joannebest











{May 15, 2015}   The First Time I Saw Jesus

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I was eight years old the first time I saw Jesus.
Near the ponds, where I would ice skate whenever they froze solid enough to hold my skinny frame, there was a grove of birch trees set back a bit from the thick cluster of pine surrounding everything , as far as my young eyes could see.
He didn’t speak, at least not out loud. I don’t remember what He said inside my mind because that’s where I heard Him, that’s what it was, a mindmeld. If anyone could mindmeld, surely He could.
I only remember peace. Silent calming peace amidst the wind gusts and stinging hail mixed with small tiny snowflakes blowing sideways. My cheeks were red from the cold, my toes frozen inside my rubber boots and the thermos of hot chocolate my Mom made for me did nothing to warm my mitten-clad hands.
He did though. He glowed, surrounded by bright fluffy white clouds and I felt like I was in a grotto, straight from the pages of one of my books from Catholic School.
The wind stilled, that I remember, but the rest of it remains a dreamlike memory of an eight year old girl seeing Jesus for the first time.
I never told anyone for surely they wouldn’t believe me.
~
I was nine years old the first time I heard Angels sing.
It was the day Bobby Kennedy died. Too young to really understand death except to know it was bad and sad. It was my Godmother’s birthday, how could the day turn into a day of sadness?
It was hot that day and my bedroom was upstairs, an attic converted into two bedrooms, back when air conditioning was for the wealthy, not the middle class.
I lay on my bed, a big box fan aimed at me, too hot to even turn the pages of the book I was reading when I heard the Angels sing.
The sound was glorious, Heavenly, sweeter than the Church Choir I sang with every Sunday. But somehow I knew nobody else could hear it except me. I also knew, believed with all my heart, that the Angels were rejoicing as they escorted Bobby Kennedy to Heaven.
I listened to that unearthly sound and told no-one. Surely they would think I was crazy.
~
I was sixteen years old the first time a vampire snuck into my room.
Some friends and I were vampire hunting. We’d found a business card, slightly crumbled and worn from too many dirty footsteps walking over it as it lay on the ground, partially covered and unnoticed. A corner stuck out, catching my eye and I crouched down to slip it from the dirt. Brushing it off against my already dirty jeans I struggled to read the worn out words imprinted on the card in red. My friends gathered around me as we struggled to see what was left on the card. “Vampire” and “Club” were all we could make out, along with a partial address. Mustering up our courage, we climbed back into the old worn out van we’d been cruising around town in and drove up and down the street listed on the card. The house number wasn’t readable but the neighborhood was beautifully frightening, full of old rundown Victorian houses. Most seemed abandoned and we saw no signs indicating Vampires so we called it a night.
As I hopped out of the van, the streetlight in front of my house popped, making the dark seem darker. We laughed nervously, joking that a vampire must have followed us home to warn us away. I slipped quietly into the house, the sound of my Parents snoring assuring me my missed curfew would go unnoticed, just like the business card we found.
Sleep came quick that night, followed by the vampire. It was summertime, steamy, my skin too clammy for even a sheet. The thought of sleeping naked tempted me but I could imagine, with my luck, the house burning down and me running outside bare-assed.
I fell asleep to the sound of thunder as a summer storm blew in. The white cotton curtains rippled in the breeze and a particularly bright lightening bolt illuminated my bedroom. That’s when I saw him standing at the window. The curtains billowed around him as his eyes pierced mine, beckoning me to come to him.
I found myself sitting on my wicker chair, the loose white cotton shirt I slept in had slipped down leaving my shoulders exposed, showing the silver cross I always wore. I felt no panic, no worry, just a sense of peace as he gently lifted the cross over my head, dropping it on the floor next to me while he stroked my hair, pushing it back before his mouth came down to my neck.
The following morning I awoke in my bed, drained, fatigued, the memory of a vampire in my room vivid, clear, and undeniably real. I checked my neck for any sign of vampire fangs but there was nothing. Although I did notice my cross was no longer around my neck but puddled on the floor next to the white wicker chair I’d been sitting on.

