Fibro Funnies: Episode 1

Good evening, sports fans, and welcome to the Tuesday Night Body Competition. I’m your Host, Cryss. Joining me is my every faithful personality, fifteen year veteran, and Fibromyalgia expert, Chrissie.

Cryss: Good evening, Chrissie. What an exciting evening.

Cryss: Chrissie, you said a Dionne Warwick set of teeth mouthful ( what?). Just about everyone who’s ANYONE is here and they’ve come to play.

Chrissie: Oh, yeah. This has been brewing since Crystal made an unscheduled grocery store run, and didn’t use a scooter (Gasp!).

Cryss: Ruh-roh. In a post grocery interview, I asked if it was a wise decision. Crystal said, emphatically, that she WOULD NOT cower to Fibromyalgia.

Chrissie: Gutsy move, but let’s get to the action.

Tonite, The C.J. Body Parts are taking on the Aspercreme Heating Pads, to see who can hurt, swell, or become detached from its usual place, with the most ferocity vs. I can take it, I’m God’s child, with a prescription.

Cryss: Do you think the backup meds will be a factor, tonite? They’ve been successful before, but have been riding the bench, intermittently, due to non compliance issues. Remains to be seen.

Chrissie: I know the hip is gonna go hard, but the ribs are the wild card, so don’t count them out.

Cryss: Those knees? Now, they’re veterans; they can stay in the patella pocket and cause swelling, or run and slide.
Gotta have double coverage (heat and ice) on the neck, clavicle, and shoulder. They are very talented. The neck can get off the edge, to the shoulder, with quickness like I’ve never seen. Clavicle is just soft. You look at him and he swells AND turns red. He doesn’t play the position with verve.

Chrissie: Indeed, but, the Kankles are pretty reliable. They definitely give different looks: bilateral pitted edema, golf ball look on the side, which really wreaks havoc on the interior cute shoe, and, of course, they shrink, when going to the doctor.

Cryss: We MUST factor in the king-sized heating pad, and the Aspercreme. They’ve added lidocaine to their defense, a veteran loner, out of WALMART State Pharmacy aisle.

Chrissie: The back up, Ultram (Tramadol) has been successful at getting to the nerves, and sacking them. But there’s still the issue of sleep.

This is going to be one heck of a nite! No commercials. Good luck and stay tuned.

Now, the national anthem:

Oh, dang, did you see
How my left knee collapsed,
And I fell to the ground,
Grabbing any thing in sight.

Saw some folks standing there.
They were laughing at me.
Not a one offered help!
Lucky I can’t reach that weave.

And they let me let lay there
With my hands in the air
Which proves I was right
That you folks ain’t worth…

I guess I’d better get up
Be-fo-ore I.I ge-et ro-obbed (high note-hold, do runs)
For li- it-tle I’ve GOT (really high note, then breath)
And I split someone’s
(dramatic pause)
WIGGGGGGGG!🎤🎼🎶

P.S. Can’t take a knee, as I have no meniscus, but love u Kaep.

Fibro Funnies ©2018

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Letters To My Father

Why Didn’t You Ask About Me?

Cryss A. Jones

9/4/2017

My story, “Questions and Time”, was published in an anthology, of the same name, which is no longer available for purchase. However, it’s available here. Reviews are welcome.

The following is a letter to my father, Christopher Columbus Jones, on the thirty-three (33) year anniversary of his death.

Dear Daddy:

…I never know where to begin. We’ve done this- well, I’ve done this every September 4th, since about 1985. Usually, I would tell you about the family, and give you world updates (trust me, you don’t want to know); tell you how I continue to screw-up my life, etc., but not this time. I’m almost fifty (50) years old, and I have lived, learned, loved, and lost. I’ve had happy moments. I’ve had hellish times. I’ve laughed heartily, loved deeply, and managed to become a bit jaded, in the process. I have finally, FULLY surrendered my life to Christ, so my perspectives are ever changing. That said, I want to share a few things, muse a bit, and ask questions I’ve not allowed myself, before now.

