Weekend Coffee Share, On Relating and Forgiveness

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer, accompanied by the music of Agnes Obel. It’s a good day to invite tranquility in. I’m getting my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine today and following up an eventful, slightly stressful wake packed full with just, well, too much for my liking. Still, I managed.

State testing was the first challenge, though nothing compared to handling the emotions of my son moving out ON THE VERY SAME DAY. However, I focused all day on the positives and paced the aisles as the students whittled away at their thoughts and words for a state writing test. My ex had flown down to help my son move and get all things in order as possible. The students had my attention; I kept the thoughts at bay. I felt happy that my son is stepping into independence, happy that I may have a new sort of freedom now that my son is moving out on his own. All the while acknowledging that I felt relief and a little worry at the same time, but knowing that this is a necessary step.

My son and my mother, circa 1997-98.

I got to see it after work on Wednesday. The place is small, a studio apartment, but the landlords put in a new stove and ceiling fan. There is faux wood flooring which looks very nice. He got his bed and long dresser in there, has to keep his bike inside, and there’s a bookshelf. There is no room for a sofa. Mom and I decided to get him some folding cloth chairs and TV trays.

After seeing the place, my ex-husband took me, my mom, and my son out to eat a steak dinner. My son was so tired, and my ex was talking a lot about details and ways my son could improve his life, get a car, etc. I’ve mentioned before that my son had a bad car accident three years ago. He also has a mood disorder that is mostly kept in check. He gets lost in the details, and it is not wise to throw too many at him at once. He truly needs to take it one day at a time, but I am proud of how he lined up all he needed to do to get this apartment. He does not have a high-paying job but makes enough to pay me rent, so now he’ll see what true independence is.

It is true that my ex-husband can worry a detail down to a fine thread. Sadly, I guess that is one thing we had in common. He is more of a “You’ve got to do this” sort of person. I am more of a “You need to do this, and if you don’t get that done, what is your back-up plan?” gal. Obviously, we did not get along well enough to stay married; it only lasted 5 years, so dating and marriage for us lasted seven years, and my son was only 2 1/2 years old when I had to leave that marriage, after two failed marital counseling attempts. I felt controlled, manipulated, trapped. He would get onto me about who I befriended and talk them down to me, also accusing me of affairs with male co-workers (which did not happen at all). He stressed me out a lot.

In the years we were together, I had some depression, had a rough post-partum year, and his drinking was problematic. Sometimes I wonder if stress during pregnancy led to my son’s emotional state. I have often been very wary of my ex when he’s back around. I sent my son to live with him one summer six years ago, and it did not go well at all; my son was anxious to come back a month later. I have to try to avoid blame, yet I do feel I’ve forgiven him.

There’s a funny thing about forgiveness. It means “to grant pardon” or “cease to feel resentment.” It is healthy for us, they say, and can prevent the toxicity of such feelings to ruin us. Still, I want to point out that forgiveness does not mean letting down boundaries, which exist for a good reason: self-preservation. In my past year of self-improvement and looking inward, I have been re-establishing and exercising boundaries in relationships with family, at work, and with others. You can forgive someone, but still keep the boundary up. I’ve given past relationships a second chance and learned things didn’t work the first time for a reason. It is not a lesson lost.

My mother is impressed in the changes she sees in my ex. Yes, I’ll admit there is some goodness in that man and he seems to have straightened up. He is here when my son really needs him. I am allowing him to do that. He bought a microwave and some other things for my son’s apartment. The two of them may be bounding, and that’s good. So, I sat at dinner and enjoyed it whole-heartedly, telling him what a handsome son we have and how I love my son.

It is notable that, I have been divorced from my ex for twenty-two years. I dated a few other men after, but I have currently been dating the same man, Kenny, for eleven years now. That relationship provides me some freedom to be my own person and has allowed me to determine what I want: to come forward in my writing, to communicate with the world instead of hiding. I relate to others more freely and have found it benefits my teaching by showing I care and have empathy, benefits how I relate to co-workers, and not being afraid of relating to others makes me feel better about myself. I had a past full of secrets kept from my mom, a therapist, friends. Where I learned I shouldn’t tell my husband everything for fear of being judged or having it spun out of context. I have learned I’m imperfect but pretty awesome as I am.

My current boyfriend, Kenny, has boundaries and likes an amount of time to himself. I am finding that, so do I. Therefore, I am happy with all that has come about. I do wish some things had happened differently and had gone better for my son, but I am going to make the best of today and perhaps make it better.

So, I sat across from my ex-husband, with my son to the left of me who looked quite tired from working the usual hours and moving in the afternoon. My mother was to the right of me, raising a glass of wine, wishing for a good transition and new life opportunities, smiling at us all. I smiled and thanked my ex-husband for the dinner. I hugged my son and said “I love you” as they left. Then, I went to Target and happily bought some chairs and TV trays to support my son in his move.

Thursday I had a usual workday with Spring-springy middle schoolers and evening time to myself for exercising. Friday after work, I had dinner and caught up on my sleep. It has also been a wake-up-at-2 a.m. and struggle to sleep again week. I made up for it last night. So, this morning it is coffee and a vaccine shot at 11 a.m. I look forward to more rest later!

