{October 3, 2015}   Now I Am An Orphan

bestfanilyMom, Dad, Tommy and me. I assume my older brother took this picture.

Now I am an orphan.
As anyone who has ever glanced at my blog knows, I’m one of those daughters who needs her Parents in her life. Mommy’s girl, Daddy’s girl, whatever the kids are calling it these days, that’s me.
Always and without fail, my Parents have been my rock.
When I lost my Mom 2 years, 5 months and 14 days ago, my world was upended and nothing was ever completely right again. She was my best friend, my keeper of secrets and knew me better than anyone in the world. To this day I find myself reaching for the phone to call her.
So I carried on the best I could because someone had to take care of my Dad, who else but the middle girl-child would take on the task?
In my brother Tom’s defense, he did what he could to help out, but lets face it, a man born in 1927 is more likely to expect a woman’s help than accept a man’s help. Male pride runs deep, especially when you’re an ex-Navy man. Showing weakness to your son is not acceptable to some people, and my Dad was certainly one of those people.
My older brother, well, he’ll get a post of his own once the estate is settled. I don’t know if he just finds me beneath him because I never went to college and instead pursued my dreams; singing songs I wrote in my own band and working towards becoming a real writer to name a few, but the point is I followed my heart and not my bank account. Lets put it this way: when I mentioned to my older brother as we sat around my Mom’s Thanksgiving table maybe 8 years ago, that I didn’t realize he was on Facebook and I’d send him a friend request he gave me a song and dance answer that translated into a big fat no you will not be my FB friend. I only use it for business, he told me. Oddly enough, I found this was a lie and all my relatives, including my younger brother, were all on his ‘friends’ list.
A virtual slap in the face. But more about that another time.

My Father was stubborn, grouchy, and refused to let me move in with him to make his life a little easier. Instead, I spent a lot of time in my car, driving 20 minutes each way at the drop of a hat. Doctor appointments? I took him to all of them and Dad was the kind of senior citizen who liked to make doctor appointments the way people make plans to go to lunch, they were social engagements to him more than necessary appointments but I understood and played the game.
My daily phone calls with my Mom now turned into many, many phone calls from Dad, a few times a day is one thing but he’d call to tell me there was a John Wayne movie on, or to let me know what the song of the day was. See, he’d walk every morning down at the waterfront and that was part of his shtick, every morning he’d sing a different song as he walked, like the Pied Piper, little kids would follow him asking “what’s the song of the day Charlie?” He’d talk to their parents and ask if it was okay to give them a piece of candy or a lollipop, and whenever it was vacation time, a group of teenagers would talk to him and tell him they were watching out for him.
He was loved by strangers, openly showing affection, but he had a hard time doing the same for his immediate family.

Here’s the thing; my Father was, for all intents and purposes, an orphan. He never knew his own Father and his Mother died before he was 5 years old. He was raised by his maiden Aunt, who we all referred to as our Grandmother.
My Dad used to roller skate all the time when he was a kid, and one night, when he and his posse came out of the rink, they heard the news, Pearl Harbor was bombed. Right then and there my Dad decided he was going to enlist in the Navy. He had some hoops to jump through because he was only 17 years old but he did it, he went to boot camp in Buffalo NY and that young boy became a man quickly as he boarded a ship and soon found himself a part of the Normandy Beach Invasion on D-Day. He’s told me a lot of stories from back then but one in particular sticks out in my mind. He was on LST 279, a torpedo missed his ship by 20 feet but that’s not the story I’m referring to; the ships were at the mercy of the tides, they were unable to move when the tide was low and sometimes little French children would walk out to the ships and wave to the sailors on the ship. One day, when they were serving lemon meringue pie, something my Dad hated, he took a pie and put it in his helmet to lower it down to the kids in the surf. On the way down, the helmet did a 360 and through the grace of God, or maybe just pure luck, as the helmet flipped the pie slipped out and somehow managed to land right-side up inside the helmet, undamaged. Dad told me those kids were so thrilled to have a pie to eat they were scooping it out of the pie tin with their fingers until they got every drop.

A week ago today, on September 26th, 2015, my Dad passed away in the same hospital my Mom did, although I talked to him every day and saw him a few times a week, he gave no indication of any problems, although I felt a chill when he told me he wanted to die but didn’t want to kill himself. He missed my Mom. He wanted to be with her. We had this conversation Tuesday night and Wednesday I went to pick him up for his doctor appointment. I walked in the house and found him on the floor, unable to move. I called 911 and spent the next few days at the hospital with my younger brother.
The first thing my Dad said when he was stable was “Her name is Alice Bridget Carey”, my Mom’s maiden name. I felt like he was letting his higher power know he was looking for his wife. The last thing he said to me was “I love you”.
And I know he did.

