Oh, your Dad…

Hi Honey,

I almost forgot to tell you! Man, would you be mad if you were here and we’d forgotten…

I was in Atlanta last week at a meeting and I got a text from your Dad, Can You Talk? I let him know I was in the middle of the meeting but I could pull out if I had to. The response: Yes. WTH?! You know I’m not much of an alarmist, but I did have a few “I wonders…” run through my head in a split second.


So I call your Dad…

And he answers with “I’m fine and nothing is broken.” O. K. A. Y… He was in a motorcycle accident! An F150 hit him from behind as he was making a right turn onto another road. Took the bike out from underneath him, spun him around, sent his bike into the car waiting to turn onto the road he was just turning from. WHAT?! He did not hit his head, no scratch on his helmet. He landed on his right hip/butt cheek, smacked his leg and hit his elbow. Your poor Grandpa drove by the cleanup and recognized his son’s bike. I can’t imagine the heart in the throat he must have experienced.

He has a mighty bruise on his hip, that we figured out was actually from his belt connection that is on the bottom of his riding jacket. Weirdly, his phone, in the leg pocket of the jeans on the same side, is unscathed! He has a quarter sized hole in the inside of his rt elbow on the jacket. I finally saw the bruise on his elbow yesterday. It took a long time to surface. His knee is a little unstable, basically a bad strain. He had his follow up with his Dr today and he gave him some exercises to do to make sure all the micromuscles in the knee are going to heal correctly. The scrape on his ankle is almost gone. He did have a raspberry on his butt, basically in the design of jean fabric. That’s almost healed, too, though the jeans are in the trash.

And he’s fine.

And being your Dad, he was more worried about the driver of the truck than he was about himself. In the time it took for EMS to get there, he’d already talked to the driver, an Afghanistan vet with a leg amputation, and thanked him for his service. He got a little teary eye’d, as he was telling me about him. Your Dad has such a heart for vets.

The insurance is already almost processed, the bike is totaled, and your Dad, of course, is planning on the replacement…

And I’m trying to be OK with that…

And I’m just kinda not…

Had this been caused by an error in his judgment, we would be having an entirely different conversation, but it wasn’t. And it just pisses me off that as I think about this, my only avenues are 1. He gets a new bike and he maybe never has another accident again, or maybe he does and 2. If I pitch a fit and ask him not to ride again, he would do that for me, as he once did when the motorcyclist hit me when I was pregnant with your brother. But he would mourn it for the next 30 years and I would pay for that. Not in a “you did this to me” kind of way, but in an “I sure wish” kind of way. And I really hate being in that position, and I really hate that the hardship of that, and the anticipation of the weariness about would feel about that, weighs in this discussion at all.

As we talked through this, I told him I don’t have the capacity to understand his love of riding. There is nothing that I do, that endangers my future with him, in any way. And I can’t imagine I would ever chose the thing over the future. And yet… On the one hand is his love of motorcycles and on the other hand is a long term future, which I obviously know, my girl, is not guaranteed. And somehow, it’s OK with him that the hand with the bike in it wins. And I know it is in no way a diminishment of his love for me, but it feels a little bit like I’m not important enough. That his NEED to ride is more important than my NEED for him to be in once piece.

And then he wants to share his excitement with me as he shops for a new bike. And he wants my opinions and my ideas. And I just shut down a little bit, because I don’t want to go there, and he doesn’t realize what he’s asking of me, and he keeps talking.

But in the end, as I told him, it is not my decision to make, it is his. And he has to own that decision, even if, in my usual way, I make it easier for him, while making it harder for me, and I can just know that if nothing happens, I’ll have spent time worrying needlessly and if something does happen, all the worry in the world won’t change it. So, somehow, I’ll find myself, again. I’ll look away when he gets on the new bike, until I don’t have to look away anymore.

I will not live in fear, though I will visit an avenue in fear that I haven’t strolled on in a while.

