2.28.2010

Cherish and Remember

I picked up this little block sign right before Christmas this year and placed it atop a shelf I have with Di memories.  She would be proud that she not only has a place in my heart but a shelf in my house. 

It says it all:

Regrets But A Few...Paris and Smiles

During the last days that I visited Di in the hospital of the few times that we had to spend and hold hands and chat we talked about regrets.  Of course she was more worried about me than herself, as usual.  She told me that I needed to break down the walls and build up the relationship with my dad again no matter what it took and that one day if my mom came waltzing back into my life, I needed to honor her presence and forgive her for all the things that she'd done over the years.  That's a bitter pill for me to swallow twice, I have to admit. 

But, Di told me that relationships are all that we have in this great big world and the stronger we are about keeping them, the stronger we are as human beings.  Kindness, forgiveness and love are what makes the world go 'round. 

She did tell me that she did have regrets too. 
There were few...
Not being able to see Chloe graduate...
Not being able to take her daughters to see Paris...
And the one that made me laugh and dry up my tears for a few
short minutes while my hand shook as I was holding
her hand in mine
Not being able to go to an Ellen Show taping...

So, Em and Chole make sure one day that you visit Paris and remember that your Mom really wished that she could take you both there...with her.

Experiences, regrets, memories, misgivings, thankfulness, missteps.
These all combine to make us what we are and who we are and how we portray ourselves to those we love and those we don't know we love yet.

I Raise My Cup To You...

And toast the friendship, the stories, the sheer beauty of your legacy; your memory.

On this day, I reflect on the happenstance that brought us together and the bond that kept us together over the years not by chance, but by choice. 

A Cup of Friendship

Stir in 1 cup of thoughfulness
Add 3/4 cup of forgiveness
1 cup compassion
1 cup trust
1 cup hospitality
1 cup hope
1 cup joy
2 cups laughter
3/4 cup loyalty
1/2 cup of listening
3 teaspoons of special luck
2 tablespoons of kindness

Bring to simmer utilizing patience and then boil in the daily struggles not forgetting hope and kindness along the way.  Sprinkle all with one cup faith. Stir daily and serve over a lifetime. 

She gave me this cup one Christmas and it's been on my kitchen shelf as a reminder of her talents. Knowing that she made this with her two hands has always made this special but it is ever so much more special now...today...


I only wish I had more of her creations. She always said that she would paint me a picture. It's too bad that time slipped so quickly away.

I was one of the "lucky ones" though. I got to be present when the artist was at work.

From patterned paper classes, papermaking classes, bookbinding classes, book printing classes and pottery classes I was always by her side seeing and feeling and reveling in the shared moments of her important creationary work.





Di loved art and making art.  This cup is one of her many creations.
She told me that when she was throwing clay she felt free and peaceful and in charge of the moment. 






Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
                                                                                                      ~ Pablo Picasso   

Left Things and Found Gems

Sometimes things get left and within a momentary lapse they are found and you are transformed to another place in time, another era. 
A place when all was right with the world.

Like...
My sister's turquoise ring from New Mexico circa 1975
   That old jar of buttons from the 1800's that Grandma gave me
Lost and forgotten lottery tickets stuffed in the kitchen drawer
   The garden hoe left in the backyard found after the winter thaw
Grandma's writing journal from the 70's you have
   A photo of the family you used to be a part of when you were 16
The 1980's chrome belt you thought you gave to the Goodwill
   Actual silver coins from the early 1900's that you've held onto
Pure white sand the first time at the Texas beach
   Aspen leaves from Colorado that give me solitude
Touchstones carved in lapis that Tish gave me years back
   The writings you put in a shoebox with organizational intentions
That crumpled 2x2 picture of Grandpa Earl standing tall
   An old deathstar keychain from Star Wars that actually still works
Report cards from grade school
   Aunt Betty's recipe for cherry cobbler that you thought you lost
Dad's "Buick Spoken Here" business card
   Bean's word rocks she gave me for Christmas many moons ago


And then, there are the old photos.
They have been living crammed in a box.
Weathering the years.
Negatives from school projects and just because photos.
All the while waiting for you to return.
To reclaim your memories...
To reclaim your past...
To ponder in the complexities of what life is offering up now versus then...


