Upcoming Mother’s Day 2021

For those of u who have been really following my blog, u might know that I am an aging orphan, aging out alone.

That opening is really somber and casts a shadow on this particular writing already. Probably upon reading it, u decided it’s not something u want to read even. Because when u r depressed, or “Debbie Downer” on your communication, people eschew u like The Plague. No one wants to be brought down by others. We all have our own crap to deal w, as it is. I understand. So if u cannot stand more misery, go ahead, skip this blog entry. Go back to your own life and put it out of your mind. Find some pleasure in food, drink, movies, exercise, a walk in the sunshine, travel, anything really, even going out to the mall. They need your business, really badly.

I find myself particularly pensive and sad this April 18th, which is just 3 weeks prior to this year’s Mother’s Day in the USA, which is May 9th this year. My birthday is always near and occasionally on Mother’s Day. We move further in time from the event of my beloved Mother’s death, which was October 31st, 2014. My last birthday w her alive was my historic 50th, and I hold on to that memory, like it is a strong rope holding me from the cliff I am falling from. I did so love that birthday celebration!! We did a full event at a catering hall in Queens, NY, and had a respectable number of family and friends attend even. I even had my relationship w my only sister then, well my only blood sister. Since then, we have become estranged. And so, she is effectively gone from my life as well.

My reality is quite horrible daily. I feel trapped in it, even tho I struggle to maintain, go on, chat w people, go for walks, do errands, enjoy movies, food being a solace, and make plans to get out. But my loneliness is a risk factor 4 death and disability, even more than I currently have. It impacts on longevity too, and is an independent risk factor for the unexpected happening, like a medical event, where u really need someone near u in order to make it out alive. Have u ever seen someone choking on food, and cannot breathe? Being alone at home, this is death, so u need to be mindful of that. There is some email u get as to how to push against the table or some fixed object to do a self Heimlich Maneuver, but really u have only seconds to accomplish that before u lose consciousness.

This is the reality of aging alone, w a family history of neurological illness, that predisposes to dysphagia, which is a swallowing disorder, which makes it more likely u will in fact choke. I do not yet have any neurological disorder diagnosis. When I do, I will need a home health aide to be here at least the bulk of every day. I have a spare bedroom in case. My friends mostly all still work, because they need to. I do have 2 current girlfriends who receive Social Security Disability, as I do. So we r all retired as a result. We all have legitimate reasons for our designations.

And on top of all this, I have some amorphous plans to see my close girlfriends, and am hoping that they bite soon, as to when they will get together w me, in May, even if not on my actual birthday. I also hope to see some of my dear boyfriends, who r not “boyfriends,” as in not romantic, but instead male friends. I hope to hear from a dear cousin too, as we have a potential get together on a trip to Maine, but his silence makes me think it won’t happen. Oh well, I can and will go alone: that is my go to position on trips, even tho I am an extrovert, and appreciate having company. I have to lower my expectations in life now, as I am chronologically only entering age 57, but feel like an old lady of 20 yrs older. I do however fight! I may go to the NY Botanical Garden late this coming week, just because nature helps my mood. Even tho it implies a lot of walking in the park. I need good weather in order to accomplish it tho. Susceptibility to illness is also a concern.

And on top of all the life losses, the hardest one is knowing that I would have been a great mother! I put always other people’s concerns 1st, looking at situations from the other person’s angle, and act accordingly. I was once found a good candidate to adopt a special needs child, when my family was still alive, specifically looking for a kid in foster care, maybe advanced ages, to get out of that pickle. But no child that was appropriate ever materialized at the time we were accepted. And then, I entered into the fray again, post my mom’s passing, which was a watershed life moment 4 me. But then, being in active grieving, I was rejected at that time. And there were other issues, in that being so isolated, there was no friend I had who could be a substitute guardian in case I died, so that’s unfair to any prospective child, to be at risk too, to enter into foster care, in case I died. I wouldn’t do that to any child, especially one who had already been traumatized previously. So my search ended.

I would never be a mother in this life. My own mother and grandmothers of course were all dead. Frieda died when I was 13 and Esther when I was 31. I would have taken a path of better dealings w my theoretical child, because I do that in everything I do. I build on learning and therapy I have received. And so, I also remind myself that w the considerable caregiving I have done all my life, having a child too may have actually been too much. My brain says it is likely to have caused an emotional explosion, but my heart is heavy as we approach May again, neither a mom, nor even a birthday girl w an actual date of meeting my now de facto family, my close friends. At least I have that tho. I will keep surviving, because God is not done w me. I still have roles to fulfill.

