Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rest in Peace Momma - I love you

Saturday February 5, 2011 at around 1:15am my phone rang.

It was my sister Theresa calling to tell me our mother had just passed away.

I'd gone to see her the prior Saturday and she looked good. We sat out on the porch at my sister's house for a few hours talking, enjoying the nice weather.

I had planned to go see her again the following Saturday, but Theresa called me Thursday morning and said mom had been sleeping the last two days and she wasn't sure she'd be with us much longer.

So I called in to work and Matthew e-mailed his professors and we went to MS.

Although she would open her eyes briefly when you called her name she never really woke up, and the one time I did get a response from her she didn't know who I was. That was hard. I'm torn between being thankful my sister called me so I could come see mom again, or being angry - that my last memories of her, laughing, smiling in the sun were replaced with her lying unaware in a hospital bed.

The service was Tuesday Feb 8th... also my husband's birthday. Talk about torn emotions. Death of one and birth of another - mourned and celebrated the same day. There wasn't really any celebrating though... not on my part at least. From the pictures my sister posted it seems everyone else partied it up after I left. Mom probably would have joined them - just another way I feel separated from my family.

The service was beautiful - my grandma sang my mom's favorite song - 'I Hope You Dance' by Lee Ann Womack and at the end everyone joined in and sang along.

There were so many people there. Family I'd not seen since I was a toddler. Friends of mom's I'd never met. School friends of mine and my sister's that remembered mom from when they were kids who drove 3 hours to come honor her. That meant so much.

Everyone was kind and loving - with the exception of a few who'd been in the forefront of attacking me for my post about mom and cancer. Blood relatives, at my mother's funeral and they completely, obviously, deliberately ignored me. Even through the haze of tear swollen eyes I was amazed at their total lack of class.

After the grave side service, I went back to my sister's house with my nieces. Most everyone else went to the bar to 'do a shot in honor of mom'. Maybe it's because I don't drink, or because it was taking everything I had to not fall apart but I just could see nothing honorable in going to the bar to drink and dance when we'd just put my mother in the ground.

My husband has told me if he passes before me, 'I want you to throw a party when I die to celebrate my life'. I love him with all my heart and soul but that is one wish I will not be able to fulfill.

I guess they felt like they were celebrating her life -

I felt like they were saying Mom's dead let's party!

I was talking to a co-worker yesterday. His dad passed three years ago and he said he still has moments where he'll go to pick up the phone to call his dad before he remembers he can't. His dad lived in Africa so they didn't see each other often.

When you lose a loved one, I don't know if it's harder for the people they saw every day... or people who they talked to or saw periodically.

If you live with a person every day - there's no way to forget they're gone. They're just not there anymore.

I've lived in a different state than my family for almost ten years. I talked to mom a few times a month and saw her once or twice a month - so it's normal to go for periods of time without talking to her. I wonder if that will make it harder to remember she's gone - or harder to deal with her passing.

Sigh - I was supposed to be blogging every day this month.. I think I picked the wrong month to try and do that and I have a feeling this blog doesn't make much sense, but I felt like I had to write.

I went to work for a few hours the morning mom passed, and back to work the day after. I worked the day before her service and the day after that as well. I feel like I should take time off to process everything, but I also feel like if I do I may never stop crying.

So I work, and I write - a little now - a little later - a little after that. Until I've worked my way through this and I can think of mom without it feeling like there's a vise wrapped around my chest.

Until I can be happy with the little bit of progress we DID make in our relationship over the last few years, instead of being angry that now it will never get fixed any more than it did.

One of my mom's closest friends told me at the funeral that mom told her 'I spent so many years doing stupid stuff and missed so much of Mollie's life'. She said mom told her her how much she regretted that.... I wish she had told me.

Diane Beatrice Spiers Abshire

December 26, 1957 - February 5, 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Welcome to 30 days of blogging!

Oh wait - It's February... make that 28 days.

It's been almost two years since I've signed up for a Nablopomo. Nablo huh?

National Blog Posting Month.

To explain what that is exactly I'll borrow a snippet from their webpage.

Welcome to National Blog Posting Month! National Blog Posting Month is the epicenter of daily blogging! People who want to set the habit of blogging by doing it every day for a month, including weekends, can come here for moral support, inspiration, and the camaraderie that only marathon blogging can provide.

1. What is National Blog Posting Month?
Essentially, it's a group of people who have committed to updating their blogs once a day for an entire month.

2. But why is it called National Blog Posting Month if it happens every month?
The whole thing started off as a goof based on National Novel Writing Month, the challenge of which is to try to write an entire novel during the month November. Not everyone can commit to an endeavor of such magnitude, though, and so National Blog Posting Month was born. However, after doing a November NaBlo for a couple of years in a row it seemed that a lot of people had found their momentum and wanted to keep going into December and beyond. So now NaBloPoMo is something you can drop into any month of the year, though November is still the biggest month, and is the only month when members donate prizes that are then given out randomly to other members who posted every day in November.

So now that you know what it is, let's get started!

February's blog theme (every month has a theme) is CHARACTER.

What a word! Multiple definitions instantly come to mind and I've decided that exploring as many of them as possible is going to be one way to help me get through posting every day this month!

Human or personal character is, in light of the recent events with my family, the definition that first comes to mind.

Here are a a few definitions from that relate to the human condition.

char·ac·ter   /ˈkærɪktər/ Show Spelled
[kar-ik-ter] Show IPA

1. the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
2. one such feature or trait; characteristic.
3. moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character.
4. qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.
5. reputation: a stain on one's character.
6. good repute.
7. an account of the qualities or peculiarities of a person or thing.
8. a person, esp. with reference to behavior or personality: a suspicious character.
9. Informal . an odd, eccentric, or unusual person.

As much as the baser parts of me want to go on a rant about the lack of character I've been on the receiving end of I've decided - or rather remembered - that I have the choice to be a victim of my circumstance or I can be a VICTOR over them and I'm choosing the latter.

There are so many things you can do to build good strong character, things you wouldn't even think of as being 'character building'.

Take blogging for example. Even though I am a creature of habit and structure there are times and things that I have trouble being disciplined with. One of them is what got me into blogging to begin with!

Keeping a diary or journal!

If I look though my storage room I've no doubt I'd pull out no less than 6 journals. All started, none kept up with. I'd start a diary, write every day for a month or two then completely forget about it. Six, seven months later I'd remember - 'Oh crap! I'm supposed to be journaling!' and I'd go buy another book and start all over again. I have diaries and poems from the last 10-12 years and every so often I'll pull one out, read a little, shake my head at the place my life was in at that time then thank God for how much I've grown and how far I've come.

And although I've been greatly remiss in my blogournaling (blogging+journaling) in the last year I have, for the most part, been much more successful with this medium than I have written word.

So back to how blogging can build character! For me personally it has been a great tool for personal growth as well as discipline. (I promise all 28 days won't be this long!)

Speaking of long - this is getting rather lengthy so I'll wrap it up with this;

Personal Growth: I love writing, but I hate writing - so blogging provides an avenue for me to express myself, work through my thoughts and feelings and process events in my life that, without 'putting it out there' would just sit in my soul and fester. In other words - blogging equals a healthy way to clean out the gunk.

Discipline: Nablopomo means blogging EVERY SINGLE DAY for an entire month! So it helps me with keeping commitments and sticking with something I may be inclined to put off until later. In other words - blogging equals sticktoitiveness.

And I know that is totally not a word but I think you know what I mean ^_^

So - Nablopomo Day 1 accomplished!

Hasta mañana