Archive for the ‘memories’ Category

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Time weighs heavy on my heart.

February 25, 2008

I bent down to pick up my beautiful daughter tonight and I had trouble for the first time ever. I bent at the knees and felt my back give out from the heaviness of her. Her body slacked in my arms and I had to use all of my weight to counter her 47 pound frame and get her into my arms.

When she was a baby, she fit right into that little nook between my hip and my neck and never felt heavy. I could dance around the house with her there, vacuum, talk on the phone…all while she just sat and hung on. All while my right arm was doing something else.

I remember dancing her to sleep in her room during nap times and bed time. As she rested in that nook, we would boogie to tunes like: Ricky Martin, Usher, Guns N’ Roses. We woke up to Z100 and went to bed with Travis and Celine Dion. I would sing and sway and rock to the beat and watch her as she drifted off into that space right before deep sleep. I never put her down right away. I savored her every inch before I put her in her crib. I have always loved the way she smelled of baby powder and sweat. And I have always adored the feel of her soft, feather-like hair tickling my neck and cheek. I never wanted to let go of that innocent joy. Even at my most insecure times as a mother, I always knew the feel of her.

I never grew tired holding her. I never felt like she was too heavy even after after a long while dancing and rocking. And there were days and long nights of dancing and rocking especially during the colicky months. But, I always loved being with her like that. Just me and her. Bonding. Mother and daughter. We still do it, but just for a few songs…Mommy’s back gives out now.

She’s growing so much I can’t keep track of her milestones anymore. She’s active and intelligent and thriving exponentially.

The diary I started for her four years ago remains in my drawer, each page filled with all of the new experiences and milestones we achieved together. I return to it on the hard days, remembering how trying those first few months were. I read her progression of the words she’s learned and I realize that she spoke so early and has mastered language at a phenomenal pace.

I sit and compare the past to the present, wondering which year was the hardest. I still can’t answer that.

All I know is that I love her with a passion I could never believe existed. And as I lifted her up tonight I wept. I wept for the baby I once had and for the girl I now struggled to hold in my arms without getting weary.

Her body is changing, her mind is expanding, her world is growing. She’s harder to hold in more was than one. But I promise her I will never let her go. No matter how old she is, she will always be my baby.

I have her saying it now too. “Mommy, even when I’m 35, I’ll still be your baby.”

And I wonder, can I have that in writing? Because I really need to believe that is true.

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Not there?

February 19, 2008

It’s only been about one full month since she moved.

I just heard from her Thursday, for the first time. In a month.

I know she’s busy and all. I mean starting her life somewhere else and making good for her and her family will make a girl busy.

But I really don’t feel right.

I feel left. Again.

I am so sad since she moved. Depressed and sad. Not because we don’t talk every day, we never did even when she was here. Not even because we won’t see each other as often, we really only saw each other once or twice a month anyhow.

It’s the distance.

The fact that even if I wanted to, I can’t just drive over to her place for coffee. Or to get our daughters to play together…and be real BFFs. Like we are. Or like we were. I’m unsure.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about this. And I really don’t feel right. I really do feel left.

I feel like I was am always there and available for her whenever she needs to cry, vent, share a whacked out story, just talk. I always answer the phone when it’s her no matter what I’m doing. I always ran right over when she needed me.

But I feel she’s impossible to find when I need a shoulder. She never answers her phone when I need to talk to her. She never calls back right away. (I’m guilty of that mostly too..but not with her, I always call her back right away.)

She’s always been a little distant.

It sort of feels like a one sided love affair. I am giving all of my heart to this relationship (good and bad) and she’s giving her heart up when its available. Which is never right when I need it.

And I need her now. Not only is she unavailable, she’s thousands of miles away. Unattainable.

We met when we were 9 years old. We became best friends instantly. She’s moved away before. And we have gone months, even years without seeing each other or talking to each other. But when we finally did reconnect it was always like we never missed a second of each other’s lives. We clicked right back into best friend mode.

And I loved that about us.

No matter how long it’s been, it really has never been too long.

But this time, it feels wrong.

It feels like she has her own life to contend with and when there’s time, she’ll fit me in. Or when bad news comes her way, I’m there to listen. She’ll take the time to vent all of her joys, her fears, frustrations and issues within one phone call. But within that time, I’m left with no chance to spill my heart out. Leaving me feeling alone. Again. And when I NEED to spill it, she’s impossible to get a hold of.

I love her so much, that I pretty much have let this behavior slide because she always seems to have a whole crapload on her plate. But I do too.

And I want to cry on her shoulder. But I can’t.

And I’m starting to think this is how it has always been. When she needs me, I’m there. When I need her, I have to wait until she finds the time to get back to me.

