Posts Tagged ‘home’

Love you well deserve


“You both
have so much energy,”
a mom told my husband
as she watched him and me
play with our boys
at the playground
a few weeks ago.

“Yeah, well,
we have fun,”
he replied.

I was saddened
by the exchange,
but not sure why.

I kept stepping.

“It really looks
like you’re having fun
with your kids!” a cashier
told me and my husband
a few days later.
“It’s sweet.”

(“It just comes naturally
to my husband,” I should’ve said,
but didn’t.)

“My mom really
had fun with me
and my siblings,”
I said, smiling.

I was saddened
by the exchange,
but not sure why.

I kept stepping.

Last week,
someone told
my husband that
our seven-year-old
is just the sweetest.

“He said, ‘You can tell which
kids are so, so very loved,’
my husband relayed. Read more…

At home in New Orleans

On Tuesday, I landed in New Orleans.

I was greeted there by a good friend I’d never yet met in person.

(That happens with blogging. When you’ve already met in heart and mind, the physical meeting isn’t really the first meeting.)

Lisha picked me up outside the airport. We chatted comfortably as she took me on a two-hour tour of her beloved city.


Read more…

Weekend Coffee Share: My sister’s lovely snores

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you why you were out and about so late. I’d explain that I’ve only slipped out briefly while my younger sister, Rache (aka “Silver Star“), sleeps on my couch. She’ll be headed back home almost as soon as she arrived, but the quickness of her trip doesn’t change the warmth left in its wake. Home feels even more like home when filled by traces of certain loved ones’ presence, I’d say with the hint of a smile, already looking forward to hearing my sister’s snores for a few more hours.

I’d tell you how we didn’t do much, and about how very perfect was our laziness. I’d say we slept only in alternating fits on Friday nights, talking through most of Unfriended and Cinderella, and laugh when saying I made it through only ten minutes of Avengers: Age of Ultron before taking a late-night nap. Me, sleep through a superhero movie and stay awake for Cinderella?! I wouldn’t have believed it myself, had I not been there, done that! Read more…

music and love

times past
bled together yesterday
at the skilled
of music

i was 14 years ago,
sweeping my mom’s room
while listening to
sarah mclachlan’s
“i will remember you”
over and over and over again
so i could remember it
and sing it well
for my silver star
at my last karaoke night with her,
my last night in oregon
before moving to los angeles
on a greyhound bus Read more…

The End: We Will Carry You with Us

When I visited home to tell my mom I was pregnant in early 2009, she mentioned some troubling health problems.

In July 2009, my siblings and I learned our mom was dying.

Click here for The During, part 4,
or here for the why of these posts.

July 23, 2009

What had me going at 20% usual speed after I hung up the phone with Rache was reflections on loss. I feel like I lost my mom several years ago, so I didn’t think it was possible to feel greater sorrow on that front. But hearing that physical death may also be imminent, it’s clear there are degrees of loss. Intellectually, I understand that there’s very little hope my mom as she existed while I grew up could be regained. Apparently, though, my heart has been holding onto hope that there might be some movement that direction. With physical death, what once was and what is now are all wrapped up neatly and concluded, with no chance of semi-happy endings.

This excerpt was from a letter I sent my dear friend Mackenzie soon after hearing Mom very likely had cancer.

July 23, 2009

Now, It can’t Rain All the Time. It’s a good evening for melancholy in music. That was so even before I began exchanging text messages with Rache. Now I’m contemplating those messages and the state of mom’s health, which till yesterday I had assumed was fine, physically. Read more…

Weekend Coffee Share: Dragonfly destinations

If we were having coffee today, I’d enjoy the smell of your coffee while sipping on my own sparkling water. I’d toy with the idea of buying myself a cuppa before quietly reminding myself how anxious I feel after having even the slightest bit of that tantalizing nectar.


I’d tell you about the weekdays first. There were a few lowlights, but those’ve already slipped my memory. The biggest thing about the week–what I really remember–is how hugely a small schedule change impacted me. That little bit more time I got to spend at home instead of the office daily left me feeling something surprisingly unfamiliar: like I could breathe and really settle into home, instead of just rushing around doing things there. I’d smile while telling you that it’s good to have seventeen-month-old Littler J back in the car with me while I drive to and from work.

He stayed at home with his dad over the summer, so I missed his chatter. Sometimes he howls because he’s signing something to me, something I can’t see because I’m focused on the freeway in front of me. I ask him if he could use his voice instead of his hands to tell me what he wants, while also not wanting to rush him too much. I love how he talks with his hands. Yesterday, I’d exclaim, he realized he could put words together: that baby plus cat means “kitten!”

I’d tell you it’s been surprisingly healing posting journal entries about coming to terms with my mom’s mental illness over the course of about two decades. I’d tell you how the bitter taste in my mouth eased as I reread all those journal entries from a very different place than where I wrote them. I remembered so much frustration when I thought back on those days that I thought I must have been cruel as I actually walked through them. Revisiting the entries revealed that though I was frustrated by the circumstances, I was still very full of love I wished I could make my mom feel. Seeing the discrepancy between the rage I remembered and the generally calm perseverance I showed lifted my heart. Read more…

The During, part 3: Treatment beyond Our Consent

Over and over and over again while my siblings and I struggled to get help for our mom, we were chastised for letting her go unhelped. It was the damndest thing.

People usually offered the admonishment gently, but one neighbor put it more bluntly when I ran into her at a garage sale. “It’s a shame you kids aren’t doing more for your mom!” she told me, scowling.

“You have no idea what we are or aren’t doing for her,” I replied curtly before walking away. My youngest sister, recalling this exchange a few days ago, said she was surprised I didn’t punch this neighbor in the face. I was, too.

She had no idea. But then again, it wasn’t so long before that I, too, had been clueless.

Click here for The During, part 2,
or here for the why of this all.

March 19, 2004

Last night was a night of missing.

I missed my mom most of all. I wanted to call her just to talk, to hear her voice, the one that used to make me laugh and feel all the things the world could be: wounded and beautiful, kind and angry, soft and harsh all at once. This was a voice that taught me wisdom, to really look at the world and try seeing it for what it is. I wished so much I could pick up the phone and call, but… even if I did, she probably wouldn’t answer. If she did answer, the voice would not have been the same that could have such soothing power when I was sick or hurting in younger days. Instead it’s a frantic, manic voice, bringing words that bear no relation to anything I’ve just said. She doesn’t listen, doesn’t know how, just speaks of conspiracies against her. I also told her how I felt, told her I can’t communicate with her till she seeks treatment, and I guess I have to be firm even on those nights where I want nothing more than my big, strong mommy to hold me and make the world be okay. Read more…

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