Dreams

The pandemic has infiltrated our dreams as well as our daily waking lives. When u r under an umbrella, all encompassing stressor, that may even destroy u, whether by death or permanent disability, i.e. “long COVID,” which has a constellation of symptoms…well, u can’t escape the fact that this existential threat has to be put into perspective, in some way, or else it’ll harm u in ways u can’t imagine. No one can be in a constant state of “fight or flight,” as in adrenal gland pumping out stress hormones like cortisol. U will go into massive inflammatory response internally, and that isn’t any good 4 u. U have to reach some internal accommodation w your stressors, also known as homeostasis. I do have a scientific background, as u can see, w this vocabulary and explanation. And that makes me proud of who I am, that my background is rich in language and culture, science, tech, volunteerism, skills like photography, writing, arts like cooking, so many things! But enough now about me. I am saying so just so u don’t look at me as a life failure, because the culture that I am part of ascribes enormous significance to your physical appearance. I AM SO MUCH MORE THAN MY BODY APPEARANCE!! And so r u, as well. And conversely, my profession is not the totality of who I am either. My tendrils of a beautiful tapestry weave into many lives, over the decades I am alive, and will even do so possibly post my live existence, because of this blog and other writings I have made. I reach into the future even. I hope my story will be helpful to others, via the eternal internet.

But back to dreams. Your subconscious mind tries to make sense of this change in life circumstances, in order to deal better w it. People have found escape in dreams, whether they be sexual, as in discharging anxiety thru physical orgasm, a preferred method of dealing w a lack of a real partner, or even in place of someone u r with in life, who isn’t cutting it 4 u exclusively, or the ordinary symbolic dreams w need for interpretation of how it all fits together. Many people have also suffered nightmares that intensify their anxiety even, re the pandemic, or other stressors. We r tired by now, well, good and tired, as we have entered the 2nd year of the Pandemic Blues. This means some r just flouting the CDC public guidelines, by burning masks, avoidance of usage, not socially distancing, screaming out on social media how it is all bunk…and no more compliance! And also r delaying and obfuscating the need to get the vaccine, w excuses, concerns, anecdotal reports of bad bad side effects post vaccine, worries of the long term safety of same….any excuse will do. Stay in, day in, day out, go out only for necessities, do not see anyone anymore, either as friends, or for business reasons, even maintenance deferred. No one is safe! I know of shut ins like this, here in NYC. They break my heart.

Will u be able to resume normal life even eventually when significant numbers of people refuse to get the available vaccines?? Will we ever achieve herd immunity when so many millions just REFUSE?? IT IS TRULY A DYSTOPIAN NIGHTMARE. Can u live in a society where the disease continues at a broad clip to consume lives, w many millions more who have brain fog, tiredness, nausea and vomiting, joint aches, movement troubles, a constellation of mental illness, dementia, stroke, heart disease, it goes on and on…blood clots. Pick your poison. Some proportion of those afflicted w long COVID will be unable to work again, ever, permanently disabled. And your insomnia will also ramp up, as u cannot relax anymore in your isolation, your veritable oblivion. How long can u sustain that?? Well, as 4 me, I urge literally EVERYONE to get their vaccine(s), when that is possible 4 them. Not only 4 u, but 4 your broader community. Your dreams and sleep depend on it too, to reduce your inner stress.

I urge sexual dreams to everyone, to release your pent up miseries. There’s really nothing so good as an orgasm, to make u want 2 live! And use your chocolate sparingly, w it, or in waking time. Get pleasure, while u can. Your very life may depend on it, especially now. When your husband dreams of sex, it isn’t his fault, even if he dreams of another person. We r complex beings w strong appetites after all, and u can’t hold him responsible 4 his subconscious desires. I personally do not believe that any man can be exclusively solo w his partner 4ever in this way; it’s contrary to nature. He will see others and want them; it’s just a fact. Be glad that he inhibits his desire, in deference 2 u, and your marriage. That has to be enough, ladies. They aren’t wired as we r, after all. The mere thought of sexuality w another person is just something u have 2 tolerate. Enjoy, my friends! And pleasant dreams.

I will close w another form of media mention, even tho I lack the copyright to said song: “Dreams” is a magnificent song by the group Fleetwood Mac, w Stevie Nicks singing lead on that one. Love it! And it went platinum again not long ago, because a guy on a skateboard was drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice straight from a 2 quart container, singing happily w this song in the background! And he made a fortune from that video too! Booya! That was also pleasurable to this hedonistic woman, who dreams lustily often. Such a waste to lose such a resource to the world, guys. Some folks can never get enough. Even in an arid desert of desire.

