Posts Tagged With: mom

Haunted by Dinosaurs and Other Big Scary Things

Illustration by Charles R Knight - http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/dino/history/extras.

Illustration by Charles R Knight – http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/dino/history/extras. (No, this isn’t from the movie, sorry.)

Friday Letter to My Kids –

Dear J, J, L and L,

You’re gonna think I lost my mind.

I’m haunted today by the movie “Land Before Time.”

I tried to drive it out by singing my super-shortened version of “The Wizard of Oz” soundtrack, but it wouldn’t leave. I tried eating chocolate, but that didn’t help. Homemade french fries might drown out the image. Maybe I can exorcise it by watching all three extended versions of “Lord of the Rings.” (That’d probably do it, but it would take all night and half of tomorrow.)

I think I just have to face the music and the script and see where it leads us.

I’m fairly certain that L and L have the dialogue and the songs committed to memory. In fact, a mini-soundtrack probably resides in every cell in your bodies. Or at least in your bones. You watched that movie so much I think we very nearly wore the tape out.

The main melody, the very first time, sounds nice and sweet. The four-hundredth time grates a little. I kept  getting bits of that song sneaking into my head today.

Then I could hear Little Foot yelling, “Mother, mother!!” like he does, in that happy I’ve-found-my-mother-after-thinking-I’d-lost-her-forever way he has. And then I’d hear her answering him by simply saying his name, “Little Foot,” with a lilt to her voice that any child would cherish. But that was all I got all day. No other dialogue. No words beyond them calling each other.

So I had to look up some quotes and figure out what I’m supposed to get from this little haunting from your young past.

And there, as one of the first few lines of dialogue,  my answer presented itself. I’ll share.

Littlefoot’s mother: Dear, sweet, Littlefoot, do you remember the way to the Great Valley?

Littlefoot: I guess so. But why do I have to know if you’re going to be with me?

Littlefoot’s mother: I’ll be with you. Even if you can’t see me.

Littlefoot: What do you mean I can’t see you? I can always see you.

And then, I understood why this little animated film from 1988 dragged itself out of the dusty recesses of my gray matter and danced around on the surface of my brain all day.

My mom, your grandma, just finished a weeklong visit here and, as you know, on the drive home had another stroke or something very much like it. When I got the call my heart stopped. Oh, she’s okay now, but once again I had to face that void, that inevitable nothingness. I don’t like that.

The Great Valley, for me anyway, serves as a metaphor for everything my Mom taught me and hoped for me. The directions for getting there, a symbol of her caring, all that she’s given me and her enduring love in spite of it all.

Poor Little Foot, so young and naïve. Oh, to be like that, completely oblivious to the possibility of loss, of death, of sorrow so deep you’re sure you can’t ever climb out.

“Why do I have to know if you’re going to be with me?”

Mom has always been with me. She’s in my bones, in my skin, in the way I hesitate before I answer. Even though I moved away from home a zillion years ago, she’s still a vital part of my life. Yes, she really is, even if we don’t talk on the phone very often or see each other more than once or twice a year. Just knowing she’s a phone call or a day’s drive away makes life okay. Some day things won’t be okay. Ouch.

I guess what I want to say is this:

“I’ll be with you. Even if you can’t see me.”

That’s what I want to feel and believe about my own Mom. That’s what I hope you feel and believe about me. Although, I plan on sticking around and haunting you, in real life, for a long, long time.

Also, be careful what movies you let your kids watch a gazillion times over, it’ll probably come back to haunt you in some very strange ways.

Love always,

Mom

~~~~~

p.s. Here’s the song “If We Hold On Together” if you want to listen to it.

"Bluebird of Happymess"

“Bluebird of Happymess”

“Let your heart guide you. It whispers so listen closely.” ~Land Before Time

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Categories: Death, Friday Letters | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Life’s Agenda and Mine Don’t Sync

Monday at Grand Canyon.

Monday at Grand Canyon.

Three days ago MSH and I took a day trip to the Grand Canyon with my Dad and Mom.

After taking a few days to allow the experience some time to settle in and process a bit, I thought that’s what I’d post about today. I figured it’d be a good way to work through my goodbye blues after Dad and Mom left this morning to drive back home.

But, LIFE has its own agenda sometimes. 

Nine hours after pulling out of my driveway this morning, Dad called with news that he’d taken Mom to the hospital in a tiny town just outside of the middle of nowhere. From there they flew her to a bigger hospital in a bigger town.

The doctor’s are saying Ischemic Stroke. That’s what they said in April and it turned out to be seizures in the area around her first stroke. Dad says she’s already doing better than she was this afternoon, so that’s something to hang on to.

Dad sounds optimistic and calm.

I’m just a puddled mess of tears and fears. Praying lots. Staying in touch with the siblings and relatives. Trying to feel some peace. At a complete loss for words now.

The next twenty-four hours will tell us more.

Any prayers you want to add to the mix surely garner my appreciation.

