This is where I leave you all. When I set out with this blog, I intended it to be only for a year (hence the Tumblr handle) and so it shall be. In the landscape of this past year, the valleys have felt more like craters and the mountains have felt more like foothills. There have been happy times, but overall, I simply feel like I can’t find my way back. Back to February 20, 2012. Back...
I don't like the sound of it
“… right around the time my mom died …” I think I uttered that exact phrase for the first time today. It left a leaden aftertaste in my mouth as it was rolling off my tongue. Died is such a direct word - not nearly as soft as ‘passed away’ or ‘went home’ or whatever other euphemisms are out there. It’s a harsh word for a harsh reality, I...
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” ~ A headstone in Ireland
In your dreams
“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can play together all night.” ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes
There are not many women in my family. Many have passed on, and on my dad’s side, I’m the first girl born in roughly 100 years. So I hold the ones I do have closely and, this past weekend, it looked like I may loose one of my favorites. But in a blessed turn of events, it looks like she may stick around a bit longer. And in a week that’s been centered around an emotional...
“Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated.” ~Lamartine
Happy REBIRTHday, mom!
Complete. And I miss you like cah-razy. Your voice, your laugh, your slobbery kisses, your hugs, your ridiculous txt messages, your random letters, your quippy emails, your evening phone calls (and your morning and midday phone calls), and even your tears. I miss it all. I miss knowing you’re just a few minutes away and that if I’m having a rough day, I can swing by. I miss...
One thought has stuck in my mind this morning and I cannot shake it, no matter how I try. I remember today as the last day I ever had a conversation with her, as a day of agitated waiting now that a decision had been made, a day with lots of tears that turned into an evening of restless sleep, hoping and praying for the miraculous. Here’s hoping this February 20 is better than the last.
Another "G", Another Legacy
In discussing how my gaggle of second cousins and their families all get together on a regular basis … Cousin: “You know, it wasn’t always like that. After D died, we really never saw each other and rarely talked. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that everyone started gathering for brunch and having holidays together again. All 6 of the kids live within a few miles of...
Rain upon the earth
“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried than before - more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.” ~ Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Reminded again and again
Some nights, it’s best to sit idly and just have a little think. Just me, a cup of tea, and my thoughts. It’s there I can ponder the events of the past year, mentally prepare for the next, and recall happy times with her. You really can’t go home again, but I feel like this is, for better or worse, pretty close.
Love is a Verb
Roses from mom. Handed me this and a few groceries she bought for me. Happy Valentine’s Day. (2011)
My life feels out of control. Or, better yet, out of MY control. Perhaps that’s a good thing given that, in the end, we don’t really control our future all that much (though we like to think we do, especially in the Western world). However, today it feels tiring, stressful, and emotionally draining. I can’t trust my own decision-making skills, my filter is gone, and my...
Crushed but not destroyed
I was commenting to my youngest brother yesterday about how I feel really unappreciated given all the time and effort I’m putting into taking care of family business. And it dawned on both of us - our mom was probably looking down from Heaven, chuckling to herself, and muttering under her breath, “I warned you more than once - what goes around, comes around.” Because...
I love the card aisle. Until I don’t. This evening I meandered through the card aisle for about 20 minutes prowling, intensely, for the right birthday cards and Valentines. I love running my fingers over the paper, feeling the embossing, running my thumbnail between the flaps, testing the paper’s durability, rolling my eyes when a card is overly verbose, and occasionally finding...
How are you dealing with things these days?
And that question dovetailed into a 30 minute rambling explanation, which, at the end of it pretty much means: I have no idea how I’m dealing with things these days. Is awkwardly an option?
Happens even when I’m not planning on it.
I’ve started volunteering with PHA. In some way, short of starting a memorial fund or naming a tree after her or whatever else one may do, this is my way to memorialize her and my aunts. And will hopefully serve to lend a small voice of support for my cousin. So whatever I can do, ladies, to get the word out about this business, I’ll do it. One edited script at a time.
Because mom woulda done it.
A phrase I’m using a lot these days to justify to folks why I’m spending time on some things and not others. And to justify, to myself, why I am where I am at this moment. And for now, it’s more than a justification. It’s a mandate.
Let’s go out of town, sit under Ursa Major, and say hello to some folks we know.
Lovely friends make not so lovely moments better.
A silver lining
In reading articles on CNN and HuffPo, I find myself thinking a lot these days, “I am glad she’s not around for this.” And I’m not gonna lie when I say I wish sometimes I wasn’t either (eye roll).
