A Journey Home

My mother passed away on October 12.  It’s been a difficult two weeks with her being ill and then dying.  My family and I have worked through her funeral and working on her estate.  I’ve been so busy, I’ve not had time to get to grieving.

I’ve been touchy.  The littlest thing will either make me cry or be exceedingly angry.  There’s no rhyme or reason to it – this is just my process.

The funeral was on Monday.  Yesterday two of my daughters flew back to their home.  My husband and I spent the afternoon doing things like walking through her apartment to double check everything and turning in her keys, returning the picture boards to the funeral home, returning her phone modem and turning off her phone service.  I spent more time writing thank you cards and organizing money to go to the church for their youth programs.

Writing some of the thank you cards took a lot of time.  They needed to be worded with care.  The doctor and nurses who helped mom in her last days deserved to know how much we appreciated the care they gave her.

Today I went back to work.  I was exhausted before I got to work – another symptom of my grieving.  I’m able to sleep a little better now.  The last couple weeks my sleep has been sporadic.

The care I’ve received – I don’t really have the words for how much people have given to me.  I’m still in the numb phase so don’t feel anyone needs to comfort me until I crash and need the comfort.  People are willing to listen and talk or not talk about it.  My faculty and student workers have been patient and understanding.  The care and concern they have shown warms my heart.  A friend who planned a vacation postponed it to be at the funeral.  She offered distraction and advice as she was able.

My niece listened to me grumble as I stressed over getting tasks done.  She took time to care even as she grieved.  The family came together without contentiousness and helped each other.  I’m impressed we could manage this – we are a bunch of strong willed people who all like their own way.

My daughters and husband have been there through all of this, helping me as I did tasks which had to be done.  They encouraged and supported me.  I can’t say enough about them.  With the five of us together, we spent time together, had meals together.  In all the stress, they were the best part of the last two weeks.

Mom loved her grandchildren.  She loved seeing them, talking to them, and spending time with them.  My daughters all got to say I love you to her and hear her say I love you back on her last day.

In my head, I see her walking to dad.  She’s not in pain.  She’s happy, healthy, and at peace.  I see my father, who passed 34 years ago, greeting her with a passionate kiss because he never could keep his hands off her.  I think they’re planning their next trip or making love.  

Summer Slipping Away

This summer I have a long list of writing projects to get done.  I have not worked on them at all.  I submitted one article for a contest but aside from that nothing.  I need to get focused.  It just seems like there is so much going on I have no time to consider my writing tasks. 

At work, my department is moving.  This week is filled with finishing the packing process and prepping for the movers.  They are coming on Monday to take all of our stuff upstairs.  It may be a bit of a crazy week plus for myself and the student workers.  Of course there are some things that can be packed in my office now and other things that have to wait for the last minute.  The problem is making the judgement call on each item. 

Last weekend I visited Vicki which was great.  I also discovered a less expensive way to travel to visit the other two girls in Georgia – that is SUPER exciting.  The cost savings means instead of going down every other year we may be able to go down every year and possibly more often then that.

This weekend I am hoping to get some of my craft room and office organized.  I have a number of tasks to get done and hopefully can make some good progress.  Hopefully I can work on a system for keeping track of my writing projects – where they are, leads, and so on.  I’ve got ideas in my head but at the same time I haven’t solidified what I want done.  One of the things I want to do this weekend is to sort through all my available yarn and put it into the bins that Ken set up for me (it is a wire crate type set of shelves).  This will make it easier for me to see what I have which will lead to me not buying yarn unless I need it rather than guessing that I might need it.  The crafter in my head is saying you always need more yarn – there can never be enough yarn, but I’m gagging her (or trying to) and being a responsible adult. 

I have a friend coming out to have lunch and chat.  I’m looking forward to her visit as we always have a good time together.  Ken will be off with his brother cutting up wood.  It will be just us girls.  I’m excited for this as I don’t often get time with friends just to hang out. 

Hopefully all of the activities this weekend will be multiple steps towards getting some of these writing projects and tasks done.  My biggest obstacle at this point is my messy office and that will be my focus this weekend.  Then I can hopefully post (somewhere) a list of things to get done and start crossing them off. 

Chicken Soup or maybe Stone Soup?

Last night Kelly and Dominic came over and we made soup.  I started it with chopping up some fresh herbs.  Ken cubed the chicken, started rice and broccoli.  Kelly got out celery, carrots, and onions.  I chopped onions while Dominic chopped celery and carrots. 

Ken and Kelly fought over the stove and Kelly won.  She dumped the chicken in and after a bit added the onions and celery.  Then I told her what spices and how much (because according to her I’m controlling).  She manned the stove nicely. 

It all came together beautifully.  We sat at the table combining the three in whatever way we wanted with Ken avoiding the broccoli.  The soup was scrumptious.  The working together was wonderful.  The conversation was sometimes bawdy and always interesting. 

We had good food and a good time and that is what life is about I think.  The best compliment though came from Vicki.  Her stomach has been bothering her for a few days now and she said that it was the first meal that hadn’t bothered her. 

Mission accomplished!

