Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ripple Effects 2

"Do you ever feel dead inside?"  -- this is what she said to a teacher in the hallway.  Promptly got a call from a counselor.  For the second time that day, I had to explain that recently, my mother died (and both times I cried...hmm...I think mom would be happy about that...) and that she is a old soul, thinks deep thoughts, etc. 

She talked to the counselor.  Said she often wonders about death.  Wonders if anyone would miss her when she is gone.  She sounds like me when I was a girl.  I tell the counselor about a time when I put her to bed at 6 years of age--and she said "I love you mommy, and I will keep you in my heart, even after you are dead."  Yeah.  Like me. 

Counselor said that she called me her hero, that she is comfortable talking to me, etc.  Counselor said that we are doing fine, all the right things, they just wanted to let us know.  Counselor agrees it could also be the time of year and hormones as well as the recent death.


I talk with her.  It is all those things.  She misses grandma, she is worried about dying (and heck, she did not have to see her dying like I did---glad I made the decision not to have the children come those last few days).  I am sure the world we live in is not helping matters--to hear (even just in the background) about shootings and violence and hate...


In the morning, driving her to school.  I talk about how yes, I have been a bit down lately too...perhaps we need to look at the positives in our lives and be Thankful (it being close to Thanksgiving and all...)

We both put our best attitudes on---and face another day. 


Stray thoughts: 

  • she may be my Wednesday Adams  (although, I was always more gleeful in my embrace of the macabre, she is more like a weary-worrier...maybe more like Linus...)
  • she can be too empathetic
  • she bounces back well
  • time for some mom over drive
  • she is my reader and deep thinker
  • no advice needed, she is in therapy already (twice a month), a counseling group in school, we can reach out to hospice, etc.  We got this.
  • every so often, my kids remind me of myself
  • this holiday season may be tough

Monday, November 06, 2017

Ripple Effects

Sometimes I am driving home from work and I think that mom should have called me by now.  She had a way of calling at the most aggravating times sometimes, but I would often call her back when I was driving home from work.  She also usually left voice mail messages that always sounded like there was something urgent that she needed to talk about---and usually...there wasn't.  She could be the most annoying, frustrating, needy person...she could also be thoughtful and sweet and caring.  The finality of death is frustrating and annoying, making one long for one last fucking annoying call from someone.


Pictures and music and the time of year...well, time for the ghosts of the past to make their way in my memories...


Halloween is over and it was wonderfully fun...but went by so fast!  I was so happy that this year, for just a little over an hour...we all went Trick or Treating as a family!  It was nice and fun!

Michael put together a great costume this year--and Willow kinda went with a more understated costume this year.

With that...our favorite holiday is over...and we brace ourselves for the onslaught of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah....etc.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Busy doing that Thing called Life...

October is a busy month and we have been pretty much on the go for most of it---I cannot believe Halloween is almost upon us!!

I often think of things to write here, but find my time limited to do so...or I end up getting into a FB "discussion" about the current state of affairs of our is exhausting to have Real Life and then also have to deal with things I should not have to worry whether we are going to blowed up by some maniac.. (There was a time that I did not have to care so much about the daily affairs of our country...ah, yes...that was a mere, oh...what, 11 months ago?!!?)

So...I will be posting when I can...but at the moment...everyone is fine...everyone is happy...Chewy lost his wallet (again) and Michael stressed out but lived through his first midterms...Willow is having a Halloween I am burned out, but doing the best I can...


This morning's treat...

Willow the Cat!

Random enough for ya?!

Actual Cats!  (Kif and Delenn...they seem to like to do this a lot)

Thursday, September 28, 2017


A few nights ago...
                              She comes over to the edge of our bed (my side). She cannot sleep, she says...she always has troubles falling asleep at night, but for some reason the last few nights have been worse.  Finally, I ask in desperation, "Well, is it better for me to come to your room and sit with you, or just have you come in our bed?" She said "Please can I cuddle?".  

                              So, pushed to the far end of my bed, with an already immovable  asleep object on the other side (Hi there, Chewy!).  We laid down, and I held her close...and I brushed her hair with my hand.  She said "Will you promise me something?"  "Sure." "Please don't die until you are at least 100 years old, okay?!" It is late, she is beautiful and warm and so worried and mine.  I lie.  "Of course, hon.  I promise."   She falls asleep, as I lay there and wonder at life and everything.


