Letting The Air Get At It (K.Blais)

An old wives’ tale speaks about letting a wound get air in order to heal better. Although medical opinion varies on whether on a wound site heals better covered or uncovered, I am of the belief that both physical and emotional wounds heal better when air is allowed to get in and the wound is given permission to breathe.

Hurt, betrayal, disappointment, embarrassment, and even humiliation have become emotional wounds common in life. Whether intentional or unintentional, because of simple negligence or ignorance, or because of malicious spite triggered by envy or revenge, wounds occur.

We are hurt by those we thought would never hurt us. We are betrayed by those who we believed had our back unconditionally. We are disappointed by how we are treated by others, especially when we would never treat them in the same way. We are embarrassed when we are called out in front of others, or when we are ridiculed when we least expect it. We are humiliated when we believe that what we thought would never happen to us, has indeed happened.

Image result for emotional wounds free pics

So, what do we do?

Some of us may bandage it all up, wrapping the damage of the wound tightly to us. We may hide the injury away, underneath a protective covering, hoping that in time the wound will heal on its own. And perhaps the wound will heal. It may disappear entirely with only a trace of a scar or it may seep for a long while, oozing within itself, barely contained behind the bandage that holds it, before eventually healing in its own way.

Some of us may decide not to cover the wound. We may let the wound remain open, airing it out, because we believe that when we can air out our wounds they will heal more quickly and with less oozing and scarring. We leave the wound open instead of covered, baring our injury, in the hope that air and time will heal.

Airing out an emotional wound requires courage. For some it may be talking to a trusted friend about our feelings. For others it may be writing or blogging about a troublesome issue, or in a less public forum, it may mean journaling or writing private letters. In any case, the airing out is important for those people to heal.

Airing out takes courage because sometimes people perceive us as angry. They may think that we are on a rant and pissed off again. They may think we are too sensitive, that we take too much to heart, that we need to let things go a bit more. They may tell us to focus on what really matters (which is entirely subjective), and to let things roll off our backs. And maybe they are right.

Maybe we are angry and pissed off. Maybe we are too sensitive, too heartfelt, and too conscientious about justice and fairness to others. Maybe we believe that the world needs to remember that everyone has feelings and those feelings should be valued no matter who you are or what you can or cannot do for someone else. Maybe we feel that being kind will always be more important than being right.

But that doesn’t make us wrong in feeling any of these ways. Airing or ‘talking’ about when we have been hurt, when we feel wronged, even when we feel insecure can help us face our own perspective, as well as to see and hear someone else’s. We can heal faster when we realize that we are not alone, that others have felt and will feel this same, or in a similar, way. We can learn from another person’s experiences, we can receive valuable advice, or we can simply hear “I get it. I understand.”

We may be embarrassed by our wounds. We may feel childish or juvenile. We may think that we appear weak or ineffective when we allow our wounds to be exposed for anyone else to see. We may feel that we are to blame for allowing these things and/or people to hurt us, in some cases repeatedly. We may even believe that perhaps we someone deserve to be wounded.

But, it takes a strong person to speak about hurt and betrayal. It takes strength and courage to reach out and to bare ourselves and our hurt to someone else. We may be allowing patterns to repeat themselves in our lives, but that is why it is so important to air out our injuries. When things hit the air sometimes the reasons for them become more obvious to us. We are able to reflect a little more clearly on ourselves and on the situation surrounding us. We can see and evaluate the truth about ourselves and others. We can learn, we can understand and be understood, and we can grow.

It may also take time, but airing out our wounds can allow us to heal more quickly and healthily. We will still continue to be hurt by others at times, this is most likely inevitable, but perhaps we can learn to allow the air to heal us. And perhaps we may also learn how to prevent a greater wound from taking place in the future.

(photo courtesy of steptohealth.com)

Advertisements

Don’t Wait (K.Blais)

Sometimes it’s easier to put off today what you can do tomorrow, right? 

We all procrastinate to some extent. Some of us are better at procrastinating than others. I, personally, can be a self proclaimed expert at it. 

There are times when I am very good at getting ‘stuff’ done right away, and, in fact, I’ve gotten better at procrastinating less about many  things. With some fairly recent lifestyle changes, my energy levels have increased and I’ve been much more productive in many areas of my life. But… there are still moments when I can’t seem to push myself to get to doing things. (Hence the lapse of time between this blog post and my last one, right?)

I think it’s ok to take breaks and to give yourself time to tackle things. I’m a firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason and that taking a reprieve from things (even when you don’t intend to) is good. When the time is right we often find ourselves getting back at “it” (whatever “it” is) with renewed vigour and enthusiam. 

We often place too many expectations on ourselves. This doesn’t help then when the world weighs us down with expectations as well. Sometimes it’s hard to force ourselves to clean out that closet or to get to the bank to pay the bills on time when the world is constantly screaming at us what we should be doing anyway. 

But we must remember this also: life is too short to put off doing the really important things. In a blink of an eye life can change completely. 

There are some things that we should never procrastinate in doing; the things that should be on everyone’s “Don’t Wait” list. 

Don’t wait 

To tell someone how much you care, whether that is to say I love you or to air out your differences. Life is too short to live with words left unsaid.

To show someone how much you care, whether that is with actions or deeds. Life is too short to live with acts left undone. 

To appreciate the little things in life, whether it is a sunrise or a sunset, a beautiful view or warm crackling fire. Life is too short to let the “busy-ness” keep us from enjoying the simple things.

To smile and laugh, whether it is at your own silliness or with great company. Life is too short to not laugh every day. 

To enjoy what you have, whether it is little or much, whether it is how you dreamed life to be or something completely different. Life is too short to always worry that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. 

Maybe instead of procrastinating it is better to do what you must today and what can wait until tomorrow should be left to wait. 

Life is too short to not enjoy each moment and to waste time beating ourselves up for procrastinating, isn’t it? 