Balance of Sorts

Yesterday was a good day.  I did some homework in the morning.  I spent time with a friend in the afternoon.  I spent time with family in the evening.  I wrote at night.  It was a full but good day.

Up at the crack of dawn (okay well really about 8) and sat at my computer played for a bit before showering.  I then worked on homework long enough to get frustrated.  I was getting ready to leave when Vicki said she needed to talk to me before I left. 

The afternoon with Laura was amazing.  Her backyard is beautiful and secluded.  You don’t feel like you’re in a big city or surrounded by people.  We sat there with a fire going just talking all afternoon.  She fed me and gave me fluid which was nice.  More than that though she fed my soul.  Laura is a great friend.  I can count on her.  She is the type of person I know I can call on and say I need X (you fill in the blank) and she will do everything in her power to help me get it. 

Time with her is like a trip to the spa.  I get to laugh, cry, discuss intellectually (yes Laura I mean that), and just be me.  She is a blessing in my life.  Normally when we gather it is a full day of Laura time.  This time I had to set a limit though because I needed study time. 

I came home and spent time with Ken and Vicki (and their electronics).  We had supper together and watched TV together.  After they went to bed, I sat at my computer and worked on writing.  I was just going to check my email and go to bed but instead I pulled open a story I’m working on and got more of a scene written.  I called a halt at 1:00 am though. 

This morning I’ve dealt with email, played on the computer, and handled the many rejections in my emails.  I also discovered I have at least an article in a publication (there may be some poems too but I have to wait for my issue to find out).  I’ll post it when I get the magazine.  If you are interested in getting my work – look for the next issue of Circle Magazine (www.circlesanctuary.org). 

Next I’m going to tackle my homework.  It is calling to me.  The procrastinator in me is considering cleaning off my desk though because Ken moved my printer for me so Sasha could have window space on our desk.  I have several chapters to read and a rough draft to do for the next writing assignment.  I guess I’ll have to force myself to be good though because the homework needs to come first…


After a week of overtime and chaos with fifty balls in the air, I took yesterday and did NOTHING.  It was so relaxing to play on the computer and hang out with Ken, Vicki, and Beth.  We did only one thing productive and that was rent a car for our trip to Georgia.
I think my brain just needed to shut down and think on nothing.  I did make a date with a friend to visit her.  I have to email or text another to set up time with her.  I also have to turn down an invite to another friend’s for a party because the timing is bad for me.  One more friend to contact and see if she wants to get together, then I’ll be caught up on the social front mostly. 
With starting school, my time is getting more crunched.  The funny thing is I think I actually like it.  It means I’ll have to make the most of the time I actually get to do things like writing and genealogy. 
While I was a bum yesterday, I have to get my bum in gear today.  Ken and I played together on the computer but now I have to get serious and find my desk, organize my writing, genealogy, bills, etc.  I have to get my stuff ready for work and school next week. 
On top of which I got an email from a cousin with information on a family member I didn’t have before.  I need to write her a note and send her more pictures.  I also have to work on submissions for writing today. 
At some point though, I really want to go sit on the deck.  For the most part this summer it has been too hot and muggy to be outside for me.  I’ve felt trapped but today the a/c is off, windows are open and it feels HEAVENLY.  I’d be tempted to take my crocheting out and sit on the deck to do nothing. 
Mom, Alicia, and Beth are coming down tomorrow to grill out, maybe I’ll drag Stephanie’s afghan out there then and have my down time.  Social time and crocheting – multi tasking once again…
Vicki just brought me a pattern for a wrap which looks amazing.  I read the pattern too and I think it would be easy enough and quick enough to do.  I might have to do one for her and see how fast it works up.  I better stop before I get a giant list of craft stuff I want to do.  Although I seem to remember doing fifteen afghans one year while in school and working.  Maybe I just need to do more to keep me busy and sane (or is that insane?).

Long Weekend

I’m halfway through my weekend today.  Yesterday I ran errands with my daughter.  It was a normal pay week Saturday with grocery shopping and other errands. 

Visited the Doc on Thursday and have another bottle of pain killers.  I’ll see how well they work.  I’m not holding my breath though.  I’ve not taken any yet because we’ve been so busy. 

Yesterday afternoon a friend came over and we crafted and chatted.  It was such a wonderful afternoon.  We relaxed and talked.  Yes some crafting got done.  We laughed and had silly conversation and also delved into some more serious stuff to.  It is always a pleasure to have those conversations with people who are willing to listen and discuss with an open mind.  It makes you think to hear others beliefs – at least it does for me – and to express your own because you have to put into words some esoteric concepts.

Today I’m starting the tax season by helping Vicki with her taxes.  After we are done with her taxes then I’ll be working on writing things.  I have a chapter laid out in my head – now I just have to get it down on paper (per se it will really be in the computer but…).  I’m hoping to finish that today. 

Tomorrow is Ken’s birthday so I’m looking to do things with him.  He will be 50.  I’ve been teasing him about getting old but really he is just getting better and better.  I’m glad I took the day and we will have time together. 

Overall it will be a busy weekend but at the same time it has all the best components – family, friends, relaxation, fun, and even getting work done.