Heat All Around

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Fear is something I have known most of my life. My Grandmother...had she not been the only "real" parent figure I had, I do not know where I would be today.

There is no need for me to go into details...some of this I have already shared, my mother was an alcoholic. Her disease began long before I was born...in fact by the time I was born she'd already honed her disease for fifteen years.

My Dad had a lot of anger within him that he did not bother to control. It was my Dad who chose the man I married.

My marriage was a total of eleven years. A lot of bad things can happen in eleven years, and they did.

Finally the marriage ended, but the damage done during the marriage is permanently engraved on my flesh, my mind, my heart, and my soul.

The flesh is the easiest part of the equation to deal with. In my thirties I had extensive surgeries to find a functioning human being beneath the network of scars, whip-lashed flesh, and drug destroyed internal organs.

Finally I went to college and cried in utter relief when I got that first "A"...the drugs had NOT fried my brain.

I was this close to graduating when they found the dark spots on my lungs and the cough that is strong enough to break my ribs was found. Seems somewhere within my life, I've developed a hole in the top left lung. (I am one of only six people in the entire world with such a hole...and no, they have no idea what to do about it.)

The dark spots...well they're scar tissue that has somehow found its way into the cosy cavities of both lungs.

Hall's Cool Berry Fruit Breezers have become my addiction. They soothe the ravaged throat muscles that the cough rips to shreds.

I returned to Graduate School...and was finishing up my Practicums when my first bout of cancer hit...and yes, in an area already abused and misused during the years of my marriage.

What is left is weak, so I live in constant fear...I do not eat out in public...can't take the chance.

Seven years later, the end of 1998, cancer returned. Chemo and radiation...surgery. To get through the emotional pain of having this part of my body once more under attack, I threw myself into getting my PhD. I don't often share what my doctorate is it, but it along with Glenn Kleier's book, THE LAST DAY, saved my sanity. My PhD is in THEOSOPHICAL EDUCATION...oh and earning my degree made me an ordained non-denominational minister.  How weird is that, Lea? And if my being that changes how any of you think about me or treat me, I'm going to be more than just a little pissed off!

What was already weak, weakened more.

June 30th, 2007, an intestinal obstruction landed me on the critical list and in the hospital...and because of the blows I took to certain portions of my body, an umbilical hernia punched through.

July 26th, 2007 The umbilical hernia was operated on...it now reclines on what I call, its mesh hammock for the rest of my life...we hope.

July 29th 2008 I suffered something they call a mini-stroke or a TIA. The right side of my face...well it sagged...my mind got fuzzy...and has never completely recovered.

August 10th, 2008, Eric found us. Eric is my ex-husband's brother, and believe me, I had no reason to trust anyone from that side of the universe. What finally got me to drop the walls enough to let Eric in?

Seems my ex-husband was arrested in March 2001 and Eric wanted the truth..and even though he was pretty sure the truth was going to be bad, he has such a core of honor, he sought us out.

He has disowned his family and absorbed us into his. His wife has told me for the first time he feels like he's found a part of himself that he always felt was missing.

Eric gave us back something we hadn't realized how much we were missing...family.

April 1, 2010 I was having problems in my lower left side. I had never been diagnosed with diverticulitis...an emergency (STAT) CT scan proved I had it now, but also proved cancer might be back in the other part of me down there that my ex so casually destroyed. 

Further testing...horrific testing that felt like I was back there in that marital violence followed. Nightmares are something I can usually keep at bay...but not after that.

I do not EVER let a male doctor near me...even letting a woman doctor touch me takes a great deal of inner strength. 

Surgery had to be performed. There was a female doctor, but she had no openings until October...this now was July. (Testing requires approval by insurance companies now...so getting anything done immediately unless it is a STAT situation is impossible.)

I am not going to bore you with how the male treated me...I wanted to get it over and done with...so took my tranquilizers and had the surgery.

Six weeks of calling and leaving messages FINALLY got the male doctor to call me back, very annoyed, and tell me the biopsy of the tissue taken from me was benign. 

There is no need for me to tell you all the other things that were going on in our lives. Kat and I had battles that had nothing to do with either of our health issues on our plates too. Some of you know what those issues were...some don't.

Fast Forward...bleeding...went to my primary...what she saw without touching worried her and her nurse.

She spoke to the surgeon before sending me to him...YES a HIM...He looked without touching...now remember I have to be heavily sedated to let my FEMALE doctor near me, so know I was sedated now too...My mind is not in the best place. 

He would not touch just look...no touching would be done until I am out in the OR...scheduled surgery for Jan. 21st.

