grief, motherhood

Decade (Without You)

Dear Mom,

This Mother’s Day 2019 is my tenth one without you.

I miss you.

Since you died I have to be honest, Mother’s Day has not felt right to me.  Without you, I don’t know how to be on this day.  For thirty-four years I knew, and then for the last ten, I don’t.

It isn’t for lack of having awesome kids of my own.  How I wish you could know them as they are now.  I imagine the scope of sports stats you would discuss with Full Speed would know no bounds.  T.Puzzle would crack you up.  A lot.

I didn’t exactly follow your parenting paradigm, but my boys were paradigm busters. They were/are firecrackers.  I made it up as we went along.  I had to.  I didn’t have you to ask for advice.

I made mistakes.  A lot of mistakes.  So many mistakes.  What I didn’t account for was the natural resilience of both my boys.

There really isn’t much I can do to mess that up.  My best course of action is no action at all.  

I’d like to think that some of your best qualities are reflected in both of them.  Full Speed has your practical logic locked down.  He has an uncanny ability to throw reason at me when I am hooked into an emotional arc of uncertainty.  T.Puzzle’s quick wit often reminds me of you.

You always made me laugh.

I miss laughing with you.

If I could talk to you I’d like you to know that Mad Dog loves me for exactly who I am.  You and I suspected he did, but time and living a life together has proven this as fact.

I’d want you to know that the Cubs finally won the World Series.  My heart still aches that I couldn’t share that experience with you.

I was at game three and game five at Wrigley.

For real.

Not too shabby for a girl growing up in the cornfields of Illinois.

Sometimes I wonder who your current favorite player would be.  My guess changes from season to season.  I know you would love Javy but he’s a bit of a loose cannon.  Maybe Schwarber for his gritty comeback?  Maybe Zo with his MVP World Series run and his cool demeanor on the field and at the plate?

I wish I could talk baseball with you.

I wish I could tell you that I am a writer now.  I have always been but now I sometimes get published.  And sometimes the letters I configure on a page help others remember they are loved and moves them towards healing.

To me, that is grace.

To me, that is everything.

I would tell you that I love you.  That you shaped me into the woman that I am.  That because of you I love birds, baseball and the color blue.

I know that you sometimes couldn’t understand why I wore my heart on my sleeve but it’s okay, you are not alone in this.  Now that I am older I realize my emotionality isn’t a choice, it is a way of being.  It hurts me more to hide it, so I hide it less and less.

Either way, you’d love me.  Either way, you loved me.

I still carry your voice in my heart and your love in my soul.

In many ways, you never left me.

I wish I could take you to the mountains.  I wish I could sit next to you on a porch and listen to the birds calling each other home.  I wish I could take your hand in mine, look you in your clear blue eyes and tell you what is true.

I love you, Mom.

Always have, always will.

Happy Mother’s Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

children, family, grief, humor, kids, kindergarten, loss of parent, motherhood, parenting

Mom’s Best Advice

I L-O-V-E this kid!Last week T.Puzzle’s teacher approached me for a conference.  The thing about conferences is that they usually doesn’t consist of the teacher listing all the ways your kid is truly outstanding.  As I entered the school building for the impending conference, I had a feeling she wouldn’t share anything with me that I didn’t on some level, already know.  Basically, he speeds through everything, oversimplifies and isn’t interested in expounding on anything, ever.  Pretty typical stuff for a kindergartener, but as his classmates are slowing down and answering questions in more detail, he is fine to zip through his schoolwork at a breakneck pace (Full Speed, Jr., anyone?). There’s not much to be done except encourage him to slow down as he does tasks at home and try to prompt more than one-word answers from him (Mad Dog, Jr., anyone?).

The hardest part of this conference day is that all I really wanted to do was call my Mom to talk about it.  She was always the perfect combination of empathic listener with a good dose of pragmatism.  She had a way of putting things in perspective while taking into consideration my extremely sensitive nature.

I miss that.

