Oklahoma Rose Rock

Oklahoma Rose Rock

Something, something, there is something here…something like, perfection, something like worth…and I find myself wondering how clean will be clean enough? Something like acceptance, something unconditional, something like so much beauty in what is real, which is not perfect, and then, no perfect lines in nature, and what is a natural line? And well, I hear some words drift on the wind from days of yore, she said, it was okay if my linen closet wasn’t perfect before the guests came, they would judge it so harsh, the in-laws, but I never, they never, white glove in the dust, and then, hotel options or else, and this morning I preferred to spend an extra hour in the morning sun with the dogs, they so love the morning sun. Or something like that, and that poem by Rebecca, “When the Muse comes to visit,” and I said, “Come on in and tea, you know.” And, how do you want to spend the time you have been given? And, well, not dusting, dirt is. When dust draws a line in the sand or a red Rose grows in good dirt. And we colored pictures that day, just sat down in the middle of the unpacked boxes, and made memories. The picture isn’t finished yet, and yet, yet it is a Perfect Rose. The tears fall at the end of the trail and our memories make rock roses that cannot be washed away.

– Tanya


Write it Down

It was September 23rd, and I entered the room of the frail German man…

He was declining quickly, not eating or drinking, this man who only weeks before was caring for his wife with Alzheimer’s, and who, now, would not allow himself any care in return.

I ask him if there is anything I can do for him…

“No. No!”

Then he asks: “What day is it?” and I tell him it’s September 23rd. He says: “Can you write it down for me? It is my father’s death date. It’s very important.”

His father was taken during the German occupation and brutally murdered. His body wasn’t found for two years, and then, in a ditch, so no one ever knew his true date of death.

In the field, this is what we call a “sign,” when the threshold between here and there is thin, and the dead speak to the living.

I said: “Oh! What was his name?”

A beautiful smile appears, and in that strong, German accent, with emphasis, he says: “Otto!”

I say: “Oh, my fiancé’s father was German also, and he has passed on as well.”

“Wvhat vus his name?”

Trying to imitate his strong German accent, with emphasis, I say: “Osmar!”

“Write it down!”

“You want me to write down Osmar’s name?”

“Yes! Write it down.”

I write “Osmar” under “September 23.”

“Whven I see him, I tell him, you guhd girl!”

Today he will be so happy to see Otto!

And I am one hundred percent certain he will put in a good word for me to Osmar.

Some goodbyes are tougher than others.

When I share the date with his family after he has crossed over the rainbow, they tell me the story of Otto, and how they have never known the date of his passing. They tell me this is very important information and they mark it on the gentleman’s calendar.

Maternal Grandmother

So… I will share this experience with you, and you make of it what you will…

My maternal grandmother awoke every morning at 4 a.m. She was a pistol with a zany sense of humor. She always told me when she died, I better have the coffee brewing at 4 a.m. because she would be coming back to have a cup of coffee with me.

She passed away when I was 19, after a week in hospital. My mother and I came home that night, and fell asleep talking in the living room, her on the sofa and me on the floor. At 4 a.m. I was awakened by my grandmother’s alarm clock. I said: “Awe…,” and went into her room to turn it off. When I returned to the living room, it dawned on me and my mother that my grandmother had been in hospital a week, and she had the type of alarm clock that would play and play until someone turned it off…we laughed and cried and got up and made coffee…sat at the table and talked all morning.

So…I’ve had the flu. I went to sleep as soon as I got home from work yesterday. I awoke about 11:30 p.m. and read my social work textbook, Facebooking in between. I went to make myself a cup of coffee…I know…who drinks coffee at this hour? I returned to my room with my coffee and realized…It’s almost 4 a.m….I better go to sleep!

I turn out my light and snuggle down into my pillow. Am I dreaming? I don’t know, but my grandmother is at the foot of my bed talking to me…I am telling her something about my little brother…and she is telling me something about checking up on him. She “floats” back out of my room. What jolts me awake is the idea: “Why is my grandmother checking up on my brother?”

So I dial his number…he is on a paper route…yes it’s nearing 4:15 a.m. now. I am telling him what has happened. We ask one another if it is a significant date? Not that we can tell. I ask him to check on his newborn baby. All is well with baby. As I am trying to figure out what it means…well, I must have hit “snooze” instead of “okay” on my phone because the alarm sounds in my ear…again. As I turn off the alarm, that’s when it hits me…

It’s 4 a.m. and I just made a cup of coffee…and WHY is my alarm ringing at 4 a.m. on a Saturday morning. It’s only set to alarm on Monday to Friday!

My subconscious making the connection?…perhaps. My grandmother saying hello?…maybe so…

Necessary Things

I have used up all the pretty things now,
The baubles and the bows,
All the old colognes.

Like feathers
And shiny buttons
Collected on a whim
before I knew the value of imperfect lotion or a
Secondhand Ruffled blouse
and that old jar of

And these old cut off shorts
Making my day
Should have bought two
The day they had the sale on
Ten years ago

The question then,
One day when the cage door is left ajar,
Will I collect again
A bright blue button with a sparkle just right
Or move on from here,
Content with my clipped wings, wrapped with
Old string
Red yarn
and holy toe socks.

– Tanya