Is that how the relationship always was? So one sided? So distant? I think so.

That is why I’m saddest. It’s not the physical distance between us. It’s the emotional distance. It’s that I’m finally seeing (or feeling) I really am not all that important to her, as she is to me. Unless she needs advice. Then I am the best.

My feelings are hurt. My heart hurts. My head hurts from the memories of our aging friendship changing shape. Was she really my best friend all this time or was I just someone convenient to vent to? Someone unbiased toward her life, not family, but the closest thing to it without hurting my feelings when she’s ripping on them. Someone who is always there? To take advantage of? To use?

I hope not. But that’s how it feels these days.

All of a sudden, I feel very alone. Again.

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I can forgive, but I won’t forget

February 16, 2008

(This post was initially written on 2/16/07…one year ago, at my first place. It’s amazing how my mind works…Brings things up like clockwork…But again, it still feels fresh…I just wanted to post it here…Because it’s on my mind again. This abandonment issue that I deal with often. It’s reared it’s ugly head once again. Why does it always feel like the ones you love most, leave? 

For some reason, I feel if I bring back some of my old writing, I’ll get inspired…anyone mind?)

The apology has been barely uttered.

Years have gone by.

But you can’t seem to get it out of your head heart.

The abandonment, the lying, the disappointment. The pressure to forgive a person for something they have done not even to you but to themselves. It still seems so fresh and so real. It’s over, but is it ever really over in your head?

She is the one who suffered. She is the one who went through it. But you feel betrayed. You feel the hurt just as deeply as if it was your own.

Life goes on. Life happens and you are supposed to forgive and forget but you have this nagging feeling of abandonment and ‘how could you do this to me?’ and you try too hard to ignore it but it surfaces when you least expect it, when you need her most. It surfaces and you back away, recoil. You become aware of the hurt and the pain you felt when she wasn’t there and you needed her most.

You try deep in your soul to let life go on as if nothing ever happened. But it’s there in your heart and you can’t let it go. You feel manipulated just a little bit and a victim of her passive-aggressive behaviors brought on by such a difficult life. Yet, you continue to pretend.

You are petrified she’ll leave again. She’ll do it again. She’ll abandon you for good and then what will you have? Nothing. Again.

You will be left alone again. Probably when you need her most.

So why bother?

Because you love her. Unconditionally. And it hurts too much to let go. You can’t say anything because, you are afraid you’ll hurt her by telling her how you really feel. Even if it means you can’t really trust. You have to pretend. Because you love her too much to let her see that you can’t trust her. You love her too much to let her know how deeply she hurt you. Even if your heart is suffering because of her.

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Before you go…

January 5, 2008

My best friend, ‘K’ moved this week.

To Texas.

I’m in NY.

That’s a long distance.

I am so saddened by this development.

But I saw her yesterday. And we got a chance to really say ‘see ya soon‘. We hugged and reminisced and made sure to plan my upcoming visit to Texas with Fa. We laughed like usual and gossiped about friends, old and new.

I am going to miss her terribly.

But she moved to Alabama when we were in High School and we remained “BFF’s” all through the turmoil that that move brought us.

We have so much in common that we truly are like sisters. We know each other for 27 years. That’s a long time. She really is the sister I never had.

And I love her.

Dearly.

I pray this move is happy for her and brings her much joy. I pray her and her family find peace in their new state and I pray that we remain as close as we are this very minute. I pray we never lose this closeness and I pray she keeps our memories dear, as I will, always.

And I pray she knows I will always love her.

Before you go ‘K’…read my mind…and know I love you forever.

limo1-20-07.jpg

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Memory Box

January 3, 2008

I took my tree down last night. It took me two hours.

Not because I have that much stuff up. But because every year, putting my ornaments on the tree and taking them down has become a ritual. A ritual of remembrance.

Before Fa was born, I didn’t put up a tree for years. The boxes of ornaments were stored in my Dad’s place, gathering dust and I ignored it like the plague. I didn’t want to open it.

For opening that box would bring back too much pain. Too much Mom.

It was filled with ornaments from Christmases past. Ornaments that my Mother adored and cherished and ornaments that filled her with joy.

I was afraid to go there.

I was afraid that seeing those ornaments again, up close, would sadden me. So, I left it alone. For years.

The Christmas before I got pregnant, Mom must have given me a sign that it was time to open the box. Thus, opening my heart to what was long gone. It took me months to do it. The preparation of “THE BOX” was weighing me down. But, for some reason, I was compelled to go through it.

My therapist talked me through step by step, from the initial ripping the tape off the top to taking out and unwrapping the last ornament. Finally it was time. The flood of emotions that ran through me were staggering.