Today, I am thankful that there is a helmet in the garage with not a scratch. I’m thankful it was your Dad who called me and not some first responder or your Grandpa. I’m thankful for insurance and a contrite driver who immediately accepted responsibility for an accident, served his country honorably, and was unhurt. I’m thankful that your Dad is tough. I’m thankful that I am secure in his love for me, even when his choices feel like I’m not important enough. I’m thankful that I can separate for a little bit, when something hurts my heart, knowing that I will return to the reality when my heart is a little safer, a little more protected. I’m thankful it is not my decision. I’m thankful that all of this, in the end, has nothing to do with me.

I am thankful for today!!

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LOVE. IS. EVERYTHING!

Hi Honey,

Today is Valentine’s Day. Remember how I used to get you and your little brother a giant Hershey’s Kiss for Valentine’s Day? Every year. Remember how Buttons found one on the floors (probably your brother’s) and ate a goodly amount of it? Oy!

Valentine’s Day and the innocence of love and hearts and chocolate was changed forever in 2011. That’s the year Valentine’s Day was replace with the day of, and then the anniversary of, your diagnosis with leukemia. It just doesn’t hold the same meaning, you know? And yet the whole of the US still sends Valentine’s every year, and chocolates, and roses, and Shari’s Berries! Don’t they know that Valentine’s Day has a bigger meaning, now? Did they miss the memo? Now it means love overflowing, but not Cupid love. It means hearts expanding, but not candy hearts. It means being loved and loving holds extra meaning! Love means everything, not just candy love and flower love and jewelry love. 

LOVE. IS. ALL. THERE. IS!! LOVE. IS. EVERYTHING!!

Today, this year, there is a new milestone. Today is the day that your love has been married longer to his new heart, than he was to you. You and he married 5 days after your diagnosis. When you gained your Angel wings, you had been married 20 months and one day. Today, he and Sarah have been married 20 months and 2 days. There are no coincidences in life, my Girl. This truth does not surprise me. I am so thankful for him and for her and for the life they are forging together. 

Your greatest struggle, during your battle with cancer, was your desire that he live a full and happy life, and to not be hurt by your battle. Really, your point was you fought to live so he would not have to experience the pain your death would bring him. You didn’t fight for you, you fought for him. You fought for your brother and your dad and for me, plus the rest of your friends and family, to protect us from pain. But mostly, you fought for him. I ran across a notebook of yours a few weeks ago, and amidst the grocery lists and medication checklists and doodles, was a request. “Mom & Dad, you have to take care of Logan if I don’t make it.” And the last thing your Dad said to you while you were still conscious, before you died, was “don’t worry, Honey, we’all take care of Logan.”

I know you know, but he did hurt when you died. He still does. But that’s OK. He only hurts because he also loves. And he found Sarah. Much like a lightening strike, they exploded into a relationship! They married 20 months and 2 days ago, and I am thankful.

I’m thankful he loved you with his whole heart. I’m thankful he has more than the capacity to love again. I’m thankful he, they, remain a part of our life. I’m thankful love doesn’t require us to be happy all the time. I honor my tears, his tears, our tears as we connect with you in spirit now, instead of in flesh.

And I’m thankful for more, on this Hallmark day of love. I’m thankful for your Dad, who loves me without reservation and with the comfort of a quick peck being enough today. I’m thankful for your little brother, the light in my heart. I’m thankful for EthelM pecan brittle arriving at his door tonight. I’m thankful that he has a new love today. He told me last week that he’d never had to plan Valentine’s Day before, because he’d never had a Valentine. 

And I’m thankful for you, Sweetheart. For your love and strength and vulnerability, for your commitment and perseverance and grace. I’m thankful you fought so hard, and I’m so very thankful you don’t have to fight ever again. I’m thankful so many things and dates and places fill my heart with you. While Valentine’s Day will never be a Hallmark day for me, ever again, it is a day that you are crisper in my mind, so I will take it.

I love you Angel Baby!

I’m thankful for today!!

