Archive for May, 2013

Post 98 – The anniversary of a tragic death that still haunts me…

Posted in Family, marriage, Motherhood, nonfiction, parenting, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

I realize some folks may be tired of hearing about my mother, but I can’t help but note that today is the 6th anniversary of her death. I had just walked into my parents’ home in West Virginia after a long day of sitting by Mom’s bedside while listening to Nana grumble ALL DAY LONG about stupid crap like how my brother Danny constantly leaves dirty kitchen towels on the counter instead of hanging from the wooden towel rack beside the sink, and he occasionally had the audacity to drop them on the floor and NOT pick them up. Typical Danny. The laws/rules of man and the universe don’t apply to him, and that includes simple courtesy.

My mother/Nana’s oldest daughter and ONLY living child was DYING, and I had to constantly remind her (Nana) that though Mom was in a coma, she didn’t want to hear about Danny’s slovenliness or how much beer Dad was drinking!

His wife of 48 years was hours away from the END, you old WIND BAG. And we all know/KNEW what a slob Danny was. The solution to that problem would’ve been to kick his sorry ass out the minute he arrived upon Mom and Dad’s doorstep, but I didn’t have any say in that.

So, after all that, I was on my way to take a shower when Danny called from the hospice facility to say that Mom had passed. And he didn’t know what to do. Did he need to stay there and arrange for the transportation of her body? Did he need to collect her things, or could he just go. I told him to ask one of the nurses, and I’d be right there because I knew he was in no condition to drive. Danny’s an asshole, but Mom’s death hit him like a Mack truck falling from outer space.

I remember walking into Mom’s room and seeing Danny sitting there. He was teary-eyed, but he was more in shock, I think. I gave him an awkward hug, and he just continued staring at her.

“I heard her,” he said.

“You heard her what?” I asked, trying not to look at Mom’s ghastly expression. Her mouth was open wide and long as if she were at the dentist, but I knew it was really that she’d been frozen that way attempting to hold onto her last breath, which he confirmed.

“I heard her die, she took a deep breath, a crackly kind of breath,” he sputtered, “And then, she was gone. She was just gone…” he voice was swallowed by a bout of sobbing.

I put my arms around his shoulders briefly, trying not to break down, and said, “Come on. They said they’d take care of everything. We just have to let them know which funeral home.”

Danny nodded, and I took my last look at my mother at 7:38 PM on May 23, 2007 – almost, to the minute, obviously, on this date six years ago.

She was a beautiful woman, a kind woman, and losing her altered my life forever in ways I could never imagine. I love you, Mom, and I feel privileged to have known you, and this is how I’ll always remember you…

MOM AND I GOING TO THE PREMIERLooking happier than I’d seen her in years when I took her to the premiere of We Are Marshall in Huntington, WV, at the Keith Albee theatre about six months before she died…she was already eaten up with cancer, but you’d never know it by the spark in her eye and jump in her step.

Wish you were here, Mom. I know you’d love the new shoes I just bought, and you’d be excited to see how well your grandsons are doing.

So, to all those who haven’t spoken to your Mom in awhile, pick up the phone, hop in the car/get on a plane and go see/talk to her before it’s too late – because you never know which one is going to be the last conversation. The last thing my mother told me before she died was how proud she was of me, and when I’m having a crappy day – that always comes back to me…

~Ciao for now…

TB

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Post #97 – A shocking poem about a bad time in my life…

Posted in dating, humor, marriage, memoir, nonfiction, poetry, relationships, sex, true crime, true stories, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

Okay, so some of my favorite bloggers have begun posting poems. I haven’t written any poetry in awhile, but here’s one that is INTENSE…to say the least…:)

Addiction

Came home and found your fat ass
surrounded by dirty diapers and trash
What did you say, you didn’t have time?
And you’re doing nothin’ on my dime?
the rage boiled black and hot like tree sap
on a blistering summer’s day…until…
I chucked a knife right at your head
pummeling into our thick paneling
With a viciously loud thud and dread
missed you, dear man, by less than a thread
 
And you laughed like some love-damaged calf
tossed you to the curb, and who is it that laughs …now?
back again 2 weeks later sniffing around
With your tired yet romantic verbiage
I should be beaten for slipping back into your GARBAGE?
But lonely and brainless, I let you in like some stray dog
burying my sensibilities in a quagmire of mental smog
 
