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The Ungreen Thumb

I’m a black thumb gardener, but I try. In fact I have a compost heap. It’s a big bucket with a lid that breathes that we bought from the county. I’ve had it two years and it’s just about full. Nothing is decomposing. Everything in it is in its original condition. I guess I need something more than the tool I bought to break up the pile. This too came from the county. What I need is a huge food processor. Or Big Foot.

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Zumba

I’ve always loved to dance. Mom was a singer/dancer and if one of the “big bands” came on the radio and you were home, you were dancing. She led. Didn’t matter if it was dad or someone else, she led. You learned to waltz at an early age and to charleston and jitterbug. Sister, Jo Ann listened to country music and we danced to that while doing our Saturday cleaning. My thing was rhythm and blues–Fats Domino, Little Richard, Haley’s Comet. But my husband can’t dance anymore, the kids are gone living their own lives, and the dogs don’t want to learn. Then Lynn, our Curves owner, added Zumba to our gym two times a week. It is so much fun!! You dance a minute and then work on one of the machines a minute. Let me tell you, it is a workout. The group attending is growing. What a sight we must be. Older women in their harem skirts (oh these are scarves with bangles we wear around our middles and shake to the music.) dancing with the young instructor who smiles at us and our whooping. Love it, Love it!!

Missing You

I miss your face, your voice, your laughter. I miss the me in you. Every night when bedtime arrives, I put my knee pillow between my legs, get into a fetal position, give old Button ear cuddles and tummy pats, then perform my memory ritual.

I crawl into your hospital bed, put my cheek to yours, comb your hair with my fingers and tell you: you are my precious baby girl and I love you with all my heart and soul. This is the scenario when I held you the day before you died.

I miss your voice, your laughter, your wonderful sense of humor. I miss your face. I’d do anything, absolutely anything, if I could be with you again. Oh, Mimi.

If you haven’t read this book, you must. I read it ten years ago and am reading it again. Kingsolver’s insight in the human condition and motherhood is astounding. “A mother’s body remembers her babies–the folds of soft flesh, the softly furred cap against her nose. Each child has its own entreaties to body and soul, but it’s the last one though, that overtakes you.”

This mother, Orleanna, has lost her youngest to a green mamba snake. “…But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after–oh, that’s love by a different name. …instead you rock by the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams.” If you have been reading my  blog, you know I’ve lost my baby girl and so I can relate to this wonderful impassioned story.

Barbara Kingsolver is an amazing author and one you should get to know.

Excerpt from The Photograph

Claire grabbed the largest suitcase from the trunk of her mother’s car; her mother pulled out the smaller one. “Can you handle that?” Louise Thompson looked around the parking area as if a bellhop would appear. The lot was empty of life. She closed the trunk and smashed the button on her key fob twice to make sure the Lincoln was indeed locked.
Claire’s face beamed with excitement. Her grin was wide, her eyes taking in the panorama of campus, of grounds, of ivy covered walls that her imagination made up for the lack of. This was the Keene, New Hampshire University Campus—a host of buildings placed here and there in an asundry of directions—a chaotic bloom of academic pursuit. A warm breeze kissed her cheeks, and above it all, a horizon of cloudless, blue sky. A week late because of her father’s medical emergency, the school kindly allowed her to begin her freshman year. She would have no problem making up the week, the Dean had told them. After all, she was attending on an academic scholarship having skipped her senior high school year altogether. Advanced Placement exams in her junior year, and high scores in CLEP exams taken last spring had won her the scholarship and early attendance. Claire wouldn’t turn seventeen until October.

Mimi

Your beloved voice is gone
your laughter and your hope.
I miss you so,
I’m not sure I can cope.
Your sweet caress,
tight and lingering just
makes it hard to
know you’re gone and adjust.
I see your face
each night at my pillow,
my cheekbones yours,
my sweet willow.
You are gone now,
and if your faith proves true,
it won’t be long
before I’ll be with you.

My Beloved Little Girl

Oh my beloved,
I miss the sound of your voice,
Your strong tight caress,
The kiss on my lips.
I miss your laughter as much
As your smile so bright.
You glowed, my sweet dear.
You are my heart, and I cry.

She’s Gone

She’s gone.
I crawled up into her bed, stroked her hair, whispered in her ear, and ran my cheek across hers. I told her she was my baby girl and I loved her with all my heart and soul.
She mouthed a breathless, “I love you, Mom.”
She’s gone.
Just like that.
A whisper and a breath and done–gone.

The funeral procession lasted what seemed an eternity. So loved, so missed, so irreplaceable, people told us–employers, friends.
The small chapel was overflowing with criers.
My baby girl is gone.

A Thought.

I have two malti-poos, brother and sister. Mollie is widdle at six pounds. Widdle is not a typo because that is what she is. Sammy Jr. is eight pounds and a real macho male. He’s not the least bit widdle. He’s a true lover–of food he downs in seconds, his owner’s lap he remains in for hours, his sister’s face that he licks clean, his walks which he performs with exaggerated dignity. But Mollie, oh my Mollie, is excited just to see me. She jumps two feet in the air and grabs a bite of my t-shirt to say “Hello, Mom. I wuv u.”

Forgiveness

If cleanliness is next to godliness, forgiveness is the real thing–God-ness. Anguish produces nasty bedfellows–the kind that assault your positive intentions and turn your pain to innuendos. Malice replaces fear of death. Blame is passed around like a snack for anyone hungry for fortification of blind belief.

When accosted with tactics of terrible debasement we must not just consider the source, but also the tragedy faced. “Judge and you shall be judged.” But that isn’t important to me. I don’t judge. I just love hope and care.