Category Archives: Family

Acceptance

Bitter, rasping, grieving, raw
Pain drips, seeps, crawls
Enters every orifice
Building in complex patterns
So severe, so horrific
Chains I have anchored about me
Ensnaring me in a choking, godless bankruptcy
I cannot breathe through it
I am drowning in it
There is no me anymore
Just obligations, duties, responsibilities,
Contrived relationships
Confusion, my brain is seeping away
So I’ll be no more then the man downstairs
Constantly singing his toothless songs,
His cells are in me, so is the dominatrix’s,
Mine? Mine are gone –
There is no me anymore –
I having been missing the memory of her
The one who was so smart, but in the end no more than
A sack of liabilities dumped on the doorstep of a woman who shows love
By beating it out of you
For the good it will bring
Oh, I am drowning
In a reflection of me
There is no me anymore –
I traded her up for this shell
With no respect for the casing
for the heart
for the mind
when others didn’t respect me
I believed them
Soaking it all up like wine
Becoming drunk on deceit
These are crone fingers, brittle, grasping,
Seeking to hold onto what long ago went away
In bitter disgust
At the wretch shivered and hovering in the corner
Trying the hold onto the dust
Left in their footprints
Alone
And self-created
Effervescent ________________________________________
My daughter’s laugh is effervescent
Bubbling out of her wellspring
From a source I don’t know
She took the best and seized it
Grasped it in her precious fingers and held on for dear life
Until she found the right people to share it with
She has her own Zen iridescence,
Sparkling in the sun, soaking up all life-giving rays
She is this generation’s Job,
She has ground to cover
And making it fast
Not time for bonding now . . .
I turned away, thinking she was at my feet,
turned back and she was gone
the door open, the dog left out

Summertime at the Cabin

As a kid, our family went to the Cabin in upstate New York every summer.  It was paradise…two months of town rec, swimming pools, waterfalls, state parks, swimming holes, mountains to climb, fossils to find…every child’s time of wonderment and freedom.  Granted, it was a time when kids could walk down the tar hot road to friends a mile or two away for the day.  Times have changed, but up there, not so much.

Nowadays, the adults do day trips, hang out at the creek, go swimming, build campfires and eat delicious food.  Come to think about it, the youngsters do the same thing.  They still rely on their tablets at night when the adults are at the bonfire, but there is a miraculous lack of technology there.  Even though there is television, movies, cell phones, and lap tops, there is surprisingly little interest in them.  Everyone craves the companionship of friends and family.

The girls, aged 10 this year, keep going over to the Millenials’ side of the camp, entranced by big adult things.  Thgey are funnier, more hip, and I think having the girls around makes the Millenials more circumspect.  Their other activity is the creek.  Just like I did as a child, they could spend every waking minute in the icy, chill waters of the mountain steam, its swimming holes and waterfall. My mom used to make sandwiches, a quart of iced tea and one of lemonaid, and we’d spend the whole afternoon back there.

Time seems to stand still, or at least move more slowly.  Even the sun stays up an extra hour, giving us more time to just Be.  My bags are packed, all in readiness for Thursday morning when we light out of here at 10 a.m. promptly.  I’ve been working twelve hour days so am really looking forward to this respite. Fourth of July is something spectacular with a big party, hours of fireworks going up all over the valley, and friends unseen for months to a year.

So if you don’t hear from me for a few days, pay no mind.  I’ll be back in a week and a half, relaxed and ready to renew my acquaintance with every day life.  Cheers!

Nonny land

Yes, that is my new name. . . Nonny.  Doesn’t mean anything but I like how it sounds.  When I was going to make my name Nana, my sister said I couldn’t take my Grandmother’s name since no one could be her.  Turns out she wants to be Nana.  That’s OK because I really like Nonny better, it suits me, just a little, or a lot, off track.  However, all bets are off if Emmitt chooses a different name for me.

