Happy Earth Birthday, Mom

Four score and twelve years ago you arrived on this planet. I didn’t know you then as I am your daughter, but up until three years and a couple of months ago I could say I’d known you my whole life. And even though you are no longer with us here, I still know you.

So many times I almost reach for the phone to call you with some funny or important news. Those last years here you rarely answered as you didn’t recognize the sound as coming from your phone. Or by the time you followed the cord around your neck it was too late. Eventually I would reach you and you would be sad because I hadn’t called you before. Yes, I did laugh at you, but not behind your back. Your son Corbin and I laughed at you to your face, and you laughed with us. Often I laughed at your quirks and foibles because I did some of them myself. As I reached my sixties I saw in myself more and more of you. Sometimes it was scary, and other times it was good.

Your daughter Nancy and I had a good time in Tombstone on Saturday. Twice we were asked if we were sisters. We never seemed to look anything alike when we were younger, but there must have been enough of both you and Dad in each of us to bring us here. I think Nancy got the prettier parts so I don’t mind at all. Of course I always say that she is much older than I am, but she, being a quick study, beat me to it the last time.

Your son Kurt has a lot going on in his life, still, and wasn’t available last time I was up there, but hope to see him in June. He is so slim now that I must admit to some envy.

Anyway, Mom, I love and miss you. I am so thankful for all the good memories that outweigh the hard ones. I am sure you are happy now, and I am planning on heading your way when I’m done here.

Happy Birthday, Mom

Unhappy New Year Part Two

In Part One I had written about my son and his family evacuating their home, my mother’s cat’s demise, and my mother’s death. Since then the house was red-tagged and now has been demolished leaving them “paying mortgage on a pile of rubble,” as one news report put it. Mom’s “celebration of life” was held February 5th, and life has continued if heavily. 

A week after my mother passed away I got word that a former pastor had an unexpected heart attack and died. The next evening my beautiful Christel, a teacher and a marathoner, was out for a run. She wears reflective tape and is cautious at intersections, especially since a friend was killed recently while running with a group. Approaching an intersection just a few blocks into her run, she checked to make sure no one was signaling or slowing to turn. As she ran into the street a driver abruptly made the turn, hitting her. The car kept going, leaving her lying on the street in the path of traffic. She couldn’t move and lay there screaming for help. A couple of people heard her and moved her out of the street. Someone called 911. My daughter was taken to the hospital where tests revealed the femoral head of her right leg had been completely broken off of the femur.

Christel had surgery the following morning. What the doctor called “pins” and I call “screws” were used to reattach the leg to its head. She was forbidden to walk with any weight on that leg, drive or return to work for six weeks. Currently she is able to put 25% of her weight on it and will be back to work soon. She is such a fighter, that one. As of today, March 21st, the }#%^*%{ driver has not been found. Apparently my daughter mistook the make and/or model while flying through the air.

A couple of days later a longtime friend, Alice, passed away from the cancer she had been fighting. Her children and mine had been in elementary school together, some as very close friends.  By this time I was numb much of the time. When I wasn’t numb it seems I was crying. No loud wailing sounds, just tears falling. I hardly knew why I was crying each time. The smallest things could set me off, and still do. Restaurants, especially Red Lobster, where we had eaten with mom. The new tennis shoes we had bought her not yet worn. News that had me reaching for the phone to share with mom. Cats that look like George. Facebook posts from others who are grieving, particularly Alice’s daughter. All which will fade a little in intensity, at least enough to let me breathe.

And, as a brief return to form, I say this.

At least I have politics to rile me up…

Talking Aloud in Silence

There is nobody here yet to hold and love,

Alone in this room I wait.              

For company who understands my hurt, 

Knows how to both love and hate.
We hurt for our losses and that for ourselves
We feel pain for each other’s grief.

We hold on to love we try to find hope

We hunger for peace and relief.
Alone in this silence I wait for return

Of the love and the hope and good dreams.

I know we’ll be happy together again

In a future as good as it seems.