As I’ve grown older, it seems I have more questions, than answers. I thought you were supposed to grow in wisdom, as you got older. I guess the nature of the questions prove that I have, in fact become a little wiser. I supposed when you get near the fifty (50) year old mark, you begin to ponder greater mysteries. What have I done with my life? Have I made a positive difference in the world? Regrets? What’s next? What is my relationship with God like? How long do I have left? Momma’s gone now; two days before my birthday, nonetheless. I’m widowed, with no children, so the words legacy, and ancestry, are now more than mere concepts.

Reminisce with me, Daddy. Lemon Street. 8-8:30 p.m. Momma would get me bathed, and in my pajamas, and I would anxiously await the sight of your big Lincoln Town Car™ coming down the street, to take me for my nightly ride around the block. I must have been about 4 years old, when this blissful ritual began; at least that’s my earliest memory. Your car seemed to take up the whole block; your presence, the entire neighborhood. People always stopped and stared, when you were around. You were, to me, larger than life. Always larger than life. I had no concept of the fact that you worked three jobs, seven (7) days a week, just to be certain that I had anything I wanted, and that you probably needed to be asleep at that time. You always made time for me. How? How did you do it?

Picnics at Robert E. Lee Park (Raa-baa-lee, as I called it), after you’d gone to Corn Beef Row, and got massive deli sandwiches, and everything to go with it. The movies, when you would put Planters ™ peanuts in your Coke ®. Ice Cream floats, root beer for you, and grape for me, at Read’s ® Drug Store, on a lazy saturday afternoon. Taking me to work with you, to your day job, driving the Baltimore City Dental Bus to the elementary schools, so kids could have free dental care. First, we’d go to the small restaurant around the corner from the bus garage on Elgin Avenue, or “go-rage”, as you said in your southern accent. You’d have coffee, and, a chocolate cake donut, with milk. You always said that you liked “a little coffee in your cream and sugar”. I drink it that way, too, on the rare occasions in which I indulge.

It seemed every staff person recognized you, at your job, and always greeted you kindly, by name; Mr. Jones. They seemed to already know me, as well. You’d tell anyone who’d listen about me. Why?

Afterward, we’d make our way to the garage, and greet your fellow drivers. They knew of me, as well. Ms. Marty, and Ms. Daisy, the Bus Aides, from when you used to drive a regular school bus.

“Are you paying attention in school, young lady?”

“Make sure you’re being a good girl.”

“Your Daddy really loves his baby.”

I felt so special. But why so special to you?

You, and your best friend, Mr. Charlie Wilson, would go to your respective buses, after a bit of morning “jawing”, and prepare for the day. I watched you intently. Your ritual the same. Every detailed etched in my memory. Open the bus doors, start the engine, turn on the lights. Starched navy blue uniform straight, one pant leg tucked into your work boot, and black leather work gloves; first left, then right. You would descend from the driver’s seat, and begin taking the wooden blocks from each tire. You checked fluids, tire pressure, and gave the bus a thorough once over, before inviting me to my usual seat, where the kids would wait for their exams, and we were off.

“What school are we going to today, Daddy?” You’d answer, telling me which Dentist would be working that day, about how often you went to that particular school, and how great the hot lunch was, that was always waiting for you. No joke there. Those lunches were A-Mazing! The Bus Aides, female Teachers, and Cafeteria ladies LOVED my Daddy. I was too young to know how much, or why, though.

Every six months, I’d have my annual teeth cleaning. My eighth year stands out for me, as it was PURE HELL! During the visit, I screamed and cried out in pure agony, and you used to be so angry, and embarrassed by my behavior. The Dentist was Dr. Davis, a very mean caucasian man, who had a goatee, and looked as if he could be a villain on “Get Smart”. He used to tell me to “stop all that shuckin’ and jivin”, or “shut up all that noise”, but only when you were out of earshot. I thought he was your boss, and I didn’t want you to argue with him, and maybe lose your job, because of me, so I began to tolerate pain, in silence. I remember him telling you that I had eight (8) cavities! I thought your head was going to pop off, and steam would come out. Too many cartoons, right? You even called me Crystal, that day. I didn’t respond immediately, as it sounded so foreign coming from a man who’d only called me “Daddy’s Baby”. I knew two things in that moment: it was going to be a scarily quiet ride home, with no stop at the Sears and Roebuck on North Avenue for new doll clothes, and that you’d be gunning for my Momma. I’d seen your temper (verbal) first hand, when it came to her. Whew! Your attack was fierce, frightening, all-consuming. When you told Momma, she was angry with me, too. An argument ensued; you blaming her for letting me eat so much candy, she blaming you for the same. I went to my hiding place under the table, until I thought it was safe to exist, again. It wasn’t until I was 12 years old that a random conversation with Momma, led to the revelation that I had not been given a numbing agent, whilst the Dentist was drilling, and filling my teeth. I guess she told you, huh? The next time I saw Dr. Davis, he looked extremely nervous, and was very gentle. Go figure.