~~~

“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.” ~Helen Keller

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Friday Letters to my Children

Dear J, J, L and L,

I’m not using your full names to protect you from my nonsense. I’ve been inspired by these four Dads whose blog is simply letters to their little kids. After reading their blog for a month or so, I suddenly thought, “I should do that!“ Except, you kids are all grown and flown. And you know me, the epic procrastinator of the century, I’d probably get around to an individual letter to each of you sometime around my ninetieth year, which is half a century-ish away.

So instead of my usual procrastination I’m going to have a weekly post of a letter to my children. One week it may speak to only one of you. Other weeks the letters may seem so off-kilter you’ll wonder why I even started it with the words, “Dear Kids.”

photo by Heinrich Böll Stiftung

photo by Heinrich Böll Stiftung

I just know that if I really want to get something done, then attaching it somehow to my blog and my writing will ensure that it happens. I hope you don’t mind the public nature of this undertaking. It seems a little weird, but also for me somehow, it feels safe. I don’t have that many readers anyway. And the few I do have seem sincere and kind and know me pretty well, or they’re related to me.

Another reason I want to do this came about after spending a week with Baby N and her Mom and Dad. I fluctuated between incredible pride at what a phenomenal Mom she already is and remembering what an epic failure I felt like as a new mom the first five years of motherhood. Rather than wallowing in my self-pity and semi-inaccurate view of my past life, I thought writing about it in specifics might help me paint a clearer picture of my life as a Mother. Maybe through this writing process I can forgive myself for those failures of naiveté, youth and inexperience. That’d be a bonus for me.

It’s been an evolutionary process to raise the four of you. I’ve learned things no university could ever hope to instill. I’ve felt some of the most exalted and some of the most heart-wrenching emotions as a mother. Most of it has been somewhere between the two extremes.

The other part of this Friday Letters to My Kids thing would be to paint a clearer picture for you of who your mother is. Or who I was back then. It’s not like I’m ever going to stop being your Mom. Hardly. It’s a lifetime buy-in that I’m ever so glad I stumbled on.

No names, but you gotta admit these are some cute kids!!

No names, but you gotta admit these are some cute kids!!

With that long preamble said, for today all I want to say is “Thank you!” I am a blessed woman to have the four of you in my life. I’m proud of each one of you for being true to who you are, for being kind, loving, fun, caring, responsible people. You’ve turned out better than my wildest dreams.

You’ve also made me who I am: a little nuts, a lot of worrier and a deep thinker, and someone who needs a ton of laughter for balance and sanity.

I promise I won’t ask you here to pack or move any boxes. I really won’t expect you to do any inventory, or yard work, or dishes, or organizing. A family campout might be in order someday. Can you imagine all of us, with the babies out camping? In the rain?

Oh, and most important of all, I promise, no naked baby pictures!

I look forward to our Fridays. I’m a little scared as well, but I think it’ll be a great ride. It can’t be any worse than being raised by me and your Dad, right? How embarrassing was that? Oh. Right. “Speedos,” thongs, who-hair, family singing and sewing projects. I’ll try to avoid anything that horrifying.

I love you,

Mom

P.S. (I know, I know, it isn’t actually Friday, but it will be in a few days. This is just the introduction anyway. It’s not really an official letter.)

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Family, Friday Letters, parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

One of Those Phone Calls You Don’t Want

When your phone rings at bedtime or after and it’s one of your siblings, a jolt of lightning shoots through your chest. It’s best to sit down before you say hello. Important to remember to keep breathing.

Whatever niceties you normally say, you say them, even though you know that’s not what the phone call is about.

