Monday, February 20, 2012

Mardi Gras 2012

Betty and me at Hattie's for Mardi Gras celebration in Hallowell - 2012.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Beautiful roses my sweet man brought me for Valentine's Day.  

Oh my . . . they look much like the ones I sent to my sweet man for Valentine's Day.   

A rather extravagant expense when x 2 but it's sometimes it's good to show the love.  Men like receiving flowers, too, right?

Then put them all together.  So pretty.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Mom Died This Morning - A True Story

My Mom died in October of 2001.  I've shared the story of the day she died with some but I decided to write this poem, or prose, or whatever you might call it.  

My Mom Died This Morning - A True Story

My mom died this morning
A more positive person you’d never met
At times, a difficult life of poverty and domestic violence
But through hard work and perseverance
She created security and great love
If you’d asked her she would have said her life was beautiful
And she was right

Never one to dwell on the negative
Her vivaciousness, wit, understanding, and laughter
Is what everyone always remembers about her

My siblings and I spent the night at the hospital
Knowing it was the end
Wanting to be there for a few last hours with her

She talked about her theory that when you die
You become whatever age you were the most happy during your life
I pictured her running up the big hill at my grandparents’ house
Pigtails flying, followed by any number of her 9 siblings
Headed for the big oak tree that was her steed
Her fort, her Mt. Everest, or her ship,
Whatever her fancy may have been that day

Just as the sun was rising
Her own beautiful star extinguished
All that was left, and it was much,
Was the light and laughter that was her memory

Never being one who could cry at the appropriate time
I sat there feeling empty and alone amongst a crowd of tears
I knew I had to get away and be alone with my loss

I drove home and loaded my kayak onto my car
The unseasonably warm October morning with bright sun and blue skies
Belying the tragedy of the day
A five minute drive to the river
I was relieved that the early hour guaranteed my solitude

Paddling downriver against the incoming tide
You’d think I was being pursued by a monster
Tears finally flowing, leaving a wake of despair

Stopping exhausted next to shore
I looked up and saw a beautiful bald eagle
Perched in a tree not 20 feet above
Staring down at me with a hint of concern

What can be so sad on this day the Lord has given us
He seemed to ask
So I told him of my loss
Of the feeling of becoming an orphan
Of being abandoned
No matter that I was almost 50 years old

We sat there and talked for 20 minutes
Though not a word was spoken
His understanding and compassion
Allowed the tears to flow without feeling pitiful or silly

Finally I thanked him for listening and started off again on my paddle
Peacefully at first but as the sadness returned
The paddling once more became frantic and obsessed
Again, I pulled up next to shore to rest under an overhanging tree
And as I did, much to my surprise, the eagle landed just above me

I couldn’t help but smile through my tears
And welcome him back
I shared with him memories of long talks
Of funny stories, of sad times, and beautiful moments

We laughed and cried
And gave thanks to the universe
For kindness, for adversities, and complex relationships

Again, I thanked him for listening
And slowly and more peacefully
Continued on my way downstream against the tide

I paddled hard and fast and steady for quite some time
But with much less distress than I’d been feeling before
The sun was beating down harshly at this point
The heat of the day at its peak
So the shady cove beckoned me

I pulled over and closed my eyes
Welcoming the relief from the sun
I splashed some water onto my face
And hearing a noise, glanced upwards and burst into laughter
To see my now old friend perched up above
He seemed relieved to hear my mirth
As if it signaled I was back to my old self
The woman who was the daughter my mother produced

Sensing all was well
He lifted off from his branch
And with grace and majesty
He soared down the middle of the river
Until he was just a dot that disappeared
Into the horizon

Suddenly exhaustion overcame me
The sleepless night, the deep emotions and the physical exertion
All came together
And I was grateful to allow the incoming tide
To gently bring me back

Bring me back to my less than perfect but oh so glorious life
To the guilt that every mother feels when she’s put her own needs
Before the needs of her family
To a husband who was also dying
And had only a few months left to live
To three teenage sons who were sad at the loss
Of a grandmother they were very close to

But I’ll be forever grateful for that October day
That I spent with my eagle friend
Thank you Mom for sending him to me
Once again, you knew just what I needed

So if you’re ever with me
And an eagle appears
You’ll know why I look at it with love
And say, “Hi Mom.”

This poem contributed to dVersePoets Open Link Night.