Love and a loss for words …

Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Words can’t express how much I miss my mom. But in a way that comforts me. It means that I loved and still love that woman HUGE. Sometimes you get lucky enough to experience something in life and you get to just FEEL it. For me it’s the motherly love she filled my life with. I can still feel it. But to describe it, explain its’ influence over me and how I feel about loosing her, is not something I’m capable of. It’s just too big. But I try to express it in different ways like living genuinely, just the way she taught me. And in sharing her legacy of hope every single day and at every opportunity I get. It may be 24 years since her passing but her influence on me, my family and our little world will continue on forever. And that is certainly something to celebrate.

Well, I hope you all have a day where love leaves you at a loss for words!!!

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Hoping it all goes beautifully …

It’s been 24 years since my mom passed away. But I’m going into this weekend feeling pretty good. I’m not sure what that will mean come Sunday, but it’s honestly the first Mother’s Day I’ve looked forward to in … ever. It’s always a tough one. I remember the first one without her like it happened yesterday. It was awful and to be honest I struggle every year. I’m so thankful that my family understands and let’s me just feel it out. And this year I’m feeling pretty optimistic.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you think it’s all going to go beautifully!!!

The love living on in my heart …

One year ago today I drove home in the pouring rain after spending the early evening with my dear friend. It would be just hours before she took her last breath. I will be forever grateful that her husband welcomed me into their home that day and for allowing me to sit and just love on her. Those moments with her will remain some of the most precious I have ever shared with another human being.

Sadly, I am no stranger to moments like these. I was there for both my parents as they passed. As a social worker I sat with many patients and their families as codes were called and time of death was reported. I never took any of those last moments as less than profound. I was honored and still am that God called me to share them with so many beautiful souls. Having been there for both my parents has definitely made their deaths more tolerable-ish. But NONE of these last moments were easy. NONE. The loss of a loved one is awful. REALLY AWFUL. I do think that these experiences, along with God’s grace, has given me a sense of peace about death and dying. There is a natural and spiritual process that I saw, time and time again, that both personally and professionally blew me away. The reconciliation one’s mind, body and soul has with death is nothing short of heroic. And being there for my parents certainly gave me comfort knowing that they were taken care of until the very end. But despite the peace I have and my faith in God, grief is no less painful. It stings. And if you loved BIG, I don’t think that sting EVER goes away. At least it hasn’t for me. Love and loss comes with unfathomable pain. Nothing can ever replace the touch of a loved one who has passed. Their laughter will always be missed. Memories are great, but they are no substitute for the real time we spend with our loved ones. And the passage of time doesn’t seem to make their absence any easier. I wish this world talked more about grief and how it may change but it doesn’t truly go away. Acknowledging that we all hurt and miss someone and admitting that sometimes we all just need a hug could do us some good. I think if we did we might all be kinder and take better care of one another.

Today (and LOTS of other days) I miss my friend. Gut wrenching, to my soul, pain is what I feel. I want her back. I miss her. In my human state I cannot reconcile her death in my brain to make sense. She was too young. Too good. She had too many people who still needed her. I still needed her. Yes, today I am grieving deeply. But I am also celebrating a love and a friendship and a sisterhood that God so generously blessed me with. And even though I don’t feel it was nearly enough time, I couldn’t be more thankful to have shared my life with this incredible woman. My faith reassures me that I will see her again. And when I do, I’m going to give her the biggest tightest hug Heaven has ever seen.

Well, I hope you all have a day where love lives on in your heart!!!

24 Groundhog Days later and love still knows no bounds …

Today is Groundhog Day. It is also the day that my mother died. For 24 years this day has not passed without tears and sadness. Sure, some years are better than others, but generally it’s just awful. I usually spend most of the day trying to avoid contact with the outside world. I try to limit my interactions to the people who know me the best. Those brave souls who have seen me at my worst and loved me anyway. Because for the most part, on Groundhog Day, I’m a wreck.

Twenty-four years later I STILL find it difficult to maneuver through this day. I mention this because ongoing grief is not something people talk about much. The initial grief that comes from loss we all understand even if someone has never felt it. But ongoing grief is a different beast. It shocks me how it still consumes me. It can be as painful as the day my mother died. And I think I know why.

