"Sometimes life doesn't always go the way you intend or the way you expect, Donny. You must either raise or lower expectations for the various givens life dishes out" Mother factually retorted "You must be flexible". "Really?" said Donny nonplussed. "Yes, unfortunately, Donny, life just isn't fair. Life is either, at least this is what my experience has discovered, very, almost overly fair to some and extremely unfair to others. Why these differences is a matter of conjecture and analytic observation." "Oh really?" Donny was piqued by the uniqueness of his mother's last phrase; that there are extreme differences in "fairness" in life.
"Donny most of my life things were going ok, at least I thought they were, yet, in the end I could see doors closing instead of opening for me, and to this day, I am not sure why I feel unlucky in love and semi-lucky in life. As I tried to believe there was a ying/yang balance, I guess, in my time, I just did not see it. If, for example, having all this bad luck add up should all of a sudden turn to good luck like my ship coming in, I just dont believe it. The ship should have been coming to port a long, long time ago." Danny rebutted; "You sound like nothing ever worked out for you, did you not stop to smell the roses along the way, and be thankful for that?" "Yes, Donny, you're right. I guess I was and still am hung up on the expectations. I expected more from my life. For things to go right. For things to adequately function most of the time." Donny inserted; "But you thought things did not go right, why?"
Settling her cushy middleaged behind into the equally cushy kitchen chair used at the computer, Sheila looked up from her paperwork, her bifocals half-way down her classic nose. Feigning interest in the conversation with her son, her mind preoccupied with the everyday worries that sink old battleships, like she had become lately. Bills were to be paid and it looked as though there was not going to be any money left this for extras or Donny's pending rugby fees. How would she find the money this month to balance the budget. What future did she have at 50? How could she find her groove or niche at 50? Sheila felt if she had not found herniche by now she never would find it. Besides, what was she looking for now? All her old dreams, long behind her now were always creeping up in her memory, reminder her that all, is indeed lost. Until...something would be bound to change and to "go the way it should" if the ying/yang theory or cause and effect held any sway or hinted at any truth whatsoever. Something was about to give in Sheila's life, this was a certainy, as she could feel it intuitively, in her old Irish bones.
Donny had gone to his bedroom to get ready for this Sunday morning. "Donny...?" Donny knew what this tonation meant. He would have to do his chores for the day, or Mom would escalate the amperage. Donny did try to contribute a little bit more to the family purse, and he was hard-pressed to make his own commitments to the team, his work and his school projects. "Mom, I am going to try to get more hours at work to help you". Mom felt relief. "That's great Donny, Love Ya!"
Donny wanted to hang out with friends this mother's day weekend. It did nothing to make Mom feel wonderful, but she knew, as a single parent, that life was like that, give and take, rules relaxed to make life more liveable. Donny, to be fair, had given her a big hug in the morning. One things teenagers despise are rules, Mom's rules, in particular. As earlier discovered by the three little geniuses, Mom's set-in-stone rules were amendable if not wholly stricken from the Mom's Book of House Rules.
These rules were simple; 1. If you could stay out all night at a friend's house, as long as the whereabouts are known via phone call home et. Sheila felt that if she wanted the kids to feel there is some reprieve in this world, some sanctuary from the storms in life, rules must be relaxed somewhat. This isn't the Victorian age after all! Of course life's storms were always lurking on the horizon for the unsuspected moment to pop into reality. And their had been many storms. Everyday living could get hectic.
Sheila was busy most days trying to hold down the fort. It wasnt an easy gig. There were chores and looking after her ailing husband. If only, she could have connected the dots earlier, things may have had an alternate ending in a parallel universe. Who is to say? Things could have certainly have been more "yes" than "no". Somewhere, somehow, things had to come together, for that magical day where everything goes ok, better yet a lifetime of smooth sailing. How often does this happen? "Prepare for the worst, expect the best this is the best anyone can do". It does makes sense, really, it is just common sense. Although common sense seems less than dreamy, at least it may make you live another day. Day by Day. On Day At A Time. Today we live the dream? Someday. Until then, we must learn to adjust." Sheila was certain she had all the answers.
"Did Alfred get home yet" Donny inquired. "No not yet, I am still waiting for him to come home, he said he would be here this afternoon." Sheila stated matter-of-fact. "Mom, I got to go now, the guys are waiting for me at Joe's" Donny pointedly stated to Sheila. "Ok, son, do try to call once in awhile. Will you be home for supper?" Sheila inquired. "I don't think so, Mom, I have got to pratice today in order to make the tryouts'. Donny sounded apologetic. "All spruced up, Donny bounded down the four stairs and gave Sheila a big bear hug, said he loved her and tried to exit quickly for the side door.
The reason was obvious; before Dearborn the lab/doggo mix would bark loudly and dry bite his heels or his behind. Dearborn was originally a pound puppy. After weeks in the local paper advertised as the dog of the week, no one seemed interested in him. "Oh how cute" Jennifer stated, Sheila's daughter now living away from home. "Let's get him". Jennifer appealed to her mother's sense of fair play. About a month previously, Jennifer's favourite pet Blackbeard had passed untimely, dying of pnemonia. Sheilda knew that this new pet might take her daughter's mind from the obsession of grief left over from Blackbeard's demise.