I made a conscious decision around 10 years ago that I would spend as much time as I could with my Parents. I knew how lucky I was to have both my Parents alive and I wanted no regrets when they were gone. I didn’t want to say ‘I should have spent more time with them’.
There are a lot of relatives who didn’t like my Father. After my Mom died, not one relative ever made any effort to contact my Father in any way. This made me so sad, because even if he was a grouchy old man, he was my Father, he was my Mother’s husband. He was Family but he was written off.
But not by me.

I love you Dad, and I always will. Rest In Peace, I will never forget you.

bestparents Mom and Dad in Branch Brook Park, Newark NJ

{September 11, 2015}   I Can Never Forget

9 11abb

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is having a hard time getting through another September 11th. I tried desperately to write today but found myself staring at a near blank page and clicking back and forth between writing and looking at Facebook.

Basically wasting time.

I can’t even muster up the ability to write about that day in 2001 from my perspective, but it nags at me, to post something. I can’t ignore the day without acknowledging it some way,  yet I can’t write anything today, the words are stuck in my heart because my head is filled with all the what-ifs, all the lives that were touched that day, and how there was a ripple effect that day. You didn’t have to live in New York or New Jersey or Pennsylvania or Washington DC or Boston, it doesn’t matter where you lived, the World changed that day and Innocence became a memory the instant that first plane hit the first Tower.

I dug out some of my blank books, the books I use to keep track of rehearsals and write lyrics. I also tend to doodle when there’s lead singer down time, and it just so happened we had rehearsal on Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. I wanted to cancel but in the end we decided to go to the studio and try to not think for two hours. We had a gig coming up where we had to add a few cover songs to usual original set so I had a bit of doodle time while the musicians musicianed other people’s songs.

So I decided to take a few photographs of my doodles, and the lyrics to a song I wrote that night called “Lay Me Down”, just my feelings about that day jotted down quickly in a blank book as the horrifying terrible smell was everywhere and the smoke continued to take over the sky no matter where you turned.

This year was worse for me. Don’t know why, it just was.

So I shall share some pages from journals written and doodled on Tuesday, September 11th,2001 at Stage Right Studios while our Innocence disappeared slowly, nearly unnoticed, like that tragic scent and the never-ending smoke. I never claimed to be an artist, but I just needed to share this, and hope to sleep tonight nightmare-less, unlike last night when I had one of those same nightmares where I’m lost in New York City alone in the dark.

If you click on this photo you can see a scribbled NYC skyline, the one I saw every single day.


If you click on this you can see my mental me unravel a bit, writing down words to songs my Mom sang to me when I would cry and she’d sing “Why oh why oh why oh, did I ever leave Ohio?” Neither one of us ever went to Ohio but it became our code song, kind of like clicking your ruby slippers three times or Calgon, take me away type stuff.

Just me then? [shrugs]



These are the lyrics to Lay Me Down, the song I wrote that night, the song sitting in another studio waiting for me to finish some vocals and a few other touchups. If you click on the photo I was surprised to find the words legible. Um, just me then? Either way, I believe I may have posted them previously, if not, perhaps I will.  Right this moment, this is all I can do.

I’ll get back to my WIP tomorrow after Dad Duty. How do you make an almost 89 year old ex Navy Man who was actually there on D Day let you help him? He doesn’t want my help, he wants my Mom back and so do I but that isn’t possible. So I shall visit and clean and do laundry and go food shopping, shout louder than I sing so he can hear me, and bite my tongue near in half at the way he talks to me and the fight he gives me about cleaning. He can do it himself you know. That translates into what I call Covert Cleaning. I’m getting better at it. Oh, my point, I will have to remember to post my lyrics if I already haven’t. I think I may have but my head is telling me to watch Anthony Stewart Head in Dominion then sleep. Without lost in NYC dreams please.


Well would you look at that! Over 700 words, much more than I thought I had in me.

