My Grieving Friend

I saw her. Her steps were heavy. Every move cautions, as if each move threatened to shatter her brokenness. Somber, every facial line etched deeply. Her frame and movements seemed ancient compared to her real age. Her beautiful body bowed, like she had just been hit in the stomach and all the breath was zapped out. She seemed unapproachable, quiet…her mind far, far away.

She spoke softly, almost in a whisper, almost as if she didn’t have enough air in her lungs. I had no idea the sorrow and the pain she held deeply, reverently. We would sit for coffee, often. At times she spoke, but mostly she listened. There, yet, absent. Her red lipstick always on point…she needed color, somewhere…anywhere.

Cautiously, briefly, she opened a window of her soul to me. We entered a sacred place…her garden. Filled with color, serene, holy. In the midst of her vibrant garden was a memory garden filled with the most mundane of things, yet each was set with purpose, with care. A bench, a bird bath, a cross, an angel, and lots and lots of miniature roses. Oh, the tears, the memories, the talks that garden held. We stood in silence, it was a sacred moment. She shared that her 21 year old son had gone off an embankment; that she had to identify his remains; that she missed him; that this was one way of honoring his memory. I gasped, I couldn’t say a word, but felt privileged that she had allowed me into the sacredness of her pain.

Many, many years have passed. I now sit in my own memory garden. Mine has rocks with messages, butterflies and plants that attract butterflies. My daughter loved butterflies. I put a rock with her name on it…something about her name.

My dear grieving friend, how much you taught me through your silence ❤

Grateful

“Life is a gift…the way to handle a gift is to be grateful.” ~ Claypool

I’m grateful that I birthed You; that I heard your first cry; that I heard your first word; that I got to cuddle you; to feed you; to bathe you and yes, even to clean you.

I’m grateful when you would run to me when I’d pick you up from school; your talks; your dilemmas; your hurts; your smile.

I’m grateful for having the privilege to homeschool you; for having coffee with you; for sitting around in our pajamas; for doing your hair.

I’m grateful that you would call me and send me encouraging notes while you were away at school; grateful for your stories; for you trusting me with your defeats.

I’m grateful that we spent every minute of your end-of-life journey together; slept together, colored, giggled, played dots…hugged, oh, how we hugged. To be able to tell you over and over again how much I loved you, and that YOU showed and told me how much you loved me.

I’m grateful that we sang together, prayed together…and got to hold you as you departed. What a privilege!

I’m forever grateful for the privilege of being your Ma, Mom, and Mommie ❤

“…the best way out of darkness is the way of gratitude.” ~ Claypool

Last Breath…

The dawn of another sleepless night. Your breathing shallow, sporadic…every interval, more and more distant. “It” was lurking at every corner, making “it’s” presence known, felt…making my body stand on edge. “It” had been announced months ago, AND, maybe we had “accepted it”, but the thought that “it” was…almost here was just so unnerving.

Your little frail body, almost a shell of what you had been, finally at peace; finally the screams, “Help, me Mom!” had been quieted. The horrible flow of you vomiting your insides had stopped. Finally, you lay oh so peaceful, not writhing in pain. BUT what was the cost?

At times begging The Father to take you already. At times clinging to every last second of life…wishing for one last

…Hug, smile, giggle, even a grouchy face, anything…one last MOMMIE…

I’m playing one of your favorite songs, trying to sing to you…YOU breathed in ANDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD it was over!!!

My heart pulverized into a gazillion pieces…

I know You are at peace in the very safest place you can ever be. I know I will see You again. I know…I know…I know…

BUT

How do I convince my aching arms that they will hold You, again? How do I tell my ears that they will hear Your voice, again? How do I tell my eyes that they will see You, again? How do I tell the fragments of my heart to beat, again?

I miss YOU, my beautiful girl ❤

Inquiring Mind

Inquiring minds want to know…I have questions…lots of questions.

I’m thinking that maybe my next “project” will be a “Gym Etiquette Manual”…ha!ha! Not really, but that might not be a bad idea.

To the man who wears only a towel to the steam room – why? Seriously, why? Working out with long pants (pajama bottoms), long sleeve shirt (thermal) and your head and part of your face covered, but you shed it all for the steam room. You do know this is a co-ed gym, yes? You do know that towel doesn’t cover you while you are doing karate kicks?

To the man that wears only long john underpants to the sauna – just not sure what to ask, but that image hurts my eyes 8-\

I don’t know about you, but “if” I have a (clears throat) wedgy, I yank that puppy out promptly cause, well, that’s just what you do. Not this other guy! Does he know? Should I tell him?