Percolating my rancor again with your same bag of tricks
Why was I such a sucker for all of your mix?
While you yak long-distance, a brain-dead pumpkin
ready to toss you thrice like some disease-laden Lumpkin
when you came up with your best chicanery thus far
 
By spicing up our love life of sorts
with cocaine on your private parts
what a ride that was, a sexual demon drop
God help me I didn’t ever wanna stop
You were John Holmes, Dirk Digler and Brad Pitt
all spliced into some bizarro, unthinkable reverie
mucking up my solidarity of mind, body and soul
 
I was high on an impossible addiction
And totally high on your affliction
woke up itching with a brutal contact rash
Bestowing upon you a black case of disgrace
never happened again, of course
but I was very leery of intercourse
for nigh on 12 months or so
 
Without fourteen condoms wrapped in plastic
just thinking about it makes me spastic
so go to hell you and your cocaine dick
You’re the plot of a bad chick flick
Without Brad Pitt or John Holmes
nothing just a simple set of stones
luckily, that was many MOONS ago
 
I was merely reminded by a hapless photo of you
dropping out of book unexpectedly
While cleaning out a shelf near the loo
Another dimension framed in ink so deadly
Another time I’m glad to blink away
All that chaos gone astray
Shoving that photo into a drawer
All the while glad we are no more
 
 

NOTE: this is a poem about my dearly departed ex-hubby named Ashe, who was a GOOD man, just a little bit insane, shall we say :)? I wrote about him previously in this post:

http://www.tenaciousbitch.com/2012/09/07/post-75-about-ashes-logic/

Original copyright –

© 7/23/94 by my alter ego who shall remain nameless for now…

Renewed by:

© Tenacious Bitch 2013

 
 
 
 

Post #96 – The Legend of the Blue Notebook – in Honor of Mother’s Day

Posted in Family, humor, Motherhood, nonfiction, parenting, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

Since yesterday was Mother’s Day, I decided to divulge a story about my dearly departed Mother, whose life, sadly, was truncated by cancer in 2007. I miss her terribly, but her magic Mommy mojo still affects my life to this day.

When I was 12 years old, I wrote my very first, horribly written novel called DREAMS. Yes, I know…so fabulously original :). It was basically a teenaged soap opera/romance, and this was in the pre-historic era of the late 70s, way before 90210 or Dawson’s Creek, so I guess I was ahead of my time, LOL…

That said, we didn’t have a typewriter, so I was writing this magnificent yarn long hand in a blue notebook. One day my mother walked in just after I’d finished drafting a chapter. She saw me cramming my manuscript under my mattress.

I was embarrassed. In that I was afraid everyone would think it was stupid, first of all because I was 12, secondly for fear someone would deduce that one of the main character’s love interest was based on someone in REAL LIFE, my first crush, a boy named Bobby. So, this treatise was kind of my fantasy too because Bobby and I might’ve exchanged less than a paragraph of conversation from junior high through high school. I was the shy bookworm while he was very outgoing and popular and dating a beautiful cheerleader instead of me :). He’s bald now and has a really boring corporate job, but he looks happy in his Facebook photos with his lovely blonde wife.

But I digress…my mother gave me an odd look noticing my conspicuous behavior with the blue notebook and said, “What’re you hiding under there?”

“It’s, um, it’s a story I’m writing,” I replied sheepishly, avoiding eye contact.

At that, Mom frowned. “You’re a good writer, Kennedy. If you want to be a writer when you grow up, then, be a writer. Don’t let other people’s opinions keep your from your dreams,” Mom continued, smiling.

And that WORD – DREAMS, of course, seemed like a hint from the GREAT beyond that I should make some effort at this writing thing – since it was, after all, the title of my wickedly awful tome.

I nodded, but Mom could tell I wasn’t convinced.

“You should be proud of your writing. Take it out. Show it off because, otherwise, you’re never going to get anywhere if it stays under the bed. And if a couple of people don’t like it, so what? That’s ONE or two people in a 1,000 who might read it and love it.”

I chewed on that thought for a second when she followed up with…

“After all, they thought Edgar Allan Poe was a lunatic, and we’re still reading his work more than 100 years later.”

