Oh Happy Day!

I am happy to say, I was able to get back into my blogs here at WordPress, after a lengthy absence. I was unable to remember my sign in information for the longest time, but finally I was able to get back here!!! My sister blog, Out of the Gutter Art, has been languishing also, even tho’ I have been furiously creating beautiful “Outsider” Art this whole time.

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“The Sentinel’s Prayer”, acrylic on canvas, Susan T. Martin2017

I have had many upheavals ans bumps in the road as far as my emotional well being is concerned, but with the help of God, the Ultimate Therapist, and my human therapist (who is stellar!) I have come through victorious! The triggers were many, as this is the month my Parents died, and it also houses both mine and my Mom’s birthdays. I am a JW now, so I don’t celebrate my birthday, but it still holds significance in my heart, a marking of the passage of this fragile life.

Now my associations to birthdays is a very negative one, as my Mom died on her birthday, March 21, which also heralds the first day of Spring. Also my Dad was well into the dying process at home with only me there beside him on my birthday 2 years ago. That was a horrible, horrible time, as he suffered much. In the days that seemed to drag on forever, I remember at one point whispering to him “please don’t die on my birthday Daddy…” This sounds to me now like a rather heartless and self centered request, but he understood my trauma, I believe, even in the midst of his own, and did not. Rather, he fought his last fight during the wee hours of the next morning, finally succumbing at 6:15 the next morning. What a long, dark night that was.Picture 012

I am finally not grieving the devastating sword thru my middle grief this year, but I anticipated the day with much apprehension and mental nail biting, as well as obsessive compulsive behavior, manic activity and lack of sleep. I am still feeling the effects, and most likely will have them build to a crescendo as March 21st approaches. Mom died in a less dramatic, but equally disturbing way, having to be taken to Hospice House rather than dying at home as she so desired, surrounded by her kitties. I have imprinted on my brain her sitting in her bed like a deflated teddy bear, whose sad eyes cut right thru me as she said, “Susie, I’m not ready…” However the cancer was by this point ravaging her brain, and I could not physically care for her at home.

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here I am after Mom had died, well into my Dad’s last years of Severe Dementia and Alzheimer’s. I was his, and Mom’s sole caregiver.

I had a fourteen day vigil beside her bed, singing, praying , reading the Bible to her and holding her hand. Finally at the point of total exhaustion and grief, I fell asleep beside her, and as I dreamed of happier times, she breathed her last. Ours was a bond stronger than death, and I so eagerly anticipate the day when they are  both called out of the memorial tombs in the grand resurrection , when I will run into their arms again.

This hope is made even more sure this month as  millions of humans around the globe, and me fulfill our obligation to mark the Memorial of Jesus Christ’ death, just as he commanded us to do at the last supper. On this occasion, just hours before his death, be broke bread an drank wine with his apostles, saying, “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”

I praise Jehovah above for the undeserved kindness He has shown by providing the life of His perfect Son as a ransom for the sins of all mankind. By this loving act, every human on earth has the chance for living forever, without sickness, mourning, pain or death on a beautifully restored Earth. I raise my hands and my voice in praise to God, and thank him for his Son, My King and Savior, Jesus Christ!Picture 018

You can join the Witnesses all around the earth at sundown on March 31st , 2018 as we join in remembering the Greatest Gift Ever given. You can ask any of Jehovah’s Witnesses for an invitation, or directions, or any other questions you may have and they will joyfully tell you. Also, the website jw.org will tell you what you need to know!

So, despite all my challenges, and mental health issues, I can take comfort that one day soon I will be reunited with all my loved ones. I also am so grateful to God for forgiving my multitude of sins by way of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I hope someone else out there

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can find this comfort also!!!

A ONE HANDED ENTRY

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mommy with her sisters, before we knew she was sick.