Just Hi

Hi Honey,

Snow in Michigan is cold!! Brrr!!! Arrived this week with no luggage, which, even with all my years of travel, almost never happens. It was a bit like my luggage was on a home alone adventure! I’d planned for it, tagged it and passed it off to the right person, it just didn’t follow me! Luckily for me, for some reason I had 2 sweaters on! I knew it was going to be cold this week, so planned several layers, but usually, I don’t like to carry on a bunch of stuff so in the winter, I wear a light sweater and in the summer, I always have a pashmina, in case the air on the plane is cold, but bare bones! Thankfully, double sweaters!! Guess my luggage told my sweaters I would need them, since my luggage didn’t arrive until after midnight. No jaunts to see Lake Michigan!

Good week, lots of people I’d worked with in the past, so it was a comfortable training week. The hardest part about this week was not getting to bed at a decent hour! As in, I have to get up before 5, and lights out at 1:30! I’m like the worst rebel child when it comes to going to bed! I can just hear my inner 3 yr old saying, “but I’m not tired!” Guess I better fix that tonight!

Been spending a lot of time thinking about my trip to Tanzania 3 yrs ago. Man, Girl, next to walking with you through your cancer journey and you gaining angel wings, that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. In some ways it feels harder. And I did it so poorly. That’s probably why it still feels hard! I’ve never undertaken something, before, and simply not had the heart to see it through. Had I knot been a world away, I would have packed up my toys and gone home early! It would have been easier to take my heart out of my body and stamp it underfoot. At least that, going in, is consciously impossible. I’ve realized the shame I’ve been carrying around about that trip. My uselessness, my weakness, my neediness. The only thing I did useful on that trip was donate a lot of money and make paper cranes. And learn things about myself I didn’t want to know, and watch others do the hard, anyway!

But, in these last few weeks, I’ve been able to identify the shame, acknowledge it as my past truth, and ask it to take a bow out of my heart and mind and life. I’m not sure it ever served much purpose, except to highlight my arrogance, which was useful for me to recognize, but it certainly is not serving me any longer.

So today, I’m thankful for a broken heart, I’m thankful to recognize that I do have a threshold, over which I am not only reluctant to cross, but perhaps incapable. And that is just the way it is.

I’m thankful others are capable of crossing that threshold into the world of giving and helping and hard, hard work. I’m thankful for guilt and I’m thankful that guilt has served its purpose and is no longer required.

I’m thankful for sweaters and luggage delivery and comfortable work. I’m thankful for snow and crispy air and super thankful that I did not need to be outside in the frigid today!

I love you, I’m headed home…

I’m thankful for today!!

Ground Hogs Day

donut

Hi Jenny Renny!

This week was Ground Hogs Day. Or as your sister/cousin’s girls call it: Donut Day. Almost forgot to get a donut, but made a special trip to the store, just to sneak one in! I’m not sure how the donut tradition started. My sis, your Aunt, remembers the story about Grandma Smith making them on GHD when your Pops was a kid, so our family tradition goes back at least as far as that! It was so fun seeing all the family posts of donut enjoyment.

Your Marno did love her a donut! It seems fitting that Ground Hogs Day was the day I finally buckled down to do the final dispersement from her estate. I’ve been putting it off for months under the guise of it would take a chunk of time I just didn’t have. I realized, as I pulled out all the documents and the spread sheet I’d created to keep track of everything, that really, it was about finality. Marno gave you an Angel kiss from me almost 3 years ago now, but somehow, doing the final paperwork and writing the final dispersement checks from the estate puts a punctuation mark on her absence. Gotta admit, I cried a little bit. There’s tears when writing checks and then there’s tears when writing checks! Haha! My tears were sadness, missing, responsibility, resistance tears. But they were also thankful tears. And tears of sweet remembrance. And tears of awe, as I remember how your Marno and Pops chose to live their life, spend their money, raise their family and provide for the future.

And that damn Ground Hog says we’ve got 6 more weeks of winter coming!!! 😉

The rest of the week was a stay at home week, as in work at home, not work on the road! You were good at carving out time. Time to work, time to rest, time for friends, time for self, time to play. I’m not very good at that. For me, it’s either time to work or time to waste time! Anyway, I got a lot done this week, not just almost finished with Marno’s estate, but desk cleared, todo list sorted, one email box cleared, almost. (Are they ever cleared??) Oh, and laundry! Which also is never done!

