Sunday, April 19, 2009
So here we are...the 19th.
My mind wants to race back to this moment in time two years ago, the synapse bridge has been built and it is an easy leap but I can't or I am going to try not to at least.
The memory of that day is as painful in this moment as it was then.
What I have to do is create a new bridge...
I'm not sure how to do that yet so I will have to stay as numb as I can today.
There is no forgetting any of it really.
Maybe forgetting isn't the answer but surviving the remembering is.
I am up with the sun this morning, I waited for you last night but instead of a visitation I had a deep restful nights sleep. Maybe God is offering a consolation prize but I will keep waiting anyway.
This morning I am going to clean up, open the store for Colleens class, run over to Joe's and buy every Daffodil they have, then I will go to Micheal's and buy and armload of yellow silk tulips. I will talk to you on the long, long drive to Oakmont, cry all the way up the hill, and find a way to accept that all this is real as I cover your body with flowers.
I listened to three people who claimed to have died, gone to heaven, and returned to tell about it. They all said that they didn't want to come back because heaven was so beautiful; the colors intoxicating, the sound of music transcending, the feeling of pure love and peace overwhelming. the experience changed them forever.
On the other side there were beings of light, loved ones, and the presence of a God they could not describe without reverting back to their own religious frame of reference. They were all told it wasn't there time, that they still had work to do and were sent back. Every person felt that had a message.
I listened to other people tell stories of angel sightings, visitations from the other side and messages left on answering machines, tape recorders and in the form of orbs and streaks of light on film.
Every well meaning person I know promises me that you are someplace better than here, at peace, in heaven, waiting for me. They are confused because I can't simply believe that and feel comforted. If it were their child they would be standing in the same place I am, no matter what church they belong to.
Yesterday I was in your room placing a beautiful vase of tulips that Teresa sent me next to your picture and I yelled at you. I said, "Damn it Stevie, I don't care if you are having a party with Julia Child every night, I don't care if I bum you out, you must come and see me and tell me you are OK, you have to, don't leave me here alone to go crazy with grief."
It is the first time I felt angry. I am not angry at you, just frustrated because I feel that I have been waiting so long, holding onto bits and pieces of a puzzle that don't quite fit together. I gather signs, and coincidence, and make a story out of something that moves me not because it is real but because I need so badly for it to be real.
I must have been on a roll because I had it out with God that day too. The things I wrote in my journal I won't try and write here. I wrote word after word, page after page until I was empty. It all comes down to faith and I am tired of faith, tired of trying to hold onto a belief that is betraying me.
I know I am suppose to wake up on a morning like this and thank God for another day, watch the sun come up, marvel at how the trees that have filled in with magical shades of green, the hills have been covered with a downy coat of grass, and count how many birds have found there way into the garden this year.
I did this but I also listened to how quite the morning was, and how lonely this place is when the person you loved best isn't here, sleeping in her bed, dreaming of coffee and sweet faced boys who sing about tangerines and trampolines.
A color leaves the spectrum, everything is still beautiful but it has changed.
Anthony spent the night, he is sleeping on our sofa. Dad, Noah and Aly are sound asleep. In an hour this house will be noisy, I will cook breakfast, Dad will start hammering away at the wall and door he is building so I can move back into my old studio. It will be another day for everyone else on this planet but it will be a wormhole in time for me, just a visit, no ability to make the changes I desire.
Noah, Aly and I watches a documentary on Time Machines. Aly didn't want to watch it she thought it would be too cerebral and she hates physics. I made her press "Play" and about ten minutes in she got up and stomped into the kitchen, angry because she couldn't get it. I followed her and explained to her that time and space were another dimension that would could see or follow with our five senses but it was real and it operated like a membrane or a piece of fabric and if we could find a way to manipulate it (the planets do all the time) then we could create a little tunnel, a short cut and move through time and space in a different way than we do now.
