Eternal Delay

Rosie dressed her children up that day
Dressed them to a tee
Freshly scrubbed and clean and kempt
And sweet as they could be.

Off they went to the station
Washed in camouflage and green
All the reunited lovers
All the years that it had been.

It would be a special day
He would say, “You got so tall.”
For Emma hadn’t seen her father in 3 years
And Charlotte not at all.

And on and on the three would wait
But his face they did not see
Rosie decided to play a game
She called it ‘Where’s Daddy?’

She felt their soft warm hands in hers
And told her self not to fear
Surely he would be there soon
He had to be somewhere.

But as minutes turned to hours
Her spirits would soon fall
And still she could not believe
He would not appear at all.

The crowd had finally thinned to naught
And the train pulled from the station
And by and by the broken family stood
Still waiting.

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Neil Elterman Was…

Neil Elterman was my first boyfriend when I was in 6th grade. Neil Elterman was the first boy I smoked pot with, Neil Elterman was the first boy I listened to Metallica with, Neil Elterman was the first boy who broke my heart. And, as you can imagine, at 12 years old, there were a lot of other firsts (but no, not that one).

Neil Elterman had a cultivating personality. He was the leader of a group of five heavy metal mischief makers called the Dirtbags. Everyday Neil would act as ringleader to see what kind of trouble he could get them into that day, and you can only imagine the antics he would come up with.
Neil Elterman played games with me, games that men play. I didn’t even understand it at the time, but I would later, after dating so many other men. I could only wonder how he knew to do that at such a young age, how to be a bad boy.
Neil Elterman’s mother was sick. She was older than most of the other mothers and she had cancer. Much of Neil’s life was centered around a family who were constantly caring for her. His older sister did the best she could, but I suppose there was only so much she could do.
I remember when Neil’s friend told me she died…
Neil Elterman was smart. He was precocious. He was a leader. He could have been anything he wanted to be.
I didn’t know until I posted a picture of him on my Facebook page and someone wrote RIP next to his name. I googled him but came up with nothing, no memory, no memorial, no obituary, nothing. I finally worked up the nerve to ask a friend of mine.
Neil Elterman was a drug addict. Neil Elterman was a casualty. I’m sure he thought it was very impressive at the time. I’m sure he thought he was being innovative and glamorous. I wonder how he would have felt if he knew that he would be nothing, not even a link on the internet, just nothing.

My Grandfather Died Today

My grandfather died today. No really, you don’t need to be sympathetic. He was nearly 94 years old and his quality of life was not what it should have been and honestly, it was one of those things where we were just waiting for him to die.

The last time I saw him was about a year ago. He had no idea who I was and he kept staring at the meal schedule and asking me if it was time for dinner. I would scream in his ear “Dinner is at 4:30 and it’s about 2:30 now so, another two hours.” He would accept my answer and after a few seconds, the process would repeat itself.
The truth was, although it would have been kind of me to continue seeing him right up until The End, it was difficult for my children (he scared the bejeezus out of my daughter) who I had to take along, and he really didn’t know who I was, and, within about 2 minutes or so, he had no memory of ever seeing me. Not to mention the obscene amount of gas it took to get there and back. But I suppose, this is all beginning to sound like a lame excuse.
I imagine the women who worked in the nursing home seeing less and less people coming to visit the patients there, myself included, and thinking that it was sad…
I’m sure many people know how it is caring for old people. It is burdensome and expensive. My mother is not young herself, and her husband, quite a bit older than her, is also in failing health, I give her lot of credit for staying there and hanging on until the end.
I’m not going to lie. At the end, there was a lot of morbid jokes being made.
My mother sent me the news in a text today when I was at work. She tried to keep it light hearted, something like, “your grandfather passed so see ya!” How did I feel? Well a bit relieved, yes, but also sad. My grandfather was a bit of a curmudgeon, but he was the man who supported me when my dead beat father walked out. He was a good guy in the end.
I wrote back to my mother, “I actually feel a bit bad”. And her response came “Me too”.
Those two words written on the electronic screen just looked so sad and lonely that that alone brought tears to my eyes. After all, after our parents go, what is left between us and death?