My Fall Down The Rabbit Hole (K.Blais)

In a fall down the rabbit hole, an individual sets off on the path with a goal, gets sidetracked by various events and changes direction several times along the way, eventually ending up somewhere unexpected, typically without having satisfied the original purpose of the quest. Nevertheless, the path often leads to serendipitous discoveries. Furthermore, … the meandering path may eventually turn out to be more productive than a more direct one. (Courtesy of http://whatis.techtarget.com)

  

I fell down the rabbit hole again. Contrary to Alice’s great adventure down the rabbit hole, I haven’t been off on any exciting or intoxicating adventure to a Wonderland of sorts. Nope, just living my regular life, putting one foot in front of the other.

I ‘settled’ into life again though, content with going through the daily motions and adhering to the various hectic schedules in my family’s life. I didn’t push myself to write a lot, to challenge my thinking (or anyone else’s), and my perspective didn’t vary much. I guess in the security and calm of the rabbit hole I focused on quiet for a bit.

In the quiet of falling down the rabbit hole I stopped carving out time for writing and for doing those things that I had originally planned for my own “quest”. I quit fighting against the grain of trying to fit it all in and to make it all work. I went MIA on the literary world and on other parts of my world as well. But… I began to miss those who I had developed strong bonds with, those who supported me in my writing and the other aspirations in my life, and I realized from the quiet calm of my rabbit hole that I simply only needed to reach out, to poke my head up into the light to see that those people missed me too. 

I became sidetracked by other components in my life, none of which I regret because they have led me to now appreciate and explore life in other directions. My goals have changed because of this exploration. My perspective has been jolted a bit, but in that awakening my reality has been altered. Things I once believed to be true have been challenged, but this is not a bad thing. In fact it has been exciting and adventurous (in its own way).

In meeting new individuals I have learned that unusual and different is interesting and refreshing. The known is comforting, but there is something to be said about stepping out of our comfort zones as well. Talking to and reaching out to new people, people who share common interests or don’t share in them, can vary our perspectives in a much needed way. Even talking to someone in the grocery store lineup can change the direction of our day takes us.

I was introduced to someone the other week. The woman I was being introduced to expressed that she felt that maybe she had met me before. I knew we hadn’t met, but I had seen her comments on my blogs through our mutual friend’s Facebook profile. When I told her this, she said, “Oh that’s right – you’re the writer!” Initially I was a bit surprised that anyone would officially call me that, but it was enough to make me stop and think that it was time to emerge from the rabbit hole.

A writer writes, I thought, and that is what I need to do. Couple this with some actual requests that I post again was enough to kick start me into action. Yes, it’s a busy season, and yes, blog stats say most readers drop off reading this time of year because they are so busy with their own lives, but personally I need to refocus on what truly matters in my life. 

My reemergence from the rabbit hole is on my own terms though. I’m not promising that I can still meet the demands of posting every week and that I will finally take steps towards getting published. My goals have changed and I have meandered a bit, but I’m still the same me, my own Alice of sorts, figuring life out and trying to make sense of this crazy world which I am blessed to live in and to be a part of. 

Perhaps the other ‘stuff’ in our lives takes up too much time and energy that we have lost focus on the things that we should be giving our most time to: our loved ones, our hopes, and our dreams. 

Maybe we all need to take a peek out of our rabbit holes and take a good look at the world around us – have we surrounded ourselves with things that make us proud to be who we are or have we become someone or something we swore we never would be? 

Good Enough Part 9 (K.Blais)

Catch up on Good Enough: For the last installment of Good Enough (Part 8), find it here.

**Please note: This text is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

I woke the next morning to a slight headache, a testament to the wine I had drank the night before, but with a smile on my face. Instead of anxiety and dread jolting me awake, I awoke peacefully to the sun peaking through the blinds of my bedroom.

A new place, a new beginning, a fresh start, and even the prospect of a new friend welcomed me into the day. It was a nice change from the usual feeling of uncertainty and the fear that I was doing something wrong which I woke up to ninety percent of the time.

I stretched and lay there still thinking about the night before and how lucky Nate and I had been to meet Garry, to find this place, and to be blessed with Garry’s generousity. Garry and I had talked for hours last night and I remember never laughing so much in the last few years as I had last night. We had finished the bottle of wine and when Garry had left he had told me he would be spending the night on the couch in his office.

In our conversation we had discussed our marriages, a topic which I knew would inevitably come up. I had known that I would have to share this information eventually, although I had dreaded doing so. I had felt comfortable last night though and I had shared freely the fact that I had left a bad situation and ended up here in Perspect.

Garry had shared that while he was still married, his marriage was definitely not in a good place. He had two teenage daughters and a roommate he had said. He, unlike me, had a lot of friends and people in his life, but, like me, he was lonely. It had been good to talk to someone who felt the same as I did – that you can be surrounded by people but still feel completely alone.

I stretched again and climbed out of bed. Quickly making my own bed, I snuck a peek on Nate who was still tucked in and sleeping peacefully in his. I then had a long hot shower and dressed in jeans and a cowl neck sweater. I opened my cosmetic bag and applied a little makeup. The dark circles under my eyes had begun to fade and my usually pale complexion had a sort of healthy glow to it now. Instead of the usual ponytail I left my hair down, letting it fall softly around my face.

Moving into the kitchen, I made coffee and settled down at the island to enjoy it. I smiled when I glanced at the empty wine bottle and glasses. I couldn’t remember the last time that I had actually sat and drank wine with a friend. Truth be told, I couldn’t wait to do it again.

I poured myself another cup of coffee and noticed my cell phone was flashing. Grabbing it, I realized that I had missed two calls and had voice messages waiting. One number I recognized as Ben’s, the other was unknown. I punched in my code nervously and waited for the first message.

