Category Archives: Rest in Piece

All for one.

It’s 2 p.m., I’m sitting in a coffee shop surrounded by people. And the tears, they are streaming.

It’s funny, this community of ours. Call us Mommy Bloggers. Call us the Blogosphere. A powerful, and at times awe-inspiring collective voice. More often than not, a beautiful collective heart.

Our friendships forged over late night Tweets and Comments Sections, we find ourselves bonding with women we may never meet face-to-face. Yet, the invisible ties of the Internet that bind us are, inexplicably, many times, just as strong as the ties we feel with those we affectionately call our IRL (In Real Life) Friends.

Beginning today, I make no distinction between the two.

I’m no less happy for a Blog Friend when she lands a great job.

I’m no less sad when she loses it.

I don’t laugh less when she recounts her kid’s latest antics. (Or more times than not, her own.)

I don’t worry less about her during the tough times.

My heart doesn’t break less when she suffers staggering, unimaginable loss.

It’s 2 p.m., I’m sitting in a coffee shop surrounded by people. And the tears, they are streaming.

Due to overwhelming traffic, @mamaspohr’s site is currently down, but please keep trying, and send her your love. In the meantime, Meghan at A Mom Two Boys is working hard to get it back up, and has done a wonderful job keeping everyone updated through her blog and Twitter.

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The impermanence of it all.

Last night, at my monthly business networking cocktaily thing, I learned from a good friend that, after 15 years, he and his wife were divorcing. I’m still reeling from the shock, and am surprised at the magnitude of sadness weighing me down today.

I consider this couple good friends. Their daughter Gigi is MP’s BFF. (Remember THIS?!?) A few months ago, they had their third child. This was one of the few families that gave me HOPE. But things aren’t always as they seem, and now selfishly, I mourn the death of their marriage.

Certainly, I don’t have the most conventional views about marriage. I’ve been called a coward. I’ve been called refreshingly independent. Strong. Damaged. And even an inspiration. I think maybe I’m a combination of a lot of things.

Whatever I may be, at my core, I’m still someone who wants to believe in the fairy tale. I’m sad for my friends. I’m sad for their family. And I’m sad to see yet another passing of a relationship.

*heavy sigh*

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Sending all my love to you.

Today we baked cupcakes. MP chose strawberry frosting and rainbow sprinkles and decorated one especially for you. Tonight it sits on the counter, untouched.

She wore an oversized party hat with silver tinsel sprouting from the top. The present she made — the picture she drew — had you looking down on us from Heaven.

And I know you are.

You died two years ago Tuesday — four days before your birthday. Today you would’ve been 52 and still, I have moments of utter disbelief that you’re gone.

So as is tradition, tonight we tied tiny trinkets and notes to balloons and sent them into the starry sky. We sang Happy Birthday. We told you we loved you and missed you terribly. And MP was so happy to share the day — your day — with her Dad.

Happy birthday Mudge. I miss you.

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Dreamjob? Ghost Hunter.

In the spirit of the season, I told a real life ghost story over at San Diego Momma’s while she’s away in New York. I’m a little late letting you know, but I reeallly don’t want to be a big fat BOMB on my Blog Buddy’s site, so I’m directing you there.

Buuaaahhhaaahahaha …

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Gettin’ busy in the afterlife.

As part of my job, once a month (for nine months) I spend the day in a “leadership program.” Yesterday, the theme of the September session was “History Day.” Which meant we spent the day learning the history of our town. Way cool.

We took a walking tour of downtown and learned the history of the buildings. When I pointed out a former turn-of-the-century brewery that served as my college apartment and told the tour guide (apart from the group) it was most definitely haunted, she was so clearly not impressed. I’ll save the ghost story for another post.

We went to two museums and learned about pioneer life from a HIGHLY enthusiastic lady in period attire. Holy crap. There’s a reason people are never smiling in old photographs. Life was HARD. Just LIVING was a job.

We visited a famous turn-of-the-century mansion that, until just a few years ago served as a fraternity house. It’s safe to say I could’ve sat this one out. I toured it plenty in the late ’80s.

And best of all …

We went on a cemetery tour given by a quirky little man in a bow tie and top hat. He had just identified the headstone of an infamous madam when I happened to looked down.

What?!? Can I help it if the blog gods dropped this at my feet?

Oh yeah. THIS was directly behind these two.

It’s Swingtown. For dead people.

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One voice, many lives

So, wow.

I had a post all thought out and ready to put to [er, keyboard? Laptop? What do we say now that we, as bloggers, virtually never put PEN to actual PAPER?] but came across a poignant chronicle that’s set me upon a reflective path tonight. And, in light of the news that’s traveled to certain corners of the blogosphere, anything silly just seems … silly.

Once upon a time there was a blogger named Punk Rock Mommy, who chronicled her battle with cancer — publicly, and with heartbreaking dignity. I did not “know” her. I hadn’t heard of her blog until today. But tonight I spent a good amount of time reading her words.

And they affected me.

Offered clarity.

Gave me a great big shot of Perspective.

But I’ll let you read them for yourself.

Although I still know very little about her, I do know there’s no question the world has lost a wonderful voice.

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Staying The Course

Explaining Easter is a tough one. MP understands the basics … Christmas is when Jesus was born, and Easter is when he died. She knows how he died. I don’t, however, quite know how to explain the resurrection. I tried once, saying Jesus died and three days later came back, but came up empty when she questioned why her dad didn’t come back after HE died. Now I’m afraid she’s under the impression Jesus was a magician who could perform great tricks.