Dearborn's previous owners had been less than kind to Deerborn and had left him in the basement without food or water for days at a time. This and other issues brought Dearborn to the local pound. He had been found on the corner of the main street of town, hanging around the local pub, with the locals getting him drunk on left over beer. He was a bit of a local celebrity, yet no one wanted to look after him. . The SPCA was called in and they removed poor Dearborn. Dearborn was only four months old when the Teller family rescued him from a certain life. Dearborn knew this and although thankful, had many bad habits that maybe only a dog whisperer could remove. Hopefully, one day!
Now how to cure the dog from his many neuroses. Dearborn was vexed by dark clothes, especially black leather or oddly enough bright orange workmen's vests. Whatever haunted Dearborn's ubiquitious past was also presently haunting his every waking moment. Even Deerborn's regular sleep patterns were constantly interupted by nocturnal fits of legs running akimbo, closed lids moving far too rapidly in his own form of doggie REM sleep, sad whelping noises.. Often Sheila would awaken to these doggie episodes fitful dream barks. It took much calming down with gently spoken words and soft petting to the distraught pooch until he calmed down.
Deerborn was a hybrid purebred; that is a cross between two purebreds sometimes making for a hyper dog. Dearborn certainly was hyper-on-two. He was never allowing the family to bring unknown guests to the home until the guests were climatized to the dog and the dog to the stranger. Not a pleasant or easy task for Sheila. "Oh pets! It is always about pets!" As much as Sheila loved pets, they were time consuming and often special concessions had to be met in order to make concessions for the "beasts of burden". The turtles, the cats and the dog. A lot of work. "Weren't the kids suppose to look after them?"
Fido was extremely loyal to the family, however, and sometimes Sheila thought the dog was loved more, or at least paid more attention to then herself. Sheila was like that, she had a low self esteem, for whatever reason. She had known this and tried to take all kinds of self-empowerment courses and found interest in the esoteric. Although Dearborn was lovable to the extreme with Sheila, she did not want to bond or be bound to another close relationship with another animal. It was too difficult for herself getting over her previous pets. Sheila had learned by default to keep her distance.
Dearborn had helped the family tremendously, as a guarddog, he could also grab his leash. Dearborn was also a touchstone, he brought the family together somehow and he had the onerous position as family mascot. Everyone fawned over Dearborn. So much so that he was getting a little sausagedly heavy. Obviously a mutt of a different colour, Dearborn was super intelligent and more of a great companion dog than a proper work dog for Glen, Sheila's partner for twenty-eight odd years. Twenty-eight blessed years. How would Glen live without her?
As the door began to open, Dearborn was alert and ran over to the door to stop Donny from leaving the house. As usual, Dearborn was up to his bad habits and antics, the barking door at bay would not let anyone leave. "You may stay, but you can never leave' wasn't that a song from Hotel California by the Eagles in the seventies?" Sheila thought to herself, she felt she was getting old, that was over thirty years ago! where did the time go? Or worse yet; what had she done to make a difference in the world in thirty years? How could she leave so soon knowing she did not really get to do what she wanted to do, or felt she wanted to do. Even though all her life she felt she was playing it by ear, it was more than likely a prearranged event with not much hope of real input. How could she change it around in so few months?
"Am I, or am I not" Sheila repeated the refrain like the daisy-picker she had always been. "Am I single or am I not?" Certainly attached to Glen, Sheila felt that she was single in a relationship of singles not soulfully attached to anyone. What happened to make Sheila feels so emotionally unattached? What event made her feel that she could no longer feel like she could or would be consumed by another who would make her feel useless and unloved. Love when it crashes, certainly becomes a bitter poison. Sheila knew this well from previous experience. She felt she would never be loved in the way she thought love should be. Either she was unrealistic as to real love or everyday love or she was living in a fantasy world, or abit of both. What was bothering Sheila? Would she find out in such short order?
"Come Tuesday, I'm spending the inherence I've saved for the kids!" Sheila shouted epiphets to the back bedroom was Glen was slowly dressing and having his sit bath."What's wrong now, Sheila?" frustrated Glen yelled VOIP Voice over Protocol. The booming voice was very manly. "Oh, never mind, just having another fit, dear". Sheila's intonation was now one of total frustration. "It's mother's day and Alfred didnt show up yet and Donny's leaving to go play with friends". Sheila said sheepishly. "I guess they just don't care about good ol' Mom!". "Oh, don't worry, they'll be back for supper!"Glen yelled back. "Right, in the meantime I've got to make my own breakfast, lunch and supper after I have been doing this for them 365 days a year times 3...go figure the math!". "Give it up Sheila, the boys are just being boys". Glen stated infatically. "Yes, 6 foot five boys that have never been kissed, guess I'm blessed". Glen, "You certainly are, where's Dearborn?"..."Here Dearborn, Daddy's got a cookie for you". Glen called for the dog. "Oh great, preempted by a dog, again! What's a mother to do?" Sheila said dishearteningly to herself. "Yes, somethings going give, and it usually me!" Sheila laughter through her tears. "Is breakfast ready yet?" echoed from the back bedroom. "Yes, dear, coming!" Sheila stated in the usual subservient way. "Coming....".