“Isabella, I just want to let you know that my lawyer will be calling you. I’ve set up a separation arrangement which I believe is very fair and considerate seeing as you didn’t give me the consideration of letting me know that you were leaving. If you have any concerns I would suggest you get a lawyer of your own. I would also appreciate you giving my lawyer your current address or whereabouts.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I had literally only been gone a few days and yet Ben was still attempting to control my life.

The next message came on, a male voice indicating I was to call him back as soon as possible as he was Dr. Benjamin Lloyd’s lawyer and he needed to go over the particulars of the separation agreement.
This was all happening so fast my head was reeling.

Shaking I dialed the number left by the lawyer. After introducing ourselves, in a monotone voice he read me the particulars of the agreement. Ben would keep the house and his car, leaving me the SUV which I had left in. He had set up a bank account in which he would place a generous amount monthly for me as alimony and care expenses for Nate. His family cottage and other assets I had no access to, nor did I want them. Leaving had never been about the money or material things. The only aspect which shocked me was that Ben wanted Nate for two weekends each month. I hadn’t counted on him wanting to see Nate much at all. I had never been away from Nate. I had no idea how either of us was going to handle this.

Reluctantly I agreed to it all. Ben’s lawyer stated he would fax the agreement to a sister office in Perspect where I could sign and have it faxed back. I left my current address and the call ended. I was worried that it had all been too simple. Well with the exception of Nate. I hadn’t planned on that one.

Nate woke a short while later and after giving him breakfast and settling him in to watch a few cartoons, I decided to call Garry to see if he could give me directions to the law office.

I smiled as his voice answered, “Hello Isabella.”

“Good morning, Garry. I’m sorry to bother you so early.”

“It’s never a bother! I am in between clients actually. I was just thinking about you. I really enjoyed our talk last night.”

“So did I. Thank you again for everything.”

“It’s my pleasure. How did you sleep?”

“Amazingly: it just feels like home here. I can’t thank you enough.”

“No thanks necessary.” I could hear the smile in his words.

“I do have a favour to ask. I’m wondering if you can tell me where the Gibson and Troy law office is located?”

“Sure. That’s where my buddy Stan is located. He’s the Gibson in Gibson and Troy,” Garry said, his warm laugh making me smile again.

I told him quickly why I needed to be there. Garry assured me that Stan would make sure everything was done legally and fairly and that he would give him a call to let him know that I was a friend of his. I thanked him again saying that I honestly didn’t know what I would do without him.

Garry’s tone changed from jovial to serious, “Isabella, it’s just called being a kind person and wanting to help someone else out. Most people are like that around here.”

“I feel like I came from a different world. Not many people are so willing to help where I’ve come from,” I said softly.

I thought of the whispered taunts and jeers I had felt around me in Ben’s world. I still cringed when I remembered the looks of disgust and disdain I had seen directed at me. Biting my lip, I remembered the days I could barely go out of the house, the whispers like screams in my head.

I had been in a bad, dark place at that time. I needed to move upwards and on into the light. I had finally started to feel like I was capable of moving forward, that I could leave the past behind. Would I still be able to now? I couldn’t bear the thought of taking Nate back there to be with Ben. I could only imagine the things people were saying about me. That didn’t bother me so much, but I did worry about what would be said to Nate.

“That’s alright. What matters is that you are here now,” Garry said, bringing me back to the present. “How about I treat you and Nate to lunch? I can meet you at the restaurant just next door to the law office?”

“Oh, you don’t have to Garry. You’ve already done so much for us-”

“I want to,” Garry insisted, interrupting me. “Send me a text when you’re done with Stan and I’ll meet you there.”

Walk Softly, Carry A Big Stick (K.Blais)

Some of you may have noticed that I took an unannounced, unpredicted break from blogging and, actually, from writing. I hadn’t planned on taking a break; it just happened. One week I was “too busy” to write. The next week, I was “too angry” to write. The following week… Well you get my point. Somehow, along the way, writing dropped down on my list of priorities. Consequently, I suppose I dropped down on my list of priorities too.

Over the past few weeks I have allowed the burden of many things to directly or indirectly affect my life. The decisions of others beyond my control, the treatment of my loved ones, even my own personal issues with ‘fairness’ have been given permission to stand in the way of my priority list. The daily grind, putting one foot in front of the other, and the belief that ‘existing’ is enough has somehow trumped what I love and enjoy doing.

How many times do we allow this type of thing to happen? How often have we found ourselves in situations where we allow others to monopolize (control) our time, behaviours, and intentions by their opinions, words, and actions? Far too often, in my opinion.

Recently I decided to take a step back and really look at and listen to what was going on around me. I call this making the decision to “Walk softly and carry a big stick”.

Taking the time to observe the actions, behaviours, and body language of others can tell you a lot about situations and can also help to create a more accurate depiction in your own mind of what is going on. Listening, I mean really listening, hearing what is being said, as well as what is not being said, is also extremely helpful in acutely evaluating what is going on around us.

That’s the part of walking softly, which is sometimes the hardest for me. I’m a good listener, I’ve always believed, but recently I have learned to really listen to what is actually being said, not what I am hoping or wanting to hear. I’ve learned to stay quiet in order to do this.

The second part of my decision is to carry a big stick. I think it goes without saying that I have not literally been walking around with a big stick in my hands, but non-literally I have. You see, I have decided to arm myself with words that adequately and accurately express how I am feeling. I have decided to use those words to respectfully make it clear to others when I disagree with them or feel the need to stand up for myself or my loved ones. I have also thought of the idea of carrying a big stick as being in control of my own actions and responses to the issues around me. Carrying that big stick allows me to feel like I am the one in direct control of what is going on and not what is happening to me.

