Thursday, April 25, 2013


Lately my mind drifts to the seventies quite often. Grade school. Book bags. My mom at home. When I think of her, the memories of those days are strong.

I'm a child. I am happy in my introverted way. I read, sit under a desk and hum or write poems and songs in my head. Out in the world, I am sometimes overwhelmed with self-consciousness.

But at home I am calm. I love the rhythm of life in our little house. Sharing a room with two brothers. One bathroom for five of us. Fried chicken and mashed potatoes are on the table at least once a week. Television and music are our usual pastimes.

There is church. Northwest Christian. My best friend, Joyce, a sweet soul to this day. Camp at Little Galilee Christian Assembly in Clinton, Illinois in the summer. Kumbaya by the campfire.

There is also metaphysics. Many Mansions by Gina Cerminella. There is a River, the story of Edgar Cayce. I read them both in fourth grade.

I lie in the grass in the summer and look at clouds. I swim in a backyard pool with my good friend, Judy. We eat fresh blackberries from a bush near Garman Park on our way to lazy afternoons doing crafts at the big cement tables.

I'm drifting. My mind, my heart and my spirit. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Thoughts on grieving

It's the little things you miss the most.

My mom always made sure Daniel had a blanket over his legs if it were cold out during a walk. At night, tucked into bed, she would check him multiple times to be sure he was covered, head comfortably placed on his pillow.

When we went out for dinner together, it was my mom who never forgot to bring extra of everything for him. Bandanas, toys, cups, water, clothing or a jacket. When it was time to line up at the buffet for food, she stayed behind with him allowing the rest of us to fill our plates first.

During visits to my parent's home in Illinois, when the rest of the family would gather for a barbeque or celebration, she was the first to volunteer to hold him or walk with him when he would fuss. She did this for thirteen and a half years.

We lived together from 2000 to 2002 when he was between the ages of one and three. After dinner, she refused my help with the dishes saying, "you just take care of Daniel." I worked a part-time job during those years, and she was my constant back-up with both of my kids.

Every new school year she shopped with me during my summer visit and bought clothes for the kids. Throughout the year, she sent boxes of clothes and toys for Daniel. She knew what he liked the most, and was always on the look-out for a squishy toy or a little car.

When I think about it, those little things are really the big things.