I was thinking about it yesterday. I looked at the clock and realized that one year ago at that time my mom and I were spending her last few hours on this earth together. I was holding my mom's hand for the last time. I gave her a final kiss. And I said goodbye.
Not forever. But for the time being.
Until we meet up again in heaven.
Knowing that we share the same faith, we both love our Savior, we have both been saved by grace and that we will be reunited once again. We will stand together before our Lord and rejoice.
This gives me comfort.
However, I'm still human, and I'm still vulnerable. And I still ache and hurt with the pain of losing my mother. Time does not heal all wounds. Whoever came up with that saying? No amount of time will make the loss go away nor will I ever miss her less. My mom will still be gone. And I will still miss her. And does anyone really ever stop grieving? I don't think so. I think you just learn how to live with it. You do not "get over it". Rather you learn how to create a new normal for yourself. And you slowly become able to smile more often than cry.
I have been reading through a book called: The Grief Recovery Handbook. I have learned many valuable things on this journey. How many times do you hear people say, "I know just how you feel" after you've lost someone? The truth is, no one can possibly know how you feel. All relationships are unique. Just because you lost your mom and I lost my mom, does mean that we know how each other must feel. We may have some general idea, but our experiences are profoundly individual.
Here's another truth:
Our entire lives we are taught how to acquire things. We are never taught what to do when we lose them.
Let that sink in a minute.
Well I could go on and on with bits of wisdom from this book. I still have a little ways to go before I'm finished reading it. Maybe I'll be able to share it all at some point.
But for now ...
... aren't these pansies beautiful? My mom loved pansies. She always made sure to help me plant some at each place I've lived. I was looking up the language of flowers and learned that pansies are actually the flower of remembrance.
Well, we didn't actually chuck it. It's still here.
We did, however, get rid of our DishNetwork.
So now we have no dish, no cable, just a TV.
We have an antennae and we can get local stations.
But really, there's not much on that's worth watching.
We weaned ourselves before we actually cancelled the dish. So for about 3 weeks prior we weren't watching TV. Can I just say, it was WONDERFUL!
It was so nice to not have the noise. The junk. The wasted time. We read books, we played games, we talked. Imagine that. I got some sewing projects done too.
Here's the thoughts behind getting rid of TV ... first, we're saving money. Second, most everything on television can be found on the Internet. But now that we've gone without, I don't really care to even find it on the Internet. Also, there are some shows (remember all my British tele posts?) and tons of movies that I check out from the library.
I really never thought I'd be dependent on an electronic device. But I am. My iPhone can do everything. I can check email, I can surf the web, I get weather updates, I can access maps that show me exact directions to my destination (complete with a little blinking pinpoint of where I am to show how much farther I need to go), I pay my bills, I take photos, I can Facebook, I listen to music, I can prevent global warming and save the planet!
Well, not quite, I don't think anyone has invented an app for that yet.
Oh yeah, I can even talk on the phone!
In fact, we completely eliminated our home phone.
You heard correctly, there is no telephone or phone line at my house! When I tell people this, they are astonished and perplexed. But I don't understand why. We don't really need a home phone anymore. I have my mobile, hubby has his, oldest daughter has hers. Our Internet is through cable. We don't need a phone line. So I had my home phone number transferred to my iPhone. So basically, you're calling me, not my house. Doesn't that make sense?
Funny story ... last summer when hubby and I were in Vegas for his business meeting, my dad calls. He called the old home phone number, which caused my iPhone to ring. I answered it and caught him off guard. He says, "I thought you were in Vegas." I said, "I am." He replies, "but I called the house." I had to tell him, "um no, you called the old house number, which is now my new cell number and you're actually talking to me while I'm in Vegas." Hmmm, he pondered for a bit. Then jokingly says, "well I didn't want to talk to you, I was calling your house to talk to talk to your brother." (my brother was staying at our house with my kids) To which I countered with, "Well, then you have to call his cell phone."
I guess the idea of calling the person, instead of the location will still take some time to sink in. Anyhow, back to my original train of thought ... lists. If I don't make lists I forget things. Well, I don't totally forget, I just sometimes remember too late. Like when the kids ask, "did you get shampoo at Target?" And I say, "no it wasn't on the list." And they say, "but I told you, don't you remember?" And I say, "yes, I remember now, but since it wasn't on the list I didn't remember it when I was actually at Target!" To which I get the big eye roll in response. So now, the kids know to grab my iPhone and find the Target list and add their items.
I'm not sure if it's true, but somehow having lists makes me feel more organized. Plus I love the sense of accomplishment when I can cross something off of the list!
