July 16, 2010 at 4:02 am

Fred being gone was Fred’s decision. He wanted out. Probably in so many ways that I cannot even fathom. He got what he wanted and I am convinced 100% that it was planned. There are small little things that are now gigantic signals that it was planned. So, Fred got what he wanted and the rest of us lost. Is he at peace? I have no idea. Did the pain stop for him? No clue. I continue to dream about him. Night before last was a vivid dream about Fred – coming to sit by me, told me “It’s so frustrating” He leaned forward and I combed the back of his hair with my fingers like I have done since he and Grant were babies…that little “v” at the back of the neck. My arm rested on his back while the three other kids came and sat around us, all silent and looking forward into the same space and time with Fred and I. This is where I was startled awake, night before last…this is where I got up and then wrote about silence, Pooh and Piglet, dirty tricks, and faucets attached to our eyes. No dreams last night, just up at 2:30am, not able to sleep, and dreading working tonight until 2:00am. Another “awake 24 hours” day.Yesterday I examined my face in the mirror, for a long time. Change in the eyes, change in the cheeks. I adjusted my new bangs and realized that if I poofed them up a little higher in the front…it kind of brought my eyes up a little too. This is what I would consider an “Aqua Net Eye Lift”. I could not figure out what to do with the sag on the jowl that is new…I touched it and it moved…reminding me of a big drooly St. Bernard. I guess I just need the small cask of Brandy around my neck and you can ship me off to the Alps! That would cover the neck discovery…a small line of skin right down the middle that seems to have a mind of it’s own. It is soft and just there, not tightened to the rest of the neck…instead I am taking on characteristics of a wobbly, dangly, red turkey neck thing. Nice. And then there is the gray hair. I know I earned them, they are badges of honor for any Mom. But, I am only 44 and it is filling in rather quickly. By this time next year I would assume my hair will be a nice blue-gray and you can go ahead and buy me that walker with tennis balls. I really didn’t think I would care much about age changes as they came. But actually I do. The hardest part is looking back at pictures – knowing that I felt inadequate, fat, ugly and like a monster. I probably did not appreciate my youthfulness at the time and could kick myself for not seeing what was really in the mirror. I looked yesterday for a long time, like I said, I looked past the jaw line, the eyes, and the broken tooth. I stared into myself, looked at what was there, and felt as though I was standing beside another person. Ok, don’t get lost here – really I am not nuts but if you stare at yourself long enough in a mirror with thoughts of detaching….well, just try it. This person I was standing next to; tall, average, middle aged woman that looked tired and beaten down. Would I approach this person? Would I give this person my last dollar? Would I help this person on the side of a road? Not sure of the answer still today. What is inside that person? Why does she look so sad and tired? What is wrong with this mirror? I want to keep that mirror in front of me, everywhere I go. I taught my kids to always behave and act as if cameras were on you ALL the time. For one, you never know when they are anymore and two, you just should, period. So why is the mirror any different? Maybe instead of cameras I should have taught them to hold a mirror in front of them…all day long…never letting go. Let the mirror guide you to be who you want that person to be, and make sure it is someone you can stand to look at – constantly – all day long. What do you want in a friend? In a parent? In a spouse? In a child? Reflect it from your mirror, your personality, and your virtue. Stare into your core beliefs, ideas, values, principles….past your hair and skin, into your opinions. Can you sit next to yourself, over time, and is your image in the mirror one that you can live with? Checking my image in the mirror, in the bathroom, in the hall, in the compact in my purse…it is more than checking lipstick. It is a compass, invisible in the reflective glass…it is the way I keep myself in check…maybe for 4 seconds or maybe for 20 minutes. I can safely say that I am proud to sit next to Leslie Beery and I love her. Can you do this? Instead of cameras, it should have been mirrors, my lesson to my kids. Would this have saved my son? Will this save me?  Leslie Beery