Thursday, May 14, 2009

Graduations and Pity Parties...

Ashley and Stevie were born two weeks apart. Ashley's mother Sandy and I were close at the time. She was married to my cousin Ron and as children he and I were close. My family was big back then and all the cousins spent a great deal of time together. Ron and I were close in age and I got all his hand-me-downs.

When Ashley was born I was at the hospital, and Stevie was with me, all snuggled up in a baby sling. Stevie was a great big baby with huge cheeks and Ashley was a lean baby with big eyes. The two of them spent a lot of time together in pools, back yards and at parks. They climbed trees, played dress up, and got drunk once at a family party on fuzzy navels.

We took our first trip to Disneyland with Sandy, Ron Ashley and her little sister Megan when the girls were still little. I cried on the Peter Pan ride and the girls got sugared up and crowned with Mickey ears. I still have a photo of Ashley kissing Stevie on a ride that day.

Ashley called today to thank me for a quilt I gave her for graduation. She graduates from college this year and I am very proud of her. She is going to be a teacher. I knew she would be from the time she was little. Ashley was playful, responsible and patient. She was guided gently and has always been the first one to snatch up a baby or sit on the floor with a little kid to play. She is a hard working girl who loves her family with her whole heart. She loved Stevie very much and she was at the hospital the day Stevie died.

Ashley is good to me and it hurts. She is doing all the things Stevie would be doing, getting all the milestones, and she deserves all the happiness it brings but it reminds me of all the things Stevie will never be able to do.

I am an asshole because I should be grateful to have Ashley in my life, grateful that she is so loving and caring. I am grateful but I also let my loss get in the way of expressing that and being closer.

When Stevie was sick she pulled away from everyone and the last Easter we had together she cried because she wanted everyone to leave. It was hard for her to let go but that was what she was doing, it hurt her so much to be in a bed sick, without hair, unable to walk. It was hard for her to know that she would never have anymore holidays with the people she loved most.

I am not sure everyone understood that and they broke into her room any way and loved her up. She was pissed. I think it was mostly because she knew she had to leave...

Today I am falling apart because I am remembering all of this clearly, it is playing in my mind like a movie...I can smell the Easter Bunnies, feel the warm day, and I remember the way Stevie sobbed as my sister held her.

I promise on most days I am normal but on the days I feel heavy and broken I come here and have a little pity party so I can sort out all these feelings, cry and make room for deep breaths and new moments.

My girl graduated early and she moved away to start her new life. It is far away and she can not be reached by telephone or mail. I just have to trust that her new life holds great promise(s), unending love, adventure, bliss and a place for me when I graduate.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hey baby girl,

It was a warm May day, the sun is setting, I missed all the colors but the sky is still beautiful. Noah and I watched "That Thing You Do" and I kept thinking of Briana when Liv Tyler had a little camera time. I never met Briana but I feel like I know her a little. Iva must feel the same way about you.

I keep smelling you in your room late at night, just for a moment then it fades.

I moved stuff around in the store, doing that thing I do and play a constant game of Tetris with my space until everything fits just right. If you can't arrange your life, arrange furniture. It looks good. Lana came in today to help me roll up ribbon, she even got her husband to come out and do some heavy lifting if it needed doing. I don't know how to recieve kindness, it makes me feel akward and emotional, another something to work on.

I am moving the studio back into the garage and having new carpet put in the sunroom. I feel like I am taking up too much space in a small house. I don't work at home much so moving back into the garage makes more sense.

(The new carpet will be refreshing, remember when someone spilled spaghetti sauce out here and we could never quite get it all up. In the summer when the room heats up it smells like underarms and oregano. It will be nice to have that gone but hard to give up another thing that you touched, that was a part of your life here.)

I am let my hair grow long, and letting it be as curly as it wants to be. Silly. I am too old to pull this off but I want to grow it one last time and finally have long hair. You will have to keep me from going out and cutting it like I always do when I get tired of being a slave to it.

Tonight I made ravioli and arabiata sauce and a big salad you would have loved. I made a lemon dressing that was really good. I was remembering you in the kitchen making ravioli from scratch (you savage) ever the purist, always the finest ingredients. I ate way too much bread, so much for the diet. I also ate a million ginger cookies at work, what is it about ginger snaps that tastes healthy? little tricky cookies!

I am going to go out and soak under the stars after I write this. Orion has moved out into another part of the sky and I feel like I 'm lost, I'll need to find another reference point, maybe the little dipper will be my guide for a while. The moon is almost full, I can see her face. I pretend that you can see her too and it is one thing we can both be a part of in the same moment. What was that old song...

"Even though I know how very far apart we are it helps to know we both are wishing on the same bright star and when the night wind starts to sing her lonesome lulliby it helps to think were sleeping underneath the same bright sky"

Aly is leaving soon to the South to visit with Hunter. She is pretty excited. Keep her safe.

I am reading one of your books, I had to take a break because there was a part that turned me upside down. I am going to read a little bit more of it tonight, it is a good story and you have always had excellent taste in authors, among other things.

Remember when we met Jodi Piccult in San Fransisco, we were standing behind her and she was ordering Starbucks just like a regular person. The book she spoke about, the one she was writing at the time is the one I am reading now. I am not crazy about all the prison stuff but I can understand her fascination with this world inside a world. In the book a young girl needs a heart and a man on death row wants her to have his.

I have always said that there were a million people who could have died, why you? There were child molesters, rapists, and serial killers all sitting in prisons... I would have removed a heart from anyone of them with my bare hands if it meant saving your life...

God just sees people as people, souls as souls no one more or less valuable than the other. I guess it is how I should see it, and I do but I miss you and need you here with me so I can have someone to tell all my secrets to, to talk to late at night, to watch grow, to be proud of, to learn from and to feel connected to.

You were my person...

Now I am getting all sappy so I better stop righting and get into that water and under those stars.

Let's go look at the moon sweetness,