I want to run through the tall, green grass with Colin Farrell. Of course we would do so in his homeland of Ireland. Let me explain.
When I have a fight with my husband and we call each other names and we are stuck in the car together for a 1.5 hr drive, it's unpleasant. I should know better than to argue in the car because short of jumping out (which I have considered), I am stuck with him.
So here is what I do to escape the situation mentally.
I fantasize of running away to a far off country such as Ireland and finding a small seaside villa that overlooks the ocean from a cliff (thus seaside). The mountains are rich in aqua colours of green and wildflowers grow everywhere and as soon as I touch down on this great land, Colin Farrell appears from behind a tree and reaches out his hand and says (in his Irish accent not the fake American one)"I've been waiting for you. Let's go for a walk in the tall green grass."
So we go for a lovely walk and then he says "I'm really, really hungry - can you make me some fried cod?"
To which I reply "Sure" even though I have no cooking skills whatsoever.
So Colin leaves to fish for the cod (somewhere in Ireland where I am not sure they even have cod) and I decide to draw a bath (having no interest in frying cod).
Then suddenly my dream is interrupted by my husband who has stopped at the gas station and is asking me if I want anything to which I reply:
"A Drakes Coffee Cake and some really bad gas station coffee"
Then I returne to Colin who has joined me in the bath (because this is my dream). He is rubbing my sore shoulders and neck and swishing the frothy soap across my back.
Then suddenly my dream is interrupted by my husband as we arrive at the cottage, unpack and take out the dogs; after which I make my way out onto the patio under a starlit sky and continue my repeatedly interrupted dream fantasy of Colin Farrell.
So we are in the bath still....and I work up the nerve to turn around and find his lips and kiss them passionately. And guess what? He is kissing me back. I am freaking out but not so that he can see and I can't wait for what comes next and then...suddenly
My dream is interrupted by my husband who asks -
"What do you want to have for dinner?"
To which I reply "Fried Cod" (hoping my husband will go fishing and leave my time to complete my dream however he does not fish and I don't think there are any cod in our neck of the woods).
At this moment, reality hits and I realize that my husband can't fish, I cant' cook and I'm definitely not in Ireland.
The moral of the story: Just go ahead and have the argument in the car that you have every time you are in the car with your husband. The one that goes like this..."Slow Down" - "Learn how to Drive before you tell me to slow down. I'm not even going fast."
And save your Colin Farrell fantasy for when you go to sleep. By then your husband will be sleeping in front of the TV and there won't be any interruptions.
It's already becoming dark outside earlier. It's already Fall. The Jewish New Year is knocking at the door and standing there by it are the souls we have lost in the year gone by.
Whenever there is a holiday or a reason for our family to get together and sit around a dinner table I am reminded of how fortunate I am. At the same time, I look for family members, people I have so greatly loved and so very much miss who no longer sit there in a chair conversing, laughing and looking my way.
We all lose people we love and when holidays come around, especially the New Year, a myriad of memories flood our minds and churn at our souls leaving us short of breath and weak at the knees.
A Grandmother, a sister, a brother, an uncle, a mom, a dad - where have they gone and how do you move forward without them?
Scents bring me back. This time of year when I arrive at my parents home and I smell the chicken soup, roast potatoes and my mother's incredible cakes and pies, I can close my eyes and see all of us seated at a long table with cousins, aunts, uncles, all at them Grandmother's apartment to celebrate a holiday. I hear her laughter - a cackle and complain that the brisket is too rough (difficult to chew). I see the looks on the faces of her siblings all long since passed from this world. They are dressed up, perfumed, hair puffed in a whitish gray and smiling - so happy to be out of their abodes if even for a few hours - surrounded by family.
I smell perfume and meatballs. I see my brother and I sneaking out so we can run up and down the halls for no apparent reason until my father comes looking for us and we race back inside.
I see my Uncle up-right and present although he was given a diagnosis - terminal Cancer - just weeks before and somehow he makes it through all the way to Spring and Passover. He is relishing the company and studying the faces of his children and my brothers am me as if we were posing for sketch - a drawing that he is memorizing and printing in his soul so when he leaves, he will have our faces, our laughter, our innocence within him.
I also see my family dog Casey. He is a tiny Yorkie running around beneath every ones feet hoping for "drop offs". He knows to plant himself by my father whose lap is like an interstate highway with food racing down it to the floor. Casey goes on to live for 14 years and you can see his loss, his final breath in my mother's eyes - ingrained there forever.
We all see, remember and think of different people in our lives who are no longer with us in every day reality but who will remain with us in our hearts and souls for eternity.
This time of year is about sweetness that falls like honey into the moments that make up our lives. Yet it is bittersweet in so many ways as well. It's a balancing act of where we are, where we were and where we are going although the latter is impossible to predict and the past impossible to alter.
It's the "now" we need to nurture. It's the family and friends who surround us in bringing this New Year in that we need to appreciate and for whom we need to show thanks.
And when we close our eyes it's still okay to have whomever we are missing right there at the table with us because you know what? They've been there all along.
Alone - it's an awful word.
I meet people often who spend day in, day out alone. Some are fortunate to have a pet but most can't because it's not affordable or they live in a rooming house that does not allow it.
I know them well. They participate in support groups that I facilitate for those suffering from mental illness. They have lost their mental health, jobs, financial independence, in some cases their entire family support, their friends, their pride, their dignity and inevitably themselves.
These are the people you see on the "side lines" when you go about your every day routines. They are sitting alone in cafes nursing a cup of coffee and a muffin while reading or writing hoping that someone will look their way and perhaps smile or say hello.
They are the ones walking - always walking because it's free and it takes up time and they have no where else to go and nothing else to do.
They are also the ones who may look as if they are staring right past you but they aren't staring at all, they are looking for someone that is no longer there.
They may appear as if they are lost and in a daze; their eyes faded and dull. That's because they are on medication much like someone with Diabetes who is on insulin or someone with Crohn's who is on steroids except their medication is for their brain - their brain is sick.
Have you ever tried to work or think or do anything with a sick brain? It's tough, it's scary and unpredictable because there are all these loose wires that hiss and sting and send shock waves through the tunnels that deliver thoughts, decisions, feelings and pain.
No one should have to be alone. Of all the many causes, runs, walks and cocktail fundraisers, where is the one for "being alone?"
If you know someone - a co-worker, neighbour, relative or anyone that is alone, do something for me - will ya - invite them out for a coffee, a meal, a movie. Give them some of your time and offer up your friendship. You can do that - you can give them a hand up and it doesn't take much. You talk to all sorts of people all day long. You have your friends, your family, your partner, your dog - aren't you lucky?
This week marks the Jewish New Year. I'm heading out to run a support group tonight and I intend to invite anyone who wishes to join me and my family for our "Rosh Hashanah" dinner.
It's not out of pity, it's out of decency and it's because "I can and I want to and so I will".
And if it gets them out of their room in a boarding house or basement apartment or parents home where the parents are becoming so old that they worry who will be there for their child - their grown child - then that is worth it one hundred times over.
There is nothing as lonely as being alone and there is nothing as loud as silence.