Posts Tagged Bette Davis Eyes
I am a person who absolutely stands by scientific data. If you asked my family, and friends if I am a logically sane person the answer would be yes. I am however a person who believes in the existence of a higher spiritual existence. An existence that is much less accepted in our more scientific based world.
If you asked me to prove to you the spiritual things that I have encountered, I have had others with me to witness some of the signs. Like the majority of people, most of my witnesses would try feverishly to explain away what they have seen in order to escape some pretty harsh judgments by those who cannot accept the existence of things they cannot prove.
I personally don’t worry about that kind of judgement. I’m very secure with the things I have experienced, and for the most part my mental sanity. 😉 I will admit that I have been a bit off my personal game since the passing of “Bette Davis Eyes.” In my line of work I deal with the dying on a regular basis. I’m not completely sure why her death affected me so negatively, but it did. I think part of the reason is that I asked her to give me a sign. It’s something I do with all of my clients, and family members.
If “Bette Davis Eyes” gave me a sign then I completely missed it. I have been way off my personal game since her passing in December. In fact I have not taken one single dying client since she died.” The Universe” however has not given me a get out of death free card. My first cousin has been battling cancer since my last visit to Greece. He lost his battle last Tuesday.
There is never a great timing when a death occurs, but last Tuesday was a particularly difficult day for me because of my baby brother’s disability hearing. I have been fighting for this hearing for almost 10 years. I was absolutely wrecked over having to testify in front of him regarding the symptoms of his mental illness. He is fragile, and the idea of breaking him was almost unbearable. I have been praying, and I believe that those who have passed watch over us. so I ask for their guidance when something is particularly difficult for me. I also ask them for signs.
My daughter drove my brother, and I to the hearing which was about a 45 minute drive. I could not stop crying after I got the call that my cousin had passed. She knows I pray for signs. She’s more scientifically inclined like her father, but can not deny the things she has seen with her own eyes. First sign -the hearing was being held in a building that I took our elderly cousin who lived with us until her passing every Thursday for 5 years when she could no longer drive. Second sign- they sent us to room 420. My Father who I specifically asked for a sign from birthday is 4-20! I know all the non believers out there are shaking their heads, while muttering coincidence, but then came the 3rd sign.
While waiting to see the judge I continued to be unable to withhold my tears of grief. The guard thought that I was crying out of my fear of appearing in front of the judge. I apologized telling him I had gotten a call from Greece before coming, and was told my cousin had died. He told me he was sorry then smiled saying one of his closest buddies was a Greek. He tried to pronounce the not so popular town in Greece. I knew what he was trying to say, and said it for him. It was the town my cousins mother is from. It was where he would be buried! This is not a well known town. The chances of someone who even lives in Greece knowing this place are very unlikely.
I knew in my heart I was surrounded in love by those who watched over me. My daughter just looked at me with bewilderment. Can I prove to you that this was nothing more than coincidence? No I can not, but can you prove that is was just a coincidence? 😉
Mortality is a complicated thing because it embodies extraordinary force with extreme fragility. Remembering that we are all souls who are here to embrace the human experience can very easily be lost in moments of extreme grief. Bette Davis’s journey began the day before Thanksgiving, and ended six days ago. It is only now that I have been able to bring myself to the keyboard to tell you about her final curtain call.
She was completely aware of her limited time on the planet that had so often pissed her off. When we arrived to the Hospice wing she was overwhelmed by the intensity of her surroundings. As her caregiver it is my responsibility to lessen her fears in every way possible. The problem with dealing with someone like Bette Davis is that their mental faculties are keenly sharp. Her own intuition was even more in tact.
She grabbed my hand in desperation, and said “I’m going to fight this. I’m not going!” It was in this exact moment I felt the crack within my heart. This was not the moment for self-pity. Her large intense” Bette Davis Eyes”were pleading for any kind of relief to lessen her overwhelming fear. So I smiled at her and said ” Good I thought you were going to fuck up Christmas!” She busted out laughing.
I set up her room to look as much like her room at home. Then I told her to quit hogging the bed as I nudged my way into the bed beside her. The tough old gal was amused by my lack of concern over what the staff might think. She instinctively knew that her body was not as strong as her will, but she also understood that we would do this our way.
So we listened to her beloved Celtic music, we gossiped about everything under the sun, and I soaked up the warmth of her courageous desire to protect her children from seeing her fear. She was a “Momma Bear” until her last moment. With me she was able to be herself. It was as much a gift to me as she had expressed it had been to her.I had the privilege of guiding her family to helping Mom end her journey surrounded by light-hearted humor bathed in love.
I spent Bette Davis’s last day ensuring her physical comfort, and maintaining her appearance. I had to leave briefly to take “The King” to speech, so I leaned down whispering into her ear that the little King was beckoning. Her” Bette Davis Eyes” had not opened for days, nor had she spoken. I told her how much I loved her. I told her everything was going to be okay, and that I would be back soon.
In that moment I understood that she would not be there when I would return, so I reminded her that I would be waiting for my sign so make it spectacular. I kissed her warm cheek, and told her “I would see her on the other side. Bette Davis made her final curtain call while I was away. She left the stage the same way she lived her life, with dignity surrounded by the love of her family.
Her hands trembled as her eyes nervously roamed around the room. I felt her apprehension the moment I entered the room. She was not herself. She was full of anxiety over her desire to hide herself, and her desperation to expose herself. Her need to know brought her out of the shadows of her long hidden existence.
It’s something that occurs when ones own mortality is faced with the realization that time is dwindling. When one reaches the point where anger still lingers inside them. Their anger is no longer about their limited mortality, it is about the realization that the power to reach for their own desires in this life where always within their own capabilities.
