Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Becca's Poem

by Serena Love Bonita on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 5:04pm ·
Anybody who knows anything about me knows I am a poet. They also know how much I love my friend Becca who passed in March. The way I write is I have to wait to be inspired to write something. I get a line in my head and I start with it and just keep going until it's finished. I was waiting and waiting for Becca's poem to come to me and it hadn't yet until today. Roanne posted up a picture of her and it inspired this piece. This will forever be Becca's poem from me.


sometimes i can't look at your picture
it hurts too much to know you are not here
with the radiance in your eyes
and the smile on your face
even though you were sick
you sit there
frozen in time
fresh off a twirl on the dance floor
or a twirl in the air
you capoeirista
you beautiful spirit
you funny spit fire
cancer took you from us
it took your joy
it took your health
but it never took your spirit
defiantly you lived
when no one knew how long you would
defiantly you danced
and sang
and went to school
and had fun
even though that demon cancer
wanted you in bed
and wanted you gone
defiantly you lived
you laughed in cancers
with every hearty laugh
you released
from your throat
you did that
until your body couldn't take anymore
until your body could no longer
hold your spirit down
your body was no longer
but a thing that was holding
your spirit too big to be contained
so it had to release you
to a place much bigger
than the dimensions of your room
of the city of chicago
of the world you travelled
your spirit was so much bigger than that
you needed to be in the universe
in the air
in our hearts
you needed to be above us
laughing with us at the jokes
and the good times
crying with us when it gets hard
dancing with us when we dance
doing all the things you couldn't do
in that body
in that room
you deserved so much more
than the world gave you
but i am glad there were times
when you recieved the best
i hope you know that we all love
you more than we ever let on
and we tried to tell you often
how loved you are
our beautiful Becca
you touched us all
and people who didn't even know you
you are legendary
you are wonderful
you are the shit girl
and that hasn't changed
just because you aren't here
we all miss you so much
but are so happy
that you are no longer in pain
because you did not deserve it
we love you so much
and hope you are partying it up
with your dad
and loving heaven
because you deserve that
just know that sometimes
it's hard to look at pictures of you
cause it just reminds us,
that you aren't here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

to jared (feb 2011)

this is a response to a fb message from one of bec's many on-line relationships. altho they never met in person,  this guy and bec shared something special and this was a mostly positive email. 

yo. you just popped up on my newsfeed, and it made me realize i never replied to a really gorgeous and genuine email you sent me a while back.

And while I was (and for the most part, still very much am) in a strange, mostly NOT good state of mind, I do want you to know that for whatever reason (b/c in all honesty, I suppose there's not a whole helluva lot of depth to our relationship. hehehe, its always just been an online amicable mutually respectful one). But for whatever reason, your comments always mean a ton to me.
you have a way of coming off as one of the most absolute genuine people i know (and as i just said, i don't truly "know" you. hehehe, i've never even actually heard your voice!)
And while I don't want to answer your previous email in too much detail, b/c again, I was in a much much MUCH worse state back then, it's somewhat improved these days in terms with just getting by day to day. but I'm still nowhere near the "me" i was. And for the most part, I've learned that the only way I am capable of getting by day to day, is to almost ignore all of the horrendous unspeakably unfair and scary crap that has and is happening to me.
but you included a portion of a poem that somehow slipped past the fortress of fear and sheer depression that had dropped itself around me at that moment, and while i can't say "it saved me!" it did for a moment, give me a momentary glance back at the fact that i'm human. and despite my anger at the world, and how much i hate this disease, the fact that i and so so so many others have to suffer in such ways. I had spun myself down into the deepest hole i've been in during the entire five (yes, can you believe, its been FIVE years as of feb. 23 that i was first diagnosed) years. I could have been that deep numerous times before but I had a really good ability to always find a way to not slip that far. Most of the time the thing I would do is simply take every and any chance to appreciate something. everyone always says things like "always appreciate the little things in life" and most of them say it with emptiness, never truly having knowledge of HOW to actually do this. But I felt I had achieved just that. sometimes I would wake up and before even opening my eyes i would be still and feel the sunlight streaming through the window on my face, I would try to be conscious of every bone/muscle/tendon in my body and think to myself "right at this very moment, i'm relaxed, warm, rested, there's no aches, pains, cramps." (i did this ALOT after my surgery when i was recovering, since i thought learning to appreciate those times would help me heal faster). but I started to do that all the time, to all types of things. I would go to starbucks, have a nice little exchange w/ the barista dude, the drink would be especially tasty, and I would walk out to the neighborhood I worked in and look around to realize i love the neighborhood, and i love my job, and the drink was awesome, and people are good, etc etc.
I was never able to be classified as "perky"or "upbeat", so its not that these thoughts permeated me and translated into me being saccharine sweet. I just felt this was one method that helped me stay sane when life also took a liking to punching me in the face repeatedly with unfairness. i was never a particularly religious person.  I know many who go through life-altering things such as cancer or other disease, that somehow do end up turning to religion of some sort. Not only did I not do this, but things that have happened in my life only serve to distance me even more from the idea of god in any of the various manifestations he is presented as. I can't justify anything by any of the religions i know about. if anything, I only get more angry if I do think about the role of god. But I do believe in humanity. and your unexpected, sincere email and poem gave me that momentary glance back into what i do believe which is (in convenient bullet points for dramatic effect):
I AM human.
Humanity is a sumptuous thing
I'VE been lucky enough to have experienced it on many levels in its full grandeur BECAUSE of disease.
Most people will probably never know the full extent of it.