I have to thank Kate Richards and Nina Cooper, their collective words to me on Facebook healed me enough to post this. Thank you both, you are truly amazing women I am extremely Blessed to know in any capacity, this virtual world we gather in really does make miles disappear. For that I am very grateful <3

{September 5, 2015}   Lowering Liquid


the level lowers quickly,
that dark liquid magnifier,
a bottle lessens to a drop and another cracks open,
see, it’s the weekend you know, and everything must go
according to a fantasy schedule, unshared and unbelievable,
easier to play along till your bones are suddenly screaming from an unintended stumble,
collision unexpected and yes, balance no longer works,
soft reasonable patient words unheard,
slurry mumbled snark, the kind where they’re only kidding and
don’tcha have a sense of humor,
your sanity questions you to shake things up
and a bump grows on your eyebrow, stabby painful and nothing new
lather rinse repeat because it never goes away.
they fight for control but Jack always wins these days,
an occasional visitor who tends to overstay his welcome,
I think he sucks,
but when it’s over no one remembers the demon, just the angel,
all a figment of my imagination


{September 4, 2015}   Kitty Crawl


kitty vision,
eyes open wide,
glow and reflect,
i take You all in by the light of dusk or
not-yet-morning light,
slouched back, supine, alert in reverie,
silent sizzle
it’s not a stalk but a draw, a pull,
insistent and incapable of taking no for an answer
so I slink,
low and slow i take it all in
no words, just purrs and hisses,
ingrained from the ancient tribes,
when primal ruled the lands
and winners took all
to live another day
it’s in our dna,
impossible to resist, this pre-ordained,
You dangle treats and i pounce,
positive reinforcement or force of habit,
but that certain growl tells me
You control the outcome


{September 3, 2015}   I Am A Rug, I Am A Carpet…


… and a rug feels no pain, and a carpet never cries.

So I woke up extra early (for me) yesterday morning, 5am, and figured I’d write for a few hours then spend the rest of the day trying to straighten out this financial mess my Father made because, male pride and I’m a girl.
Had a few cups of tea, did a few things around the house, got all the paperwork together I need for the financial finagling I needed to do so I could just pick it up after I wrote for awhile.
Then my Father calls.
Nothing unusual about that, but this time he’s telling me he needs me to come down right away, something isn’t right, he says, he needs me to take him to the hospital, now. I’ve got him on speakerphone as I dash around the house locking the doors, making sure the dogs are in and no cats snuck outside and I ask him to tell me how he feels. “Just hurry”, he says and hangs up the phone.

I’m in a controlled state of panic and run out in my yoga pants and t-shirt, slip on a pair of sneakers, stuff all his paperwork into a bag and fly out the door with my Ray Bans covering my worried eyes after first splashing water on my face and putting on some lipstick.
Don’t judge, Ray Bans and lipstick make me feel better in all circumstances.

I make the ride in record time, pull into his driveway only to find all the doors locked and my key to his house back home on my other keychain. I knock loud and call out to my Dad, all the while my brain is figuring out which window I should crawl through, something I haven’t done since I was a teenager but luckily I’m still able to fit through. Window-crawling mission aborted as I hear my Dad yell “come in”.
“The door is locked,” say I.
“Wait a minute,” he replies as I hear him slowly shuffle to unlock the Dutch door.
Each second is an hour as I imagine every horrible scenario possible, remember past emergencies, generally freak myself out until he finally gets to the door and unlocks it.
I burst through the door, “Dad! What happened? Are you OK? Tell me what happened, let’s get your wallet and go to the emergency room.” I babble the way I do when I’m nervous and he just looks at me.
“Let’s go,” he says. “I want to get some money out of the bank.”
“Don’t worry about money right now Dad, let’s go to the hospital first and I’ll go to the bank after a doctor sees you.”
I’m impatient, worried, thinking ten steps ahead and I realize he’s looking at me like I’m a crazy person.
“Dad? Are you ok? Let’s go! We need to get to the hospital!”
“Hospital? I just want you to take me to the bank.”
Silence for what seems like forever.
“Dad,” I say calmly, “You told me you needed to go to the hospital, what’s going on? Are you ok?”
“Wait, let’s go sit in the living room,” he says as he shuffles away.
It all begins to sink in.
Manipulated once again.
I can see the gears turning in his head as he attempts to concoct a believable story.
He doesn’t succeed, he can’t talk his way out of it because he knows I’m catching on.
“I didn’t feel like driving to the bank,” he admits.
By now my head is pounding due to rising blood pressure yet I remain calm.
Outwardly calm.
We’d already had it set up for me to go to the bank for him on Friday/today (I’d already been to his house Monday, Wednesday, and now Thursday). This day was meant for me to get the SBA on the phone so I could talk them into not holding back 15% of my Dad’s Social Security checks due to him missing a few payments of $53 per month. I used to take care of this particular loan payment from Hurricane Irene’s destruction but Dad insisted he wanted to take care of his own bills so I had no choice but to turn it over to him.
After spending more than half the previous day on the phone with the Department of Treasury I was told my Dad now has to pay the DOT $485 per month in addition to losing 15% of his SS checks. The loan was taken out when my Mom was alive so my Dad’s income alone barely makes it, coming up with an extra $400+ is undoable. The man at the DOT was very nice and told me if I had the gift/power of persuasion I might be able to get the SBA to change it back. Which was what I was going to take care of before dear old Dad told me he had to go the emergency room.