You hear pieces of words, not full sentences. You try to put it together like a puzzle dumped out the box before you’ve seen the picture on the box.

You want time to move backwards to ten minutes ago, ten days ago, ten weeks ago, ten months ago, ten years ago. You want this not to be happening.

Not my favorite place. But glad they exist.

Not my favorite place. But glad they exist.

Not again.

Another stroke.

A different kind this time. Ischemic.

Ischemic, not hemmoragic. What does that mean?

A million questions. Very few answers, mostly uncertainty.

Tests to run.

Prayers to offer up. That’s all I can do from this many miles away.

Calls to make.

Decisions. Patience while hoping and praying, always praying, for the patient to improve.

The patient.

Mom.

That one word sends the tears cascading and threatens to spill what little logic yet remains all over the floor making a huge mess of things.

Grateful for group messaging to communicate with siblings quickly, easily and clearly.

Hours later you read words that calm the pounding in your head and heart.

Resting. Stabilizing. Talking. Leveling. Normal Function. No clots so far.

You write not in first person because you need the distance created by the preposition “you.”

You write because sleep seems incomprehensible.

You write to have something to do about frayed nerves and the ache burning through you.

You write because surely you want to, should be able to, create a happy ending.

You write as a sort of prayer through the fingers. A keyboard rosary. Each keystroke a pleading for intercession.

Hoping for the best.

Hoping for the best.

Still praying.

Still praying.

Still praying.

 

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” ~Mother Teresa

 

 

 

Categories: Family, Hope, physical health | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Six Things about My Mom You Should Know

 

Mother & Child

Dear Mom,

It’s no surprise to you I’m a word person. You’d think I’d easily write out thousands of words expressing love and appreciation on Mother’s Day. Instead I find the emotions so powerful, particularly this weekend with my son’s wedding, that I struggle with every word I write.

Maybe a list would help me pull my words together. So here’s a few things that I’ve learned from you, about life, about living, about mothering, about the world.

  • Mother is the center of it all. And with mom comes family. Nothing is more important than that bond we have as family. Think about it. When something happens, everyone’s thoughts go to family. Where are they? Are they okay? I want to find them and be with them. If it’s a happy event, we want to share it with everyone in the family. If someone is missing, we feel their absence more than ever. I was lucky to always have you there at home when I came home after school, after a date, out late. There you were. And there you still are, at the center of our family’s lives.
  • Mom has everything you need. All you need as a little kid is everything; food, shelter, love. And mom is there for all that, twenty-four hours a day. Bad dream? Mom comes in to scare away the demons and brings a feeling of safety into the room. Mean kids? Mom reassures you that you’re still loved and cared for. Everything I needed you gave me; compassion, manners, bravery, perseverance, a good work ethic, an ability to laugh. Everything that adds beauty and dimension to my life you gave me also; a love of music, a passion for books, a reverence for nature, a desire for creating.
  • A mother’s influence lasts a lifetime. I am who I am because of my mom’s belief in me, her loving me no matter what nonsense I threw her way, her willingness to sacrifice and her example of sharing.
  • Being a mother is the greatest gift I know. Motherhood defies definition, how it feels, what it looks lile, how it works. Each mother creates her own mothering style.  It’s the hardest, most aggravating, most fulfilling, most heartbreaking, best, worst, wonder-filled insanity a person can involve herself  in. Thanks for not giving up on such a difficult journey that continues to this day. What a ride it is, huh?
  • The world would stop spinning the right direction without moms. Or at least it would feel that way. Can’t imagine the world without my mother in it. Don’t want to. It probably doesn’t even exist if she isn’t there. I’m sure there’s a law of physics that explains that.
  • Unconditional love is what a mother is all about. And I have felt that from you and have hopefully passed that on to my own children. Thank you for that. I know I wasn’t always very lovable, or tolerable, or pleasant, or kind or appreciative. I think I’ve come a very long way since those teen years, thanks in great measure to your never giving up on me. And I know, thanks to your prayers on my behalf.

I know there’s much, much more that you taught me, but I think those six things sum it up fairly well. Thank you for being the mother I needed. Thank you for your continued love, support, sacrifice and caring. I plan on many more Mother’s Days with you, so stay well, enjoy life, and know you are loved beyond words.

All my love,

Kami

unconditional.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Categories: Family, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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