Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Gratitude and Hope

Yesterday I wandered

Yesterday
I wandered up and down
Through early promises
Of Spring’s new life.

As though being born
Yet again, old friends
Emerged from hiding
And new babies bounced
In warm drafts of fragrance
Flowing through layers
Of warmed air and mist
Accompanied by the soft
Shuffle of feet making
Their way through a rite
Of late winter willing the
Appearance of swaying
Orchids proudly presenting
Their newly birthed faces
And colors of the rainbow
Lit by shafts of light falling
Through portals in clear ceilings
Waving invitations to the ball

That’s right folks! We visited Longwood Gardens yesterday, where orchids are featured at this time every year. An annual cold-weather reminder that Spring is just around the corner.

I’m working on a photo post for later. In the meantime, I voted to write and post this poem today, rather than revisiting last night’s tortuous yet transparent State of the Union address. I will say, however, that it made my heart leap to see so many women willing to step up, step out, and make their presence and voices known at this event.

Tomorrow morning I visit one of my heart doctors. Nothing pressing, just a regular checkup with my Lucy Pacemaker doctor. Did you know Lucy collects a huge amount of data on my heartbeats (or lack thereof)? Once a year I get a full report and printout full of charts and graphs. I’ll get one tomorrow. Hopefully I’m at least holding my own.

Here’s to a relaxing day/evening/afternoon or whatever it is when you read this poem. Just imagine yourself in your favorite garden or conservatory!

Cheers!
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 6 February 2019
Photo taken by DAFraser, 5 February 2019 at in the Longwood Gardens Conservatory

Old photos never die

They just fade away….

One moment captured forever
silent witness to hopes and dreams
never realized

This is my parents’ formal wedding portrait taken 75 years ago today, 13 September 1942 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

shattered lives
fall apart unplanned
two people bound to each other

I often wonder how my parents felt when they looked back at this lovely photo. They look happy, wealthy (they were not), supremely ready for whatever came next (they were not).

Within months, my father was diagnosed with tuberculosis and put into a sanatorium full of other TB patients. If he wanted to get well, he had to remain bed-bound for months, visitors strictly limited and regulated. If he didn’t keep the rules, all bets were off. His roommate couldn’t take the pressure of lying there. He died of TB. My father took a lesson from him and lay there, resolved.

In the meantime, I was born in November 1943, several months after my father went off to live in the sanatorium. He came home when I was 10 months old. A stranger to me, as I was to him. I was not the son he wanted.

My mother walked to the hospital when she went into labor, and then cared for me with the help of a family in the portrait above. We were living in their house at that time. The Hancox family included Mom’s maid of honor (“Aunt” Wyn), her flower girl (Wyn’s only child), and the man who gave Mom away, “Uncle” Ed. He’s standing just behind Mom and Aunt Wyn.

My maternal grandfather did not approve of this marriage and chose not to attend. He lived in California. I don’t remember the name of the man who served as my father’s best man.

My parents married with the blessing of a mission agency that would, if all went well, send them to Africa. While out speaking on behalf of this agency, my father came down with TB, which put in jeopardy the great plan to go to Africa. Five years and three babies later, my mother contracted polio–most likely from our new sister who was only 6 months old.

That was the end of being missionaries. I don’t think it was the end of mother’s world. She had her hands full.

It was, however, the end of my father’s hope of being somebody who mattered, especially in the church. He grieved this missed opportunity all his life. Which isn’t to say he would have made an outstanding missionary.

My mother, a polio survivor, musician and committed extrovert, did her best to care for four daughters in near-poverty circumstances. When it came to talking about regrets, she would have none of it, even though she lived with constant physical pain.

I love looking at the photo above. It shows my parents at their best. Looking out, as we all do, on what we hope will be a bright tomorrow. I’m grateful to have this marker of their happiness.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 13 September 2017
My Parents’ formal wedding portrait, 13 September 1942

Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Penchant

One Big Blur | An Update

Carolina Anne Fraser’s First Prize Youth Division, 2016 Audubon Photography Competition – Great Frigatebirds taken Near Española, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

The last four weeks have been one big blur. Mostly medical appointments and family time, plus writing and visiting when I was able and awake. You’ve already heard about our visit with daughter Sherry and her husband to Longwood Gardens.

Another highlight was a visit to the James Audubon House and grounds. We met our son there and toured the old house and grounds. There were birds all over the place! The day was crystal clear, breezy and sunny, cool but not cold.

We went because one of our granddaughters had a prize-winning bird photo on display along with those of other winners and honorable mentions. Proud? Who me? Not just proud, but absolutely floored by her gift.

Back to reality and on another subject, “endless beauty” was my 900th post! I didn’t even notice until it was already out there. When I began blogging over three years ago, I never guessed I’d still be chugging away. One of the most personally rewarding things I do these days is look back at some of my writing, often getting teary in a happy way.

What I thought would be writing about my life has become writing my life. Not looking back so much as looking into the present. Especially as it impacts me directly as a citizen of the world and as a retired woman making my way toward the end of this life.

Daughter Sherry and her husband flew back to Oregon last week. It was bitter-sweet to be together. A reminder of how much family means as I age, and my health changes.

The day after they left, I saw my primary care physician to follow up on lab tests. My kidneys are in good shape right now. No sign of damage. I’ll see my cardiologist at the end of this week. I also have a call in to schedule a first appointment with a nephrologist (kidney doctor) who will oversee my Chronic Kidney Disease care.

My most difficult challenge is dealing with unpredictable energy and emotional highs and lows. That, and the constant need to prepare kidney-friendly food and get enough of it in me each day. D has kindly offered to learn a recipe or two that he can make for me each week.

On Mother’s Day I woke up exhausted after a tough night. Still recuperating from my relatively busy social life last week. So I stayed home from church and slept all morning. Got up, had some lunch, then went straight back to bed and slept more. A wonderful way to celebrate Mom’s Day! I recommend it highly.

I’m not able to write or visit as often as I once was, and am more laid back about what I write. So far, there’s always more than enough when I’m ready and able to write.

With hope for today, and huge thanks for your visits and comments,
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 17 May 2017
Photo credit: DAFraser, May 2017

Unwired!

Trader Joe's British Muffins

Dear Friends,

The wires are off my jaw, and the end is upon me! The end of Strictly Pureed Food, that is. Chewing (what is that, anyway?) is number one on the list of skills I need to relearn.

Granted, Read the rest of this entry »

My Misadventure | From Plank to Plank

may_the_road_rise_up_to_meet_you_irish_verse_mouse_pad-r541fe0c7b3cd43dab9acd814f4ab2f72_x7ef8_1024

Dear Friends,
This is NOT a goodbye post, despite the lovely blessing above. Do you know what a condyle fracture of the jaw is? Neither did I until last Thursday when I was on my way to get a haircut. It wasn’t my heart, dizziness or anything like that. Read the rest of this entry »

Lighter than air | Update

Lighter Than Air Photo

Right now I feel lighter than air! This morning I met with an electro-physiologist for a second opinion about my heart. He was direct, personable and clear.

When I left his office, I felt my stress and anxiety begin to lift. My next step will be Read the rest of this entry »

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