A year ago today my life changed forever. My beloved mother passed away and life hasn’t been the same since. My mother was the most loving, kind, amazing individual anyone ever met. She loved everyone. When she passed, a light went out in this world.
Ironically, today is World Adoption Day.How appropriate! My older brother and I are both adopted. (We have a baby brother who isn’t, but that is a long story for a future post, maybe.)
My parents were unable to have children of for a long, long time. In the 50’s it couldn’t possibly be the male’s problem, so women would undergo surgery to try and figure out why they couldn’t conceive. It had to be her fault.
My blessed mother had fifteen (15) exploratory surgeries between 1950 and 1957 trying to figure out why she wasn’t conceiving. My parents had been married since 1946 and this was incredibly frustrating for both of them. She was diagnosed with severe case of endometriosis in one of her early surgeries and the medical community rectified that problem, probably extending her life. (Thank you!)
It has been interesting growing up as an adopted child. My parents never hid the information and actually went out of their way to make sure I knew it. There are a lot of mixed emotions as an adoptee. You can’t help but wonder why didn’t my biological parents want me? Was I rejected at birth?
Roe v Wade changed the thought process. Never again did I have a negative thought about being giving up for adoption. I began thinking about what a blessing it was that I ever took a breath. Thanks Bio-mom whomever you may be and wherever you are.
My parents are a shining example of what adoption could/should be, so I find it interesting that World Adoption Day is today.
For starters, I feel like I have been moving forever! In reality, it hasn’t been more than 18 months, but that is long enough. It all started when I was laid off from my long-term contract. Bitter disappointment followed.
In the midst of coming to terms with my situation, my husband’s company notified him he would be out of work at the end of 2017 as they were moving to Colorado and he hadn’t been with them long enough for consideration. Great! Just what I needed to hear!
I am really proud of us! We didn’t let any of this news actually get us down. We became incredibly pragmatic. We had a date that our whole world would change, now what could we do to be ready when the calendar counted down? We created a list of things we needed to get in order and started working down that list.
I found a new job! It took me a couple of months, but I found one. Turned out to be the best job I have ever had! The drive blew, but at least it was a reverse commute! This was quite a relief and gave us an alternative for when my husband’s job would end. We were blessed!
We had a lot to do before the end of the year.
My eldest child was getting married in New Mexico. Check! I am mother of the bride there is no way I would miss that!
We started packing up our belongings in preparation to put our house, my beautiful house that I planned to die in, on the market. An analysis of our financial situation identified we could downsize without much effort and get out from under the only debt we had – the mortgage.
We are good homeowners. We have a set of basic maintenance tasks that we do every year, which helps to keep the house nicer and definitely increases resale value when you can produce the records. Not knowing exactly what was happening next, we went about taking care of our ‘annual fall maintenance’ tasks, scheduling them around my daughter’s wedding.
Upon returning home from my daughter’s wedding, my husband was asked if he would be interested in keeping his job, the caveat being we would have to move to Colorado.
After that everything went F-A-S-T!
Stuff moved out of the house.
Deep cleaning ensued.
I quit my job.
Find an apartment in Colorado.
All of those annoying things you have to do to move into a new place.
My mother passes.
My best friend rides with me as I drive from Bellevue, WA to Denver, CO. It took a couple of days, but I needed to get home. 25% of why I wanted to be in Colorado has just left this earth and I needed to be there for my father!
As I sit here, I realize this all happened a year ago and I am still trying to settle into my new normal.
We have entered into day 2 of our windows installation. Makes sense. We are replacing all of them – a total of 31. As life would have it, we are experiencing the coldest temperatures we have seen in 6 months. Kind of sad that we were using the air conditioner a week ago, now it is freezing and we are pulling out the huge windows in my house. My father’s voice is ringing in my head, “Close that pneumonia hole!”
Man do I miss my dad! He was always my go to when I had to do something. We were close – even closer in the last decade. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t talk to him and/or my mother. Time that I used to resent taking every day, but now I am so grateful that I did it.
I need him. His wisdom, his concern, his observations. The good. The bad. The ugly. I need it.
Here I am knee-deep in the biggest home improvement project I have ever experienced and I am winging it without much counsel. Scary! Sure am hoping it turns out well, but it will take time to find out if I did the right things right.
