Archive for April, 2011

November 22, 2005

// April 29th, 2011 // No Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

Thanksgiving is at The Haasienda again this year. I’ve been looking forward to it for months, but this year is different. I’m not anxious about getting things done. No dreams that the family is gathered at the table but I haven’t even done the shopping yet ~ a variation of my typical pre-party dream.

The day before Thanksgiving when my girls and I make the bread, fudge, and pies is two days away and I’m as relaxed as if it’s a weekday meal. I’m looking forward to the day but almost feel like I’ve forgotten how to “do” Thanksgiving.

So tonight I made a cup of Sleepy Time tea, popped in a Jesse Cook C D, and nestled into my La-Z-Boy with pen and paper. Letting the new age flamenco music and hot tea fill my senses I wrote out a game plan for the rest of this week.

Then I sat and let my mind wander.

I’ve made it through Steve’s birthday without suffering a severe depression. Thanksgiving, my favorite day of the year, is fast approaching. I let Steve peacefully meandered through my thoughts. I smiled, told him I miss him and now it’s time for bed.

I need my rest for the work ahead.

November 17, 2005

// April 26th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Yesterday I woke up with long hair. It nearly reached my waist but the bottom three inches were shaggy. Robyn wanted a haircut before the Homecoming dance this Saturday so I figured I’d go in with her to get my hair cut at the same time.

As she fastened the drape around my neck I asked the stylist to trim three or four inches to clean it up. “If you get it cut to here” she said sweeping the tops of my shoulders with her hands “you’ll have enough to donate to Locks of Love”.
“Go for it!” I told her.
She called to Robyn two chairs away as she braided my hair, “Do you want to cut your mom’s braid off?”

“Sure! It’ll be like payback for all the haircuts she gave ME!”

I cringed as I felt Robyn’s firm tug and heard the crunching of the scissors divide me from almost twelve inches of my hair. But once it was done I felt light! Enough hair covered my neck to keep me warm in the coming winter. And I knew I had made a minor contribution to a young girl at a time in her life when the love of strangers might make a difference.

As the stylist worked she asked, “Is Robyn your only child?”
“No. We have four surviving children. Our oldest died almost two and a half years ago at 31 of diabetes.”

I answered her questions about our loss. We talked about how difficult this time has been, and my struggle to move forward.

After snipping the last fly away strands from my hair she retrieved my braid from the small counter in front of me. Holding it up she said, “Look! We cut off all the sad hair. All you have left now is happy hair!”

Does hair hold memory? Hmmm…. I ran my fingers through my happy hair fluffing up the short, wavy strands as a gentle spirit settle into my heart.

July 24, 2005

// April 8th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

After only six months working in Las Vegas Annette is being transferred to San Diego. When she told me her news, she also told me she wanted to take us up on our offer to live with us. She and I have been talking about this possibility for almost a year. I can hardly believe it’s really going to happen…and so soon! She and Chris will be here in a matter of weeks.

Nett and Steve moved to Tennessee in 2001 because the San Diego housing market looked like it would never allow them to own a home here. Even in Tennessee they never realized their dream together. Within six months Steve came back for health and personal reasons. But Annette was soon able to buy a house practically next door to her mom and step dad.

Not long after Steve died, while she was still in Tennessee, Annette told me that her entire life (and Christopher’s) revolved around her job. They would get up early every weekday morning, quickly dress, and then head out the door for the nearly two hour commute to work, usually grabbing breakfast from a drive-thru on the way. Chris spent his day at nursery school near her job and often stayed until they closed at 6:00. On their long drive home they would again grab a meal at the drive-thru. Weekends were spent recovering from the work-week, doing household chores, and running errands. They had the house but not a home. Nett felt that Chris was missing out on childhood.

In January she leaped at the chance to move to Las Vegas. The time with her Dad and step mom has been wonderful for them all. Chris and Annette have more time together and Marcy has seen to it that Chris is involved in after-school activities. But the position in San Diego comes with greater opportunity for advancement. It is right for her on so many levels! What a happy co-incidence it is near us!

Steve’s childhood room has been serving as my craft room but I can hardly contain my joy as I move everything back into the cramped den closet readying the room for them. I am thrilled by thoughts of Nett and Chris here with us ~ Chris growing up in the home and community that nurtured his dad, attending the same school his dad, Aunts Amy and Marisa, Uncle Nick, and cousins Kirstie and Kyle have gone to. I’ll be taking care of him while Annette is at work, giving us a chance to really get to know each other. He’ll be able to spend time with his brother and his cousins. Nett will even be able to have a social life again, maybe even date.

As I worked I was high thinking of the whole family together again. Then a cloud of darkness rushed at me…not the whole family.
Steve’s not coming back with them.
Not the whole family the way it used to be.

Whole is different now.

I shook it off. Whole may be different now, but it is whole. I smiled, said a prayer of thanksgiving for restoration of our family, and continued cleaning the little room for Nett and Chris to share.