Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Mom In Memorandum

Judie G.
April 10, 1941-March 30, 2011

My Mom passed away this morning in Michigan with my youngest sister and brother with her. I told her good-bye a few minutes by phone before she died. This picture was taken at the Arizona Botanical Garden in November 2007.

She is Gone

You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

David Harkins

Sarah Brightman, "Pie Jesu":

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Raising of the Green

St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.
Adrienne Cook

There is a good deal of Irish and Scotch in my heritage. Today I didn't make corned beef and cabbage, drink green beer or do any of the things that American's do to celebrate. Instead I did something that is truer to my heritage...I planted. You could say I am my parents child....that is give me two inches of bare ground and I have to put something in it. My patio has an large area full of rich soil. So with the sun shining and the ground warming, not to mention I'm on a week off and doing a staycation, I put in a potager. Fruit trees, herbs, flowers and vegtables are now stretching their roots down and their green leaves up.

My Mom is truly in her last days. I know that in the next days or weeks a phone call will come. She is now bed bound, at times confused and not always recognizing my sister or brother. It was a hard choice to make to not go to Michigan, but I decided that I needed time after 18 months of not taking a break to catch my breath. But today, when I was planting the garden I felt close to my Mom in spirit. I'm planning to add a bird feeder for hummingbirds to celebrate her life and soon memory as she loves birds.

Some people were doing the wearing of the green today, but I was doing the raising of the green. In bringing forth the magic of the earth, I am connected to my Irish roots and thus my family.

U2, "With or Without You":

Monday, February 28, 2011

Emerging Back

The moment of truth, the sudden emergence of a new insight, is an act of intuition.
Arthur Koestler

The first major steps to emerging back into life here in California were taken this weekend. I got together with some photography friends on Friday and then squeezed in a short hike on Saturday morning. I'm realizing that I'm going to have to go back and begin to relearn Photoshop. I had begun the process of learning 19 months ago and things began to change. As luck would have it, I have found an online class that does Photoshop CS3 which I still have and want to learn before I leap into the higher editions. It begins in a couple of weeks and I intend to be there.

Mom is still holding on, but she moves away from us a little bit more every day. I speak to her on the phone daily for a few moments. I debated going back, but I realized I don't have much time left from work and I would only have a week with her. At this point when she is afraid and wants someone with her constantly, I don't think I could handle having to leave her there with that fear. I wish it was different, but her choices from a few years ago to be in the Midwest created this scenario. My sisters and I here in the West have agonized over not being able to be there at this time, but the reality of life is that you have to keep living yours even when someone you love is losing theirs. This may be one of the hardest lessons I've learned, but learn it I have and I am as I said when I began this entry am emerging back.

Because of the thoughts of change, of being from Michigan, the process of getting to change and having watched the Oscars last night, I've been thinking about Eminem today so it away I feel a kinship to his award winning song...

Eminem, "Lose Yourself":

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Am A Rock and I'm Getting Closer to Fine

I am a rock, I am an island
Simon and Garfield

It's been a long couple of months. I was called out to Michigan because they didn't think my Mom was going to make it. Long story short, she made it and is still here. I had to come back to California, because of other events happening, I'm moved into a condo on my own. So it's been busy. Emotions have been like a yo-yo. Up and down. I would like to return to Michigan in some ways, but in other ways, no. I'm playing it by ear. Things are changing in so many areas of life, I just take it as it comes.

My mom was moved to a permanent hospice house this past week to spend her last days, weeks or months? The doctors and we have given up predicting. My siblings and I are talking regularly and I think all of us being together in December for what we thought was her last days brought us together after a few initial rough spots.

I try to to talk to her daily. Some days she recognizes me, some not (the cancer is now in her brain). It's a tough call, but unless she has a miracle and returns to the Mom I know, I hope the end is soon. We're all tired and watching our mother regress into a child-like state has been hard.

Right now though I've found a center in my home, I'm meditating again, doing yoga and beginning to make plans to return to a life that I have in many ways let go in the past 19 months (but wouldn't trade it for the time I've had with Mom). I'm getting closer to fine.

Indigo Girls, "Closer to Fine":

Beginning Yet Again

  "Never feel guilty for starting again." -Rupi Kaur These days being a flaneuse has been more mental than physical. I moved to Ar...