I told no one for surely they would tell me I was only dreaming. The fatigue I felt, the cross on the floor, they told me it was true but I kept quiet.
~
I was eighteen the first time I saw a flying saucer.
Four of us were driving home from a Patti Smith concert in Manhattan, it was New Years Eve but we were all stone cold sober. The roads were empty as it neared the midnight hour and as we drove over the Edison Bridge we saw it. Rising from the Raritan Bay, a round object, approximately the size of a station wagon flew slowly out of the water, red and white lights caused the water dripping from the object to look like falling flames.
We were young and fearless, opening the windows and shouting “take us with you!” as we laughed but we knew what we saw. It was real and seemed to follow us. We drove through Sayreville and parked the car near Major’s Pond, the object still hovering over us.
I don’t remember anything else, just the four of us standing outside the car watching an Unidentified Flying Object rising higher and higher until it disappeared. None of us remember exiting the car, none of us remember how long we stood there, and none of us, to this day, talk about it.
Surely no one would believe us, we were just kids, crazy punk rockers. They would think we must have been drinking or doing drugs, neither of which was true. Yet we knew we wouldn’t be believed and to my knowledge, I’m the only one willing to discuss it.
~
I was in my forties the second time I saw another UFO, this time though, it wasn’t just me and a handful of friends who saw it, but the whole town, including a priest, some policeman, as well as hundreds of cars filled with people who pulled over on the New Jersey Turnpike to watch the majestic sight slowly moving in formation, low to the ground.
It was silent as it flew overhead, no crickets chirping, no buzzing of the usually ever-present mosquitos, none of the usual summer night sounds and all plane traffic was non-existent, an unusual occurrence in itself as I live a few miles away from Newark International Airport.
We stood outside on the pool deck, watching the slow glide until it reached a certain point, where it slowly disappeared, what looked like a falling trail of glitter fading as it left our field of vision.
Although we did tell other people about it, and watched and read news stories about it, there were still some doubters who surely thought we were crazy.
~
It was just a few years later the first time I saw a ghost.
In Cape May, known as one of the most haunted towns in New Jersey, my Mother and I were on one of our many Mother/Daughter getaways when it happened.
My memory is unclear and hazy, but my Mother woke up when she heard me talking to someone. “Don’t you see them?” I asked her. I pointed at them, two little children, a boy and a girl, both of them beckoning to me, encouraging me to follow them. Mom had heard me open the door and got up, pulling me back into the room when she found me leaning over the third story railing trying to reach them, to touch them, to follow them. She put me back to bed, as she did when I was a child and we talked about it in the morning over pancakes at Uncle Bills Pancake House. She saw nothing, but she believed me, she believed I saw two ghosts even though she didn’t see them herself.
But I told nobody else, surely they would insist I was in a dream-state, or I was sleepwalking, or it was just my overactive imagination.
~
The last time I saw my Mother she was in the ICU and it was her eighty-forth Birthday. We celebrated in her room with an imaginary candle in her lemon-ice. She told me about the dream she’d had, where she walked into a room and saw my Grandmother and two of her sisters, all deceased. One of her sisters asked her “what are you doing here? you don’t belong here yet”. My heart sank when she described her dream and we laughed it off, “yeah, that sounds like Aunt Jeananne” I said, “she’s just telling you it’s not your time yet.”
The hospital released her the next day, sending her to a rehabilitation center for her broken shoulder.
The following morning I was woken up from a deep sleep when the phone rang. It was a few minutes after five in the morning and they called to tell me my Mother was gone. I argued they were wrong, mistaken, my Mother wouldn’t leave me without saying goodbye.
Unfortunately, I was wrong and she did leave me without saying goodbye.
~
I like to think that day was the first time my Mother saw Jesus.
I like to think she watches over me, sees how much I miss her, how difficult it is for me to move on without her in my life.
I like to think the next time I see Jesus, He will be standing with my Mother, welcoming me home because home is where the heart is and my heart is always with my Mother.
And I don’t care what anyone thinks, because surely I will see her again, and all of this, this life I walk through each day yearning for invisibles will fade away as I move on to something bigger, something better, something understandable that will allow me to forget the forgettable, and instead, finally, I will be able to breathe easy once again.
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{January 15, 2015}   I Should Be Writing