So, from the bottom of whatever is left of my heart, Thank you. :)
(oh, this isn't quite an email  that  says, "so even tho i still have cancer, I am rejuvinated back to the more hopeful person I was prior and am gonna fight like hell". So, no worries on that end. Its simply that those were things your email made me think of, and i feel bad i never shared that back with you. Most days I still do feel VERY un-human. And chronically refer to myself as "NOT normal". Which i whole-heartedly believe, and need noone to try and convince me otherwise. it is what it is. BUT, for a tiny moment, your email reminded me of something. And i liked that something.)

(here is the poem. I e'd the guy who sent this to bec. needed to read what gave her that  peaceful feeling.--mom)
                   Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

                                  mary oliver

Saturday, May 12, 2012

this one's about me.

so this one is about me and my endless prying into bec's life. I make no apologies for it. and this wasn't a message that surprised me. as I have said before, so much in bec's writings wasn't anything she didn't say directly to people. she made it clear to me that I was smothering her. I didn't really care. still don't. it was one of those "between a rock and a hard place" situations most of the time. she insisted on involving me with most of the people she met on her journey but got pissed when she felt I was crossing the line. the role of care-giver is not easy under the best of circumstances. and knowledge is power. I make no apologies for how I got my information. it helped me a great deal to read her posts etc b/c then, I knew what topics to steer clear of and also what topics I needed to steer the conversation towards. she NEVER wanted me to worry about her which I did every minute of every day of this nightmare. so I believe that even though she was resistive to my endless intrusions on her life, it served as a way for me to understand her fears and anxieties without her having to talk about them. this is from 2yrs ago.--mom


gotta say, i'm sorry for not being more immediately responsive. i'll confess, part of it is my lazy/unmotivated-ness (it is nothing that can be related to ANY normal persons unmotivated-ness, so please, save yourself the trouble).

and also, the more it comes to my attention that you talk to my mom. i may love my mom. but she is in EVERYthing i do, EVERYwhere. i have a blog, obviously she reads that, i'm signed up on various different cancer support forums (i.e The Colon Club, planet cancer, stupid cancer radio show, etc)) ostomy support forums (united ostomy associates, the kpouch forum, etc) and she also registers for an acct with them all. so basically i have little place to go and vent and complain that she DOESN'T have a way to access and read.

And the only person i could email and talk directly one on one (so that it would be private) was rodney. now that he's not around i find myself freaking out like "who in the hell am i supposed to talk to!? who's gonna understand without going all god, or all mush, or all dumbstruck on me?? NOONE! shit."

so, i guess since i know you talk to my mom, well, its just not the same. rodney eventually started talking to my mom, but b/c he also actually HAD cancer, he understood. there was a line in the sand.

i'm not saying i dont' trust you. and i'm not saying she( mom) even would ever ever ever ask you what i've said. she'd never. but its just simply the sheer fact alone. nothing more, nothing less.

aaaaaaannnywho. i know she's at least made some kinda reference to whats been going on with me the past few days. considering how much i watch her on my computer on facebook (all the damn time! heh) and how little i've been on facebook myself.


Monday, May 7, 2012

what makes me happy dec 2010

this post is in response to a question asked of her by a woman from the cancer community. they apparently met briefly at an I2Y event and became fb friends. this is at least not a dark, depressing or angry post. for a change!--mom

um...what makes me happy? what are my favorite things? cute questions, and i'll try my best to answer them, even while being mildly uncomfortable b/c it almost makes me think about writing my own eulogy (she was a fun loving person who loved sharing time with friends and her dog...)

um, makes me happy...my dog :), writing, engaging in good conversation with new and interesting people, bacon, crocheting, sharing a bottle of wine with a group of good friends, actually let me take back bacon and wine, and just lump that in under the phrase Good Food. I love to draw, and read, and tell stories. i basically looooovvee talking, and do it nonstop.

i love humor, that being people who have it and can make me laugh, and having it myself. i hate being too serious, thats usually something i save for just me, late at night. i love my mom. i love kindness. i love the ocean although i can just barely stay alive if i was thrown in. i love nature, but i'm a city girl at heart (aka, i need the sounds of traffic and noises in general to be comfortable to sleep) i looooooooove horses and that conflicts with my city girl side b/c i would love nothing more than to be an olympic equestrian rider, but you can't "do" equestrian while in chicago unless you're rich and have alot of time to spare....which i never had either.

i love my job, not b/c of what i do, but b/c what my job as a whole does (a music school, we have lessons, dance and music, and we have concerts, bringing lots of world musicians in and exposing people here, but also have a huge scholarship program that offers huge heavy discounts on music lessons for kids who may not other wise be able to afford them, and i'm very proud to work at such a place, and i love each and every person that works there with me, a lovely creative caring awesome group of people.

i love my city, and have alot of pride for it, born and raised, and even though its going to be a high of 20 degrees tomorrow, i still love it here.

ummm....heh...so uh...is that a good start? shall i ask the same questions of you? ;)