Saturday, March 29, 2008
It has been a busy week. I find that staying busy is key to emotional stability. It is pretty simple but the drag is you crash eventually.
The big one year is coming up and it is too strange and unreal to think about. How could she not be here? When am I going to wake up?
I ordered balloons, Allison's idea and a good one. They will be in yellow, aqua and a powder blue, Stevie would love that. I put her name, dates and a photo of her on them. I will attach a little tissue paper envelope of wildflower seeds, the kind butterflies like. We will let them go on the 19Th. Everywhere someone finds the balloon with her name on it wildflowers will be growing.
I think we will just have a potluck here at the house. I will go alone to the cemetery in the morning, no need dragging everyone out there it is way too sad and I feel like I need to comfort everyone. I will go and cry my head off, talk to her and come home.
What ever else should happen will. I wonder if it will rain?
I miss her so much.
No dreams of her just strange dreams about people I do not know. I get plopped down into their lives for eight hours a night and wake up a little more tired than I started out. I love having a creative imagination but this is seriously strange. If I can not dream of her I want to dream of ponies, cupcakes, flowers, blue skies, angels singing...
This time last year I had only a few weeks with my girl left. There were tender moments but bittersweet. I was holding on when I could, and letting go when I could.
I loved intensely, no one would question that...
Where ever you are today I hope you can feel the love I am sending you. Thank you for being my girl. There is not a person who knows and loves you that is not missing you right now. I pray you are happy and surrounded by beauty that not even I can imagine.
I am here sweetness, right here, wait for me in the light.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Hey baby girl. I am feeling extra lonely for you tonight. You brother and dad are coloring Easter eggs in the kitchen. I gave it my best shot but my heart just isn't in it. I went shopping for basket stuff for your brother and sister, it was sad.
I am use to buying three, now I buy two and it feels all wrong like I stepped into someone else's life by accident. I bought you a chocolate bunny and a little lamb, they are by your picture in your room. I know you can not eat them or touch them but they are there I just wanted you to know I didn't forget you.
I went to see Horton Hears A Who with Noah yesterday. I didn't really want to go but I promised him and he needs to do kid things and I need to pretend I am having a good time a little better, I think he is on to me. He is so good and so sweet to me. As much as I love his attention I know he is doing it because he needs me to be my old self, he needs life to feel normal, that hurts.
So we went to the movies, I slept through the previews, I had a terrible headache. The movie started and I cried, I think I cried several times, quietly and discreetly. There were pink Skies, and a little yellow furry thing that reminded me of you. There was this one part where they are imagining the worlds that live inside their little specks and the little yellow thing said, "In my speck they are all ponies and they eat rainbows and poop butterflies" Then is made a little sigh that sounded just like you, even Noah looked at me to be sure I got it.
The story has always been a beautiful one but the movie brought it all to life. I kept telling myself that I have to believe in a bigger world outside of this little speck of a planet we live on, I have to keep listening and never give up.
At the end of the movie they show the universe with planets and stars, the little yellow thing goes floating by smiling...
Are you out there? Hold me close, keep me safe and don't let me break.
Tomorrow is Easter. We are not doing anything. I will give Noah a little egg-hunt and a basket but we are not inviting anyone over, no crowded house, games for silly prizes, giant table full of way too much food. It will just be us and it will be quiet, so quiet.
The moon is full and it is right where it was before, shining through your window at four in the morning. I keep your window open, I have not closed it since you left. I am waiting for you to fly back in like the Darling children in Peter Pan. The moonlight is so bright is wakes me and I lay there thinking about you and how alone I feel without you. It is selfish really. What I should be doing is imagining how beautiful it is where you are and how happy you are.
I should imagine you walking on never ending beaches, laughing, running, riding a bike. I should imagine you sleeping deep, waking to the sound of angels singing and reading all the books ever written.
Instead I sink deep into myself.
Dad went to the cemetery on Friday. I don't know why it bothers me. I feel like that is my place, my place to be with you, it feels very private. I am strange. I need to work on that.
What should I do next month? I had all these ideas last year but now I just want to get through the day in one piece. People will come if I ask, but I don't feel like being with them and crying. They will expect me to be stronger, moved on a little, celebrate instead of mourn. I am just not there yet, not sure if I will ever be. I know it sounds pathetic but I can't help it, it just hurts.
