Saturday, February 23, 2008

Remembering Mom

Mom died last year on February 24 at 4:24 AM. This time last year we were collected in her hospital room watching her breathing and body rapidly deteriorating.

The pain and sadness from her not being here is less constant. But it still is miserable to not have her to talk to, share life moments with or go to for advice. I miss her terribly.

Thanks to Mom for…
  • Making the best Halloween costumes ever!
  • Loving me even when I was an obnoxious and ungrateful teenager
  • Teaching me it is sometimes ok to make a scene to stand up for what is right
  • Being the best role model and mentor for being a strong, confident, yet feminine woman
  • Fighting ferociously for us kids whenever you needed to
Great memories of…
  • Waking up on the weekends to the smell of breakfast cooking and Mom playing the piano
  • Arguing with Mom when I was a kid about which of us loved each other more. Kind of went like this: “I love you this much!” As I opened my arms open wide. “Well, I love you THIS much!” Mom would say as she opened her arms super wide. “Well, I love you from here to the Moon and back again!” I would respond. “Well, I love you from here to the Sun and back again! She would answer. It would go on like that until one of us burst out laughing and then we’d share a big hug.
  • Shopping and finding ‘the’ best deals
  • So many Christmas traditions!
  • Working on stuff on the computer together
  • Helping her paint and wallpaper countless rooms over the years
  • Mom hugs.
Just to name a few.

I love you, Mom!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ditching Pain

A recent article on from talks about the importance of letting go of what bothers us... recognizing what hurts and then focusing our attention elsewhere. It really hit home in regards to the process that my family has been going through for the past year adjusting to the loss of Mom. Fighting the pain makes it worse and wallowing in it is just plain miserable. Acknowledging it and then letting go is definitely the path that hurts the least.

It also applies to smaller challenges in life too, though. I've been a bit baffled at times by the Buddhist notion of 'attachment' and how some interpret it to mean they should avoid relationships and/or situations in life that will lead to pain when lost. I wonder if it really is about embracing exactly those relationships and situations... and then not being attached to the pain when they eventually end. Just a thought.

I like the line at the end, "By not trying to control the uncontrollable, we get what we thought we'd get if we were in control."

Friday, December 28, 2007


I thought it was extreme when I heard that the Sesame Street "old school" videos come with a warning that they weren't appropriate for children to watch.

Now apparently Santa is a bad role model?

And there is even a Christmas song some elementary schools are choosing for their holiday concerts called Santa Claus, Santa Claus, You are Much to Fat!

No, really... if you google it you can even buy the sheet music. You might even come across a YouTube video of some kids singing it at their school concert. Unbelievable. Here are the lyrics.

Santa Claus, Santa Claus, You are Much Too Fat!(sing to the tune of “Jingle Bells”)

I heard a reindeer hoof, then Santa dressed in red,came crashing thro’ the roof and landed on my bed. I thought it was a dream, but quickly did I wake,as soon as I heard Santa scream, “I want a piece of cake!”


Oh, Santa Claus, Santa Claus, you are much too fat; I was sleeping peacefully but not my bed is flat. Oh! Santa Claus, Santa Claus, how much do you weigh? I’m glad I’m not a reindeer that has to pull your sleigh!
He got up off the floor and said, “How do you do?” I said, “My back is sore, my head is black and blue.” “So sorry!” he replied, and then he asked my name. He offered me a ride, I said, “No, thank you just the same!”


I heard a “ho, ho, ho,” the sleigh was in the sky.but it was moving slow and wasn’t very high. It wobbled in the air, I hoped it wouldn’t fall; Said Santa, chewing cookies, “Merry Christmas, one and all!”


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Past

I thought last Christmas was tough. Mom had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer five days before. But this one was worse.

This Christmas was just plain weird without Mom. There is a part of my brain that just can't fathom Christmas sans Mom. And yet, here it is December 26th, and yesterday came and went even though Mom wasn't here.

Did I mention it was weird?

To add to the weirdness of the day, not only did I have to sort out my own grief and figure out how to redefine the meaning of Christmas minus Mom, but my Dad kept bursting into fits of full-out crying all day. He'd be on the phone talking to someone, start crying uncontrollably and without warning, and then either just hang up on them abruptly or drop the phone in my lap and fold into full body sobs. Keep in mind that prior to this past February when Mom died, I had never seen my Dad cry. Never.

I didn’t know what to do or how to handle this. What could I do? It was so horrible and sad and uncomfortable I can’t even describe it.

For the last few weeks Dad has repeatedly told me how miserable he would be on Christmas and he proved himself very right. Dad would not let even one Christmas decoration be put out, let alone a tree. He told me today that he feels like God doesn't listen to his prayers. For example? He prays every night for his time to be done on this earth so he can be with Mom again and plans to "keep pestering God" until He listens. Alrightly then.

I do my best to try and help Dad focus on his faith. I try to explain that there is still a purpose to his being here and that even though we may not understand why and how things happen, there is a reason and that we will understand someday. I let Dad know that I think Mom is now “in the know” and is watching over us. He doesn’t want to hear it. Or isn’t ready… maybe both.

I'd much rather think of the Christmases when I was a kid. Mom made them magical and created some beautiful family traditions. I want to honor Mom's memory focusing on the good and the blessings she brought to all of us.

I want to remember tromping out in the snow to pick THE perfect tree... the rush to see which of us would manage to put the first ornament on the tree. (Dad would usually cheat and hang the first one before we were even done with the lights!) I want to remember spending hours in the kitchen making the cookies we only made that time of year… especially the yummy Polish kolachky, prune filled cookies. And waking up in the wee, early morning hours to find my Christmas stocking hung over my bedpost filled with fun little presents that I would painstakingly open ever so slowly and in the dark so as to not to make a sound or wake anyone up. And this was a challenge since the loop at the top of my stocking was covered in sleigh bells! Once I was old enough to know it was Mom that snuck in and hung my stocking there, I was amazed to think she had managed all those years to hang that stocking just above my head and not wake me up with the racket those bells made!

Yeah, I'd much rather think of all the ways Mom made Christmas special and how lucky I was to have her as my Mom.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Love is a choice

Withholding love is a bit like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. You may hold back your love in the name of security or safety, but these are illusions, and in time you will stand as a dwarf compared to the person you could have potenially become if you had chosen love.

Love is a choice. When we choose love, our spirit expands. When we choose not to love, our spirit shrivels.

The Seven Levels of Intimacy: the Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved, by Matthew Kelly

Friday, August 3, 2007

Love is exposing

Love is exposing ourselves in the purest and most open of ways with no expectations and given freely without any conditions. To love is to risk not being loved. As a result, people often morph the idea of love into something that is more about what they receive and makes them feel good about themselves. But love is about the other, not the self.

And yet in a complicated, doesn’t make obvious sense kind of way, loving another selflessly is the key to true happiness within one’s self.

Love - The Gift of Peace

Love is not something you do,
Love is a way of being.
And more than that.
It is simply being,
Being with another person,
however they may be.
Holding no judgments,
having no agendas,
No desire to control,
No need to prove your love,
No intrusion upon their soul.
Nothing but a total acceptance of their being,
Born of your acceptance of yours.