Writing Wings For You

Marie Lukasik Wallace ~ # I LIVE Poetry – I'm passionate about life and writing and all things creative and poetic!


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Throwback Thursday – An Old Memory of Home

mud art

When my kids were growing up, there were so many magical times.  Mostly what I loved, is that there was an air of acceptance for all of us.  We were a blended family.  By statistics, we probably shouldn’t have done as well as we had…but honestly, there was so much love in our home.  Love got us through the sticky times.. By many standards, we weren’t perfect…but for each other, we were.

Enjoy my poem of our old childhood home…Three girls and neighbors who loved us.

10893 Montana

Home of oozy goozy mud art

proudly displayed on each child’s belly

and perfect bouffant.

 

Home of last minute backyard campouts

of roasted hotdogs and marshmallows

because our neighbor Ray had made

an “emergency” run to the store.

 

Home of Friday night pizza

dance videos and mini fractured fairytale skits

for a dozen giggly girls.

 

Home of make-shift forts

of bunkbeds and sheets

And “when do you think you’ll be taking that down?

I need to water my lawn.”

 

Home of visqueen and duct tape slip and slides

and neighbors who helped realtors take the signs down

to ensure our stay.

 

Talks over fences

Neighbors mowing our lawns because we were crazy busy

Junior’s eyes dancing with delight as Sophie, our dog,

Accepted his table treasures.

 

Flooding waters making wading pools

Splashing and running carefree through them.

 

No kitchen table…but couch trampolines.

 

Home of 2 families weaving themselves

into one fabric

and clothing themselves

in their warmth and gaiety.

 

10893 Montana

Where mommy is melted on the front porch.


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It’s the Small Things

ernest-lukasik_5728580 (1)

When I wrote, “Where are you Daddy?”  I was really lost.  It seems like a rollercoaster of emotions this grieving thing.  I don’t like it much…but I understand the need for it.  I also know that there is beauty and glory in all of it.

It’s the little things that remind me of him…my daddy.  My sister and I balled when we went to his house and saw peppermints  on the counter.  He always had them with him in his pocket.  You see my dad quit smoking 30 years ago, and his peppermints replaced that habit…so you can imagine, he always had a pocketful.  Then, my sister taught him how he could let the grand kids sneak up on his lap and steal one out of his pocket.  We built those memories together.  At the same time, he also replaced beer with Sam’s cola.  So, if we were at the store, he would ask us to get him beer & cigarettes…cola and peppermints.  What fond memories.

I still hear him through music, even if it’s music we didn’t listen to together.  Sometimes it’s the emotion or feeling that will zip right to my heart and remind me of him.   Last summer on a road trip, and when he was in the nursing home, we listened to a lot of Carole King, Tapestry.  He sure loved that album…I listened to it over and over while he would sleep.  What a brilliant, soulful woman who gets to the heart of everything.   While I listened, I KNEW which songs would be at his funeral…funny thing is that others have used “Way Over Yonder” for funerals before…and I never knew it.  I just knew that at that at the time my daddy was in the most pain of his physical body, I prayed for his sweet release and told him he could visit “yonder” anytime he wanted…and that his mama and papa would greet him.  And I also knew that the song “I Feel the Earth Move Under my Feet” would be played at the end…because my daddy would want people dancing, not crying.  Even the last week of his time on earth, when he could barely move, he would rock in his chair or tap a finger to that song.  It will always be our song.

I believe with all my heart that he graces me with his loving presence every day.  I just get to be still and listen and look.  It will be in the little things, the song of a bird, a dog that looks like his, or maybe even a Sam’s Cola.

 


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Daddy – Please Re-Remember

daddy talking with hands

Maybe tomorrow

My daddy

You can somehow

Re-remember

How to form words

And you can tell

Me your stories again.

#fieryverse


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Love Your Peeps – A True Story of Alzheimer’s

Many of you know that I’ve been racing against time and Alzheimer’s in getting my dad’s story.  Sadly, my time is coming to an end.  This disease is so cruel.

Two weeks ago, I had sent my daddy two chapters of the book I was writing about him.   I was excited because I had worked really hard on them, and listened carefully to his recordings to get things down just right.

It’s not easy to write about someone who’s feelings are tightly vaulted, and who has often been very critical in my life, AND he’s my father.  I wanted to get it right.   He called me and said, “Shame on you.”  I freaked out wondering what I had said that could cause him to be upset.  Had I gotten details wrong?  Did I send the right story?

Then he continued.  Sheepishly he said, “You made me cry.  You wrote that as if you had been there.”

Inside, my heart was dancing.  He liked it!  I had gotten this most sacred portion of his story right!  Yippee!

Then, he said the ultimate, something I’ve waited for all my life, “I am proud of you.”  Shocked, I gasped and replied, “Thank you daddy.  That means a lot to me.”

