Happy Birthday, Elizabeth…

Find your way, dear one, through the Texas crowd of bullshit dancing with Georgia delusion. They never cared ‘though they now happily circle ’round the corpse of our relationship with our parents who so eagerly extort. And lie. In Jesus name.

Welcome to Fundieville Family Fallout and the gruesome truth-avoidance trample posing your celebration.

We can’t see you unless we see you thus and so. And so, we can’t see you. This they call love. Forced reconciliation is their game, like the rape they supported many years ago by their silence and criticism of the victim, by their balking at “too much detail” and then declaring a shortage of detail as their excuse for not giving a damn sooner. They. Love. You. Goddess help us all.

And we have no rights. But we send you our love from here and we watch all the buzzards circling ’round the fallout. Who knew? Texas grows buzzards strong, thin and tall, gingery “sweet”! Sincerity not required to throw a party there. Just gloat over the wreckage and pose for the pictures as they betray sisters and sisters. And most of all, as they betray the one who can’t truly speak for herself.

Happy Birthday, Biz. I can’t want this terrible time of people killing preciousness in the name of love, love they’ve never known, shown or been. Be safe and know we miss you something awful…

j. ruth kelly, 2018, all rights reserved

Recovering Beach Bum

Our time at the beach had a bit of everything. When there are 3 beach houses involved, one the family has used for over 20 years (because of the kindness of owners’ generosity), there will be laughter, frustration, ridiculousness and fun. Nostalgia and newness. It was all there crammed in with 4 generations.

I’m convinced that vacations are good only once a year and that is especially true when so many people get involved. Fortunately, we were only once all in one house at the same time. In any case, you end up needing a vacation from your vacation. The week AFTER the beach is surreal. The body re-adjusts, the expectations shift back to summer haze and the sun feels far less balmy. There’s no ocean to go stand in awe of, no surf pounding out the noisy pile up of day’s doings.

But the photos take you back, back to that walk with Isaac. One of the highlights of our time . . .

Isaac at the end of Bird Island
Isaac at the end of Bird Island

It was a landmark year:  The first year my sister, Elizabeth, did not join us. She has Down’s Syndrome and is over 50 years old. Dementia rules her life now. She gives us glimpses of herself now. Only glimpses. But we celebrated her 50th last year, at the beach. As I flipped through packets of my aunt’s beautiful handmade necklaces, several of them provoked thoughts of my eldest sister. Out of the blue her bright smile shined through my quest for a wonderful necklace. Yes, I had appreciated not having to be awakened at 2am with her yells and crazed laughter. But I missed her most when I saw the bright baubles and stones she would have enjoyed years ago. She’s been “gone” a long time and there is precious little she enjoys now. This time at the beach did not feel mournful because of her absence but more fitting, honoring where she is at this point on her path. She has hated the coming and going of nieces and nephews and loud reminders of how many directions her life has not taken.  The big table with elbows vying and so many people eating together at once, leaving her with something far less than the prime choice, perpetually reinforcing what she cannot control. 

This trip left us all with plenty to sift through, including the few seashells and new freckles. And two new hermit crabs. The time with my kids was priceless. I couldn’t think of another year more filled with a sense of freedom, of release, of being at rest with where my life is right now. And in spite of being the lone parent, I felt more, not less, empowered to give of myself, to be fully present and enjoying the time. Besides, the water was amazing again. We could actually float in the relative calm and hold each other in the waves.

Sunset Wonder . . .
Sunset Wonder . . .

And there’s always more to remember.