Welcome to the musings of this mediocre mom. If you’re looking for nuggets of wisdom about perfect parenting, you’re not going to find them here. But if you need someone to celebrate your parental mistakes with you or if you’re curious about what to do when you find your child eating poop, stick around. Drink some wine with me. You might not be a better parent after reading my blog, but you will feel like one.
It’s been exactly
one year since my last blog post. I figured this would be a fitting time to try
and re-enter my blog; introduce myself to it again, see if I can attempt to
make room for it in my life once more.
have missed the feeling of the keys beneath them. My heart has missed the
honesty it is allowed to show here. It’s like my life inside out—this blog
bearing witness to my guts and innards. Ewww. I know. I get it. No one likes to
look at guts and innards. Let’s just look at the pretty stuff please.
So, where did I
go after my last post in 2012? What has happened to keep me so far away from
this hobby I had come to love? Well…
My grandma died
on this day last year. That much you know. Two weeks later (to the day) my other
grandma (Grandma McCauley) died as well. And in between those two weeks, two of
my chickens were eaten by hawks. I thought about writing a blog post titled, “How
to lose two grandmas and two chickens in two weeks,” but that really is such a
niche market I didn’t think anyone would be able to relate. And not that losing
chickens is even comparable to losing two grandmothers you dearly loved, but
when things start dropping dead in such a small amount of time, everything
feels equally important.
I think the
coffee maker shit the bed that week too. And the iron.
I had already
planned a trip to Arizona later that month (originally to see my grandmothers
one last time and show them my recently published book project) but instead I
ended up attending both of their funerals. I guess if there has to be a benefit
of dying within two weeks of each other, it was that I could go to both
services in the same vacation. My Grandma McCauley would have appreciated the cost
savings in that.
One evening in
May, I found out that a neighbor who had lived one house away from us (their
family had only just moved the previous summer) died in her sleep. She was only
a couple years older than me. She just died. Went to sleep after her night
shift at the hospital (she was a nurse) and didn’t wake up. Her daughter and son
(good friends of my children) found her when they got home from school. Yes,
she had a heart condition, yes they knew about it, but nobody knew that morning
would be her last. Her daughter called my daughter that night on the phone. I
listened in. “Did you hear about my mom?” she asked my daughter. “She died
today and I found her.” That’s pretty rough shit for an 11-year-old to hear. And
literally hours after it had happened.
On June 21st,
my Aunt Debi died. She was just 10 years older than me. I was very close to her—her amazing
photographs fill my walls with close up shots of my children as babies. Our
family. Their smiles. Her passing less than one year from her being diagnosed
with aggressive brain tumors. The good news is that while I was in Arizona for
the Grandma funerals, we spent time together: had breakfast out, did a little
shopping, got pedicures. Vented. Chatted. Ran errands. We managed to squeeze in
quality time before her headaches and fatigue kicked back in and I returned her
home to sleep. I wasn’t able to attend her service though, which I deeply
In June I also
found out that I didn’t get a job that I was really, really hoping to get. I
came in second to a guy with more advertising experience. Which of course is
nothing really, after losing your Aunt. It’s not a brain tumor after all. It’s
just a job. But I still wanted it.
At the end of
August, my marriage ended. He moved out in September. In the interest of full
disclosure, I’m the one that filed. I’m sure he’d want me to publicly own that,
which I have no problem with.
I also lost two
more chickens to hungry hawks. Fucking hawks. Not that losing chickens is the
same as losing a husband you still loved, but again…things start to feel
equally important when they happen so close together.
2012 was a year
of losses. Of grandmothers and chickens, friends and aunts and husbands, jobs and
dreams, and illusions. Depressing, I know. Who wants to read about all this
shitty shit? How could I possibly blog about what was going on in my head, or
my heart, or my life? Where’s the funny
in the kind of year I had?
Well, I haven’t
gotten to the good part yet. Hang in there. I haven’t told you about the
Because after a
person has that kind of year, especially culminating in the loss of 13 years of
marriage, you reach a point where there are two options: despair or prayer.
I tried despair
and couldn’t do it. Too dark. Plus it reminded me too much of my morose teenage
years except without the cool 80’s clothing.
everything that’s happened in the past year; all the ache and pain and loss and
yuck and questioning and worries and obsessions and dead people and marriage
issues and I laid them all at the foot of the cross.
Yes, that cross.
I know. I’ve
never really blogged about my faith or my religion and maybe that part of me is
new to you. You weren’t ready for this turn all religious-y. That’s okay. That’s
where you’re at. But if you quit reading now you’re going to miss the miracle
And after I laid
all this stuff before the cross (quite literally, on my hands and knees in
front of the blessed sacrament during adoration one day) I let it go. All of
it. I gave it all back to God to take care of. I couldn't do it anymore. The weight of all those things was just too much.
And I found something. Well, a
lot of somethings.
I found myself.
The me that I
buried under roles and expectations and life and worries and regrets and fear. I got her
I also found
peace. And joy. And serenity. And Truth. And happiness. And contentment. All
those things I’ve been fighting to find for so long, came to me once I let go.
2012 was quite
possibly the worst year of my life to date.
2012 was also
quite possibly the best year of my life to date. How is that—that such a
beautiful, wondrous existence is possible even amidst the flames that have
turned so much to ash?
That, my friends,
is the miracle.
“Now I can trade
these ashes in for beauty
and wear forgiveness like a crown
coming to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down
at the foot of the cross.”
(lyrics from At
The Foot of the Cross, by Kathryn Scott)