writingggggg
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I’ve been hemming and hawing like a, uh, (an?) heming-haw-er.
It is a thing you know.
It stares at me from everywhere, “You Should Be Writing”.
My screensaver, my Twitter and Facebook thingy, fingers pointing at me in accusation and reminder. Little post-it notes in random places. My head constantly whispers the words, a litany, ‘write little girl, write’, as words of genius, life changing words that can save the entire world with their power fill my head, tumble ass over head in this brain o’mine as I crack my fingers, stretch my mental muscles and prepare to dive right in, a writing force to be reckoned with. A vicious word-tiger ready to pounce.
And then there is William.
He’s the one who pounces and I have the scratches to prove it.
How in the world did I wind up with a 4 month old Siamese kitten obsessed with my computer? Specifically the keyboard. Even more specifically, when it’s open to a blank WordPress page.
But it doesn’t stay blank for long.
It get filled up in a flash with whatever William wants.
Yep, it’s not me. It’s FangFace. He likes to touch random keys with his delicate yet sharp kitten paws.
He likes to stretch across my keyboard, roll over, then stare me in the eye with his person-in-a-cat-face-human-like eyes daring me to move him.
Talk about a battle of the blues, we stare at each other seeing who can hold out longer in a good old fashioned staring contest. ‘Don’t blink’ my mind demands, ‘you are the Alpha, he’s a tiny ball of fur, don’t blink!’
And then William, without breaking eye contact, opens up his fang-filled mouth and says “Meep” and bam! Just like that he wins because I can’t stop myself from laughing.
I am a bad kitten-mother.
He has me wrapped around his fingers/paw-claws making it more than a little difficult to write.
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So I finally break my kitten hostage ties, wherein I’m the hostage of course, only to be hit over the head with the Head Cold From Hell, now with new and improved versions of the flu (immunity not included, previous flu-shot does not prevent this strain and am I gonna turn into a weird hybrid of a vampire-cat?) and what suffers the most? Say it with me: my writing.
Just like that it tumbles to the bottom of the list as I muster up any energy I can so I’m able to:
1.) Pretend I’m fine
2.) Take my Dad to his skin cancer doctor (while cancelling my own doctor appointment)
3.) Make believe I’m not going to hurl as I see the amount of blood pouring down my Father’s face as I crack jokes to keep my Dad distracted (usually making myself the brunt of said jokes because, umm, just because it’s how we roll)
4.) Try and sleep any chance I can get inbetween juggling balls in the air unassisted
5.) Praying that one morning, just one morning, I can wake up to a clean kitchen, you know, the way it was when I went to sleep the previous night. I know. Not. Gonna. Happen.
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Yes, of course I can go on and on but I’m already pushing my luck.
Little Willy FangFace is watching the screen as I type, he knows I’m driving him to the Veterinarian today so he’s plotting his future revenge. He’s a Virgo so I know he has the patience of a cat (and that was totally unintentional), I already know what he has in mind, he’s going to cry his tiny little heart out when I’m driving and he’s stuck in a cat carrier just to make me feel guilty. Here’s a hint Wills, I always feel guilty, you’ll just be making me feel guiltier than usual.
And while FangFace is getting his checkup I get to drive around the block, put on my nurse hat, and change my Dad’s bandages, wash his clothes, and pretend I’m not cleaning his house while covertly cleaning his house. He doesn’t need any help ya know! He’s fine on his own! And those 17 times a day phone calls from him are just part of his day. Because after all, I don’t have a “job”, writing is just some thing I do to pass the time/sarcasm font really needed right about now.
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So to sum up:
I should be writing.
More.
As much as possible.
I need to reconsider my future plans and instead, move to an igloo somewhere in the depths of Alaska. (Does Alaska have depths?) Whatever, as long as it’s an isolated place without distraction.
Oh Cape May, I hear you calling my name.
writingggg