If you want something specific you have to show me or tell me.
These are the nights last year that we floated in the pool under the stars and that moon. I am torn apart by the memory but I am so glad we had that moment, I love you so.
The moon is too beautiful Stevie. It makes it hard to hate God under a moon like that. There is so much I just don't understand.
Don't be too far away...
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
(I accidentally sent my blog post to the eleven morning site, yikes I hope it doesn't freak anyone out.)
Today is the 19Th and most of you know I go to the cemetery every month on the 19Th. It is my day to be with my girls body, to honor her, to be as physically close to her as I can. This is her place, her name is marked there in bronze and marble. She is loved, she is real, and she will not be forgotten.
This morning for the first time I got the feeling that she would not want me to go. I told her I had to. There may be a day when I only go on holidays, anniversaries, and her birthday but for right now this little ritual is what I need to do.
The whole drive up I talked to her. I told her that I wished she could come to me one night. She would be proceeded by three angels who would prepare me, answer my questions, and help heal my broken places. She would follow surrounded by light and I would be filled with her. Our thoughts and our feelings would replace words and it would all be OK. She would promise to be there when it was my time, she would tell me to have a happy life and we would tell each other how much love there was in the spaces-in-between. I spoke about it in detail, crying and wanting it so badly.
Then I calmed myself and thanked her for the dreams last night. The first dream was of her in the kitchen with Aly, they were hugging each other, Steve and Noah came in and Steve lifted her up and she fell backwards. The blood rushed to her head. I panicked and had him sit her on the counter. She said, "great there goes the vision" I was so mad at Steve that I woke up.
I went back to sleep easily and dreamed I woke up. Noah was in the middle of Stevie's be and I was watching him sleep, he seemed so little and I could still see the baby in him. I turned to Stevie and said, "Doesn't he look like a baby?" Then he woke up. He looked at Stevie and they both smiled at each other, he played with her hair then said, "I wanna kiss you on the lips" She smiled and he gave her a sweet 'MMMMwah"
She turned to me and her eyes were so blue. I was talking to her without speaking and I said, "your eyes, I forgot how blue they are, they are so blue" Then I could smell her, her scent, that fruity, flowery, girl smell she has. I was so happy. I woke up (really this time) and said out loud, "thank you baby, thank you"
I got to the cemetery and the weather was beautiful suddenly, it was sunny, warm and just pretty. It was cloudy and cold this morning and is getting cloudy and cold again. I was lucky to be there when the sun did it's thing. I did not stay as long as I usually do. All the way there I felt like we had been together.
Something looked a little off at her grave-site. Last month I had placed yellow and pink tulips, today there was a bunch of red Peony tucked into her vase with the other flowers. I pulled them out thinking, "no, not red" I am such a control freak.
It took me a moment to realize they were my favorite color and my favorite flower. I have asked everyone, I don't know how they got there. Maybe a gardener just plopped them in thinking they belong there? Well...it has to be more than a coincidence. I can't deny that one. It affected me the whole way home.
I am not blue and not having a cemetery hang-over. I feel close to her today, very close. My heart is not so heavy today.
Thank you Stevie for the flowers, the book, the dream and for being my girl then, now and always.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
This will be a very different post then the one I intended on sending this morning. I sat down and wrote and wrote. I began to tell the story of Stevie and the library and the book I found, I was writing a passage from the book when the electricity went out. I can not explain it. The weather is nice, no wind, sunny, no accidents just a momentary loss of electricity.
My computer shut down and my post was lost. The last words I wrote were by George Anderson he was explaining that our loved ones never leave, they just transition to another place. He tells us in his book that people who have crossed over tell him over and over that they are closer to their loved ones now than they could have ever been while here.
Did Stevie shut down the power? If I were to be still and let it be, live as if she did then my life would be blessed beyond belief. Some ladies want a fur coat, a long vacation, a day at a spa, a man. All I want is to know my girl is OK, it would be like winning the lottery.
It sure was strange timing and the lights came back on in less than two minutes.
Today last year we had a prayer circle, thousands of people gathered from near and far to pray for my daughter to be healed. God said, "no. "
I am told that the prayers were answered, her suffering was ended and I did pray for that but I expected a miracle, to wake up the next day and for her to sit up in bed and say, "hey, mom I feel great could you help me get in the shower and find me a gingerbread soy latte?"