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mom and me at a JW Convention
mom and me at a JW Convention

this is tough, this being me.

i say all kinds of euphemistic things:

endure, be brave, be faithful…

a memory stirs,

i am back to missing you.

i am glad you are not suffering.

i am glad the pain is gone.

but here i am left,

wondering.

how do i carry on?

my life is like typing one-handed,

always swimming uphill

with one broken paddle, one broken pencil,

one half of one one-dollar bill.

i remember the days of our freedom

the two of us crying and laughing at once!

sipping our vodka tonics and talking like schoolgirls

till we were tipsy and high.

your kneecaps jumped up and down,

so i put you to bed,

worried that i somehow harmed

those beautiful knees.

they parted to give me birth,

but i don’t feel alive.

the sunlight changed the day you died

left me all dim and damaged inside.

now my life is like typing one-handed.

always swimming uphill

with one broken paddle,one broken pencil

and one half of one one-dollar bill.

my relief is coming, the shining day

you will return to me-free from any disease

it is our God’s promise to us!

the world will resound with our laughter,

our brothers and sisters will join in

we will all be perfect and no one will die,

not ever, no

never again.

i wont have to type one handed,

no more swimming uphill.

no broken paddles, no more broken pencils,

no need for one-half of one one-dollar bill!!!

Muncie Spumoni

We love our pets, don’t we? When you have no children, and you are trapped for 10 years in a house with elderly, sick and dying parents your pets come to have a whole new meaning to you. I always was loopy about them, and as time has gone on my family and I have raised passels of kitties, feral and tame, and a couple dozen dogs and pups have held my heart over the years.

Then there is Munson or Muncie Spumoni, also known as Little Big Ears as a kitten and then Spoops as he matured. He is a wonderment, and a more loving,intelligent kid there has never been.

Spoops in a drawer. 2008
Spoops in a drawer. 2008

Munson arrived here at the house as a teeny-weeny days-old kitten with his 2 sisters after being gently placed in our newspaper bin by his feral Mom cat, Teddy. Teddy was one of a large colony of feral cats who my Mom had been spaying, neutering and working on taming for the years after our moving to Florida in 1984. Back then there were no organizations taking an interest in wild cats, Mom did it out of love and a sense of duty to help these abandoned and discarded animals who were left here by snowbirds and vacationers when it was time to head back North. Our house backs up to a large 55 plus trailer park where most of the tenants only winter here. So the colony was about 20 cats in the early days.

Munson instantly has a special place in Mom’s life. With 2 huge ears the size of satellite dishes, he was a strikingly beautiful kitten with his brilliant white blaze, socks and belly on a black tabby background. He also bears a little “light” in the tip of his extraordinarily long tail, a white beacon that my brother Eric always called his “landing lights”. He was really stinkin’ cute! (and is.). His litter mates were little girls, Ebony: a psychotic coal-black cat with 1 white hair at her breast, and Tiggy: another hot mess of gleaming black with  a true psychotic streak. (Possible sign of inbreeding?) At any rate these two would like to bite you hard as let you pet them. (Ebony used to gag when Mum would run her fingernail along the edge of the flea comb- where was YouTube back then?) Then there was Gretchen, a dainty tiny cat like her mother who danced along like a ballerina, light as air on her tiptoes, with a tiny meow you could barely hear.

But Muncie and Mom were inseperable, and when Mom was fighting the cancer, he would lay right next to her thru $%#! and high water, letting her pour out her tears into his glowing fur. He would have the most loving look on his face, as if he were the size of an Siberian Tiger and could carry Mommy off into the forest, away from all the torment and pain. Munson. Dear Munson, and dear Mom. He spent those years as faithfully as any Lab you have ever heard about sleeping by their master’s bed. She would hold him in her arms and stare down into his face, saying,”muncie. Muncie.” and kissing him a thousand times on his white striped nose. One of the last things she asked me to do was to, “Take care of my Muncie for me…Please take care of Muncie for me.” Of course I promised. (Like she had to ask…Oh, Mom…)

Well, now Munson has come to the end of his life. His nutty sister Ebony died 2 weeks ago, and I’m sure it was typical kitty old age, where the kidneys just shut down and she stopped eating and drinking. She lingered about 5 days before sleeping herself away. All this was happening while Dad was in the Hospital, so I grieved for her,but not as much as I am for Muncie.

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Fast forward three days, I had to stop writing because I was crying too hard, and the grief exhausted me. Poor dear Muncie still lingers on the brink of the great beyond, and I have crumbled. I wanted to let him die here at home, i hate it when we put an pet down at the vets office-they are so frightened. But the stress of losing him by drips and drabs has cost me my sanity, having to hide his dying from Dad, who just goes to pieces over these events. So I have been disappearing every 5minutes to go hold Muncie, carrying him to all his favorite places in the yard and house. I can sound just like Mom when I try, and when I speak her love talk to him he looks up with his blinded eyes with such adoration.

