Home > Family, Love, Personal > all that messy love

all that messy love

While I slept,
my husband
wrote a post
that made me
smile and sigh,
upon awakening,
and think, “Damn it,
now I have to write
something this

The power of past
compels me!

Oh, that and
his words,


My mom
was a garage saler
and a Dumpster diver,
whose wares cluttered
our home for as long
as long as I can

She would sell some
at her garage sales
only to replace
everything sold
during the week
with new finds.

Navigating through
my childhood home
usually involved skill
and precision: sorting
out, as I maneuvered
with as light a step
as possible,
what treasures
(or horrors, like
rotten apples)
might be hidden
beneath what I
could see, and
dancing–as if
I had any grace–
over them so as to
neither break nor mar
anything especially
valuable, for which
there was not
nearly enough room
on our shelves.

Tables take up too much space.

Tables take up too much space, yo.

In protest of
both clutter and this
need for constant care
in (com)motion, I said “no” by
going spartan: for a time,
I kept in my room only a
radio. Some clothing
and my blankets, I
kept in my closet

(My godmother
laughed recently
when she told me
how my mom once
led her to my closed
bedroom door and
giggled before opening it:
“Look, Anna, she’s

How that
made me
giggle, too!)

I remember
that clutter, and
have tried–mostly
in vain, the last six
or seven years–to
keep my life free
from it.

I like
to travel
light, but still:

There are
some things
I can’t imagine
leaving behind.

The scraps of paper
my husband mentions
explain themselves, but
there are some things
that probably don’t
look worth having
carried with me
all these years.

The photos of my collection are gone, but my good friend Pieter Ponyking permitted me to use this photo to demonstrate (mis)use of other parts of my collection!

… and then I found friends, and they became part of that ponylight, too.

My Little Pony
collection reminds me
how very much fun I
could have/even
when things
seemed very dark,
I could save up
my pennies from
collected bottles
and ride a bus
out to the mall
to buy another
bright little
of life
the clutter,
chaos, and

My mom,
knowing this
about me, took to
collecting ponies for
me, and mailing them
to me well after
I graduated
from law school
as one way of showing me
she still thought of me,
no matter how far
away I was
in body;
no matter
how few words
she could find
to say it
just right.

Sharing my ponies
with my older son
has also been
one way
I’ve shared
my mom–
my beloved
Thunder Thighs
with him.

mom me n dShe died
when he was
only six months old,
so he will not remember
her directly, though I
will remember for
him how much
comfort she
found in

are part
of all

Each year,
on the anniversary
of my mom’s death,
I like to go out
and live.

“You’re honoring
her memory by …
going to Legoland?”
someone asked

When he told me this,
I gave him a look
that said, “It’s a
good thing they
asked you,
because I
might have
split them in half
with my laser beam
vision if they’d asked me!”

He shrugged,
and smiled.
I could envision
the comic-style
thought bubble
over his head:
“They don’t
need to know, hon.”

He knows
my mom’s life
was often hard, and he
knows her dream for me
was not that I achieve
superstardom, or
wealth unparalleled,
but that I be,
quite simply,

the purportedly
most magical place
on earth is
aggressively cheery,
challenging visitors to
this place is
quiet, calm pathways
through willowy trees,
numerous free play areas,
and the
abundantly shown,
gentle recognition
that you probably know
better what happiness
means to you than
does any
theme park.

I chose
there to celebrate
life, and my mom, this
particular year, and oh!


eatricerIt was
too magical
for words
or photos,
mostly, but
I did choose
a couple of
to capture:
a knight,
a sandbox,
a triceratops,
and–at the
of a day
well and

I surely
did enjoy
my visit, just as
surely as I enjoyed
seeing “MAR 04” and
knowing it to
be a very


as we began
the long drive
back home
having this life
and this family
and these ways,
and days, to weave
my mom
into now:
this joy,
this love,
this laughter,

for I honor my mom
not by being what
someone else
thinks most
but simply
by laughing
and meaning it.

park legoland

  1. March 5, 2016 at 7:23 am

    You’re a remarkable person, Deborah.
    It’s an honor to know you and a privilege to read your heartfelt, always moving work.
    Thank you.

  2. March 5, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Oh Hun…that’s just beautiful. So warm, and sprinkled with love from your mother to you. Thank You. I really really really enjoyed this.💜

    • March 5, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Thank you. It was such a treat to awaken early this morning and be nudged down this path by my husband’s words. I love getting to see more fully our family through its various members’ eyes. Happy Saturday. ♥

  3. March 6, 2016 at 6:09 am

    What a wonderful tribute to your mom and so heartfelt. I loved the pictures too!😊

    • March 6, 2016 at 6:13 am

      Thank you! I’m so glad for my husband’s lovely words prompting me down this unplanned post path. 🙂

  4. March 8, 2016 at 9:03 am

    I love this post. All she wanted was for you to be…quite simply happy. I love it.

  1. March 10, 2016 at 5:18 am

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