The mind slipped back into the world of my marriage...a horrible place...and my nerves began screaming.

Kat had never seen me lose it...I kept that away from my children...but I lost it on the phone with the surgeon's scheduler and Kat saw it. My therapist also witnessed it.

Both were terrified I was going to mentally fracture...canceling the surgery and saving my sanity? Or going ahead and have the surgery...those were the options. 

None of us knows why the messages my therapist left my primary never made it to her, but she had no clue I'd canceled the surgery until I saw her last Wednesday for the shingles outbreak.

So there you have it. I know I am a coward, but I cannot re-write my history and that is what I have to live with.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


It is 6:30 in the morning here. I went to sleep less that four hours ago, and now here I am, up and running again.

Yesterday, or was it the day before?...With

so little sleep it is really hard to tell about time elapsing...but for the purpose of this posting, let us just say, "yesterday."

Yesterday I wrote here about those people who have made

Muse Publishing such a wonderful family place to live.

However since my ex-husband's

brother found us two, going on three years ago, forcing us out of our own private shadows, there have been MANY people who have entered our world to make it such a rich and FINALLY, beautiful place to be, and they deserve the accolades they richly deserve.

Eric, you are so unlike your brother it is hard to believe you came from the same

gene pool. You re-entered our world shortly after I'd had a

mini-stroke. My already

sagging jaw dropped, and

my heart crashed and splintered to the ground.

WHY? my brain screamed, and if you found us, was your brother behind it?

But instead of coming into our lives to hurt us, you came to give us acceptance of the truth...not your brother's version of truth, but the REAL truth.

I am so very

sorry you had to learn the truth because I know how deeply the words and mental images those word conjured,

hurt you. You are a hero,

documented, and one of the bravest men I have ever known. You are strong, but can be tender, compassionate, loving, and embracing. You are the model I used in creating Cameron Drayton, my hero in

SANTA IS A LADY, and you are the reason I can finally breathe peacefully for the first time in going on 28 years now.

Audrey, my beautiful, generous, understanding sister.

YOU worked diligently so Eric could find us. You told me he NEEDED to find us because there was a hole inside him where we belonged.

You both knew the probability that what we would reveal would be

dark and bad, but you rallied on. Eric and you both shared that it really was YOU who found my son's website and through it, us.

Your love for your husband, Eric, is so strong, you helped him find us, and opened your arms to welcome us into the fold of your wonderfully close-knit family.

I had always wanted a sister. I remember asking my Mom to please, please, please

buy me a baby sister.

She told me the store was totally sold out of ALL babies. I didn't understand at the time what that meant. All it meant to me then was I wasn't going to ever have a sister...and I didn't...

until you. I wish we lived closer, though, because it would be a dream come true to be able to sit with you, close enough to see the multitude of expressions your lovely face would reveal as we talked.

Perhaps, one day, somewhere in the future, that will happen. Until then, your

voice on the phone is intoxicating to this woman's

hungry heart, and I thank you from the bottom of that hungry heart, for family.

This next person, is the very first person who scaled the

walls I'd encased my heart in back in the late 1980's. Suzie.

Suzie worked at John Wanamaker's in the Luggage Dept. Like my Grandma, Suzie was petite, with pure white hair, who many found abrasive, hard assed, and sometimes downright irritating. Like me, you had your own walls, and maybe because of that, recognized a bit of yourself in me.

I remember the day you told me what your late husband had done. We were having lunch at the Friendly's just outside Wanamaker's mall side portal. You spoke of an angry, vicious man, jerking the wheel of the car you two were in, bursting through the bridge's railings and plunging into the icy Delaware River. You chilled me with your recounting of how you managed to get your mangled body free of that sinking mausoleum, and paddle your way to the surface.

YEARS it took you to learn how to reuse that tiny body, and how, as a single mother, you had to enter the workforce at an age that should have been golden for you.

I know you are gone from this plane of existence, and

I grieve for your loss every day...I have ALL of the cards you consistently sent me thumb-tacked to the walls in my bedroom. All I need to do is look up, look left, look straight ahead, look right and you are there, but more importantly like my Grandmother,

Nonnie, who I also grieve for every day, you are here inside me, a part of me and part of the woman I am today. Your cantankerous veneer was how you protected yourself from more hurt, just as I had my stand-offish atittude, some thought snobbish veneer.

You, My Darling Suzie, became for me the

Mother, my mother, in her alcoholic stupor, could not be, and the Grandmother for my children, that Nonnie WOULD have been. I love you, Suzie...thank you for loving me.