“My country was made for noble hearts, such as yours.” ~ CS Lewis (Aslan, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)
You’ve heard of eShopping and even perhaps mShopping. Well, now I give you cShopping. Because I feel like going to a cemetery looking for ideas for a headstone is in a class by itself. A strange, Twilight Zone-ish class by itself.
At Red Rocks (2009).
Over dinner tonight, in between a rambling conversation about a recent trip west, I heard an unexpected reminder of my mom. Hiss … hiss … hiss … hiss … the familiar cadence of someone using a portable oxygen concentrator like my mom did for over 10 years. And suddenly, a small part of me wanted to whip around in my booth, rip the plastic tubing off the poor woman’s...
It’s funny what becomes a keepsake these days. I got a new couch and a new coffee table this weekend, which forced me to get rid of the old stuff. It was easy to see the couch go, but as I was clearing off the coffee table, I felt a pang of remorse. Shortly after I moved into my place, my mom called me at an ungodly hour on a Saturday morning. She’d been out at the garage sales...
I think the cup pretty much sums it up (2005).
I found myself feeling forlorn today at a friend’s baby shower. She was surrounded by a gaggle of family and friends - in-laws, outlaws, sisters, aunts, step-moms, and close friends - and still, as I pulled out of the driveway, I couldn’t help but shed a few tears thinking how her mom seemed to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue, though no one mentioned her by name. Our moms...
Dream a little dream
Oh, mom. Here’s the thing: I need you to show up in a couple folks’ dreams tonight and give them the ‘what for’ like only you can. They’re inclined to listen to you, I think. Can you do that for me? Thanks much. XOXOXO.
Can’t you tell? (2009)
Clearing the clutter of the past few weeks in my head and taking stock of the oft-undeserved love and affection from friends and family members recently. Makes me wonder if these are ‘angels unaware’ moments where two worlds collide and I’m given a glimpse of the heavenly, the sacred. I tend to think yes. This is just the sort of thing that smacks of my mom and my Abba...
“I look at life as a gift of God. Now that he wants it back I have no right to complain.” ~Joyce Cary
Eleven Months On
And remembering where we all were a year ago. I haven’t driven near that hospital since and have no intention of doing so anytime in the near future. Most days, it’s name is rather hateful to me.
Your mom was a lovely person. Don’t you dare say anything bad about her. I miss her. I think it says a whole helluva lot that my grandma, my mom’s mother-in-law, is so quick to defend her. Every time. (And, for the record, I wasn’t saying anything disparaging. My grandma misheard me.)
Good friends ...
… Invite you into their home, feed you your mom’s favorite cookies, and let you watch one of your mom’s favorite movies with their family.
At my mom’s funeral, one of our dear friends stood up and read this whole book. I always feel so sorry for the tree at the end of the book, being taken apart by this little urchin. Maybe that’s because I’m not a mother, because, as one of my mommy friends said to me the other day, “It’s exactly as it should be.” To which I gave a puzzled look. And then she...
Sometimes on those afternoons when it’s quiet at my office - just me and the tap tap tap of my keyboard - I can hear: You’re never far from my thoughts. And I can’t tell if it’s me saying it to her, or her saying it to me. But I hope it’s both.
"Matt looks so much like your mama."
I might be a little jealous of that, though I’m fairly confident that each of us, in our own way, acts a bit like her. And that’ll just have to do.
Has loosing your mom tested your faith? My faith in God? No, not a bit. I’m continually bowled over by His mercy and the patience with which He constantly meets me. But, has it tested faith in humanity? Yes, in every way. In many ways I find my capacity to tolerate (let alone love) people - especially some who are closest to me - is nearly tapped and it takes everything I have in me...
“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” ~Leo Tolstoy
Guys, I’m running a fever. I’ve taken some aspirin but I’d better stay home tomorrow. I’ll dial-in to the presentation but you’ll have to carry on in my absence. In the old days, receiving that message at 9:45pm would’ve spurred me to call my mom and have her talk me off the ledge. These days, it’s elicits a few text messages to close friends asking...
Identity over Italian
Because sometimes what you need is to have a long, meandering conversation over heaping plates of pasta and Cherry Cokes with an old friend who has walked a mile in your shoes. We discussed family, identity, choosing joy, loss, mommyhood, and Cuba. Honestly and openly. I’m not so sure what she gets out of it, but I know that, for me, it helps. A lot.