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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You’re Never Gonna Be Alone

It’s supposed to be a love song. For me - it’s a song to my mom. It’s a song from my mom - just for us. (blog post below lyrics)

Time, is going by, so much faster than I,
And I'm starting to regret not spending all of it with you.
Now I'm, wondering why, I've kept this bottled inside,
So I'm starting to regret not telling all of it to you.
So if I haven't yet, I've gotta let you know,

You're never gonna be alone from this moment on.
If you ever feel like letting go, I won't let you fall.
You're never gonna be alone. I'll hold you 'til the hurt is gone.

And now, as long as I can, I'm holding on with both hands,
'Cause forever I believe that there's nothing I could need but you.
So if I haven't yet, I've gotta let you know,

You're never gonna be alone from this moment on.
If you ever feel like letting go, I won't let you fall.
When all hope is gone, I know that you can carry on.
Were gonna take the world on. I'll hold you 'til the hurt is gone.

You've gotta live every single day,
Like it's the only one, what if tomorrow never comes?
Don't let it slip away,
Could be our only one, you know it's only just begun.
Every single day,
Maybe our only one, what if tomorrow never comes,
Tomorrow never comes?

Time, is going by, so much faster than I,
And I'm starting to regret not telling all of this to you.

You're never gonna be alone from this moment on.
If you ever feel like letting go, I won't let you fall.
When all hope is gone, I know that you can carry on.
We're gonna take the world on. I'll hold you 'til the hurt is gone.

I'm gonna be there all of the way.
I won't be missing one more day.
I'm gonna be there all of the way.
I won't be missing one more day.
~ Nickelback

That song makes me bawl. I miss my mom. A lot. Sometimes, even when you don’t want life to go on, it just does. I don’t want to seem too hokey, well actually I kind of don’t care if I am, but sometimes I feel like she is right here, fucking with my head, just like the good old days.

Maybe we see, hear and feel things that remind us of our dead loved ones as a way to comfort ourselves. Maybe it’s all fabricated in our broken hearts. Maybe it’s real and they are reaching from the other side. I guess none of us will really know until we are gone too.

I want to believe that there is something more than this once we leave our bodies. An eternal sleep just doesn’t appeal to me. It’s somehow easier believing there’s visits.

When I’m swept over by sadness, it kind of feels like a pat on the head from her saying, “You’re going to be okay… and I was pretty awesome so of course you miss me. By the way, Lo, you should cry bigger tears like when you were little and trying to get your way.”

Since Mom has been gone, we’ve continued living as she directed us to do. It’s been hard but the feeling of her presence, helps make it bearable. Lane 1 graduated high school…by the skin of his teeth. She could have had a hand in that.

There’s just no way to get a good picture of my kids and if you saw the post below, they come by it honest.

My nephew Yoda became a dad for the first time. Was she able to be in the delivery room to watch her great-grand-daughter enter the world?

At one point in the hospital, my sister Mary and I spoke candidly. We were discussing why Mom continued to cling on to life. There was something she wanted, needed and she tried with all of her heart and soul to get…to see and hold her first great-grand-child.

Mary (who I now call MeeMaw) and I talked about going to the hospital nursery to borrow a baby to bring to her so she could let go and finally be at peace. I know that is fucked up but it’s us, did you expect anything else? And trust me, if babies weren’t so hard to momentarily kidnap, we’d have done it!

The feeling of my mom visiting me really hit hard while I worked on a memory garden in her honor. A group of board members from the teen center gave me a concrete stone with an angel on it, the perfect addition.

I specifically wanted to have her garden in front of my dining room window because when I am inside or outside having my coffee, it is what I look out toward. The problem was, I already had a garden there and it was really not Mom worthy as is. Among the many flowers, it also had four beautiful peach rose bushes, but it was lacking something.

Azeleas I think she would like.

One day, I was outside trying to decide what to do about the plants I needed to remove to make room for new ones.

Mom always enjoyed the simple things in life so I began by planting some daisies for her.

Then I planted lilies in various colors.

I was almost in tears because I was so frustrated. I've worked so hard on the garden, I couldn't throw the plants or flowers out. I had no good sunny location for relocating. And to be honest, I have way too many flowers already!!! (I can't believe I admitted that openly.) I couldn’t even find one neighbor to give them to.

I know she would love white irises too.

Just as tears were about to sprinkler system from my eyeballs, a van pulled into my driveway. Two people got out. Two people I don't know. They were about my parents ages. They just stopped by because they "loved that gazebo" (it's a pergola, but whatever and by the way my mom always called it a gazebo) and wanted to know who my contractor was. I said, "You're looking at her."