I have to admit that walking softly and carrying a big stick has created more of a sense of calm and peace in my life. I have felt less angry and less volatile towards the injustices and issues of ‘unfairness’ that I observe around me. Instead, I am able to understand more clearly why and where they come from. I have learned to carefully listen to others and I have realized that I am not alone in many of my concerns and feelings. I know it’s not just my own insecurities, uncertainties, or feelings of inadequacy that are pricked by certain behaviours and actions that I see around me. There is some comfort in knowing that others feel or have felt the same way.

Walking softly and carrying a big stick has also helped me to realize what, and even who, is important to my life and essential to my well-being. Taking on this philosophy has allowed me to realize that perhaps not everyone likes me, but perhaps not everyone matters either.

I have also learned that how others feel is often beyond my control, people will form their own opinions and judgments regardless of the truth, and an acceptance that we are all far from perfect is essential to getting along with others. These are all truths which have come to light, almost like moments of epiphany, during my weeks of blogging/writing hiatus.

So, if there has been something good which has come from my unexpected virtual absence, it is that I have reemerged with a new perspective, a new and more positive frame of mind, and a new lease on what matters most on my priority list.

I’m baaaaaaaacccckkkk!

Good Enough, Part 8 (K.Blais)

Catch up on Good Enough: To read previous installments of Good Enough, please search ‘Good Enough’ in my site’s search bar.
**Please note: This text is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Nate and I left the hospital a short time later, both of us smiling. I was amazed at how much better I felt after having coffee with Dr. Mark. I knew that Nate was in better spirits too, and it wasn’t just the sugar in the ice cream.
Nate talked from the moment we got in the vehicle all the way back to our hotel. It seemed like he had forgotten all about his broken arm, which was a good thing.
I hadn’t forgotten it though, and I hadn’t forgotten Ben’s advisement to Mark to have me psychologically evaluated. I had gone from being hurt and scared to being hopping mad about it. How dare he do this to me, anything that I was struggling with psychologically had been brought on directly or indirectly by his actions and indiscretions. I wanted to scream I was so mad.
But I knew that I couldn’t do that. I had to hold it together for Nate in order to make choices on the next steps we would take. The fact that any move I made or words I said would now be held against me wasn’t lost on me. I knew I had to be very careful.
I made a decision there and then to channel my anger into something productive. I needed to find a place for Nate and I to stay, something more permanent than the hotel here in Perspect.
Pulling into a corner store just by the hotel, Nate and I went inside. I used the ATM and took out the daily cash limit from the bank account. I was thankful that Ben hadn’t frozen the joint account we had, at least not yet. I hadn’t had the foresight to squirrel away money before leaving. It was something I now regretted. I didn’t count on Ben being ‘generous’ for long. I grabbed snacks for Nate and I and a newspaper. I was hoping there would be lots of ‘for rent’ ads to choose from.
“So, we meet again?” a voice asked as I stood at the cash waiting to pay.
Turning around, I saw Garry Rondell standing there.
“I’m not stalking you, I promise!” he said laughing as he placed his newspaper and coffee down on the counter.
I smiled, paying the cashier for our items. I didn’t seem strange to be bumping into Garry Rondell again today. Maybe it should’ve felt strange, but it didn’t.
“How’s the arm, buddy?” Garry asked Nate while also paying the cashier for his items.
“It’s good! I just had ice cream!” Nate said excitedly.
It dawned on me as I listened to them talk that Garry may know of a place to rent in Perspect or nearby, so I asked him.
“Actually, yes, I do. The apartment above my office is for rent. It just became available actually. It’s not very big, but it is warm and cozy with big windows, lots of light, completely furnished with neutral colours, and very clean. It’s right downtown so it’s pretty central to almost everything you may need.”
“It sounds great. Can I take a look at it?” It sounded perfect actually. I hoped it was half as good as Garry made it sound.
“Absolutely. I can show it to you now if you’d like.”
“That would be wonderful.”
We hopped into Garry’s vehicle for the second time that day, accepting his offer to drive us there.
As we drove to the apartment above Garry’s office, he pointed out various commodities in this area of the small town. Once again, I could tell from the tone in his voice that he had a lot of pride in and for his community. The building which housed both his office and the apartment was lovely. The architecture of this small town was both interesting and visually appealing, something which I hadn’t had the chance to truly appreciate up until now.
The apartment had its own door and entrance with a clean carpeted foyer and small staircase that led up to the open concept apartment. The walls were lined with windows and it was bright and immaculately clean, just as Garry had promised. The kitchen boasted dark cabinets and an island looking out onto the living room and dining room area. There were two bedrooms and two bathrooms, one of which was a small ensuite. It was more than I had even hoped for, so much more that I was afraid to ask what the rent was.
I could tell that Nate loved it as he darted from room to room. It was tiny compared to the house he was used to, but it somehow felt much more comforting and much more like home.
“What do you think?” Garry asked, breaking me out of my thoughts.
I turned to him, “I love it. I really do, but I am afraid to ask the price of rent…”
“What can you afford?” Garry asked softly, his eyes searching mine.
“Oh, I don’t expect any special treatment, please. I wouldn’t expect any help,” I said, looking away.
“Well, this is my building and I’m the landlord so I decide on what the rent will be. I want you to stay here, Isabella. I think you need someone to give you a break.”
I bit my lip, tears once again filling my eyes. Why were people in this town so nice? I didn’t trust myself to speak.
Garry continued, “How’s $500 a month? No first or last needed and no obligation to sign a lease. I just ask that if you need to leave that you let me know.”
The tears now threatened to fall. I knew that Garry easily could rent this place for at least double the amount he was charging me. I also knew that I had the cash on me now to cover the rent for a couple of months. It meant that Nate and I had a place to stay until I figured out what to do.
“I will take it,” I said, my voice thick with emotion, “and thank you so much, Garry. I really appreciate your kindness.”
Garry beamed. “Great! You can move in tonight if you’d like. I’m free to help.”
Even though I had already paid for the night at the hotel, I figured I would take Garry up on his offer to help us move in. We had limited luggage and within an hour, Nate and I were officially moved into our new home. We had the snacks from the convenience store to carry us over the night, so I planned on getting groceries in the morning.
Before long, I had Nate nestled into his newly made bed and he was fast asleep not much after that.
I wandered around the apartment then, taking the time to admire each nook and cranny, peeking into each cupboard and closet. Standing in front of the living room window, I pulled my sweater around me as I watched the street below. It was fairly quiet with only the occasional car passing by. The weather had grown colder the last couple of days and more leaves had begun to fall from the trees. I watched the wind pick them up and swirl them around in mini whirlwinds.
Suddenly, I heard my cell phone ring from where it sat in the kitchen. Walking over to it, my stomach clenched hoping it wasn’t Ben. I didn’t need him ruining this feeling of peace which had come over me. I recognized the number as Garry’s and immediately answered it.
“Hi, I’m sorry to bother you. I’m just around the corner. Is it ok if I stop in for a minute?” Garry’s voice warmly flooded the line.
“Oh, sure, it’s no problem at all.”
Jogging down the stairs, I hoped that Garry hadn’t changed his mind about letting us stay here. I opened the door to his knock a few moments later. He entered carrying several grocery bags.
“I brought you some food, just to tide you over until you get a chance to get some groceries,” he explained.
“Oh my goodness, you didn’t have to do that Garry! I appreciate it, I mean, but you’ve already done so much for us.”
“I was picking up groceries anyway, so really it’s nothing. I took a guess on a few things, so I hope everything is ok.”
“I’m sure it will be great, but really it wasn’t necessary.”
Realizing he was still standing there holding the bags, I added, “Oh please, come in.”
Laughing softly, Garry carried the bags upstairs for me and placed them on the island in the kitchen. I reached for my purse, “How much do I owe you for all of this?”
“Nothing – it was my idea, my housewarming gift to you let’s say.”
“This is really so nice of you, Garry.” I began pulling out the items and tucking them away into the fridge and cupboards. He had thought of all the staples. In the last bag was a bottle of wine.
“I thought you’d probably need a glass of wine after the day you’ve had,” Garry said.
“That was very thoughtful, and yes I definitely need a glass or two! Would you like one?” I asked him. Immediately, I felt badly. He had a wife and most likely a family to be getting home to. I had taken up enough of his time I was sure.
“I would love one,” he said without hesitation.
Locating the wine glasses, I poured us both a glass. “I have taken up a lot of your time today, Mr. Rondell. I need to apologize for that and I’m sorry if it has affected your business or personal life in any way.”
“It has been a very welcomed distraction. I just wish it only had occurred under better circumstances.” Raising his glass to toast, he continued, “To new beginnings.”
I smiled, “To new beginnings.”

