It would be easier if…

my kids lived far apart.  If it took a plane ride or a road trip to get them together it would be easier to see them apart.  but it is not space, but choice, that is tearing our family down.  My kids grew up incredibly close.  less than 5 years separated the three of them, and our house was full of laughter and noise and tears and hugs….

They grew up and became adults.  Life got in the way and we had some ups and downs — but they had each other.  we had barbecues and family dinners.  Family vacations when all of us — 12 of us — stayed in one house for a week or more.  Boat trips and impromptu beerpong in the back yard.

But then it changed.  one of them has become joined to someone who has a power trip like non other.  And it has torn my kids apart.  Rarely do I get to see the 7 grandchildren together, to plan a party or a dinner and know they will all be here.  I miss it.  And, maybe it was inevitable, but it makes me sadder than I can say.

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chillin with Ava

Tonight I went to my son’s house and spent some time, just talking with my granddaughter.  We have seven grandchildren, blessings all, and I am fortunate that I get to see them each week, they have grown up surrounded by grammy and pop’s arms.

Tonight I needed some time with Ava.  It was a horrible day.  The air hung heavy with the killings of two black men, a friend of mine was arrested for a horrendous crime…..I felt dizzy and dark and so so sad.

But Ava and I went out and played with the fairy garden for a bit.  and then we went up to her room and looked in her treasure box and talked about life, and disney world and summer camp.  and nothing.  just talked about nothing.  And I was so happy that her world is still full of enough light that she can just do that.  Spin in her chair, make fun of my singing, and hug me with those wonderful little arms when I have to leave.

Thanking God tonight for my babies.  Praying that we can find a way to change this path our society seems to be running down.

 

drinking games

Parenthood.  When your kids are teens you don’t let them drink. you let them have a sip of wine on Thanksgiving, just to see what it tastes like, but you don’t let them drink.  their friends cant give you their keys and drink at your house, you don’t tell them “its OK as long as you don’t drive.” You don’t give them alcohol at the pre-prom dinner.

then they go to college.  You play beer pong and flip cup when they come home for holidays.  you buy silly shot glasses.  You call on their 21st. birthday to see if they are with someone you trust ( yeah, right). You pray they will call on Sunday morning so you will know that, at least for that weekend, they survived.

They graduate.  and they drink WAY too much.  You worry.  You give them the stink eye and count the beers in your refrigerator.  Nights when you should be asleep you sit and look at the clock waiting for the graduate — who has moved back home, to get home from whatever club they are at that night.  you pray they aren’t in Philadelphia.

Then, suddenly, they are thirty something.  They have a glass of wine, or a couple blue moons.  and then they stop.  They have kids, and spouses and jobs.  They share your love of a smooth shot of anisette or a nice bloody Mary.  and then they go about their day.

drinking games.  One of the rights of parenthood that no one ever tells you about.

She’s in

mom is in the Assisted Living home.  She has a sweet little apartment, complete with refrigerator and microwave, coffee pot and toaster. And most of her beautiful stuff, her antique desk and her grandmother’s rocker were the first pieces of furniture we brought in.  I had them all set up before she came into her room.  It made her smile, and I like to think, gave her a sense of home.

I am left to clean up the mess that was her home.  whenever you walked into moms it was dark.  Since I was a child she avoided turning on lights in the house.  her home always looked neat and tidy.  When we began to ready her move and I had to open drawers and cupboards I found out that she has kept every piece of paper to enter that house since dad died over 5 years ago, along with a multitude of bills etc. from when he was alive.  And, among these bills, checks, receipts and contracts, I found no less than 15 letters and notes   where she detailed a variety of wrongs my brother and I had done to her.  Hateful notes full of self pity and accusations of neglect and anger.  Not one, not ONE of them spoke of her great grandchildren, or her grandchildren.  Of visits to dads grave, or shopping trips or Christmas meals.  None of them spoke of her sorrow at dads passing or her memories of their past together.  Each was a scathing hit at one of us, or dad. She kept one from 1956 that she wrote to dad, a private note between a young wife and her husband, full of hatred and threats.  And they were scattered throughout her troves of papers.  You couldn’t miss them, and, for all except one dated October 2012 and the one written to my father, you couldn’t tell when they were written.  And even if now she doesn’t remember they are there — if her fog is that deep— when she wrote them, when she placed them in with these papers, she knew we would find them  .  She wrote them to cause us pain. We were meant to find them after she died, when we couldn’t confront them or her, when we couldn’t question her or dispute.  She wrote them to cause us pain.  What a pitiful, angry life.

And a lesson for me to surround myself in gratitude and joy and let the anger and pain roll off. It is just cruel to cause pain to those who love you — and to do it when it is too late for them to make it right.

I have accepted

that I am part of the “sandwich” generation.  However, right now I am about out of peanut butter and this whole “caretaker” roll is getting stale.  So self involved, I know, but, I’m exhausted.

waxing so not poetic

I’m sure the site is bursting with Mother’s Day musings.  Emotionally packed tributes to children, sad accounts of the phone call that didn’t come, hopes for a brighter future.