A little later he said I was a good writer.   Yes, you can tell me that I really don’t need his approval, and I would agree…but there’s some part of a human that wants this approval.  I was elated and on a high…The next day, I got the call that my dad had a stroke.

The moment was bitter sweet.  I got to embrace the sweetness for such a short while.   And then, I got to find out how unmerciful Alzheimer’s really is.  And, I got to see some of it’s beauty.

I saw my dad as he must have been as a little boy…playful, fun, joyful.   And then I saw it bring him to his knees.

He begged me to bust him out of the hospital…he knew,though no one had said anything to him.  He knew that he would go from rehab to the nursing home.

So, I got to celebrate the small things, like dancing to Carole King’s, “I Feel the Earth Move under My Feet,”  even if it was only one hand.  I was grateful for any movement. It was joyous to see the joy in his face and know he could have some happiness in his life.

This past week when I called, he could only mumble undiscernible sounds.  I could hear him try to communicate with me, but he couldn’t.  Through the phone, I felt his disappointment, and it crushed me…we had had our own language, and now we had to learn a new language to communicate.

Throughout my busy week, it was conference week, I sent messages from my heart to my dad.  And when it was my last conference on Thursday, I called again.  I knew he couldn’t talk so I just talked on the phone while he made sounds…attempting to hear changes in tone or rhythm to see if I could understand.  I was determined to find a way.  But I didn’t succeed.  I was grateful he at least knew I was there and could make some sound.

Then yesterday came…I was sure I had devised a way we could communicate and had created a signal he could use to let me know how he was doing…but yesterday, he couldn’t make a sound…Not one audible sound.  The phone just laid there.  I couldn’t even tell by his breathing how he felt.  It’s funny that the little girl in me still wanted a physical connection.  I kept talking in hopes he could still hear me.  I believe he could, and I told him that I would see him in 4 days. It doesn’t feel soon enough because it’s happening so fast.

The moral of the story:  Love your peeps…hold them tight, squeeze them tight, love love love them with all your might…you never know how long you have them.  And be grateful…grateful for their touch, grateful for their smiles and movement, and yes, even their undiscernible sounds…because it’s still of the physical world, and it’s still a connection.

I love you daddy…hang in there until I can see you.

Ree

 

 


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I Live Poetry

#‎Ilivepoetry‬

It’s poetry when you get to play
This little piggy went to the market
With your 77 year old father and he
Gets all excited for the wee wee wee
All the way home part.
(He does it by the third toe
and scares you.)
And then 2 days later hear
The same song is sung by a mom to
Her 2 year old and hear the child
Say “again, mama, again.”
And imagining your daddy
Being that 2 year old saying that to his mama.


18 Comments

POETRY COLLABORATION – I Remember…

wpid-20140612_205954.jpg

Well my friends, you’ve asked, and here it is.  Our next Poem Collaboration will be:   I REMEMBER

What I love about this open ended topic is that we can write endlessly from any point of our lives.  I can write a stream of consciousness without stopping, any memory that comes to me or focus on a specific age.   No rules!

So here’s how to participate:.   Just as before, you can add your contribution in the comment section of this poem,  & I will place them in the order they come as soon as I possibly can. I will put your name (contributor)  at the end of the piece in the same color as your contribution and the names will be in the same order as well.   In a week, I will post the collaboration as a whole.  (But we can always keep adding on!)  Happy writing! ~ Marie


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Throwback Thursday – Memoir -The COAST GUARD 1957

CAPE MAY COAST GUARD

 You’re gonna love this!  It’s from the Coast Guard 1957.  The artist drew it for my dad on his bootcamp issued towel.   Dad recently gave this to me.  It’s been in his bedroom, and I’ve seen glimpses of it…but until this year, he’s never let me in his room.  (Again, part of the vault opening up.)

Here’s what I love about it.  It’s got history!  There is so much history on this one towel!

I’ve been interviewing my daddy trying to get to know him better.  It’s only been the last three years that he’s opened the vault for me to peek in.  When I would ask him about the Coast Guard, sometimes he couldn’t remember specifics like dates and or places he went, and sometimes the names of the people he was with.

The good news is that when he gave me the towel, he gave me history…It says when and where he was in the Coast Guard, and his name and company name.  At the bottom, it’s signed by the artist…the very same name as my brother!

Dad vaguely remembered the guy and said he did a couple of tours with him…but he couldn’t give me details.  I understand…it was only 60 years ago!

The other cool part was that my daughter is in the Coast Guard too, and they still train in Cape May.  And the artist was just messing around.

Moral of the story:  Keep writing and keep drawing and keep taking pictures.  There’s someone who will love that history one day. LEAVE A LEGACY.