a bunch of goobly-gunk, yet energized with a new plan for reinvention, incredibly mindful of the indomitable power of a parent's love, and the necessity of remembrance. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

{not your average} mobile home...

hey ya'll! i'm back. again. sort of.  blame it on that darn kindle fire.  can't seem to peel myself away from that thing.  am currently reading fifty shades darker (working on separate post for this).  finished fifty shades of grey (working on separate post for this too).  downloaded what has to be 50 free kindle books and am currently debating which new diet book to purchase (another blog post to come regarding this may-joy-ly SORE topic).  anyway, hope you enjoyed your extended holiday weekend.  ours was fab.  great food and friends or shall i say friends and food.  absolutely no drah-ma as long as you don't include husband splayed on couch with fifty shades of GRASS waving at us from outside the living room window...

so i saw these downright glorious photos while on my beloved kindle and just had to share them with you:


seriously, who wouldn't want to roll across america in one of these pretty silver things??? and for the record it is not a mobile home, but a 1969 airsteam belonging to interior designer rachel horn.  ms. rachel really put her foot in decorating this space didn't she?  i wonder where she keeps it stored? lol!  and if you're not aware - 1969 happens to be my birth year so the fact that this is a 1969 airstream is terribly significant (for reasons not yet known) as i am somewhat of a superstitious numbers-type-person prone to display erratic bits of pure quirky-ness. 

btw and i'm so serious right now -  as i type this post i am pretty sure i'm hearing something that might have fur rattling around somewhere inside my house so instead of putting that second load of laundry in the wash i think i'm just gonna grab my kindle and quickly flee the premises... 


discovered via laura.  images via trendland.



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