I knew she was leaving but I had to hold on, I didn't want to let her go so we prayed.
How can that be a year ago? Where did all those prayers go?
I took Noah to the street carnival they do every year for St.Patricks day. I hate carnivals, I mean I really hate them. They are crowded and gross. The energy is all wrong for me but I knew Noah would love it. I bribed myself with carnival food and off we went. It was pretty horrible but Noah went on rickety little rides, had a hot dog, a caramel apple, and got to see a million little school friends. I still would have rather eaten my own liver but I am trying to be a good mom.
I ate things I should not have and I am sure I will smell like garlic fries for at least a week. I needed to be outside, out of the house and underneath a sky of the most incredible clouds I have ever seen, they are breathtaking and surreal. It was nice to be with my boy but I was not all me, he deserves all of me.
The day is winding down, it is quiet here. The clocks are all flashing because they need to be re-set so I have no idea what time it is.
Stevie I am still praying sweet. I will live "as if" and start paying attention to what is all around me. Thank you for still loving me.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I took a little bike ride today. The morning was cold but I was bundled up in one of Aly's sweatshirts and a fleece hat. I would like to say I went miles but I didn't. The ride was just to move my body and fill my lungs with fresh air.
The whole time riding I talked to Stevie, there are about a hundred morning commuters who think I am a crazy homeless woman who stole a bike.
The air smells the way it did before. The blossoms on the trees, the wind and clouds coming from the ocean, the smell of dryers and fabric sheets all remind me that time stands still even when it is ticking away.
Orchard Supply had two kumquat tree's that will fit perfectly in the two half barrels I found on the side of the yard yesterday. Phillip helped me move them and I filled them with soil. Today I will plant the tree's and see what a kumquat tastes like. I also bought little blue and pink flowers to plant in Stevie's garden.
I miss her so much. This year the backyard will have two different kinds of apples, Asian pears, apricots, nectarines, pears, figs, pomegranate, cherries and Meyer lemons. It would have been paradise for her. The Goblin market, I would gladly eat the fruit to save her.
The day calls me, it will be full of little things to do. It is going to be a sad day today, I can feel it. I am lonely for a time that does not belong to me anymore. The time ahead just doesn't seem as shiny or as interesting as it use to. I am learning to live in the present but it can be hard work.
The first yellow tulip is up.
Monday, March 10, 2008
I spent the day planting a little flower garden under the walnut tree in our back yard. The tree was there when we moved here almost twelve years ago. It was much smaller then and the yard didn't have much landscaping. The girls use to bury things out there and build fairy houses.
The second year we were here I planted the most incredible vegetable and flower gardens. The strawberries were obscene, and the sunflowers looked like trees. It was magical. We had a big patio and I hung a hammock between the two beams that kept our awning up. The girls and I would lay out there for hours reading, napping and just talking.
Over the years the yard has changed, it has grown with us. The third or forth year I dug a giant hole under that tree and made a real pond with Koi fish, a pump and big fat river rocks. It was so relaxing to just lay in the grass in the leafy shade watching the fish swim and one day water skimmers arrived. It felt so incredible to be responsible for this living system.
When Noah arrived we filled in the pond worried that he would fall in. I planted Iris and lambs ear, and tulips.
Years went by and when Noah was water safe we put in a small hot-tub, very retro and round. In the winter when the leaves had gone we would sit out in the cold night air in the steaming water and look at the stars and moon and feel so lucky, so content.
So much has changed. We put in a sun room and a little lap pool taking away from the big vegetable garden, there is still room to make a fairy house if anyone wanted to though. I now garden in two small raised beds, mostly tomato's and herbs.
The walnut tree is much bigger and today I dug in the ground where a bird, hamster, guinea pig and rabbit were buried a long time ago. I turned the earth and revealed time, layers of time.
I planted flowers and bulbs weeded, cried and put in a statue of a young woman holding a little bird on her finger. I made a little dry creek bed out of the rocks I found from the pond and rocks the girls and I painted when they were younger.
I sat in the grass sweaty, muddy and tired, tears rolling down my cheeks as I remembered it all.