heaven
In the spirit of truth, justice, and the Girl Scout Code of Honor, I’m loopy right now due to another dental visit and the subsequent pain-pills needed to keep me from putting a stick of dynamite in my mouth to stop the pain of, well, everything I guess but lets stick to the subject at hand. Err, mouth.
So I didn’t sleep very well last night, in fact I woke up every hour inbetween little bursts of weird sleep leaving my mind to wander weirdly.
Like, is there television in Heaven?
Because all the shows I used to watch with my Mom, I now watch through her eyes and wonder, did she get to see Nene’s wedding and does she get to watch Almost Royal? Is she keeping up with all the fake reality shows we used to love to snark about together and does she have any pull to make sure that Orphan Black eventually gets some recognition since the Emmy snub happened again?
Is she hanging out with all my relatives and does she know that everyone in the entire family except me can’t stand my Dad and I’m the only one helping him out?
Is she happy that I spread her ashes in Cape May and did she send the snow when I did so to remind me of our last trip together when it snowed so I wouldn’t feel so sad?
Does she know I found the Birthday Card she bought me before she died and how much I treasure it?
Is there something I could have done to keep her here with me longer and it is it my fault she died? Does she know I blame myself even though my head knows there was nothing I could do?
Does she know I keep dreaming about her dying in my arms as we both sob?
Does she know I have so many questions that will remain unanswered?
Does she know how much I miss her?
Does she know how much I love her?
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I’ve decided that yes, there is TV in Heaven. And yes my Mom knows all the things I wonder about. And yes, someday I will see her again and all my questions will be answered.
And yes, someday, Mom and I will once again watch TV in Heaven and snark away.
In the mean time, I think it’s time for another pain pill.
And please excuse my ramblings, I’m getting back to me slower than I thought.
But I shall leave you with this: betcha’ by golly wow my Mom is up there right now trying to fast forward through the commercials.
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me and mom“Mothers hold their children’s hands for just a little while, and their hearts forever”~ Irish proverb ~
Someone much wiser than me recently told me my Mother flows through my veins, that every pump of my heart pushes part of her through my body and my mind, so she will always be with me. Always. It wasn’t until I was a few miles away from Cape May that I began to feel anxious the other day, uneasy almost, as if I’d left something behind when I packed my bags to head north. Which, of course, I had, when I stood alone on the slippery jetties and scattered my Mother’s ashes where she wanted them, in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape May beach.
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In the last ten years or so, Mom and I started a new tradition, 2 to 3 visits a year to Cape May, just the two of us. The only rule we had was we had to stay at The Victorian and we had to stay no less than 5 days. We began to think of The Victorian as our home away from home, always warmly welcomed as Mom checked in because I couldn’t stop petting the cat all cozied up on a comfy chair purring away in tandem with the thumping of the dog’s tail. We didn’t even care if we left the room, although we did spend many hours wandering through the most beautiful town in the world. What mattered was the talking. Two best friends talking who just happened to be Mother and Daughter. Those are the times I cherish most.
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Everything happens for a reason some say, and I’m still trying to figure out the reason Mother Nature decided Saint Patrick’s Day, the day I planned to bring Mom to her final resting place, was a good day to dump 7 inches of snow in Cape May while leaving the rest of NJ alone.
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But I was on a mission.
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After a longer than usual drive into howling wind, freezing temperatures, and snow nearly up to my knees in some drifts, I trudged my way, Mom in hand, down to the surf.
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I don’t remember ever being so cold and I talked to Mom as we got closer to the waves crashing over the jetties.
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My closest friend Shawn came with me so I wouldn’t have to be alone, but since she knows me so well, she understood my need to scatter Mom’s ashes by myself, but in true Best Friend Form, she walked with me to the beach, staying back just a bit so I could say my final goodbyes, just me and Mom, alone together for the last time.
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Is there ever enough time to say everything you want to say to someone? Usually we put it off or hope they just know how we feel.
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I am so Blessed to have a Mother who taught me to always say ‘I Love You’, so thankful that we never even ended a phone call without saying it to each other, and beyond grateful that the last words we said to each other were “I Love You”.
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Is it possible to feel relief and dread at the same time? Relieved that my sweet beautiful Mother is in that good place now, yet dreading each day without her in my life. I will never say goodbye to Mom, I will say until we meet again, I will feel your presence with each breath I take, feel you watching over me as you did all my life.
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And most of all, I will love you for the rest of my days, until I see you again.
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Rest In Peace, my beautiful Mother.
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From Buffy The Vampire Slayer ~ The Body
Anya (crying): But I don’t understand! I don’t understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she’s, there’s just a body, and I don’t understand why she just can’t get back in it and not be dead anymore! It’s stupid! It’s mortal and stupid! And, and Xander’s crying and not talking, and, and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever, and she’ll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why. (She puts her hand over her face, crying.)

