Monday, July 14, 2014

Baby, Baby

Dear Son,
I know it's very hard for you to see your wife not feeling well, but know that what she's going through is completely normal. Her hormones are going crazy right now, and she's exhausted, but before you know it, she'll be over the morning sickness and she'll be feeling a lot more energetic. The baby is running the show right now, but things will settle down in a few weeks or so.

You two will be wonderful parents! You're both smart, sensitive people and you'll figure it all out. I know it all seems pretty daunting, but you'll be ok. I can't wait to be a gramma!

Take it all one step at a time, and ask for help any time.  

Love you!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Ying and Yang

Ying. Yang. What exactly do those two words mean?

Independently, nothing. Together? That's another story. Life definitely includes ying and yang.

One aspect of life might be truly joyful--the announcement of an impending birth--ying.

The loss of a relationship or friendship--yang.

Am I off-base or do I have it right?
The ying and yang of life: the joy and sorrow of life.

Well, that's what I think.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Lost Child

I have lost my child...not to illness or violence, but nonetheless, she is lost. I have lost my child for reasons that I have yet to uncover. I have joined the ranks of parents whose children are "alienated." I never thought that word would ever be uttered in the context of my family. It is a word that carries with it tremendous pain and sorrow.

It began nearly a year ago when she stopped returning my phone calls on the weekend. (For a long time I was reluctant to leave my house because I enjoyed those calls so much that I didn't want to risk missing one.  At times, they would last for at least an hour.) Then she stopped emailing me. I clung to the occasional three or four-word texts, but soon those stopped too. The final text I received was one where she told me she would not see me. She chastised me for thinking I could stop the embargo on communication she imposed. It is up to her, not me, when the relationship will resume, she told me in a harsh tone that I have never heard from her before. I worry that it will never resume.

Would I feel better if I knew the reason she has chosen not to have a relationship with me? Perhaps that would be worse.

She says that this is temporary. She needs "space." Isn't that what you tell your spouse or your boyfriend when you're about to break up? There is already a huge amount of space between us now. She lives on the west coast and I live on the east coast.

I have lost my child.


If the only way you could communicate with someone you cared about was through snailmail and you were only allowed to write 2 to 3 sentences, what would you say?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gobble, Gobble

Oh, Thanksgiving. You are an interesting animal.

This holiday for me never seems to be the same from one time to the next, but, there is a common theme: gather together to share a meal with others. For me, who those "others" are has changed over the years.

When I was a child, it was all about the aunts and uncles. Every year, Johnny and Marie would come to my mother's for Thanksgiving. These two were, in today's terms, morbidly obese. To get through the door, they would have to turn sideways...something we children used to giggle about. What we didn't giggle about was the food they would bring. My brother loved rolls, so Marie would whip up two dozen rolls and bring them for the meal. My brother was in heaven.

My Uncle Jim (a bachelor) would come too. He was half-baked by the time he got to my mother's, but that was part of his charm (to us kids, not to my mother). When he sat down to eat, it was as if the rest of the world disappeared. He would concentrate on the meal as if he had never eaten before. He loved the food immensely. He never brought food, but he would always reach into his pockets and hand us whatever coins or dollar bills he might have.

And then there was my Aunt Sis. She was single all her life and was very close to my mother. Because of their closeness, we were treated as little princes and princesses. She would bring pies and cookies like you've never seen before. She always made sure to bring something that each of us would enjoy. She never failed on that goal!

Even when we lived in a tiny house, they would all show up and enjoy the meal. Afterwards, the women would stay in the kitchen and wash the dishes while the men would gather in the living room and "watch" television. Actually, what they did was watch about five minutes worth of television and then fall soundly asleep and snore loud enough to wake the dead. It's funny, but I miss that part of the routine.

When I grew up, Thanksgiving was focused on my own spouse and children. Even when the family no longer included my spouse, my in-laws continued to come to Thanksgiving dinner. At the time, I thought it strange, but now I see that it was a way to stay in touch with the children and maintain a sense of family. I never thought I would, but I miss them.

Now that the in-laws are gone and the children are far-flung, I now spend Thanksgiving with people who are not my family.

There were the British friends who never had occasion to celebrate Thanksgiving. We laughed when they brought kumquats to share. We didn't expect that!

There were the single women who are either raising children alone or who have no children. I have a special bond with these folks.

There are the people with whom I would otherwise never share a meal but who wanted to share a meal and had no where else to go.

This year, the day was spent with a family, but they were not my own. I saw that they rolled their eyes about their mother, as I did when my own mother was alive. They joked with each other and resurrected childhood memories. I got to sit back and laugh at how similar our families are.

Some of us clear the plate. Others of us refuse to eat the main course (turkey). Some of us demand vegetarian alternatives.

Gobble, gobble, gobble.

Although it has changed, I enjoy it no matter who comes to share my table.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tell me I didn't just do that...

Drove downtown to take a book back to the public library.

Found a parking spot right in front of the building.

Walked across the street with the book in hand.

Ambled over to the drop-box and noticed there was ketchup smeared all over the box. How rude, I thought.

Opened the box and dropped the book...into the trash can! Oh, crap.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Vows Made the Day

After some discussion, my son and his fiance decided to say vows at their wedding. It was truly a powerful period of the evening. When my son finished saying his vows, the wedding attendees exclaimed, "ahhhh." The bride paused between each of her vows and took a long breath, as if she were holding back tears. The attendees cheered when she finished.

"It was the right thing to do," my son later confided. It made the evening.