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Easter aside, she’s been especially obsessed with death for months — solemnly reminding me of my mortality while pointing out in a startlingly matter-of-fact manner, that Poppy’s going to die; that Grammy’s going to die; that I’m going to die; that flowers and trees and grass and pets are going to die; and that even she’s going to die. She tells me she wants to take Leopard, her beloved stuffed animal, to Heaven with her. And she wants to know what she can bring her dad when she makes the trip. I know it’s a perfectly normal developmental stage. I recognize that her attitude is probably very healthy. But listening to her talk about her own death is unsettling. I find myself worrying about that far too much as it is.

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Of course, with this early understanding of death comes the need for reassurance that I’ll be around awhile. That I won’t die for a very, very long time. That people only die when then get very old. These things I tell her, although I know, of course there are no guarantees. These things I tell her, because I remember that fear as a child. The difference is, I had both parents. If something were to happen to one, I knew I’d still have the other. MP doesn’t have a back-up, and I imagine that fear is very real to her.

mpeas08_5.jpgAnd when my own fear gets the better of me, MP reminds me to concentrate on the here and now. During our egg hunt yesterday morning, we came across some small tracks in the snow. Grammy and I enthusiastically seized the opportunity.

“Look MP! Tracks! In the snow! The Easter Bunny must have crossed right over the frozen pond! Look! Look!” we cried.

And MP? She reminded us to stay the course.

“Come on guys, let’s not worry about the tracks. We have eggs to find.”

Indeed.

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Grandma No Like Me Doin’ The Nasty in Her House

vintagewoman.jpgAs promised, here’s one of my more recent smooky stories. This one actually ties into being a single mom.

So, a little background information before diving in … MP and I live in what used to be my grandmother’s house. She passed away (in the master bedroom) in 2005, and we moved in a few months later. Her bedroom became MP’s playroom, however, MP’s too afraid to play in there by herself. That’s a smooky story for another post …

Since MP’s birth four years ago, I’ve dated two men. The first was back in ’06. We’ll call him Ski Boy. Occasionally, Ski Boy would spend the night. (This was before MP could open her bedroom door on her own, so she had no idea there were ever sleepovers. I digress …) One bone of contention was the clock that sat on my bedside table.

It was a ticker. An old, cheap Big Ben my grandmother left behind when she passed away. And I loved it. The tick-tick-ticking of wind up clocks has always been something to put me to sleep. Unfortunately, the sound had the opposite effect for SB.

“Can we PLEASE do something about the bomb in the room?” he asked one night.

I placed the clock on the floor in the hall outside the bedroom and closed the door. I distinctly remember thinking, “Watch this thing go off in the middle of the night and scare the crap out of me.”

I absolutely remember checking to make sure the alarm was NOT set.

Hours later, I was startled from a deep sleep by the sound of the alarm going off in the hallway. Groggily, I looked at the backup digital clock. Three a.m. (For fans of Paranormal State, ‘Dead Time.’) My heart racing, I hurried out of bed, opened the door, reached for the clock in the darkness and silenced the deafening alarm. I knew I hadn’t set it.

It didn’t matter anyway.

The alarm hand was set to 7 a.m. Not 3.

There was no possible way that alarm should have gone off. I sat on the edge of the bed and pulled the button to try and recreate the scenario. Nothing.

Ski Boy rolled over and asked what was going on. I told him the alarm had gone off. He assumed I must have mistakenly set it, and promptly fell back asleep.

Maybe my grandmother wasn’t happy with the sleeping arrangement. Maybe she wasn’t happy about my choice in men. Maybe on some subconscious level, when I visualized the clock going off in the hallway before going to sleep, I put the energy out there. I hear you skeptics (Wait, maybe I’m PSYCHIC!) going, “Uh, maybe the clock was broken??”

Trust me. It wasn’t.

And for the Ghostbustin’ Virgins, allow me to introduce you to the smooky goodness that is Ghost Hunters.

Bwahaha …

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Something Smooky

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but I love (nearly) all things spooky. (Or as MP would say, ‘smooooky.’) And I actually have many true life stories to tell. But I’m debating whether to post them. Because we’ve only just met, and I really don’t want to give you the impression that I’m a crazy nutball.

However, tonight, this great spooky post by one of my very favorite bloggers, San Diego Momma, has me positively inspired. So, I’ll sleep on it, and see how I feel in the morning. I may even tell a story or two this weekend.

We’ll see …

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Conversation With My Heart

Did you know, if placed back-to-back, Sweethearts Conversation Hearts would reach one million miles – enough to go back and forth to the moon twice or around the world 40 times?

These are things you learn while consuming a 20 oz bag over the course of just five days.

Yes, I believe I’ve made myself diabetic.

That’s not even the really sad thing. (Let me preface this by saying I debated long and hard whether to post this, fearing it may sound too pathetic.) The other night, deep in a sugar-induced stupor, and feeling a bit melancholy, I found myself reaching out to my late ex … and asking for a sign from the beyond. A sign that he was still around. Watching over us. Watching over his daughter.

So, curled up on the couch with aforementioned bag, I told myself maybe he would speak to me through the hearts. I dove my hand in and pulled out the first.

Miss You.

I lost it.

Heart after heart, I convinced myself he was sending me a message. I smiled through the tears. It didn’t matter that, somewhere tucked back in a corner of my psyche, I still remained rational enough to know nearly all the hearts, in fact, would of course give me the words I wanted so desperately to hear.

One I Love.

True Love.

Magic.

Angel.

But I allowed myself to ignore the rational, if only for a short time, and experience the familiar flood of bittersweet emotions that, each time they come, ultimately leave me a little closer to healed.

The real tragedy in his passing a year and a half ago are the words that were left unsaid. Maybe he was speaking to me through a bag of Valentine candy. Crazier things have happened. And I’ll never stop believing anything’s possible.

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