I never fully appreciated how truly magical he is… until now. I knew he was special, and I loved him dearly; I stopped short of giving him my heart completely, out of fear of the pain that would surely come i  the future. Last night, however, I gave my heart to him completely, when at 3in the morning I awoke with him snugly settled in my arms, head resting on my chest. Somehow, as weak as he is, he climbed up the side of the bed, out of the basket of towels on the floor, into my warm embrace. I will never forget that act of devotion as long as I live. Oh my…

Today I just can not allow him to go on like he is, so frail he is barely breathing, dragging himself to the door so h can go lay on the cool cement where the garden hose drips, trying to quench the unquenchable thirst that death brings.  Somehow he had willed himself to Dad’s door, and in his dementia, Father let him outside a little while ago, and did not realize how sick the poor kid is. I just can’t let him die alone, although that is probably what his instincts tell him to do. No, the mother in me wants to hold him to the last.

Aren’t we humans a useless lot when it comes to the animals. Here I am, refusing to let him do what he wants to, even at the end of his faithful 18 years as our pet. And now trying to be humane after letting him linger for a week, for a reason I am not even sure he feels? Do I take him down there to the vets now, can I keep myself from collapsing if I let him die here?

Oh God, I wish I knew. The stress is crippling me, as is the grief.

I want to run so far away from all this pain, and leave Dad and all the animals here where they can’t hurt me anymore.

But that is not what Mommy’s do.

That is not who I am.

Jehovah made the animals instinctively wise, and He loves them even more than we do, because He created them. He gives them their gifts to be our companions, our comforters, our friends. It is my human failings that give me all this doubt, all this worry. Munson is not crying out in pain or sorrow. He showed me last night who the wiser one is. And he said goodbye already too. It is me who has to let him go…

I want to live again, with his memory to keep my heart warm.

Goodbye, Muncie Spumoni.

PS. I just cancelled the appointment to have him euthanized, I will let him pass here, with his sister and me and Dad, and the only home he has ever known. He is a great cat.

The Soundtrack of My Life/ writing 101,assignment

Deep Purple was my favorite band for many years. My brother was 4 years older than me and so I inherited all his records as he grew up and moved on. But deep Purple’s lead singer, Ian Gillian was my secret dream lover, and his singing their song, “Pictures of Home” cut deep into my aching heart. I was a depressed, or rather, disturbed girl, and very lonely. So the words were my plea for help:,”I’m alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow- Unfriendliness chilling my body, and taunting with Pictures of Home…” That last echoing cry sent out along the moors, stolen from his “kissy” lips, and making me ache in ways I had yet to understand.

Then there was Black Sabbath, with my idol, Ozzy Osbourne at the helm. It wasn’t the “crazy train” that owned me, but rather a darker,  more personal song, also very dark. I had this song on a cassette that I played in my “Boom-Box” everywhere I went. Selling joints to my school mates, taking quaaludes, and tripping on acid. Always, this song moved through my mind like a mist: “I hide myself inside the shadows of your name… Your silent symphonies were playing their game…” Then, later in the song, my hatred for authority came to a climax with the chorus, “Why don’t you just get out of my life”, repeated twice, and then the big finish,” Why doesn’t EVERYBODY LEAVE ME ALONE!!!” I took that cassete with me to the locked Psych Ward where I spent my eighteenth birthday, along with the 6 razor blades I hid in my clothing. I oozed hatred from every pore that day, but I craved love so much and lacked it so much that my gut felt like a bottomless meat freezer when those doors slammed shut behind my parents,

But there are other songs today that I hear and love. Songs about joy, songs about love. Songs about life. There is one particular song I am hearing now in my exhausted mind. A lilting melody that I can not play without sobbing all nthe way through it. It is by Eva Cassidy, and I have also heard it done by Sting. I believe it is an old song, but I’m not sure. I know that it carries within it the seed of my dead mother’s essence, Carol, my best friend, has been gone for 5 years now, but when I hear this song, it is she who sing it, ” Among the Fields of Gold.”

I miss you, Mum.

I love you Mom!
I love you Mom!