Monday, June 23, 2008

Poem for passing on

Last Summer, I wore black
For Cancer
Waking the dead was awaited.
My widows weeds left
Unboxed at the seasons change
Standing at attention
In the closet
Waiting for the hushed room
The rituals of passing and bereavement.
This summer began with a mother’s
Not a surprise but a slow slide
With a horrific degenerative monster.
Death here was embraced in the end
As a release.
But of late, passings have been sudden
Unanticipated. Witnessed.
Hearts ceasing to beat in an instant.
We are stunned. Unblacked.
I wore orange to a visitation
Waking the dead in what I was wearing
To live.
No time to prepare for the grief.
Instead a room filled with surprise
Our stunned, dazed looks
Searching for answers.
Is this change connected to our
Grief in a world at war,
Endlessly battling terror and no
More at peace for the effort?
Are too many of our hearts broken
For lack of goodness?
And must the good among us
Depart so suddenly?
I cannot say for certain
If it is better to go when the body
Is eaten away by black cells grown awry,
Or preferable to pass in the middle of a sentence.
I do know that for those of us
Left on this side,
Neither option is desireable
In a season when all is growing and green
And flowering.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

At last, hubby comes home!

While you were gone….

The dog ate 6 Barbies, Barbies Dog,and Ken, a My Scene Doll, a batting glove, the garbage can, two dog food bins, the rabbit food bin and all the food in it, a bowl of guacamole, three stuffed animals, three faces of stuffed animals leaving the bodies behind to traumatize the owner, one wooden garden clog, the padded strap of a backpack, a leather leash, and he tipped over the trash and spread it at least once a day. There was more, but I have blocked it out.

We traversed a spring soccer season, a baseball and a softball season. Mercifully, you will see the championship baseball game and softball goes on forever so you can stand outside and cheer. So many transitions and celebrations and there was one missing and we all felt it so keenly.

You never know the big space you take up in everyone's life til you step out of your place for a long enough while to be missed. To be needed. It is a Wonderful Life.

WELCOME HOME HONEY. Isn’t it great to be needed and appreciated?

I honor all the women of the world who have to keep doing this every week, whose husbands are not home yet, who have no husbands, whose husbands will never return.
5 Weeks and I am off the deep end. How do y’all manage????

Friday, June 6, 2008

poem found while cleaning out my purse

Mothers Day 2008

We have never been good
At Hallmark Holidays
The Supposed To Ones.
In this family,
We are skilled
in the obscure
the Take it on the fly
the Off the beaten path
Days of Awe and celebration.
The Junk Food Buffet
Superbowl Sunday holiday.
More mainstream
We do do
Matzo and Passover
Ham and Easter.
Holidays for us
Need Special Foods
Need Rituals and tradition
Acknowledgement and gratitude.
And then again
Following the herd
Is not our cup of tea.
So today we have no
Overblown floral arrangements
Or four dollar cards with
Electronic Voices.
No jacked up brunches
With weak mimosas.
Just a simple awareness
Of Spring
And Time passing.
A Mother is a Mother
Even on her day:
Do your homework,
Clean your room,
Stop annoying your sister,
Take a shower,
Don’t waste water,
Be a good person,
No, mother has no day off
For good behavior.
Because building the next generation
Is a full three shifter.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Week 4 as a Single mom

I hath not blogg-ed for many a day. Pour quoi?
Well my husband rode off into the sunrise on May 5th to go work for 5 weeks in the middle of nowhere in Iowa. I did not realize there were places in the continental US without cell service, but when I need to vent he is conveniently out of bars….I count myself lucky—he is not on a 15 month tour in Iraq and he is the one doing all of the shooting (photography) on the job. But when you have built a life and a schedule with two drivers and responsible (for the most part) adults and are suddenly down to one, the pins start coming out of the chassis and you start falling off the road. In the last week, basically our life backed over me. It began when the cat went into renal decay and needed to go to the animal emergency room and spend the weekend in kitty intensive care. I said I would never put needles in my pets, and how many times do I need to learn from the universe that we all in life need to do things we never would do and we do them because the alternative is worse. So I am stocked with Sub Q fluids and she is eating again. The wonderful puppy we adopted turns out to have an anxiety disorder that we are fighting with two kinds of medication, an animal behaviorist (shrink for dogs) and daily training and desensitization sessions. Luckily, having a kid with obsessive compulsive disorder is good training for working with neurotic dogs. I had him neutered so I could send him to doggy daycare, and now he is taking out our knees and all the china with the Elizabethan collar. I called in reserve troops to help me make it through—Grandma and Grandpa from New York arrived just in time to see the piano recital, spring soccer, baseball, softball and ballet recital. We were gearing up for the 8th grade graduation and Grandma fell on the sidewalk and bashed herself up a bit. So mornings begin with meds for kitty, dog, grandma and I start eyeing the whisky bottle as a pick me up in the coffee—which I have to keep buying since after getting everyone out the door in the morning I realize I have spaced breakfast again. I am supposed to be taking care of myself but I can’t even remember who I am, I am so busy getting things done. I will get drunk and have a nervous breakdown when I have the time……..

Today I had to handle an IEP meeting by myself. A lonely place but it went really well. I hate being Cassandra. I see the future sometimes and its not me being negative. I have been through enough that bad things don’t scare me, and unlike many, I have not found avoidance and denial to be a particular useful coping strategy. I am strong, I can take it, I face it head on and contingency plan.

The hardest thing is never having any time to hear myself think, to sit down and sip a coffee, to have a meaningful conversation, to read a novel. I think of all the single moms I have known and I am in awe. I will grow accustomed to this, I know, but the learning curve is steep and none too pleasant. I salute you solo moms!