Monday, December 31, 2007
Words are flowing out
like endless rain into a paper cup
they slither while they pass
they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
are drifting through my open mind
possessing and caressing me
Images of broken light
which dance before me like a million eyes
they call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like restless wind
inside a letter box
they tumble blindly as they make there way
across the universe
nothings gonna change my world...
It will be 2008 in a couple hours. A new year, a year my daughter will never know, and I will never know with her.
I keep thinking about all the things she will never have, never experience, never know and with all the most beautiful things she will miss she will also not have to bear the most painful...anymore.
This doesn't feel like a milestone, just time passing as it will.
I float on this sea of tears in a little red boat with a black pen and a fat tablet of white paper. I am scribbling poems and drawing pictures of a little girl who looks just like the little girl who use to sleep in my bed and sing about stars. I toss the paper into the wind, I let it float in the water...it will go where it will go, I just want her to be everywhere.
I am not looking for land, the horizon is not important. The sea is calm, that is all that matters, the sea is calm.
Who will I become now?
What will I do with the time I have here?
Will I sleep it away?
Will I cry on all the days of the calender?
Will I grow and become someone she would be proud of?
Will I find a path across the universe?
I am trying to figure it out.
Do not worry.
I am here, sitting in our little house. Your bed has changed but not much else has. Your sister cried tonight, she misses you so much, she is starting to feel the distance and time inside her.
I found a CD you made, you wrote "Christmas" on it in you tiny perfect writing. I cried when those sweet Emo boys started singing and I fell apart when Andrew sang:
...and this life has been no holiday
a complicated situation
I'm fine with my memories
I could use a vacation
...and this place is paradise I'm sure
so here's my reservation
I've gotten lost here before
inside a good vibration
...and time it seems to stop for no one
and the seasons come and go
that's just time
and seems to stop for no one
the season keep on going
weather or not we're alive...
I must have heard this songs a million times coming from behind the closed door of your room but tonight it felt like a letter from you to me.
I baked peanut butter cookies and listened to my music in the kitchen all the songs that drove you crazy. I tried to picture you there with me, cooking, talking and getting pissed off at me because I won't measure and add things that are not in the recipe. You did everything right, it just doesn't seem to be my way. I always envied the way you made it seem effortless and teased you about not being human. You were better than human, you should have had a cool spandex suit and super-powers it wasn't fair.
Don't worry about me, I think I am going to be OK, I just need to feel you close, I just need to understand all this. I have to get use to you not being here, so hard, so damn hard to do.
I warmed the big tub up, nice and hot I am going to float out there under the cloudy sky and sing you songs off key, if you can hear me tell me what you always did before, tell me I can't sing, tell me it hurts your ears, I am listening, always listening.
Don't be too far away for too long, don't forget me, I am here, I am always here and I love you with all that I am for as long as I am.
2008 will be a year without you to learn from, to laugh with and to sit close to and share a Thai lunch. I will do what you did and find new things to fill the year with, new things to love...I just wish you were here to love them with me.
Love you lots, love you snots,
Mama, mama, mama...
Friday, December 28, 2007
About Two years ago Stevie decided she wanted a water bed. What she really wanted was one of those terrible 1970's monster water beds with stained wood and smoky mirrors. Retro can be fun but that was just way too over the top for me. We settled on a conventional bed with water coils. She found one on craigslist that someone had been storing for several years. It was in a guest room and was nearly new. She paid cash (275.00) for it and we brought it home in Aly's truck.
I bought her pink flannel sheets and a really pretty duvet cover from Ikea. It was girly and beautiful and soft and squishy just like her. Last year it became "The white bed" when she decided to get rid of everything pink. A big white down comforter, a down mattress pad, big white pillow, and a micro fleece blanket in pale beige that I use to throw in the dryer for her to get her warmed up.
She spent the last days of her life in that bed, trying so hard to get better or simply let go. I slept next to her and told her stories, prayed and waited for something wonderful to happen. She wanted to die there but I was too afraid and I couldn't let her go. When we came home from the hospital the first thing I did was change the sheets and climb in with her pillow and her soft blanket. Her very best pillow was put in her coffin with her.
I have been sleeping in that bed for eight months now. I feel closest to her there. I read to her, I talk to her and I try to dream about her.
