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 to when things felt like they made sense.
However, I suppose that, in life, we’re not necessarily meant to go back. Rather, we move forward, hopefully picking up insight, wisdom, lessons, skills, and memories along the way - storing them in our proverbial knapsacks until we need to fish them out to help us tackle the terrain of life’s journey. And, in that respect, drawing on all that I’ve learned in my now 32 years - from my good fortune, bad choices, heartbreak, unmerited favor and the lessons I’ve been wise enough to learn from others (most especially my mom) - I feel well-equipped at this juncture.
So, I move forward. As we all do. Whether we like it or not.
This Tumblr will stay live for the foreseeable future. Perhaps some other traveler will stumble across it out here in cyberspace and find something in it that’s worth putting in their proverbial knapsack. And if that happens to be you, you will have a lovely, wise woman named Gwen, who would’ve been 58 years old tomorrow, to thank for 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 suppose. But let’s not use it too often, okay?
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” ~ A headstone in Ireland
"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 milestone, it’s much needed and welcomed news.
"Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated." ~Lamartine
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 talking about the grandmas with you. I miss praying with you. I miss those random calls to say you’re coming over and you’re bringing Taco Bell or Subway. I miss our long drives. I miss gossiping with you (a LOT). I miss getting sweet tea with you any chance we could. I miss telling you about my day and hearing about yours. I miss seeing the calendar in the pantry filled with doctor’s appointments. I miss watching you mix your medicine. I miss just knowing you were around.
You remain my favorite person, my compatriot, the love of my life, my bff, my nemesis (especially when you wouldn’t let me do what I wanted), and my mamala. <3
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.
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 each other and very rarely ever got together.”
Me: “Really!??! That seems so crazy. Who was the rallying point in getting everyone back together?”
Cousin: “It was G.”
Me: “Really!?!? Wow! What an amazing legacy for her to have left - basically giving each of them their family back.”
It’s decided. If your name begins with a G, then you’re probably one-of-a-kind. And once you’re gone, a lot of folks will probably miss you.