Suzie died of cancer five years ago, and I felt her death long before I had any confirmation of her death. I miss her.

Health issues forced me back into my shell of utmost protection building it even higher. It is not healthy to want to create

an emotional island.

My daughter,

a rare gift from God and the Universe was my only constant. Our closeness sometimes is the only thing that keeps me placing one foot in front of the other. Had she not been here, I know I would have quietly slipped into my own form

of catatonia.

She did not allow that to happen after Eric returned to our lives and the memories of the atrocities my ex committed upon me returned in devastatingly vivid detail.

Writing has always been my

naughty secret from everyone but Kat and one woman who ran the Book Swap. Donna and Kat were formidable in praising my ramblings. On March 29th, their proddings became reality. I was now a Muser.

My body, on the other hand, was making my life adventurous...I needed help...my mind was slipping in and out of the

rabbit hole thanks to those returned memories.  I was reluctant to head back into therapy. I hadn't had the best of luck with therapists. The one I had seen before filing for divorce was exclusive to that township. The children and I had to leave when our house sold. Ted could no longer be our counselor.

The one after Ted was one of those who preaches the premise that, "you're out of it. He can't hurt you any longer. Stop whining and move on."

I did move on, to another therapist. This one sat on the edge of his seat, salivating over the details of the sexual violence with the material covering

his own excitement bulging.

I moved on from him too. I found Judy. Judy and I worked well together and we were making progress when Judy was in a near fatal car crash.

They'd assign me another therapist, if I wanted them to, but my story is hard enough to describe the first time around...starting over?

No thanks.

But Eric re-entering my life, releasing the horrid memories, battles with my daughter's

former publisher and new health battles drove me to the point where I knew I needed help...like yesterday, but most definitely today.

Lisa, this adorable, petite brunette attached with Jewish Family and Children Services took me, grand-daughter of a Cherokee, on. We established a...let's just say, I trusted her. Lisa and JFCS do not JUST take care of the emotions...they have in place operatives to take care of ALL aspects of the human story. Lisa knew the Soc.Sec. monies we live on was not enough...she sent me to Claire.

Claire, four years my senior took care of the

financial and

food needs...but she became so much more. I wish I could explain the process we have going on inside us that tells us when we have met someone destined to be a part of our lives. Claire is intricately

woven into the fabric of who I am and who I will become in the days, weeks, months, years still ahead of me.

I feel like I have known her forever. Thank the merciful Heavens, Claire was a part of my life because Lisa, my sweet, caring, wise Lisa, was badly assaulted

by her autistic son during Passover last year...right when I learned my body was once more degenerating from the damage no reconstructive surgery I had in abundance in the early 1980's could fix permanently.

Claire is the one who let me cry and tremble in her office. Claire is the one that heard me slip into a very dark, dangerous place. Claire is the one that kept me from giving up on this body I am forced to live out my days in. Claire

gave me unconditional love. Claire kept me whole while the medical world shattered me. 

She and my daughter kept me going.

I love you, Claire, and yes everyone, I will be sending this to Claire too. Claire, I am beyond lucky to have found you, thank you Lisa, and now that I have,

 I won't ever let you go. You have no idea how much it meant to me to know you find

my voice, soothing. After all you did for me to know my little-girl voice helped you? Ah Claire...but you better be

eating on schedule...and how I miss

sitting with you and TELLING you to eat because I could see the struggle to remain conscious on your dear face.


I've mentioned Winnie many times before...my 76 year old friend who survived

the Blitz, came to America, fell in love with a black man in the South where racial tensions were at

powder-keg levels. In the past two years, Winnie has had to bury two of her children, the last one just two weeks ago.

Despite her anguish, she worries about me and my daughter. I spent over two hours with her

on the phone the day before yesterday. She is such a strong, beautiful soul, and

my daughter and I are so blessed to have her in our lives, but SHE feels blessed to have us in hers.

I ache for the pain, fear, and prejudice she endured, and I cannot fathom the horror of burying one child let alone two.

This brings me full circle now because this is where

Muse came into my life, and that part was covered in my previous posting.

There are others that I now greet with a

cheery wave or even a comfortably casual word. Prior to

Eric finding us, none of that happened...so Eric, thank you for giving us back what your brother took...

our ability to be part of

the out-there world.

You and Audrey may not have realized it when you began your hunt for us, but you saved us...oh and Eric, now that you are back in our lives,

I'm not letting you go either.

I love you little brother, and adore the family you brought with you.

And there you have my own HEART'S BELONGINGS.

Oh, and by the way...it is now 10:54 AM.