This morning at the IEP meeting....

                              We are about to leave the productive and long meeting, he has already went into the car, waiting for us. One of the counselors asked if we heard the puppy story.  We had not.

                              This summer, he had the internship at the Rescue League.  He started there by shadowing the counselor (who volunteers there regularly).  At one point, the counselor was saying "Good girl!, etc." to a puppy while taking care of it.  Michael asked "Why are you talking to the puppy that way?  It doesn't understand human words!"  The counselor explained that especially shelter dogs do not get as much interaction as other dogs and this was a way for the dogs to receive some happiness.  Later on the day, when it was time to go, the counselor couldn't find him.  When he did, he found Michael in a room, sitting on the floor with three puppies climbing on him.  He was playing with them and saying "Good Girl!", then looking to make sure the appropriate gender of the next pup "Good...Boy!"

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Today is my mom's birthday.  Normally, the scramble to some how find a time and place to celebrate, to coordinate (especially since my brother's birthday is also this month)...normally the "hassle" of this would come into play (at least a little).  Well.  There is year, starts the years of knowing that there are no more birthdays, at least with her here.

It was quieter this year..and made me feel a little guilty that daily life can sometimes make these celebrations seem just mandatory intrusions into our busy lives.  I will be more mindful of this, or at least I will try, when other such celebrations occur.

Today, my brother and sister in law and my nieces came by this morning.  We had a breakfast together and had pancakes and scambled eggs and fruit and carrot cake.  (No freckle...not enough people like that special egg concoction that our Grandma and Mom made...perhaps another time...)

We had a pleasant morning.  Then we each lit a memorial candle, remembering her.  Michael remembered going to the movies with her (we saw The Hobbit and a couple other ones); Willow remembered when we unexpectedly dropped by to see her and how she smiled; Chewy remembered one of the first times he met her...and she gave him a head of lettuce to take back to his home; my nieces remembered going to visit her; my brother remembered a childhood memory of spending en evening with her while our dad was out; my SIL remembered visiting her in her apartment and going out to lunches with her; and I remembered her picking out presents for everyone out of the Kimbles magazine.

Memories are important and I am glad we were able to share them.  Memories keep the person alive.  So.  Happy Birthday, Mom.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


The School Year has begun!

Willow is in Fourth Grade--which is a big transition grade.  Lots of homework, lots less recess and free time--cursive and typing, math and was not fun the last go 'round...lets see how mom and Willow do this year...I will be cursing homework at some point...that is a given.

But, she likes her teacher, and she is liking the rest of the classwork.

She is still having issues with math.  I am trying to help her memorize the multiplication tables.  Last night, there was an actual tender moment with her and Michael, where she asked him if math ever got better.  He actually gave her good advice and pointed out that sometimes it gets easier when the concepts click, and it is hard when you cannot understand it--but you will get it.  It was a nice moment of brotherly love and advice.

First day of school picture--as usual, my daughter shows her true colors--Not A Morning Person!

Her new obsession is her Kindle...somewhere there is breakfast...
Michael ready to go, yep!

Ready to go to school!

Meanwhile, Michael is going to Mass Bay.  He likes his professors and classes so far.  The big issue is trying to get the transportation working correctly.  This is his last venture through the special education system, as his previous school is providing transitioning service, which includes helping him navigate time management, campus life, goal setting, etc.  Now he will be starting to figure out what are his goals for the next few years and how does he want to achieve them.  We have his last IEP meeting in October...and then, next year...we will be on our own to finding him any services he may need....
My doodles while I talked to his transition coordinator yesterday...

This is the first full week of school for both of them.  Hoping this school year not only brings challenges and growth, but some pride and happiness too!

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Moment in time...