I had yet to discover the awesomeness of Poe, whom I would devour after reading MASK OF THE RED DEATH about a year later, so I asked, “Who’s that?”

“He’s a famous writer, kind of a Stephen King of the 1800s.”

“Oh,” I stammered, “I see.” Having just finished reading CARRIE by Mr. King, I nodded again. Those words of encouragement became my mantra. If Mom hadn’t been so supportive at such a vulnerable time in my life, I’m not sure I would’ve majored in Creative Writing or had the nerve to send my first sci-fi novel out to more than 200 publishers or to go out to Los Angeles and pitch my screenplays to film execs 2-3 times/year, one of whom worked for BAD ROBOT. I chatted with him for a few minutes about the sci-fi thriller I wrote in 2007.

Even though he passed on my script because it wasn’t a Tentpole project like The Dark Knight, the experience was invaluable. And he referred me to someone at Warner Brothers who eventually read my script. Unfortunately, they had one like it in the works, but STILL. I’ve been putting myself out there because of a 5-minute conversation with my mother more than 20 years ago.

Without Mom convincing me that I had the ability to craft a story…one of my short scripts wouldn’t have won First Place in Fade In Magazine’s Competition in 2011 because I probably would’ve done something else with my life. Maybe, I would’ve just continued teaching grade school, which I began to hate after a couple of years (long story for another post) or, perhaps, I would’ve become a nurse since they’re always in demand.

While I don’t make tons of money, I’m much happier at home editing, writing and doing script consulting than I EVER was in corporate America as a paralegal or working in HR. The entire 15+ years I was shackled to a desk in a cubicle, I felt like I was wearing someone else’s life. And it was a life-sucking/soul-crusing experience. And despite the agony of dealing with Nana, I’d still rather be at home arguing with her about why she should eat potato skins (see the previous post – http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/05/08/post-95-what-i-cant-say-to-nana-maude-while-buying-mega-champagne/ for the joys of living with my 96-year-old Grandmother) than day-walking through that malarkey of cubicle misery again.

So, THANK YOU, MOM! And to all the parents out there: When your child comes to you and says they want to be an actress/play for the NFL/or become a rock star, etc., tell them to GO FOR IT. Why? As my mother always said: “‘Tis better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all”…because if you don’t, you never know, you might deprive your kid of their Oscar or a Superbowl ring, and, yes, I plan to make this my acceptance speech at the Oscars, should I EVER win such an auspicious title.

And if I never sell a screenplay, at least I won’t look back on my death bed wishing I’d given it a go…

Love and chocolate chip cookies…

TenaciousBITCH and her band of truth-spouting hippies…
~TB

All comments/posts/photos and the like on http://www.tenaciousbitch.com are the property of TENACIOUSBITCH –

© TenaciousBitch 2013

Post #95 – What I can’t say to Nana Maude…while buying mega champagne!

Posted in Family, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

As many of you know, I’ve been taking care of my Grandmother, Nana Maude, for two years plus, after my drug addicted brother, Danny, pilfered her life savings (over $50K), a story that begins with this post:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/03/16/danny-the-stolen-cash-and-the-stripper/

Then, Nana Maude moved in with me, my husband, Charlie, and our son, Max, who is almost 21. Our lives have been quasi miserable ever since. For those who aren’t familiar with the joy that is living with Nana, check out these posts:

https://tenaciousbitch.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/as-my-mother-lay-dying/

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/08/07/post-71-can-we-rewind-and-erase-please/

Aside from her nonstop griping, she frequently bad mouths us to anyone/everyone who will listen despite how much we’ve done for her like telling my mother-in-law that Charlie buys cheap meat, and that Nana wouldn’t buy DIRT at Kroger.

First of all, Kroger’s clerks are friendly and helpful, and contrary to Nana’s skewed version of reality, they carry high quality products while Publix where she “traded” for 50 years is more expensive. She just doesn’t like it because it’s “different”. I hated HER Publix because their organic food section couldn’t fill my sock drawer. But Nana, of course, would live on Ho-Ho’s and bacon if she could.

Secondly, New York strip or Hillshire Farms’ cold cuts are not CHEAP, so the “buying cheap meat” accusation is a load of horse hockey.

