Tuesday, September 25, 2012

eat a peach

her birthday celebration at the lake~
ultimate chocolate cake,
 homemade raspberry pie x2,

and the last of her brandied peaches
which tasted like heaven itself.

happy birthday, my darling mutti.
i miss you with all of my heart.

photos by my sister-cousin, lisa 'sweetpea' jane, and her magical iphone

Monday, September 24, 2012

Big Life 2012

My God, this is difficult to watch.
But we must understand what is going on
in other worlds, because it affects our own.

My God, the elephants.
The giraffes.

Please, do what you can.
Even a prayer makes a difference.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

long moments of mercy

Today we gather to celebrate her birthday. There will be chocolate cake with her name in pink icing and the last 2 jars of her signature brandied peaches. There will be tears.

But there have been long moments of mercy this passing week~ the regularity of work and the kind souls keeping track of me, a hug and empathy from her oncologist who also lost parents to colon cancer, flowers from a friend, a gift of home made wine, greeting cards filled with words of understanding and remembrances, conversations with friends around a food-laden table, and the irreplaceable comfort of cats.

Make no mistake, there has been searing pain as the reality of her absence sinks in. Yet, the field of possibility I sensed back in July is beginning to make itself known. I have no direction, just vague inklings. My camera might find its way back into my handbag. Little trips to newness might occur.

The redtail hawk on the phone pole, who swooped in a dipping arc to the next pole, said to me, "Fly forward."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

the solitary pursuit

grief is an uncomfortable and solitary pursuit. it digs down to your roots and festers in crevices. it robs you of breath when you open her closet door and find her scent clinging to sleeve and hem. it makes each photograph a punch in the gut, each impulse to still buy her flowers a slap.

grief makes you wonder, for 3 long instances at 4am, what it would be like to follow her. then the angel of mercy presses down on your breast bone and suddenly the drought has ended. you marvel, in surreal fashion, at the soft animal sounds that escape your lips. you wake hours later, swollen.

grief makes you socially repugnant. no one really has the stomach for it, what with all that sadness getting in the way of busyness and gratitude lists, of staying calm and carrying on. loneliness is a side effect of grief.

you understand there will come a shift that will ease you out of the pain and the longing and the regrets. you understand life will go on and the cliche of time will indeed let you sleep. but in the uncomfortable and solitary pursuit of mourning love and companionship lost, you wonder how the fuck did this happen.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

untold treasures

view from the sitting tree~ almost dry

new view of the sitting tree~ middle of creek

evidence of leisure dining~ middle of creek

in less than 2 years, 20 months to be exact, 3 women in my family have left. my maternal grandmother, my aunt, and now, my mother. there are moments it seems too much to process, all these empty seats at the holiday tables. to stave off overwhelm, out the door i went, headed for the solace of the sitting tree.

this year, fittingly, the creek is almost dry from our ongoing drought. yet, the embrace of her roots felt the same. i stayed with her almost 2 hours. in that time came a new understanding.

there is great activity in a creek bed exposed, especially from very small creatures. the squirrel and the chipmunk took full advantage of the shortened route to the opposite bank, racing over the rocks with morsels in their mouths. it was as if they were determined to take the fullest advantage of this road-hardly-traveled to increase their stores of wealth. as well, the people came, on a weekday no less, and bounded back and forth over the bed, pleased with new-found favor. in time, i too wandered over rocks in the middle and stepped to the other side.

this is what i was told~ in fallow times, where the soul feels terribly exposed and life feels parched for life, there are untold treasures and pathways laid bare. there are places within and under that can only be reached in the seemingly harsh and brutal exposure of loss. look for the morsels exposed, take advantage of the shortened route to new opportunity. trust that joy can exist, everywhere.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

my sweetie pie

My body aches less. The early morning anxiety remains; a now-familiar kick in the gut by 3 am. I've waited for release, sitting quietly as I did while her body stalled and reversed its way to other realms. Finally, I beg her forgiveness. Out loud. A modest drain of tears flow. I'm sorry for the suffering I was not able to prevent.

A voice, some one's, tells me to look at my nature journal~ the one that morphed from daily sightings to record of our last month together. I had written, bleary-eyed, at the end of each day the happenings and snippets of our conversations. From the pages I heard her voice as I read the words of progressive days:      "My sweetie pie, my sweetie pie."   "I know this is hard for you."
From the pages, my healing begins to take shape as I am reminded of my full presence in her hours and days of need, of the blueprint agreement my soul made to hold her in the light as her life went dark. I am reminded of our continual hand-holding, her wry humor, the countless declarations of love.

I begin to understand, my guilt over the small things I could not grasp quickly or could not prevent is unnecessary. That the largesse of my fussing and company likely rendered the small moments inconsequential.

And so, a layer of guilt is released. I wonder if more guilt lies dormant.

There is a yearning inside for life.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Danke fur alles

For the blog comments, for the texts, for the letters, the cards, the phone calls,
 the in-person support, the silent prayers, the emails, the donations to hospice,
the hugs, the tears, the cookies, the dinners, the flowers, the understanding, the love...

I thank you from the deepest place in my heart
 for your great kindnesses and your steadfast support.
 Every bit, every bit of what you offered made a difference.
 It gave me the strength to help grant my mother's last wish,
 to assimilate the journey and let the healing begin.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

the dark lady

if you ask me if i have slept well, i have not.
for a month.
except for last night, finally.
exhaustion has settled in.

if you ask me how i am doing, i do not know.
there is nothing to compare this time to,
this time where my mother is gone.

if you ask me where she is now,
that is what i find so difficult, painful, heart-wrenching.
do not placate me with platitudes of heaven.
i want science.
~an explanation of where does life-energy go when it transforms.

if i call out to her now, does she hear me?

i question if there was anything more i could have done.

but now, just now, it is not mine to know.

i let the dark lady take me and shape me in quiet despair.
i lay down in her realms of night and endings and death,
blind on the path to reconceiving myself.

i wait to be born anew.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Draft Horse Solace

belgian 4 hitch line up~ ny state fair

grey percherons

percheron 4 hitch line up

lead belgians~ 4 hitch

lor-rob farms belgian team
east bethany, ny
champion~ ny state fair/ 3rd best team in the US

If my soul is to mend, there must be gentle giants...