Sunday, January 25, 2015


When I think about saying goodbye to someone, in death, I think of the movies… where tearful souls sit bedside, telling their loved one how much their life has meant to them. In the movies, characters seem to express to the full extent their feelings, at which time their beloved is able to peacefully slip into the arms of God.

In reality, saying goodbye can happen bit by bit, over a long period of time, without our awareness. Sneaking up on us and stealing a person long before they’ve left from this world.

Yesterday, we said goodbye to my grandmother.

Granny, as she liked to be known, began her departure long before her body was ready to rest. That is the heavy burden of this sadness that lingers. It’s the nagging voice in the back of my mind, chiding me for not spending more time with this woman who meant so much to me, telling her how I felt… recalling memories together and not just listening to her, but taking the time to better hear what she was saying.

I think (I hope) in her heart she knew how much she meant to me. Even so, I wish I’d done a better job. There is no substitute for telling someone how much you love them.

So we gathered, we remembered and we honored this woman who was so complex and so loving… this woman who seemed to emanate confidence in self and possessed this ability to speak the difficult truths… this woman without whom three generations wouldn’t be gracing the Earth, with their own gifts and love to share with those surrounding them.

If I had one more chance, I’d just tell her that I love her, “a bushel and a peck.” The conversation could be short, but ideally taking place in her garden, in the green bean row to be exact.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Sports are important to Monte and me. It's important for us to see the little people working with other kids as a part of a team, and at the same time finding enjoyment in their activity. This fall, both boys are enjoying wrestling.

I didn't grow up around the sport, neither did Monte. We are as green as the boys... We are, however, finding out that the sport has a die-hard following. People love it or hate it. There doesn't seem to be room for the wishy-washy type.

As a result, I'm finding myself mat-side most weekends...

We wanted to give the boys an opportunity to learn through sports, but this season, I think I'm learning as much as they are.

I'm learning that Benett is tougher than I thought he was.

I'm learning that Gavin's isn't as carefree as I thought he was.

I'm learning that it's not easy to see one child show up at a meet and run through his bracket, with a gigantic smile on his face... while the other gives his all only to walk off the mat defeated and in tears.

I'm learning that I'm more competitive than I perceived myself to be.

I'm learning that a mother's love is fierce in ways I didn't understand before.

At the end of the day, both of the boys are right where they should be. That's not easy for me to say... because I want to see Gavin happy; to give him everything he works so hard to try to achieve. But he's a new-comer to a sport that starts very (very) young. Most of his competitors have been wrestling for 6-7 years. This is his second season.

He gives it his all... doesn't give up... but just isn't able to make things happen the way he'd like. Yet he goes out there every weekend, because he wants to... because he's got confidence in himself. And in my mind, as long as he's able to take something away from the match, it's a success. Today he told me he was proud that he didn't give up but that he needs to do a better job of "visualizing his matches". I think that alone should earn him a spot on the top of the podium. (Although he wouldn't agree.)

And this one... well, he may very well be on cloud nine, at this late hour. He was a blast to watch... and to see his excitement, well that's something I can't put into words. That look on his face at the end of the round, will live in my heart and be the image I see in my mind's eye when I think of happiness. He ran off the mat and squeezed me so tight around the neck that I thought I might pass out. He vigorously gave me a kiss on the cheek and then ran up to the stands to share his excitement with his dad and siblings. Pure joy.

Today was two sides of a single coin. Two lessons learned and one mother who is glad to have been there to hold their hands no matter what the outcome.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


We're already 6 days into January and still no resolution. Last year, I knew what I wanted to accomplish. It seemed so easy, but this year things feel different. So, in an attempt to learn where I want to take myself, I decided to look back and where we've been.

In 2014, Benett went to school, and Ellie learned to be independent. We spent time pursuing the enjoyment of the outdoors. Monte and I even got away, which in and of itself is a minor miracle. Three doting cousins have the sweetest baby boy to which to show their endless affection.

In 2014, I logged more than 800 miles. That includes four half marathons, which was my resolution and goal for the year. A challenge for my 40th year on Earth. That feels like a very big journey. I'm not sure I can even recognize the person I was before my trajectory changed. It's been a gift for myself, and the little people. I hope it's an example for them...

The little people aren't so little anymore. They surprise me each and every day in their display of just how much they've grown. It's funny to look back at photos of them from just a year ago, their chubbier cheeks and rounder faces make me realize that good or bad, this day will not last. They'll never be as small as they are today. Tomorrow they'll be a little more grown up.

Tomorrow they'll be a little bit more reluctant. That reluctance seems to grow as their chubby cheeks fade. They're not quite so willing to wait for a photo op... especially if one is an 11-year-old. I just don't have as many pictures of Gavin anymore... each of them really...

Perhaps that should be a part of my goal for 2015... For all of us to work on being less reluctant to try new things, to live in the moment or to forget how much we mean to one another... and to express those feelings.

That sounds worthy of a resolution, but I think I'll remain unresolved for a bit. This year seems like it can hold much more than that.