It comes from realizing that you held the keys to the kingdom in your very own hand, but your mind hid them from your eyes. She stared right through me with her “Bette Davis Eyes,” I was frozen by her gaze. “I have never had an orgasm.” I sat down beside her, and in my desperation to comfort her the regret that was overwhelming her I said “I’m pretty sure a lot of women from your generation may not have.”
She searched my face for any signs of bullshit. When she felt satisfied that I was not patronizing her she asked me what it was like? In my mind I wasn’t sure if I could describe what an orgasm felt like to her. It struck me that it would be like describing color to a person who had always been blind. My moment of pause caused her to become embarrassed by her question so in her true “Bette Davis” like way she snapped harshly at me. “Just never mind!”
I smiled at her, and explained that it would be like describing sex to someone who had never had sex. I asked her to give me a moment, then I told her that for me it is the point where desire meets intensity. A moment where both my mind, and my body reach a point of intense urgency. A point where my body no longer waits for my permission to respond, and I am completely taken over by tremors of pulsating euphoric release that are completely beyond my control.
I can see the wheels turning in her head. Then smiling she looks up at me, and says ” Well way to dangle the perfectly grilled steak in front of the woman with no teeth!” 😉
When I walked into her room I found her holding an old leather bound photo album on her lap. She was lost in a place that I did not belong. The thing that always makes my heart stop is the glazed look in their eyes, it’s almost as though a sheet of glass has been placed over them. So that when you try to make eye contact you are met with a thick clear barrier that seems to separate you from their world. I could see her chest rising, and falling with each labored breath so I knew physically that she was still with me in my world.
“Bette Davis” is what I call her because she has those intense “Bette Davis eyes.” Which made her glazed look entirely too intense for my comfort zone. Bette just turned 80 in June, her birthday happens to be the day after mine. She is dying from C.O.P.D. She moved in with her daughter a little over a year ago, and I am her personal assistant. She is mostly confined to her bedroom (her choice) unable to lie down in a bed. So she sits upright in her chair both day, and night. Bette is a straight shooter with a sharp tongue, and an innate ability to detect bullshit in a split second after sizing you up with her her intense “Bette Davis eyes.”
I like her, but the truth is that she has the ability to make grown adults cry with her razor sharp tongue. Something that only a very few are able to tolerate. From what I can gather this is a quality she has possessed her entire lifetime, so being on death’s door has made her even more intense. In her mind she is unlovable, an “Ugly Duckling.” She was raised by a stern mother who reminded her on a daily basis that she had better be smart since she was not a very attractive girl. Her father, and mother divorced when she was quite young. Bette was a daddy’s girl, but when she chose to remain with her mother after the divorce her father walked out of her life.
I think she married a man she didn’t truly love because she believed that no one else would ever love her. He had an affair after their 6th child leaving her alone to raise them all on her own. She told me her husband left her for a more beautiful woman just like her father had left her mother for a more beautiful wife. I think Bette has spent a lifetime building impossible walls around herself trying to avoid the immense pain of ever having anyone abandon her again.
I walked over kneeling beside her chair, trying to gently bring her back to world we share. I knew she could feel me beside her, but she was reluctant to leave the world where I did not belong. Then slowly she returned. The glasslike barrier that stood between her eyes, and mine became more permeable. She had been in a dance hall with a tall German young man who she told me was the only man she ever truly loved. She said it was love at first sight. It was 1955, and they had announced that this dance was ladies’s choice. She told me she was filled with both fear, and excitement over dancing with this stranger who had somehow captivated her in a way that no one else ever had, or ever would.
I saw a light in Bette’s eyes that I had never seen before. Her demeanor was soft, inviting, she was actually happy. She walked over to him with her heart in her throat, and asked this tall good looking young man to dance. He seemed shocked by her request but he stood up placing his hand on the small of her back as he guided her onto the dancefloor. He told her he was engaged to another woman in Germany who had told him that she loved him so much that she would take her own life if he didn’t return to her. Bette said they continued to dance every dance after that first dance. They told each other the kind of intimate details that you would normally only share with someone you’d known forever.
When the dance ended she felt in her heart that she had just lived an entire lifetime in one magical evening.They said goodnight to one another never expecting to see each other again, but they did. 😉
From the moment I entered her room her dark large piercing eyes seemed to look right through me. She’s a tough old bird whose gray hair, and failing lungs were the only thing old about her. I knew she was sizing me up by the look she gave me. In her gruff voice she told me to sit down. I instinctively knew that I had passed the first of many of her rigid requirements.
She asked me if I knew she was dying. A question poised in a way to see my reaction, as well as, gauge my ability to be truthful. I told her”Yes.” Her “Bette Davis Eyes” flickered a quick smile, but her facial expression remained stern. Then she asked me why I had chosen working with dead people as my career? I smiled at her, and replied “My job kind of ends when you die.” She laughed.
Then she said seriously “Why the dying?” Her “Bette Davis Eyes” searching mine for a truthful answer. I said “I don’t work exclusively for those who are dying, but fate seems to throw me in that direction quite a bit.” She said “Oh God your not one of those Hippie freaks are you?” I laughed, and said “No.” Bette proceeded to tell me what ticked her off about all her other assistants. It was a pretty long list, but I listened patiently.
When she finished she asked me if I was paying attention. I told her yes then I reassured her by reciting back the list of her pet peeves. I told her that her list was reasonable, and jokingly asked her if she wanted to hear my list? Bette laughed again, and said okay we will give this a try, but I’m short on time so don’t expect me to put up with any crap.” 😉