Friday, July 16, 2010

Birthday in the year AD

My apologies to all of my history professors. This time AD means after death, my moms. Yesterday was mom's birthday. Strange that for 22 years I had trouble getting her birthday right. One year I celebrated it on the wrong month, many others we were at Camp Keola for youth camps, and some I confess, it just plain slipped my mind. I’ll be the first to confess I’m bad at remembering Dates and Names.

Anyway, for 22 years I have trouble getting it right and this year....this year I've seen it coming for days.

The scenario made me think of a toddler meeting a strange new person. First the stranger and the toddler are on opposite sides of the room. Toddler is suspicious and gives stranger stink eye. I don't like you, please go away.

Toddler and stranger move around the room staying on opposite sides. Toddler is scoping out this new stranger. Stink eye, still there.

Stranger starts getting closer which gives the toddler a bit of healthy stress.

All right, stranger is within reach. Too close. Toddler starts to scream and cry. (Yes, I started to cry at work on Wednesday. I’m over crying. I sort of wish it would be over me.)

Then the stranger (who's not a creepy stranger in that he/she knows the parents) comes in one big swoop and picks the toddler up. The day is here whether you like it or not. The toddler contemplates letting all know that she is NOT happy but waits a second too long. Huh. Maybe this is doable. Hey look this stranger came with things that make him not too bad. Glasses are interesting. (Toddler starts poking stranger in the face, checking him/her out.)

Weird comparison I know, but given my recent proximity to kids it was what I could think of.

I didn't know what to think with Mom's birthday coming up. A birthday is day you celebrate loved ones and how happy you are that they have become a part of your life. While she's no longer physically a part of our lives Mom is still a part of my day to day life. I cannot go to the grocery store and not double check the price per unit, when I’m in the classroom I've adopted her obnoxious habit of calling young people friend, I'm using boards stacked on bricks as a shoe rack, our bathmats are 100% cotton the list goes on. Without the person physically there, it's hard to know just how to celebrate them. With a workplace that is currently understaffed it wasn't pratical to take the day off. So I kept busy. I talked on the phone with my sister all the way to work. I stayed busy with the kids at work.

After work Sara and Cami both included me in their evening coffee which then led to night time dinner. Sara and Cami have both experienced the loss of a parent. While I am sad for their loss, I am glad for their friendship, advice, and understanding. They are two people who could say I'm sorry, I feel your pain but don't. Because sitting there in Starbucks in Target all three of us trying not to cry we all knew. It was also good to have people who understood the need for enough, because then we went to get Noodles and talked only of lighter things for the rest of the night.

I tell you these things for several reasons.

1.) to let you all know how I'm doing and that once again God has put me here for a reason.

2.) From what I understand I will probably put off my full grieving for a good chunk of time. Being sad is a lot of work and after everything (death, marriage, moving) I don't have a lot of energy for large amounts of grief.

3.)I would like you to be included in this process because often the more we know, the better we can aid others in the future. Mom always liked to know the full reason why or how. I suspect this is how I ended up with so many random facts that make people exclaim "What don't you know." (My need for the full reason generally makes me think "tons" in my head, mostly because Mom always knew more.)

4.) For journaling purposes. I've never kept a diary or a journal. I’ve been much more motivated to blog. I suspect this is because it writes back in the form of comments which makes it feel less like purposeless writing. If you are a new or anonymous reader I encourage you to comment. You don't have to join, you can make an anonymous comment and just sign your name/nickname should you choose, but you all encourage me to journal and make record, so thank you!

Ps. Val and Matt went to Disneyland and took lots of One in Every Color pictures. I’m hoping they'll be doing a guest blog soon!


Grandma G said...

Thank YOU for sharing that. I like your comparison with the toddler. You are "young" in your grief, so the comparison fit well. I'm glad you have friends there who understand what you're going through and support you. God's working.

Love & a hug.....

Anonymous said...

I've spent the last few days thinking about your mom, remembering things we shared. I came across some more pictures of her, including some from b'days 53 and 51 yrs ago.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. You and yours remain in my thoughts & prayers. Grieving takes a long time - even past when you think you've got it all taken care of, it pops up, taking you by surprise. Always share it with God and trust that in those moments, mom is especially close.


live a colorful life said...

All I could think of was to keep busy during the day (thanks, Christa, for letting Levi spend half the day with me--what a good companion he was) and then to celebrate by doing something Sue and I have done in the past for her birthday--go to Chili's, have a margarita and some chocolate molten lava cake. She would have approved, I think.

Lisa said...

Jess, this coming Wednesday (7/21) Kev and I are joining the Regiers to commemorate Paul's birthday. I completely understand your toddler analogy. I want to support my sister, but fully anticipate it being a difficult dinner.

Love you,

Tanya said...

If there is anything I can do to help let me know!

Anonymous said...

I too, remembered her on her birthday. I remember and miss the text msgs she used to send to me on holidays and when she just wanted to let me know something. She is deepely missed by me.

Jenn L.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the image . . . strangers aren't always bad, even though they can make us uncomfortable. Blessings as you get to know this new one.