I've long seen my mom in Mary, but it is only now that I realize my mom saw a bit of Mary in me, too. As I went off to college, graduated and moved to bigger cities in states far from home, got my first suit, my first apartment. As she watched me experiencing all the highs and lows that come with tossing your proverbial hat in the air as a single working woman. As she saw me live out some of the Mary Richards' experiences she never had.
Flashback to 1983. My parents are watching Dallas in the basement with their friends. I'm at the top of the stairs, trying not to squeak the steps, hunched in a nightgown with my knees pulled tight. Of course my mom sees me and yep, she is upset. Despite her frustration she lets me sit on the floor and join them in watching the number one show of 1983. My mom had to do this a lot--put up with a kid who was awake until all hours of the night. Usually it was just the two of us. She'd let me watch Love Boat on the tiny black and white TV in our kitchen while she made popcorn. Initially she would be exasperated (Of COURSE she was, adult Sarah gets it now!) but she always softened and lovingly let me join her in her late night routine. Let me write it out right here in case my prayers haven't reached my mother: MOM I AM SO SORRY FOR WHAT I PUT YOU THROUGH. MOM HOW DID YOU DO IT. MOM YOU POOR WOMAN YOU NEVER. GOT. A. BREAK! Why the sudden mea culpas? [Read More]
My mom was 43 years old the day that she listened to the voice. Five years older than I am as I type this. She listened and so she lived. To see graduations, birthdays, weddings, births. To adopt new identities: Mother-in-Law, Great-Aunt, and yes, even Grandmother. When my mother paused in the kitchen that day to listen, perhaps with … Continue reading Choosing to Dance: My Mother’s Breast Cancer Story
Today has been melancholy. Blah. So MONDAY-ish. Maybe it was the return to work after a great day at the beach with dear friends who were visiting from out-of-state. Maybe it was the post-deathversary-grief. (Grief, after all, is the gift that keeps on giving.) Maybe it was that first thing this morning what did I … Continue reading Squirrels, diiiiiings and a cause for celebration!
Remembering my beautiful mom today. I continue to draw sustenance from her love. In the redwood ecosystem, buds for future trees are contained in pods called burls, tough brown knobs that cling to the bark of the mother tree. When the mother tree is logged, blown over, or destroyed by fire –when, in other words, … Continue reading Redwood Ecosystems and Life After Death
I am embarking on the third round of birthdays, anniversaries and holidays without my mom. In the past two years it often felt like I was fumbling around in the dark with a scarf over my eyes, playing a twisted game of pin the tail on the donkey where I never even came close to the tail and I … Continue reading A failed game of pin the tail on the donkey
And the trickiest dance step of all: meeting that pain with love.
I have a confession: I didn't fully believe my mourning birds. I'm talking about the birds behind this blog. The birds that came to me and were like, hey, Poppins! HELLO. And I was like, Hi? And they were like, We are your blog's omen. (Who knew blogs had omens.) So, I looked it up. Mourning … Continue reading Hello From the Other Side