Yep, lyrics again. These are very poignant for today. You see, this song reminds me of my mother, for many reasons. My mother passed this morning and I am sad. I am beyond sad, but I don’t have the vocabulary to more accurately express how I feel.
“My Favorite Things” was one of my mother’s favorite songs. She taught me to sing it when I was wee little and she took great joy sitting down to the piano and accompanying me while I sang it.
I remember practicing this song day and night as my audition song for a musical in our local theater. She was precious taking her time to record the music on the great, big, old reel-to-reel for me to use as I practiced.
She worked with me on timing, breathing, choreography, the whole bit. It was special time we shared together. When I didn’t get the lead, I felt like I had let her down somehow, but she never would tell you that, she was always in my corner.
My mother was an artist at heart. She took great pleasure in making the world happy. She had this desire to perform and was disappointed when I didn’t share this talent.
I anticipate there will be more rambling entries like this as the next few days pass and I get a grip on the whole situation.
Thank you Green Day for some of my favorite lyrics and expressing such emotion in your work!
DISCLAIMER – what follows is a random stream of thought that provides a deeper view into me.
For the first time in my entire life, I am allowed – er, encouraged – to learn about pop culture. That is kind of awesome.
Just a quick catch up, as I got busy doing life again, rather than pondering about it, the following things happened:
– Started the new job. Like it? Love it? Opportunity? How am I handling it?
– Driving a lot. Long way to work. How am I doing on the interstate?
– Daughter is getting married soon. How’s that going? Wow!
– My beautiful grandbabies are back in school. They are growing up way too fast!
To sum it up: there’s a boatload of things happening in my day-to-day life. In my mind’s eye, I see my mother repeating her mantra about how to handle life, “That’s life, it is so daily.”
To be fair, she probably said it with a great deal of enthusiasm.
I heard this my whole life. I interpreted it when I was about 17.
I have reassessed the meaning, recently.
My mother? Well she isn’t really capable of communicating long distance anymore. This saddens me. What I wouldn’t give to hear, “Honey, that is life, it is so daily.” just one more time.
Yesterday was stressful enough. Anytime you have to meet a new surgeon and evaluate next steps to fix something you thought was done is annoying. When you have to start over with a new set of specialists, the anxiety level sky rockets. All’s well that ends well, I guess.
Really wish that was the only stress I had to address yesterday, alas, it wasn’t. We learned that my husband’s grandmother passed while we were carrying on with the business of our daily lives yesterday. May she rest in peace.
To be honest, her passing a blessing. She hasn’t truly been herself for years. We would see her every time we were home, but I don’t think she even knew we were there the last few times we visited.
It is painful and sad to watch the vim and vigor slip slowly from a person who has always been vital and energetic. In her latter years, she was blessed to become a Great Grandmother. In many ways, the babies learning to eat paralleled what was happening with Grandma D. There was always a spark of excitement and joy when she would see the babies. In my heart of hearts, I truly believe these babies extended her life by at least a year, if not more.
We will miss Grandma D. There will be hole in the family get-togethers, but she is truly in a better place. In my eyes, Grandma D has not been cognizant for awhile now. She was there, physically, barely. Her daughter dedicated her life to ensuring Grandma D had everything she needed and was well taken care of. The next days will be the first steps of a new reality.
Since the last time I sat down to blog, I have accomplished a lot. Probably why I haven’t found the time to blog.
Recent events caused a complete upheaval for one of my family members’ travel plans. I am so sorry they weren’t able to make it home to celebrate our mother’s ninetieth birthday, but it has evolved into a full-blown family reunion. First one in almost twenty years!
Seizing the opportunity, I approached the family about planning a get-together to celebrate all of the parents’ milestones this year, but in one fell swoop. It is difficult to get all of us together in one place, at one time.
Quickly, I identified everyone’s schedules to consider. This was so much easier when all of the grandchildren were kids and the parents had a lot more control. Now, everyone is a grownup, taking care of grownup things, so this task has become much more complicated.
I am proud to say that by the end of four days communicating, we were able to get the pillars in place that allow us to move on to the more interesting challenges with planning and executing a family reunion.
This sounds really mundane, but it isn’t. We were able to agree on a date, location, schedule travel and other arrangements for 20 people in less than one week. That is pretty impressive by itself, but toss in the fact this involves 4 different states, 10 professionals, 2 senior citizens, 2 teenagers and a couple of great grandchildren and the breadth of the task starts coming to light.
Family reunion, here I come!