7 years

I never write here anymore. But not doing my annual post about my Mom just adds to my (irrational) fear that I am forgetting her or not honoring her memory. So I write. 

Last week, I explained to a friend what it's like to be with someone at the end of their life in Hospice care. My explanation was pragmatic, exposed and maybe a little harsh. I've been thinking about it and realized I forgot to tell this friend the most important part of that experience: it is a privilege. 

My Mom was with me the moment I came into the world. And I was with her during her last moments in this world. To give her water, rub lotion on her face, hold her hand, listen to her last thoughts in the garden of the Hospice, hopefully bring some peace to her, that - that is the privilege of being Linda's daughter. 7 years later, I am grateful for those experiences.

 

 

 

 

4 and 7

My children have just turned 4 (Alice Linda) and 7 (Charlie.) 

 

 

They are full of joy. Healthy. Smart. 

Alice is fearless and independent. And goofy. She loves the hell out of some peppermint gum and a pack of smelly markers. 

Charlie is kind and thoughtful. He wins awards at school for his leadership. And he loves the hell out of an iPad and a little plastic figurine he calls "red man." 

Most of all, my kids are resilient. They go with the flow, the ups and downs of this roller coaster called life. They are flexible and patient and continue to show me what it means to be a fully loving human being every single day. 

Happy birthday, my loves. Happy birthday. 

I can't hear you

 

He's trying to tell me a story about work as I'm rinsing dishes one room away. "I can't hear you" I yell, more frustration in my voice than is fair.

I'm calling for him to come help get Alice out of the tub but Charlie has the TV blaring down the hall. "I can't hear you" he yells with annoyance and fatigue coming through loud and clear.

He is tying Charlie’s soccer cleats and filling water bottles for the soccer game. Putting pig tails in Alice’s hair before school. Bringing me a coffee in bed because I’ve been on airplanes for weeks and would love just 5 more minutes to stay warm under my blankets. Leaving early for work but remembering to bring the trash cans to the street. He is a song of redemption and strength. 

I see you, I say. I see all of you and all that you do and all that you are. Quietly but over and over. I hope you can hear me. 

 

 

fall

We have fallen into fall. I tried to walk into it with my shit together. Packed lunches and a space at home to do homework and calendar updates for soccer practice and a fridge stocked with healthy food to cook dinners. But we fell instead into pbj in every lunch, too many Chik-Fil-A visits, forgetting shin guards for soccer practice, sending school paperwork in late and rushing from work to school to practice. 

But it's cool. Because we are cool with it. Happy husband and kids and sometimes, even me. Everyone eats their half-ass jelly sandwich, gets in the car, blasts the radio and moves forward. 

A few photos from our fallen fall - 

 


seasons

We are in a different season of life here. It's not an easy one but winter must come before the spring. And winter is something I can handle. To survive. I may doubt my ability to carefully cross over the ice or to shovel the heavy loads of snow but I have been fortunate to be reminded of that strength by those I value and love the most. 

It is almost August. And the winter of our lives is slowly melting here. Days are sunnier and warmer. Things are easier and less fraught with anxiety and sadness. As a family, we are simplifying. Refocusing. Strengthening friendships and letting others go. Taking care of ourselves and each other as though it is the only thing that matters. Because really it is. 

Some photos of warmth and sunshine and love and strength and good futures.