Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ramble on

Lady Linoleum left a comment on my last post. Whoa! This is crazy! I mean, she's like the Frank Zappa of the crochet world. I am honored.

I don't have any fun photos to post. I have been sort of plodding along, crocheting a little of this, knitting a little of that, and frogging a little bit of everything. I have been true to my resolution, and I haven't bought any clothes or yarn or anything in almost one month. That's pretty good for me, especially since I want to go and buy 2 skeins of orange Cascade 220 so I can knit a tea cozy for my dad. But no. I promised myself and others. The tea cozy can wait. Sorry, Dad. Maybe it will be a welcome home gift when you return from your South Seas journey.

When my mom died last May (I meant it when I titled this post 'Ramble On'), we donated her body to the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in NJ. We didn't have a formal memorial service or funeral, but we did have a nice party about one month after her death. Well, the RWJ Med School has a memorial service for all of the families who donated their loved ones' remains, and that is on March 2nd, one day before Mom would have turned 60 years old. I am looking forward to going. Mom and Dad didn't want a funeral, but I kind of did. Mom died in the hospital, and I never got to see her after she died. That might sound sort of weird to some people, but the last time I saw her, everything was (relatively) okay. I remember it so clearly. And then all of a sudden, Dad is calling me and telling me she isn't around anymore. It's kind of like she just went away, and I'm still expecting her back. It's strange. So I do hope this memorial provides some closure. I need it.

I feel kind of selfish when I say I need closure regarding my mother's death. It didn't only affect me. My dad took care of her for two and a half years before she died. Dad is the youngest of six; his brother died about 10 years ago, but his four sisters are still living. But there is something wrong with all of them. Aunt Mary will probably die soon from pneumonia and advanced lung cancer. Aunt Ruth broke her neck two weeks after her husband died, but she is on the mend. Aunt Virginia has myriad health problems, and Aunt Donna is having her knee replaced this week and expects a 3 month recovery period. Now, none of these women are spring chickens, but jeez-o, my poor dad has really been slapped around lately by mortality. And my brother is graduating from college in May, and Mom won't be around to go and hug him and tell him how proud she is of him. That stinks. So I need to just suck it up and be grateful for the things I have, and remember Mom fondly, which I do every day.

How's that for a cheery post? Everyone ready to slit their wrists now? I hope not. I have Stitch n Bitch tonight, and that is always a good time. Thank God for it. I sure have made some good friends there, and I have learned to push myself creatively.

Okay, I promise happier content next time. Thanks for stopping by, and hopefully you will stop by again. I have to go pick up the Banana from preschool.


At 5:28 PM, Blogger Liz K. said...

Sal, it really is OK to feel like crap about Mom still, and while the memorial service will be a wonderful honor, you will still miss her terribly and wish she were around. Closure, I hate to be the one to tell you, is an illusion. Ritual is immensely comforting, though, and I'm glad you have this opportunity to ritually grieve and honor her life.

And please don't work yourself into an idea that grief is relative. Like somehow you shouldn't be quite as sad as Dad or Glenn. They have their sorrow. You have yours. Yours doesn't have to compete with theirs or somehow be less hurtful because you have blessings that buoy you in other ways. Your sorrow deserves to exist in whatever form or quantity it is at this moment. So does theirs. Grief is an absolute. It is not relative.

Don't get me wrong - gratitude is great, and grief can really focus you on the good vs. the truly not good in your life. It can help you filter out the unimportant and help you truly be better.

But gratitude doesn't require you to be less sad that your Mom died. I actually find it deeply comforting to still feel like shit about my Dad. Because three years later, I am still not OK with it. Not every day, and not with the same intensity all the time, but believe me, I still have to slap myself with reality sometimes that he is actually gone. Still. And some days, I just cry my head off.

All I'm saying is don't talk yourself out of your feelings. Feel what you feel.

I really really wish I had gotten to know your mom. She sounds like a really remarkable woman, and the world is a little less beautiful without her.


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