Monday, October 10, 2005


But I'm a writer, so I find my dog's lint to be haiku material.

It's been really weird to observe the mourning process, in myself, my family, the people I come in contact with. Some people are shockingly appropriate and kind, others are desperate to tell you their awful stories and enact some measure of completion on you, with or without your permission (sort of an odd rape-mourning). It's amazing how many people are open wounds about death.

Some look really disturbed if you tell them without crying, which I'm having more and more difficulty with. Not to be all pro-Camus, but why would I go out into the world at all if I was about to crumble at the mention of Mom's death? Don't expect me to put on a show for people; my mourning is my own. I know my family's calmness and dark sense of humor disturbed the hell out of the nice lady at the funeral home, but that is our inheritance. Call me Bree, but I don't think it's appropriate to go rubbing my snot on strangers' sleeves.

Really though, for the most part it's just an overwhelming amount of physical and emotional work to do with a mushy brain, sprinkled with unexpected acts of kindness from people you didn't know cared, and oddly innapropriate impositions from people you thought cared more.

All in all? Interesting. I expect the Memorial service up north this weekend to be even more so. No way to prepare. Just going into the fray.

Three more big fishies (lots of little ones, but I'm saving the ready-to-mount-over-the-fireplace ones for you loyals.

First Fishie
My trainer (the one I started with so I'd be strong enough to lift Mom at home, and I'm just trying to lose my caregiving weight...45 pounds, here we come skinny jeans) what a horribly crafted sentence I have no energy to fix. I'll let you deal with deciphering that one.

Ahem. Last Wednesday when I took my glasses off in class, my trainer made a big stink out of calling me Superwoman. It was very noticeable for several reasons. Two other girls in class wear glasses, and he didn't say it them. This trainer has only met me twice, and though I adore him and his perfect gay abs and would do infinite lunges for his approval, he doesn't know I'm a comic buff yet. And...I'd already decided I was getting a Superman tatoo to commemorate Mom and her Fortress of Solitude visualization. So I guess she likes that idea. Because a bum in front of Target called me Superwoman yesterday, too. Huh. Got it Mom. One tatoo, coming up.

Second Fishie
Thursday night at my graduation ceremony for Flash Forward (yes, where I didn't reach my one-month goal of become a Writer's Assistant OR do my homework assignment of getting at least one industry mentor), I spoke out my accomplishment of helping Mom have a beautiful death, and some of the other little goals I got done during the month with the support of the class, and named my new goals (see above, top of website). I also spoke about my tendency to play small, and my new resolve to try not to diminish myself and go with my natural tendency to be an entrepreneur. Long story short (too late!), when we broke up into groups and did some more brainstorming exercises, I spoke about self-publishing Mom's memoir by Christmas...and this lovely guest looked me dead in the eye and asked,

"Why self-publish? Don't you think you're selling yourself short?"

To which I said, "Whu-huh???"

Mom's last words to me were, "I never sold you short."

Okey-dokie Mom. We'll try to find a real publisher, interested in a great companion book to one of the biggest hits of next year.

Poisson Trois
Nurse Sis (Brenda) and I went to a good friends' house for dinner on Saturday. This lovely couple made an incredible, formal meal for us last spring when Mom was still up for company, and had really wanted to see her the week she died, when she refused company. Because Jack and Patrick were so dear to Mom, Brenda agreed to this dinner, even though her mourning reaction right now is calling for much more daily privacy. (whereas I feel much more of a drive to be lightly social with my friends...again, interesting, and strategies I expect we'll switch on sometime soon.)

Anyhoo, from appetizer to desert, they served us Mom's favorite choices. I swear, Jack is now channeling Mom's stomach. Tomato caprese for appetizers, chopped salad with avocados, pork chops and wild rice and spinach, and flan for desert. Favorites, all around. Really, really weird. And it was great, because Jack had already told us he felt Mom touching his shoulder at church last Sunday and talking and laughing with him, so he was really blown away that she whispered the menu to him, too. Very cool, Mom.

But Mom, I'm losing weight now, not gaining. No more popcorn, okay?


Lynne said...

Tears again! Stop making me cry!!! (just kidding)


Your mom is still taking care of you, and what tremendous strength and devotion she has to manage to send you the messages.

It makes me very happy to read of the Fishies.

Kidsis said...

Right? Imagine being on the receiving end. Pretty cool stuff for a former atheist.

Now I just have to figure out where to put my tattoo...

Lynne said...

There's an interesting story about Superman. At the May retreat that I went to, there was aman there who had esophogeal cancer. He was an airline pilot for Canadian Air. He was wearing a Superman shirt for most of the conference.

In August he passed away. Ruth, who runs the retreat said the night of his passing (though she did not know it had happened) she dreamed that he was flying around her room as Superman. He had a huge happy smile on his face, and soared around and then soared off into the sky. When she learned the next day that he had passed away, she understood that he was ok and that he had wanted to let her know.

He had wanted to attend the September retreat, but did not survive that long, but he told Ruth he would be there in spirit. As Ruth opened the curtains the first morning, to let the sunshine in, on the window sill she found a single white feather.

Apparently he's flying all over the place!

I love the Superman reference in Mom's story, and it seems to be a recurring theme for me, as well. (I too have a Supergirl shirt that I wore to my first chemo)

I remember thinking when Caliope died and you received the messages from her, how important these signs were for you spiritually, and I was overjoyed. Lis, I am so happy to see your spiritual growth. There is a force in the universe, regardless of the name it is given.

As for where to put the tatoo..... I'm not sure, but wherever it is make it visible to yourself in the mirror, so when you look at yourself you will always be reminded.

Anonymous said...

kiddo --

Hey there. Thanks for the update. Sorry if my call came out of the blue -- I really did want to see how you were doing, what with my recovery from pink-eye and a URI.

CC would love to see you and go all movie-chick with you, but we agree -- take your own freaking time. No pressure, no imposition -- whenever you need freaking suburbia, come on over. You're always welcome.

Well, the S shield is a pretty easy one to find. Location? As a happily married man, I don't know if I'm allowed to comment on potential needlepoint targets here... I suppose small of the back is good, but do you actually have any ink, to begin with?

Wait -- Richie has something to type:

rerwhwwnwmnnwnwmnwfmdwfwq akalkgtljjhe hi!

Forgive him -- he's 4, and he thinks a computer keyboard is similar to a piano keyboard.

Hang in there, kiddo.


Anonymous said...

Lizzie Mae...

I think I've found a ft job for you!!! give me a ring.

love you,

Anonymous said...


Hope you're doing okay -- give me a call when you can -- would love to make dinner for you!


Anonymous said...

Dog's hair on the couch
Extra coat of shaggy fur
Sofas don't get cold.