Tuesday, March 9, 2010

my mom is a survivor

My mom is a survivor,
Or so I've heard it said.
But I can hear her crying at night,
When all others are in bed.

I watch her lay awake at night,
And go to hold her hand.
She doesn't know I"m with her
To help her understand.

But like the sands on the beach
That never wash away -
I watch over my mom
Who thinks of me each day

She wears a smile for others,
A smile of disguise.
But through Heaven's doors I see
Tears flowing from her eyes.

My mom tries to cope with death
To keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her knows
It is her way to survive.

As I watch over my mom
Through Heaven's open door...
I try to tell her that angels
Protect me forevermore.

I know that doesn't help her...
Or ease the burden that she bears
So if you get a chance, go visit her...
And show her that you care.

For no matter what she says...
No matter what she feels,
My mom has a broken heart
That time will have to heal.
~Author Unknown


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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hop Up Jump In!

I know it has been ages since I've posted a card (and done any stamping, for that matter), but I am just not feelin' it lately. I want to stamp, but I have this block that just prevents me from doing much. I actually sat down with some stamped images and my copics one night and just stared at it all for a good hour before I gave up and went to bed. I didn't make a single mark!

Jack's birthday is coming up, and I've always made all of the cards for the boys. I made all of their baby announcements, thank you cards, birthday invites, baptismal invites, etc. Heck, I even made all 60 of my baby shower invites and the thank you's for that as well. I tried like the dickens to get out of making these birthday invites. I even BOUGHT invites! But, guilt got the best of me, and I went ahead and popped out six of them. It's hard to make cards when you're not feelin' it... and it's even harder when they don't make stamps in the images of the people you need!

I improvised with some Handy Manny stickers I found at a local stamp store, and used them on this much loved layout (remember this?). Below you can see the inside of the card:

I don't know what I did to my camera, but all of my pictures look so washed out lately. It's not just this light and/or set up. No matter where I take a picture, it looks washed out. I'm going to have to google that and see what button I pushed or take it to the camera store to get it straightened out one of these days.

Anyway... I made six cards. I used elegant eggplant and real red, trying to coordinate with the stickers as much as possible. They turned out pretty girly for a handy man, but hey. At least they got done. Here is a pic of the whole batch:

Several of you have contacted me asking for more information about the card ministry I mentioned in my last post. I was hoping to get that off the ground before Valentine's Day, but I'm behind. I'm struggling with a lack of motivation lately, and lots of indecision. I've been joking with my family that I should be the president of the 80% club, because I've been starting all of these projects but not finishing any of them. I've read that this is a common response in the grief process, so I'm not overly concerned about it. This too shall pass, right? As I get more organised with the card ministry, I'll post details here. No telling when that will be, but still... you'll be the first to know.

Also, if you pop over to my family blog from time to time (link at top of sidebar), you'll notice I made a nice overhaul to the look of it. I still have a few things I need to clean up. Some font issues, etc. But again... 80% club. *sigh*

I hope you are all well! I miss traveling the blogosphere on a regular basis and seeing all of your wonderful creations. I've pretty much just been trying to take it easy and losing myself in mindless games on facebook. This too shall pass.... Eventually.

Blessings to you all -

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pearls make the man

When I was a child, I had a cat named Fluffy. She was a long haired angora and was... well... Fluffy. Hence the name. *wink* For entertainment, we would take the ring from a jug of milk and tie a string to it and the Fluffster would chase me around for hours while I dragged that ring on the floor behind me. No one told me I was practicing for parenthood, but as it happens, Jack will react the exact same way when I drag a strand of Christmas tree pearls behind me! LOL!

He was absolutely fascinated with these pearls, and they kept him happy all the while I dismantled my Valentine's tree last month (yep, you read that right. I had a tree full of hearts and pearls. I know. You don't even have to say it.). After I gave them to him, I realized that it was probably not the brightest idea I've ever had (hello! choking hazard!), but I watched him like a hawk and scooped them up as soon as he was distracted for a second. In the meantime though I got a ton of great blackmail pictures. hee hee. Nothing like a shirt full of tools, some camo pants, and a string of pearls. I'd say that outfit's complete!


