Friday, March 31, 2017

Mom Memory of the Day

Its inevitable. Every day a memory of mom and I will drop into my mind. I've been jotting them down and planning on writing a bit more about each one. Many of them are funny to me, but are such inside jokes that I'm sure no one else will think they're funny.

One thing I've learned through all this is that people lie. People tell you to "don't sweat the small stuff". And that "small stuff doesn't matter". This isn't really true. The "small stuff" are all the stories that make me smile and remind me of the woman mom was. The "big stuff" is easy to remember. The "small stuff" a little more cherished.

Today's memory is brought to you by the alcohol Tequila.

Sometime in the 90's. I really can't remember if I was still in school or just out of college. I think the latter. Dad was off hunting. Mom and I had been out shopping. She had purchased a book shelf that we planned on putting together that night.

On our way home, we stopped by the grocery store and bough makings for Mom's famous enchiladas. And apparently some tequila and margarita mix.

Mom mixed the margaritas (actually I think this might have been before the night in college that made be turn away tequila forever). At any rate, mom was mixing the drinks and I was making the enchiladas.

We laughed. We cooked together. We talked. We did what mother's and daughters should do together.

We ate dinner and went downstairs to start putting together the shelf.  On our way downstairs mom made some comment about the entire pitcher of margaritas being empty. How'd that happen?

We spent the next 2 hours putting together this shelf. The instructions were pictures and not words. Which, as you can imagine, with tequila in your system are confusing.

Finally. Finally we got the shelf together. We plopped ourselves down on the couch to stare at our work of art.


Then we looked at each out and broke out in a gut laughter that led to uncontrollable giggles.

To this day I wish I had taken a photo of the shelf. There were 4 shelves. One of them was not connected and hanging down.

We laughed and laughed. Ultimately we left the shelf there and went to bed.

I smile just thinking about how much we giggled.

I have this and so many more that I want to get out of my head and onto paper - well virtual paper.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

I'm Fine...Not Really

ChickenLady called me today about something completely unrelated to Mom and how I was doing, and our conversation naturally went to Mom and grieving. ChickenLady lost her husband several years ago, so she gets grieving. In fact, she helped SSIL through the loss of BigBro.

Anyhow, she said a couple of things to me that really resonated.

First let me say I feel like I'm not doing this grieving thing "right". Knowing full well there is no "right" way to grieve. "Everyone is different", everyone says. And I truly believe that. I'm not crying every day or every waking moment like I expect I should. Turns out I'm probably doing just fine.

ChickenLady said that after the loss as significant as this you're in a Survivor Bubble. You're just getting through the day doing what you need to do. And in my case, closing down mom's estate is a lot of work, stressful and a constant in my life. In my survivor  bubble, I'm doing what I need to do to get things done. Which makes sense. I wondered how I was able to compartmentalize my feelings right after mom died - just so I can get the house cleaned out and ready to sell.

She went on to say that the survivor bubble will get weaker and little holes will start to form. Don't be afraid of those little holes. You need them.  She implied that eventually the bubble will burst and that's when you'll feel the full weight of your grief.

I really like this analogy. It really made sense to me and made me feel like I wasn't going crazy or that I did, in fact, have a heart and can feel.

I also mentioned to her that I've stopped myself from crying every now and then because I say to myself, "I'm stronger than that." To which she responded, "Crying really shows your strength, not the other way around." I must have sounded confused because she went on to say that crying shows your brave enough to deal with the emotion.


So here I am...where I am I have no idea. I just know I miss mom horribly and that I really, REALLY want to talk to her, oddly about this whole thing.

Today will be a hard day. Today we say good bye to a good family friend who died in February. Him passing just added to the grief for this year.

Can we be done with 2017 already?

Monday, March 13, 2017


It's been almost 2 months since I lost mom. TWO MONTHS! Gone in a blink of an eye.

It's been a rough 2 months and thankfully sometimes a happy memory finds it way inside. I had no idea that grieving AND trying to settle mom's estate would take such a toll on my mental capacity. It's exhausting to say the least.

In two months though, I feel like I have made some ground on this thing called Estate management. But let me tell you, if you've not had to do it, it is harder than you think. I was so naive thinking that all it took was an organized person. No, in fact it takes an organized person, a smart person, a really smart person, and patience.

Today I received an offer for mom's Voyager house. With minimal back and forth we agreed to a price. It's contingent on the house passing an inspection though, so there's that. But the thought that I might have that off my hands is quite the relief. One down. One to go.

Its the second house that's going to cause me more grey hair. Every time I turn around another piece of paper work is required and more $$ is required. I'm so done with it. And then I need to remember that patience is something I need to practice.

In two weeks we'll have another Celebration of Life for me. This for her Seattle family and friends. It dawned on me this weekend that I'd better get to planning. I have much already done, but the final touches need to happen. Thankfully this is a simple celebration.

So how am I doing?
Well, there are good days and bad. The good are days where remembering mom brings a smile to my face. The bad are days I want to badly to talk to her. Then when I realize I can't, it just hurts. A pain I haven't really ever experienced. She's gone! Forever. It's when that thought enters my mind that I'm just so dumbfounded at how we got here. Denial.

Then there are times I think I'm not grieving the right way. I know, logically, there is not "right" way to grieve. In fact, I'm a tad worried that I'm bottling it all up and some day it's going to be unleashed and I won't be able to stop it. Then I worry some more about that.

Worry, mental exhaustion and more worry are all my compadres of late.

On a bright, personal side, I'm getting my act together so for anyone who has to deal with my estate, they won't have as many issues. I bought this great book called Get It Together and have gotten it together. At least I've accomplished one thing in the last 2 months.