Thursday, August 29, 2013

Smudges

Several years ago, a friend's little girl died unexpectedly. Everyone frantically tried to fill in, babysitting the other kiddos, making meals, car duty, whatever we could. Right after, I remember telling her that I would go over and clean her house- everything had happened so quickly that cereal was still on the table. I vacuumed and mopped, folded laundry, dusted. I cleaned better than I ever cleaned my house in those days. I must have been trying to scrub away the heartbreak, erase the sadness. I spent hours cleaning, and I remember stopping cold at the smudges on the glass doors. Little toddler-height smears, where my friend's little girl had probably been watching dogs or siblings or her mom in the backyard.

I remember sitting down with the windex, knowing that I could not touch those smudges. Those little prints mattered, and they would not be wiped away by my hands.

I leave for Texas tomorrow, at the crack of dawn. I am going to say goodbye to my dad, to spend time with our family. I have been thinking of those smudges over the last few days. My dad had a lot of smudges. I spent my entire life trying to wipe them clean, as did everyone else who loved him.

Funny thing, those smudges. I no longer want to wipe them clean. They are part of it. His journey. My journey. I love him, good and bad, the clean and the dirt. Trying to erase the smears would be unfair, would change his story, and that is not mine to do. So, I am going home (ish) tomorrow, no Windex or Dr. Bronner's in hand. I am going to celebrate my father, the good memories and the smudges. All of it.

Peace and love and smeared patio glass, cupcakes. XOXO

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Life goes on.

Hello, peeps.
No meaning behind this, just saw it walking to the Farmer's Market...


Thanks for checking in on me, and for all your kind words. Amazing how kind words can soothe our souls more than the 'right' words. I am doing well, a lot wiser about some things than I was a couple of weeks ago.

One, nothing works like it does on TV, when it comes to death and funerals.  It takes time. Time and paperwork and signatures and faxing and scanning and email and phone calls and missed voicemails and, good God, money, to move things forward. On NBC and CBS, it happens in minutes. Someone dies, and the next day everyone is wearing black at the gravesite.

Not reality. My Mema laughed when I told her this, because she knows that arrangements take time. Bless her heart, she has had to bury too many loved ones, so she knows that the wheels creak by very slowly.

Two, apparently there are some arseholes in the death and dying business. One man told my sister there would be a 2000+ transportation fee for my father to be cremated. The next day, the gentleman whom we had been speaking with before said there was no fee for this. Hmmm. I have a feeling that the Transportation Man would have been happy to take two thousand dollars from a grieving family member. It reminds me of being at a bad car dealership in the nineties.

So, even if you are grieving, ask questions. Be smart, like my sister, and ask questions or call back.

Three, grieving catches you by surprise. I feel like I am in the ocean and the waves are big. Sometimes, they knock me over, and sometimes I can see them rolling in and dive under. Often, I am fine, and then I might tear up or have to stop and catch my breath. No rhyme or reason- I am just rolling with it.

And, four, life goes on. I may be sad, but life continues. Kids still outgrow their clothes and need new ones for school. The pug still manages to find strange things to eat and then return said things to my carpet. My oil still needs to be changed. The Farmer's Market continues beckoning to me with kettle corn and Palisades peaches. Library books still need to be turned in and the laundry does not do itself.

Kind of comforting that life goes on whether or not I am sad. Except for the laundry. That could stop already.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Daddy

My father died on Tuesday.

I keep saying it to make it real.

It doesn't feel real. Not real at all. I don't feel real. I sit and want to stand. I stand and want to sit. I am exhausted but my mind plays a continuous reel of good and bad. Everything tastes like cardboard, except chocolate covered espresso beans.

People don't know what to say. Some people say it perfectly, even as they profess to not know what to say. Some people are seriously lacking in saying anything- there is surely a "ten things to not say when someone dies" post waiting to be written. And then there is my friend, Nichole, who heard my voice on Tuesday and said "You sound like shit." I am not sure why, but this was the perfect thing- she heard it in my voice before she even knew.

My father was not a good father. He gave me a lifetime of hurts to heal, and he was not there for any important event. However, I loved him. I loved him fiercely. He had no idea how much I loved him because I was just learning to wade through the hurts, but I loved him. I loved the Daddy he was, who could bring a room to life with his energy. I loved the man he was after his stroke, his alert eyes hidden behind his thick glasses. I did not tell him how much I loved him, but I loved him fiercely.

This is a regret that I will carry for a very long time, because I know better. Life is too short, and I was mistaken in thinking there was time to heal wounds. I told my aunt this last night, that I have this incredible guilt. She has a stronger faith than I can comprehend, and she assured me that my father knows that he was loved. I have the weakest faith, so I can only want to believe this, but I will depend on her faith for that. She also told me not to get mired down in my guilt. To make this day one, of living intentionally and making sure that people know they are loved.

Her words have been in my mind all day and night. Neon bright. Live intentionally. Make sure people know they are loved.

I am working on it. As I sit and stand. Stand and sit.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hi.

Soooo. I stepped in it last month.

My words, which resonated strongly with some fellow mamas, also unintentionally hurt some people. I have never intended to hurt anyone with my words, so I retreated. Tucked in, if you will.

My blog is my little corner of the world where I have a say. My thoughts. My view. my journey. Sometimes my words resound with other people, because many of us have a similar journey. Occasionally, my words are full of silly absurdity because it is my truth. Sometimes, my writing is a love letter. Often, it is healing a hurt or mending a wound. But it is never meant to hurt anyone, and my words are never meant as arrows aimed at anyone, much less my tribe.

So, I retreated to my cave, licked my wounds, apologized for the hurts, and took a break from writing. Which is like saying I took a break from breathing or bathing, because it is RIGHT. UP. THERE. for my sanity.

I am coming back to writing. Slowly. Baby steps. Hopefully better. And hopefully, my tribe and lovees know that my words are never written as poison. Except for against he-who-must-not-be-named. He gets the arrows occasionally with my words. And if any one has Poison Dart Frogs as pets, well... Yeah. Message me.

No, but seriously, I am writing again. Thank you for your IM's and emails and DM's and Pinterest messages and texts. I know you guys contact me in EVERY way but as comments on my blog, but I got them all. And I felt the love.

XOXOXO, peace and kind words and no poison arrows.