She got it. She is so smart Stevie but she gets frustrated too easily. There is a moment when you hit a wall, the trick is realizing that it isn't a wall as much as it is a door. Yesterday she walked through that door.
It made me think that I am doing the same thing...I am stomping my feet and wailing at God because I have hit a wall. I am trying to feel around in the dark for the door sweet girl but my Aly-apple didn't fall far from the tree...
I am not giving up, I am just circling Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's wheel of grief, she never said how many times you would visit each of those places and for how long but I am far from finished.
I am rambling because I don't want to face the day...I am a big sad baby.
Bunny of mine, twenty four months doesn't mean a damn thing. You still have all of me. Today I am yours take me where you want me to go, show me what you need me to see, teach me how this has to be. You can yell at me if you want.
I put the fountain were you told me to, I will turn it on today and maybe if I can get myself to do it I will put new plants in the garden. You hated gardening...I tried so hard to get you out there but you just were not a fan of dirt and sweaty labor.
It is inevitable, the day must begin, another day...
Stay close to me sweetness.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Hey sweet girl...
It has been a very hard week. You would think that going to Paris would turn me into a happy person for just a little while but the end of the trip was the end of the trip.
There were great times and it was beautiful. It is hard to travel with someone who has a completely different personality that you but I think we did OK. Sarah needs more than I do, or she just needs different things. I am a little more quiet, I like observing, exploring, figuring things out in a slow way, letting them happen the way they should. Sarah likes to go out and get what she wants, no is not an option, she is in control of her life and her outcome. She always gets what she wants I am just not sure she gets what she needs. I think she might feel I was too passive or lazy but I don't feel like you ever need to push that hard if it isn't really that important.
You taught me what is important, at least I am clear about what I think is important now. It is just the seconds lived in a way that is true, being a good person, observing and learning. It isn't what you can fit in your pockets it is what you fill your heart with.
I would have been happy in flea bag hotels and days spent seeing more instead of driving more. I went with the flow the first week. I always had the opportunity to speak up but there were things that were important to her experience that didn't take away from mine. The second week we had a home base so we were free to explore on our own.
The most memorable moments were walking through tiny villages, spending hours in cathedrals and the museums, oh the museums.
Stevie I must have looked silly crying...but there I was standing in Rodin's Museum surrounded by his work and Camille's and I was overwhelmed. I remember a similar feeling when I went to the legion of Honor to see his exhibit and later in art school learning about Camille and seeing her face. I know it's crazy thinking but I always felt I was Camille in another life. I have dreamed of Auguste so many times, I know his face like I know my own. The funny thing is that I am not in love with his work as much as I am in love with idea of him.
The Louvre was something I won't forget. Arriving at the square, entering the pyramid, walking with a sea of people from all over the world. I felt light headed. The paintings blew me away, the baroque rooms did not, and the scupture, well I almost fainted. I spent the most time with the marble. I wanted so badly to touch it. What is it about three dimensional art that moves me so?
I took photos then had to stop because I knew that I was wasting time looking at everything from behind the lense of a camera when what I really wanted to do was stand there in a narrow shaft of light and remember every detail with my own eyes, and I did, I stayed until they asked everyone to leave.
Paris has an energy all it's own but like any other place after a while it loses it's shine and it starts to seem a little more like Disneyland. I hate seeing the zipper on the gorilla suit but you and I both know it is inevitable. I walked for hours getting as far from the center as I could, I ate in places that most people don't and I am not sure if you had something to do with this but I found what must have been the only Thai cafe in Paris.
Stevie I was the only customer there and I had the most incredible bowl of soup I had the whole trip. It was full of veggies and spices, the broth must have been fish-based. It was served in a deep bowl that was taller than any soup ball I had ever eaten from. It was steamy and warmed me inside and out. I stayed there for a while, wrote in my journal, and listened to sing-song- Asian-French. I was very happy that no one brought me a basket of sliced baguette, you know me I love bread but the baguette got old very fast. It was a surreal day and I knew that if you had come on the trip with me, we would have found this place.
