Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Pelicans everywhere. They flew so close to our balcony I think they would have whizzed by close enough to touch if we hadn't had screens. The first time I saw pelicans flying in Mexico I asked the consierge what sort of dinasours they were (a very blonde moment). However son Kevin topped that when his siblings were recounting the animals they saw on a trip to the zoo Christmas Eve. Jeff said "We fed the zebras" to which Kevin replied "So what". Then Jeff said "And we fed the unicorns" to which Kevin replied "Big deal". OH YEAH!! I might add Kevin is also blonde. Score two. Three if you count me sleeping on stangers shoulder in airport.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
That I'd find my place
That I'd see your face in the door
And the sun would glint
On a time well spent
On a time that ain't no more
I don't know how to start this other then I miss you. It has been a little over a year since you have been gone. I try not to bring back memories but I am now because I have a place to be myself and to share.
I remember the time you were "babysitting" me and our two younger sisters, We were sitting on the couch and you kept shoving powdered donuts in my mouth to keep me awake. Lol!
And the many times that Dad would have us order a pizza from the "Black family" (that was their last name). They made pizza's from their home in a special oven and we of course were in the middle of nowhere so that's all we had. Dad would fall asleep and we would have to ride the bike 3 blocks to pick up the pizza. No small feat since we had to ride the last block uphill, me on the handle bars, you peddling, and wow, what a fun trip going downhill home, me trying to balance the pizza, you trying to maneuver the brakes!
Fast forward. I lived in a studio apartment in Lincoln Park. After I had my fill of living alone and trying my best to dress like Madonna, (it was the eighties after all!) I came to your house crying my eyes out over a guy who had totally done me wrong. You let me in, made us some tea and you sat listening to me pour out my heart. It was 2:00 a.m. and you had to be at work in the morning, but you comforted me. I will never forget that night.
You were always ahead of the game. I think you did shabby chic before Rachel Ashwell even wrote a book. You scouted antique shops, your home was was a mix of old and new and you loved pictures and paintings of pastel flowers. And what a gardener you were. Your favorite colors were pink and blue. Your flowers thrived as did you, you were always brown as a berry just from your gardening
You had a dry sense of humor, always coming in at the end of something someone would say and we would laugh our butts off. You were a little shy but you had plenty to say, you were just so damn funny.
Just around fall last year you went to the hospital for just a minor problem. 8 hours later you were diagnosed with cancer of the brain, spine, liver and lungs. The picture above, that I keep on my nightstand was taken just 2 weeks before, when you went pumpkin picking in the country. As your daughter would say later; " The woman could not take a bad picture".
Who would know that this was the beginning of the end? How can you pray for a miracle when the odds are so against you? My most heart wrenching moment came when I heard that you asked your doctor, "What will it feel like when I die?"
Just after last Thanksgiving, 2007, I got the call that you were gone. You have never seen Janie move so fast. Out the door, a 45 minute drive done in 20, I met the paramedics as they were coming up the sidewalk and they let me through solemnly. You were propped up in a hospital bed in her living room, looking like you were taking a rest. I held your tiny hands, still warm, cradled your head, your body, wanting never to let go.
How do we deal with loss like this? I watched my mother in her last hours. my mother in law also. I fed my mother through a tube in her stomach and read to her hours at a time when her eyesight failed. My mother inlaw, someone I so worried about accepting me 15 years ago, was also someone I loved so much and had to let go of.
I don't know how to end this. I just wanted it to be an outlet, which is why I started this blog. I don't care who is out there listening right now, I just want everybody, anyone, to know how special you were to me. Losing a sister is like like losing a limb. You go on, but it is so much harder.
I love all of you that visit my blog and I know we are here to lift each others spirits. But I know in my heart we are a sisterhood and I hope that I will be an example that we don't need to hold back on the realities of life.
I so wish everyone a magical and wonderful Christmas. May God bless you and yours and thank you so much for letting me let Leslie's light shine on in spite of a life taken too soon. Don't pity me, she would rejoice in the fact that I have found a place to open up.
Friday, December 19, 2008
We are quite a blended family. You see Mr. H. had already lost both parents. His inlaws, Patty's parents as well as her brothers and sisters were very close to Mr. H. and the boys and they welcomed me into the family with open arms. I will never forget their kindness. I call them my inlaws. And both girls that Mr. H and I had together call the inlaws Nana and Papa (Nana has since passed away).
So that is our love story. It wasn't as easy as I make it sound. I stopped working after I had Emily and by the time I was 30 I had 4 children under the age of 10. Whoo! But I DID IT!! I love this man with all my heart, he is kind and affectionate (he always wants to hold my hand everywhere we go) and is sooo funny. He is extremely intelligent and successful (if not handy, but I guess they don't have a course on that in law school!!) So read on:
A picture of me and the boys shortly before The Husband and I got married. (No, it was not before color film was developed!) We got on marvelously and I love looking at pictures when they were so young. You just want to eat them up!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
I hope everybody has a great weekend and stays warm, if only in your heart:).
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Well back to the deep breathing issue. I feel ridiculously anxious. Why now, you ask, the holiday is over? I guess it's that feeling of things coming to a standstill. For a week (or more if you count all the clean-up fix-up projects I had) I have been running around like crazy to get everything ready, make everything perfect. And it was. Right down to the turkey coming out of the oven 3 hours before dinnertime. Yes, the opposite of our worst fear. Blame it on my lack of knowledge of my convection oven. Oh well, the warm gravy made up for the room temperature bird. So here I sit, the usual Monday morning mess around me; newspapers, half empty bowls of oatmeal, stray socks and shoes...oh yes, the breathing thing. What does one do when all that adrenaline runs out? What brings back that frenetic energy? What fills that empty space in our minds that usually says "go, go, go, move it!"? Have I become lost without that drive to plan, prepare, create, worry, despair ? This past weekend I didn't do much. It is very cold here in Chicago and we had some snow last night. The husband and Abby and I sort of lounged around in sweatpants reading, nibbling here and there and keeping the fire going in the fireplace. Even the dogs didn't want to go out. Well that was lazy and decadant. But now it's like the calm after the storm. I'll clean up the half empty oatmeal bowls, throw out 3 days worth of newspapers, maybe take a long hot bath and dream about...blank. Okay, the Redbook article is coming back, breathe in slowly through the nose deep into your abdomen and slowly out through pursed lips. Ahhh! Well we have Christmas in 25 days. I probably have close to 15 boxes to carry up. We need to go out for a tree before all the good ones are gone. My little Christmas Village has grown considerably and that can take hours to arrange. Abby has a Christmas dance next Friday and we'll need to go for a dress and shoes. We are having a cocktail party on the 13th and I have no idea what I will serve. And of course other people will be having parties and the invitations will start pouring in and, oh yes, doing my Christmas cards! I nearly forgot that 3 hour ordeal. Hey wait a minute, I feel a little panic! What could this be? Adrenaline? Newly found energy? No time for this deep breathing stuff. I've got to run.
A quick quote that makes me smile inside:
"Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings"