Of the Love We Get and Give…

I was reaching for my favorite mug when a combination of nerve pains shot through my right arm and made me lose control of my hand for an instant. I dropped my favorite mug. My favorite mug landed in the sink… So, it didn’t completely shatter. I was left with two large pieces and some bits of ceramic.

“Neuropathy is a sneaky bastard”, I said to my Piano Man, who had run to the kitchen to investigate the commotion.

“You know it’s the chemo”, he said, reaching for me, stroking my shoulders as we both watched my arm twitch. When I tried picking up the pieces, my Piano Man touched my hand. “You don’t want to nick your skin. I will take care of this.” I handed the trash bag I had been holding. “We’re not throwing it out”, he said, and the outrage in his voice made me smile. “You can turn it into a planter.” I loved him more in that moment for those perfect words. I love him for so many reasons. I love, love, love him because he gets me.

This morning, I found my favorite scarred mug next to my coffee maker. My Piano Man wholed all the pieces before leaving for work. With a face full of grins and a heart bursting with love for a man who loves and knows me well, I filled the cracks with sparkles… and turned the new planter into the home of a wee succulent that I rescued (or plant-napped *cough*) last summer.

 

Earlier today, a friend told me how terrible she feels whenever she needs my help these days… We both know how little time and energy cancer treatment allows me. I reminded her that there have been days when I would’ve stayed in bed if she hadn’t needed me. She helps me free myself from traps made of pillows and sheets and rather costly comfort. Helping her helps my brain and heart remember that a friend needs me. There is wild healing magic in circles made of love we get and give (and of friends who whole each other better).

This belief is what always inspires me to give all I can and celebrate all I get. And speaking of gifts and wonders, I have a handful to be extra thankful for:

I’m grateful for the gift of my Piano Man
and my new favorite planter

I’m grateful for GJ (short for Gina Jr.)
a dolly crafted with love and yarn (mostly with wild love, I am sure)

I’m grateful for Gina, for winged thoughts,
and for stories inked with me in mind

I’m grateful for Rommy
and for creepy Gorey books that make me grin like a lunatic

I’m grateful for Susie
and for red and black skully ornaments that cheer me to no end

I’m so grateful for all of you, who keep on feeding my ink with your reading presence… even when I can’t be as reciprocal as I’ve been in the past. You, my Wicked Luvs, rocketh very mucho and heal me even mostest. Thank you.

 

Of How I Bit Back

“Death doesn’t frighten me. It’s what comes after. [Besides, some of my best friends are dead, and they hunger for stories].” ~ Terry Pratchett [and me]

 

My world remains full
of what you left me—bones
on my altar, books and stones,
the calaveras that grinned on my handfasting
cake (you weren’t here for that)

I miss you…

There are new things
on my altar and living—hearts
from friends, a bird skull
whose flesh and feathers fly
to you (its grin and bone
stay with me)

I miss you…

Newest, on my altar, wild offerings
for you—peanuts and (not so shiny) metal gifts
from a blue jay, leaves and petals and lavender
and rosemary from a witch made of gentle fire,
a shot of spirits (I will never forget)

I miss you…

The world remains full of what you left me, but
there are new things on my altar and living—
life bit, bit, bit… chunks out of my chest, but
I’m fighting, fighting, fighting back…

next year, when The Veil thins
again, when Soul and Flesh get to glimpse
into each other’s mirrors, I’ll share new
stories, Little Brother, of how I bit back,
of how I won, of how I’ll always remember

I miss you…

 

the wee notes…
– last night, I spent a considerable amount of time cleaning the altar where I keep my Little Brother’s ashes, listening to his favorite music, speaking the tales of everything of importance (or trivial but humorous) that has happened to me this year. It’s how I’ve celebrated the life of my Dead for as long as I can remember, how I will add to their memory for a long as I breathe.