You drove for the Baltimore City Schools, during the day, ran bus trips for Harford Motor Coach on weekends, and “hacked”. I don’t remember a time when you weren’t there, and you lived clear on the other side of town. How, Daddy? How did you manage it all?

Hugo Avenue. I recognized your signature “zing-zing” of our antique doorbell every single day. I waited all day for your visits. They were solace. They were safety. They were pure love for me – for the weird kid no one liked. Most of the neighbors thought you lived with us, because you were there each day, after work. Houdini could have learned a few things from you.

I ALWAYS seemed to be asking for something. Late night trips to the house, because I had a nightmare; a trip across town, in a torrential downpour, because I’d heard a new song on the radio, and HAD to have the 45 r.p.m., THAT DAY ! ”With A Little Luck- Paul McCartney, and Wings. Just for the record, Daddy, all of that had to hear the music, had to have it, turned out to be how I became a Songwriter, Singer and Composer, with perfect pitch. It wasn’t wasted. I promise. It wasn’t wasted, was it?

Expensive jewelry, dolls, souvenirs from your bus trips. All of this outside of the new wardrobe each season; Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, Halloween, Back-to-School… Heck, you gave me my first diamond. A sterling silver necklace, with a cross, and a diamond chip in the middle. I fell in love with it, during one of our trips to the mall. You were looking at a necklace for yourself, because you always looked good, head-to-toe. Sharp as a tack, just to go around the corner. I begged and begged, with no idea that getting my necklace meant you didn’t get yours. Why didn’t you say “no”, Daddy? Why was I always asking for something? I’d make up for it later in life, when I got a good job, though. We had time.

The ice rink. The 1980 Winter Olympics was the goal. Whether it was Northwest Ice Rink, Memorial Stadium, or Baltimore Gas, and Electric, we were there. Cold weather, low on money, exhausted, you got me there. It’s one of the things you and Momma tag-teamed on. I’d fly across the ice, with beautiful abandon, while you drank stale coffee, and watched. The expensive skates, lessons, ice time. I was gonna make you proud. I bet you knew all along, I was never going to make it to the Olympics, didn’t you? I didn’t have the feet, the flexibility, or the money. Why didn’t you tell me?

I recall August of 1982, just before I began high school, you, Uncle Shep, and I went to visit your family in Virginia. I loved being with both of you, and the ride was scenic and the area unfamiliar, and exciting. We rode past vast fields of what you called “soldier beans”. You would think an inquisitive kid like me. ALWAYS full of questions, would have been frantic to know every detail of your young life – of both of your lives. Where did you play? Who were your friends? Where did you go for fun? When did your parents die? What were you afraid of, other than Squirrels ( that still tickles me, tough guy)? Where were your parents buried? Did you cry? Who taught you the things that you know about cars? Who’s your favorite Aunt, or Uncle? Did you get whippings, and for what? No. I asked NOTHING! Why? I was content just being with you. You were my deep breath. I didn’t need to know a thing. After all, I could ask those questions when I grew up and had a family of my own. You weren’t going anywhere.

Meeting your Cousin Easter was an absolute JOY. I was so shy, and so overwhelmed with the strangers about me, I was afraid to let you out of my sight. I slept on a fold out bed, in a living room. The night seemed darker than black, and there was absolute silence. To this day, it’s the best, and most peaceful night’s sleep I’ve ever had. Remember breakfast, Daddy? I’d never had fried corn, and you had to coax me to eat. You cut my breakfast meat for me, as usual (yes, I was 14 yrs. old), and I think you let me eat some pork, even though Momma never knew. I didn’t care. As long as I had you in my line of sight, or could hear your voice, your booming laughter, my world was safe. You weren’t gonna get too far. It was a wonderful trip. I still have the pictures, the memories…the, ahem, enough of that.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

1- God actually loves me more than even you did.