anya from the body
My own version of the yellow brick road, where life is magical and anything is possible.
road to cape may



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One little photograph.
And it’s not even a well taken photo, it’s blurry and off-center, nothing that you’d see in a magazine or framed with a pricey tag slapped on the corner of the frame. But this picture is magical.
If you look really, and I mean really close, there is a lifetime of love captured in a microsecond with an impulsive snap of a camera phone.
My Mother, standing on the deck of the Victorian just watching over Cape May.
Standing there, on that very deck just a few steps away from the door to “our” room was a piece of Heaven to Alice Bridget Carey Best, also known as Mom to me.
Ok, sometimes, Maaaaaaaa, and don’t even try to convince me you haven’t used that tone at least once. A day. Probably more.
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Last year, the end of March, we got one of our Mother/Daughter always-wanna-see’s, snow in Cape May. It wasn’t a big snowstorm, although for one magical day snowflakes fell, lot’s of them, it was beautiful and perfection as we looked out the window and munched on Fish and Chips from The Pilot House (thanks to the wonderful owners of the Victorian for the recommendation!). It was perfection. Warm and cozy and together.
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It’s human nature to look back and think of what we should have done to have avoided a life-changing event, a catastrophe, but the truth is only the Big Man Upstairs knows that stuff. It must be terrible to know all the heartache that inevitably comes, maybe that’s why we’re meant to remain ignorant of the future.
I had no way of knowing that was the last time Mom and I would go to Cape May together.
Little over a week later she had a broken shoulder and she was gone in a flash, like turning off a light switch.
I can’t ever find that switch, although I still find myself reaching for it, but there is one thing I can do and that thing is keep a promise.
Mom told asked me to make sure she was cremated and make sure I took her back to Cape May, the one place in the world she loved most, the place she and I spent countless Mother/Daughter getaways.
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Let’s just say there were threats of haunting if I didn’t at least sprinkle some of her ashes into the Atlantic Ocean, more specifically of course, Cape May.
Did you ever have to deal with a five foot two red headed blue-eyed angry Irish ghost? Me neither and I’m not about to find out thank you very much.
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Hence the insanity of driving to Cape May tomorrow morning straight into a snowstorm originally meant to hit all of NJ but now, yeah, Cape May.
I hate driving in snow.
But drive I will.
So wish me luck, or better yet, how ’bout we just cancel the snow and get on with Spring.
That’s me-talk for I hate driving in snow, it freaks me out and I’m kinda petrified about the snow the weather folks are scaring me with but I’m on a mission.
I think I’ll pretend I’m Emma Peel and drive to my magical place, where miracles happen and I can always breathe.
A place I know my Mom will always be, watching over Cape May.
And me.
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{February 26, 2014}   Dear Diary 2/26/14