Over the years, I had the opportunity to spend quality family time with Di and her family.  When I was single, I was pretty much a staple in their household.  I went with them on an adventure to a nature preserve one Sunday afternoon in 1998 and snapped a few photos. 
I always will remember the times. 
It was always loud, full of love and it was always just where I needed to be.  With family.


2.21.2010

Heart of The World



In the heart of the world there is a place that holds the secret names of the rocks & the trees & all the children of the earth & around it gather women & men who hold it dear & each night they stand together to keep it safe for as long as it takes till morning comes & no matter what you have been told, this will always be so, in the heart of the world.  ~ Unknown



Cold Sunday In a "Funk"

Di would be telling me to get out of my "funk" I'm sure.
She always had a good attitude even when things were going not-so-good. 
I could always count on her to pull me out of whatever funk I was in and lift me up.

I miss that.
I miss her big hugs.
I miss hearing her voice.
I miss knowing that she was just a phone call away.

Dammit this cold just makes everything worse and makes me not want to do anything that I'd like to do; not what I have to do.

If I could, I'd transport us both back to the winery, have a few glasses of wine and do this day all over again and enjoy "more" of the day and I'm sure I would be far from any kind of funk.

This is the last photo that I have of Di and I together; drinking wine at Prairie Crossing and chatting. So glad that I got this photo! Thanks honey for taking it!!

2.15.2010

3-Month Tab in Time

Today marks 3 months since we lost Di.

Approximately 91.3105497 days without the sound of her voice or hearing the joy in her laughter.
2191.45 hours...

I feel like I have lost breaths during this time, lost thoughts that I can't get back again and I fear that I will forget everything that is important if I don't write it down.






When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. ~Author Unknown

Perhaps...

   

Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. ~Author Unknown

My Perennial, my forever friend

With all the snow that we've had this year it's hard to even think about Spring ever getting here.
We have been covered with a blanket of white over the past month and the grass below is getting the needed moisture and will be ready for a thaw soon.  When I start to see the first shoots appear I know that I'm going to think of Di.  She loved flowers and gardens and could name about any flower that I described to her and tell me how to tend to it, when to cut it down if necessary for a winter snooze or to leave it because it needed the shelter of it's stalks to survive a brutal Nebraska winter.  We talked alot about flowers and plants and vegetables and made trips to the Farmer's Market a few times to indulge in the fruits and flora of other's handiwork.  One time I was at a boutique and I found a decorated pot on a stick that called out to me and said take me to Di, I belong in Di's garden.  So, I bought it and took it to her. 
Ken and I were in Nebraska City one early fall weekend and I found a huge willow basket that just screamed Di and I brought it home, filled it with lavender and moss and presented it to her.

It's going to be hard to think of Spring and flowers and tending to my garden without my perennial cheerleader to lead me in my quest for successful gardening. 

Always and Forever, Di.

2.14.2010

Di and Oprah and Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

I remember long ago, Di and I took a Death and Dying course (one of the many classes we attended together), and I have to admit that I took classes I really didn't need so many times so that I would be able to take them with Di because I just couldn't tear myself away from a semester without Di. 
During our class, we did various assignments and one of them was watching an interview with Oprah and Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.  In the interview, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross explained how after people have passed away they sometimes communicate with those that are left behind.  Oprah asked Elisabeth Kübler-Ross if she would be sending any message to her if Elisabeth was to pass away before her.  Elisabeth's response was, "Well of course, I would pinch you on the butt to let you know that I made it okay and that everything would be okay for you too." 

Di told me that if she had a choice, she would send me a message too and that day the two of us made a pact that we would each send one another a message if it was possible.  I told Di that I would tap her on the shoulder lightly to let her know that everything was okay and then Di told me that she would pinch me really hard on the butt when I was least expecting it and that way I would know it would be from her.  I just had to laugh and it still makes me laugh to this day to think of that.