I miss her.

Of course she is on the forefront of my mind as Mother’s Day approaches.  All I can do is remember a conversation I had with her shortly before she passed.  She told me l knew her well enough that if I ever needed her advice when she was gone, I could imagine what she would tell me and I’d be exactly right.

So?  What would she tell me?  That T.Puzzle is brilliant, charming and handsome.  She’d tell me that he’s an extremely active boy who would rather play soccer than sit still, write sentences or answer questions.  She would tell me that I’m a great Mom and it’s only kindergarten.  She’d tell me to focus on the good stuff the teacher said like how T.Puzzle is respectful to his classmates and his teachers.  She’d tell me that when he’s CEO of a Fortune 500 company or president of the United States, that how he behaved in kindergarten won’t matter.  It matters only to his future first grade teacher and first grade is months away.  A lot can change over a summer and be patient.  It will all work out just fine.

Thanks, Mom.  I needed that.

grief, loss of parent, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

3 Years

This is the third anniversary of when my Mom passed away.  I would like to think that somehow losing a loved one gets easier.  It does not.  It only changes inside you.  The loss becomes a permanent part of your soul.  It never leaves you.

I miss having her in my world.  I miss having that reassurance that she would always be there and that more importantly, she would listen to me and truly care about what I had to say.

Isn’t that what anyone wants?  To be heard, to be seen and to be truly, truly loved.  Imagine if everyone in the world had access to that kind of love.  The bad days would be bearable, the sweet days would be more so and we’d all be a little bit kinder to ourselves and to each other.

Each day is a new opportunity to learn about ourselves.  I learned so very much from my own mother.  Some of the lessons were easy and beautiful.  Some of the lessons were not.

In the end the most important lesson I learned from my Mom is that it all comes down to forgiveness.

No one is ever going to be perfect and that’s okay.  Perfect doesn’t teach us a thing.  Real life, real love and real relationships do.

My Mom and I saw each other as we really are and still loved each other anyway.  That’s the real deal.

I miss you, Mom!

children, grief, kids, life in pictures, loss of parent, marriage, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

Love & Birthdays

 

Happy 6th birthday, Full Speed!

 

I am having many mixed feelings about Full Speed’s sixth birthday today.  I am excited for him and happy his remarkable growth and change are being marked in such a celebratory way.  The challenge is not having my Mom here to help me celebrate or to share in all the wonderful milestones Full Speed has achieved in the past year.

It was hard enough that she wasn’t here to offer support and guidance when he started kindergarten.  Now, with each passing year, Full Speed is growing into who he is meant to be and she won’t be able to see it.   I wish she could because this kid is only getting better with age.

As the distance grows from the last point in which my Mom was in my life, it is ever more shocking to my system that she really isn’t coming back.

I’d also like to apologize to Mad Dog for my extra crazy, unpredictible moods as of late.  I am in the last stages of processing my Mom’s absence and while I will never fully let her go, I will move forward in a more even-handed manner.  I promise.

All I can do is my absolute best.  I will celebrate the good times in my present and honor the sadness as it floats up from my past.

I am grateful for the time that I had with my Mom.  I believe the joy I have managed to create in my own little corner of the world is possible through her choices and example.   I watched and I learned.  I made some different choices of my own.  Most importantly, I was loved.

Thanks, Mom.

life in pictures, loss of parent

The Best View

This vacation has been pretty spectacular. I think some of the best parts of it have been the unplanned parts. The cabin we are staying in has a huge theater room and we have had many ‘double features’. The kids will watch a movie first and then we will all pile in for a family movie. Of course by the time the grown-ups arrive in the theater room, it is completely littered with popcorn. It’s almost as if the ceiling has opened up and a popcorn rain-shower ensued.

One of the other best parts is the view. The smoky mountains are absolutely beautiful. I’m not sure if I like it so much for the beauty, or for the knowledge that my Mom would have loved this view, too. She always loved the mountains and we will always, always love her.