Monday, January 31, 2011

The Little Things

Instead of writing an original post for today I thought I'd just post what I shared at mom's memorial. I think it makes an excellent blog post.
When I first sat down to write this, all that came to mind were things I was going to miss about mom and the things I won’t be able to do with her like random phone calls while walking to the train and hanging up quick when it comes, knowing she won’t be offended; trying new recipes and sending her pictures of them; emailing decorating ideas for our apartment that I’ll never actually do, or that James would never go for; going to the dollar store, big lots, thrift stores, and garage sales to find that deal on something I don’t really need; hearing about her weekly visits with Taylor, Megan and Daniel; and complaining to her about problems I know how to solve myself but just want to complain about.
The hardest part for me is coming to terms with realizing my expectations for the future were in vain. My mom was supposed to be the grandma, the first call when my babies are sick, even before the doctor; the one we see once a week, at every holiday, at school and sporting events, and on warm summer weekends at the cottage. She was supposed to be the one to help us pick our first house, pick the colors, and decide where furniture should go. She was supposed to help me make wedding invitations and hand write the addresses over a glass of wine, gather crap for centerpieces, go the menu tasting with us, laugh at the horrible presents we didn’t register for but will inevitably receive, and complain about my mother-in-law to, even though I love James’ mom, but there’s bound to be something. 
Mom would hate this right now; everyone only remembering the good, as though she were perfect. Yes, she got mad at us like any parent does. But I honestly can count on one hand the number of times she ever yelled at Kim or me. As far as mothers go, she was pretty close to perfect. She was perfect for me. Now that she’s gone I regret never asking her about her parenting philosophy, but when I reflect on our relationship it’s evident in her actions. She never nagged about homework, never forced chores on us, and never asked anything except to bring whatever was on the stairs up to bedrooms each day and to eat vegetables, but somehow I turned out ok. I know there were many times I disappointed her or made her sad, but she never yelled, lectured, held a grudge, broke down, nothing; just showed unconditional love.
The lessons she has taught me are small, daily things that will stay with me forever and my own children will probably carry with them. Always be kind to others, accept people where they’re at, help when you can, clean a little each day so it doesn’t build up, don’t nag (I am really working hard on this James, I swear), sacrifice dinner and a movie so you don’t have to pay someone else to raise your kids because no one will ever do it as good as you, clean while you cook, don’t use the dishcloth on the floor and put it back in the dish tub. While there’s nothing earth shattering about these lessons, I live them every day, so each time I have dinner cleaned up before we even eat I will remember her; when I am stressed because company is coming and I am forcing myself to wash the sheets I will remember her; and when I am home raising kids feeling guilty because I should be working to help pay off our student loans and mortgage, I will remember her.
 As I’ve grown older I have come to understand there is no love like a mother’s love. Had mom left us 4 years ago, I’m not sure it would have had the same effect, but I know when I have my own children I will understand a mother’s love even more and feel her loss even more. I can’t believe how lucky and blessed I was to have her as my mother. I thank God for picking her to be my mom.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Is this Real Life?

First the good news. I have had 2 internship offers, both at nice schools close by. I am going to accept the position at the closest, plus the counseling department seems a bit more organized than the other.

Now, on to the meat and potatoes. Tomorrow morning I will wake up and drive to Michigan for my mother's memorial service. This past week has been strange. I took my bereavement days, but have been attending classes in the evenings. All of my professors are aware of the situation and have been very supportive. It is strange because I have not really felt super sad all week. Some people might not admit this to the world, but I think we're going for transparency on this blog, right? I have had sad moments, like when I was writing my piece for the memorial, or when I started thinking about how I will soon forget what my mom's voice sounded like, or how her hands felt, or her laugh. But for the most part, my days have been somewhat emotionless. Am I coldhearted? Am I not processing, grieving, or delusional? I don't know, but I'm trying to not psych myself out over it. It is very strange when people ask me, "How are you doing?" and I say, "ok" and try to squeeze out emotions that they may be expecting. I am trying to make them feel better and give them what they want. Huh? Whaat? It is the same thing with the engagement. I am really happy and excited, but right now I can't muster up the enthusiasm that people seem to expect from a newly engaged gal. I feel like I am constantly trying to fake emotions to make other people happy. What is this called? Honestly, I kind of  just want people to leave me alone. On the other hand, I wonder why some friends haven't tried to contact me and really, really appreciate those who have. So, don't take any of this to heart friends!

I do know that I am grieving, my body is telling me. I have never had so much tension in my back and shoulders. I sleep alright, feel drained sometimes, and really driven to get school work and house work done. 

I often find myself thinking, "Is this real life? Is this my life?". It is probably time to make an appointment with the counseling center at school, after all, it's only five dollars.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hiatus No More

The blog has been on quite the hiatus, not for lack of new experiences, but in attempts for it to not become depressing and a chore to read. Although writing can be quite therapeutic and provide catharsis for many, myself included, I just haven't felt like sharing with "the world", i.e. my 9 "followers". I have been writing though, in my personal journal, on loose leaf pieces of paper, and for mom's memorial.

Here are the quick updates:
  • Came back from San Clemente
  • Started classes
  • Sent out resumes for internship
  • Got Engaged Friday, January 7, 2011
  • Bought a wedding dress
  • Mom passed away January 22, 2011
The more I think about it, the more I feel ready to start processing her passing, and writing. If it is too sad, or not fun for you to read, then don't. When I look at the Top 10 Reasons I Started This Blog I remember the blog is not really for other people, rather to provide self reflection and preserve memories. So, be prepared for some not always fun posts in the future.

So this Thursday, I am thankful to have some type of outlet for my own grief. I am thankful for my family and friends who are so supportive and understanding. I haven't called many of you back, because I just don't feel like talking. I'm sorry. I will soon, I promise.