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Dear Mom,

I just wanted you to know that I feel safer knowing that you are up there watching down on me.  Although I miss you more than I could ever articulate, I feel grateful (for lack of a better word) knowing that you are in heaven with your wings.  You are no longer suffering; you have been gone from this Earth for one and a quarter years.  It does not get any easier for any of us… I suppose people think that we should all move on, but how can we truly, when we have lost our wife of forty years, and our mother of thirty-one years. This was the first year that sister and I turned thirty-two without you here on this Earth, and dad celebrated his fortieth year of marriage to you, without you here.

In March, your first grandchild will be born.  It is so hard not having you here to share it with me.  I know that you would have been so happy to be a grandma, but I choose to believe you are floating around, watching us all prepare.  The baby will know you through the fantastic memories you have left to us.  I have pictures that I am going to put in his/her nursery so that you will always be looking down on him/her.

I could sit here and cry my hormonal eyes out, (which I am doing as I write this) but I choose to be grateful that you are up there protecting all of us.  I believe that you have sent us this gift so that we can treasure and know life again, and that you would not let anything happen to your grandchild.  I miss you all of the time, momma. 🙂  I know that you are watching everything and are making preparations from heaven… I love you, always and forever.

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momlittlegirlsSo, this poem is more like a collection of my thoughts.  I am not schizophrenic or anything– I have a twin sister, so, that is the “our” in the poem.  Two years ago today, my mom was diagnosed with a uterine sarcoma… the “a” seems so trivial; however, it claimed her life, and because of that it really should be “the…”  Oh that little articles that emphasize so much specificity.  Anyway, it was two days before our 30th birthday…

I really do not think life gets easier; however, I have had to make is liveable for myself.  What I would not give to have her back, but I know that is not an option.  Lately, I lie awake at night with the image of her and the death gargle on my mind– what I would not give for that to completely disappear.  Anyway, here is a poem (or something to that effect) for our 32nd birthday…

Our First Birthday…

There will be no phone call at dawn….singing.
A tone omitted in the annual chorus…
No card with your handwriting on it…
No cake you have arranged to pick up….
No birthday bag with tissue paper, creepily placed.
Misplaced on our first birthday…
We have been ripped from our mother’s womb, again.
No longer can she cradle her thirty-two year old dames.
No one to grab our hand and say “we girlfriends, aren’t we?”
How we once scoffed “mooooom,” when she said that,
but now, what an melodious memory to our ears.

Dad will try his hardest to make your seat
at the restaurant table present.
Gifts, he will try to buy with your ghostly advice.
Mom, could you come visit today, we will wonder.
Just a hug or a “be careful driving home” would be enough
this year. I promise, I will not grimace with your motherly
gaze, telling me to phone when I get home.

There will be no phone call at dawn for the rest of our breaths.

The moment all Downton Abbey fans have pined after for a year comes tonight!  I am so excited to see if Matthew and Mary will get married and what will happen to Mr. Bates and Anna.  Yah!  And the presence of Shirley MacLaine is going to be stellar!   No more waiting, kids! 🙂

I love Judy Garland– what a beautiful voice, and sadly, a tragic life– gone entirely too soon. Enjoy! 🙂

Possibly one of the most beautiful versions I have ever heard of “Auld Lang Syne” (by Mairi Campbell).

Ugh, driving to Indiana today– so hard to go there without my mom alive. So weird to see all of her belongings there still and my sister, dad, and I trying to carry on without her. We manage, though.

I think I am ready to go back to work– have been quite productive around the house organizing things. Toodles. 🙂

This Year….

As 2012 brought the most significant and annihilating loss of my life, I have made a promise to myself to live life to the fullest every day, surround myself with positive, encouraging people, and choose to be happy.  In return, I will offer those things to the world around me, daily.  My mother always told me to be happy, and that it was my choice.  Therefore, I have decided to let go of the vindictiveness that I have allowed to sit next to me in my life:  loss.  My mother would shoot me if she knew I was pining for her daily and dealing with life like a coward.  I am lucky, so lucky in fact to have people that love me, and encourage me to be happy, and to have had my mother’s great love for thirty-one years of my life. 

I took some mental days off from the world, and I think that they have done me very well.  Just yesterday I cross stitched a wren for my dad and made my friend Molly a kelly green yoga skirt.  Yeah… now, I am going to reorganize my living quarters, so, that my husband has some room for himself.  🙂 

Was going to go visit my sister, dad, and friend today back in Indiana, but decided to just do that tomorrow for the day.  We shall see if my dad is ready to go through my mom’s belongings because it is really tearing him a part to see them daily.  He is doing as good as can be expected, though. 

Alright, going to shower now, and continue my forget-me-not cross stitch and re-watch Downtown Abbey season 2! 

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I love this picture of my mom– totally captures her fun-loving spirit. Like mother, like daughter, I suppose.

 

So, as my mother’s journey with cancer will soon end, I look at her still as a heroine– she fought her hardest and endured so much along the way.  I will miss her more than words can even articulate, but I try to look at it from the most positive perspective that I mentally can.  She will always be my mother and best friend, but my heart will always be broken from the eventual loss.  Live life to the fullest and praise ever day upon which you awaken.

Rachael

Golden Home

for Mom

My mom saw her first wren

In the yellow toes of spring’s

Gleam; today is a breath

She may be denied tomorrow.

The crow tones his darkness

In the vernal sky, and we know

That shade.  Chartreuse limbs

Frame the sun with their

 

Vitality as a foulness attempts

To loom its wings.  The wren

Is fearless, and knows her place

Amongst the forget-me-nots’

Shocking petals.  She waits

With her golden home in mind.

My foot walks against greenery,

Trying to photograph our journey

Through another blessed day.  We

 

Held a torch to hope; a candle

That will soon dim, but not

To memory.  The wren melodiously

Hums from my window—tulip

Petals leaning toward their

Seasonal demise.  I see the crow

Flow through the night, but

I know my breath will continue

When you have perched upon

Your golden home.