diary
Dear Diary,
I’ve been a bad, bad, very bad girl.
In more ways than one but for now lets just concentrate on one thing at a time, ok?
Me plus endless snow and constant company (aka zero privacy) equals me losing my mind.
(1 + ::: + OOOOO [0] = o_O)
Now it may not seem like a big deal to the normal person but, well, I am far from the normal person as anyone who knows me can attest. Actually, now that I think about it, even if you don’t really know me, it’s not too hard to pick up on the crazy that lives inside me nearly every moment of every day.
Hey, it’s not easy being me you know.
Ok, maybe it could be easier being me if it wasn’t smack dab in the middle of the worst winter we’ve had here in New Jersey in I don’t know how long. They say that every 20 years or so we have some kind of really horrible very bad blizzard/snowstorm/opening up of the Heavens/Mother Nature’s Fury, whatever you want to call it.
Frankly, I call it bullshit.
Because enough is enough.
The other day I realized my life has been basically one fuck-off after another for the last two years. And yeah I said fuck-off.
Actually, it’s probably longer than two years but we’ll stick with that number because it’s slightly less pathetic.
Wait. I said that wrong, it’s really been one long-non-stop-run-on-sentence-fuck-off.
And it all boils down to one thing: a stupid fucking hurricane.
Seriously, that’s the root of it all. Hurricane Irene.
Remember her?
Don’t worry, nobody else does either because Hurricane Sandy came along the following year and made Irene look like one lit match compared to a Towering Inferno.
Irene didn’t cause anywhere close to the damage Sandy did on the surface, but we were one of the unlucky ones when our house collapsed and it was all my fault.
The day Irene hit I had to open my big mouth and say something about how we always hear about people losing everything in natural disasters but thank God we never knew anyone personally who had to live through something like that.
We all know how that turned out, one collapsed house and a lifetime of memories gone in a snap.
Sorry dear diary of mine, I seem to have veered off topic, but lets face it, veering off topic is pretty much a given where I’m concerned. So in keeping with tradition, I’m about to veer.
Guess what diary? I’m going to Cape May!
I was afraid I’d never be able to go there again since it’s been my Mother/Daughter tradition forever.
How can I do it without her?
I’ll tell you how; me and my bestest friend Shawn are leaving it all behind and taking a mini-break, Thelma and Louise style, only without flying cars.
I just booked the room, coincidently the room my Mom and I usually stayed in, and even though it’s only for two nights, I figure it’s like getting my toes wet.
Another coincidence? We are going exactly one year to the day my Mom and I spent our last Cape May trip together.
I’m thinking dear diary, that perhaps this will give me some sort of closure. I’ll be bringing a bit of my Mom with me, to fulfill a promise I made to her once upon a time.
Legal or not, I will be spreading some of her ashes where she asked me to, in the Atlantic Ocean near Sunset Beach.
She said she’d haunt me forever if I don’t follow her wishes.
And since every time I’ve been to Cape May I’ve had some sort of ghostly experience, I’m not taking any chances.
It wouldn’t surprise me if I do see my Mom, or at the very least, feel her presence. In fact I hope for it.
After all, somebody pulled some strings up there to enable me to be in Cape May a year to the day since Mom and I spent our last week together. (Shut up, if I wanna believe it then I will, so there non-believers! And cut me some slack, I’m still all kinds of delicate and emotional and stuff.)
Knowing my feisty red-headed Irish Mom, she’s the string-puller; so thank you my dear Mother, you will be with me always in my heart, but it’s nice to know you’ll be coming with me one more time to our favorite place in the world.
Leaving a piece of you there in our own personal Heaven on Earth will be a comfort to me, knowing that you will be there always, just like you wanted. Oh and no worries, I’ll be joining you some day but in the meantime, don’t be a stranger.
Ok diary, signing off for now, I really should be writing other stuff. And Muse o’mine? Don’t be so hard on me, I promise I’ll make it up to you.
There’s a burst of inspiration on my horizon. Cape May always has that affect on me, and today I booked my favorite room at my favorite place in the world, The Victorian, just a stone’s throw from the beach. Truth is, it feels like home there, the owners make you feel like Family, it has the best view you could wish for, and, well, it’s magical.
I may have been MIA for awhile my dearest diary, but baby, I am (almost) back.
For the first time in a long time, I feel something I thought was gone forever; hope.
cape may sunrise

