Tuesday, June 17, 2014

No net

Today is a day I would call my mother if I could. This is the hardest part - not being able to pick up the phone and hear her voice.

For a lot of my life, my mother's mother was my safety net. She was the person I would call. I once dated a guy who was annoyed by my calls to my grandma. I knew that relationship wouldn't last long - and it didn't.

I called both my mother and grandma for advice. Sometimes I took it, sometimes I made my own decisions. But they were there for me to talk to.

After my divorce, I grew very close to my grandma. Grandpa had passed away and grandma said "we'll do this together." If I was lonely or sad or just needed to talk or to know she was there, I would call. I spoke with her several times a week.

After grandma died in December of 2006, I dreamt she called me - from heaven. (I don't recall if I've written about this before.)
Doug and I were at a party.
The butler came to me and said "madam, you have a telephone call."
Doug and I exchanged looks. Who could be calling me - at a location which was unknown to all? Why wouldn't anyone who knew me just call my cell?
The butler asked me to follow.
He led me to a dimly lit hall. To a table with one slender lamp which was lit. A drink - somewhat martini-ish looking, which had a green glow to it sat on the table. Somehow, I knew the drink was for me. A phone with many buttons sat on the table - one button lit with a green light flashed.
The butler said "push the button and you will be connected."
When I pushed the button I heard grandma's voice.
"Cheryl Kay?" (Grandma always called everyone she loved by their first and middle name.)
I was incredulous.  "Grandma???"
She laughed. "Yes, honey, it is me. I'm callin' you from heaven!"
I was blown away.
"Heaven? How is it?"
"oh, honey, it is about as wonderful as you can imagine. I don't even have the words to describe how wonderful it is here."
We chatted about this and that.
Then she asked "would you like to speak to grandpa?"
Grandpa? Would I!
Grandma said "he is right here, I'll put him on."
Then it was as if someone put the phone on a counter and I could hear sounds - something like what you would hear in a hospital or a nursing home. I stood with the phone to my ear and listened carefully.
Grandpa never picked up. I stood and listened for quite some time, reluctant to hang-up the phone and break the connection.
When I returned to Doug, he found my story hard to believe. I said "who knows I am here?"
We couldn't think of anyone. I shrugged and gave him a look.

When I woke from that dream, I felt so happy. I felt happy all day long, walking around with a big smile on my face.

Today, I have felt tired and sad. Today is a day I would call mother just to hear her voice. Just to hear the voice of someone I love and someone who loves me. Just to have that safety net.

Monday, April 28, 2014

What she wore

What she wore or Grandmas can be groovy, too.
It is spring and I survived winter!
I am in the process of dieting, so maybe this can be a before photo.
(More about my diet in a post to follow.)
Currently, I am working on re-losing the weight I gained while mother was ill.
 I joked while she was in Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis that I had about every flavor of smoothie Au Bon Pain makes, but it was almost the truth.
Don't you hate re-losing? I do.
I am a few pounds from being classified as overweight rather than obese.
Overweight just sounds better.
White jacket by Dressbarn.
Pink top by Coldwater Creek via the best of Goodwill, Vintage Vogue.
(Have you heard Coldwater Creek is going out of business?
I loved their store, but have to admit, I rarely bought anything from them.)
Heart necklace by Brighton.
Pink watch by Avon.
Jeans by Cato.
Sandals by Dansko.
Here is a shot from further back so you can see our big flowering tree.
I'm not certain - it may be a crab apple?
The blooms really look red but in this shot somehow it looks pinkish-purple.
Everything around is in bloom.
Thus the pink top - I wanted to be in bloom, too!
One of my gal pals refers to strawberry pink as my signature shade.
What is your signature shade?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Blue on blue

Spring has sprung so I was off to the salon for my Spring Pedi. The polish I chose was Finger Paints - Tiffany Impostor. In my case it was Toe Paints.

For most of the day, I had a great day today. I emailed a friend to tell her I felt as if I was coming out of a fog.

Then, driving home from my pedi, a melancholy mood settled over me. Once again I felt tearful. Last week was a rough week. I shed a lot of tears last week. Each time I feel I have cried enough, I find myself crying again. There are so many things that prick my heart and the tears well up in my mind. Easter was the first holiday since losing mother. On Easter Sunday I drove the two hours to my hometown. I met my dad at church. He still attends the church I grew up in - where I married my children's father, where my children were dedicated, where I took my children to church. Normally, when I walk into the sanctuary, the multitude of memories cause me to be overcome with emotion.  A while back the powers that be decided to remodel the sanctuary. Gone are the cobalt blue stained glass windows (there are no windows), and the pews have been replaced with chairs. The carpet is new, the walls were a putty brown with baby poop brown contrast. It is now more of a multi-purpose room. Therefore, no memories, no emotion. Part of me was relieved. I sat with my dad during the service.

After church, we went out to eat. Then we took my mother's black mustang convertible out for a spin. (A family member will soon inherit mother's car.) The day was beautiful, full of sunshine and warmth, the temperature hovering around 75 degrees. We drove through one of the most beautiful areas in Henry County - Blue River Valley. We drove out in the country and looked at the Big Blue River. After that, we drove east on state road 36 to Summit Lake State Park. State Road 36 took us to the homes of both of my grandparents. We drove out that road for visits with them nearly every Saturday when I was a girl.

Summit Lake State Park is a park where I would go to contemplate life, to camp with my son, a place where I spent a lot of wonderful, special times. Driving around the park made my heart ache.
After mother was unable to hike about, dad used to take mother to the park for rides and to see wildlife. He pointed out to me places where they saw deer and a skunk. When we got out of the car to take a short hike, dad pointed out where he pushed mother in her wheelchair on a trail. For both dad and I, this park was a special place.

When it was time to head back to my house, dad told me my visit meant more to him than I would ever know. He said "we made a memory today - someday we will look back on this and remember when we took mother's car out for a drive." Then he told me that ride may have been the last time he would drive mother's car.

Through losing mother, I have changed. I look at myself in the mirror and the eyes that look back are vacant. I look tired. I am tired.
In these few weeks which have seemed like an eternity to me, I have changed. I am trying to take it slower. I am trying to forgive myself. I am trying to look past ignorance and people who are self-absorbed. In the past, if someone did something bad, I would think jerk! Now, I feel sorry for them.

While trying to navigate life following this profound loss, I have also been struggling with feelings concerning another situation which hurt me greatly. The line between hurt and anger blurred. Where, when and how does that happen? Sometimes I feel that when I am hurt I are being a vulnerable and then when the anger takes over I feel stronger. I used to carry a card in my wallet that read: Refusing to forgive keeps you in the role of the victim. When I don't forgive, I am giving the one who caused the pain power over me. By forgiving them, I am in control of myself and my own happiness. I always try to look at experiences and see what I can learn from it. I try to be the bigger person. I also try to realize where the other person is coming from. I try to think about what is going on in their life and what are they reacting to? I often say "they will get theirs." I have seen this happen over and over. What you give out comes back to you. Holding on to hurt accomplishes nothing. Today, I let it go. In my heart, I forgave, and it felt wonderful. I felt the weight lift from me. I have enough pain to process due to mother's death without allowing other circumstances to cause more pain.

What are you carrying around inside of you? Who do you need to forgive?