Sunday, May 24, 2009

Yesterday was (would have been) Karl's 36th birthday. We celebrated with a little get together with some of the core friends, lots of food, fun, and enough beer to totally overwhelm my recycling bins. Thanks a million to everybody for making a rough day so joyful.

A few photos are at Flickr.

Yes, that is a poker table in my dining room. Yes, I broke my dining room table the night before my party. Yes, the one with the falling apart chairs that's older than me. Yes, it's sitting out back waiting for large item trash day.

Yes. We had a great time.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Seriously, it's hard to believe some of the things people say to strangers.

I was out this evening, and a complete stranger (drunk) came up to me with the following diatribe:

"There's nothing in the world sweeter than a *sleeping* boy." I nodded, tho I thought, in fact, that was not true, as my son is his sweetest when he's giving hugs and kisses, or flirting with strangers, or tipping his head to the side and walking with big steps around the house, or a hundred other sweet waking moments, but yes, he was sleeping sweetly, so I nodded and smiled... Which I guess she took as encouragement to go on.

"Oh, god, but when they are *Awake!* Believe me, I have 4. I KNOW. Don't worry, it gets better when they turn three. It's like something magic happens, and their brains finally can actually think. I mean, you have one, and it's hard, then you have another, and the only thing worse than a 2 year old is a 2 year old and an infant, and you'll be like, 'I really signed on for this???' Then you'll have another one."

At which point I kind of wanted to say, "Actually, that's unlikely, as my husband died. I would love nothing more than a few more children, but the chances seem small now..." But instead I smiled, and nodded. And she went on...

"He's what, year and a half?" (nod) "Oh, yeah, I know you're thinking 'how on earth do single thirteen year olds even survive this?' right?" (no, not really) "Don't worry - I promise - 3 years old. It will be better. Man, people would tell me 'Cherish this time, it's the best of your life' and I thought if this is the best, I want out!" Again I smiled, weakly, and nodded, slightly. And she went on.

But it was more of the same. Eventually she went away. I said little to her, as she was speaking a totally foreign language, and I couldn't even pretend I understood.

Now, in response, I say to the blog readers out there, "If you hate kids, maybe you shouldn't have 4. Pills. Condoms. Abstinence. Whatever, but not 4 kids. Those poor things. Also, just because you hated your kids doesn't mean I hate mine, or that I want to hear you talk down about this time in my life. I adore my son every second. He amazes me, delights me, inspires me, and comforts me. I'm so so sorry you can't find the same light in your own children, but maybe it wasn't in your genes to pass on, because you are a bitter, angry, selfish hag."

No, not you, reader. Unless it was you who approached me the other day.

I guess a mother's love isn't always what it's meant to be.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Can't seem to get myself to bed before midnight, no matter how I try. I even got in my pajamas at 9:00ish, trying to get in the sleeping zone, but to no avail. I'm still up. I'm still not feeling particularly like going to bed. I'm still sure Elliot will want to get up before 6.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Been busy in the garden. Weeding and mulching:
Before Weeding

After Weeding

Planting and hanging:

Picking and eating :)


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Goodbye, old friend.

Today we said goodbye to Karl's beloved Sebastian. He lived the last 9 months of his life with my parents, being spoiled rotten by my mom, who simply can't resist a puppy. His health had been declining, and we all decided that it was time to let him go and be with Karl. I know they will both be happy to be together again.



Sunday, May 10, 2009

This was Mother's Day brunch last year. I have few memories of the day, but I do remember making Karl take pictures of me with Elliot, and I remember the apple topping being fantastic.

Mother's day Brunch

This year, I made waffles for my mom. Elliot loved them, and the berries Mom and D brought to top them. Didn't take photos, and I'm not up for a thousand words tonight, but happy Mother's day to all.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I find I'm taking fewer pictures these days. I started the 365 photo project, and made it about 2 months before the winder blahs got me down. I am too far behind now, but i'm thinking about starting again on an upcoming special day (yet to be determined.)

The photos I have taken, i'm slow to upload. I like to think this is because i'm doing more living, and a little less documenting. I'm in the garden a lot. I have strawberries as big as my thumb now, just waiting to ripen. The irises are blooming, and other flowers are budding in the yard. I've pulled 3 wheelbarrow's worth of weeds in the last week.

I'm also making artwork. Not great work, but it's the starting that's hard for me, and I'm excited to be making something. I'll have a show in July, and it will be just ducky.

So here I am.



Monday, May 04, 2009

I think experiencing grief is a little like learning a foreign language through emersion. I spent some time in Japan after college. I’d taken a few Japanese classes, but really had no experience with the language – with actually speaking it.

When I touched down, I recognized certain phrases, and could utter a few studied sentences, but my brain didn’t really process it all. After several weeks, however, I began to learn the conversation that I would have over and over again – the “Curious about the foreign girl” chat that was always the same 5 or 6 questions, and I always answered them the same way. They always ended with “Oh, your Japanese is so good!” and I thanked them, and dissembled – their English was far better, and I’d studied before I came over, and everybody was so kind and patient and helpful, it made it easier to learn…

Truth is, I think my Japanese was pretty horrible. If we went out to eat, I had no idea what people at the next table were saying. I couldn’t express anything more complicated than “I’m hungry” or “That’s pretty!” I had my practiced dialog, and people predictably asked about the same, safe topics, so I got by.

Sometimes I feel a twinge in my brain when I talk to people about missing Karl. They are going to ask a few questions, and at first I had no idea how to answer. Now, I’ve had some time to learn my own feelings a little, and I can say, “I’m so glad I have Elliot – he reminds me to smile, and laugh” or, “We’re taking it a day at a time. I have great support, and I’m so lucky not to have to worry about the bills.”

It’s another practiced dialog. It isn’t insincere, or pretentious, but I don’t know that it’s ever a real conversation that goes any deeper that “That’s pretty” did. I feel things that I have no vocabulary to express. I don’t cry in front of people, because I wouldn’t know what to *say* when (if?) I ever stopped crying. I don’t say it hurts, because I can’t explain *how* it hurts, *where* it hurts.

Then again, maybe it’s enough just to feel it, and I don’t need to explain it. Or maybe it’s time to find a group of native speakers (others on the same foreign soil of widowhood, at least) to help me practice this language of grief.

But really, I’m doing fine, a day at a time, or a night at a time. I’m still here; I’m holding it together (even if I’m not sure what, exactly, “it” is.)