Have a good weekend, my friends. I wish you all a reconciliation with your past events and/or decisions, a present that cannot be controlled but only appreciated, and a belief in a hopeful future!

Undercurrents in Time, Kindle ebook deal. #.99

Read Undercurrents in Time, a tale of the balance between love for another and love for oneself, between adventure and finding home on a Kindle Countdown deal, just .99 until 4/22!

N.N. Light Blog made Undercurrents a finalist in their 2018 Book Award Contest in the #scifi and sci-fi/romance category.
Undercurrents in Time is the sequel to Detours in Time. Milt and Tabitha went to places they could never have imagined. Has the wanderlust faded? Find out what happens next…

Find Detours in Time or Undercurrents in Time here at my Amazon author site:

https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716

In the Nineties. #poetry

mosaic alien on wall
Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

(c) Pamela Schloesser, 2019

It was the nineties,

I was young, and you were bold,

I just wanted to be told

How beautiful I was.

My brother skated, my mother worried,

And I tried not to seem so smart.

 

It was the nineties;

I just wanted to be cool

and I wanted to be pretty.

I married someone

who was the life of the party.

We were all about

Chinese takeout

and a thirteen inch t.v.

Californians were cooler than us

Moulder and Scully were

more interesting than us.

We’d finish our X-files and takeout

and sit on the back porch

watching for our own aliens.

 

I’d retreat to some Stephen King

you’d escape somewhere partying

with people cooler than I.

You’d always return,

whether I liked it or not;

I was home base.

Whether you walked straight or not

if you howled at the moon or not,

whether you were seeing two or three,

I was still home base.

 

Starting a family didn’t help.

Threatening to leave didn’t help.

It was the nineties and we were

just who we were.

But I didn’t like you interpreting

my place anymore.

 

It was nineteen ninety eight

and time to get things straight.

Growing up is important.

We do what we must do,

and it was time to acknowledge

that I couldn’t grow with you.

 

It was the late nineties

and I’d dashed your world,

split up our family, taken your son.

I was many horrible things

all rolled up into one.

But I walked on that broken glass

with a toddler in my hands

to freedom on the other side.

 

It was the nineties,

and then it no longer was.

A new millenium,

The crossing of a threshold.

I was thirty, and wise

but not at all old.

I look back, glad Iit’s in the past.

But still, I learn when I look back.

**The nineties were an important part of me, and such a very interesting decade on their own.  This timeframe has shown up in my writing, particularly in the book, Detours in Time.  You can find out about this book and series at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF  Thank you for stopping by, and I do hope you will return to my blog.  I offer a little bit of everything here.  Cheers!

 

#FFfAWchallenge “A Date to Remember”

mikevorephoto-20170206154748798

Photo courtesy of Mike Vore

A Date to Remember, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

(c) 2017,  All rights reserved

 

“It’s small, but cozy, and there’s no one around for miles,” Tom said.

He was being so sweet, trying to honor this special day.

“Wonderful!  Thanks for finding something on such short notice.”

He held my hand in his own.

“If we get a permit for a baby, we’ll move up.”  He looked at me shyly.

“Or not.”  I smiled, gazing on the truck.  Tom didn’t know I’d failed the genetic test.    Based on a small chance of Down Syndrome and/or addiction in future offspring, I’d never get approved.

“That’s okay, either way.  You are what matters to me.”  He smiled.

“I have to tell you something…”

“No, no explaining needed.”  He took my other hand and kissed me.  What a magical day.

On a tree, not far from our truck “room,” Tom carved our initials.  TC + LP, married May 12, 2062.

 

**Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) is hosted by Priceless Joy and provides a prompt photo each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Linking for this challenge begins on Tuesday and runs to the following Monday evening.

The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Visit other flash fiction stories and/or enter yours at http://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/fffaw-challenge-week-of-february-7-2017/

#flashfiction FFfAW challenge. “Michael’s Fairies.”

flashfictionfaeiriesphoto-20170130154651135 Photo courtesy of Jessica Haines.

“Michael’s Fairies,”  (c) 2017

by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

“He wouldn’t come away from the puddles,” Ray complained.  “He kept seeing things in the water.  Fairies, unicorns, …”

“Kids and their imaginations,” I shrugged.  How could I explain?   Ray didn’t understand.  Michael saw things, and that was that.  The rain didn’t matter.

“What took you so long with the teacher?”

“Issues.” I shrugged, offering nothing more.  “Thanks for waiting, though.”

Ray dismissed it with a wave.  “Gotta go.”

Despite two years together, I knew he’d never grace my doorway with his presence again.  And did it matter?  He did not make the cut.

I closed the door.

“I’m sorry,” Michael whispered.

“Don’t you ever be sorry for being you, honey,” I said with a smile, because I knew that was all Michael had done.  In a few weeks, I’d find a way to explain Ray’s absence from our lives.

Michael put his arms around my neck, and I returned the hug.

 

***Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers presents a new photo prompt challenge every Tuesday, and the challenge is open until the next Monday at https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/

I encourage you to enter your own, or go to their site and check out some more stories!

*Stories must be 100-150 words.(+-25)