Tag Archives: Memory

Hugs…Part 5

Hugs…Part 4

‘I don’t think she heard me,’ I said to myself because she hadn’t moved or responded to the great news. “Did you hear me Lizzy, it’s Miss…”

“I heard. I…”

Anticipation rising, I was having trouble controlling my emotions.

“I need you to leave. Leave this house without a word again, and actually keep your promise and never come back,” said without emotion or movements.

I was shocked she would say that; I thought she would be at least willing to understand my side of things. “Lizzy, aren’t you being a little unfair, I just want…”

“You have had forty years to explain. I will call you a cab. You will leave without saying goodbye to my daughter. Gather your stuff up and go.”

Lizzy exited the room towards her daughter, without so much of a tear; she just ended our conversation and began another with Annie.

I sat there a moment longer on the couch that I had thought I might get to stay on through the years. Being here with them gave me something to live for; I was going to attempt to make it to Annie’s adult life, if they would have had me. I stood and gathered my few belongings as a cab pulled up in front of the house. I didn’t want to just leave without saying goodbye; I didn’t want to relive my mistakes again. But I must respect her wishes and just leave. I walked up to the door, I thought I would never have to walk through again, and a second time stepped away from a family I wish I could have been a part of.

My body felt so heavy and my heart was slowly breaking. ‘What’s the point anymore, God? Is it time for me to come home, yet?’ as I plopped my body into the back of the cab as the cabby loaded my belongings.

“Where to Mam?” he said as routinely and generic as possible.

As I looked back towards the house, looking back at me through the living room window was little Annie’s tearful eyes. “Anywhere so crowded that I can’t be bothered by my feelings.”

He started the engine, and started to pull away from now just a memory.

Annie was no longer in the house she was running down the steps towards my leaving car. Stirring up the hard but bearable memory of leaving Lizzy the first time, ‘I don’t think I will live through this time,’ hearing Annie’s pleading cries and seeing her sobbing face. She will haunt me until my dying day.

…-…

We got back to the city back where I started outside the hotel, I had to weave through the bodies without being completely trampled. “Easier said than done, I must say,” I croaked out when I finally entered the flashy, cramped lobby. Booking my room, getting settled, and finally sitting in the slightly comfiest chair in the corner, I wept until I had no tears left. I sat in that chair for hours because I had no more energy for anything.

..-..

“Mam…? Mam,” the cleaning lady outside the door had been knocking for a while. “Mam? I’m coming in, excuse my entrance,” she said as she entered the door.

..-..

“Mama, what happened to the old lady with us? I miss her, and she didn’t even say goodbye. Mama?”

“She had to leave, Annie. Please don’t ask again.” Lizzy said as she stared out the window watching a man walk his grungy, cur-like dog down the street. “What an awful dog.”

“Mama, you okay? You always say what a poor dog and what a poor old man.”

‘How does she know these things,’ Lizzy thought to herself, ‘yes, when did I become so cynical?’ “I’m sorry my darling in just confused. What are you up to today?”

There was a knock at the door, just as Annie began to list off her long To-Do-List, “One minute Annie, let me get the door,” but she continued to ramble off. “Yes, hello,” as she said as she opened the door.

“Are you Elizabeth Kiddman, Mam?” a tall, crisp man standing on the porch said.

“Yes, that’s my legal name. May I ask what this is about? Annie, please stop rambling! Sorry I’m distracted, she is a handful,” Lizzy said as she gave the man her undying attention just as Lizzy latched onto her leg beside her.

“Mam, do you know a Ms. Ann…”

“Yep we do! She is the old lady that had to leave us suddenly,” Annie blurted out before he could finish.

“Annie darling, please go wait for me in the living room,” Lizzy could feel the indescribable tension building inside the man.

“But why…? Okay fine, whatever,” she begrudgingly went as she was told.

“Again, my apologies. Yes, we know of her. What about her?”

Annie was straining to hear her mother, but she only caught her mother whispering out, ‘what…when…how?’ So against all orders she ran back to the front door to protect her mother, but instead she entered just as her mother collapsed to the floor.

…To Be Continued…

Cur

Fight.

Fight…can be brutal, casual, abusive, exciting, debates, physical, empowering, mental, determination, childish, or just a fight.

I have heard many and experienced all of these types; I am sure I forgot some or I have not yet had the pleasure of experiencing them…

A fight can be in many different ways. It does not just mean a physical altercation with another physical body. I have experienced the brutal fight, but this one I was the controller behind the brutality. I know this makes it sound like I did something stupid but to me it was when I would race. In a 50 Freestyle it is a fight to win. In other races you can set your own goal and race your own race, but in a 50…you have to fight back against the other swimmers and hit the wall before them. So, if you want to be the winner you have to do many things, all at once perfectly, without screw up. It is the hardest race for most athletes and only the best get to race it in the big leagues.

So to me the brutal part in the fight to the wall was lack of oxygen. You must hold your breath, while sprinting, while fighting, while losing consciousness, until you hit the wall. And the controller or boss of your lack of oxygen is yourself. You have to want “it” more than air. You have to want to see black spots in your vision and win before you can have that healthy breath of oxygen.

I remember my coach always telling me to stop breathing. I thought that was kind of funny, because that’s something you say when you are extremely mad and you want the person to drop dead. But as a swimmer you hear this all the time. It is a natural thing to hear. My response every time was, “I know, I know…” I am sure my coaches were annoyed at me at some points of my career, but I am also sure they were excited when I swam. Because swimming was my fight. It was what drove me to wake up every day. It made me want to be an athlete. It has made me fight for want I want in life.

