Birthday package from Tanta Sandy
These days are full. Full to the brim. Full of my children's smiles and giggles and my desire to make things normal for them. Nothing will even be normal again. I remember after Dad died my friend Gail telling me that I needed to create a new normal. Right now that means not busting a gut crying when that feeling washes over me. Which is perhaps a million times per day when all those ordinary~precious memories of mom and dad and my mother-in-law wash over me. Because doesn't one loss make your soul awaken to the other losses? My tears fuel Lauren's tender heart and I want her to find that door and open it on her own, not just because mom is crying.
Yep, kinda weird. Even weirder....it's real human hair. Tanta Sandy works in the beauty supply distribution world and receiving "Sabrina" might be the greatest thing to ever happen to my children. This is a head used by beauty school students to practice on.
They promptly got down to business. They could do this for hours. We had to work out the kinks. There was a great deal of fighting. I asked Evan if he wanted one for his birthday. He said yes. "A boy one."
Evan requested I take his picture. Which pretty much never happens.
Yesterday Evan and I spent a good thirty minutes are more in the "big tub." We talked. We laughed. We got reacquainted with one another. If there is one thing life can do, if you let it, it's get in the way of connection with your children. Laundry, bathing, eating, homework.....all these life tasks can rob you of the relationship. They wear you down and take away the joy of motherhood. If you let it.
A soak in the big tub was what we needed. Evan noticed towels in the bathroom that have been on the towel bar for a year or longer. I told him Grandma bought them for me. He said, "Grandma died." Yep. "But she is in my heart." Yep. I told him that I thought she was in Heaven with Grandpa Tom. "Grandpa Tom is my heart too." Yep. I asked him what I thought she was doing in Heaven. "Drinking coffee." Yep. Maybe. My children have never met my Dad. He died when I was 31. (11 years ago this month) Yet, they speak of him as if they knew him. That is a testament to the stories my Mom told the kids. We keep him alive, her alive through the retelling of stories.
Hummus and a Hudson Bay Blanket....
Later we retired to the couch and beanbag for a movie. I am proud to show you the Hudson Bay blanket that was recently gifted to me from my Great Aunt Ruth. It's wool. It's crazy warm. I'm insanely crazy about it. I love wool and it dosn't make me itch. Great Aunt Ruth just turned 80. This blanket was purchased by HER parents (George and Luella) on a trip to Canada when they were first married. (I could burst with happiness at being the recipient of such a gift!)
Today we went to lunch at Houlihan's. That was the spot Mom and I took the kids all the time after many errands accomplished. They have a $3.99 kids menu that includes carrots and ranch, an entree, a side and drink and a scoop of ice cream with chocolate sauce and a home made cookie! Best bargain in town. (And many options that aren't just the typical kid menu junk food!)
I had many more moments of not breaking down. I saw a mother and daughter having lunch with a new baby. I didn't want to cry over that. I had Mom with me every step of that new journey. That journey of becoming a mother. Thankfully. Blessedly thankful. Cherished and exquisite memories. I GOT THAT! I HAD THAT! I DID THAT! Never enough time. Always thinking of the future and what will be missed. Well screw you (who is you? I don't know.....the Universe? God? Cancer?) you can't take that. I HAD THAT.
When I dress good I feel good. Hands down classic cure-all for me. Today's ensemble included: vintage plaid thrifted skirt, thrifted leopard print shoes, ribbed cranberry colored tights and Mom's vintage cape from Austria. (well, it's really Great Aunt Ruth's from her trip to Austria but I just went ahead and took that sweet baby from Mom's closet.) It's what Mom would have wanted. I am wearing it with such love and appreciation.
I took one look at Evan's crazy hair today and realized he hasn't had a haircut since my sister took him to JCP in August for a free haircut. He looked like a fool. I wish I had the ability to "grow out" his hair and let his potential curls come in. But in the meantime the homeless child look doesn't bide well with my O.C.D./A.D.D.
My friend and fellow blogger commented on my blog that I am "doing the hard things" as one of our favorite bloggers, Glennon Melton of Momastery says. All day long that was in my head almost as a chant, a mantra...DO THE HARD THINGS. And right now the hard things equal simple living. Feeling drenched to the skin with the grief. My heart feels encased. But I just keep doing the hard things. Someday this won't be this hard. I think of Mom in the days/months after Dad died. She did the hard things. We don't have a choice. We must feel it to get through it. Get to the other side. Mom did. We will too.