Here is a list of the current lists I have going:
*Save Mart (groceries)
*Von's (more groceries)
*B-Alive (my vitamin/health supplement store)
*Outdoor chores to do
**sub list: garden plan
*Indoor chores (daily/weekly)
*Indoor projects (stuff that needs to be fixed/painted/redecorated, etc)
*daily school plan
*weekly school plan
*monthly school plan
*yearly school ... well you get the idea
*daily to-do list
*bills to pay
*drama prop list (for our upcoming play production)
Somehow, somewhere, at some point in time she acquired this tiny little toy dolphin. By tiny, I mean it's not even an inch long. I'm not even sure exactly when, or how, the game started. But it goes like this:
I hide the dolphin.
You find the dolphin.
Now it's your turn to hide the dolphin.
Then I find the dolphin.
And we keep going like that.
But there's a catch ...
We have no idea when the other one is going to do this!
For example ...
I open up my nightstand drawer to get a book, and there sits the little dolphin. So I hang on to it, wait for a day, or two, or 12, and then I hide the dolphin in her jewelry box. She may not open her jewelry box for a week. But eventually she does, finds the dolphin, and then starts plotting her next hiding place so I can discover the dolphin again. This has been going on for a couple of years now I think. Then all of a sudden the little dolphin stopped turning up. I assumed that one of us had hidden it so well that the other one never found it and the hider forgot where she hid it.
Well imagine my surprise a couple of weeks ago when I sat down at my computer and opened up the case for my glasses and there sat the little dolphin! I was so surprised. Then I started getting a whiff of mint. Hmm, this is odd. So I ask my oldest where in the world did dolphin turn up. She says, "remember Mom, you hid him in the cap of my toothpaste tube?" Oh yeah ... I had totally forgotten. She opened up her toothpaste, there was dolphin peeking out from the goo of vanilla-mint Crest and so she squeezes it to pop him out and he ends up getting sucked into the tube. She had to wait until the tube was empty to get him out. No wonder he smelled minty fresh.
So I hung on to dolphin for a few days and then I hid him in the back pocket of her new Build-A-Bear dog's blue jeans. I know she found it. So now I wait ...
I was thinking about this today. About my wonderful friends. And I started noticing that I have several friends who's first names start with the letterK. I even looked on Facebook and I have 22 female K friends. And check this out ... my middle starts with K. Not only that, my middle name actually is Kay! I don't know why, I just thought this was pretty amazing.
So I started thinking about all these K friends. I want to share a bit about a few of them. Pay attention, you may recognize yourself here ...
KK ... I've talked about her here before. In fact, there may even be some photos of her on my blog. I'm thinking of a particular photo that goes back about 25 years. This is noteworthy, because we've been friends for a long time. And there is nothing else as treasured as a long time friend. This is the friend who knows how silly and irrational I can be at times. And she knows she can be the same way with me because we totally get each other. I can tell her anything and not fear judgement. I can scream and shout and whine and cry to her. She knows stuff about me ... and she still loves me!
KR ... is truly one of the sweetest girls I know. We met through homeschooling. I love her gentle and kind nature, her willingness to help, her devotion to her hubby and daughter. Every time we see each other we can just fall into conversation about absolutely anything. I admire her love for the Lord and the radiance she projects because of that love.
KB ... is one of my most favorite people in the world. She just makes me happy! Her smile and laugh are so infectious, you just want to be around her. We have a lot in common. In fact, there are times we can just look at each other and know exactly how the other one is feeling without saying a word. I think we have talked about practically everything at some point, yet when we get together it just seems like there's never enough time because we could talk on and on forever. She is also very thoughtful and kind. I've found little gifts dropped on my doorstep. As well as dinner for my family at a time when I needed it most. She's definitely a blessing in my life. And she has a huge tea collection. ;-)
KB ... I have another KB friend. We used to be neighbors. But thankfully our friendship has survived their move across town. Our families have hung out together ever since our oldest kids were little. Then we both ended up pregnant with our youngest at the same time. Her son and my Emma are a month apart. I have so many great memories of spending time with this friend. Most of our get-togethers revolve around the pool and the BBQ. Or at least food of some sort. (And the occasional margarita ;-) We love to get together and eat and chat for hours. Which reminds me, we're due for a date!
I recently lost a K friend. She was a scrapbooking buddy from way back. We met when our middle kids were babies. In fact, her daughter and my son share a birthday. Despite the distance across country, we managed to keep in touch all these years. She was a great mom, a loving wife, a devoted friend, and a very talented gal. She was such an inspiration to me. Sadly, she passed away on Christmas Eve.
I am a Wife, a home schooling Mom trying to keep up with 3 kids (ages 7, 15, 18), raw milk drinker and local produce eater, wanna-be hippie earth mother, thinker and dreamer ... and soon to be world traveler!!! ... living each day with thanks and glory to The Lord