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.
This isn’t quite accurate as far as a Secret Santa Prompt, but in a way, it is, because William The Bloody Good Kitten was a secret gift from me to my husband.https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/secret-santa/
And I’m a rule-bender, so with no further ado, meet my secret pre-Santa gift.
He loves to sit on my legs and I have the scratches to prove it.
He does look good in blue….
...and he knows it.
He’s obsessed with my computer.
He decided to give me a bad review on Yelp after I showed him Siamese cat videos on Youtube.
In no particular order, the following are pictures I took on my vacation in Point Pleasant Beach New Jersey. I can’t seem to pick just one photo, so here’s a random sample. There will be more to follow, with more words attached.
It’s no secret I’ve always been a Mama’s girl.
Actually it’s something I’m proud of, because in my version of being a Mama’s girl, it just means that my Mom is my Best Friend.
Only now I have to say was.
Today would have been my Mom’s 85th Birthday. Last year we celebrated her Birthday in the hospital, this year we celebrate it in my heart.
I miss her so much.
But today I just want to say Happy Birthday Mommy, I love you always and I will see you again some day but until then, your blood will continue to flow through my veins, my heart will hold onto your spirit and, as I’ve been told, I will continue to become “more and more like your Mother”, to which I will always reply, “Thank you”.
Mom cutting the cake at her bridal shower; Mom (on the right) with her sister Jeananne
Mom working on a float for a parade
Mom in Branch Brook Park with her youngest sister Judy
Mom, me (on the way to a dance recital), my brother Donald
Mom and Dad
Mom 2nd from the right out on the town
I love you Mom.
“Mothers hold their children’s hands for just a little while, and their hearts forever”~ Irish proverb ~
Someone much wiser than me recently told me my Mother flows through my veins, that every pump of my heart pushes part of her through my body and my mind, so she will always be with me. Always. It wasn’t until I was a few miles away from Cape May that I began to feel anxious the other day, uneasy almost, as if I’d left something behind when I packed my bags to head north. Which, of course, I had, when I stood alone on the slippery jetties and scattered my Mother’s ashes where she wanted them, in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape May beach.
In the last ten years or so, Mom and I started a new tradition, 2 to 3 visits a year to Cape May, just the two of us. The only rule we had was we had to stay at The Victorian and we had to stay no less than 5 days. We began to think of The Victorian as our home away from home, always warmly welcomed as Mom checked in because I couldn’t stop petting the cat all cozied up on a comfy chair purring away in tandem with the thumping of the dog’s tail. We didn’t even care if we left the room, although we did spend many hours wandering through the most beautiful town in the world. What mattered was the talking. Two best friends talking who just happened to be Mother and Daughter. Those are the times I cherish most.
Everything happens for a reason some say, and I’m still trying to figure out the reason Mother Nature decided Saint Patrick’s Day, the day I planned to bring Mom to her final resting place, was a good day to dump 7 inches of snow in Cape May while leaving the rest of NJ alone.
But I was on a mission.
After a longer than usual drive into howling wind, freezing temperatures, and snow nearly up to my knees in some drifts, I trudged my way, Mom in hand, down to the surf.
I don’t remember ever being so cold and I talked to Mom as we got closer to the waves crashing over the jetties.
My closest friend Shawn came with me so I wouldn’t have to be alone, but since she knows me so well, she understood my need to scatter Mom’s ashes by myself, but in true Best Friend Form, she walked with me to the beach, staying back just a bit so I could say my final goodbyes, just me and Mom, alone together for the last time.
Is there ever enough time to say everything you want to say to someone? Usually we put it off or hope they just know how we feel.
I am so Blessed to have a Mother who taught me to always say ‘I Love You’, so thankful that we never even ended a phone call without saying it to each other, and beyond grateful that the last words we said to each other were “I Love You”.
Is it possible to feel relief and dread at the same time? Relieved that my sweet beautiful Mother is in that good place now, yet dreading each day without her in my life. I will never say goodbye to Mom, I will say until we meet again, I will feel your presence with each breath I take, feel you watching over me as you did all my life.
And most of all, I will love you for the rest of my days, until I see you again.
Rest In Peace, my beautiful Mother.
From Buffy The Vampire Slayer ~ The Body
Anya (crying): But I don’t understand! I don’t understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she’s, there’s just a body, and I don’t understand why she just can’t get back in it and not be dead anymore! It’s stupid! It’s mortal and stupid! And, and Xander’s crying and not talking, and, and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever, and she’ll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why. (She puts her hand over her face, crying.)
My own version of the yellow brick road, where life is magical and anything is possible.
One little photograph.
And it’s not even a well taken photo, it’s blurry and off-center, nothing that you’d see in a magazine or framed with a pricey tag slapped on the corner of the frame. But this picture is magical.
If you look really, and I mean really close, there is a lifetime of love captured in a microsecond with an impulsive snap of a camera phone.
My Mother, standing on the deck of the Victorian just watching over Cape May.
Standing there, on that very deck just a few steps away from the door to “our” room was a piece of Heaven to Alice Bridget Carey Best, also known as Mom to me.
Ok, sometimes, Maaaaaaaa, and don’t even try to convince me you haven’t used that tone at least once. A day. Probably more.
Last year, the end of March, we got one of our Mother/Daughter always-wanna-see’s, snow in Cape May. It wasn’t a big snowstorm, although for one magical day snowflakes fell, lot’s of them, it was beautiful and perfection as we looked out the window and munched on Fish and Chips from The Pilot House (thanks to the wonderful owners of the Victorian for the recommendation!). It was perfection. Warm and cozy and together.
It’s human nature to look back and think of what we should have done to have avoided a life-changing event, a catastrophe, but the truth is only the Big Man Upstairs knows that stuff. It must be terrible to know all the heartache that inevitably comes, maybe that’s why we’re meant to remain ignorant of the future.
I had no way of knowing that was the last time Mom and I would go to Cape May together.
Little over a week later she had a broken shoulder and she was gone in a flash, like turning off a light switch.
I can’t ever find that switch, although I still find myself reaching for it, but there is one thing I can do and that thing is keep a promise.
told asked me to make sure she was cremated and make sure I took her back to Cape May, the one place in the world she loved most, the place she and I spent countless Mother/Daughter getaways.
Let’s just say there were threats of haunting if I didn’t at least sprinkle some of her ashes into the Atlantic Ocean, more specifically of course, Cape May.
Did you ever have to deal with a five foot two red headed blue-eyed angry Irish ghost? Me neither and I’m not about to find out thank you very much.
Hence the insanity of driving to Cape May tomorrow morning straight into a snowstorm originally meant to hit all of NJ but now, yeah, Cape May.
I hate driving in snow.
But drive I will.
So wish me luck, or better yet, how ’bout we just cancel the snow and get on with Spring.
That’s me-talk for I hate driving in snow, it freaks me out and I’m kinda petrified about the snow the weather folks are scaring me with but I’m on a mission.
I think I’ll pretend I’m Emma Peel and drive to my magical place, where miracles happen and I can always breathe.
A place I know my Mom will always be, watching over Cape May.
As anyone who knows me knows, I’m obsessed with Cape May and all it encompasses, most specifically the old World War II Fire Tower down by Sunset Beach. The Tower is the setting for one of my WIP’s, an apocalyptic story about a girl who is living out the end of the world at the end of New Jersey, where she has settled into the Tower and made it her home.
The prompt for this Photo Challenge is Unusual Angles, so here are some photos I took of the staircase smack dab in the middle of the Tower. Please enjoy.