To my mom – Trifextra Challenge

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Your strength and tenacity plagues yet amazes me.  You defy the odds of modern medicine and diagnosis.  Despite expectation you continue to thrive and live to see another day.  The gates will wait.

~

Written for the weekend Trifecta Challenge and dedicated to my mom who is in failing health, but continues to fight with every ounce of her determination.

The challenge is this:  Last weekend we gave you a super prescriptive prompt.  We also promised you we’d ease up this week.  As such, this weekend we are asking for a thirty-three word free-write.  Any topic, any style–just give us your best thirty three.

Gone but not forgotten – Trifextra post

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Confessions are never easy.  There were moments that I was happy you crossed over.  But then I remembered all of the good things about you and I cried because you passed too soon.

~

Written for the Trifextra Challenge :

On now to our weekend challenge.  This weekend we are asking for a thirty-three word confession.  You’re free to write non-fiction or fiction or to blur the lines in between.  We just encourage you to get creative and give us your best.

This weekend’s challenge is community judged.

  • For the 14 hours following the close of the challenge, voting will be enabled on links.
  • In order to vote, return to this post where stars will appear next to each link.  To vote, simply click the star that corresponds with your favorite post.
  • You can vote for your top three favorite posts.
  • Voting is open to everyone. Encourage your friends to vote for you, if you wish.

Decease and desist – Trifecta Post

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His halted steps were deliberate.   He had no physical ailment restraining him but the heaviness in his heart seemed to impede his movement.  The church steps spanned his peripheral vision and the large wooden doors loomed ahead making him feel small, almost minuscule.   He had to cross the threshold.  He knew that as sure as he knew he needed to breathe the air that now seemed viscous and ready to choke him with his next inhalation.

One foot found its place in front of the other and his hand reached for the over-sized handle.  The door groaned its argument about being forced open but he moved forward, knowing what waited for him on the other side.  He knew the faces he would see would seem vaguely familiar but he could not focus on them.  Today was about something much deeper.  Today was about death.

He had recited the eulogy aloud over and over until the words had etched themselves into his brain.  The crowd fell silent as he made his way to the front of the room.  He furtively glanced at the collection of people gathered within the confines of the church walls and collected every ounce of strength that remained in his sorrow-filled body.

The many trial runs in the mirror made it easier and the words seem to spill from his lips.  “My name is Ray, and I am an alcoholic.  Somewhere along the way, the person I was died and this is his funeral.”

“Hi, Ray.”

~

This post was written for the Trifecta Post:
DELIBERATE
1: characterized by or resulting from careful and thorough consideration <a deliberate decision>
2: characterized by awareness of the consequences<deliberate falsehood>
3: slow, unhurried, and steady as though allowing time for decision on each individual action involved

Remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.

Alcoholism – the disease that lurks in the shadows

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The words that grip me today are saturated with reality.  They come from a place of experience.  They come from a place of sadness.   But they also come from a place of honesty.  This piece of writing is not fiction and comes from deep within myself.

Disease is a long and winding road.  I am an adult child of alcoholic parents.  There have been reams written on the subject, some of it is familiar to me and some seems to be a foreign language from another planet.  Each child that has grown up with the same label I have experiences their life in a completely different way.  No two children live within the same defined constraints of alcoholism and no two children will ever see the disease in the same way.  My brother and I grew up in the same house and I would put money on the fact that we would describe the experience from two completely different perspectives.  This is the reality of disease – it will affect everyone in a unique way.

I was always an intuitive child and I knew from an early age that my parents did not drink the way most parents drank.  Sure, life was fun, life was a party, but life also got swept under the rug and the hard times were diluted with an alternate reality that was sold in a bottle.  My childhood was not a horrible experience, by any means.  My parents were loving, affectionate and giving and our family knew how to care for and support each other and work hard for the things we got.  But the demons always lurked in the corners.  When life was good, it was great.  But when life was difficult, my parents would retreat into the safety of the haze that alcohol created and the world outside of the four walls of our home failed to exist.  They shared a blurred vision that perpetuated the colors of their elusive rainbow.  Their co-dependency only fueled the fire of the disease and, as the years progressed, my father was the first to show the physical symptoms of its true profile.  Alcohol is a serial killer.