When I feel genuine love for someone and they feel it for me, it’s like this energy has been created. It’s one of the most beautiful and powerful feelings I have ever felt. Being a mother myself and now having children venturing off to college, I find that their absence, although not permanent (thank you Jesus), still leaves an energy behind. It’s a connectedness that pulls on my heart and makes me want them home with me. And it’s also that connectedness that fuels their desire to return home. The love I have experienced both as a mother and as a daughter does not understand time, distance, physics, or logic. It is almost a stronger KNOWING than faith. This love just … IS. It is a constant. And although it’s not always at the forefront of my mind, it is and (I believe) always will be present. And after 24 years of grieving I can assure you that the energy that came from the love I felt from and for my mother is still as strong as it was when I could reach out and touch her. It has never gone away. I still want her to come home. I still want to hug her and spend time with her. Put simply, I STILL want my mommy. And I’m thankful. Although these ties to her tend to cause me incredible pain on days like this, it is a reminder of the gift that God had so graciously given me. Genuine love. And I will ALWAYS be thankful for that.

Well, I hope you all have a day where love knows no bounds!!!

A blubbering mess …

Perhaps scheduling Reese’s appointments to see her specialists the two days before the 24th anniversary of my mother’s passing was a bad idea. Don’t get me wrong, they went great! Reese picked out some adorable purple glasses with hearts on the side that should correct her vision. YAY! And her cardiologist couldn’t have given me better news. PRAISE GOD! I am a great case manager and I had worked long enough in the medical field to know my way around most specialties. So I usually can put up a pretty good strong front through most of these appointments. I am Super Social Worker Mom, with nerves of steel, wisdom beyond my years and complete level-headedness. But not these past few days. Good grief!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren’t a blubbering mess!!!

Go with the flow …

Winding down from the past eight days hasn't been easy. Coming home to a house that is down so many in numbers has just been weird. And of course now it's time to get ready for Libs' and Reese's first day of school next week AND their birthdays.

Life is ALWAYS busy. At least mine is. And I love it. I don't mean the busyness. I mean the "life" part. My life is never boring. It's full of change. It's full of happiness and pain. We have great times and we have struggles. It simply amazes me that it all keeps moving fluidly. And we just glide along with all of it mapping out a new course as each day passes.

I agree that times can be hard. I'm currently in one. I'm grieving the changes in our family. I miss my kids and what was. But I know I'll adapt and figure it all out. That is the beauty that comes with accepting life as it is and as it should be. It will come. This time might be difficult but my life is still incredible. I still laugh and enjoy every crazy mixed-up and turned around situation I find myself in. And I love and adore the people who I have chosen and who have chosen me share them with. We drift through this life together like a stream. My life takes many twists and turns. I don't always see what lies beneath the water. Heck, sometimes I don't want to. But it's all a part of this magnificent opportunity we have been given time and time again … to find joy in each new day. And as long as I have breath, no matter what I may be facing, I will seek it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you go with the flow!!!

I’m going to miss this (boxes and bags included) …

Our house is a disaster. Moving Sid and George out of the house on the same day is just NUTS. But it is the only way it all makes sense logistically and with the time frames we have been given. So, we have two people who are cleaning out their rooms and closets. They are also, at the same time, boxing up things that they will take with them, things they will leave here and things they will donate. Then you have me who keeps buying things to make sure they have exactly what they need to actually move out. We also Libs who is getting ready to start her sophomore year of high school and a busy tennis season. And we have an excited Reese who is eager to "help" with everything. Oh! And let's not forget the online orders that are starting to arrive. You know, the stuff I thought should be ordered for school for the younger girls to save time as summer draws to an end. Yep, this house is an explosion of boxes and bags. And you know what?

I love it.

I look around and I see FAMILY and LIFE and LOVE. I see ADVENTURE and NEW BEGINNINGS. It's what's happening NOW to and for my most favorite people in the world. It is a snapshot in our lives. A time that will pass quickly but will have lasting memories. This is US. And our US is on the verge of another major change. It excites my soul and breaks my heart all at once. I want to keep my children little and safe and with me. But I also want them to grow and experience life and learn every lesson they can even if that takes them away from me.

I will always look back at this time in our lives as truly special. An unexpected gift from God. When Sid moved out I wasn't sure if we would ever get this much time together again. I accepted that. But when I got sick last Fall it's all that I could think of. US. Together again. These past few months with everyone home has been exactly what I had hoped for … and needed. To see it all change again is hard. But I refuse to be greedy. I got my heart's desire. Now it's time for these amazing young souls, that I had the privilege to raise, to venture out into the world. I can't wait to see what is in store for them. For me. For us.

Thursday is coming quickly. The day all this change goes into motion. I'm ready. More importantly, THEY are ready. I am consumed with every mom emotion I have ever felt. I am blessed to feel so much and experience this unusual balance between loss and gain again. Life will take on a new shape for us. I know this and it's OK. Our time together will be altered by distance, schedules, and responsibilities. But we will figure it all out. Love just does. A new normal will soon set in and this transition will become another notch on our family belt. The hardness of this will all fade away. But for now, I will just cherish every last familiar messy moment we get spend together. Boxes and bags included.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you're going to miss this!!!