November 6th, 2009

The Letter to My Mother

I am not sure if you have heard of the Mother Letter Project. It has been around since 2007. The founder of the project is helping Lichinga, Mozambique. You can help make a difference too. If you have a need for some inspiration or support, take an afternoon and read some of them www.motherletter.com. There is even a book compiling them published around Mother’s Day. What an awesome gift.

So two years later, I have finally discovered it. Ironically, I stumbled across it on my brother’s birthday. And now I struggle to write it on the anniversary of his death. I must say I wrote this letter without really thinking my mom would ever see it. I submitted it on the Mother Letter Project site. I am not sure I would have the courage to give it to her or how she would feel about it. But, I love her immensely and here is why….

Mother,

Twenty six years ago you lost your son. As a young girl, I observed the discord and depression in your life. The way you and daddy cried and prayed. I felt you left me somewhere back there. Not intentionally, of course. You couldn’t bear to be close to someone, not ever again. You continued through life with a heavy weight on your shoulder that you couldn’t shrug off. You rarely spent time with a friend. You hid inside yourself. But, most days you smiled. Until I had my own son, I never realized how hard it was for you to smile.

The day my son was born, I cried so hard. Not because of joy, but because of your sadness, that I finally felt. I do not go a day in my life without missing my brother or being amazed at the fact that you faced every day whether you wanted to or not. I feel a special connection growing between you and your grandson. Thank you for embracing him. Mostly, thank you, for showing me that a person can continue to live even after one of the most important things you had to live for was gone. You are an inspiration.

Your Daughter

September 22nd, 2009

Pilot

I haven’t been blogging much recently. Here is one of the reasons.

Meet Pilot, the newest member of our family. No it’s not a horse. Pilot is a Great Pyrenees, Border Collie mix. He was kicked out of a car near a school bus stop in Kentucky. Apparently, he waited around 3 days for his owners to return. Some of the neighbors weren’t happy about his hanging around and threatened to shoot him. Luckily, a rescue group in Indy was notified and they picked him up. They named him Pilot because he was trying to drive the car home. He is about one year old. Huge already at 65 pounds. Since he’s a mix they say he won’t get to be as big as the pure bred Great Pyrenees. But, he will be close to 90 pounds when he is full grown. He is sweet and gentle. Loves laps, kids and cats. We found him online through petfinder.com. The best thing about rescue dogs is that they are normally fostered in a home. So their temperament is able to be matched to a perfect home. And he is a perfect fit for our home, with just enough puppy left in him to enjoy. My floors are looking cleaner than ever, but we are missing a few pairs of shoes and one too many of the kids toys. But, after all he’s been through, who could blame him? I think we’ll keep him and help him work through it!

August 17th, 2009

Letter to our dog

Dear Jake,

I am writing this letter to let you know how loved you were. It is part memoriam and part therapy, to subdue my guilty conscience for neglecting you when Olivia and Ian came into this world.

I don’t have many memories from your first seven years of life. You were raised by your daddy who was single at the time. But, oh what a life you had.

My first memory of you is you trying to get into the bed when your daddy and I were dating. Your daddy was against it, but I couldn’t resist. I let you make your place between us, under the covers, head on the pillow.

You swam in the ocean daily, went to work with daddy and traveled far and wide. He was happy to share his left over steak and never hesitated to stop at Wendy’s to get you a BK Broiler. He was careful not to feed it to you before hanging out the window to cool. I chastised him for feeding you this way, but now I am glad you had that experience. Dog food looks awful.

When your daddy asked me to marry him, I was really concerned about how well you would get along with your new siblings. Kitties seemed to be more of a menu item than companions. You proved me right the first night. You cornered them immediately. I will never forget Tangy’s face upon your first introduction. Fear of you ruled their lives until the very end. They won’t admit it, but I am sure they miss you. Although, I am sure they don’t miss the baby gate that separated you guys for the last seven years.

Because you always lived in apartments, daddy took you to the park many times a day. That all changed when we had a house, the backyard became your playground. And you hated using it for your bathroom, tiptoeing around the edge so you wouldn’t step in the previous deposit. How I wish daddy would have kept up with that better.

Then I went ahead and had babies. What an evil woman I was. Poor guy. Your life changed so drastically. Within one year you had two kitties and one little girl to contend with. We had to keep you from sleeping with us to make room for her. She discovered you and poked and prodded you endlessly. Your growls let it be known, you were already too old for this.

We got you a puppy so you could have a friend and so he might teach you kitties can be fun. Instead, he chewed the house up, jumped on you, ate your food and took more attention from you. What a trooper you were. I can only think you were relieved, when we had to ship him off. He nearly broke your back he got so big. And he got into too much trouble. That was something you never were.

You figured out shortly after I moved in, that I was the one to follow for treats and attention. You never stopped trying for more attention. I’d go outside, you’d go outside. I’d come in, you’d come in. You had to learn how to tap the door to come in, because I would forget you were behind me.

Then Ian came along. You tolerated him much better. Was it his endless treat giving? Or the fact he would wait for you at the door and let you in? He seemed to respect your space. But, never hesitated to give you a pat whenever you passed by.

I hope you can forgive me for all the times I yelled at you for being underfoot, for stepping on you one million times, for forgetting your dinner during the hectic family times, for loving my cats, and for even bringing the kids into your life.

Thank you for never hurting those kids even when they bothered you, for barking every time a delivery truck went down the street and at every noise you heard in the house – especially when the babies were sleeping, for cleaning the floor on an hourly basis, for sometimes cleaning the table, even when you weren’t asked, for not eating the cats even though you wanted to, and for making me feel safe when your daddy was away.

In the end, your days at daddy’s office were few. And once I was able to let you back into the bedroom, you needed to be lifted to comfort. You missed making it outside one too many times. These moments were beyond heartbreaking. We knew your time had come.

Your life has changed once more. Ours is left with an empty couch, yours is filled with endless love. I had to move the furniture around, just so I didn’t have to look at your daily spot. Olivia took the news better than I thought. Ian threw you a ball yesterday, calling for you and asking where you were. I had our favorite breakfast, but you weren’t there to finish the crust from the peanut butter toast.

I miss you. We miss you. You wanted to go, we could see it in your eyes. I hope you heard all these things I wrote that I whispered in your ear the last moments. And I hope you are happy there, chasing the cats in heaven to your heart’s delight.

Our family will never be the same.

Mommy

August 4th, 2009

Mr. Golden Sun

I have come to the conclusion that family vacations are in no way a vacation for me. Packing diapers and sippy cups, bottles, swim diapers and baby tylenol, bathing suits, beach towels, beach toys…… Spending two days packing, two days traveling, for five days in the sun?

Five glorious days in the sun.

This is our second year renting a house on the beach. This year was Pawleys Island, SC.

I can walk down to the beach in my pj’s with my coffee,

and watch my kids in awe of life.

Moments of serenity that are worth all the effort to get there. What was I complaining about again? Forgive me.