A couple nights ago I noticed a smell. I had smelled it before but couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I stripped the bed down this morning and noticed a big wet spot under where I sleep. Now after having three huge babies there is always the possibility that my bladder gave out but it wasn't likely. I unzipped the bed and found moisture where the water coils are, there was also mold, and that smell. I can not understand how the top got wet, the coils are zipped up in a plastic bag...
Needless to say there is a leak someplace and the mattress has to go.
I cried my head off. Then I took a deep breath and heard my thoughts say, "This is the beginning of letting go she is helping you" So I am letting go of one more thing again.
I took Noah out to buy a new mattress. It has been a while since I have purchased one new and holy-moly I was in for a treat. My first car cost what this new mattress did. It will still be the white bed and I will still sleep in it surrounded by the trees on the walls, in the room where her clothes and her memories are still. One step at a time.
Stevie and I have an unusual attraction to water. I need it but fear it. I need to be out on my boat but I do not like being out in the deep end of the pool, lake or ocean. The only thing that can calm me is a bath. I am happiest when I live close to water. Stevie loved the bath from the time she was born. She began swimming as a baby, no fear, ever. She loved the boat, the pool, lakes, oceans, rivers, streams. I always had water dreams right before Stevie got sick, I have not had a single one of those dreams since she died. Tonight I am emptying the water from the bed we shared. Water connects us, she made it rain the night she died.
In heaven I think my girl lives by an ocean where she can hear the waves and can wake up with the smell of salty air. Or she lives in a big open house on the edge of a forest with a calm lake that she can walk to, a long dock that she can sit on, and a tiny red row boat she can take out on the water.
I hope I get to share that heaven with her, I hope she is saving me a place.
Tomorrow I will be sleeping in the new bed and I will continue reading Sleep Pale sister, I would say it is ironic but she hated when I misused the word. I want her back every day but I will have to wait I guess until it is time to go back home.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
It is December 26Th. I survived. This does not mean I wasn't sad, or didn't cry it means I got through it. Maybe the key to survival is not looking too far ahead, not getting stuck looking backwards, just being in this moment until it becomes the next.
Last night I dreamed of Mary, or what I perceived to be Mary. She did not have a face under her blue and white veils, instead there was a portal. a dark space that grew bigger as you got closer. In my dream state I entered this space and went speeding through tunnels of subtle light and shapes, different sounds and feelings, then I was shot out into a dark space where I just floated.
This dream has layers for me. It is important.
Christmas eve was uneventful, I had the flu so I stayed in bed. Steve, Aly, and Noah made a silly dinner, watched videos, and just hung out. On Christmas morning there were a few modest gifts from Santa for Noah and Aly. We did not do the traditional rip and tear at 5am. We didn't make the big breakfast and thank-you phone calls, we didn't stress out about the evening meal or pile in the car for a long road trip with a cake on our laps.
Instead we had oatmeal with pecans and brown sugar. Later in the day I made a nice lunch: Salmon, mashed potato's, a big salad, Greek olives and feta cheese, and a huge loaf of farmers bread.
We hung around all day just relaxing. Noah played with Nicolas while I sat in a patch of sun and wrote in my journal.
For dinner we had french bread pizza and salad. I sliced the leftover bread from lunch and laid out everything that seemed pizza friendly on a platter. We had some roasted veggies, sun dried tomatoes (the ones Teresa made me), four different cheeses, olives, basil, salmon, mushrooms, and fresh tomato sauce. We each made our own little pizza's, it was nice.
I have to think of some new traditions for the holidays there was something really peaceful about a non-traditional Christmas. I know it must seem like I am a Grinch and I guess I could be, being the only person in America who doesn't like Christmas. I just felt that we were able to feel the true meaning of the holiday. We were together as a family (even if we were missing the heart of it) we cooked, and played and enjoyed a day.
Thank you to everyone that took time out of your full day to call and make sure we were OK and wishes of love and comfort. It is nice to know that we are so surrounded by really wonderful people.
Steve is taking Noah roller-skating with some friends today and I am going to clean the house, do some textile designing, and make Iva's green chili casserole.