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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

i am not alone

Speaking of people who left this world too soon, I'm reminded of one of my favorite comediannes of all time... Gilda Radner. I've actually been thinking about her a lot lately. I generally do everytime the Olympics roll around because I can remember laughing my arse off as a child at Gilda's recurring role on Saturday Night Live as Nadia Colmaneci. I wish I could find those videos on youtube, because they are truly hilarious. If you search for Gilda out on the 'tube, you'll find lots of funny material, but nothing that quite compares to her scrunched up little face as she eeks out "I... am Nadia COLMANECI!" Just thinking about it makes me giggle!

I was going through some papers today, working toward my never ending goal of total organization (tell me, is that even possible? I'm beginning to think not), and at the bottom of a stack of books I found the folder we received from the funeral director when we were planning Henry's memorial service. In the folder was a little booklet called Facts Every Family Should Know About Funerals, and in that booklet I found several quotes and phrases that touched my heart. I'll leave you with this one for today...

I wanted a perfect ending.
Now I've learned, the hard way,
that some poems don't rhyme,
and some stories don't have a clear
beginning, middle, and end.
Life is about not knowing,
having to change,
taking the moment
and making the best of it,
without knowing
what's going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity.
~Gilda Radner (1946 -1989)


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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

the weight of grief

Well friends, it was four months ago today that we lost our sweet boy. In some ways it seems like only an instant has passed, and in other ways it seems like an eternity. One question I'm often asked is, "how are you doing?" I can't fault people for asking - it's something I'd be asking too, if the roles were reversed. It's a hard question to answer, because the answer changes mulitple times a day - sometimes multiple times an hour. The weight of grief never leaves me, however I am able to compartmentalize it from time to time if I'm distracted by a movie or a tv show or a game or what have you. In general though, I just feel... well... heavy.

It's an odd feeling, and one I've never experienced prior to November. When I move, I feel more weighted. When I exercise, it is more difficult. I can physically feel pain in joints where before there was none. Granted I have also had a small weight gain during the past four months, but I am no where near my highest adult weight, and yet at times feel as though I've surpassed it by leaps and bounds. You may have heard people use the expression that their "heart is heavy," and perhaps it's the same kind of thing, except that it has expanded to encompass my entire being.

On top of the weight, there are emotions. They come and go, generally whenever they feel like it. A few people have told me that I don't have to be strong in front of them. Somehow suggesting that I am in control of these random emotional breakdowns I have. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Triggers don't seem to give much advanced warning. Last week was especially rough for me, starting with the day I had to throw away our pumpkins. Visiting the pumpkin patch was something grandma, great-grandma, and I did with Henry every year, and I believe was the last outing the four of us had together. I had saved the pumpkins, thinking we'd carve them on October 30th. That was the morning Henry fell ill though, so the carving never happened. I didn't think much of it at the time - I figured he'd be just as happy to carve them a few days later when he was feeling better. Little did I know.

The pumpkins sat on this bench on our back porch, right where he set them, from October through the last week of February. Yes, that angel you see in the picture was there the whole time. One of many strange coincidences I've found in the past few months. So, with the weather warming a bit, the pumpkins softening, and garbage day approaching, it was time. I didn't want to do it, but I did... and then I cried. I cried long and I cried hard for about a week straight over these pumpkins, over the loss of my boy, over the senseless loss of another child in town, over milestones we'll never get to reach, over questions about the future, over the generosity of friends and family and friends we've never met. It all brought me to my knees.

As most things tend to do, it passed, and after several days I was back to my old self (which is actually my new self, all things considered). The whole experience is sad, but that is to be expected in times like these. I don't think there is any way to avoid it, and I'm not sure I want to avoid it, because I think those low times help me to cope with the loss, and to continue to look to the future.

On a lighter note, if you're a regular visitor to my blog and aren't stuck in google reader or some othe third party port, you should have noticed a major change to the way things look around here! I've spent a few days revamping my family blog. A new name (which my facebook friends should recognize from my many notes on facebook in the past four months), a new look, and a new feel overall. I'm still not entirely sure where I'm going to go with this blog, but I'm considering end of day posts on a regular basis on all sorts of topics.

Think Doogie Howser...


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