That’s my grandson’s name, Emmitt Samuel.  After 5 days of labor, 4 hours of heavy pushing, resulting in a c-section, Dani finally gave birth right on his due date.  It was a very hard delivery.  Pre-eclampsia developed the last two days. After the cesarean, she hemorrhaged a liter and a half of blood and had to be opened up again.

Emmit developed jaundice and lost 10% of his birth weight.  They were in the hospital for five days. But he looks like Dani, covered with a full head of almost black hair. There isn’t too much of Kendall in him as of yet.

I know I am giddy with delight.  Being a grandmother is beyond my expectations.  That little boy is a miracle.  The birth of a family where a couple was before.  Both Kendall and Dani are wonderful, exhausted parents.  It was a truly nurturing, loving experience where we all enjoyed being together and tending to the constant needs of this little man.  He should take comfort in it….he will have to share time with others as he grows.

But one thing is for sure – I will be visiting California much more often from now on.

Off I Go!

This is it!  Off to California tomorrow.  I’m going to be a Grandma.  I’m wiggling inside and out of expectation. The bags are packed, my cat is provided for, and the fridge is empty of perishables.

Here’s the thing . . . I’m all jazzed about seeing my daughter and getting to know my son-in-law, and of course, being there for the birth (even though I have to wait at home until the baby is born).  But Dani and Kendall are going to be non-pulsed about it all.  Yes, their excited but they are in their own place, they have seen her belly grow and heard the heartbeats and seen the sonograms.

I haven’t seen them in two years.  It is such a long time and a lot of longing in the in-between time.  All that time I think about them.  But I remember what it was like to be a new mother and what it was like to be living far from my parents.  There wasn’t the same emotional investment that my parents may have had.  I was a twenty-something with a good life and a lot of living to do.  Part of the reason I moved 3,000 miles was to get away from my parents. I need to contain some of this enthusiasm.

My son parented me about boundaries and appropriate behavior at Dani’s.  Yori said Dani was an independent, disciplined, intelligent woman who knew her own mind.  I needed to remember I was there on vacation and not try to do everything for them.  They wouldn’t appreciate it at all.  I have to remember to relax, take care of my healing foot, and just be present.  He is right, of course, not that I necessarily know how to relax and let the world revolve around me.

But until then, I’m jiggling.  Wish me luck and hope that I behave appropriately.  Be back in 2 1/2 weeks.

Expectations

The baby isn’t even born yet and I’m learning the disappointing truth that it isn’t about me and my expectations.  It’s all about the parents and baby.  Don’t get me wrong.  That’s the way it’s supposed to be . . . but still.

I had fantasies of being in my daughter’s room until she went into delivery when I would leave to allow them their precious moment.  Hah!  Then I thought I would wait in the waiting area until after she gave birth. Another disappointment . . . I have to wait at their home.  Then the kicker, my ex-husband will pick me up and take me to the hospital.  I get to share the unveiling with him!  I get it.  It’s only right.  But I hadn’t given him a single thought.  He is the baby’s grandfather after all.  Grandmother – grandfather – equal in the eyes of the parents.  Grandpa even tried to name the baby.

So I’ll stay home and make gluten-free meals for those crazy nights when baby is making his presence known.  Clean the place. Show my worth somehow.  I sound terribly selfish and immature, I know.  These are just my petty ramblings.  It’s amazing how immature I can still be.  After all, I’m becoming a grandmother for the first time.  This is a life-changing event for my daughter and her husband (and the baby).  I’m thrilled for them.

Most of the pettiness comes from the fact that my time will necessarily be so short with them.  I only have two weeks and then I’m 3,000 miles away. I want to cram as many memories in as I can.  I can be content seeing the man I once loved dearly holding baby the way he once held our own. In fact, it will bring back surreal, precious memories transposed over the present moments.

Only a couple of weeks (we hope) to go.  I’m rationally excited.

Bump

My baby has a bump.  A growing, wriggling baby bump all her own (and her husband’s).  It delights me.  I believe I may even be enjoying it more than she does; although she’s excited, she has to go through all the rigors of pregnancy.  I see her pictures, each one bigger than the last, now beginning to see the full loom of pregnancy.

