it’s not about YOU, it’s about THEM

25 01 2011

When someone’s horribly injured, or terminally ill, it seems I hear an astonishing number of people say that they didn’t go see someone because they don’t want to remember someone “that way”.

Horse-shit.

I’m all for honoring yourself and your limits, but come on. Get over yourself. Yes, I clearly remember her discomfort, her puffy face, her scant scraggly bits of remaining hair, the flaky grey skin that wasn’t quite hers, and even at the end: her struggles, sweats, and gasps.

Yes, that memory is very clear. Crystal clear. But so what?

I loved her. Any discomfort I might have of what images might linger wasn’t diddly squat compared to what she was up against. There are loads of other memories. It wouldn’t have even crossed my mind to NOT be there. How could it?

She needed comfort. Most especially right at those very moments. And what a privilege for me to be able to be there and hold her hand, stroke what was left of her hair, breathe with and maybe even FOR her at times, and speak soothing memories and comforts to her as she endured the pain and fear until she was freed into the big peaceful unknown. Most of us aren’t so lucky– squashed on the highway, heart-attack alone, and if you’re one of the lucky ones you’re in a home for years and years only to end up choking on the mashed peas– I just hope I’m as lucky to have that kind of love surrounding me when it’s my time.

As awful as those long minutes were, and as much as I wanted them to pass, both for her to be out of discomfort and for myself to be out of it too, at the same time I wanted to hold onto every last precious second we had together.

So yeah, I remember. Some may call those images ugly. And I suppose they are in some ways.

But I see it differently.

Sure, I still cry when those images come. Because they were beautiful.

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i get on my own nerves too, don’tchu worry

19 01 2011

I’m an only child.

Well, sorta.

I do have a baby half-brother. He’s a full 15 years behind me, so in essence, we’re BOTH only children. I was out of the house before he was out of diapers, plus mother was a completely different person by then, with different circumstances, etc, as you might guess.

So now that she’s gone, I’ve become the matriarch, and therefore also the mother figure. Which is fine. Really. He’s really one of the sweetest souls I know. He’s got his own problems and gets in his own way, but then again don’t we all?

Point being, I confess: sometimes it’s hard to not be annoyed. And DAMN, I know it shows, no matter how hard I try for it not to.

It’s my problem, not his. I didn’t have the prep time of having the baby/toddler/kid/tween/teen progression beforehand, I just skipped straight from baby to Young Adult. And my official “I’m Practicing Kindness” mindset this year mandates that I not only of course show kindness and patience to him as his inner-self grows to match his size 13 shoes, but also that I show kindness and patience to myself as I adjust too.

Just the same, it makes me realize that what I found mildly irritating, is likely because on some level I cringe that I probably used to do whatever that is too (and please GAWD, hopefully I have grown out of it otherwise I wouldn’t be recognizing it in him when it goes awry.). All minor things, none of which are a crime of course, but still, *sigh*.

And yeah, even still: every now and then, just like watching him, I also watch myself. I see my own lips flapping, and I am powerless to stop my own annoying self. I’m choosing to find it “mildly, charmingly, annoying”. (I’m trying really hard here, work with me…)

Pesky “witness”.

Phone conversations rather than face-to-face might have something to do with it, but fortunately so far, I think I’ve been pretty good with him not noticing the occasional eyeroll.

The Witness agrees.

(whew)

And that is all for tonight.





cover your bits, clown nose optional

9 11 2010

My dog wears a tu-tu. Everyone thinks it’s “cute”. We have her wearing it because it makes her no-licky-the-hoohah collar more effective, rather than for cute factor, but the cuteness is a nice gravy benefit.

But who cares? Why should a piece of fabric cause a reaction anyway? If it were someone’s 5-year old son, there’d be the well meaning but ultimately clueless and judgmental crass asses to deal with, and the potential for a sweet shiny eyed big hearted kid to learn way too soon that Being Yourself sometimes has consequences from people whose hearts haven’t grown as big as his has yet. What a harsh lesson so early, but what a neat person this kid has the potential to become with the support he’s got around him.

My man knows how to wear a dress. Frankly, he can rock one. And he’s manly, PLUS sweet, sensitive, and funny– a damned fine catch that I won the lottery by finding. (And dammit, he’s got nice gams too.)

In an ideal world, clothes’ function is simple: cover your naughty bits, protect you from the elements, and be comfortable for the task at hand. But we all know it’s more than that. It’s a brand. It’s a statement of YOU and how you view yourself, or want others to view you.

Every day, you put on a costume. Seriously. No, you don’t put on ONE outfit for each place, but you do have a set range of “acceptable” wear for each situation. My friend Delightful made a good point the other day that even the Goth kids have a “uniform” of sorts. Goth kid: I dress this way because it’s different. Reply: Yeah. But why do you look just like your other goth friends? (Disclaimer: I adore goths, and I confess to having a recessive goth gene myself– it’s the teen angst logic mismatch that gives me a giggle.) 

Some costuming examples for your amusement:

  • Church/Office/Nursing Home visit: Conservative suit or dress, yes. Hoochie sequins, fishnets, and the pink wig? No.
  • Susan Komen Run: Running shorts/etc, yes. Last year’s thrift store bubble-gum pink prom dress customized with grommets & ribbon up the back, with feather boa, YES. Conservative suit or dress, no.
  • Evening out on the town: Little black dress, flowy pants, hot designer jeans, heels, YES. Paint stained & holey old unshapen flannel sweatshirt, hubby’s jeans, hiking boots, No.
  • A day picking strawberries & flying kites: Paint stained & holey old unshapen flannel sweatshirt, hubby’s jeans, hiking boots, Yes. Little black dress, flowy pants, hot designer jeans, heels, No.

