Friday, October 29, 2010

We weren't ready

Why is it that we rarely appreciate how precious life is...until it is gone? Is it human nature? A flaw in our evolution? Do we descend from a long, multi-generational legacy of the inattentive gene? Probably not. Because... we can't fully appreciate life, until it is absent. Only then are we are reminded that life is fragile, tenuous, often fleeting...

Death stalks us. Of course we can't live that way. Thinking that. Yet, it is a reality. Whether you experience a loved one's life slowly ebb away, or get that phone call that someone is gone, it is always so shocking.

I have to believe there is something more. Another reality. Different. Perhaps not as glorious as heaven on earth. Perhaps more so. I don't know the answer to that.

We are so small. And whatever IT is, IT is bigger than we can contemplate...

Years ago, when my paternal grandmother died, I was living across the country. The night of her death I was awakened by a very bright light. So white it was blue. Unbelievably intense, yet it didn't hurt my eyes. I was not frightened. Without any doubt, I knew it was my grandmother, the room. The light hovered over me, and then went through me, engulfing my body in what I can only describe as a tingling buzz. And, then it was gone. She was gone. And, I felt touched.

Whatever happened that night - whether dream or not... It has stayed with me all of these years as a very vivid memory. It is my clue. What I cling to, when my world is jolted by death.

This week we lost the beloved wife of a friend. And, now the friend must go on. One day his wife is here, and then she isn't. I look at the vivid blue sky, and think of her. And, wonder why it was her turn to go. We weren't ready.

And, we never will be...

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Sky Room

It was good.............

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Alone... together. For 2 nights, and 3 days

JCK is about to leave on a daredevil adventure. Sky diving? Bungee jumping? Rock climbing? No. It requires logistical ingenuity, a small suitcase, and a husband. JCK is....getting away for the weekend. With her husband.

Alone... together. For 2 nights, and 3 days.

JCK is thrilled and excited and a little nervous... JCK and her husband have not had any extended time ALONE together in almost 7 years. Indeed, they have not been overnight TOGETHER away from their children ever.

JCK's mother was heard to say..."This is a little extreme." Yes, perhaps. But, for a long time, JCK could not imagine ever wanting to be away from her children overnight. To miss kissing those soft cheeks, hearing the daily stories, having arms flung around her at all hours of the day...

Yet, now JCK is ready! More than ready. Past ready... Not sure if she recollects READY.

JCK cannot remember what it was like to have a conversation with her husband uninterrupted by sudden strumming on a guitar, shouts of MOMMY, YOU ARE UNDER ARREST as her son wields his SWAT man costume handcuffs, by the blast of a World War II bugle, or her daughter urgently calling her...from another room. MOMMY, I NEED YOU NOW.

JCK is more than ready to celebrate her anniversary with her husband. 15 years ago today. It is time to recapture that magic. That je ne sais quois...

JCK is prepared. JCK and E are blessed that their Sister-n-law, Aunt P, will be staying with BOY & GIRL for the duration of the weekend. She is THE BEST! Uncle M will be joining in on some of the fun, too. And, friends are pitching in! It takes a small village to deal with a small BOY & a small GIRL.

The refrigerator is stocked. The house is somewhat clean. JCK uses the term loosely.

JCK and her sister-n-law have gone over so many extensive notes, you'd think they were preparing for the return tour of Donny Osmond. There are the food likes/dislikes, the bedtime routines, the favorite things to do, the cautions. The pets...

Aunt P takes it all in calmly. She is the mother of two children herself. Aunt P is not frightened! This is what JCK tells herself...

So, they are off!! JCK and her husband of 15 years. To discover parts unknown...

This post is dedicated to Aunt P and Uncle M, who were there on our wedding day 15 years ago today, and continue to be there always.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

You see, my children are 9 months and 27 days apart

We are in that golden period in which my two children are the same digit. For 63 days they share a number. This year it is 6. You see, my children are 9 months and 27 days apart. Every family has its story. That is ours.

It is debatable whether biologically speaking it is possible to have children that close together. I have been told it is...possible. For us, it was the blessing and miracle of our adoption of BOY, soon followed by another surprise...a pregnancy, which produced GIRL.

I confess to occasionally tossing off the fact that my children are 10 months apart, and then pausing...watching the wheels turn, and the eyes widen of those who are recipients of my little blurt-out.

Somehow I see them imagining the horror of having sex so soon after the get pregnant AGAIN!!?? It gives me a bit of a naughty...ha ha - particularly on those days when I could use a ...YOU MUST BE A WARRIOR WOMAN...or fucking crazy...pat on the back.