My War With Words (K.Blais)

I wasn’t going to write a post tonight.

To be honest, words haven’t meant a whole lot to me lately.

I began the new year feeling surprisingly, and disappointingly, defeated. Typically, a new year is the start of something new: new hopes, dreams, and goals, right? Unfortunately, all I have seemed to be able to focus on is what I haven’t done, what I haven’t become, and what I can’t seem to overcome, if that makes any sense.

As I thought about the words to write, a theme to discuss, even some hope or inspiration to pass on, I realized that words, in many cases, have lost their meaning. In most cases, the definitions of words haven’t changed, but the words themselves have lost their feeling.

Think about it – we toss words around like they are pieces of paper in the wind. Words of apology and love are the most overused ones in my opinion. We’re sorry for this; we’re sorry for that. We love this thing and we love that person. I know that there is still sincerity behind those words for many people and in many situations, but sometimes they are just words, empty of their true meaning and lacking their intended value.

We fling out words in anger. Words are hurled and are used to slam someone down or to put them in their place. Words can cut like a knife and slap like a woman scorned. Words can destroy.

Words can be twisted and turned like the windiest of roads and can be misused and abused. They can lie with the silkiest of tongues and they can tell you what they think you want to hear. They can whisper their truths in your ear all the while they are searching for a good place to stick a knife in your back.

Words can sound like you are in a Charlie Brown episode, in the same classroom as Charlie and Lucy, listening to the teacher drone on, “Wah-wah-wah-wah. Wah-wah-wah-wah-wah.”

I was once in love with words. I loved choosing words, using them in different ways to explain, to demonstrate, and to show. I was thrilled when I discovered a new word, or a new way to use an old word, and I loved the way words stuck in my mind and I would mull them over.

I would literally get lost in words – in writing them and in reading them. I believed in words. I felt we had a true connection. I don’t think I’ve fallen out of love with words, but maybe we just aren’t seeing eye-to-eye right now.

Remember the day when someone’s word was their bond? A man’s word was his honour. His word meant he would carry out what he said he would do.

And don’t forget the lack of words, the words that are missing, the absence of which can hurt as deeply as the words wrongly said.

I never thought that my disappointment with words would run so deep. Perhaps, that is part of the reasoning behind my new year disheartenment. I’ve had an enlightenment about words and I am worried that things will never be the same for us again.

I haven’t forgotten, though, that there are two sides to every story.

Words can give us comfort and strength in the times we need it most. Words can heal and restore our faith and hope. Words can mend fences and reconstruct bridges. Words can help us to grow and lead us to learn from our mistakes. Words can give meaning when all meaning seems lost and can be truthful and honest when the world seems full of lies.

I’m not yet so jaded or cynical as to believe that words still can’t still have their endearing qualities or be wonderfully positive, I think I just need some time to figure them out again.

I guess I have another year to do just that.

Good Enough Part 7 (K.Blais)

Catch up on Good Enough: To read Part 1 click here, for Part 2 click here, for Part 3 click here. , for Part 4 click here, and for Part 5, please click here.

For the latest installment of Good Enough (Part 6) click
here
.

**Please note: This text is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

Moments later I was loading Nate up in the vehicle to go back to the hospital to get the medical file and x-ray faxed to Ben.

