Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I have been wound so tight lately that you could bounce me off of the wall like when we used to throw "pop-flies" in P.E. My stomach is a vortex of emotion. It spins and churns until it decides to spit an emotion into my throat causing me to laugh, cry, yell, or stay silent. It is amazing how I can be so happy and yet so sad at the same time.

I love everything about our upcoming wedding, mostly the partnership, love, and commitment that Nick and I are pledging to share together. On the other hand, I am reminded of the grief for my Mom by every received package at my door. I am again allowing the space in ALL of my closets to be filled in hopes my heart will follow suit. My heart must not have the words to tell my mind that it doesn't work that way.

Since Dan received his call Home, I have felt him with me on many an occasion. The blue-jay that stood by my side as I mowed my first lawn post husband and the butterfly that landed on my shoulder the day Sputty and I took the kids to the park. I wondered while we pushed Lilly, Alex, and Charlie if I would ever have kids. The butterfly first kissed my belly and then landed on my shoulder, where he stayed a long while. When I go out on my deck, my blue-jay friend is never far away, even if I can't see him, I hear his squawking. Blue Jays have a very loud and prominent twitter...that doesn't surprise me at all.

This weekend while in NOLA celebrating in THE most amazing wedding ever of Kirty and Pete, there were also signs. Hilly and I were walking arm and arm through the beautiful and historic Jackson Square. We wanted to get close to a group of people that were setting up chairs, a podium, and flags. When we got closer, we realized it was a Marine Corps event. Nick and Daniel were walking behind us and one of them said, "Such and such was a Marine..." and then someone else chimed in with who they knew that was a Marine. I never spoke, because it isn't like I "used to know" a Marine. I carry that Marine with me every day in my heart. Just as I was thinking that thought and smiling a remembering smile, a butterfly zigged by our faces. Hilly and I were still arm and arm. I reached out my left hand and the energetic beauty kissed the back of my hand before fluttering away. Immediate chills. Immediate glassy eyes. Would you believe me if I told you that butterfly followed me down two winding streets and to one store? He did. He always will.

Last night Nick and I met with Mary, a friend, and our officiant for the wedding. I couldn't get through even hearing the vows we are going to say to one another without crying. Lord knows how I am going to hold up on our wedding day! I am not sure I have ever loved Nick more than in those moments that we sat at her dining room table and picked the words that will bind and seal our lives together forever. I am so blessed, and so happy. I had NO idea I could EVER love this strong and this fierce ever again. As we were finishing up our meeting, I happen to glance at Mary's china cabinet and there, peeking out at me, a little green memento from the past, the "peas in a pod" wedding favor Dan and I gave out. I know that he is giving his blessing from above, but I like to see it as another little salt & peppered sign.

I smile when I perceive the universe coming together as a sign from my past. Because I get happy during those moments, I want more of them when it comes to my Mom. A little sign would be nice, but what I really want is for her to call, hold a big sign from a cloud that says, "Good job" "keep it up" or if should could just answer my daughter to Mother questions in a drop box from the PO in Heaven, I'd be much obliged. All jokes aside, I need her to still be here. I think at times I try so hard to perceive a "sign" from her instead of taking the time to just sit still.

Well, I sat very still last night. Actually, I as laying very still in the bed with all the lights off and the quiet sounds of all my boys heavy into slumber. I prayed and started to cry. Lately my prayers start to be directed at God, but turn to a conversation I want to have with Mom. I cleared my mind, I let the soft tears flow out of the corners of my eyes, over my ears, and onto my pillow. I thought about "signs" from above. Images started to flash before my eyes and I said out loud, "Oh my God." Not in an OMG tone, but an Oh My God, you are so right, you do have all the answers. Even though I have to wait for them, you shine the perfect amount of light in the darkest of moments.

The images that crossed my mind were not butterflies, nor blue-jays. They were faces. The first face I see is Roman's and I hear him laugh. His laugh makes my heart ache with joy and love, so did my Mom's. He is 1/4 Mom, and he will carry the importance of laughter to every occasion. I then see Lilly, my angel Lilly. The sweet girl who put her perfect hand on my face during her birthday party and said to me, "Aunt T, I love your voice." Lilly is 1/4 Mom, and she will carry on the way that Mom made everyone in the room feel special. After that, I see my sister's smiling face. (I laugh a little at this moment thinking of her and I doing the "Boot Scooting Boogy" in Na'wlins and sitting on saddles outside of Urban Cowboy.) I see her, she is 1/2 Mom. She will carry on our traditions, be the matriarch of the family, always give her portion, always make more, always invite, always love, and always keep things in perspective. Jaime's face is my biggest sign. Next, I see Chris, my sweet Father Figure. He is 3/4 Mom, he has to be. He is our Mom, our Father Figure, AND Bud to the babies. He was the love of her life, and is ours to love for life, too. I rolled my head to the side and looked at Nick. When I did, I didn't just see a sleeping face. I saw the other part of my future. He will be 1/2 of our children who will be the 1/4 of Mom. He is going to be the partner who will help bring more of Mom's love into this world for all to see. He will be my husband. The husband who I know will keep all of the (secret) promises he made to Mom the day she knew we would wed. He will also keep holding me with those long arms on the nights that my tears don't cease as easily as they did in those late hours yesterday.

I chose this picture, and realized that I wore this SAME outfit today. I don't think I have worn it since the day this photo was taken. Looking at this picture and looking down at my dress, I can almost feel this moment all over again.

I have been wound too tight, running too fast, looking too hard, and not sitting still. When you are still the world spins around you with the ones you love. The ones that you can physically see, and the ones you can only remember.

Take a minute to be still. Let the ones who touch your heart dance in front of your face. You might be surprised at who or what you see.

My signs were so big they weren't in my direct line of sight, I needed a wider lens.