I also spent some time this week checking in with my body. Had a chiropractor appointment. It’s been a year since my last bad back experience, and I realized I’ve spent much of the last few months in a not-good back space, so decided to start to really fix that. And then I slipped on the newly formed ice on the sidewalk and biffed it!! Such a klutz. Laughed at myself, like you always laughed at yourself when you got hurt. Then went back into the office to warn the little old man with his walker, and his wife, that the sidewalk was murderous and to be careful! Do you know what happened next? The chiropractor, a man I really just like, made the couple wait until he got a cup of salt, and then he walked out with them, in the freezing rain, sprinkling salt in front of them and making sure they got safely to the car. I think salt actually needs a little time to work, but the point was that he went out of his way to care for someone else. There are good people in the world, everywhere I look! That same night, we closed the store early, to get Team Members home as early as possible, as safely as possible. Posted on FB, so the information could make it out as far as possible. Lots of positive feedback, some disappointment, one angry guy that just doesn’t count. But, I can say, no injuries, no accidents and it’s just chicken!

This week, I’m feeling thankful, generally. Relearning how to talk to you is part of that, Sweetheart. I know my heart continues to commune with you, but I so miss sharing life with you and am finding that while talking to you in this way will never be the way it should be, it is better than not talking to you. You are so good about just allowing your peeps, including me, to express their heart, mind and spirit with simple acceptance. You never felt the need to fix someone else, and rarely offered advice, unless someone asked for it, then you always had great advice! I’m doing my best to learn from you, my sweet redheaded teacher! I continue to aspire to your presence and grace!

Today, I’m thankful for Ground Hogs and donuts, whatever Ground Hogs are!! I’m thankful for Marno and Pops. I’m thankful for gentlemen who care about others. I’m thankful for work to do and accomplishment and space to do what needs to be done. I’m thankful the estate paperwork is almost finished. I’m thankful Team Members got home safely in scary weather. I’m thankful biffing it was laughable, not disastrous. I’m thankful I continue to learn from your example, then and now.

I’m thankful for today!!

 

 

Hummingbird visit

Hi Honey,

Been missing you. I’m in Las Vegas this week. It’s surprisingly colder than I thought it would be. This is the desert, after all, but it maybe got to 45 today! Sunny, though, so beautiful. The mountains around the city got new snow the night before last and were so beautiful yesterday morning. This morning, too, but it was fresh, yesterday morning!!

I keep thinking about when you and I came here together, just the 2 of us. We stayed at Planet Hollywood and played the blackjack and poker machines in that one area! Using the card you bought so we’d know what to hold on and what to trade in. (I don’t think that’s the term… Haha!!) That’s my most precious memory of that trip! Using that dumb card to know what to do! Still lost money, but not much, so that’s OK. We walked miles and miles up and down the strip. Ate. I think we saw a show, but I don’t remember which one. It was way more fun to do Vegas with you than it was with your Dad a few years later. He doesn’t much participate in any of this, so while he was happy to follow along where I wanted to go, that’s not usually the point.

I’ve been catching myself being crabby again, so remembered that I needed to connect with you to let you know about the good things in life. The things I’m thankful for.

Yesterday, I had a pretty good break, so left to get some lunch and then came back to work, but sat in the car to read in some quiet for a little bit. It was nice enough to have a window open, so I enjoyed the fresh air. As I was reading a collection of Maeve Binchy’s short stories, I got buzzed by a hummingbird!! Hi Mama! I always, always think of your Marno when I see a hummer! She didn’t hang around long, and thankfully didn’t come in the window, but it was lovely to get a Marno drive by!hummingbird

I’m also thankful for sweet thoughts of you and your friends, today. On Monday, your girls represented you to Sigma Kappa in advance of their campus wide Bone Marrow Donor Drive at Colorado School of Mines. I heard they did great and were really able to make you real to the younger sisters presently active in the sorority. 90 girls!! I can’t wait to hear how well they do with their donor recruiting.

