Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

pre-mother's day edition


It's that bittersweet time of year again. The one I will now never escape---where I celebrate being a mom to my favorite people of all time and yet mourn the loss of one of the best moms to have ever graced this earth.

I get how the grief process goes. You think about the loss. It makes you feel sad. Time goes by. You think about it less. But when you do think about it, it still makes you sad. It's the thinking about it less that I struggle with. I understand that is just what happens, but somewhere deep in my heart, it makes me feel like I am cheating somehow. Like I should continually allow myself to feel the pain because that is what keeps her close to me. None of the, she's watching you from heaven, always in your heart, etc. BS. Without feeling the pain of that loss in the rawest way possible, I am somehow letting myself and others forget her.

Right now, I am in the midst of watching my daughter grieve for her grandfather. Letting her know that it's OK to be sad---but that it is also OK to be happy, have fun, play, be silly. I should probably also embrace that advice, except I can't seem to do it. Because doing that somehow feels like losing her again.

But in the midst of sadness, there is a silver lining.

I have often wished (out loud or in writing) that I could be as wonderful a mother as my own. Do I want to be exactly like her? Maybe not. I'd like to be less of a hoarder and better at time management. But I want to love fiercely, teach kindness, encourage bravery, and be the soft landing for those times when they shoot for the stars and miss, which while heartbreaking are nonetheless inevitable.

I learned last week that I am probably doing a better job than I give myself credit for---when at the Mother's Day tea hosted at J1's school, there was this ...

And when each kid went around and said why they loved their moms she said, "I love my mom because she gives me advice when I am sad." (insert collective "awwww" here).

Those are things that I would certainly say about my own mom. In fact, even after all these years, she is still the one I wish I could talk to when I am sad. Seeing myself reflected in those words of my daughter---mirroring my own thoughts of a mom I admire and miss dearly---reinforced that whatever I'm doing, it's working.

Love and miss you everyday! But you did good, Mom ... at least according to your 6 year old granddaughter!

the last major milestone together - Carleton '00

Friday, May 5, 2017

end april

Catching up on the rest of April. Less words. More cowbell pictures. Time to move on.

Earth Day!
And then there were 7! RMM Associates in Healdsburg!
The amazing Easter egg hunt!

The Hunters

Happy Easter!

Let him eat cake!

Swim Team
some sad stuff

but some happy stuff too

badass mama tribe

I have no words and and I have all the words. All the words to describe how incredibly blessed I am to have fallen into an amazing network of women. We are moms, we have careers, but most of all we are so astonishingly THERE for each other---all the damn time.

As you may know, our family suffered a great loss recently. I do not intend to write about it because while it has affected me in unimaginable ways, it's not my story to tell. But in the immediate aftermath, when I couldn't remember the last time I had fed my kids let alone slept, my badass mama tribe got that shit done. As fiercely independent as we are, in that moment there was nothing we could do but ask for help and lean on these women---and we leaned hard.

These are the women you want in your corner. They will get you what you need without a lot of questions because they know what you want. How do they know? Doesn't matter. They. Just. Know. They are my ride or die(s).

From flowers, to food, to helping with my kids, photo collages, setting up my house beautifully for luncheon after the service and making me look like No. 1 daughter-in-law, these women accomplished it all. Oh yes, and I don't know what they did with the Sheraton but somehow we managed to get out of paying for four nights for two hotel rooms for the Disneyland trip that wasn't.

Literally, within 24 hours of hearing the news, two of them had already scheduled who was going to drop off and pick up J2 from preschool. When we needed a chair gone from my house, 10 minutes later one of their husbands was at my house to put it in his truck and haul it away.

This badass mama tribe of mine does not, however, overshadow the rest of the people in our lives that helped to make one of the hardest things in life a little easier. Friends and coworkers stopped by with meals, flowers, gift cards for meals, etc. Neighbors who put together a photo slideshow with music in the matter of minutes, and who also put together play structures in your backyard, even out the concrete on your patio, and let your kids watch TV at their house while you meet with the funeral home. Many thanks to the Bishop family for everything they did and for everything they do for us always! If they ever move, I really hope the house next door to them is also for sale because I am going to move there.

Pastor Todd told us that you reap what you sow, and he wasn't surprised that we had such a tremendous support network. I hope he is right and that the fact that we had so many people in our corner during this difficult time means that we are the type of people that have sowed the seeds for good and lasting relationships.

Thank you to everyone who helped us and continues to help us. This is like an Oscar speech. I'm probably forgetting someone, but please know that my heart is so full of the outpouring of love that we experienced during this time. You're kindness and compassion were overwhelming. In a good way. So thank you!