 



{January 20, 2014}   Photo Challenge ~ Unusual Angles

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As anyone who knows me knows, I’m obsessed with Cape May and all it encompasses, most specifically the old World War II Fire Tower down by Sunset Beach. The Tower is the setting for one of my WIP’s, an apocalyptic story about a girl who is living out the end of the world at the end of New Jersey, where she has settled into the Tower and made it her home.
The prompt for this Photo Challenge is Unusual Angles, so here are some photos I took of the staircase smack dab in the middle of the Tower. Please enjoy.

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http://sonelscornerphotochallenge.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/photo-editing-challenge-unusual-angles/



mom program this1334853128771mom program back

So unexpected loss is the daily prompt and there is only one thing I can write about, which is, of course, the unexpected loss of my Mom nearly 8 months ago.
It started out with my Mom waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, she slipped her feet into her slippers and tripped, landing on her shoulder. My Dad took her to the emergency room where they gave her a sling and sent her home.
It wasn’t until the following morning when I made my usual morning phone call to Mom when I found out. I felt bad that nobody called me right away but as soon as I found out I packed a bag and went to the house to do whatever I could to help her. After a few days, I woke up early to find my Mom had slipped down the chair she slept in (per doctors orders) and she couldn’t get up by herself. I helped her up but something was off, she seemed confused, unsure of what happened and she asked me if she had a stroke. I didn’t think that was the problem but I called 911 and had an ambulance come, I was petrified but put on a brave face and followed the ambulance to the hospital as my Dad went in the ambulance with her.
We waited hours and hours as they did test after test and said she had a urinary tract infection and she was dehydrated so they wanted to keep her overnight for observation.
I stayed until she was settled in a room and went back first thing the next morning to find she had been moved to the Critical Care Unit. Long story short, they decided she needed dialysis and a blood transfusion. She was coherent, she said she felt fine but she had to stay they said, she needed a few more days of dialysis before they could operate on her shoulder.
A few days turned into 2 weeks, they did the surgery and said she was fine. She was doing so well they said, that they were moving her to a rehab for her shoulder before she could come home.
It was her Birthday while she was in hospital, so we celebrated in her hospital room but due to dietary restrictions she couldn’t have any goodies so we put a candle in her lemon ice and Dad and I sang Happy Birthday to her and spent the day with her until they kicked us out.
The following day she was to be moved so my Mom told me to take the day off, I’d been spending every day sitting and talking with her and she knew that my fibromyalgia had kicked in (I tried to hide it but you can’t fool your Mom), “Stay home today and get some rest, I’ll see you tomorrow when they move me to Briarwood” she told me.
I wish I didn’t listen to her.
They moved her that night around 10pm.
At 5am the next morning I received a call telling me my Mom was gone.
I didn’t believe them. It couldn’t be true, they told me she was fine, they told me she was 100% fine and she was just going there for rehab for her shoulder. She was fine. It couldn’t be true.
I was in shock.
I was the contact number rather than my Dad so it was left to me to break the unbelievable news to my Dad and 2 brothers.
I was a mess as I raced to the house and ran straight into my Dad’s arms and sobbed loudly, holding onto my Dad, who never showed emotion yet held me as I fell apart, crying along with me as my brothers both walked in and I did the same, I couldn’t stop sobbing, I was in shock and denial and now had to go over to Briarwood and see my Mom for the last time, sobbing sniffling and destroyed.
I don’t remember too much after that, I know we went to the funeral home and made the arrangements, I know we all went back to the house and sat in silence and shock, knowing we had to start making those phone calls.
I reached into my pocket and pulled out my cell phone knowing I’d see that screensaver of a picture I took when Mom and I were in Cape May but that’s not what I saw.
See, I have 2 cell phones and had no sd card in my phone, no pictures in my phone, no screensavers or anything at all to change the picture there, it was impossible to change it when there was nothing in there to change it to. I’d used the phone several times that morning before we went to see Mom for the last time and every time I looked at the screen I was overwhelmed with memories of all our trips to Cape May.
Now we all know that in order to change the screensaver you have to go through several steps to make it happen.
As I pulled out the phone to call my Aunt Judy the picture was gone, replaced by a picture I’d never seen before, a picture that wasn’t anywhere in my phone.
My Mom and I shared an interest in the afterlife and ghosts, and we made a deal, whichever one of us went first we would send a sign to let the other know we were ok, that there was something else after this life we live on earth.
With all my heart, I believe that screen-change was my Mom letting me know she was ok and she was with her Parents and everyone else who’d gone before her.
I’m still in shock, I still find myself reaching for the phone to call her, and for the first time in my life I dread the thought of my first Christmas without my Mother, my Best Friend, my world.
I feel guilty, I remember one day in the hospital my Mom looked at me and asked “Am I dying?”, I looked her straight in the eye and said “No! I wouldn’t lie to you about something like that!”. I know I wasn’t lying, I believed it to be true, yet still, I feel guilt.
The last time I saw my Mother alive was on her Birthday, less than 2 days later she was gone and my life is now forever changed.
Rest In Peace my Dear Mother, I’ll see you one day on the other side and remember, I love you always.
mom and me scottish festivalMom and me at the Scottish Festival a few years ago
20130512_104042-1Mom in the green shirt looking at blond-haired me
phone1This is what my Mom switched my screen saver to, it swirls as if it’s the path leading to the Gates of Heaven