I am learning about GRACE it isn't what I thought it was. I am learning that it is a force that surrounds me and gives me a moment to pause before I speak, think before I do, and helps me tell the difference between fear and real danger. It is kindness and permission to put one foot in front of the other knowing that you are never alone. I wish to live in Grace and surround all the people I love with it.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I have been feeling a bit better. I had a melt down in Target last night, had to go to the dog food isle and have a little cry but other than that I have been feeling a little more calm. It is hard to be there with all the decorations and people, all the cute t-shirts I know she would have loved and the books she will never read...
I went to the aura reading in San Fransisco last weekend, it was nice. The guy who read me was very kind and said all the things I needed to hear. It turns out the rainbow aura I hoped for and the brown aura I feared had nothing to do with me. Mine is white. At first it scared me, I thought it was doom and gloom, maybe I had an absent soul or it was death omen. It wasn't. It meant I was surrounded by spirit. That feels beautiful. I also had an incredible reading from an intuitive who reads aura's and she validated everything the first guy said. Not sure what to believe, I just know I feel a little lighter, a little more hopeful and patient.
Teresa drove a hundred miles, last minute to go with me. How did I get so lucky? We ate french bread, hummus, sushi, and artichoke hearts in the car while we drove and talked. Her aura was vibrant and full of greens and blues, pure compassion and intelligence. No lie. This woman is so smart but never arrogant, she is so down to earth and good. She would give you everything she has and not think twice about it (no you can not have her address) She feels everything and she knows how to soothe you. She is the mother everyone wishes they could have. She is patient, kind, tender and she knows how to give of herself, it is never a sacrifice, it would actually hurt her if she couldn't. She didn't come by her name by accident, she is made out of the same stuff as mother Theresa. If she is reading this she is turning red and denying it.
She doesn't see herself...do any of us? I wonder what her life would be like if she could see what I do?
Iva, Colleen and I had an art play date on Thursday. It was so relaxing and wonderful. We made Silver Bella Paper cakes. I brought rusty wire and naked ladies...I am a little less subtle than the other ladies who really know how to make things beautiful. They work so carefully giving thought to every part of the process. I was envious of them as I sat in the little mess I was making. I was the only one with dirty hands and piles of torn paper. I get a little too hamster-like when I am making paper stuff.
Iva made a green-chili-egg-casserole that spoke to my soul; eggs, cheese, butter, chili's...Good God it was yummy. I male bashed and we talked about Briana and Stevie (poor Colleen) We ate Christmas cookies and it was just a really good day, I loved it.
I woke up last week with a book in my mind. Not sure why...I just got up, wrote it, and went out and bought 21 illustration boards. I have been working on the paintings. They are all acrylic, simple, a little dark, a little cute. It is the story of a little girl who dies of Cancer. OK, I know your thinking "What the hell is that about" Well, it is a story about dying and what happens before and after we are born. It is meant for children who are facing these issues. It is gently told and there is no religion in it. I know it sounds way too sad for kids but this happens, like it or not kids get cancer and they deserve a comforting story.
What will happen to this little book when I am done? I have no clue. I feel like it is my job to make it and what ever happens after that is up to the universe.
Noah is sick again, a fever and a cold. He isn't in bad shape just cranky. Today is his room cleaning day and he is way too sick, but he isn't too sick for Steve to take him out for a bike ride or to the gym. Go figure.
I made a big breakfast this morning; Nacho eggs, fried potatoes with red peppers, and cuban0 black beans. Nacho eggs are so easy you just cut some corn tortillas in thin strips and pan fry them in a little olive oil until they are crunchy then you add the egg mixture (whisked eggs, a little salsa) and cook until done, then you top with a ton of cheese and let it melt. I like to add Ortega green chili's if I have some in the cupboard. Onions and red peppers are good too but Mr.Noah is a picky eater.
To sweeten my poor cranky boy up today I am making cookies. I am using a basic sugar cookie recipe (cutting the sugar in half, never Pillsbury!) I will add way too many chopped pecans to the dough and bake in fat circles. When they are still warm from the oven I throw them in a zip-lock bag full of powdered sugar and shake them around until they are well coated. I guess this is a kind of Russian tea cake or Mexican wedding cookie. I should create a funny name for them...what isn't so funny is that I will eat a million of them and hate myself the next day. They are really, really good. Maybe I should call them fat-girl-cookies.
Today I am going to stay in pajamas.
Chel is having her Holidaze show at her house. I am suppose to be there but Noah needs his mama. If I leave him with Steve he will take him for a two hour hike, a tennis game, buy him a Slurpee and scratch his head when Noah needs to take three days off of school to get over a cold that would other wise be gone.