I opened the gate and let them come in to take a better look as I described how easy it was to design and build. The woman stopped listening and walked over to where I had all of my shit laying around in front of that garden. She commented about how beautiful all of my flowers were. I thanked her and continued talking to her husband about building stuff.

He gave me a short life story. They have only been in the area a few years and lived in the next town over from where my parents lived. The lady asked what I was doing in that garden, so I told her the short version of my mom’s death and my garden dilemma. When she said, “What are you going to do? You can’t throw those beautiful flowers away!”

“That is why I am having so much trouble. I usually split up my plants and share with a neighbor but none of them have been around for days.”

“Well I am new at gardening but would love to have some if you are going to be getting rid of them. And besides, I am sort of your neighbor.”

A solution to my problem pulled into my driveway…odd.

She said, “Honey, write our number down so she can call when she is ready for me to come over and play in the dirt.” (I always say play in the dirt instead of garden.)

He had a pocket T-shirt on, like my dad always wore and in the pocket was a pen and piece of paper. He jotted down their names and phone number. He handed me the paper and as I folded it to stick it in my pocket, I saw his name was the same as my dad’s.

Then I noticed the last four digits of their phone number was the ages of my parents at death. 6465. It felt like another sign. I could almost hear my mom laughing at me.

The next day, those beautiful peach rose bushes that have been there for years but hadn’t bloomed yet, were in full-bloom but they weren’t peach as seen in last year's photo.

They were fuchsia…my mom’s favorite color.

Logically, I know that "altered" roses can morph back to their original bloodlines. So there is an earthy and reasonable explanation, but it felt more logical and comforting to think it was just Mom messing with my wee little head as she always did in life.

How could Mom not get a kick out of the flower that looks like a penis?

Lane 2 said, "Mom, is that a dick weed?" Certain I heard Mom's laugh, I couldn't even reprimand my daughter. Especially when she added, "Maybe you should plant some pussy willows to keep those company." She is a chip off the old block.

And once it finishes looking like genitalia, it becomes a beautiful poppy.

I couldn’t put my finger on what was missing. I needed a doodad, a something decorative in that garden to make it complete.

No doubt she would love the purple of the Siberian irises I planted in the back of her garden.

My mom always liked butterflies and my dad was a huge fan of frogs. I thought it would be really cool to find some kind of garden statue with both. Mission impossible? No, not when Mom snuck into the store with me. She always did love to shop. I walked to the right aisle in a store I rarely go to and looked at the right shelf immediately.

Mom was always a jokester with a notorious laugh...

... and Dad was always a man of God, a church-going, heartfelt believer in every sense of the word.

I didn’t even know these dianthus would bloom in her favorite color when I bought them.

Mom’s not just playing Evil Queen, painting the roses red, she is working some kind of magic for my career, too. For over three years I have been trying to get a daily newspaper to take notice. I have freelance assignments that come and go, rarely offering steady work. That means I’m always searching for more work, which sucks - a lot.

Every six months (which is how often they discard resumes) I have written a new cover letter to go with my resume and have sent it to the editor. I don’t know why while Mom was sick I got a bug up my ass but I finally got fed up enough to just walk into that office and say, “Why not me?” As it turns out, all of those emails I’ve sent have gone to a spam email folder. The head editor had no idea I was trying to apply and hired me on the spot, gave me a contract to sign and said, “We’ll be in touch.”

But he wasn’t in touch… until the day after Mom died. First there was a “Can you cover this?” message. Hours later an official assignment showed up in my inbox. The next day, two more assignments came from another editor at a sister paper. And it has not stopped. I honestly haven’t had this much work or front page stories since I worked in the newsroom full-time. I didn’t even know how much I loved or missed this kind of work.

For as long as I can remember, she loved the cooking shows. I have no doubt that when I was asked to cover a visit by the cast of Ace of Cakes, she had her hand in that mixing bowl. Incidentally, I was the only media person granted an interview. Thanks, Mom.

As much as I miss my mom, I feel her with me. Looking down (maybe up) laughing. I feel like I am unable of falling, unable to feel truly alone. She would want a lot of comments on today’s post saying how awesome she still is. And be warned if you don’t comply, she may just come to visit you next.

Thank you all for everything, the cards, flowers, phone calls, prayers, emails, charitable donations in her name, specifically the donation by “That Nana in Indiana” of a coffee pot she donated to her local hospice center. That is right up Mom’s coffee-lovin’ alley.