Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, August 23, 2010

Girl/Woman at the beach

Rich finally got Vicki to my house about 3:00 am.  Everyone was tired, but I embraced that woman tight, real tight and she felt like the part of me that I had been missing.  And she smelled like Rich.  Rich is our knight in Shining armor, our third musketeer, a partner in crime.  We feel so fortunate to have a friend like Rich that gives and gives, and if you need him to drive you to Miami tonight, he won't ask why, he will just be there for you, and smell good.  He is the best friend.  And Saturday we went to see Katie, my Facial person.  She gave Vicki a facial, oh she looked gorgeous and relaxed afterwards.  I slept in the waiting room chairs, only to have Katie tell me she could not give me a facial and foot massage because of the cancer.  I was not upset.  I knew she was right.  As I waited for Vicki to have hers I pictured the process and knew that it was not the right thing to do.  So that was OK.  And I was feeling a little nauseous so we drove to Mary's and let her nurse me.  F.C.Rabbath and productions was filming at Mary's, and Freddie has a part for me, but it wasn't happening Saturday.  But we all got to see what was going on with the movie, with Vicki and I playing 3 & 4th assistant to the chicken/dog wrangler.  VIck and Mary tried to keep Pearl from tap-tap-tapping of her nails on the wooden floor.  I would wake from my nap hearing Freddie say "Action" and then her Zeke would start yipping, so I brought Zeke in with me to sleep on the bed and be quiet.  So many people behind the scenes learning what is important when filming a movie.  And it makes me really appreciate noticing things.  My days generally are filled with more memorable moments.  I started feeling nauseous Friday night into Saturday,  but I took my anti-nauseous meds and that seems to have passed for now.  Saturday was the first day of the joint and muscle cramps.  It started in the ankles then moved to my knees and then all the muscles connecting them.  Later as the day moved forward my wrists and shoulders demanded attention.  I am timing out my meds so that I do not take them more often then prescribed, but also not wait so long that everything gets wound up and it takes so long to relax and calm the various joints and muscles.  It is exhausting and the combo of the meds makes me sleepy goofy and I don't have a voice, so I am just a joy to be around.  I am just saying, a joy!

So even with delayed flights and chemo affects starting to gently roll up and down my body, a few bigger waves have crested but still not so bad, and movies being made at Mary's house who is taking care of the cancer patient and her exhausted friend, and plays and grand babies and new businesses and work we made it it to the beach.

Lis and Lon played at the Mockingbird and Mr and Ms Moon as so many others went to see them and a good time was had by all, as always.  Vick and I stayed home as I was introduced to the joint cramps and watched movies.  One of my favorites, "Bringing up Baby" with Hepburn and Grant.  I love that movie.  And I have been resting and going to bed earlier.  It is a good thing.  

But yesterday, oh sweet yesterday.  We got up and started packing.  Like I said I am a little slow and distracted but I can think of so many things that need to be done.  By 11:30 we were on our way.  Vicki had cleaned out my car, Mary took over the driving duties and off we went.  The ride was glorious.  I was out of the house, going somewhere.  Sitting in the back of my Malibu feels like I am sitting in a train, sweeping past North Florida wild country.  Pine, views of the gulf, then in-land a little more and small fishing communities.  Places I love so completely, places that remind me of places from home.  I was a townie, so going out to the coast to Cortez, Ana Maria, Bradenton Beach and the fish houses and summer cottages on the beach where children just seemed to be out there for weeks and weeks while Fathers continued to work and Mothers rotated in and out of the cottages.  Of growing up with Vicki as we laid on our blankets in the sun with the sand hot enough to burn a sole of a foot guaranteed at least once a month.  And we would use mink oil, Crisco, mineral oil with iodine and lay there covering as little as possible and every 15 minutes the sound of bacon cooking would come on the radio and the beach flipped.  Belly to back, head down to head up, constant shifting like a solar unit always facing toward the sun, absorbing the rays that made us feel strong, movie star like, gorgeous with our bronzed bodies.  But we didn't burn as much as kids do now, because this was about sunning.  We used some sick sounding combinations, but they moisturized the skin and we tried to get an even all-over tan.  No just scorching.  And then there were the water breaks every hour.  I understand that science shows too much sun is not a good thing, but I have to say that we look like we are in our mid-50s, and when you look at that shining hair and that glorious happy smile on that beginning to wrinkle and puff face that has spent so many hours looking up to the sun to happiness to the future, I don;t think we look bad at all.  Life was different then, in so many ways.

And then we pulled up to our place.  it is directly right on the gulf.  It is perfect and 5 woman sat out on our little deck, listening, smelling, breathing, looking at the beach and five women.  One celebrating her 55th birthday a few days early, one celebrating coming home, one celebrating starting her new business, the other a grandmother, and finally the one with cancer.  All woman thankful for exactly who they are and who they are with and where they are at this very moment.  All woman who have beach and gulf and ocean in their very youngest mermaid beings connected on that level.  Our faces glowed and smiles so naturally happy and big as we told one story of 5 woman, woman from 51 -56 who all had very different lives and yet still share that childhood memory of a love of the beach and the dolphins and crabs and fish and coquinas.  We had all done the same exact things and we didn't have to say it, because we could see that sparkle in our eyes.  The way our hair floats in the evening breeze on the beach.  And I looked at each of these dearest beloved ones, and I said, "I love my life!  I love my life at this very moment with each of you right here.  There is nothing I would change about my life at this exact moment."  And they each said it too, in their own voices and we realized once again, cancer is not what is important, it is life and having these moments all evening and now into the evening, swimming, floating, shelling, walking miles and miles of beach, some times with our head up and sometimes with our head down.  all together, split into pairs or mixed groups.  Each moment, my breath catches in my raspy throat and I see the moment, and it is beautiful and it feels wonderful and smells and glows and I am so grateful to be here.  

Day 5 after chemo and life is so sweet, so amazing, so special, so worth it.  And I am here with my beloveds and they are taking care of me, and I don't have the voice to tell them that I am so grateful for every breath of them, but they know, and I will save my breath to heal and hold on to this day at the beach, St. George Island, Franklin County, Florida, Heaven.


  1. Beautiful, beautiful. The ocean always calls us home when crisis falls, doesn't she?

  2. Sis, have fun and tell everyone hello for me. I sure wish I could be there with you, enjoying the St George view.

  3. that made me tear up, wonderful writing, so evocotive, thanks for bringing me along a little, what blessings everywhere. you are a gem.

  4. I am glad that you are at the beach and surrounded by friends. Enjoy each moment.