I hated that I was obeying Ben like a dog with his master, but I knew that not giving Ben any extra ammunition against me would be my best bet in the long run. Getting off the phone with him only insisting to be sent these documents was another battle which I felt I had won.

The hotel wasn’t far from the hospital and I found my way back there surprisingly quickly. We walked through the sliding glass doors and were immediately greeted by the blond haired nurse who had helped to cast Nate’s arm earlier.

“Mrs. Lloyd, is everything ok with Nate?” she asked, her blue eyes were concerned.

“Oh yes, he’s fine, thank you. I, uh, well this is a bit complicated, but…”

She continued to look at me, nodding compassionately. I was struck by the thought of how young she was and how uncomplicated her life must be. I was hit with envy for a moment thinking that in a short while she would be off shift and going home to what was most likely a fairly simple and happy lifestyle. She was young and beautiful and had her whole life ahead of her. Standing next to her, I felt like a grungy, old housewife whose had been robbed of the very chances this young woman now had.

“What can we help you with, Mrs. Lloyd?” she said softly, placing a hand on my arm and jolting me out of my thoughts.

Worried I had been standing there without speaking for an awkward amount of time, I spoke quickly, “I need to have Nate’s medical file and x-ray sent to my, uh, husband. He’s a doctor.”

“Oh, ok. I’m sure we can do that, but you’ll need to speak to Dr. Castinos to have him sign off on them.”

“Dr. Castinos?” I didn’t recognize the name as the doctor who had treated Nate.

“Dr. Hayward, the doctor who you met earlier and who casted Nate, has gone off shift. Dr. Castinos is on now. I can bring you back to a room to wait for him. He’s just with a patient,” she explained.

I nodded and we followed her into the back area of the emergency ward. She found us chairs and leaned over to ruffle Nate’s hair. “He won’t be long,” she said smiling at the both of us before leaving.

After an hour I began to wonder what her definition of “long” might entail. I had run out of ways to entertain Nate and he was starting to get bored and cranky, as was I. It had also been a long time since either one of us had eaten.

Suddenly a voice came from the doorway, “I am terribly sorry, Mrs. Lloyd. This is inexcusable to keep you waiting this long.”

I looked up in the direction the voice came from and was shocked to see a dark-haired, blue-eyed young man in green scrubs standing in the doorframe. He didn’t look much older than the nurse with the confused idea of time. He held out his hand, “I’m Dr. Castinos. Please accept my apology for keeping you waiting. There was a breakdown in communication I believe.”

I shook his hand which was cool. His handshake was firm. “How can I help you today?” he asked, gesturing for me to sit back down. He perched on the edge of the bed and patted the bed for Nate to hop up beside him. Nate quickly obliged.

Trying to recover from my shock at how young and inexperienced he appeared, I told him what I needed.

He nodded, his blue eyes searched mine. “I can help you with that. It’s no trouble at all. Is there anything else you need?” His voice was filled with concern and I figured he knew, or at least assumed, what the situation really involved: a grungy, beaten down housewife who had left her cheating husband and who had no clue where to go or what to do next.

I shook my head, looking away. “Just sending the file and x-ray would be a big help.”

“Absolutely; I won’t see another patient until it’s done.”

I couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief, “Thank you.”

“It’s my pleasure.”

I stood up and held out my hand for Nate to take. He hopped off the bed. Standing up as well, Dr. Castinos held out his hand again. “It was nice to meet you, Mrs. Lloyd.”

I shook his hand, “It’s Isabella. Thank you for your help.”

“My name’s Mark. Please contact me if you need anything. I’m at the hospital most evenings.”

I smiled and nodded. He turned to Nate, “And you, little buddy, you take care of that arm. Do me a favour and come back when I’m working so I can take it off and see how strong you are after.”

Nate giggled and looked up at me, “Can we Mama?”

I looked at him, “We will see Nate. We may not be in Perspect when it’s time for it to come off. We only stopped for a rest, remember?”

Nate’s face dropped and I immediately felt bad. I could feel Dr. Mark Castinos’ eyes on me.

Getting down on one knee to look him in the eye, Dr. Castinos said, “I have an idea, Nate. Why don’t we get some ice cream in the cafeteria? I have a break coming up. Maybe that might cheer you up? Only if that’s ok with your mom, of course. ”

I started to object, but Nate looked so hopeful I didn’t want to disappoint him any more than I already had.

“We can get ice cream, but then it’s back to the hotel and back in bed for you.”

“Great,” Dr. Castinos said. “Just give me 5 minutes and I will meet you guys there.”

Nate and I walked to the cafeteria and chose a table near the window. Minutes passed and I was beginning to think that Dr. Mark Castinos wasn’t going to show up.

“There he is, Mama!” Nate said, pointing towards the doorway as Mark breezed into the room and jogged over to the table.

Pulling a chair out he sat down beside me. “I am completely sorry once again. I, honestly, am never late.”

I tried to smile. “It’s ok. Today isn’t your day, I suppose.”

“I wouldn’t say that,” Mark said smiling and meeting my eyes. Turning to Nate he said, “What kind of ice cream are we having little buddy?”

“Chocolate!” Nate shouted, raising his arms over his head.

“Chocolate!” Mark yelled back, also raising his arms above his head. I couldn’t help myself, I had to laugh and it felt good.

A few moments later, Nate was busily eating his huge dish of ice cream and Mark and I were drinking coffee.

“I took a few moments to fax those files myself,” he said softly leaning over the table and glancing over at Nate.

“Thank you. I appreciate it,” I said.

“I also thought that I should call your husband’s office, just to make sure that they were received.”

“Oh, ok. You didn’t have to do that, but thank you for that too.”

Mark cleared his throat before continuing, “I spoke to his secretary to verify that the documents were received, and they were, and she also indicated that Dr. Lloyd wanted to speak with me.”