Easter Tidings

This Easter Sunday finds me very contemplative, and I am uncertain that this is a good thing. I contemplate and ponder my existence often as it is, so why do holidays seem like a particular curse to me, even while I am outwardly happy for the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for those of u who r Christian also. And also, that the Orthodox Church of Greece and Russia celebrates their Easter this year on May 2nd. Don’t get me wrong: I am supremely grateful for the Resurrection, and the hope that that represents, and to which I am eminently unworthy of Jesus’ supreme sacrifice in giving up His will to bow to the Father, in accepting Death, even death on a cross! I come at Easter w a sublime inward knowing that my experience is apart from others, who most likely were born into Christian homes, and baptized as babies.

Not so me. I was born to 2 Jewish parents who were not particularly into their own religion, and did not send me to Hebrew school nor to be bas mitzvah’ed at age 13, normally. Instead, I found my own household lack of faith disturbing, and set out in search of more, of a reasoned choice, in my teens. It was a way to cope w major burdens in the house also, which included violence between my parents, a drunk boyfriend who was abusive to me and my mother both, over 30 yrs of that! And so faith was an avenue of escape, a refuge 4 me. I converted to Roman Catholicism formally at age 21, on December 14, 1985, while I was at the end of my studies at SUNY Buffalo. So this is now in my 35th year of being a Christian formally. I was both baptized and confirmed a Catholic on that day. Tho my father was not particularly faithful in any material respect to his religion, he still regarded my defection as a betrayal, and so I was possibly, even likely facing being disowned at that point. He had made his displeasure known, loudly. So I was afraid, but I called his bluff. He would disown and thereby give up his only child, for the conversion?

Well, ultimately, he didn’t. It may have however been one more wedge between us, going forward. I explained that it was no repudiation of Judaism to have been baptized into the Catholic faith, that the two were linked, and a fulfillment of what many have seen as a graduation, that the 1st monotheistic religion gave birth to another, one that saw that Jesus Christ died for us, and I acknowledged that truth. I saw that Jesus had personally died, horrifically, 4 me! Even when I was still a sinner! So I do have joy at Easter, BUT why does my own cross have to weigh so heavily too? I speak of the promise that my church offers, for fulfillment, for love, for family, for salvation, for so much that is good. And when I was 21, the whole world seemed like an open book to me, to develop myself, to professional development, to engage in love, hopefully marriage, hopefully children, and my own family was still largely alive at that point. Not so now.

At my soon to be age 57, I am far down in my hopes for the future, and lots of waters under many bridges. My entire close family has perished, but for a few cousins, who r seen not often, due to distance, and also the pandemic causing us to be apart as well. I count the anniversaries of my dead ancestors, and there r no births to crow about, except the ones of dear friends, who r a few of them grandparents now. When my friends have wedding anniversaries, I feel particularly disenchanted, because I deserved my own mate, and got none. No, it isn’t true that no one wanted me! I had a list of six men actually who would have married me, quite willingly, actually, but I found them all unacceptable to me, for good reasons. I listed these men on a paper in order to make myself feel better even. So I am alone, utterly alone, and holidays intensify this feeling.

I put on my brave face w greetings to my friends and family on Facebook, texting same, using BitMoji as an avatar. I do things that r special, like whipping up Cinnamon Bun pancakes even, and am in search of leg of lamb as an entree, to take out from a diner, but not a single one has it! Outrage! Only lamb chops r an option then, as a take out option from a restaurant…and I keep Jesus in mind, giving thanks, and also wondering why my fate was so bitter, to be so alone at this later stage of life, aging and w health issues, and all of my dear friends actually have children and grandchildren (well, some of them, anyway), and siblings, some of them even their elderly parents…while faithful Marsha is forgotten, among the many. So very alone, and I see Jesus in his shroud in the Holy Sepulchre.

But I too have to carry my Cross. And this day shall pass too. God bless u all, my dear readers. I needed more than this, today. But writing it down and emptying it from my soul is a purging, so that makes it better. Maybe one day I won’t be as alone as today I feel.

