{November 6, 2015}   Letting Go, Slowly

dadmomDad and Mom pre-marriage
bestparentsMom and Dad in Branch Brook Park, Newark NJ

I have two choices.
I can either continue to wallow in grief and despair or I can move on and try something else like, say, living my life before I myself drop dead.
I’m starting to lean towards the second, more alive version of me.
Don’t get me wrong, my heart is killing me, I could easily curl up into a ball and cry for a few years, but I’m starting to make even my own self sick with the Poor Me Parade banging ’round my head.

I cast thee out! Be gone unclean spirit! Away with you Evil Monster of Unending Grief! Enough!

Okay, so I’m not making light of death and grief, and with all these major life changes happening one after another in the course of three or so years, well, the burden is decidedly weighty.
I have to let it go.
Not the love, not the memories, but the sadness.
It’s not healthy and I can imagine my Mom’s face, giving me the patented Carey-Look-Of-Disapproval, a Medusa-like look capable of stopping you in your tracks and possibly turning you to stone.
“Joanne Bridget,” I can imagine her saying, “don’t you dare stop living just because I’m not right there with you. I’m in your heart, now stop grieving and start doing. And don’t even think for a minute I’m not watching over you, get your ass moving, keep writing, and for the love of God, get yourself back down to Cape May and enjoy yourself. Live. For me. For you. You’ll see me again one day and FYI, they have wooden spoons up here in Heaven, don’t make me have to use it on you missy. Now go and live your dreams and for God’s sake, stop feeling guilty, you are my daughter, act like it before I send your Father down there to ground you!”

I’ve been grounded enough times to know I better start living and stop, well, not.

My brothers and I have mended fences and are once again we three instead of strangers.
The last few days were spent talking together, the way we used to once upon a time.
We shared memories and some family secrets were revealed, things that made our past a little more understandable. Looking back on things from an adult perspective instead of the eyes of a broken child. None of us were ever really broken, we were just kids raised by Parents who did the best they could and I can honestly say they did a damn good job.
I wouldn’t trade either of my Parents for anyone in the world. They made me who I am, they made me me and it’s long past time I live up to myself.

I will never completely stop grieving, I will never not miss them like crazy, but it’s time to move on and live again. For Mom, for Dad, and for the three of us, two brothers and a sister, a small, but loving Family.
We will never forget you Mom and Dad, but we will love you forever and honor your memory by remaining your children, forever.

bestfamily1Mom, Dad, and baby brother Tommy

bestfamily2Brother Donald, me, Mom with brother Tommy in her belly

bestfanilyMom, Tommy, me, Dad, Donald took the picture
3ofusDonald, Tommy, me in the Poconos

bestfamilyThe three of us, once upon a time


Andy says:

Wishing you peace, Jo. Peace of heart and peace of mind.
(And as always: great photographs!)

Thank you Andy, as usual, you always make me feel better, I was actually thinking of you as I posted the pictures and in fact purely because of you, I’m going to do a Veterans Day post next Wednesday consisting mostly of a bunch of my Dad’s Navy pictures from WWII, all black and whites of course, but I found a nice little stack and immediately thought of you, thank you for much ❤

Andy says:

You’re welcome.

Hi Joanne, first of all, I like the more alive version of you a lot! ❤ Just saying. 🙂 I can see the curl up into a ball part, maybe because somehow I’d like to do that as well (bad week for gran here), and I don’t believe that you would ever be making light of death and grief either. But you are strong enough to move on, to live your life, and this is right. And this is good. I couldn’t imagine anybody would ever think you’d leave love or memories behind. In a way, since all this is still not far away, I am sorry to say that maybe not all the sadness and guilt will be left behind either, at least for a while (sorry). But I’d love to see you put it into one corner of your house, so that it does not come with you all the time any longer. That would be great. 🙂
Is it possible that the better time with your brothers has helped a lot to get through this? I love the idea that there is a little more peace around you so that you have a few things less to worry about. I am glad that you had the chance to exchange memories with your brothers; that's simply wonderful. And I am pretty happy that you have reached this point where you sound so much stronger again. At the same time you sound full of love for your parents. And you sound full of life. I love this, because when you are more like that and enjoy your time I always imagine that you are shining like a light. I am sure your parents know how much you love them and they’d love to see you have a good life and shine.

hugs and love


P.S. I love the pictures! 🙂

Yay! I sometimes get carried away, but I’m finding all these amazing photos, they make me think of the bad part of cell phone picture taking, although I know we can get them printed out, we, at least I, rarely do, and I love the feel of a paper picture…. but the upside is we can get them on the computer faster than when we had to scan them and I’m babbling lol
Off to the secret NaNo hideaway, where I may not be official, but I’m going to do my best to pretend I am and write as many words as possible, a beginning, a middle, and an end 🙂
love you sweet Nina,
Joanne xox ❤

Nina my dear Nina ❤ you have so much influence over me, all good, you make me feel stronger with all the support you give me, it's like I can feel your hugs. I do have a lot to overcome yet and will still fluctuate as far as how I feel, but I have to live again, my Mom really would give me a good talking to if she was here! 🙂 And yes, I think the time spent with my brothers, talking things out like we used to before we all went our separate ways for the most part has a lot to do with the way I feel now, that bothered me so much, more than I realized actually, and while I still lack that female bond I need, I'm beginning to realize it's being fulfilled in a different way, by you Nina, and Ana and every Miscreant as well as so many other amazing women I'm getting the chance to know even though it's all long distance, it means the world to me… I realized I've been in a walking talking state of shock since I lost my Mom, and it really is almost as if I'm coming back to life, and it feels good. So good.
I feel so selfish that you're going through so much of your own stuff and you are always so upbeat and always, ALWAYS make me smile ❤
I love you, and I am praying for you and yours, especially your Gran….
One of these days, we're going to have a real long conversation, be it on paper or screen (or a flight away, lol) , our paths were meant to cross, and I thank God for that ❤
Love and hugs and gratitude ❤
Joanne xox

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