Saturday, January 28, 2012


 The vase came in last week and they mounted it on the vault. You can barely see it but it is a cross shaped vase on all four sides. It wasn't until I got away that I realized I did not get a good picture of the vase. I was enamored with the fact that I could sit on my grandmother's tombstone  and rest my feet on my son's vault. I don't think she would mind. :) Three times up there and I'm just now figuring out how to make myself comfortable! Red geraniums please me to no end, even if they are just silk.

 Don't know if you can see it but my grandmother's name was Loyal. Seems like a fitting place for me to be a sitting. My husband took this photo for me. He took it about five times before he got it like I wanted it. We were unusually patient with each other. He doesn't usually participate in my artsy-fartsy escapades.

I have realized with great sadness that I don't have a recent picture of just me and my son together. Neither one of us liked having our picture taken and both of us were very crafty at avoiding having our picture taken. Now, thanks to our silly stubbornness, I suppose this one will have to do.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Right Regrets?

I forget I can blog from my phone! Such fun! I was going to put this up on Friday but I was too busy at work to be playing around with such stuff!

This was the first calendar page I saw on my first day back to work. December 13th was the day of the funeral. Today I spent some time writing thank you notes for when I was in the hospital and for the funeral stuff. My husband and I did split up the funeral notes but he has been done all of his (I don't think that grammar is quite correct). 

I thought I liked this little saying but now I am not so sure. 

What are "right regrets"?

(Time for me to get back to writing thank you notes.)

I miss him so much...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Poetry Talk

Some of you may not be aware of it, but back in the day, when I first started getting on the internet, I found a little poetry writing group and we had lots of fun writing and critiquing our poems. A few of my poems were published in a few online poetry zines (none were really big or impressive). When the group sort of fell apart, I learned about blogs and started this blog.

Today I decided to check on the Leisure Learning classes at our university and there is a course called "Journaling the Poetic Experience: A Beginner's Entry into Poetry Writing." I think I might sign up for the course (and hope enough people sign up for the class to "make"). It's scary to me because, like with my blog, not very many people in my day to day life, no about this side of me. And this class is being held where I work, being taught by a teacher from the English department. Yikes!

Anyway, I was at work with no access to my files on my laptop so I decided to google to see if I could find any of my poems still online (I could). There may have been five or six, but I was surprised at how several of them dealt with the subject of grief and mourning. This evening I checked my files and found this one. I barely remember writing it but I kind of like it now. And look! Tomorrow this poem will be ten years old.

Eternity’s Call

The old man always carried
his light from the lamp
through the halls of his life, sunshine
seeping through fingers like crumbs
in forest dank, golden markings
shared to guide poor souls
following who might hesitate
in the dark corners of living,
confused, and unsure.

When he reached his own dark room
at the end of the way,
through the window he saw stars,
twinkling like diamonds sprinkled
on blue jeweler’s velvet,
reminding him of the streetlights
coming on in his youth,
his nightly call to come home.

Miniscule specks of firefly light
beckon and tease.
Dimly, he can hear
eternity calling him home.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Strong Women Do Cry

I went Friday morning to do blood work for my primary care doctor's appointment. I did not have a copy of my orders so I had to sit and wait a few minutes for the receptionist to find the paperwork. I was a bit stressed at having to wait because I was afraid I was going to be late for work.

While I was sitting and waiting and watching all the other people go in ahead of me, tears started slipping out my eyes and down my face. It was like the whole last two months was washing over my brain and leaking out my eyes. I sniffled a few minutes and tried to keep anyone else from noticing. Finally, I got my "number" and was called in to have my blood drawn. I was still discreetly sniffling.

I sat down at the chair and saw that it would be more convenient for the blood lady to take blood from my right arm. But my left arm is the better arm for getting blood. And I had so recently had all that struggle at the hospital with them trying to draw blood and get medicine into me through my veins. I was fighting not to lose it. So I spoke up for myself and told her it would probably be better to use my left arm. Then I told her in the briefest and calmest way possible that I had been in the hospital in November, had surgery and came home and my son died and somehow this experience today just brought it all back and she didn't say much but she got me a couple of tissues and proceeded very gently to work on taking blood from my left arm while I mutter something to myself about how "they" said it would hit you at odd times and I just couldn't help it that "it" had hit me at this time.

Sometimes you don't want to tell your whole life story but you do want to get across that the reason you are upset and crying is not just that you are a big fat wuss about having your blood drawn.

I've been so strong through all of this. And I've told anyone who marvels at my strength that it is God's grace that is holding me up. 

My inner Pollyanna is often conflicted. She knows there will be brighter days but she can't deny the presence of all the misery that surrounds her these days. I'm working to convince her that it is not a negation of God's grace if we just sit down a little while and allow ourselves to shed a few tears without worrying about having to be strong and discreet in our mourning.

Monday, January 02, 2012


I go back to work tomorrow. I have thank you cards yet to write and I can't get myself motivated to do them. There has been so much kindness and thoughtfulness and I am very grateful, but I still feel a bit lost in the wilderness and can't get myself to sit down and write those notes. I'm embarrassed that I have not done them yet.

There are things I need to get done and worked out at work before I can schedule my second surgery.

I'd really like to crawl in a hole somewhere and hide for another month or two.

This is not the shape in which I thought I'd be entering into 2012. No, it's not.

I know things will get better, or easier, or both, but right now things are tough.

It snowed the night before he died. This is the last text I received from him, with the simple caption of "snowman", as if I couldn't figure it out! Earlier, he'd told me he liked it up there and he was learning a lot.

It takes a lot for me to leave that cigarette in the snowman's mouth. It is a painful, embarrassing (and now public) reminder of lifestyle choices he made that I would never have approved of, choices that were way off the track of the things I had dreamed for him. But, on the other hand, he was so much more than just the painful, embarrassing and public crummy choices he made.

He had friends who loved him so much and who will miss him, friends who spoke of his good and kind heart, friends who could not save him, just like his mother couldn't save him. And he leaves the biggest, fattest hole in all our hearts.

I am grateful for my faith, that tells me he is at peace, that tells me there is hope for those of us who are continuing our journeys without him, grateful for healing that will come, though there will be scars.

Yesterday in church, we heard of another family who lost their son under similar circumstances. Such sadness. And another family was there with a son-in-law who has been in rehab and was out on a visitation pass. Such hope. I thought of all us mothers and family members who have such hopes and dreams for their sons and loved ones. Life can be such a bittersweet experience.