Complications of Sexuality

So have u ever knowingly kissed someone who has a history of cold sores, a/k/a herpes simplex virus? Probably u have kissed someone w it, but didn’t know, as they were not forthcoming about it, before kissing u intimately. And then once u knew, did u feel betrayed, because the virus lives inside your body’s mucus membranes for the rest of your life? U can have it only on your lips, of the mouth that is, inside the mouth cheeks, and also down below, where women have labia as well, and the penis, anus, etc. So it’s a sexually transmitted disease, if it’s down there, and it’s easy to transmit from mouth to below as well, as u might imagine. And it has outbreaks w high stress, other systemic diseases that attack the immune system, and u can cause your children to catch it easily as well. Either in utero, or outside, when your parents aren’t very cautious about using towels, glasses, tableware, u name it…easily transmissible. So would u avoid being involved w a person who had even as little as the oral cold sores then, and not below? Remember it’s the rest of your life, and u need to be very very on alert to not transmit it. When a parent had not been very careful and passed it on to her son or daughter, well, it’s not your fault, but then u have it, and may never find someone who will take the chance w you. Unfair life.

And then there’s the Pandemic Blues, which is my latest name 4 this ongoing phenomenon. Even tho increasing numbers of people r getting the vaccines daily, giving hope, but same time, in the USA, 4th wave of variant cases of COVID-19. And we r in 2021 now. When u live in the Pandemic Blues, well, give up on sex too, unless u play Russian Roulette, or have a faithful partner (lucky u!) Lots of people r still asymptomatic, or pre-symptomatic, as in not showing any outward symptoms of illness. No fever, no cough, no nada. Just going about your life, wearing your mask or two, a shield for your face, social distancing at least 6 feet from those u don’t know, self-protecting. So no kisses r safe, no hugs r safe, no anything closer than that is safe….so yeah, no sex, unless u r in a monogamous relationship, really strictly, and both of u r being careful 100% of the time. As to exposure. Washing hands 20 times a day, carrying hand sanitizer, spritzing it liberally…and no more touch or even physical affection. Not safe. Imagine French kissing someone who u just met, or who u were only flirting with online…that can be it, transmission, and then find out if the vaccine saved u or not….after u get the disease.

And then there’s good old, well not so good Human papilloma virus too, the most common sexually transmitted disease. We have concocted a vaccine for the youngsters, w target ages of 11-12 yrs old to receive two vaccine shots, in order to prevent the most common strains of this virus, and u can also get it if u r up to age 26 preferred, w an upper limit of age 45 for those who want it, then 3 vaccine shots for those people. All over 45, u r out of the loop on this protection. And little kids r also not getting it, as it’s not necessary, being that sexuality is only a question for most in the adolescent years, so getting it at age 11 or 12 is better, where only 2 shots r necessary. But for those of us who r older, we r what we in the Bronx call “shit outta luck.” AND the routine testing of males is not done either, as men pass the disease on to females, so the women get tested when they go to the gynecologist, to see if they have it. So if a man has it, he usually doesn’t know, and can easily pass it sexually to a woman. And most people get the disease too, as we often in this society do not marry as virgins. Now some persons will fight it off over several years, and have it no more, via our own immune systems. But at least some will be less lucky, w several prevalent strains, that will later on in life cause latent major infections AND cancer too: cervical very common, also head and neck cancers, back of the tongue…picture hysterectomy, body wide metastasis/spread, and the head and neck can disfigure u. But even if u refuse such surgery, then your prognosis varies, as to how far it has spread. But again, when a person has confirmed HPV + cancer, then all partners of that person r at risk as well. Keep multiplying. How many lovers have u had that u r no longer in touch with?? So there’s no contact tracing then. Have u ever had sex w someone whose full name u didn’t even know?? Address back then is not now anyway…

Picture horny teenagers having an orgy on their high school senior trip! I know of such happening, even tho not a participant. So there were about 40 people in a large room, in various acts of sexual congress, let us say, in the year 1981, when AIDS was first breaking out, unnamed at that time. And some of those people were engaged in gay sex in that room too. Any contact tracing back then? What?! HPV also existed; so did herpes, but not so COVID. Caught a break then. But surely enough contagion and risk, and very high libidos won that fight. What’s going on now? I know Plato’s Retreat went out of business, and sex rooms at Turkish baths in the area known as Greenwich Village, and cushioned private rooms at discotheques, long gone, but yes, alcohol and memories, and sex, glorious sex….so the karma is coming 4 us now, as we age, and the carefree sex is long gone.

U have your one and only lover, probably your mate, or u have danger and a ticking clock on fertility, and no safe access to anyone. Yup, karma is a bitch on this one. R people still having such sex, even w the risks? Bet on it. The urge is one of the highest ones in humankind. Perpetuate the species, folks. But here’s another nugget 4 ya: the scientists have determined that due to persistent types of pollution, men’s penises have grown smaller. Yes, it’s true! We have reduced our species’ fertility permanently thus. Maybe we will build another type of Washington Monument to compensate.