This is where I will come to be with my girl. This is where I came when she was diagnosed, when she relapsed and when I couldn't breath in her room because I knew she was leaving. This is were I have played, prayed and fallen apart. This is my little place on this planet were all my joy and sorrow are mixed.
All I can think of is the Wizard of Oz when they find the poppy field and fall asleep until the good witch makes it snow.
Stevie would love the poppies, she would hate the statue and she would gladly lay out there on a blanket with me while the wind blows the white blossoms off the apricot tree. The only snow we have in this part of California.
I love you sweetness, I miss you with all that I am. I am surviving but there is a price.
Audrey died five days before you, there is a connection, I know it.
Come sit with me in the garden and tell me where you live, I bet the tulips are year round and smell like honey and sweet peas.
Sweet dreams favorite one.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Lamb ChopI was riding my bike to pick up Noah up from school, big black crows were keeping watch over head, they seem to be where ever I am. The day felt like another day, a different day. The air smelled the same as that other day, the same flowers blossoming in the same yards, the same little dog sitting in front of the same green Jimmy. Last year I left you home, in bed while I got in my car and drove the few short blocks to pick up Noah. I always tried to get back as quickly as I could so you wouldn't have to be alone. On this particular day I lingered a little and spoke with the mother of a little school friend of Noah's. I felt guilty but I also needed to talk to someone, breath some fresh air, have someone fill me up with hope.
I didn't know that day that we would only have six weeks left. If I knew I would have put you in the car and taken you to the airport. I would have purchased tickets to anywhere beautiful and I would have spent long days with you listening to the waves roll in and out.
It seems most days are connected to last year or the years before, what it was like when you were here and what it is like now that you are not. I would have done so many things differently.
I wouldn't have worried about money, I would have been less selfish with my time. I would have complained less about how stressed out I was and taken you and Aly to the beach instead. I would have given you chocolate cake for breakfast everyday. I would have been a better mother, I would have played more and worked less. I wouldn't make you put the Barbies away so we could have dinner instead I would have made dinner a Barbie pic-nic. I would have read you stories you loved every night even if I was tired. I would have said "Yes" more and I would have never yelled at you, ever. I wouldn't have gone back to school and I would have never been late to pick you up or forget to give you lunch money. I would have put notes in your lunch with all your favorite foods. I would have put your childhood ahead of my trying to figure out who I was. I would have never torn our family apart, instead I would have learned to be brave and strong and live with integrity and honesty. I would have found a way to save your life.
There were to many "last times" and it really bites because I didn't know that's what they were and it is so unfair.
I feel like I need to tell everyone that today is a last day, you will never ever get it again. Tomorrow your child will be a day older, an opportunity missed may never come again, the sun will never set quite this way again, with the clouds that color and little hands in yours as you pretend that you know the magic words to make it happen.
I miss all those times Stevie. I miss the pink flowers on your towering sweet sixteen cake, I miss the way your face scrunches up when you laugh, I miss how excited you would get Christmas eve and how anxious you got right before you bought something big that you had saved so long for.
I miss sleeping next to you, trying to get you to wash your dishes, putting your pony tail in for you, way up high. I miss you hogging the blankets, the computer, all the fruit, and the hot water. I miss you staying up late eating oranges and watching weird shows. I miss you and Aly picking on me. I miss teasing you. I miss you telling me what to read next or hiding books you loved and wouldn't let me read because there was sex in them and you didn't want me to think you were a perv.
I miss how sad you got sometimes, and how pumped you got when tickets went on sale for a band you adored. I miss your hand coming through the headrest in the car to touch my hair. I miss talking about all the things you had planned, all the places you wanted to visit, all the food you wanted to try.
I miss your PETA propaganda in the bathroom basket, your green chucks by the door, and your smile in the morning. I miss being able to talk to you and tell you everything.
I don't know where you are but I don't want to think that the last time I kissed you was the last time I would ever be with you. Wait for me in the everywhere I just have a little more work to do and I will be home.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Chel and Iva came over yesterday. We were suppose to make PDF files for the publisher but we ate and talked instead. It was a really good visit. The three of us have truly creative spirits and are connected to each other in a Six Degrees of Separation kind of way. It took us this long to find each other but I have a feeling we three will be friends for a long time.