I’m rambling again.
Back to the non-hospital trip: he wanted me to go to the bank, take out some cash and go to the corner store for the newspaper and lottery tickets.
I remained outwardly calm, drove to the bank and noticed my car was verging on overheating. Over 90 degrees outside and I’m driving with my windows open and the heat blasting so it wouldn’t overheat.
Drove around town getting his cash, his newspaper and lottery tickets, all the while dripping sweat.

When I got back to his house, I channeled my Mother and exploded.
Respectfully exploded.
Although the F-word did escape my mouth a few times, I explained that all he had to do was tell me the truth, I would have stopped at the bank and store on my way down and gone merrily on my way. I told him it was unacceptable, the lies I mean. Because he’s been known to stretch the truth before, I sat him down and explained thoroughly the tale of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I explained that his health is better than mine and if he continued to play games like this (because he found the incident funny) there might come a day when he really needed me and I wouldn’t be there, because I don’t know anymore when he’s telling the truth or lying. I explained the mess he made out of everything, and asked him who else helps him besides me, the answer being nobody. He drove my younger brother away by constantly treating him like garbage and my older brother, well, he flat-out doesn’t care to help in any way shape or form. I think he’s still pissed at me because he hated the idea of the house being fixed after Hurricane Irene, he wanted them to sell the house as is and move them into an assisted living place but they wanted their house back. Truth is, I don’t even know my brother’s phone number or address because he moved and never gave me the information.

I’m a nervous wreck still worrying about my Dad, still making excuses for him, and still being taken advantage of. I know I’m lucky I have at least one Parent still alive but at this rate he’ll be burying me instead of the other way around. If that sounds cold it’s not meant to be. I told my Father I love him and always will but if he continues to lie to me my Mother’s dreaded saying would come true, he will live the rest of his life a lonely old man. I think of all the times I defended him to my Mother and compare them to all the knife wounds in my back.
I try to make him understand that we’re all we got, it’s just us now, and I asked him if he’s actually trying to kill me, death by stress.

So yes, I am a rug. I am a carpet stepped on again and again and I’m wearing thin.

Can I please stop being the adult?


{September 2, 2015}   Who Owns Who

like a kitty needing to curl up near You
i purr at Your touch
scenting You, much like
the way You left Your mark on me,
waiting patient and still
i crawl in Your direction at the sound of Your voice,
as i feel the pull of Your invisible leash
attached to my invisible collar,
alert and ready to leap across the room
or strut slow and low, tail in the air
searching for the slightest bit of Your attention
a gentle nip leads to a salty lick,
cat-like signs of devotion
yet it never crosses my mind
who owns who

{August 29, 2015}   Super Moon

we see the same moon
from different points of view
literally and figuratively,
unintentional entanglement,
twisted links in an invisible chain
and chinks in our armor,
leftover from a thousand year war

walls built then broken
crumble slowly, pebbles not stones,
just little bits and pieces
raining down from all directions,
cool, soothing away the scars from the torturous licks of flame,
a side-effect from being human,
no longer noticed from the familiarity

we can be superheroes though,
under cover of the night
if we follow the pull of the super-moon,
just check our fears at the door and don our capes,
invisibility a shared superpower
we break on through the barriers
and save our worlds once again

{August 28, 2015}   For Now


from a distance i feel,
your energy
slipping deep deep inside
and i sizzle, ‘
low growl and i hear,
your voice
revving in the back of my mind,
it slides to the front until
but sensory perception and heat memorable and
the distance is gone,
i feel that silent promise,
nothing said allows no finger-pointing you know,
it’s taken for granted, justifiably so i’d say,
and all the better for the endgame, don’t you think?
everything bounces out of synch mostly,
except when it doesn’t,
then a tiny bubble of perfection,
timeless, endless, enough,
i float, painfree and drawn to your
spark, electric tickles my spine
lower, lower still,
giggles and moans
and the meltdown is complete
for now


I’m trying.

I really am, but there seems to be a conspiracy surrounding me and everything I attempt to do.

Example: I’ve been working on a piece of writing, you know how it goes, you write, you save to draft, you edit, you delete and rewrite because suddenly every perfect word, every luscious phrase you previously wished you could come up with finally hits you all at once and you write like a fiend, fingers flying, things you didn’t even realize you were capable of reveal themselves on the page fast and furious and you’re happy, pleased with yourself, words spitting out so quickly you don’t take that tiny second to hit “save draft” because after all, you’re nearly done and won’t need to hit anything but “publish”.