The plane ride home was long but Sarah booked us in Business class so it was comfortable. I watched the Secret Life Of Bees and there was something about Dakota that reminded me of you at that age. Remember how skinny you got after radiation? The last of your long blond hair turning auburn, your eyes so blue and haunting. You gave and gave and when you finally spoke it was always something so profound. Dad use to call what you said "Pearls" I like the image of pearls falling from your lips.
I understood the depths of May's sadness. I related a little too much. The wailing wall seems like a beautiful tool for grief, I wonder where I can find a billion stones to build one.
I am stressed out. There is so much to do. The business has a pulse now and needs constant attention. I am learning everything the hard way and just when I think I may have made a mistake by being so compulsive and opening a store without any real planning...well, people show up and make me think it wasn't as unplanned as I thought, just not my plan.
Noah is happy I am home but I have been sad. He tries to find me past that sadness, he needs it to go away so I can belong only to him. It won't go away and he will learn something beautiful from that. I give him all that I have, I see him, I am just a little broken. I am learning to be a different kind of mother and he is learning how much mothers love their children. He is such a happy boy, such a good guy Stevie, you knew it, you knew that he would be here after you were gone and you were afraid that I would forget you, that he would fill up your space. He has a place in my heart, his own place and you my sweet have yours, I will never forget, you are still my bunny, my best friend, my sweetness.
The 19Th is fast approaching and we have no plans. I think after the first year most people are over the hump and would feel more comfortable if I was too. The bulk of their grief has passed but I will live with mine forever. It doesn't mean I stop living it just means I learn to live and grieve.
I plan to go to the cemetery and take hundreds of daffodils. I will spread them all over your body, a sea of delicate yellow petals. The deer will come and nibble them and I am sure that will be more than OK with you. I am going to lay next to your body and sing favorite songs terribly, tell you how much I love you and how 24 months has meant nothing, it was just yesterday that you and dad were going to Berkeley to see the Format and I was doing your hair. I remember helping you get your make-up right and telling you how beautiful you were, how grown up you looked. I remember kissing your neck and telling you that you smelled so good, that you always smelled so sweet. What I would give to smell you, all fruit, flowers and knowing.
When you were little I use to nibble on you, all the fleshy places, I would inhale you, wrap myself around you, I thought I could keep you safe, my love felt strong and powerful, and you felt like you were mine.
We celebrated Easter the best way we could. I asked Noah if he believed in the Easter Bunny and he tried to fake it, he knew what was on the line. I told him it was OK, that a six foot Bunny dropping eggs in our yard was very Donny Darko and he was off the hook but in order to get a basket he had to tell me what Easter really was. He said, "Oh I know, it is when that guy who looks like Uncle John, the Jesus guy, he gets crucimated" Ding-Ding-Ding, Noah got a basket.
I got up at four and left a small basket for Aly in her car so she would have it first thing before work. She was very happy that I kept the tradition. She knows she is too old but there is comfort in some things not changing.
Spring is here puddin. Your Cherry tree has tiny green nubs, a million of them and there will be even more cherries than last year. Remember the mystery tulip the lone pink one that comes up every year under the walnut tree? This year there are two. The red tulips and garden daffs and the lilac are gone but the tree's all have their leaves again. This year I will try to plant a good garden. It is the right thing to do and it has always given me such pleasure I need to find a way back to it again.
So much to do honey, sometimes it feels like to much to do. I want a break but I need to stay busy. I need to have one of those dreams, the one where I can see you and touch you and it is all so real that waking up is confusing. Send me one of those dreams sweet girl.
Well, this tired mama has a house to clean, a garden to plant, and a business to run. I also have a sleepy little boy who deserves a good breakfast on his first day of spring break.
I miss you everyday, and I still count the minutes that you are not here.
I love you so much baby girl,