We had bagels and fruit for breakfast and Indian for lunch. In between we talked about art, websites, friends, husbands and just being were we are in our lives. Women have a intense energy, we are like circles. When we interact it is all of us, we open up and share everything. It bonds us, it empowers us and it connects us.
Stevie was and will always be my very best friend. The other day I went shopping and I bought some bunny soap, something Stevie would of loved, maybe she was shopping with me. I started remembering a time when Stevie hated me to have friends outside of us. She would call me on my cell phone a million times asking when I was coming home. I remember once telling her that she needed to let me have friends but what I was feeling was "I am so glad you choose me and I choose you".
Now that she has left her body she is making sure that I have new friends. When I am visiting she pops into my mind a million times like a cell phone call and I say to her silently, "I will be home soon honey"
Thank you Stevie for making sure I am not alone, and helping me find the bunny soap.
I miss you.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
I have been dreaming of you again. Last night night it was about your memorial. We had planned a big event and when we arrived at the cemetery they had moved your grave stone. They had moved you from the most beautiful hill top to the side of a storage garage. I was so mad.
You and I were talking about it when I realized that I could not have this memorial if you were still alive, why was I doing it, you were still here. I knew you couldn't stay, wouldn't stay but I didn't know what to do. You didn't seem to care about the cemetery or the people. I couldn't seem to get a grip on the fact that you were still alive.
You were around me, I could see you, but it wasn't sinking in.
It was a creepy dream and I woke up after you looked at me with that angry crying face you use to make when you got really frustrated.
Now that I am sitting here and have some space from the confusing dream emotion I can see something I haven't been able to see and understand and it is simple really.
You are not dead.
I get it.
You know me it takes more that just a tap on the shoulder for me. My brain needs repetition.
I am sitting here taking a deep breath convincing myself that I am not going backwards in this process but forward.
You did not die. You are just someplace where my eyes can not see you, were my arms can not wrap themselves around you. The grave is not real. It doesn't have a purpose if you are not there. You are here and I am so wrapped up in this sorrow that I will not see you even though part of me knows you are here.
I am not going crazy, I am just learning to understand. The other morning when I woke up from a similar dream crying I told you not to stop, to keep trying, to keep talking to me that I will keep learning and trying to understand.
I hope I have it right, no more scary dreams honey, just be with me when you can. I am trying so hard to let myself fall gently, one deep breath then step off into the place I have not known before, the place where you are my soft landing. I am wrapping you around me and the comfort you are trying to offer. Why am I so afraid?
This is a hard time again. Spring is coming and the memories of your last days in your body are so clear and close. I am lonely for you. I am holding onto all the wrong things.
When you were born there was a baby you that I was in love with. Your deep auburn hair, those bright blue eyes, the way you smelled and curled up into me. Then there was the you that whispered and danced on tip-toes. Your fuzzy Blond hair and "Mownin Mama's" One day you grew into a little girl in red shoes and a cherished lunch pail, your hair was cut in a bob and you wanted to wear a dress everyday. Soon you were a serious student and the lunch pail was replaced with a backpack full of heavy books that never intimidated you.
I miss that part of your life...but I miss it in a natural way. Each time you grew and changed you were replaced by a girl I liked even more. The other parts got smaller but the bigger you carried them.
When you got older and became yourself. When you took this battle on and did it without tears and complaint, when you seemed to never be afraid, when you kept taking steps forward even when you couldn't walk, and when you refused to stop becoming...well that was the girl that became my teacher, my best friend, my love.
This is the girl I miss most, this is the girl I have been aching and crying for.
We all leave or bodies someday. They are perishable, they all have a shelf life and a expiration date. You left your body before me. I am trying to see that as another stage of development. I am trying to learn to embrace that but it is so hard because I can not see it and understand it like before.
I understand what has happened. I live in a world were I am told that I must accept that death is final. I am told that in order to be a healthy person in this world I have to let you go and move on.
It is not who I am or who I have ever been. I have tried to let you go but it goes against my spirit, my soul.
These dreams are telling me that I don't have to let go because you have only changed and are not gone. This comforts me. I am going to give myself permission to believe this, to hold onto this. I am told this kind of thinking will only hurt me, prolong the process but I know that this kind of thinking will heal me.
I have know you forever and we could still communicate even when you could no longer talk, we found ways...I will find a way again, I am listening, my heart is open.