I got to spend a couple hours with Chel the other night stuffing goody-bags, eating Chinese and girl talking. She has a really great sense of humor. She is also a self proclaimed caffeine head which explains why she can fit so much in a day, she goes at warp-speed. She is a good person, I like having her in my circle of friends. She is one of those people who will always be honest and in a nice way...a skill I do not have. She can also be very deep and spiritual in a way that I can relate, I don't know a lot of people quite like her.
I am surrounded by so many loving people, not sure how they found me, not sure what I did to deserve such amazing people in my life but I am grateful beyond belief.
Well I think fat girl cookies are calling my name, maybe a double batch, I will share them with some skinny girls.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
When Dark grey clouds hang-over
There is still a light that shines in me
Shines until tomorrow
let it be...
The gallery I designed for a friend is finished. We had our opening and it was sweet. I sold several pieces.
I am wondering about my commitment to continuing the project. I want to walk away now. The part I love to do is complete, the part I don't like to do is being offered but in exchange for my time and energy I am being offered a percentage of a commission that may or may not come. The risk of losing time I need for myself in exchange for a dangling carrot does not appeal to me. The problem is walking away from all the hard work. The bottom line is that it is not my gallery, it belongs to someone else and the way it looks now is my gift to her and not a partnership. My ego keeps me from staying and will not let me walk away easily.
My personal relationships are strained. I find it hard to be my old self. I find it hard to give emotionally. I can show up and do the work, I can give my time but I am keeping all of me, all the best parts of me to myself.
With Stevie gone I am minus my very best friend. I could tell her anything, and I sometimes felt guilty that I did. I kept forgetting she was my daughter and some things you just don't share with your children but I did, I told her everything. It was easy to do. She was a good listener. She was not judgemental and she could see so clearly. She knew instinctively and intellectually the heart of it, her advice was always solid and true. That does not mean it was easy to hear but you could trust that she was right, she just was, every time.
I never felt embarrassed with her, I never held back, and giving to her never felt like enough.
I know that people romanticize the dead. I know that it is human to deify someone you loved so much and I have no doubt that I am not doing that. I hate it when people do.
I love the messy parts of people, the things that make them most human.
When I talk about Stevie I am not covering her in frosting and glitter. A handful of people knew her and only three people knew her well. I knew her best. Still there was no one who really knew her completely. She did normal things, she got pissed, threw tantrums, had cravings for wicked things. She wanted to be pretty, smart, hip and have lots of friends. She wanted to listen to music, get stoned at a concert, and kiss a boy.
Try as she might it just did not play out that way. She was pretty, she was smart, she was hip and she could have had a lot of friends but she was stuck with me, and I was with her in the hospital, in waiting rooms, in an ambulance. She was here with the computer, her books, her music. She went to concerts, she had crushes on boys but she never really got out there, into the real world, she never got to play and be reckless. There was never enough time.
She had me, all of me, but that can't have been fun for her, she needed and should have had so much more.
I had her and I may not have had all of her but what I had filled me up. She saved me, made me strong, made me feel like a whole person. She gave and gave and gave. She made me feel worthy, she made me feel important.
That is gone now.
I thought I was stronger. She isn't here to remind me, to push and encourage me. I miss her insight, her wit, her love.
She could be really hard on me, she could be demanding and she could get very frustrated when I could not see what she could see. In the end she remained patient while she watched me run around in circles when what I needed was always in my hand.
I have people who love and believe in me, who are trying to hold on to me, save me, heal me but they are not her.
Sometimes I think I hear her, not her voice but I get a feeling about what she would say or think and some times I will say out loud, "Oh I know, I know" and I respond a little differently to a situation as if she were standing next to me. I wish she were. How beautiful would that be to know that she was here with me, still being my friend.
It isn't fair and I can not see how this was anything but a mistake that God made. I want to scream at him to make it right, to give her back, to let me trade places with her, at the very least to let me know that she is somewhere. I can let go of unfair if I know that where she is now it is very fair and she can be everywhere anytime she wants.
I am going to the city to have an aura photograph taken today. I am supporting a friend of a friend and hoping that in return this photo will let me see something I need to see. I need so much.
