only one way to go.

i had to do this again. this swallowing of the pride, and going where i did not want to go.

i had to ask again, and sat there and bawled while she told me how i was going to live for the next month.

i cried for two hours as i made my way through the system yesterday.

i did this a few years ago, and it was novel, and fresh, and i was just learning how to swim in that pond.

but for the first time in my life i had to get that little card that would give me food…

and i stood there while they issued it to me, and i cried, and they said pick a pin number and i simply.

could not.

my hand was shaking, and they were waiting patiently, while giving me the dignity i needed.

no stares, just waiting.

then i had to go and get a medical plan, and that nearly set me back.

i’ve been working since i was 16. i know the system is designed for people like me, but i do not like it.

because i have painted nails, and a guess purse that was given to me

and i just went to palm springs for christ’s sake.

i drove home talking and crying to my little sister all the way. the one who offered me work on her store.

i had spent hours texting my friend who kept reminding me to.

breathe.

and i kept trying and then i would start crying again.

i went to the bank and took out my last penny. and squirreled it away.

i got on my pajamas, took some cold pizza out of the fridge, and curled up into a ball.

i slept.

i remembered how when i was driving home late one night this week…

how i nearly fell asleep, and when i snapped my eyes open…

i went, damn.

it was scary. to feel that way. like everything was caving in all at once, and i was at rock bottom.

i slept on the bed for hours. dozing on and off. just played seinfeld in the background.

my sponsor. she called me.

and within minutes, we had a plan, we were laughing, and she was reminding me of my purpose in this life.

to be of maximum service to god and his kids. that the sun does rise every morning,

and i am to be right in the middle of life.

and i was reminded that…rock bottom? it has a trap door. and i’m not there.

i have a house, 2 great teenagers who swim fanatically with their buddies as i type this.

i went to the market. i used the card. with $103 dollars.

i buy lots of fun teenager food so as to give the illusion that we have more than we have.

i bake a cake because they are coming back.

and today. it was a new day.

one way or another, i will survive, and it’s not just a donna summer song.

truly. i will survive, and with panache.

day is done.

Hardware.

I’m not sure even how to begin this.  I come home from a busy afternoon.  My son and I are decorating a new bedroom for my oldest, who turns 13 on the last day of his trip.  He will walk in, and he will…for the first time, have his own room.

A very dear friend @Bfrein, sent me the most beautiful and thoughtful gift…a rack for my medals.  It even has a holder for the STUPID baton that we got at San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon.  I was so excited, I put all the medals on and pounded holes in the walls without measuring or anything.  Okay.  Start over.  SO I got everything together, and followed directions, and put the thingys in the wall, and screwed it in, and then it was done.

And, it looks perfect on my wall of fame.  All my bibs from 2008 to now.  My race plans for marathons on the wall.  And I centered my LA Marathon one in the middle, because I’m thrilled for Marine Corps Marathon, but LA is when I’m coming back for redemption.  So, it’s my focus.

Here is the rack close up:

And, as I was putting all of these medals on the rack, one stood out to me…and it was so seemingly insignificant that I nearly missed it, sitting on a pin in the far back.  It was red and dusty, and not really a medal at all.

It was the ribbon I got when I crossed the finish line at my very first official race in January 2008.  We had only started Couch to 5k that previous Halloween, and this was the FIRST BIG RACE.  We carb loaded Friday night.  We were so nervous that we woke as early as possible to drive there.  I don’t even remember where it was.  The bay area.  The race report was so miniscule.  I didn’t even know how to write one.

But this red ribbon.  THIS one.  It’s the one that started me on my way.  Other medals, such as the Half Marathon of Death, which is shoved to the left…they are markers of races and times and friends and the journey.  There are miles of stories to tell with each one….The first place medal I won….out of one…The relay race I ran with Row’s husband…The relay team of “We Run This Town” and laughing and shivering…The 3rd place medal I won as I ran to the finish line as the race organizers were picking up the cones…the heartbreak at Napa to Sonoma of finding out a betrayal of many years…and meeting a new and kind friend…

The stories are all there, on that wall.  But they don’t have any numbers…no PRs next to them…because for THIS girl?  It’s never been about the numbers, except for my new goal.  It’s always been about the people.  The places.  The stories.  The friendships and love.

All the teams and the times and the towns.

And the red ribbon is moved to the front…right in the middle.  Because it says the words “RUNNERS”.  And this community of misfits and rockstars and slow and fast…and young and old…we are all just RUNNERS.  It’s not my runnerversary, but again, in my most humble voice, I say thank you to all of you.   In the voice of a 51 year old single mother raising boys in the most interesting of times…I say I love you. 

Left its seeds while I was sleeping*

Morning Glories open themselves up to the world, in the morning,
in all of their glory, hence the name Morning Glory.
And if you look closely at them, you will see how extraordinary
they are both in colour and texture and that in their centre is
a kind of golden light that shines from within.

But here is the hard part…
At the end of the day, they turn a most beautiful shade of lavender,
and then close up, wither and die. They live for only one day
and then they are gone.

(from The Lesson of the Morning Glory, by Veronica Hay)

This may mean nothing to anyone else but me.  This is my house.  This looks like trash in front of my house.  I assure you, it’s not.  Just when I think I’m ready to start again, or move on or whatever people say you should do, something else in my house breaks…or something reminds me of my past life…and while most people by now have made big changes, I seem stuck in mourning yet another part of my previous existence.  Today was one of those days.

A few weeks ago, my fence blew down during that big storm, and with it, the very vine you are looking at.  Twelve ago, we put up morning glory on an 8 foot piece of lattice, all the way around our pool area.  We put in 3 vines.  Within a year, the whole fence and yard was covered in morning glory.  The vine went everywhere…into neighbors’ yards, over fences.  I could see the morning glory three houses down.

Last week when it fell down, and the dogs went out of the yard, and the pool was a mess and the cement was a nightmare, I could not deal with this morning glory.  I finally got someone to come and take down the lattice, and the morning glory with it.  In the winter, it looks like this…always…but in the summer, it is glorious.

So I came up to my house last night, and saw the pile in front of my house, and because I tend to look at everything in terms of endings, I immediately fell sorrow.  Because this is the protection my yard has from the outside world, from the neighbors’ eyes, from noises everywhere.

Again with the maudlin review of everything in my house, but the death of this plant surely must signify something.  We planted it before there were children.  Before we thought we could.  Three plants, took over.  I swam in front of the moon and the plant, and cried and laughed.  I gave my kids countless popsicles, pondered my life in love with someone else, crying out in the black night for God or whoever is running the universe to hear me.  The Purple Hood, shielding me and giving me comfort and anonymity.

And now.

Now, my fence stands naked and broken.  Propped up with some metal stakes, 2 feet shorter, blonded wood that I haven’t seen for a long time.  Just one side of it. 

So, there must be some sort of requiem for the Morning Glory.  To anyone else, it looks like refuse that the city will pick up in a few days.  To me, it’s yet another piece of the history of my family, and oh.  If it could talk…

*Lyric from Sounds of Silence