Joy for seeing the favorites from years past. Sadness from remembering how we’d put up our tree together and now I was alone. Bittersweet for seeing Mom’s most favorite ornaments still in tact and wrapped in newspaper from 1989, and waiting for me to share them again. Anger once again, for the fact that she was taken from me.

But I did it. I faced my fears head on and sorted through “The Box”. I can’t believe how perfect the ornaments stayed through all of these years. I can’t believe that the yellowing of the newspaper hasn’t taken away from the headlines of the times.

I’m so happy that I was strong enough to do that. I didn’t know it back then but it prepared me for this particular year.

The first few Christmases with Fa were all my own with the tree. It was me and the tree taking the time to remember each ornament’s significance. It became a walk down memory lane. A walk I took alone while I preserved the sensation.

This year was the first year that Fa truly understood the meaning of the tree and it’s decor. She helped me put it up and decorate it from top to bottom. She was careful with the ‘breakables’ and was thoroughly excited to see the tree take shape.

I told her about my Mother’s (her grandmother’s) most favorite ornaments and how they were sentimental to her.

Mom’s Favorites
(These two birds were her most favorite!)

I told her about how we did it when I was a little girl.

I am so grateful that I will have this opportunity with my own daughter. An opportunity I might have missed if I wasn’t strong enough to open that box.

It was wonderful.

So this year, when I took all the ornaments off the tree, I took a little extra time to examine them and remember their past. I took longer to wrap them in the same newspaper from years past and I meditated over their worth and emotional value.

It made me smile. To know that I have these items in my life. Little pieces of the past to take out every year to reminisce about my Mom.

I have since purchased more ornaments to add to the collection and Fa even makes her own now…These are fantastic additions that I know my Mom would be proud of.

I hope that I can continue this tradition of opening the box with Fa for years to come. My dream is that one day, she will share the same box with her children and speak of her grandmother the way I have taught her.

This year was a good reminder of how precious life and family is. The ornaments are truly the only tangible thing I have left of my mother and I am honored to hold them close.

Next year, I think I’ll take three hours to take the ornaments down. The longer I have with the memories, the better.

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So then,

August 25, 2007

Remember when I talked about this?

Well, I’m seeing a new therapist. For anger issues. And greif. That I have yet to deal with.

20 years later.

Grief = Anger + A Mamma = A mess.

And in our first session he asked me to close my eyes, think about what I want to talk about, feel the way my body reacts and tell him the first thing I thought of.

“You’re not good enough!” Was what I blurted out. And I tensed up. Angry.

Good! And one hour later after wringing a towel and beating a pillow. (Seriously, you should read the book!)

We came to the realization that the underlying stress between my parents later in my life made me feel very uncomfortable and unsafe as a teenager. I never felt secure. In turn, in my life today, I always seek security.

And when I feel my security slipping, I freak out. And when I feel my head slipping…Loogout.

Because when my security did slip out from under me as a teenager…my Mom died. You can never get that back, no matter how hard you try. Even as a functioning adult.

So, therapy is helping me heal my mind and my body. It is going to (I hope) help me accept what has happened in my past and move forward. Because when my mind is clear, I will physically loosen up and not be so tense and stiff and sore all the time.

That is where this came from…And thank you Sara and Jessica and all the other commenters who helped me to be okay with it all…You all rock!

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Not enough.

August 24, 2007

“I didn’t want this life.” She heard whispered from the kitchen.

She quickly pulled the covers over her head trying not to breathe, trying not to hear these truths hissed from her father’s mouth. Under the heat of the covers, she waited. And listened harder.

“I feel trapped.” Hushed the same voice down the hallway darkened by sleep.

What does that mean? She wondered as only a teenager could see just for today. Trapped? By what? By us? That’s impossible. He comes and goes as he pleases.

She listened intently in the darkness.

“What do you want me to do?” Her mother’s exasperation sent chills down her spine. “This is your life!” She hissed back at him probably fighting back tears. “If you want to leave, go then.” The sobs started quickly after that. She never heard her mother cry over him before. Through the thick tears of betrayal, her mother stammered, “We’d rather not have you here at all then have you here miserable. Just go!”

Silence suddenly fell throughout the house. The return of midnight quietness, the usual quiet felt in that house.

They must have remained seated at that kitchen table for hours. Who knows how long they were there arguing before she overheard that thread of conversation? She awoke at dawn for school, they were still there. Silent. Her mother reading the newspaper and her father staring straight ahead. In silence, as usual.

He never left after that night. But it finally all made sense. The dynamic of their relationship was strained to say the least. For how long before that? Not sure.

But she understands now, why she truly feels like she’s not good enough.