The truest definition of me

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The Earth enveloped the roots,

held them close in its embrace,

and nourished the growth of new life.

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 We placed our memories,

written in black ink,

and surrounded those roots with our love,

our cherished memories

and our hope for, one day, reuniting with those we have lost.

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 Each new leaf,

green with the promise of perpetuation,

reminds us that life goes on

and that we must find the joy and not the sadness

in the days in which we live.

***

We finally had the chance to place the rocks around my mom’s memorial tree yesterday.  After a lovely, and filling, brunch my family and I gathered around the tree I planted in my mom’s memory and we placed the river rocks etched with words that represented what friends and family remembered about her.  The best part of this moment is that is was not a somber occasion but a time filled with meaningful memories of a wonderful woman.  It was a brief juncture in our day where we could remember the happy times and not be plagued with the sadness and the sense of loss.

I cannot think of a better tribute for Mother’s Day.  My mom would be happy to know that we are able to embrace the multitude of wonderful moments we had in our lives and not focus on the fact that she was not able to be here to help us celebrate.  The power of what she was in lives is more than enough to compensate for the reality that she not physically here.

Her memory and the many lessons she taught will continue to exist within us.   Her love grows with each hug we give our family and our friends and we do her justice by continuing to live each day as if she were still here and covertly guiding our every move.

She would want us to be happy.  She would urge us to sacrifice ourselves for the things we believe in, the things we truly want, and she would tell us to never give up.  I can hear her voice in my head saying “if it’s worth having, it’s worth fighting for”.

I would move the Earth and the Sun to have her here for one more day but I will live each day contented by the fact that she resides in my heart.  Her voice is strong in my ears and her determination flows in my veins.

I am my mother’s daughter and I celebrate the fact that there is no stronger definition of me.

Happy Mother’s Day

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mom-holding-baby

She birthed me and swaddled me,

she showered me with love.

Her arms always embraced me,

they fit me like a glove.

Her words were the only ones,

that could help to heal my scars.

Hers was the only light,

that would comfort me in the dark.

She woke me up to play with me,

she laughed at all my jokes.

She sang with me to old musicals,

although she couldn’t hold the notes.

Her faith in my abilities,

has stood the test of time.

She’s the portrait of what a mother should be,

and I’m glad that she is mine.

So, here’s to you, mom, on this special day,

my love for you has no end.

You’re my giver of life, my confidant,

and will always be my best friend.

And though my wishes are sent further today,

into a world I am unable to touch.

I know you hear my words of love

and they will forever mean just as much.

***

I wrote this two years ago when my mom was still alive and added the last stanza in her memory. The words today ring just as true as they did then. I hope she is planting her heavenly garden and the sun is shining on her face.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms.

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When the past sneaks up to greet you

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It is a very rare occurrence when my emotions take me by surprise.  I am usually fairly in tune with them and I can feel them bubbling gently below the surface.  But last night on my way home from work while driving past my mother’s old house, the same house I drive by every day on my way to work and again on my way home, the emotion stored within those walls hit me like a ton of bricks.   Last night I glanced at the house, as I do every time I follow that familiar road, and I burst into tears.

I don’t know where the tidal pool of emotion came from but suddenly I was flooded with images of moments that had become important memories in my life.  Christmases, birthdays, family gatherings and quiet nights spent as a family were at the forefront of my brain.  Lingering snapshots of magical kisses witnessed by only the walls upstairs slowly transformed themselves into moving pictures to replay those scenes.  That house, the building others would only see as walls and a roof, was my home.  It was the vessel that helped create and store some of the most precious moments of my life.

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Although there were many happy times, there were also moments of great sorrow.  Those walls echoed as I told my parents, hysterically through sobs, that my best friend had passed away in 2003.  That roof sheltered both my parents as they battled their illness and those walls protected them for as long as they could.  That structure that is a seemingly unnoticeable building to passers-by will forever have a large part of my history carved into its frame.

That architecture will always be a part of me.   Each time I drive by and take the time to trace the outlines of those walls there will always be an affinity to its design and purpose.  It is said that we need to let things go to be happier but I feel the need to embrace those things to stay connected.

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More than just brush strokes on a piece of wood

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I had forgotten

that freedom of imagination

was the best part of being a kid.

Time has marched on,

but memories of childhood still linger.

Tears were shed and wiped,

but the laughter still echoes

in the hallways of my mind.

A piece of wood,

a few hours of shared time by siblings

and memories captured

on a cedar shingle.

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These are the memories

I never want to lose.

The days of innocence,

painted on wood,

frozen in time.

A body at rest tends to fall into an exhausted coma

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I think I now moderately understand the mentality of a football player when their season comes to an end.  I have spent a great portion of my time planning a party that happened on Saturday night and now, the party has come and gone, and I feel like something is missing.

I love planning events.  I love paying attention to the smallest personalized details to make the experience memorable and let the person being celebrated feel how special they are by the little nuances that appear in the party’s finer points.IMG_0266Although the week leading up to the party had a few speed bumps, the party was a great success.  From the food choice and preparation, the slide show and the soundtrack of his past 50 years, my brother was able to celebrate his upcoming milestone with great friends and family and it was a great way to honor the special place he holds in all of our lives.

After spending the entire day in the kitchen, partying like a rock star until 3:30 in the morning, being the first up at 7:30 to prepare for breakfast and spending the next day cleaning the lodge, I came home, possibly had a little “hair of the dog” and watched the end of the Masters through barely opened eyes.  I poured myself into bed at 8:00 pm and slept solidly for 11 hours.

Physical exhaustion aside, I would do it all again next weekend!  Happy 50th Jamie…..you deserve every bit of fun that party had!

 

 

 

Keeping a piece of you with me

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butterfly

This pendant hangs around my neck,

a talisman of angelic proportion,

to be a gentle reminder of a life that once was.

This simple butterfly

holds the key to my beginning

and serves as a great source of comfort

when I feel like I am falling

into the abysmal chasm of grief.

For this charm holds a piece of you,

of each of you,

and I draw strength knowing that a part of you

will always be with me,

there to give me that sense of your presence

whenever I need it most.

Ashes to ashes

as yours are forever bound to the other.

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Taking a breather to chase some tail

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Now before your mind wanders into dangerous territory, I meant the Easter Bunny’s tail.  I am taking a brief hiatus from blogging this weekend to enjoy some much-needed R&R – Red wine and Rabbit (of the chocolate persuasion).

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Hopefully a few days of not pressuring myself to write every day will ease the feeling of having a deadline and coax back the enjoyment of the creative process that I seem to be missing.  This weekend signifies rebirth and I am taking the meaning of the holiday to heart.

I wish all of you a very Happy Easter weekend.  May your days be filled with the love of family and friends, and maybe a little bit of tail for good measure.  The chocolate….I meant the chocolate!