She lies beside me.  Dad has gotten up...she seems to have radar...replaces him beside me in bed.  I look at her, I hug her...and I look at her...her eyes shut, her lips parted just a bit, her hair framing her face.  I am trying to make a picture in my mind of this moment, this Willow...this little girl who I adore and love.  Right now.  This moment.  Before she grows another inch, another month, another day, another minute older.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Cape Cod 2017 and Summer Ending is September 1st.  The year has gone by a lot quicker than I expected it (and I expected it to go fast).  It seems like it was just the beginning of 2017 just a few months ago.  Just a few days ago, we were watching Michael Graduate....and a few more days he will be starting college classes....

Before then...a recap of our annual Cape Cod trip:

  • We stayed in an efficiency in Wellfleet - where Michael learned that he did not like cutting onions, after saying..."Well, I don't see what the big deal is...I am not crying..." then he tried to eat a piece of worked....

  • Technology meant that I could continue Binge watching "Switched at Birth" on my cellphone...and continue to receive text messages of condolences...

  • We did the Clambake at Silver Beach again...which was partially rained out, but we did get our sunset on the beach (and s'mores with a fire pit!)

  • We laughed at the Drive-In selections and watched Spider-man again...

  • We had pool time and beach time and even Goat time!

I am so glad to have gotten my curried scallops!

Immediately, she started singing to the snails.

Um...yeah, the Nut Job 2 is far superior...umm...yeah, no.


Cupcake Charlies - yum!!

Clambake - inside at first...well, at least good food!

Arnold's 40th year--deserved a coloring contest between us.  Mine is in the middle..Chewy is on left...Michael said his lobster was an albino lobster (we accepted, as long as he colored the other things nearby it...)

Willow was still working on her masterpiece when the food came.

Walking and petting goats.  

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These goats are being used on Cape Cod to help landscaping issues (they can eat all sorts of weeds and brush).

Mini Golf fish!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Persistence of Memory

“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.” - Tenth Doctor

A week ago, we were in Provincetown at a beach.

Two weeks ago, I was with my brother in a room watching my mother die.

Three weeks ago, those things were in the future...unknown.

Time is fluid. Time is straight.  Time is everywhere around me and in my thoughts.  It slips away, as summer goes into fall.  As school approaches.  As holidays come and go.

Various memories of the past two weeks mix together in a weird conglomeration of sadness, happiness...the strange things that pop up in my mind:

  • feeding my mom a nutter butter (at her request, one of the last she made to me)
  • me badly singing along to Beach Boys and Beatles to try and amuse her (and myself)
  • getting a much needed break from the mundane with a restful trip to Cape Cod when I really needed it...I need more beach time!
  • meeting goats on Cape Cod
  • looking out at a beautiful sunset at the beach
  • getting texted sympathy messages from people--sometimes just when I needed it the most--sometimes when I had just had my mind settled--but always appreciated
  • giving and receiving extra TLC from Willow
  • those little nods and small gestures from Michael which means he cares and just doesn't know how to show it, including coming to my work and giving me a Burger King crown
  • sorting through a LOT of crackers and adult coloring pages at my mom's room with my brother
  • seeing Willow tote around for days a small rag doll my mom must have made during a crafting day

There are other memories of those last few days, ones that intermingle and will change with time.

Time moves on, but there is the persistence of memory...

Friday, August 11, 2017

RIP, Mom

Sometimes life is cliche.  My mom was dealing with melanoma for the past three years and at the beginning of the year, it was decided that treatments were not working and she should go into hospice.  She moved to a closer facility, she was doing better without the treatments.  We visited her more often because she was closer...and that was the biggest thing she wanted.  She desperately wanted to be near her children and grandchildren, who she was very proud of and who she would brag up to anyone in earshot.  

So.  Just a couple of Sundays ago...we took this picture:

The next Friday, she started to take a turn for the worse.

This morning, she passed away.

Her death was known.  Her death was sudden.  I am glad she will not be in any pain anymore. But it sucks that she did not get any more time with the people she loved.


I had a complicated relationship with my mother.  

However, one thing I can say without reservation is that she did her best to be there for her grandchildren.  No matter what obstacle was in her way, whether disability or distance, she went through it to be there for them.  For that alone,  I am most grateful. 

Ripple Effects 2

"Do you ever feel dead inside?"  -- this is what she said to a teacher in the hallway.  Promptly got a call from a counselor.  For...