I'll Never Write a Novel

The Memoir of a Personal Essayist OR Confessions of a Theatre Widow

Sunday, January 13, 2008

There are no words...

I don't know why I am trying to blog about something there are no words for. Alas, my husband suggested, "You might want to blog today." It's something. I may erase this another day. But I need something to do, and others, strangers, are blogging about this very personal topic, so I might as well.

Yesterday afternoon my mom went home to be with God. I say it that way to remind myself that all the things of earth are temporary. Our eternal home is in heaven where all our loved ones are waiting for us along with the Lord who made us. I know my mom is in a perfect place where the earthly burdens have been lifted. She is all the best things about her. The gates swung wide as she got there and the celebration must be spectacular. I wish she was still celebrating with us, but I will have to be comforted by all the people who remember her so beautifully. She was my mom and my best friend. I had her for far too short a time. But I am so happy she got to meet my baby. I will always be grateful for that. She was the best grandmother I have ever seen and Little G was crazy about her. I mean it. She was totally in love with her-- and clearly it was mutual.

The last time I got to be with my mom she was watching The Babes and I came back to the house to find G sleeping on Mom's lap, happy as could be. I asked my mom if she wanted to do anything and I said I could take the baby. She sort of laughed and and said, "No." She was, as she would say, "in her glory" to be with the babies. And, she was. The two of them were so happy. I treasure that memory. I always will. I remember walking out of the house Mom sending me off, as she always did, saying she loved me, she's talk to me tomorrow, and to drive safely. I thought I would see her Friday afternoon. I talked to her on Thursday, and I even talked to her on Friday, about an hour before she had her stroke. We told one another that we loved each other, as we always did. She told me to bring "her girl" by any time. And I left my house with that intention. But she had a stroke and when I got to the house, I picked my dad up and we followed the ambulance to the hospital. My mom never woke up.

My Aunt Pat said, "We are all blessed to have known her. And we are all lost without her." While there are no words I can say to capture these feeling, but this went a long way. I am not sure I will ever be found.

My mom had the greatest capacity for love that I have ever known. She and my dad have a love that is truly transcendent. It is something special. When two became one on October 20, 1962, those weren't just word. I do not think of them as separate. Her love for her kids was evident, alive. She taught us to love and I hope we can keep up her gift to us. This is a woman who LOVED being a grandmother. It was a miracle. There were lots of miracles. And we all loved her. Endlessly. This wouldn't hurt so badly right now had we not had it so good. If the kind of love we have had is a trade off for the pain now, I think it's worth the price. I think.

I am not doing this justice, so I will just stop. My only final thought is that my niece Maggie and I have coined the phrase, WWRRD, or What Would Rie Rie Do? (Rie Rie is her grandma name). If I live my life answering that question I know I will be on the right track.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

2007, I hardly knew ye

I've seen this survey on a lot of my favorite blogs lately, and I guess I thought I might give it a go. It's pretty long, and I may not have answers for some, well at least not interesting ones. And looking at the questions, I have to say that my year is like a before and after. There is one life before the Little G, and a new life after. So, here goes.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
Everything was new in 2007! I Gave birth, flew while pregnant, lived in NYC, changed my child's diaper, lost baby weight, soothed a crying child, wept with joy at my baby, rang in the year a stone's throw from Time's Square.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make resolutions in 2007 (I normally don't), but I am sticking to my 2008 resolutions.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
So very many people close to me gave birth, most essentially me on April 29. Also, my sister-in-law, Sonja, gave birth to Ellie. Two months later our good family friend, Rosalie ,gave birth to Ivan. Then, two of my best friends, Kathryn and Raina, gave birth to babies within 10 days of one another, Oliver and Nhyia, respectively. I might even be forgetting people.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not in 2007
5. What countries did you visit?
I don't remember leaving the country.
6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Obviously, April 29, 2007, will forever be etched in my mind. Greatest day in my life to date.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Well, not to be redundant, I gave birth, in a tub, at The Birthing Inn, with no drugs, on April 29. I started with contractions at about 10 a.m., got to the Birthing Inn at 2:10 p.m., and had The Babes by 3:56 p.m.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Any that I didn't learn from.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was in a constant state of physical change in all of 2007, and I am still getting back to stasis.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
A sofa. How comfy! I didn't have one for the first seven or so months of my pregnancy. It was a religious experience getting one.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My child's. She is a miracle.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
While I am often appalled by the selfishness of people, I try not to get depressed by it. The celebrity machine makes me sick.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Most of my money goes to the basics: food, shelter, the baby, etc. There were a couple splurges.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Would you like to make a guess? Having a baby is the greatest anticipation. And, I got really excited about Christmas!
16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
It will take me a little while to digest which ones ring most specific for this year. Tiana put "Baby I'm Yours" on a CD of baby songs. It became my lullaby in the beginning and that song will always stick with me. Oooh, and I think Kanye West's "Stronger" will always sound like 2007.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) happier b) thinner c) about the same
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I didn't get nearly enough sleep, but I am not ready to give that time back. Pray. Keep in better touch with friends.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Watch TV.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
I had the best Christmas ever. I spent Christmas Eve with the in-law side of the family and it was glorious. Christmas day was with my family, surrounded by the whole crew, while it snowed. It felt so right to have three stockings at the fireplace this year. We have always been meant to be more than a two stocking family.
21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
I fell in love with my husband all over again, and I fell in love with my child more every day.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
I watch too much TV, so I have a few favorites: LOST, Heroes, Colbert Report, How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, Ellen, Big Bang Theory, Scrubs, So You Think You Can Dance. Oh, boy I watch a lot of this crap.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don't really use that word.
24. What was the best book you read?
I read lots of baby books, and not very many books for pleasure. Embarrassing. Maybe "The Baby Whisperer."
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Always my husband.
26. What did you want and get?
A happy, healthy baby. A new sofa. Peace of mind. iPod touch.
27. What did you want and not get?
Bags of money falling from the sky.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Too hard to say.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I saw "West Side Story," and got to go backstage (first night away from Little G). I turned 30.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Less debt.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
32. What kept you sane?
My family.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Stephen Colbert, perhaps.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Human rights.
35. Who did you miss?
Lucy, my niece, who passed away at three and a half months. I have a new found understanding of the loss as a mom now.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Oh, I don't know, my baby.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
"And Hope Does Not Dissapoint..."
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Baby, I'm yours. And I'll be yours till the stars fall from the skies. Yours until the poets run out of rhymes."