2 – Take nothing, and NO ONE for granted.

3 – Want vs. Need

4 – Love really IS the answer to all things, so don’t sprinkle it, pour it.

5 – I will never believe that man, on that day, in that coffin was you. You would NEVER abruptly leave me, at age 62. I waited for your return, from your trip to Boston. You were due back on Monday, Sept. 3, 1984. I spoke with you on Saturday, Sept. 2, 1984, for the last time. Did you know? You called me from your hotel room that night. In hindsight, you sounded woefully tired. I’d just come in from working an eleven (11) hour day at the shoe store, with Sharon. Her being the Manager, she would always let me work to earn cash for holidays, or back-to-school, etc. I was absolutely exhausted. I rushed you off the phone. I needed rest. Besides, we had time to talk when you got back, right? Did you bring me a souvenir? I know you did you always did. When we were hanging up, you said, “Good-bye”. How strange! You’d never said that before. I stared at the receiver, after you hung up. Huh? Well, I’ll ask you in a couple of days, when I saw you. No, I wouldn’t. I’d be too busy telling you about my first day of school, senior year, and whining because I didn’t get to go to Boston with you. There would be time for questions about your trip, your experience, your life.

There was always going to be time for questions, for revelations, for shocking details, for laughter, for tears, for the day you saw me graduate – the day you walked me down the aisle – to tell my children about your life. There was going to be time.

I’m sorry, we’re out of time.

Reflection Time

God has been so good. He’s shown Himself to me in ways I could not have expected. Mostly because I truly surrendered to Him. He’s held me, when trembled; He’s stretched me (and still is) when I thought I wasn’t good, or smart enough; He’s humbled me, when I thought I was in control; He’s given me joy, and peace, in the midst of my grief; He’s blessed me beyond anything I deserve. He steadies me, when I falter; He’s teaching me obedience, and self-worth, without arrogance; He’s met me in His Word. He’s made me understand what our Elders meant, when they would say, “try Him for yourself”. I have. It’s glorious. It’s tough. It’s wondrous. I’m less impatient, as I realize His timing is perfect. God IS the ultimate promise keeper. I am grateful. All that I do MUST BE ORDAINED BY GOD!

I’ve been reminded, yet again this year, that everything is temporal. If there’s ANYONE I’ve hurt, disrespected, angered, ticked off, let’s get it resolved. Inbox, email, call, semaphore… I know how to hear, listen and apologize.

I look forward to what God has in store, as I desire to move, and live in His will.
That said, I pray each of you, and your families are blessed with good health (across all life domains), and with prosperity, in the new year.
#2018 #GRATEFUL #GODLEDSPIRITDRIVEN

“Letters To My Father”

Well, I’m officially a published Author! I wrote a chapter in an anthology called, “Letters To My Father “.

Cathartic. Necessary. Exciting!!

It’s a wonderful start to my career as a published Author.

I’ll still publish the works of others, through Collective Press, but I’ve stepped into Authorship, and the water’s just fine.

The anthology is on Amazon, but I hope you’ll order direct from me, so I can your personally autograph your copy (just $20.)

http://www.paypal.me/CMGMT

It’s also formatted for Amazon Kindle.

I would appreciate reviews. Post them here.

Next up, “The Unlikely CEO “. Stay-tuned for the promo video.

Thank you for your support along this new leg of my journey.

The “24-hour” Perspective, and The Clock

SUPERNATURAL

In my quest to be a better steward over the time that God has seen fit to give me, I cut back on my television time. I wanted to devote more time to reading His Word, communing in that space with Him, hearing from Him.

Even in doing so, I began to feel distracted, unfocused, disconnected, and lost. I was reading, praying, meditating, but not connecting. So restless, and of a useless, frenetic energy. Unproductive. It was driving me bonkers. I found myself wandering through my days, going through the motions, numb. What had I done to unplug myself from God, as He never, ever let’s go of us (see Romans 8:38-39).

