As the shutter clicked my mind went back to a time of carnival rides, cotton candy, stuffed animals, water guns, and strolls along the boardwalk.
Hot balmy nights, seagulls trying to steal a left over slice of pizza, the smell of popcorn fills the air.
Waves rolling on shore, lifeguard whistle blows…kids with happy faces never realizing they were making memories that would last a lifetime.
My shutter clicks and the raw exposure is of the Wild Mousetrap roller coaster – I remember being so scared the ride looked and felt like it was going to run off the track and fall in the ocean.
I had no idea that 40 years later the whole ride would be submerged in the Atlantic Ocean – summits eerily rising out of the waters crest lapping waves, smacking the metal tracks, creaking with every movement.
Unthinkable as a young girl.
My beloved boardwalk looks like the skeleton of a train track…no boards…where did they go…a track to nowhere and yet a track to everywhere. Will it ever have a destination again?
Summer filled the air.
Sadness fills it now.
Bennies go home.
No, Bennies come back.
Please – it still lives – it will thrive – it will rise at the water’s edge like a phoenix.
My beloved Jersey Shore.
You are hurting and I feel your pain.
It is a funny thing with memories…do you get to keep the ones you like and throw the other ones back? I remember…I remember the sights, the sounds, the smell, the feel. And I pray that they are keepers.
Days after Super Storm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore we returned to check on our home. Our friend flew us in his plane and we made the mistake of flying up the coast at 1500 feet the entire length of New Jersey.
He asked me to take photos.
I have never looked at them, because I will never forget what I saw with my own eyes. It is hard to express the depth of my sadness at the images that were burned into my retinas.
The photo above is of the Belmar boardwalk. I have to congratulate that town because they had the entire length replaced by Memorial Day last year. That first summer after the storm came and went with the people looking out of hollowed eyes.
It is a time for regeneration, and everyone will rise to the occasion. As Memorial Day looms near I suspect that there will be more improvements to the affected areas. And hopefully more improvements to the people who have suffered.
I wish for you all to weather the storms, real and emotional, that enter your lives.
I read a blog today that reminded me of Hurricane / Super Storm Sandy. The storm touched my life in two places that I live, and it touched my life by pounding my heart the way her waves pounded the shore.
I wrote a few poems at the time, and as I am usually guided in the way that I show you things, it seems like a good time to present them.
The storm was raging a battle and hurt many people. I was personally raging my own battle and, I am sure, hurt many people. It is unfortunate that there is collateral damage when a person ventures on the path of healing.
This poem was written 11/7/12
And the fury of hell was unleashed by her
Nothing in her path was safe
Years of hurt welled up inside her
The only place it could go was out
Out and through, tearing buildings and boards and walls and homes
The force was so great no man could have stopped her
No thought could have held her
No promise could have tamed her
She sought relief
She held it all back so long her own power within scared her too
She just let it go
And maybe she feels sorry for the devastation she caused
But she couldn’t help it
She couldn’t hold it
She couldn’t feel it
She just let go
Now she is beautiful again
She tries not to think about it anymore
She is sorry that her own pain was more important than that of all others
She weeps a little
Her friends look different to her
Because they are
They could never
Will never, be the same
She doesn’t make excuses
How could there possibly be one that could explain what happened
Is it up to me to determine my risk for cancer? And if it is, how can I possibly make an informed decision?
I was asked to sign a new consent form at my breast screening yesterday. It was a consent for my family history to be screened by counselors to detect my risk for cancer. If they determined that I was at risk the counselor would call me to set up an appointment to discuss the findings. At that time I could decide if genetic testing was something I would want to pursue.
I had to read the consent twice because it didn’t make sense to me. If I filled out my family history on the prior page was it true that no one would look at it unless I signed this consent? Why bother to fill it out if no one was going to look at it.
It makes sense to me that not every one would want to have the genetic testing, BRCA 1, BRCA 2. But it doesn’t make sense that my doctor, or the breast imaging center staff, wouldn’t assess my risk without my consent.