On Friday night I went out with my sister and my cousin Woody. We went to a cheesy club in town, found a table, ordered Cosmo's and people watched. When we were lubricated enough we danced to pounding music, three silly women letting loose, becoming the watched. It was bittersweet. I needed to let go and let myself feel good but guilt comes with that. It did not stop me from having a couple hours of fun but it was there in the back of my mind. We went out to eat after, we ordered all the worst things on the menu, grilled cheese, biscuits and gravy and french fries. We sat and talked until four in the morning. It was nice, I needed to do something different, to feel like a real person.
Today I am struggling but I am trying very hard to just let it be, let it be.
I have today.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
It has been a real rough week. The melt down seems to be over and now it is raining. I have a cold so I am staying home today and getting the laundry done, the house clean, and I am cooking lots of comfort food.
This morning I decided that food in the frig needed cooking or it would be wasted so I roasted some little yellow potatoes with red peppers, purple onion, olive oil and some rosemary from the garden.
I also made a big peanut butter pasta. I know it sounds gross but it's really yummy. I make my own peanut sauce with onions, garlic, soy sauce, peanut butter, sesame oil, brown sugar and olive oil. The pasta I had in the frig was cold linguine and it was perfect, I threw in some peppers and chopped spinach with the sauce I warmed and my goodness... I think I will eat the whole thing before Noah comes home from school.
The last thing I made was a bread salad. I had a container of tomatoes on the vine from Joe's and a large portion of fresh mozzarella that was begging to be used. I bought a big loaf of bread from Grace on Saturday that was now a little too stiff for sandwiches, and I picked the last of the scrappy basil from the garden.
I cut the bread into cubes tossed it in olive oil and Parmesan and baked it until it was toasty then threw it in my big wooden salad bowl with the chopped tomatoes, herbs, cheese and some sun dried tomatoes I found in the back of the frig, then tossed it with a simple balsamic dressing I had. I sprinkled pine nuts on top and now I have to let the whole thing sit and get a little soggy, it takes about two hours.
I went to the cemetery on Sunday, I also drove through the hospital parking lot where Stevie died. I am not sure why, I was just driving and letting the car go where it wanted. I really poured my heart and soul out while at the cemetery. It was cleansing and I needed to be there for some reason. I listened to Andrew sing all the way up and back.
"You can breath, you can breath now, you can breath..."
When I got home I did something I never do and took Noah to John and Debbie's to play so I could take a nap. I curled up on the couch with a blanket and the remote. There was nothing on. Is it me or is TV terribly boring? I went to ON DEMAND and decided to surf around. I found Lisa Williams. I have never seen her before, she was incredibly cute and sweet. I was thinking it was a bad day to watch a psychic talk to dead people but then agian it could be a perfect day for it too.
I watched a couple episodes and tried to turn it off. Something told me to watch just one more. I had dinner to make, Noah to pick up, a dark messy house and there I was laying on the sofa watching television. I said "Fuck it" and hit "OK" and watched one more episode.
The woman she was reading was the sister of a girl who died of a brain tumor.
I am not sure why but the reading sent me over the edge. I cried and cried, and turned the television off. Then I sat quietly all alone and thought to myself, "What if Lisa can do this, what if this is real and she can really see these people who have passed over?" I did a little experiment and for that moment I let myself believe. Then I felt silly because I suddenly knew Stevie was standing right there saying "God mom what took you so long, you use to really be into this stuff and now when you need it, you doubt it, I swear you can't commit to anything"
I have nothing to lose, so for as long as I can I am going to believe she is here with me, really here with me. I know she can not be here all the time but when I think I feel her I am not going to brush it off. I am not going to wish or imagine I am going to know it and believe it.
My life keeps changing. I am headed in some direction...I really hope it does not involve a padded room and daytime pajamas.
I would like to find a way to meet Lisa Williams. I feel like she could help me. Does that sound too desperate? When I went to see Sylvia Brown and John Edward I was a little disappointed but I have a feeling Lisa could help.
Well There is a pile of laundry that requires folding and the roof is leaking so I need to find a big beach towel to catch the drips. I have pasta that needs eating and some funny looking doll heads that would like to become art.
The wave came, it crashed over me, I rolled and rolled, I struggled for breath but now I am back on the shore, two feet in the sand. I know the wave will come back but today I am just glad to be standing.