Her 30th birthday was yesterday.  She is but a few months off the schedule I had when I gave birth to my first, her brother.  She waited until later, as did I.  I’d give anything to be there with her but economics is one reality I simply can’t avoid.

I look at her pictures and see this thriving adult, about to enter an entirely life-changing chapter of her life, and can’t help but see in my mind’s eye the little girl she once was.  I wonder if it ever truly leaves a mother.  Are my children always going to be my babies?  Or, will I allow them to grow up?

Not too long ago it was me telling them, in succinct terms,  not to parent me.  Our relationships are so much better since we passed that hurdle.  But I wonder if I am trying to claim ownership of them even as they are fully adult, with mortgages and spouses, college loans and now a baby.  Is it that I am so far away that I hold fast to their childhoods, something I can connect with despite the miles between us?

I am so blessed.  Even though I can’t see them often, every 1 1/2 years or so, I have a great relationship with both my children and their spouses.  We talk every week, sometimes more, and my son still calls every time he is sick to ask what he could be doing to feel better.  He called yesterday saying, “I’m dying Mom, what can I do more for this sinus infection?”  There were few words I could share as he had already learned the lessons of previous sinus traumas.

My daughter is taking such good care of herself.  An avid runner, she is not doing so, preferring gentle pregnancy yoga.  I wish I could be there for her, taking care of their baby.  I’d move there now if not for the exorbitantly high rents in her area.  She plans on working after maternity leave.  Her husband plans to care for the baby while studying for his Divinity Masters.

If only the world went according to my plan.  But until then, I’ll have to depend on God’s timing and will.  And be content.

Your Rage

You – so full of youthful righteousness
from resolve etched in fear
slipping down the planes and lines
of your furrowed brow
glowering your rage and frustration
despair flung out, rolling in waves
warding off the heavens
with its glad tidings
and earnest appeal
granting no access within
wanting only to ward off all
who might crack through
that thin veneer and reach
the fragile underpinnings
of your heart
Try to remember dear one
all words are not weapons
some hold elements of honesty
to the eyes and mind of another

You are safe
though you choose to fear it
your childlike emotions
do not threaten me
Safe may not look like you
envisioned it
but safe nonetheless
You are loved little one
You are loved

Misgivings

And what legacy have I left you
my golden skinned son
of radiant bein?
Not one that led to
where your feet tread today
with a lightness of being
I can’t begin to imagine
The dark side
when I gave you up
too readily
I can’t recompense
for all those days lost
punishments held or withheld
lessons discussed and learned
hugs – of so many hugs –
lost, not to be recaptured
my legacy of misplaced love
and weak-kneed frustration

So Far Away and always Near

So far away you are
3,000 miles and then some
Long ago I drove
all that long way
6 nights and 7 days
blinking eyes weary,
rubbing my back
at rest stops
from here to there.
I am older now.
traveling is harder
but I’ll be coming little one
whether by train, plane, car
or maybe a big balloon
scattering clouds in its wake
as surely as the morning sun rises

If I could but snap my fingers
or nod my head
you would find me knocking
at your door
spinning like a whirlwind
floating on a soft breeze
in pictures or the internet
I’ll be there for you
My love roars like a lion,
is playful as a puppy
wagging its tail in sheer pleasure
As enduring as a stone

And when I finally
hold you in the embrace
of my arms
you will feel
all the love stored in them
for You are your family’s special gift
Every second together
I will treasure
for I am your Nana
and it will always be so.

Little One

In my heart of hearts
my child
I know you await me
cossetted safe with
the soft, sweet cavern
of your mother’s womb.
I am coming
drawn to you
as an aged baboon
reaches across the divide
to nestle and groom
an infant ape’s soft fur.
You are a mystery,
a new wonder
to behold and nourish.
To raise
alongside your parents.
The day will come
when I finally
wrap my arms about you.
My fate is tied to yours
as you grow,
nurtured in the love
of multi-generations.