This week I’m thankful for happy Grand Opening energy, for too much circus at that self same GO! I’m thankful for time to do some stretching, some yoga, some reading. I’m thankful for a fellow Trainer to have dinner with. I’m thankful for beautiful snow on the mountains in the distance, and a fly-by from my Mama that buzzed my hair. I’m thankful to have lots of people this week that I know and like to work with. That’s always so nice. I’m thankful to get to talk to your brother each day as he’s getting his apartment all put together, including seeking advice from your Auntie. Fun to watch him make a home.

I love you, Sweetheart. I thought about you last week, too, as your sweet hubby called. He’s interviewing to pursue the ministry. I can hardly believe it. Feels strange and yet not otherworldly, for him. I think his sweet bride is really stretched, as she is supporting his searching and seeking and bouncing from idea to idea. Though, she is an idea bouncer, too, so I guess that works for them! I get to hug his little sister, soon, as she and her hubs are heading to Colorado for a vacation in May!! Can’t wait and feel so honored that she has sought out to connect with us on their limited time off. I love that girl!

Took a pause in my chatting with you to finish the work week and get home. The dogs were so happy to have me come home, late though it was. Your Mia girl is my sweet heart and so happy. Sophie rolled in me for a long time. I love how she just ducks her head and rolls into me. She’s going to get her touch in, even if I’m not participating. Mocha, the moose, is happy with her whole body and slamming into me is her way of making a happy greeting. Lacey Jane is beside herself with love as she waits her turn to touch. She looks like a little porcupine as she approaches in submission and love. She drops her head and pulls her back end into and almost under her body. And with her full winter coat, she looks just like a little black porcupine. Which always reminds me of the porcupine you and your Dad ate dinner with when you 2 were camping all those years ago. <3!!

So today, I’m thankful for a good work week. I’m thankful for meaningful work, where I can make a difference. I’m thankful for competent people to work with, and a process that gets everything done. I’m thankful for hummingbirds and porcupines and puppies. I’m thankful for deserts and mountains and fresh air. I’m thankful for the Bone Marrow Donor Registry and Mines’ stem cells and Sigma Kappa sorority sisters and lifelong friends of my girl. I’m thankful for you and the impact you continue to have on the world.

I’m thankful for today!!

Sparkly snow

Hi Girl!

You can’t see the rainbows in the frost in this picture but it was there. Sparkly snow! My favorite! Your sweet Mia wanted out front, first thing, like always. She loves the front yard, she always has! Ever since we trained her for you, she loved the front yard. The back, in that house, had a giant stair to the grass, so we always let her out the front. It’s like she’s come home, every time. I think it’s really just because she likes to poop in the front! Haha!

Today was sit through meetings day. ALL DAY! But so much discussed and sorted and meetings are where the decisions are made.

I also finished a note your Honey asked for. He wanted opinions. I gave them to him. Don’t ask if you don’t want to know… He and his bride are making a life but boy, it’s a struggle! They remind me of baby birds struggling to free themselves from the egg shell they’re surrounded in. Whacking away, not realizing that perhaps all they need to do is stretch their wings a little and go back to the basics. But that boy of yours! He’s certainly wired for struggle! 

Your brother is finally back in his own apt after being gone for a month, starting the day after he moved! You know him, he needs everything in place but it’s not there, yet, and he’s beginning to get crazy! Today, he struggled with injustice. The designer he is working with lit out after his assistant. He feels the wrong in that so acutely. He is so conscientious and kind that those kinds of things really hurt his heart, his sense of justice.

Today I’m thankful for frost and sparkles and Mia and her front yard penchant. I’m thankful for your brother’s heart and ways. I’m thankful your hubs has a wife who is willing to see his heart through the charm, because we both know his charm is just the icing. I’m thankful for people who work hard to keep our business moving forward. I’m thankful for you, my Angel Baby!

I’m thankful for today!!