But somehow, no one needs to be told that it’s not a good idea to show up to the office in an elvis cape or a clown costume.

Even if a clown is THE most ironically appropriate thing. Rubber nose optional.

Elvis is thumbs up for Saving Hooters. Clearly this is promotion worthy attire, no?





doggie would call, if only she had thumbs

27 10 2010

Is there a magic ratio of who-calls-whom, and how often?

Or is it that the younger one always has to be the one to call the older one? Family-wise, that is.

Mother never called. NEVER. But would get upset if you didn’t call every so often. But also upset if you called TOO often. *sigh*

The reason I bring it up, is because I see the same pattern starting with at least 5 “new” family members.

Then again, maybe they’re trying to tell me something, only I’m not bright enough to *get* it!

Sure would be nice if it wasn’t always a one-way street. Even just once. Maybe that’s why people have kids– grow yer own, so to speak.

Leeloo sure wants some lovin’ though. And that’s enough for now.





one last thing

18 08 2010

It may not appear so at first glance, but this is the best funeral song, EVER.

All my life, she always said she wanted to go out with a brass band. Those aren’t easy to come by in the middle of a rice field, so the best we could come up with was an impromptu boombox, graveside, with a little Gladys Knight & the Pips.

Why, you ask?

Every spring cleaning, she’d hard-wax the wood floors, put me on an old wool army blanket, and sping me around on the floors to buff ’em, with old Motown blaring.

So last year, this came on in a random shuffle, and the dam broke. And there it was.

Holy hell, she would’ve LOVED the boombox-funeral bit. Use your imagination, and you can see her grinnin and swinging me around. Shiniest floors, ever.

Anyone else wanna wax some floors?





just another lap around the sun…

18 08 2010

me and momma - circa 1976-ish

… makes the sky a little brighter.

And no, it’s not my birthday. 🙂

(Yeah, I know, I know. I disappeared again. 😦 But only for a little while.)

It was all coming to a head one year ago. One year ago this past Saturday, One Tough Lady passed away. And one year ago today, we buried her.

Last year on my birthday is when she “spilled the beans” that she was sick, so between 7/15 this year and now, I’ve somehwat been reliving all of it, day by day. Even though I knew I was, I’ve been burrowed deeper into the fog than I realized I guess.

Earlier today, that fog that I was mostly unaware of this past month… lifted. In what seemed like an instant. I stopped dead in my tracks, for no reason. Not upset, just ginormous Pause button. And wouldn’t ya know it, it was about 2p, which is about exactly one year later, to the minute, of when we buried her.

I’m beyond awed of the quiet a swarm of friends stealthily surrounding me this month. I’m not sure I noticed it at the individual moments, but I’m so full of gratitude to have found such fantastic people– everywhere. From the nice stranger in Office Depot’s parking lot, to friends old and shiny-new, and to my poor taken-for-granted hubby this past month– there’s been a lot of love goin’ around. I tried to find the words to express my gratitude for that last year, but they still fall short of doing it any justice.  

No big reveal, or pithy moments, or dialog. So I feel… well, I dunno. Maybe it’s just that: I FEEL.

That’ll hafta do. (And I’m good with that.)





un-press the pause button, it’s on again

29 07 2010

Press play.

Less going on than usual, but still lots on my mind. Expected this week to be horrible, as it’s the One-Year-Later, and it is, but it’s also not. Horrible, that is.

Let’s see…

  • One year ago today, we were having Craig’s BBQ. Her choice. 🙂 It was a great day.
  • Two days later would be the day we loaded her into the ambulance, and after that she was unable to communicate. Two more weeks would pass and were making this very decision.
  • Back to the present: Last week, I went to the global company meeting-marathon to get a dose of much needed Kool-Aid. (I really do like this thing, I’m merely being tongue-in-cheek with my snark.) The minute I left town, the attorney finally sent over the estate closing docs. And I couldn’t do a damned thing about it until I got back this week.
  • So now that I’m back in town, I sat down with the docs. Two days ago, I signed the last papers for closing out mother’s estate. It hasn’t rained in forever, but that day– it rained like hell. And then… a rainbow. I haven’t seen one in I can’t REMEMBER how long. Go figure.
  • About that conference? It’s the same one that I missed last year– and the irony of the attorney’s timing with sending the docs is that the minute I got on the road to go to it last year, I ended up heading west instead, and staying for 6 weeks straight. (With that not-so-happy ending for mother.) So going this year, was like unpressing that pause button.

Next week? Going to study with a couple of fantabulous yoga masters for a week long intensive. And get this: Day 1 of travel is the exact one year later of when she went into the hospital for her final stay.

With the way the timing has been lately, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the courts post those final estate docs exactly one year to the day of her passing.

Maybe the Pause button makes it appearance again over the next couple of weeks. (Especially through the 14th.) But good to know the Pause & Play button are one and the same.

Yep, I’ll keep pressing the button. Pause, Play, or Clear, either way. Eventually I’ll end up on Play.

Keep pressing.