There you have it. A huge year summed up in simple questions. Well, close enough.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Magic of Language

Some might call me a word nerd. Maybe I am.

My husband laughs at me because I like puns and plays on words. It's simple and so am I. Here are a couple of funnies that caught my eye as of late:

1. A client wrote to me the other day suggesting that they had several parts to cast in a video. He writes, "I wanted to give you a heads up so that you could start thinking about who might fit these rolls..." I always like a potato rosemary. That's just me. Depends on the meal.

2. It's old news but last month Seattle launched the South Lake Union Trolley. It makes me giggle. Let me help you out with this one if you are, as yet, unfamiliar

S outh
L ake
U nion
T rolley

3. On the same day that the SLUT began taking be taking people for a ride, Chicago got big sports news. With my mind now already in the gutter, my brain was clearly elsewhere as the graphic came up to tease to sports. The sound was down, so I didn't know what they were talking about. What would you think?

Chicago gets Fukudome

Now I would be mad if they tore down Wrigley Field to build something else, too. It might even make me want to call it an expletive. It seemed like this might be the Chicagoan derogatory term for a new stadium, and the anchors totally said "Slut" earlier. Are they really saying, "Fuk-U-Dome?" (not really swearing here for anyone following resolutions). So, they come back from commercial and I turn up the volume. Turns out the Cubs just got a new ballplayer. He's from Japan. His name is pronounced Fa-koo-do-may. Ahhhh.

Cleaning out the dirty parts of my brain, but leaving all the word nerdery.

* Tee hee hee. Blogger just spell checked the word "Fuk." Do you know what the top alternate is? Dirty.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Getting Better Every Day

Hello, All! And welcome to 2008. I took some time off to honor the holidays and I am back to be a better person in '08.

That is, in fact, my resolution. I know it kind of sounds like a cop out, but I intend to have concrete markers for this and to be resolute-- as a resolution might call me to be. Here are some things in store:

--I will be more personal in my interactions with loved ones. This involves finishing my thank you notes from Little G's presents, sending the birth announcements I ordered months ago, and making sure I write handwritten notes from time to time. I value these things so much in my life and want to share that with others.
--I will not be swearing anymore. Not that I think swearing makes someone a "bad person." It's just not right for me. Swearing often comes from an angry place with me. I don't want to be angry. If I am upset, it needs to get expressed differently. And I don't want The Babes growing up with a potty mouth.
--Donate more time and money to charitable causes. I have many causes I care about and want to be more involved with my church. This will happen more in '08
--I intend to live more simply. I don't need much. I need my family, my friends and the basics of life. I want to spend less $$$ so I can not be stressed about it. The stress takes away from the stuff that is ACTUALLY important.
--Take better care of myself. I plan to work out twice a week (at minimum), eat less junk, get more sleep (when Little G works her sleep business out), etc. Easier said than done.
--In addition to the items above I am committed to flossing. Yes, I said flossing. Every day. I heard somewhere that flossing can add years to your life. All the items above, and this pesky flossing business, are meant to ensure I long healthy life, to a ripe old age, so that I might fully enjoy all of the blessing and milestones of The G's life. I think I might be able to make it to a time where I could even see her grandchildren. Wouldn't that be cool?
--Pray more. This is at the core of who I am and what I value. I will go to church at least once a week and pray every day.
--Forgiveness. I want to be a more forgiving and peaceful person. This goes as much for forgiving myself as for forgiving others.
--Be nicer to my husband. He gets the brunt of my frustrations and it isn't warranted. We are a team and I choose him to be my other half for the rest of my life-- and clearly I plan for these to be long lives (he's already a good flosser). They should be joyful years and not anxious ones. I went to a wedding over the weekend and the sermon was about building a marriage on a strong foundation and loving one another fully. I get it.

Obviously there are a lot more elements, but this should be a good start.

I decided to close on the note about my sweet husband, as today is our ninth anniversary. Happy, happy day! I cannot believe I am old enough to have been married this long. Honestly, at the particular moment, I am so grateful to still be together and to still love him so very much. Marriage is hard. Anything worth having always is. We have certainly had our ups and downs, but now, more than ever, I am so happy we have been able to stick it out. He makes me who I am, and I am eternally blessed by and grateful for that.

Happy, happy day. Happy, happy year...