And this from a woman who’d be HOMELESS without us! Danny dumped her in a low-rent nursing home, and after the 21 days that Medicare paid for, it would’ve cost $100/day like she could afford that after Danny absconded all her cash.

Yet, one minute she’s thanking us profusely for everything, the next she’s whining about nothing and/or telling everyone/anyone she hates living here and – how she hates sitting in her room all day, which is my allegedly fault because I’m “upstairs working all day”. She knew that would be the case before she moved to Ohio. I can’t watch the Food Channel all day with her, ya know?

However, she cancels half her hair appointments and our proposed shopping trips, and I spend 4/5 hours/day cooking/cleaning/paying her bills, etc. I barely get to work 3 hours/day unless I work until 2:00 AM. I’m constantly suggesting she sit out back with me in the 80-degree weather, but she declines. So, she’s often in her room of her own volition.

ADDITIONALLY, when her clothing rack from Walmart collapsed, Charlie spent 3 hours the next day building her a closet!

If it weren’t for us, she’d be in a nursing home for the destitute. You know, the facilities that make headlines when people are found lying in their own filth for days on end.

Plus, we so love when she does decide to join us for dinner, so we can listen to her SIGH the whole time while we’re watching TV. But I’m sorry, old lady, that’s OUR TV, and after listening to you BITCH 24-7, we’re just not gonna watch Wheel of Fortune ANYMORE. So, if you don’t like THE WALKING DEAD or DEFIANCE, feel free to watch whatever you want in your room because we’re DONE trying to make you happy.

Therefore, when Nana’s house, sadly, was foreclosed on last month as the result of Danny’s many crimes, I immediately applied for Medicaid on Nana’s behalf. And, HALLELUJAH, it was APPROVED! Owning a $90,000 house though it was mortgaged for $110K (thanks to Danny) barred her from being eligible previously. We don’t know how much Medicaid will pay toward nursing home costs, but it’s likely they’ll pay 90% to 100%. We’ll know after completing yet another ream of paperwork.

I’m really DREADING that conversation with her considering what she said the FIRST time I mentioned a nursing home in this post:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/03/28/the-theft-the-thug-and-more-mayhem-this-way-comes/

Additionally, we’re broke from the added expense of her living here. And if Charlie lost his job, we could be teetering on the threat of foreclosure ourselves in six/eight months because we’ve depleted our savings, mostly because of her.

I’ve also had to turn down a lot of work the last 2 years because I couldn’t make the client’s deadline, which just KILLS ME. One project, in particular, paid $5,000! But I don’t let on to Nana because she already feels a mountain of guilt for the burden she’s caused. Why make her feel worse? I just put on a happy face and rarely say a word.

It’s extremely frustrating as well to constantly write down really great ideas that could generate more freelance cashflow, knowing those ideas will gather dust in a notebook while I wait for our circumstances to change.

However, what I CAN’T say is that I have no life with her here. I can’t go see Charlie’s band play or go to the doctor without finding a “sitter”. I went shopping in West Virginia when Charlie’s band played there, and that was the first time I’d been to a mall in over a year.

She’s also depriving me and Charlie of what should be the best time of our lives. I thought when Max graduated, we’d have more time for ourselves. And I’d finally be able to focus ALL my time on my writing.

However, when her application for Medicaid was approved, I was literally giddy. And when that moment finally arrives when we know that we can, in fact, relocate Nana to a nursing home, I will be popping some champagne that hopefully won’t turn to vinegar from the remorse I’ll feel from kicking my mother’s mother to the curb, which is how she’s going to see it. At the same time, I don’t feel like living with us is the best place for her.

She 96 years old, and she won’t tell me when she’s hurt herself because she doesn’t want to bother me like when she scraped her shin on her recliner. She was bleeding all over the floor but didn’t say a word. But she wouldn’t hesitate to call a nurse if she were in a “home”.

She’s also fallen before when she was too far away from the monitor in her room, and I didn’t know it. She recently sat on her floor of her bathroom for almost two hours before Charlie got up and heard her calling for me. My family/friends have all been saying a rest home would be better for her, and soon – we’ll be chatting with Nana about that…

That said, arrivederci, everyone, and I shall keep you POSTED…:) no pun intended!

~TenaciousBITCH and her band of truth-spouting hippies…

© Tenacious Bitch 2013