I always remember around holidays how a card would wind up in my mailbox. It was usually something quirky or funny. I was looking at cards last night for some upcoming birthdays. I was in CVS just laughing at all the cheesy and corny birthday cards. I don’t know what you may have sent the girls, but your cards always made me laugh. I would call you immediately to thank you for the card. Over the years, living in Philly, mail would pile up downstairs, and I would see a card here and there. When I would call you, always the same response…”Oh My God…that card cracked me up…I had to get it….you know, just a little something…” The further I go on this journey called life, I realize, it’s not the cars, the houses, the clothes, the “things”, it’s always just “a little something” that someone does or says. I recently sent a card to a friend who had lost her father. Just to make sure I had the right address, I messaged this friend. You had such a great way with words. Always the right thing to say during tough times. I like to write. I try to write what I have a hard time saying. My friend said, “your card was so beautiful. Thank you for that…I am incredibly touched by what you wrote…I hate that we’re in this club…” I hate it to friend. I continue to wish I could internalize the pain my friends or family go through losing a parent. I can’t. I sent a card cause I thought I was coming down with something and just couldn’t be out and about. I am ok, so I sent the card. I hate watching people lose loved ones. I shake my head, but I know that this is life. I know we can’t stay here forever. It made me feel good to hear from the friend. I felt like I had reached a hand out and connected a circle. A circle we are either all a part of and unfortunately, that circle that we will all walk through at that time. I stood in CVS and must’ve read about 10-15 cards. Just so many funny cards, written by people, people who had also lost loved ones. You realize how human loss is and how, well, it IS a trait of being human. While I don’t enjoy people suffering of any kind, in this sense, “the more you suffer, the more it shows you really care….”, a shouted by the band The Offspring. That pain, those levels we bounce between, the suffering, a sign of the care, the love, the emotion we did breed and nurture through this life. I don’t feel shame in crying. I don’t feel embarrassed to fall into those moments of private hysteria. It is then, after those moments end, I can also smile and feel the relief, that there is nothing wrong with the love and the passion you have for a human soul. There is legitimately nothing wrong with that and it is only a sign of the most honest and strong of human beings; it is why we are here….it is why we are being. We are being human. More and more I am glad you may not have known what happened to you. I will get sad wondering what your mind thought in that room. I don’t want to go there, but my mind doesn’t quite ever know a boundary. Maybe thankfully and not thankfully, there is really no incarceration that can hold the human mind. In my mind, you being at the beach is enough for me to know your spirit probably stayed down there. Down there with the sand. With the seagulls. With the water. You come and go like the tides. On the flip side, when I do randomly watch the videos of you from your last months here, I see your eyes open and maybe part of me hopes you saw me on the way out. Part of me hopes you heard your sister talk to you, heard the girls cry for you, heard me sleeping. Haha. I can laugh. For only a few times in the last 20 years (Newport, The Bitty, the occasional stay at The Can or the Biscuit), have we slept in the same place since I was probably graduating from Penn State. I won’t ever forget those days at hospice. I felt comfort being there. It was a rough slide after you got there. I would just sit or lay on that pullout bed. Go grab my pizza from double decker. I know you would’ve gotten a kick out of me enjoying that little part of Ridley. I so wish we could’ve done that together. I know that this is a transitional period for a lot of people my age. I know that for sure. I think about hold old you all were when you lost Mom Mom. How young that felt to me. And now here I sit. I remember going into see Mom Mom at the end. How impossible it was to me then…how impossible this still feels today. How I can remember the “poof” of her hair, her “short” hand, how I loved hearing her voice and how I felt my time with her was never long enough, but here I am today. I know things are changing for me. I know that there is some light…at the end of a few different tunnels I have walked. I know you would’ve gotten a kick out of this card with a bunch of nuns lighting up and on the inside of the card, in bold black letters it said, “HOLY SMOKES!”. That made me laugh Mom. Oh how you made me laugh so much. In the darkest times it takes a soul with the brightest light to help us find our way.
There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul. –Victor Hugo