My throat caught as I said, “Ok…” I wasn’t sure where this was going.

Mark shifted a bit uncomfortably, “Dr. Lloyd, your husband, requested that I recommend a psych evaluation for you.”

My face flamed a bright red. Even here, in Perspect, Ben was determined to humiliate me in whatever way he could. Tears sprang to my eyes and I looked away, biting my lip. Staring at Nate to concentrate, I took a deep breath. Looking back, Mark was looking at me intently.

I didn’t know what to say. I knew that if a psychological evaluation was what Dr. Castinos thought I needed, it wouldn’t be long before I would have to take Nate back home to Ben. No one would let a crazy woman keep a child, especially when that child had just recently suffered an injury.

“I told him in no way did I think that was necessary,” Mark said softly, “At least not in my professional opinion and from what I have observed.”

I brushed the tears away which threatened to fall from my eyes. Folding my trembling hands in my lap, I looked up at Mark. “Thank you.”

“You don’t have to thank me. I know you’re not crazy. I hardly know you, but I know you’re not crazy.”

I looked at his sweet young face for a long time. Sometimes people can surprise you.

Good Enough Part 6 (K.Blais)

A few months back, readers requested that I share some of my fictional work on this blog site. In honouring that request, I have been posting some excerpts of fictional work every third Thursday of each month.

Catch up on Good Enough: To read Part 1 click here, for Part 2 click here, for Part 3 click here. , and for Part 4 click here. For the last installment of Good Enough (Part 5), please click here.

Feedback and comments are always welcomed!

**Please note: This text is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

Later that afternoon, back at the hotel, when Nate was safely tucked into the bed with some cartoons on the television to keep his mind off of his arm, I had a chance to reflect on the day.

It seemed surreal all that had happened in the few short hours since we had awoke. I thought about how I had started the day almost calling Ben to have him take me back, to now needing to call him to tell him about Nate.

I knew that I had to tell him. I had no idea how long I could keep Ben from demanding to see his son. No doubt he thought I was just going through a psychotic phase and that I would soon come crawling back home. Even if I never went back, I was fairly certain that he would want to see Nate. I wasn’t worried about him demanding full custody as he wasn’t a warm and cozy father anyway, but I could see him making things difficult for me, just because he could.

The doctor in the ER had said that Nate might find sitting in a vehicle for long periods of time difficult, especially with a seat belt, so I figured we would have to stay in Perspect for a couple of days at least. It seemed like an ok idea; the nurses and medical staff at the hospital had been very friendly and kind and I couldn’t forget how helpful Garry Rondell had been either.

I smiled when I thought of him. Garry had been insistent that if we needed anything I was to call him again. I was glad to have had his help today. I didn’t know what I would have done without it.

I had noticed the wedding ring on Garry’s finger; I hadn’t meant to look for it, but I had glanced at his hands while he had been driving. I hadn’t noticed things like that before, but today it struck me that even though I had walked out on my marriage, I still wore my engagement ring and wedding band.

I looked down at it now, twisting and turning it on my finger so that the light caught the diamonds and sparkled. I had loved the ring when Ben had surprised me with it. It was bigger, bolder, and much more extravagant than anything which I would have chosen, but perhaps that’s why I loved it all the more.

I would have chosen something safer and more practical than the ring I now wore. For the first few years, I would look at that ring and think of how it represented the love which Ben and I had, and then eventually I would see it as a symbol of what Ben wanted me to be. Something I could never be for him, no matter how hard I tried.

Perfect.

Taking a deep breath, I reached for my cell phone and dialed Ben’s number. I hadn’t thought out what I wanted to say, but I figured it would be best to keep it straight to the point and simple. Hopefully he would be too busy to have a lot of time to talk, if he answered at all.

The phone rang once before he picked up, “Tell me you’ve come to your senses.”

A bit surprised at his greeting, I stammered, “No – Ben – I need to tell you something. Nate fell off a play structure today and broke his arm.”

“What?! What in the hell was he doing on a play structure and what in the hell were you doing that you let him fall?” His voice was raised now so I knew he was in his office alone.

“Ben, I stopped somewhere to sleep last night and this morning Nate wanted to play for a bit, so we were at this park. I just looked down for a moment and he fell. I -”

“This is your fault, Isabella. Are you done playing around now? Don’t you think it’s time to quit your games and to get back home?”

Stunned, I took another deep breath to refocus. “No, it’s not my fault, Ben. I was watching him. I’m not playing any games. You know why I left and you know why I am not coming back.”

“The hell you aren’t! I can call the police and have you dragged back home if you prefer. I still have a right to see my son and to ensure his safety.”

“He is safe. His arm has been casted and he is fine.”

“And how do I know that it has been set properly? Where are you anyway? As his father I have a right to know about the quality of his medical care.”

I hadn’t wanted to tell him where I was, but the threat of him calling the police had me a bit skittish. “I am in Perspect. It’s a little town so you’ve probably never heard of it.”

“What kind of medical care do they have there? I can’t imagine it would be very good.”

“It was good. The doctor was great with Nate.”

“I want to see his medical chart and x-rays.”

“Ben, think about it. Is that really necessary? I’m telling you that Nate is fine.”

“At one point, I would have believed you, Isabella, but right now I don’t know what to believe anymore. You’ve broken my trust.”

His last statement enraged me more than anything else he had said so far, “Well, that makes two of us, Ben, because you broke my trust a long time ago when you decided to sleep with someone else.”

Ben was silent for a moment. He knew that I knew, but we had never talked about it. He had simply continued on with his life and I had suffocated in mine.

“So, that’s what this is about then, you punishing me for my indiscretions? If you had simply talked to me about this, Izzy, you wouldn’t have had to leave.”

“What did you want me to do, Ben? Keep pretending everything was alright? I know what people were and are saying about me. You knew what was happening with me and you let me fall apart. I will never live that down there and you know it,” my voice broke and I had begun to cry.