And then the dog scratches on the door to come in so you turn away for a split second to open the door and bam! William the Siamese cat decides he wants to jump on your desk, sit on your computer and inadvertently/intentionally deletes every word you just wrote, goes on Facebook and pulls up things on your computer you didn’t even know existed.

Yes, I know there is the automatic save to draft but that does no good when you’ve just changed every word you wrote in the previous draft. Every. Single. Word.

Of course it doesn’t help that your mind blanks out and you can’t remember what you just wrote a few moments ago.

You try, or rather, I try desperately to rewrite using my last saved draft but it’s gone, like that first little puff of smoke when you relight a candle, your thoughts dissipate into the ether, never to return.

It’s discouraging to say the least, but I’ve been so out of touch with the world recently that to just give up is unacceptable.
I want it back, a poem living in my head for days, finally formed to my satisfaction, but it’s gone.

So what do I do?
I need to get back into the habit of writing every day, I can’t let another day go by without writing something post-worthy and I can’t pull those thoughts back into my brain, I can’t reach them anymore, they’ve moved onto another plane of existence, as everything that has meant the most to me in my life has done.
And I don’t mean only those who have left this life, but also my lifelines, the one(s) who have let me cry when I needed to and lifted me up when I was nearly underground.
I understand life goes on and things change in the blink of an eye, with or without our permission or knowledge until it’s too late.
I understand we all have our own baggage to carry around, hidden or out in the open.
I understand that empathy, which may be considered a good thing, can sometimes bring me to my knees as I’m overwhelmed on occasion with understanding, overwhelmed with thoughts of the burdens others live each day, overwhelmed with the fact that I care and worry more about others than I do myself.
Overwhelmed with being overwhelmed.

So I shall compromise.
Let it go because perhaps, for some unknown reason, it wasn’t meant to be.

Hence, a blog post.
Sure, it’s certainly nothing award winning, but it sure as hell feels good to write something again.
I’ve been lost you see, all summer long I’ve been without direction, without inspiration, my head full of nothing but how to take care of my Dad and his dwindling finances, as well as his fading health.
If I don’t write something down it flees my mind, and even when I do make my numerous lists, like Sisyphus, just when I seem to get to the top of the hill, everything I’ve done rolls right back down, taking me with it.
Yet still, I continue to try.

Soon a day will come when I reach the top of the hill and I will be able to look down and say something I haven’t said in far too long: Life Is Good.
Because contrary to the odds, I still believe that Life Is Good, and I have every intention of proving that to myself.
One way or another.


taliaschild-highresA Quick Note From Me : I’ve been gone for far too long, I will be blogging about it later today, but in the meantime, for your enjoyment and reading pleasure, please head over to Amazon (or the book seller of your choice) and buy Taliaschild, the sequel to Taliasman. Anastasia Vitsky outdoes herself every time she puts words on a page, I am constantly humbled. Aaaaaaaand… we go:
Another perfect gem from Ms. Vitsky, I devoured Taliaschild in one sitting.
I’m finding that to be the norm when it comes to anything written by this author. Taliaschild is a sequel to Taliasman as we follow the journey of a magical Talisman originally handed down from Nicodemus to Vina, who places it around Talia’s neck. You’ll have to read Taliasman to find out what happens because I don’t want to give anything away.
Taliaschild begins six years later, when we meet Kira, daughter to Queen Vina and Talia.
Kira has been raised with anything and everything a girl could want, yet she grows restless and bored with her perfect life and sneaks away, longing for a bit of freedom. She finds more than she could have imagined when she meets Sonna, a poor street urchin, who spends most of her time scavenging for scraps of food for her family. If she’s lucky enough to find something to eat, Sonna is able to avoid yet another beating from her Mother.
Drawn to a mud-covered Sonna, Kira spends a day with her, seeing another side to the world, where fighting for a fish-head can mean the difference between nourishment and starvation, between praise and a beating.
Kira places her handed down Talisman around Sonna’s neck only to find it stuck there. Unable to remove it, Kira leaves the Talisman with Sonna and returns home to continue her training for the day she becomes Queen.
Based on The Snow Queen, we revisit some familiar characters from Taliasman, and learn more about Merda, a character who cries out loudly for her own story.
This reader is hoping we get another book, as these characters have dug themselves a place in my heart, and in all honesty, the only thing I can complain about is the fact that the book ended.
I love everything about Anastasia Vitsky’s writing, I can truly say she is my favorite author, as long as Ms. Vitsky’s name is on a book, I immediately buy it, knowing I’m in for another wonderful read.


et cetera

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