But it has also made me a passionate coach. This year I get to coach the varsity team; everything is faster, quicker and more intense. Not as intense as when I swam but way higher than JV. But, I can get a little too invested in my athletes lives. Some of them are swimming to stay in shape for polo season. Some are staying in shape for the summer. Some girls just want a good tan for that beach day. Some swimmers like swimming as a fun sport, but don’t have the drive. But I do have a handful that personally told me they want to be the best they can be, and they will work hard to be the best.

So, to tie in the breath control thing…we had a swim meet yesterday and I put all of them in the 200 Freestyle Relay so they could all do a 50. But also, relays have so much more pressure to them; they were one of my favorite parts of the sport. Because if you messed up your own individual race it was just “your” bad. But if you messed up on a relay or went to slow you lost if for yourself and three of your other teammates.

But on Wednesday, before the meet, we worked on breath control, I gave them an easy set, however the catch was that they could only take two breaths. Some of them they looked at me like I was crazy or it was an impossible task. You should only be taking 1-3 breaths in a 50. I always took 1 so 3 is giving them a buffer. I would say on average that 15 of my 22 athletes take on average 8 breaths in their 50…sometimes more like 11. So to some of them it seemed impossible. But I wanted to challenge that handful of people who like swimming but have never been challenged…they thought I was crazy, but they still attempted it…

They found that when you don’t breathe you push yourself harder to make it to that wall before you take that extra breath you don’t really need. If you put your head down and let your limbs pull your body to the finish the race will be over before you know it. As of right now, for them, it is only a 23-25 sec race. You only have this much time or less to be perfect. So if you take one factor out, breathing, then there is less to worry about. One less thing to have in your mind as you race and fight for the finish makes it that much easier to succeed. The fight is a fight to the finish…

Fight

Lack of Warmth

Lack of Warmth.png

Last summer I remember constantly complaining that my Pajamas were too warm for the hot weather, and I also remember having the brilliant idea of cutting all my sweatpants off into shorts. Which wasn’t that big of deal they were already 3 inches too short exposing my bare ankle.

However, even though at the time I thought I was being a genius…I was not. I should have saved a few pairs, as short as they were, for this winter. Because I am running from my room, to the bathroom, to the kitchen, to my desk, inn short pajamas and I am freezing. I know what you are thinking, maybe, that I should go and purchase some new pants that fit me. The problem is I am extremely busy and all of my teachers had decided to be annoying; one of my teachers said this:

“Since we are coming down to the end of the semester I am going to boost the amount of homework I give; because I know that you all are extremely busy in your other classes, but I want you to learn how to deal with unfortunate situations.”

Normally I am fine with loads of homework; I know how to set my schedule up to finish on time or at least get credit the day of for finishing.  But since this I have planned my day to a “T” and it does not involve buying myself warm, beautiful sweatpants for my constantly numb legs. Maybe I will solve my problem by just wearing a blanket like a dress until I hope into bed. That seems more logical then running to get my headphones that I forgot on the other side of the house. Also, I have been waiting for that “look” from my mother; you know the one, the one that means:

“You are making me cold, go put on a sweater,” this line has actually happened a lot through my life, and I have used it on my athletes as well.

But honestly I would prefer to just steal some of her pajamas.  They are so warm and cozy, but then she comes looking for them when she needs a pair and they are dirty.  Then a new look comes; the one where she makes you feel guilty, in a humorous way, for not being able to give back the warmth she had first lent you. She is good at this face; however, I am just as good. She taught me well.

My point to all this is if you did like me and cut off all you pajamas and you have not yet replaced them, do this before it comes unbearably cold. Because it isn’t just the bedtime you need to worry about, in the morning you must decide on whether you desire coffee more than the warmth of the bed…hard decision. But usually for me coffee outweighs the need of warmth. And as I wander to the pot of delicious steaming coffee my legs grow numb and stiff.

If you wish to avoid these terrible feelings and troublesome actions take the time now and replace your long sweatpants. Or if you were smarter and put them away for the winter, bring them out before you need them. If you purchase these pants purchase some slippers as well. Believe me they are worth the investment. I have these, but no pants…I am half way there to beautiful comfort! Good luck and I hope your winter days are filled with some comfort in your nights and mornings

Band-Aids…

I believe I was four, and I remember placing each Band-Aid on any visible skin possible.  The room in darkness concealing my presences and securing my hiding place.  Every box empty and its contents stuck to my soft skin.  Hundreds of wrappers covering the floor crunching beneath my feet as I wiggle my legs.  As I extend my legs then Band-Aids expand tugging at my fair hair upon my arms and legs.  I remember being extremely proud of my hard work accomplished.  Of course I began with my hands, so attempting to open the Band-Aid’s wrappers took much skill as a child.  I believed I had mad skills and a new proud talent. I remember sitting on the floor applying band-aids continuously to open areas of flesh.

Suddenly the door swings open and the light engulfs me.  I don’t remember my mother’s reaction, but I do remember me smiling back, standing confidently, and relishing in my accomplishments. The sudden opening of the door was because I supposedly had been gone far too long and I was way too quiet.  I am a Band-Aid lover and I still am to this day.  Which means my family still hides the special band aids from me; though, I am allowed to use the $1 a box band aids. My mother forever called me Mad Max. Which is perfectly fine with me, because I see myself as the Band-Aid bandit!