It seems to me that many people would not sign this consent out of fear. Because they don’t want to know. Isn’t this the reason that masses don’t go for their screening in the first place?
If I am at the facility, this means I have already seen my doctor who ordered the tests. You have me. You ask me to fill out a family history, which makes me really think about the possibility of cancer. Then you ask me if I want you to determine my risk.
All of this is prior to an exam that elicits fear in most women.
I am not an expert and it seems to me that the doctor, who is an expert, should assess the risk and then present you with the question of whether genetic testing is something you would want to pursue. Isn’t the doctor better equipped to make the decision to start the process? Is this a question of liability? Is this a question of money?
My tests were performed and I got a clean bill of health for which I am so grateful!
If I had known the outcome prior to the testing maybe the consent form would not have bothered me so much. But that is my point…this is a very emotional subject and the onus for determining the risk should not rest on the patient.
On any journey, it can be just as important to see where you have come from as it is to see where you are going. I like to look back…I don’t stay there…I just notice. It is a reminder of where I am headed.
This poem was written 8/15/12
Peace. Quiet stillness.
Gray sky slight wind.
Thoughts project to a time when life was harder.
A time when the path was lost, when the leader was not evident.
I am happy those days are gone. Poof – disintegrated – melted away – the truly worthless events they were.
Well not exactly worthless. It has all been a journey and I am grateful for every last destination along the way.
A small raindrop. No worry. I am sitting under an umbrella.
The same umbrella that allowed me to weather every storm along the way. Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, beatings.
No pain. I can turn off the switch that allows me to feel it. Go ahead, hit me harder – I won’t feel it. Not now anyway – maybe later.
Maybe 30 years later. What’s that – you say you would prefer not to remember?
It is okay. It is time to remember. All you did by burying the pain was create the depth of it – embedded it.
Now is the time to take the keys to the safe – unlock it – feel it – you are safe – you can once and for all be done with the lot of it.
You are safe – oh, so safe. So protected. No need for worry. There is nothing you can’t handle and I promise you I will be there for you. I will be there for you. I will hold you while you cry, while you purge the ugliness from every cell of your body. It is okay.
I left you here for what seems like only a few short days
But in reality it must have been longer
I understand the circumstances were not ideal
I know that you were hurt
So hard to believe that people could be so cruel
I search inside
the walls are empty
You have sacrificed so much and I am grateful
I was not a willing party to the desecration
But as in life
It was a sin of omission
I left you there
alone and cold
hurt and bleeding
I did not seek help
Instead I ran
I ran far away
I thought the distance I created would be enough
To get the graphic images out of my mind
Get the pain, as each insult was delivered
Out of my heart
I honestly thought I could numb myself
And forget the tragedy that was so brutally displayed
I have since spent a lifetime living in a strange limbo of trying to forget, and trying to remember
The easy days are the ones when I feel you near
Feel you inside me
Like you never left at all
We are bonded
And the places we visit are familiar
I can touch you
With a mere thought
A beat of my heart
The hard days are the ones that I am left alone
To remember the isolation
To remember the lack of being present
And the abundance of neglect
It is when I remember that I turned away
Because I was afraid
The fear gripped me in places that are sacred
Places that should never be lain upon
Forgive my sins
The ones I willingly became a partner to
And the ones I found myself caught in
I wandered from the path
But I can see where the separation occurred
Where the fracture in my mind
Created the path of most resistance
On this beautiful day I recognize the beauty of the commitment
I know that no matter how grand the chasm my mind created
You were always there
I know you couldn’t provide the answers with words
I had to find them through truth
I know that I was protected by the cocoon of your magnificent, radiant, love
I know that when I thought I couldn’t find you
You were never gone
You have been the one true constant
I thank you for your faith in me
I will spend the second part of my life honoring our bond
Resting in perfect love
Closing the divide
On this beautiful day, I am so blessed and full of gratitude – Blessitude.
Happy Easter to all my beautiful friends who show their love and support with incredible words from their heart. This Easter writing has many meanings for me, as most poems do I suppose. I hope you feel connected on at least one of the levels. Thank you, sincerely…Lorrie