His once athletic frame had become withered and yellowed and the spark in his eyes had faded.  The buoyant man brimming with life was transformed into an aged man who, at times, seemed like a stranger.  His personality slowly retreated into a dark corner and the vacant stare that remained only served as a reminder that the man we once knew had been abducted by the demons of his past. Watching my father suffer the prolonged and debilitating effects of the disease was horrific.  Thankfully the memories I choose to keep are those of the energetic, exuberant man whom everyone loved.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of that serial killer lurking in the shadows.  I enjoy a glass of wine.  I appreciate a cold beer on a hot day.  But that enjoyment is tarnished with thoughts of a possible genetic mutation that may alter my pleasure and turn it into something sinister.  When I savor a red wine bursting with the aromas of blackberry and cinnamon, when I let it circle my taste buds with the pungent taste of earth and spice, there is an underlying sense of disquiet that the indulgence may have an ulterior motive.   I can only take solace in the fact that wine, for me, is a pleasure and not an escape.  I delight in its taste and my life is not affected by my enjoyment of its true character and nuance.  It enhances my palate, it does not control my world.

True to the form of a demented psyche, the serial killer has now targeted my mother. It has stalked her, circling her and batting at her like a cat with a mouse.  Seeing the recent change in my mom is more difficult because we have something to compare it to.  That all-too-familiar haunting look in her eyes and the subtle changes in her personality bring the experience with my dad back to the forefront of my mind.  We know what to expect and there is nothing we can do to change it.  We are helpless to watch my mom teeter over the same rabbit hole that swallowed my father.

Thankfully my mom is much like my dad and has the spirit of a fighter.  Deep inside she knows she is unwell, but her demeanor and her spunk tell a different story.  Together, as a family, we will board the windows and latch the doors to fend off the evil perpetrator as long as we can.   Serial killers may be tenacious, but this one has no idea what its up against.  Blood is most definitely thicker than water and the life force that flows in our veins is stubborn.  We will never give up without a good fight.   Disease will never trump a child’s love for their parents.

Never Give Up – Trifecta Post

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The alchemy of her feelings had changed drastically and she did not know why.  She had felt rage, had felt cheated out of a big part of her life, but now felt nothing but a growing sense of peace and understanding.  The illness had finally caught up with her and she could no longer pretend everything was going to be alright.  When her time eventually did come, she could face her family with honesty and say she led a good life.  She would never give up but she now had to face the new reality of her limitations.  With fire in her eyes, she was determined to outlive them all, just for spite.

~

This post was written for the Trifecta challenge and is written for my mom who is currently in hospital.  I hope she beats the odds and proves us all wrong.
ALCHEMY (noun)

1
: a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life
2
: a power or process of transforming something common into something special
Please remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If you know your post does not meet the requirements of the challenge, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone.  Please join us.

A long and bumpy road

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I haven’t been able to spend much time with my words for the last few days.  My mom went into the hospital on Thursday morning and I have been spending all of my days with her.  She is quite sick and we’re not sure where we go from here.

It’s a helpless feeling watching someone lie in a hospital bed, looking so frail, and knowing that I can do nothing but sit and keep her company.  I have done a bit of reading, but more than anything I watch her sleep.  In her current world of tubes and medications, she dreams a lot and talks in her sleep.  I lean forward and strain to hear what she is saying, but nothing she says is very intelligible.  I’d like to think that somewhere in the haze of her drug induced suspension of consciousness that my father is whispering in her ear from his place beyond our world and keeping her company as she sleeps.

Almost as much as I miss my writing, I miss reading all of your words.  Our family has a long and bumpy road ahead, but I hope I can find some time to distract myself from reality and lose myself in the happy land of WordPress.

I am on my way back to pass my day entombed by the drab walls of the hospital and listen to the beeps and hisses of the monitors.  My words still churn in my head, but now they form prayers for my mom.

Why?

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This post was written for the Trifextra weekend Challenge:

This weekend, we are revisiting a prompt we’ve done before.  We are giving you three words and asking that you add another 33 to them to make a complete 36-word response.  You may use the words in any order you choose. 

Our three words are:

remember
rain
rebellion

tears

(photo credit: fanpop.com)

I will forever continue to remember his rebellion against sobriety, but the rain of my tears never fails to wash my guilt away.  I still think – why couldn’t I fix him?  Why didn’t he want help?