This is not one of them.  Oh, this is  about Mother’s Day, but it may be a little off sync…

Mother’s Day is not about presents. But, I always get gifts.Some years I have been inundated with handprint pictures and potted geraniums.  Some years the gang banded together and presented me with gift certificates and Hallmark’s best.  A few years back it was a plethora of gym bags/clothes/socks….

But this year was one of those years that demonstrates just how in tune  our kids are with George’s and my life.  Its a transition time for us, moving mom into assisted living, selling our home to our youngest, looking for a small place to live up here.

AND THE BEACHHOUSE.

Our dream — always — has been to own a beach place.  Originally it was supposed to be in Cape Hatteras.  My happy place, the place I call home — where I spent weeks on end growing up.  But, its a bit far from the “homestead” where, for now at least, all of our children live within a 10 mile radius.

So, we are doing it.  We are in process of buying a second  home, at the beach, in Virginia.

And, after the phone calls, the facebook messages, the memories of Mother’s Day past…they showed up yesterday, bearing gifts.  A beach mug for my cups of coffee on the deck, two toss pillows — adorned with sea horse and blue crab, a lighthouse wall hanging, our Initial for the door, and a tropical plant.

They get it.  After the teen years, full of angst and self involvement, after the toddler years where their physical and emotional needs could overpower — they adult up on me and find tangible ways to tell us they get it.

loved and bless, that’s this girl.

spirits and wishes

I have a dear friend who lost her son to heroin three Christmas’ ago.  He had been fighting addiction for years — good kid, good family, bad drug, terrible ending.  Tonight she posted on facebook that she received a gift from a friend to attend a medium’s performance today.  Posted a picture of her and her 3 friends, all mothers of lost children, smiling, you could see the hope in their eyes.

And I realized, once again, how blessed and lucky I am. Today I saw all three of my kids. Hugged and spoke with all 7 of my grandchildren.  Saw my kids with their chosen partners, in love.

But for the grace…you know the rest.  I get to hold my children, all three of them.  Love them, argue with them, buy them things, make them things.  cook for them.  My friend visits the grave, fights the good fight, works to make a difference for other families.  Mourns and misses her son every minute of every day.

I really hope she heard from Ty through the medium.  I hope he told her he was fine, living the good life on the other side, clean and clear headed, watching his siblings and his dog and her and his dad fight the war on drugs. I really hope she had the sensation of a warm hug from her son.  One more time.

will it ever Really end?

March is tough on me.  March 9 years ago my world fell apart.  But, its nine years ago.  things are better — so much better.  there is no tangible, recognizable remnant of the hell that time represented in our lives.  and yet, March rolls around and I tense up.  My stomach hurts, my anxiety rears its head and I worry.  I call way too often, stretch for reasons to check in….consider medication…or a strong martini….

Will it ever end?  How long does this veil stay over the joy that Spring should bring?

unraveled

I’m not sure if I have shared this on this blog, but I am a knitter…I spend more hours than anyone knows spinning wool, knitting blankets, hats, gloves, sweaters, scarfs…and socks.  My kids love my socks.  My husband has a pair that he wears every time he shovels snow or goes hunting.  The grandbabies  have left a trail of socks in every car, house or store they have ever visited.

This morning I was one toe away from finishing a pair of beautiful eyelet pattern pink socks for my oldest.  Score.  Finished by Valentines Day.  Fire in the woodstove, steaming mug of coffee on the table, handspun and knit blanket on my lap, all snug in my pride that these were going to be finished on the day I had promised myself they would be.  And then I saw it. Or should I say, them.  What were these holes next to the twist?  Where did they come from.  A little digging and I figured out that  somewhere around the bottom of the leg, where it hits the beginning of the heel and instep, I had become all dyslexic and yarned over before the knit one, instead of between two knit ones.  Hence, several inches of misplaced eyelets, RIGHT ON THE FRONT OF THE SOCK.  I may have been able to convince myself to “let it go” had it been over the heel, maybe she would never look at the back of her foot and notice….Or, had I been newer in my knitting obsession and afraid that if I ripped it out I’d never actually make it again, I might have told myself that it looked deliberate, funky and was an artistic statement 🙂 .

But, not today. Today I sighed once and began to “ribbit”.  pulled stitch after stitch out, smiled a little when I hit the spot where the pink sock ran into the blue top cuff — and they disassociated themselves beautifully — and cast on 40 stitches, joined, careful not to twist, and began the 4 row eyelet pattern.  Again.

And because knitting is always about more than, well, just knitting, I thought a bit about the metaphor of this experience…An eye for perfection, a desire to let things slide, knowing full well that I can’t, the ability to back up, rip out and begin again.  Yup, pretty much describes me…

So what is the next holiday that would warrant a pair of nice pink socks for my oldest???? Mother’s Day!  oh, that means I have to knit a pair for the youngest too…..IMG_20160129_223138202 (1)