I'm not sure if anyone was happier for me, with the news of my pregnancy, than BOY's birthmother, T. I had been with her to several of her check-ups before BOY was born. She and I bonding over the BOY yet to be. I remember so clearly watching the ultrasound as I saw BOY for the first time. E and I overcome. And T smiling at us, going on her gut and faith that she had picked the right parents for her child.

When we told her of my pregnancy, after she laughed... she told me how happy she was that I would get the pregnancy experience. That she wanted that for me. My miracle GIRL...surprising us all. Ready to stake her claim in the world.

It was an easy pregnancy, for the most part. A bit bumpy with morning sickness and taking care of an infant. But, the real challenge was to come... BOY, at not yet 10 months, started walking when I came home from the hospital. Breast feeding GIRL didn't go so well when I had to frequently leap up and soothe BOY who had crashed into yet another piece of furniture.

Yet, despite the bumps and jolts along the way...we are here. In the golden period of 6. A time when they entertain and enthrall me with tales -both real and imaginary. I frequently notice them as they walk away from me. Taking bold, confident steps. Knowing that they have places to go, and will have much to share upon their return.

Somehow they have become little people. Sometimes it is a quick kiss and they are gone...vanishing into their own lives. Away from me...for a time.

Perhaps the greatest gift is their love for each other. Whether it is saving a treat for the other to share later, or a huge hug good-bye where they lift each other off the ground, it is a fullness that blindsides me at times.

Having discovered motherhood at an... elevated age, I find great comfort in their closeness. They will have each other when I am long gone from here.

These are the thoughts I have, when the house is quiet. As I admire the curl of eyelashes resting on their dewy cheeks. My children. Who are 9 months and 27 days apart.

"The Barren Womb" painting by JCK. Painted during a period of great sadness and hopelessness that she would ever become a mother.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

My tender hearted BOY...

Tonight I was fixing dinner after swimming lessons. GIRL was helping in the kitchen. BOY was watching a program about wolves on a nature channel.

Mom! Mommy! This channel is inappropriate for me! Inappropriate! I can't watch it! I JUST CAN'T!!

I rush into the living room.

BOY bursts into tears. Mommy, this is HORRIBLE, blood EVERYWHERE! Look it is DISGUSTING. It's a DEER! Mommy, a deer.....

Two wolves had stalked a deer and were tearing into it.

My tender hearted BOY..... He feels so much. I love that about him. And ache for him...

Image courtesy of Google images.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Me and Miss Suzy

As some weeks are, mine has been full of highs and lows. I'm finding myself drawn to reading one of my favorite childhood books...Miss Suzy. All about a little squirrel who loses her beloved home. Left to fend for herself, she befriends and cares for some toy soldiers, who love her so much they're willing to fight the red squirrels and win her home back for her in the tree.

The end of the story is my favorite..

"Miss Suzy had to work hard to make her old home as neat and cozy as it had been before, but she didn't mind. She made a new moss carpet and a new broom and gathered fresh acorns for cups and caught two fireflies for her lamps. At last she had everything in order.

That night, when she went to bed, she was very tired. But she looked through the branches and she could see a million stars. The wind blew gently and rocked the tree like a cradle. It was very peaceful, and Miss Suzy was very happy once more."

Me and Miss Suzy. Getting everything in order. I'm dusting off my blog, intending to make it homey once again. If I squint my eyes, I can see some stars. And it just might be a million of them...


Photos courtesy of Google Images. From the children's book, Miss Suzy, by Miriam Young. Pictures by Arnold Lobel.

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

running through the grass as if she were a young fawn...

JCK is blessed with the ignorance of false youth. An illusion she just cannot seem to shed with any resolve. She imagines herself and her body...younger somehow. More flexible, immune to injury.

Take a day earlier this week, for example. A beautiful day, somewhere upwards of 99 in the shade. JCK was playing with her children in the sand box for a while, when suddenly she felt a mad impulse to run. Across the grass. Imagining herself floating somehow, toes barely touching the earth, running through the grass as if she were a young fawn...

The reality, unfortunately, not that graceful. A little tango that turned...bad. JCK stumbled into a hole and fell gracelessly to earth, moaning ...having twisted her ankle. The bad one.

The one she sprained all those years ago when E had to carry her out of the Georgian forrest. One mile out, atop his macho back. Yes, that ankle.

Luckily for JCK, her ankle was not badly sprained this time. However, JCK's ego, which was a bit fragile to begin with, has been taken down a notch or two. Her image of herself floating above the grass like a wood nymph, has evolved into the crash of the mammoths. And those ancient beasts, related to elephants, never forget. Until the next time...

Photo: Homemade stretcher made by GIRL.

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