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/daily-prompt-unexpected/



{November 24, 2013}   Weekly Photo Challenge~Unexpected

AUTHORS NOTE: Random unexpected photos I’ve snapped over the past year…please enjoy, and Mom, I still miss you everyday
unexpected seagullUnexpected Seagull at Lobster House Cape May

unexpected momUnexpected Photo of my Mom taking a photo of above seagull

unexpected feetUnexpected shot of my feet

unexpected snow2Unexpected Snow 11/23/13

unexpected kittenUnexpected Kitties born underneath shed

unexpected kitten1Unexpected Kitties playing near shed

unexpected snowUnexpected Snow in March 2013 Cape May taken from Victorian Hotel

unexpected snow1Unexpected Snow in March 2013 Cape May Washington Mall
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/photo-challenge-unexpected/



http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/daily-prompt-favorite/
meee
AUTHORS NOTE: I’m not an actor nor do I play one on TV, but the Prompt wants me to answer these questions as if I were Inside The Actor’s Studio, so here ya go!

1.What is your favorite word?
I have quite a few favorite words but my current favorite word is ‘alignment’.
2.What is your least favorite word?
My least favorite word is ‘no’
3.What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
The little things in life, love, humor, my cats, Cape May, encouragement from people who truly care about me.
4.What turns you off?
The division and seemingly intentional destruction happening in my country (USA) and the lack of respect running rampant, especially toward the elderly.
5.What is your favorite curse word?
My favorite curse word, like my favorite word, changes from day to day, today my favorite curse word seems to be ‘fucking asshole’.
6.What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of silence, as well as the sound of certain voices able to make me melt
7.What sound or noise do you hate?
I hate the sound of ignorant people arguing about things they don’t know about, people who think that if they talk louder it makes them right
8.What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
If I had to pick something that didn’t involve creativity in some form I would like to be a politician, to prove that politics can be ethical
9.What profession would you not like to do?
Anything that involves heights or bridges
10.If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
When I arrive at those Pearly Gates I would like to hear God say “Welcome, all your friends and family are waiting for you to join them. And go see Michael, you need a haircut and he’s great with the shears.”
meeee



et cetera