NATURAL

I’ve been in pugilist mode with nearly every company from whom I receive tech services. Cell phones burning, apps disappearing, and internet/double billing woes, abound. I’ve literally clocked the equivalent of approximately two months worth of hours on the phone, live chats, and in-person problem-solving adventures. No More! I divorced my cable company, and got my cellular folks straight (sorta-stay-tuned), with the help of the FCC, in both cases. Check. You can only poke this Scorpio bear but so much, before she comes out of hibernation, SWINGING😡.

Well, in every battle, there are casualties. Mine? No Wi-Fi, no phone line, no TV, no problem.  I’ll simply change carriers. I will NOT be held hostage. Well, here’s the thing: only two carriers that provide the desired services, in my area (what kind of tech dead zone am I in?); the one I divorced, and the one I left, to go to the one I just divorced. Check and Mate, right? Undaunted, albeit a bit dented, I said, “OK, I needed more time with GOD anyway, I’ve much to do, and my cell has a mobile hotspot, right?”  I was also introduced to ROKU, so, when I wanna look at TV, I will. Well, 4GLTE is not Wi-Fi. It reverts to 3G, when utilizing other devices, or third party apps. Been buffering so much, a 30 minute Boxing match took almost an hour. I was ready to throw in the towel, and stop the fight. So, I let it just fade to the screensaver, which is an analog clock, that counts hours, minutes, seconds.

After a few days, it really started messing with my mind, this clock. I felt like I was literally watching a countdown of my life… tick-tock. tick-tock. Lord, what am I to do? I’m feeling lost and unfocused. Time is just ticking away, and I’m being wasteful.I did nothing.

SUPERNATURAL

Yesterday, was both physically, and Spiritually rough. I was, and always am, GRATEFUL for all that I am, all that I have, and surely God’s love, grace, and mercy. Fibromyalgia showed out, since it was raining, and I had new body parts deciding to get in on the fun. Gave in to that, too, for a minute (nice try). My Spirit was just… low. Even still, I went about my day, talking to God along the way; asking this thing or that, certainly giving due praise, reading the Word (Psalms 119), etc. 

As evening drew nigh, I heard the rain. I knew it had been raining all day, as I’d been out in it. Usually, when I’m out in the rain, I turn my face toward the sky, and let it fall on me. Not today. But now, I HEARD it. It tapped out melodies the windows, the cars and streets provided harmonies, the tin drainpipe beat out a bass rhythm- all of it calling me. I turned off all the lights, cut out every sound, opened the window and answered. PURE PEACE! I reveled in it, for a time, but was inevitably drawn back to “things”. Later, I went to be bed praying that God would allow me to feel Him, again, to reconnect. To re-engage with the Spirit of my ordained purpose.

NATURAL

That doggone clock screensaver was still there, when I woke up. Fell asleep wth the TV on.

SUPERNATURAL

Today, I began my morning prayers. Gratitude, Thanksgiving, Praise. Lord, please meet me in Your Word, this morning. Give me purpose, and set me to action, making manifest the gifts you’ve bestowed upon me. All glory and honor to You. The Word for the day, in my Bible app was Psalms 42:11.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Hmmmm… OK, I’ll just read the whole thing, while that incessant clock is in front of me. Yes, I could have turned off the television, but it’s like I WANTED to be angry about it. This particular chapter is very short, only eleven verses. Boy, did it pack a LOT in, for me. 

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?  My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?  When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.  O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.  Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.  Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.  I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Wow!!!!

I looked up at the clock, and saw something new. Time wasn’t mocking me, it was calling me to the action attached to my purpose. It was saying that the loving, kind, and merciful God I serve, has given you 24 hours to do that which He has called you to do. You know what it is, as He grows it in you daily. It said that even in rain, He gave you peace; it said even as you slept, He heard You, just as He did in your waking hours; it said you see the clock today, because He gave you MORE TIME. It said even when we are uncertain about what comes next, that He’s there to lead and guide you, giving you more time. You’re still here for a reason, as evidenced by that nagging clock, at which you stare. So, stop wasting the gift of time, get about my business. Heck, you’ve got time.  

24.

Psalms 42:1‭-‬11 KJV

http://bible.com/1/psa.42.1-11.KJV

Psalms 42:11 KJV

http://bible.com/1/psa.42.11.KJV