When I learned that my dear friend Harry had passed last Friday I cried on and off well into a sleepless night. Good memories of Harry made me cry, and then when all was quiet and calm in my heart…..out of the blue, bad memories that had absolutely nothing to do with Harry bubbled to the surface too.

What was that all about?

Life.  Being human.  That’s the short of it, I suppose.

In any event, I looked like a complete wreck the following morning. When you’re twenty and you have a good cry you can pretty much recover your looks quickly.  At 58…not so much. My eyes were mighty swollen and I was dragging due to lack of sleep…and yes, sadness too. I should have stayed in bed with my down comforter pulled over my head.  But The Poodle needed to go out and a new day was calling.  After two cups of strong espresso and a determination to not the let day be drowned in sadness I got dressed to go to an early morning punchbag class.  Yes, swollen face and all.

The punching bag is a terrific tool to get stuff out. It’s amazing how much pent-up emotions like angst and anger literally melts away by punching a heavy bag.  It helped deal with much of the stress of last year…the mamma-drama and so much more.

I figured however, that this particular punchbag class wouldn’t be of much use to me.  I didn’t have anything pent-up inside….just a lot of sadness and my head wasn’t in for a workout, let alone my body.

I was wrong.

I did let a few tears fly, prompting questions from a punchbag mate…and the instructor as well.  I answered them…recovered myself quickly, and then kept punching.  Then stuff bubbled to the surface.

Punch, punch, punch: Got to keep movingI’m not going to wind up like my mother.

Punch, punch, punch: I’m angry that my friend is gone.

Punch, punch, punch: Time is flying. I have fewer years ahead of me!  What in the hell have I accomplished in life so far?  Nothing!

Punch, punch, punch:  I’m tired of thinking about illness, death and dying… I’m angry at myself for not living better in the present  moment.

Punch, punch, punch: I’m angry that I’m angry.

Later in the day I have a short conversation with my mother.  It doesn’t go well. Often any more, our conversations don’t go well.  It saddens me deeply. Then it makes me angry.  How can her fuse get any shorter is beyond me.  Why can’t she understand that we are all trying to help her and going through hoops to do so.  We want her to be happy…even just a smidgen would be lovely.

I’m rummaging in one of my drawers for a pen when I see my Dammit Doll.  Ah Ha! Duty Calls Dammit Doll!

I take a hold of her a whack her like a madwoman for a solid 30 seconds on the kitchen counter.  IMG_4800

The Poodle sits on his bed nearby, observing my melt-down.

Once I am done, I feel immeasurably better.

Whew. Thank God.

I suppose I needed a little more today than just a morning punchbag session.

I gingerly place my Dammit Doll back in her drawer hoping I don’t have to see her again for a while, and yet, ever so thankful that she is there when duty calls.  The Poodle comes to my side and in an instant my heart melts with love.

Duty calls Dammit Doll.

Duty calls Dammit Doll.

I’m sorry you had to witness that my four-legged-love.

I reach into the fridge to get him a piece of cheese.

“Cheese?”I ask.

His eyes say it all.  He’ d do anything for cheese.  He sits tall, waiting for his treat, almost struggling to maintain stoic Poodle dignity.  It’s as if he is thinking:  Well…um..If you feel so inclined.

He takes his cheese and trots off happy as can be.

And there you have it.

All is right with the world….for the moment.  And that’s how it should be.