Sunday, May 24, 2009

Grieving still . . .

I've been thinking about Mom a lot lately. Mother's Day and Memorial day certainly have brought her to my mind, as have all the happenings in our family. What they say about grief is right - it will come out of the blue and knock you down again when you thought you were done with being sad. We are planning to take roses from our garden up to the cemetery on Monday - which is particularly meaningful for me, since I have a sixth sense that Mom helped us get this house from the other side. I've been reading Mom's copies of the Harry Potter books, and wondering if she would have liked the last one - she was too tired from the chemo to finish it, I think. I tried to watch Xena the other night but it's just too hard. Shane inherited Mom's Xena video collection - he loves it. Yesterday, while at my sister's, I listened to a wonderful rendition of a love song from Brigadoon sung by an American Idol contestant - and thought how Mom would have actually been willing to come by the computer to listen to it.

The grief I felt/feel with Mom's illness and passing is unlike any other I've known. The pain has been so physical for me - a tightness in my heart that makes it feel as if my chest might collapse in on itself. I've focused on actually letting myself feel the pain - instead of clamping down on it or distracting myself the way I normally do - and it's hard! Feeling the pain has made me keenly aware of why I've often avoided feeling pain in the past.

There really isn't a way to end this post, other than saying that I miss Mom's wit and her endless curiosity. I miss the way she could be delighted by finding a new brand of something like cereal at the store. I miss the way she would get so excited about new shows on tv each season (she would really like Castle) and the way she would try to get me to watch that dang karaoke show she liked so much.

I imagine she would be so happy for Vic and Jennika right now - in fact, I imagine she would be vibrating with joy and that none of us would be able to get her to stop talking about how wonderful and smart and cute Jennika is, and how happy Vic is, and what will Minnie (the dog) do if Vic doesn't take her with him, and did you know that Vic got a scholarship from the history department because he's done so well, but it's a shame he can't use all of it, etc. etc. She would love playing with smiley baby Dane. I imagine she would love watching us transform our yard - from a distance. She would be proud of Eli and Cole going to kindergarten in the fall. She would be so proud of Reilley getting baptized next week. I imagine Michael telling her his plans for Elemeno the Clown and her getting confused (as I do when he talks to me about it!).

I know that Mom is happy for Dad and his new love & life with Neva. I know that she is watching and loving us from the other side. And I know she is happy where she is and for that I am glad.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Random Thoughts of Randomness

This has been an interesting week. M woke up Tuesday morning with bright red cheeks. We quickly learned that he has a relatively harmless virus that makes a spectacular rash. We thought it was an allergic reaction at first. Apparently several kids at E's school have had the same thing.

I have felt crappy all week, don't know if it's the same thing as M or just spring-time cold. I got sick just in time for finals. Grading my student's final projects is not difficult - their presentations are quit fun actually - but finding time to grade all the last-minute assignments when you are sick and have a full-time job to boot - that's hard. And the hardest part of my teaching job, bar done, is posting my failing students grades. It's almost as hard as denying people benefits. I don't know how students expect to pass a course when they don't do the assignments - or even show up to the final . . .

Shane is officially unemployed and using the services of my department. I'm actually really happy to have him home. There are strong advantages to having a parent available during the day. I've noticed that he seems much more relaxed now that he's finally been laid-off. It's nerve-racking looking for a job in this economy, but I hope that he is getting some satisfaction in the work he's done on the house and the garden. I reminded him that having established landscaping - instead of a quarter acre of weeds - will increase the value of our home tremendously, even in this market. Once again I am so deeply thankful that we have no credit card debt, we own our vehicle, we bought a modest home we can afford on my salary, and we have paid down my law-school loans to manageable levels. Sometimes I think we lived in Tennessee just so I could get hooked on Dave Ramsey's anti-debt campaign, and as soon as I got it, the universe brought us back here to Utah.

One last thing, as proof of how awesome Shane is: The other day we were at a bookstore with a large display of mother's day cards. I said, "I don't have a Mom anymore," and Shane replied, "Yes, you do. Why don't we take a card up to the graveside on Sunday." And then he gave me a hug. Our relationship is unequivocally the more precious part of my life. I love you, sweetie.