Archive | February, 2022

Grief And Gratitude

27 Feb

Two years ago we adopted Stela, a blind pug. I had never been around a pug and had a lot to learn about their quirky nature. One skill she has is to be asleep on the couch, snoring loudly and on her feet a moment later when someone says one of the magic words, outside, potty, snacks, or walk. She’s a zero to a hundred in the blink of an eye kind of gal. Sometimes life is like that too.

Stela loves her pillow.

Last weekend I was blissfully returning from kayaking on Lake Bacalar, Mexico,where we live. I was anticipating the week leading up to my seventieth birthday, and in one misstep, I was sailing off the dock, landing on a pile of rocks, and screaming for my life. No bones were broken but doctor’s orders has me off my feet for 2-4 weeks. Zero to a hundred, but not in a good way.

I fell to the left of the kayak.

On Tuesday, our housekeeper of six years announced that she is pregnant with baby number five and could no longer work for us. While we completely understand it is the loss of a relationship that we were totally unprepared for. As much as I think that the people who work for us are not friends, the flood of tears said something different.

The husband of a friend and former neighbor from Texas lost his battle with cancer on top of the loss of our dear friend Suze the week before (Death Knocks) also to cancer.

On Sunday Lisa went to a celebration of life for her dear poker buddy Steve who died suddenly from Hepatitis C two years ago. He was a good guy.

Steve, Lisa’s Bacalar poker buddy and our friend.

I guess the only way we can be prepared for loss is to live every day fully. Many people don’t make it to seventy. I have a feeling that sadness and gratitude are a part of the aging process no one much talks about. I think fondly of Delmy, Troy, Suze and Steve as I grieve their loss. As for me, I think youth is vastly overrated. My bruised body will heal. None of us will ever be younger than we are right this minute, so enjoy today, live life to the fullest and above all be grateful.

DOS TORTAS

AFTER YOU DIE
Just so you know
after you die
I will not wonder
why you didn’t do
your dishes or
how long it’s been
since you
cleaned your
oven or microwave or
mopped your floors
or why there were
dust bunnies under
the bed and
behind the door

After you’re gone
I will not wonder
how you could
have allowed the
piles of old mail to
accumulate or
why you saved so
many bits and pieces
of this and that or
why you weren’t
more goal-oriented and
well-organized or
why your refrigerator
contained so many
expired condiments

When you are
absent from all your
familiar places
I vow to avoid wondering
why you didn’t
eat less and
exercise more or
why you waited so
long to stop smoking
or drinking or
whatever else was
simultaneously
soothing and
deadly or
why you took
whatever risk may
seem to have hastened
your exit or why
you left so much unsaid
unfinished or
unresolved

I will only wonder
if you knew how much
you mattered to me
just as you are
as you were when we
met in our temporary
human disguises and
laughed in the
dressing room of the
world at how funkily
our skin suits fit
at times

I will wonder and
hope you knew
you were beloved

I will wonder when
we last hugged
and whether you
felt how our
heartbeats
converged
and our bellies
bumped like boats
and then we
both sighed

Marva Lee Weigelt


A Not So Fine Line Between Stubborn And Stupid

20 Feb

Yesterday I was determined to pull my kayak out of the laguna myself. I had been out for a tootle around the neighborhood and was heading in for an anticipated massage, I was having an internal conversation completely ignoring the Four Pillars and acting the fool. “Asking for help” seems to be the one I ignore and has the greatest consequences of late.

A lovely morning to go kayaking.

I lost my balance playing tug-a-war with the kayak and fell off of the meter high dock into a couple of inches of water and a lot of rocks. I’m surprised you didn’t hear me screaming from wherever you are. I am bruised and a bit swollen. We’ll head to get an X-ray tomorrow just to be sure. Fingers crossed I didn’t break a bone. It’s not how I planned to spend my birthday that’s for sure.

About ten minutes before my accident.

I know it is said that an accident is an accident but my own stubbornness contributed. Nothing like learning the hard way.

DOS TORTAS

Addendum: No broken bones. Two weeks of rest, then I can start back swimming. I believe my trips to the gym have really helped. At least if you’ve got to hop around on one leg, it had better be strong.

Just Don’t Look In The Mirror

13 Feb

Somewhere I read once about a woman who had no mirrors in her house. She felt like spending time looking at ourselves was especially hard on women who are pressured to look beautiful, young, thin, etc. I thought it would be a good idea when we built our house in the Mexican jungle, until my wife put the kibash on that idea. Sigh.

We have a mirror in each bathroom. They only reveal our upper torso. You can imagine my shock when going to the gym and seeing myself in a large floor to ceiling. My self image was completely shattered.

My gym outfit.

Looking down I look pretty damn good for almost 70. I’ve lost fifteen pounds (6.8k) since November. I’ve been working out at the gym and in less than two months I can already see definition in my arms. I got my bloodwork back today and I lowered my LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) by 45 points into the normal range. I raised my HDL by 20. My doctor is very pleased. I am thrilled.

While I’m never going to look like the sweet young things in the gym, I am having a wonderful time and I feel great. As long as I remember not to look in the mirror.

DOS TORTAS

A Kind Word Can Change Your Life

6 Feb

I grew up in a backwater town in New Jersey in the Eastern United States. My final year of elementary school was a one room classroom with a single teacher and eight fellow students. One day as we neared graduation, a counselor from the high school (secondary) showed up and like the sorting hat in Hogwarts, divided us into college prep and business.

Eighth grade graduation age 14

No one asked me if I wanted to go to college. I’d never seen a college, didn’t know anyone who went and wasn’t sure why anyone would go. I was extremely naïve. For college preparation I was required to take a foreign language. I chose Spanish for some reason and ended up in the classroom of Mrs. Durst.

I liked her a lot. Her gentle manner and attentive spirit made her class a pleasure that I looked forward to. One day she casually told me that I had a good accent. For some unknown reason her compliment affected me deeply and stayed with me to this day. It changed the trajectory of my life.

Junior year abroad, making tamales with my Mexican family.

I did end up in college and chose Mexico for a junior year abroad program. My one year of Spanish proved insufficient and I selected an intensive Spanish class, four days a week. When my program was completed I chose to live in Texas where I could continue to use Spanish and be closer to my beloved Mexico.

The ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan. A foreign language can change your world.

Today I am retired and live full time in southern Mexico. I can’t imagine living anywhere I would not speak Spanish. Who knows where my life would have been if not for a casual compliment by a beloved teacher. We just never know the affect we have on each other. I have looked for her several times to no avail. Thank you Fran Durst.

DOS TORTAS

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