Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mama,

Spring is definitely upon us.  I've watched the little buds on the trees develop and break open in the past week.  Little tiny pods that slowly turn into bright green leaves.  Within the next week, the whole world outside my window will look totally different.  No more grey, just bright green.  Funny how much brighter things start to look with just a tiny bit of green in the backdrop.

We have begun our spring break, which I admit was more welcome this year than ever before.  Fourth grade is killing me in ways I never dreamed possible.  Madalyn's teacher has us sign everything.  Study guides, slips that say we've seen the study guide, every graded paper, notes about signing the graded papers, every homework page they do.  I should have a stamp made like doctors do so I could just whiz through the signing off all papers.  I'm over it.  Our society has shifted into this weird idealism that we need to know all things all the time.  I dare say you and dad had no clue what my average in any subject was except at progress report and report card times.  I can access David's averages and grades on individual assignments and tests from my cell phone at any time of the day.  Bizarre.  Helpful, but still weird.  I'm glad to be able to keep on top of things, but what happened to expecting the students to be on top of their own work?  And like Madalyn's teacher... we, as parents, are supposed to supervise homework and then check to make sure all answers are correct and then help them correct any wrong answers.  Overkill, I think.  I am definitely not a fourth grade teacher by trade or nature, so some afternoons are highly unpleasant around here.  I know more about fractions now than I did when I was in fourth grade.  And I have to do a lot of Googling.  But, by golly, Madalyn and I both can add and subtract mixed numbers.  Aren't you impressed?

Poor David has been down in his back.  Words I never thought I would say about a 13 year old boy!  We went to his pediatrician yesterday, and she feels certain it's a strained muscle or a little tendonitis from golf.  So we start physical therapy on Monday.  I do hope it helps.  He's been a little down about his golf game.  Of course, he has a high tolerance for pain (like you and I have always had), and he was just playing through it.  It wasn't until this past Wednesday that Scott realized he's compensating his swing because of the pain.  Not good for the golf game, let me tell you.  So he's annoyed and disappointed and ready to be back to normal.  I'm hoping it won't take long.

I got a kick out of something this past week, and you will, too.  David and his friend were working on a science project.  They had to design a chain reaction of objects, and the end result had to be popping a balloon.  So they had devised this scheme, and they needed a needle or something similar to affix to a cup to pop the balloon at the end.  I got out your old sewing box, the burnt orange Tupperware one, and gave them two of your old safety pins.  You're still weaving yourself into our lives, Mama.  I can't even remember if I told David they had belonged to you, and it really doesn't matter.  It just made my heart smile to know that a tiny piece of you went to school with David the next day and helped him complete a project.  How neat is that?

I haven't had a Cadbury egg this year or even pulled my few little Easter decorations down from the attic.  I just don't feel like it this year.  I'm not planning a big family get together.  It's just too draining, and I don't have the energy for it right now.  Almost three years that you've been gone.  Just crazy.  I guess I expected to feel stronger by now, but it's not the case.  I'm okay, but I still feel so raw, so vulnerable.  I wonder how long that will last.  I just have no idea.  I guess I will just keep doing what I do, and hopefully one day I will feel less like an open wound.  Maybe, as time goes by, I will begin to heal bit by bit and feel like putting myself out there again.  Until then, I'll just keep on being the best wife and mom I can be.  That's just all I've got in me.

Missing you more than ever, Mama.  Seeing you in every bloom of the trees and flowers.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mama,

I miss you.  In a little over a month, it will be three years since you died.  Three years of sunrises and sunsets, of birthdays and holidays, of laughter and tears.  Three years full of life since your death.  I look back to three years ago when I used to ponder in my mind what it would feel like once you were gone, never understanding fully that one day I would really have to feel it.  So here I am in the middle of it still completely uncertain on most days what it is I really do feel.

Lonely.  Sad.  Yes, even a little depressed.  Surprisingly tense.  A tinge emotionally unstable.  The latter two surprise me the most.  I never expected for the tears to well up in my eyes unexpectedly some three years after your death or to still feel anxious and tense in social situations where you may have been present.  I even find myself tense while mulling over problems or issues in my head, wishing I could call you and talk to you about it.

Just yesterday, I had this brief thought as I crossed my legs Indian style on the couch... Let me call Mama...  Absolutely bizarre.  I hadn't had that thought in so very long, and there it was, bubbling up with ease.  So I had to push it down, back down deep.  Just Sunday, we were in the woods riding, and I felt the tears in my eyes.  No, no not now, I thought.  And I pushed them back down, back down deep.

Everything around me right now reminds me of you.  It's spring.  The birds are happy, and green is popping up everywhere around me.  And there you are right in the middle of it all.  And no one realizes it.  No one knows that when I see a little bud on a tree that's been dormant for months, I really see you. A Bradford pear in bloom, it's you.  A bird gliding across the blue sky, you also.  Everyone else just sees the outside world coming back to life, but I see the world that you loved so deeply.  I can never look at any of it the same.  Never again.

I wonder why these times come that are just more overwhelming than others.  Times when I just want to curl up inside myself.  Times when I can't really identify with anyone around me.  Times when I feel isolated in my grief.  And where am I supposed to go with it?  I don't know, Mama.  I just don't know.

I think I will head outside this morning.  The sun is out, and it's quite a lovely day.  If you were alive, you would work in your flower beds until your back hurt.  There's not much work to do in my beds this year as I have a certain puppy who's intent on destroying it all.  She's a mess.  But, oh my, how you would have loved her.  She's everything a puppy should be.  Precocious but precious.  She tears something up, and then she feels so sorry for it.  I can't stay mad for long.  She's too darn cute.  You would have enjoyed all the stories of her escapades.  Of all the many things she's found a way to rip to shreds.

So I will go outside.  Vacuum the pool.  Watch the dogs play.  Think of you, sweet Mama.

Love you always.