Archive for February, 2010
I wrote in the Always Me – Always Chris post the following:
I am sure you did leave an impression. There was that time you were very upset about a painting grade that you felt was unfair. You used your talent to enter into a project where , if you won, you could place your entry anywhere on the college.
You did a full size body cast of yourself , sitting slumped on a floor with the broken painting across your knee – dressed in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt pulled over the face, empty beer cans strewn about .
When the project won you had it placed outside the painting instructor’s office
I had wanted to show you the artwork in question but it had sat in many places, outside the Mainstreet Lorain office for a few weeks – scaring the hell out of one of the Stocker Foundation employees – who called the landlord of the building thinking a homeless man had taken up residence in the hallway .
Then he found a home in one of the windows of the empty buildings on Broadway as part of a display of artworks when we tried to brighten up the windows a few years before the latest much more succesful efforts of Joe Skodny and the Christmas Council.
However , the other self too met his demise just last summer due to a leaky roof.( a bad omen perhaps) .
I was sad really because although he would have been a painful trigger he could have been also a tangible touchable remembrance. I have been thinking a lot about the “other self” in recent days and wishing I had something of him.
This morning trying to find some records I needed, I found on an old hardrive a series of photos that I never knew were on my computer. I have never seen them before but obviously I was meant to find them 😉
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. W. Shakespeare
‘NOTE: THIS IS A DRAFT I WROTE LAST YEAR BEFORE H1N1- SINCE WE HAVE THE MAYOR’S STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS FOUND HERE
I THOUGHT IT TIME TO TAKE A BREAK FROM THIS LORAINE TO THAT LORAIN
To whom is may concern:
Over the past year I have traveled for pleasure, rest, and for hope. I have been to England, Scotland, France, Germany and Houston ,Texas. All of these places have their positives and negatives. Because of the “obscenity” returning to our lives just a year ago I have not been able to write about my observations in great detail.
The one thing that I have observed, as I have kept in touch with Lorain through the internet and on line media coverage with the comments, is how much energy is being put into pointing out what is wrong and the blame game from all sides.
Of course there are problems in Lorain and actually the bottom line is Lorain’s problems can be solved with “money” for the most part. It will not take an act of God or an act of War. Just financial responsibility and getting Lorain back in the black and getting back to a healthy starting point.
I can tell you that a couple of million dollars in the grand scheme of things is nothing but not having it available means that people’s livelihoods that depend on the few 10’s of thousands they receive yearly are in jeopardy because it isn’t there. We jump on the “get rid of healthcare benefits” bandwagon for our fellow citizens which makes me shudder having seen first hand what can happen to people without enough healthcare. You are in some cases handing out a death sentence to someone- I have seen it happen!
Our safety is at risk, our reputation as a place to live, our future. So what can be done?
If I had a couple of extra millions I would gladly pay Lorain’s debt- because Lorain has been a wonderful place for me and her people some of the best I have ever met anywhere ( even the ones I disagree with at times)- Lorainites have come through for me time and time again and continue to do so ! But you can’t take that to the bank.
These past months have found the usual he said she said blame game, the pontificators of causes and those that continue to cry Lorain is dead and dying and a dump.
Lorain isn’t dead and dying, Lorain is in need of the talents and hard work and pulling together of all her citizens.
Every single Council person , outgoing and incoming, every single police officer, firefighter, union member , utilities employee, city hall employee, administration, businessman/woman, educator, religious community member , media – all have an individual strength and talent they can bring to the table .
Don’t discount the ability of anyone there are no weak links in the chain in Lorain every single person in this city has something to contribute to her success.
We don’t need to reinvent the wheel or nickle and dime the taxpayers. What we need is to draw upon the strength of our citizens, even the ones we are politically or personally at odds with – we need your ideas, expertise and “follow through” to solve what is quite simply a “money problem” and not an insurmountable money problem.
Lorain is not well what can you do to make her healthy ( quickly not 10 years from now NOW!!! within the next few weeks )- as legislators- administrators- educators- citizens-
1. How do we come up with a few million dollars without going to the public trough for more taxes?
2. What can you do as an individual to help ?
3. We have had “Save the Lighthouse” fundraisers can it work for Lorain?
4. Can we put aside our personal / professional likes and dislikes and come together for our home and our neighbors?
Can we as a community “Embrace Lorain” and forgive her faults and give her a chance? Can YOU? WILL YOU ???
Life has gone on for most !
I read the papers local and international on line- I no longer get enraged at the idiocy of mankind, or celebrate their triumphs.
I no longer feel I want to comment or care. But when someone does cattle prod me enough to get an opinion it is a short burst of the way I was before and then “why bother? people do what the hell they want anyway “- the apathy of grief kicks in.
I looked in the mirror this morning and do not recognize the old woman I see….
the blue of my eyes surrounded by a puffy watery redness and lifeless- gone is the laughter, passion suffocated by death and wickedness.
For two weeks , when sitting in ICU I had to wear a mask. I wore one for at least 17 – 19 hours a day. The problem was I was allergic to the mask – I developed sores under my nose and around my mouth )……One of the last sights seen by Chris was a little fat lady going grayer by the minute with a kleenex protruding from beneath the mask.
Life goes on but it is not the same nor will it ever be again.