So I thought only plumbers aired out their crack. Well, I was wrong…oh, so wrong!!!

To the efficient, new male employee, ummm, coming out of the shower (in the women’s lockers/showers) to find you there just doesn’t sit well with me. Not sure if you read the memo. Not sure this is proper etiquette…just sayin!

Enough inquiries for today. I think I’ll go work on my first draft of that manual 😉

A Moment in Time

The soft strums of the guitar; the beat of the drums.

You come near…extend your hand…the silent invitation.

My hand in yours, our feet begin to move, our bodies sway as one.

What bliss! What intoxicating abandonment!

Dancing under the stars…losing ourselves in the moment.

There’s laughter…there’s joy…there’s pleasure…

Is it possible?

The canopy of sorrow and grief is lifted…

for a moment…

a moment in time.

Under the stars, we dance…we dance…what bliss!

AND…just for a moment…everything was alright.

Honest Ponderings

The realization that you are more like your Dad than you thought. Well, in all honesty, I had never even made the connection. As I ponder this, the thought nearly suffocates me. I said, “Everyone adored and respected my Dad. He always did good for everyone —— EXCEPT his own children.” I gasped…then…boom! I WAS JUST LIKE MY DAD!!!

Known, traveling, sought after, helping here and there, “rescuing”…making a name for myself. Yikes! BUT what about my children? My husband? They were being left behind…set aside. The “others” came first. My family got what was left, if anything. Everyone “loved me” when I was their “savior”. Now, I’m just a by-word. They shake their heads in unbelief and disappointment. I’ve let “them” down. I fell off the man-made pedestal.

No human being is meant to be all-things to all-people. Only God can do that. Humans disintegrate under the weight of trying to meet everyone’s needs and expectations. Humans aren’t meant to do that.

In a world of “trying-to-do-it-all”, we miss the MOST important. I am a wife to my husband. No one else can or should fill those shoes. I am “still” a mother to my remaining son (my daughter is in heaven). No one else can be or should be their Momma.

The memory of my precious daughter, on her last days here on earth, calling out to me, “Mommie!” Guess what, no one else would do. She wanted her Mommie

Clarity of mind in the midst of this intense fog – go figure…what a gift! So often, we come to “aha moments” too late.

Grateful, it is not to late for me!

Gym Rant

Ready for another gym rant, I mean “post”?

As I’ve mentioned before, I go to the gym early to avoid people, noises…ha!ha! pretty much everything. However, for some reason, “stupidity” follows me 8-\

Remember the locker room? (Not A Robot)? Yeah, it continues. This time I got to see the perpetrator face-to-face! So, I’m done with my workout. Heading toward my locker I see someone standing right by it with her stuff all over the place (typical). I think, “when she sees me heading that way she will move aside” — ha!ha! that would be the right thing to do, but NOT for mua! She turns away from me as if she didn’t see me. I clear my throat…I’m standing right next to her…she ignores me! Her locker door is totally blocking mine. I say, “excuse me”, nothing! I clear my throat again and ask if I can get to my locker. NOTHING!!! I gently grab her locker door and move it so that I can get into my locker, slide myself in and get my stuff and move to another locker (you would have been proud of me). She doesn’t even say a peep! People, just know, I am NOT a very patient and kind person. It seriously took a lot of self-control for me not to…well…I’ll just let you imagine it. She better be thankful that she wasn’t dealing with “La Sleepy from the Hood” cause things would have gotten ugly.  This post would not be a rant from my living room, but a rant from a four-by-four room with me wearing a fashionable “orange-suite-with-a-number”…just sayin!

Remember the bathroom? (Not A Robot) So, add to what I told you this – there is this lady that puts all her things on this particular treadmill (cause there’s not 10 other treadmills to use…ha!ha!). She goes to the bathroom and “sits” for like 30 minutes listening to music and doing her thang. Today, her music was loud as can be. I’m guessing it was to drown out the “music” she was making. All I have to say is, the music was not drowning out the “sounds” from the rest of us :-/

And, we have the parking lot. Folks, this gym is big, so the parking lot is huge. When I get there I park close to the door because it’s still dark outside and because there’s only like 5 cars on the lot and because I want to. When I leave, it’s still early and there are still plenty of parking spaces. Would you believe it if I told you that I’ve been honked at and blasted with high beams because I’m not quick enough to move out of the parking space?  Yup, I have. People, people!!! Maybe, just maybe, if they parked further they’d get more steps for their fit-bit…just sayin!

Ok, so I’m laughing now! Silver lining is, when the writing juices aren’t flowing, there’s always something to write “from the gym”…he!he!