Ben was silent again. I knew I had done exactly what I hadn’t wanted to do, which was to appear weak, but it was out there now and I had to own it. I had been weak for so long, and it was only in knowing weakness, that I knew I had strength.

Finally Ben said, “Go back to the ER, ask for the medical file and the x-rays, and have them sent to my secretary.”

And with that, he disconnected the call.

Good Enough – Part 5 (K.Blais)

Catch up on Good Enough: To read Part 1 click here, for Part 2 click here, for Part 3 click here.

For the last installment, please read Part 4 here.

 

I sat for a while after he left, staring at his card. Part of me was thinking that some people would do anything to drum up business – even approaching a stranger in the park, but, there was another part of me that couldn’t help but think of how sincere his smile was and how blue his eyes were.

Shaking my head, I stuffed the card in my purse. It wasn’t helpful to be thinking of a perfect stranger this way, no matter how kind he had seemed. I didn’t need anyone in my life right now to complicate things anymore than they already were. I had to focus on Nate right now and nothing else.

At the same instant I thought of Nate I heard an odd sounding plunk and then a loud, ear-piercing scream.

It took me a while to register what had happened – I saw Nate lying on the ground, his arm twisted strangely behind him. I didn’t remember running over to him, but suddenly I was kneeling next to him as he lay there screaming.

I could tell by the angle in which his arm lay that it was broken. I needed no medical training for that.

I had no idea where we were, other than in Perspect, and I had no idea what to do. I couldn’t even call 911 as I didn’t know the park’s name or even the address where it was located. Anxiety began to overcome me when suddenly I thought of Garry.

Nate was still lying on the ground and I was afraid to move him for fear of causing him more pain. Rifling through my purse, I found the business card I had just rammed in there and with shaking hands I pulled out my cell phone and dialed the number.

He answered after two rings, “Garry Rondell, here.”

“Hi, uh, you don’t know me. Well, um, you just met me, but I – I need your help,” my voice was breaking. I felt like I was on the verge of hysteria.

“Ok, hey, it’s ok. I’m glad you called. What’s going on? How can I help?” Garry’s voice was concerned but calm.

“My son, Nate, he just fell off the play structure. I’m pretty certain he broke his arm and I don’t know what to do. I’m so sorry to bother you but I have no idea where I am to call 911 and give them an address. I didn’t know what else to do or if they could locate me by my cell phone. Oh, I’m so sorry,” my voice gave way then and I sobbed quietly.

“It’s alright. It’s going to be ok. I’m going to hang up and call 911 for you and give them the address where you are. And I will be right there to help, ok?”

“Ok,” I whispered as I rubbed Nate’s back. His crying hadn’t let up. Garry didn’t respond and I was pretty sure he had already hung up to call.

“It’s ok, Nate. You’ll be ok.”

A few moments later I heard the sirens coming down the street and at the same moment, a silver SUV pulled up on the sidewalk. A tall man jumped out and came running over. I knew immediately it was Garry.

He knelt beside us. “Hey little buddy, we are going to get you fixed up in no time.”

I nodded the tears still streaming down my face. Suddenly the paramedics were around us, asking us to step back as they assessed the situation.

Confident that Nate had no other injuries other a likely broken arm, they carefully lifted him onto the stretcher. I held his good hand as they loaded him into the ambulance. Helping me inside as well, I thanked the attendants and then remembered Garry. He was standing off to the side, talking to the other ambulance attendant. I tried to get his attention before the doors closed but it was too late.

                    

As I sat with Nate later, I couldn’t help but blame myself. This was my fault because I had left Ben and the safety of Nate’s life. If I hadn’t taken him and basically ran away from my problems, then Nate would be unharmed and would at this moment be laughing and playing with his friends at school. What kind of mother was I anyway?

I tried to focus on the doctor’s words as he casted Nate’s arm. He would have to have it re-x-rayed in the next four to six weeks to see if the bone was healing properly and if the cast could come off. The lucky thing for kids, I heard him say, is that they heal quickly.

I nodded, silently wishing that adults could heal that quickly too, especially from their own inflicted injuries.

I was not looking forward to calling Ben and telling him what had happened. Most likely he would have a cruiser here within minutes to pick us up and have us returned to the prison we called home. He would blame me, more than I blamed myself. This would not be pleasant.

After Nate had been casted up and the nurse had given him a lollipop and sticker, he was smiling as we left the ER. As we walked out of the hospital I finally remembered that my car was still at the park where the ambulance had picked us up. We would have to take a cab to get it. I cringed realizing that the remaining cash I had in my wallet would cover the cost of the cab, but I would have to get to an ATM machine soon.

We stood on the sidewalk as I looked around for a taxi. Suddenly, a silver SUV pulled up beside us and Garry Rondell jumped out of the vehicle.

“Hey, buddy,” he said, kneeling down to talk to Nate. “That’s a pretty fine looking cast you’ve got on there!”

“It’s blue,” Nate said between sucks on the red lollipop which now covered most of his mouth. The Tylenol had kicked in and while he was still sore, Nate was acting like himself again.

Garry laughed his deep laugh, “I see that! How about I give you and your mom a ride back to the park to get her car?”

I sighed with relief, “Thank you. That’s exactly what we need.”

Standing up, Garry smiled at me, holding my eyes with his. “We haven’t properly introduced ourselves. I’m Garry Rondell. I won’t give you another business card, I promise.”

I smiled softly and shook the hand which he offered, “I’m Isabella, Isabella Lloyd, and I have no business cards to give.”

His laughed resounded loudly, something I realized I enjoyed the sound of. Still smiling he said, “It’s nice to meet you, Isabella.”

“It’s nice to meet you too, Garry, and thank you, so much, for everything.”

“It’s my pleasure. Now let’s go get your car.”