The poem my mom asked for only days before her passing. She said, “You need to write a poem about not being able to fix petals falling off a rose.” Maybe she knew her time was short. I never got the chance to read it to her.
Petals on a Rose
Rose petals from mom’s casket spray in her favorite green vase
If you were here with me you would see
A million memories of us drifting free
The days we laughed and days we cried
The years we spent together side by side
Those days are now remnants on weary dreams
And yet I hear your voice in all I see
Your scent has left, but your smile not lost
Those days we owned were worth the cost
I want you back, but my heart now knows
You can’t put petals back on a rose
Tania L Ramos, BSN RN
Yesterday, I thought I had stuffy sinuses, so I took an OTC (over-the-counter, for you laymen) pill and shoved off to work. My legs felt funny, like they were cramping, and I assumed it was the caffeine in the pills I took making me jittery. The further into the day, the worse I felt, until 8 hours later I was a red hot mess. My head felt like a ballon filled with scorching helium, while my lips felt like they were about ready to explode. Ever have sunburned lips? Mine were cooking from the inside out. They felt like someone took a cheese grater and sliced off the top layer. My eyes were swollen and competed with my brain for highest temperature in my body. Meanwhile, those cramps in my legs turned out to be shivering, but I didn’t know because the pills I took had 1 gm of acetaminophen in them. I’m attributing the fact that I made it through 8 hrs with a fever and shivering to the pills I took for my sinus pressure.
By the time I made it home and took my temp, I was 103.7, which peaked out at 103.9 later in the night. I slept under blankets due to the shivering, meanwhile had an ice-pack on my eyes with another behind my neck to halt the ensuing spontaneous combustion. As I did have Ibuprofen 800mg, but didn’t want to tear my already aching belly even further, I opted for children’s liquid motrin instead. Do you know how hard it is to dose Motrin when your head is about to explode? It’s not easy. I filled the dosage cup (later learned that was 500mg) and fell asleep for three hours. I woke up sweating under my ice-pack. True story. The fever broke only to return a while later and again this morning.
My biggest gripe in all of it is not the fever, the feeling of nausea, the peeing myself with every sneeze (only a mother would know), it is the loss of a full day of work. I am an on-call nurse which means I do not accrue benefits, including sick days, which in turn means I am out over $400 for calling out. In good faith, I could not see working with patients straight out of surgery while I’m hacking over them. I am hoping God will bless me for my ethics in this area. So here I am, sitting in bed, spraying Lysol around me, drinking my Airborne, and staring at the tissues falling like snow (oooh, that’s almost poetic). I am survived by two dogs, who don’t seem to care that I am a mess, and keep vigil on my bed (they sneeze at the Lysol). Don’t think I will be catching up on much writing, or doing anything slightly productive today, and that sucks the most. But I did have some wonderful fever induced dreams to jot down, one would make a great little horror story, so all’s well that ends well. Except me…I’m not well.
I don’t know who the winner is! What in the world is wrong with the masochists at iUniverse.com? How could you hold my manuscript at bay for another week, and then say, “your book will now be reviewed by the Editorial Review Board for Editor’s Choice consideration . . . this will take about a week?” That’s like waiting to find out who won American Idol and Ryan Seacrest saying, “I have your winner right here and the winner . . . will be announced in one week.” What kind of person in their right mind can subject new novelists to such barbaric torture. This isn’t The Hunger Games, after all. We do live in the now where people should still have some descencey, compassion, and common courtesy toward the mental stability (mentility) of others. My own dog cocked his head and raised a brow when I read that email. By God, even the dog couldn’t register the madness.
And so I sit here twiddling my thumbs, chewing on my toe nails, and pulling on the cat’s whiskers, waiting for a week to go by. A week. Seven days. 168 hours if I did my mental math correctly. Do you know what that is? That’s a long time! What can happen in a week? I can no longer have any toe nails, my thumbs can be calloused stubs, and the cat can walk sideways from lack of whiskers. Can you live with that iUniverse Editorial Review Board? Can you?
My best bet is to try and hold on to my little ray of hope that I did everything the way you asked, and in a way that allowed me to keep my creative bearings. Tonight I will sleep and ignore the millions of questions in my head, because I will give them an Ambien night off. Sweet, sweet Ambien. Bringer of dreams that make absolutely no sense, except maybe to the platypus that sat on the hood of the car who gave me directions to the USS Enterprise and told me to be wary of Romulans. Oh Ambien, the bringer of the sleep hangover that can only be fixed by taking a B12 strip. Ambien, my foe…my friend…you must be in cahoots with that editorial review board.
As always, thank you for indulging my thoughts. Fingers crossed, and I’ll let you all know how I faired when I get that email. Have a wonderful night, and if you see a platypus in your dreams…I put him there!
Posted in Iuniverse experience
Tagged Ambien, book, dreams, editor, God, iuniverse, manuscript, novel, novelist, who won american idol, writing