Category Archives: family

Figs and Fragments…

I stood at the oldest of my Celeste Fig trees and ate a few ripe figs, warm from the mid June sun. They were tasty, but precocious figs, by my estimation. Just last summer, my sister, Susan, settled the fig arrival conundrum…”They are usually ready around Byron’s birthday (July 10),” she declared and, for me, wrote in stone. But this year….hmmmm, not so? I cannot blame it on a warm winter; it snowed here in the deep Deep South. I don’t know the answer, but what I do know is that I will always think of Susan when I stand under my Celeste Fig tree and enjoy a fat warm fig in summer. It will be in the still of the morning when dragonflies are feasting and the sun is not too high or too hot… It will be a gift she has left me with. Although beautiful,  the memory accentuates this hole in my heart, this void in my life, these tears on my face…I am having one of those days…

It is a day in June, the month I knew would be my most difficult. We were both born in June. I was first by years, 1954, and she was second, 1958.  She, a Gemini, me, a Cancer…8 days apart on the calendar but constellations apart in personalities…the years and the differences were initial barriers we overcame and, eventually, turned into strengths; I suppose we became compliments of one another. Our relationship evolved, it took time and many trials but, as most families can confirm, there was always the bond of love and as you know, it conquers all.

It is “one of those days” for me, a day that you are familiar with  if you have lost someone you love, a day that pops up now and then…grief knocks at your door and will throughout time, uninvited and unexpected and I have decided, it is best to just let it in, to go with it. I will and I will feel better in a bit. It is very difficult to be without her, she grounded me and she loved me like only a sister can and I her…

I think something that brought on this wave of loneliness was a moment in my little chicken yard. I was in the exact spot I stood 3 months ago at 3 in the morning watching the full moon wane and mesmerized by the light it cast on the early spring growth, all the while, unbeknownst to me, my sister was passing, transitioning. I was there, in the same spot, yesterday in the late afternoon and my mother’s four o’clocks were open and had overtaken the fragrance of the outdoors. I stood there once again and I became so lonesome for her and my mother. Anyway, I am glad to have these strong and powerful moments, they force me to stop and just remember and to feel those feelings of love for her.

I don’t mean for this post to be a downer, it is just an expression of a basic human hurt that we all experience. For me, writing and remembering help to pull me along. I feel better now. For the most part, her memory is a beautiful expression in my heart but now and then, my heart hurts. I have learned to just go with it and after a few tears (and sometimes words), I feel better…

p.s. I watched the Secret Life of Bees late last night. 

 

p.s….I do not know where you are on your spiritual journey but for me, I look to Nature for many answers and signs. A week after Susan passed, a female cardinal came to my window and she has visited many times since. Right after I posted this blogpost, she came again…

"How did that happen?"

Life is very different for me now. I wake up on a Saturday morning and I am not scrambling a dozen eggs and juicing OJ; I am making coffee and writing. They are gone, far away gone, from Colorado to the Cresent City. Elizabeth is still here, finishing up the last hoorah but on this Saturday morning she is in Lafayette taking SAT – something she needs to move her on. “On”, will be far away too, it seems. Next year, they really will be all gone. Hmmmm. It is a strange, but good, feeling, kind of mellow.
 The first thing I ask myself on this morning of semi isolation is “How did I do that?” I cannot conceive of waking up to five kids every morning and getting this house in motion. It seems my instinct of survival has blocked that from my memory – too much to absorb, too much to think about? Funny about life, we go through passages almost blindly, doing what we need to do without question and then later, look back and say just what I have said, “ How did I get through that?’ I am not making this declaration in a negative light, it was great, it was magical, it was fulfilling; I just don’t know how I managed to see about all of those people.I’m really not a multi tasker kind of person – I am very, very laid back. I do remember cooking – alot. I also remember the seemingly endless pile of clothes in the laundry room.Honestly, I thought I would live my entire life in that room – forever!  And I do remember the conscious decision to put away my paintbox for those years. I realized early on that that would cause me frustration – to begin a piece and have to go deep into the night to finish it – not worth it. Instead, I think those years and my children gave me inspiration and I think they will manifest themselves in my art – it was the right decision for me.

Anyway, it is early November and I have the day to do as I please – this is a very new deal for me. I am going to enjoy this little piece of freedom for sure but I will always miss my busy home when they all were here and my day was filled with the most important activity of all, being “mom”.

I think of a quote by Jackie Kennedy and hope that I somewhat hit the target, but more than that, I hope they all know I tried my best on that one chance I got ,  just as all of you are…

” If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.”
just a favorite pic taken on the 100 year old carousel at City Park in New Orleans  – a month before Elizabeth lost her grandmother, my wonderful mom. She was there on the little bench watching Elizabeth go around and around, each time waving as though the first time – this was a very difficult passage for me as “mom”…still is

 

So, whatever your stage in life is, I hope you are trying your best – no one is perfect, but everyone can be the best “them” (most of the time :)).
b u
p s

rising above it all

Easter… over. It was a good day, a blessed day…
 Church, a place I had not seen the inside of in several months. It was good, I spoke to God and He was there. I fall short, however – I continue to notice the hypocrisy – it is so pervasive for me, however and it is challenging to rise above it. It is my inability. I know God; I just don’t know about this “organized” religion thing (for me).
 Family – always great to reconnect with them. Of course, there is the aching absence of grandparents that somewhat prevails but, so goes the circle of life – round and round, picking up and dropping off.
 Bunnies – chocolate ones with hollow ears that take me back and make me fat (corny collection of words, but I had to), a faint memory of 5 live bunnies for each of my children from an foggy (literally) Easter morning long ago  , and a make believe bunny that showed up yesterday – fun.
All and all, it was a good day – a day directed by the right intention.
b u
p s

rising above it

Easter… over. It was a good day –
Church, a place I had not seen the inside of in several months. It was good, I spoke to God and He was there. The catholic hypocrisy is so pervasive for me, however and it is challenging to rise above it, I just don’t know about this “organized” religion thing (for me).
 Family – always great to reconnect with them. Of course, there is the aching absence of grandparents that somewhat prevails but, so goes the circle of life – round and round, picking up and dropping off.
Bunnies – chocolate ones with hollow ears that take me back and make me fat (corny collection of words, but I had to), a faint memory of 5 live bunnies for each of my children from an foggy (literally) Easter morning long ago  , and a make believe bunny that showed up yesterday – fun.
All and all, it was a good day – a day spent with the right intention.

unloading

I have I a new laptop – this one is just for me and I plan to tote it around and, hopefully, catch most of my thoughts that travel through my head each day and exit each evening – never making it to fruition. Someone. someone very young, on our faculty died  unexpectedly this week and I, once again, understand how temporary and sudden life is.I have taken a long time to unload baggage that is surplus and societal . I continue to do so hoping to get to my core soon. It is so freeing to let so many unnecessary worldly things drop and walk away from. I find myself putting value only in intangibles – imagine the free space that gives me! I wrestle with anxious emotions still but I am working on that – more faith is needed here. Anyway, writing my thoughts down in syntax, caring for my family, planting potatoes, preparing healthy food and a twenty minute nap in a room with an open window is what I hope this day brings for me.
b u
p s