“I watched you suffer a dull aching pain, and now you have decided to show me the same”
and Wild Horses couldn’t drag me away ( Mum)
“In search of my son- in search of me
Part One – In search of my son- In search of me
Part Two – Tourjours Moi-Always Me
Part Three – Always Me – Always Chris
Part Four – In search of My Son-
Chris Ritchey – Thanks
Part Five – Dark Humour- Shedding a Light
PART SIX- THE UNFINISHED PORTRAIT
Who are we? If you go to my “about that woman” page I claim to be a product of my experiences and culture.
There are many factors that come into play with this masterpiece of life, the colours of life both vibrant and dull, the strength of the canvas, the love and talent of those that pick up the many brushes that are needed, their talent, love and sometimes inadequacy helping form the portrait that is you ! And finally the mastery of framing the finished product remembered and to be passed down through future generations .
As the world gazes at our life portrait, what do they come away with? Do the critics focus on the vibrancy of color, do they look for the flaws in your portrait -as it is a portrait painted by many hands. Do they see in your portrait a glimpse of who the artists were, their technique or lack thereof , the paints that had been passed through generations , the areas of lightness and darkness ?
I helped with the life portrait of my son, it is unfinished– the nuances and shadings , the corrections to be made as other artists gave of their love and talent, the gray shadings of sorrow, the primary colours of life that wait to be added and never will be now.
Every morning I go into the room that used to be my son’s. and wish I had the ability to finish what was started. I found a 3 foot by 3 foot canvas in the basement amongst all of Chris’ work the week after he died, I had no prior knowledge of its existence. It was an unfinished self-portrait. I hung the portrait in his old room. The portrait will never be finished , I can paint with tears and words (to some degree) but no miracles can finish this portrait.
As I gaze upon the unfinished portrait with the eye of a “biased” critic , I think of the artists before and their contributions- their strengths and weaknesses and I will showcase in my gallery of grief their talents and worth – my son so much more than a few words placed in a Saturday paper, now recycled or disgarded in some landfill. I cannot let that be the finishing. Who was this young man of the unfinished portrait , who were the artists of his life?
to be continued…………
“Loraine, I wish you would get back to writing”
I HAVE been writing! It is the subject matter that has changed just as my life has changed.
I could follow-up on the post with the most hits “Dachau“
I could write about all the wonderful happenings locally with the Arts
But I have tunnel writing at the moment because although to those parallel to my world these things are so important they have faded in the fog of sorrow that exists in my world.
I have tried even in my verbal diarrhea of despair to research and educate so that you still come away from this blog with a little more knowledge than just the intensity of pain we are feeling. The subject matter may rankle but as with all things I try to find the truth and bring it to you unsugarcoated……..
I will be writing about the arts, religion and other subject matter as seen in my parallel universe. The humour –probably dark – there is no laughter here but once in a while a giggle will hopefully get through
Is it true that all babies look like Winston Churchill?
THE SERIES- WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU DIE?
Part One-Burial – Not Green The Embalming
Part Two – The Visitation-or what to decorate is the question
Part Three – A Tisket- A Tasket What type of casket?
Part Four -Going Green whilst daisy pushing
Part Five – Cremation- The Video
Part Six – Ashes to Ashes – The Video
Part Seven– The Ending – Internationally Speaking
Part Eight– Unless There is a Will- There is another’s way
I have discussed “some of the ways “ you can morph, here in Ohio and the USA. I have nagged and nagged at you all to please get your wishes in writing so that your loved ones “KNOW” what you would wish .
And whilst you are at it for those attending any funeral arrangements and who is agreeing to what where when and how…. GET THAT IN WRITING TOO!!!!!..
I never for one moment thought that someone ,who supposedly loved my son , would 8 days after agreement change her mind and be ( in my opinion) so cowardly, callous, vindictive and cruel to those that loved Christopher and gave him “life”.
It never entered into the realm of possibility or thought that someone who has chosen to be in the “healing profession” would be the cause of such pain as to destroy emotionally and physically the people closest to the person she professed to loved? This family should have had the agreement made put in writing. I suppose people would have been shocked at that requirement but because we didn’t -well you all know what happened when trust was broken.
Sketch by Chris RITCHEY
(Note to those in the know – this post happens to be number 678 -appropriate, I think, as I am taking back my son )
If it can happen to us in the name of love, honor and christian values it can happen to you ….
The way mankind deals with its dead says a great deal about those left to carry on. Burial practices are windows to a culture that speak volumes about how it lives.
We , have written down our wishes, made out our wills, and taken care of business .Have YOU ?
YOU are all now my witnesses!! (Just incase I end up being the recipient of the same type of “holier than thou and I know best” thinking. )
Those I love best shouldn’t be sad – I too, want a ceremony under the stars , a cleansing fire ( note I will leave the items to be burned in a box 🙂 , music ( something appropriate-like Chariots of Fire) and the smashing of glasses (only this time not Vodka and Cranberry Juice but Asti Spumante ) 🙂
4. Yes! to Cremation ( although I wouldn’t mind that big freeze ( if it hits these shores in time )-BUT DON’T BURY THE ASHES!!!!! I , AS I WOULD HAVE WISHED FOR MY SON – I WANT TO BE FREE, ONE WITH THE AIR, THE SKY THE STARS!
Take me from whence I pass to my neighborhood Funeral Home ( if I am still in Lorain) where I know they care. Do the paperwork and the cremation asap.
Note: If any of my loved ones want a remembrance then I like the idea of being a diamond.
In search of my son – in search of me will continue……….