As of yet, I haven't felt any pinching.
I wish I would get a sign of some sort though; it would be good for my soul.

Being Noble and Good and Analyzing and Rambling...

NOBILITY and GOING HOME


There is a saying that grief and knowing grief is noble and noteworthy and emblematic of the love that we have for those that have departed too soon. Nowhere does it say that this is going to be easy. Struggling with the death of a loved one whether it is a family member or close friend is exactly that; a struggle. Before the death of a loved one we go about our day and after the death we go about our day in a different way with shards of glass remembrances and utter sadness. Sometimes the silhouettes of sunshine give us glimpses of our loved one but more often than not I find that the sun pierces my eyes with light that I’m not accustomed to. I need the shade to shelter me. Many think that I have moved on; even I believe, my husband thinks this. Crying in the dark spaces of my soul at opportune times allows me to continue the grieving process, I believe. Some I am sure would argue with me. Moments and memories I have are tied to the string that binds my heart to its internal organs keeping me ticking through every day. Having people tug at my string every once in awhile is what keeps me going and moving forward. It’s the things that people want and the bills that I have to pay that keeps me getting up and going through the motions of the days. I want to stress that I am moving forward, but NOT on. It’s still too early to move on.

How do people move on? Do they just close that awesome book they’ve been reading for years and years and put it back on the shelf to gather dust? Or, do they ignore the resemblance of reminders that link them to their lost loved one? Maybe some are able to deal better than others but does this make those people more pristine than all the rest of us? Are these people who are able to move through the dying process quickly and without much care only prolonging their alleged fate of suffering or do we silently want to call them heartless or uncaring? Questions to ask, inventories to prod and time machines to invent. What does all of this say about our world, our lives our relationships with loved ones and with God?

Death and sorrow go hand in hand walking through the inner spaces of our inner beings. Longing to reconnect and to reissue a recall on God’s chosen one. “Can’t you take someone else or better yet; how about taking a holiday and leave everyone to live today?” This would have been my talk with God that day if I had had a choice. But, the choice was not mine; the road was already paved long before I even knew I am sure. There was a calling that to a higher power I could not compete with.

The pontification of living a life through all the means available without cares is truly a sham. We all face struggles, heartbreak, fits of sheer anger and distress and loss. Through the slow euthanasia of life we walk through both the light and dark spaces of our past, present and future with trepidation and idle confidence. Some wish to know what is in store for them, while others choose to let the road lead the way by taking the steps that integral forces allow them to take. Step. Step. Step. Trip and fall. Step. Stumble. Step. Step. Step. Step.

I have been reading extensively on palliative or terminal sedation (some would call it palliative care), and the right to live and die and have found that there is a split divide between those that believe that dying is a persons right and living is the right of others not directly involved in the lives of people. Allowing physicians to offer sedation at the end-of-life thus allowing the “O” effect to occur and death to come more quickly than so many have imagined is a hot topic. In Oregon, there is a law that protects those individuals that choose to die. I have seen death at other times in my life; even sat with a patient and her husband and watched first her die while I comforted both of them and then he also passed away just hours after his dear wife passed away and I was there with him also. Death beckoned my doorstep on a very warm November morning in 2009. I am still reeling from the loss of her.

Without sedation, the pain is shriller and the thoughts and opinions may be more profoundly idealistic and vocalistic but what is the ‘proper’ way to deal with this? Is this more of a merciful way to deal with the issue or not? The lethal finality of induced sedation through the use of pain medications is an arsenal that is closely shrouded in the manifest of the human physician; whom we all regard as being more-than-human, per se.

Whether we are looking at survival of the fittest with regards to Darwin or quality versus quantity; we need to approach the situation in an informed and educated state. Some say that the only civilized way to leave our great planet is with the assistance of palliative sedation and others argue that this is us playing God. The stewing of the ‘great death’ is one riddled with controversy and finality. But does this cross a line? Does going “home” exemplify the process of death? In the sense of “home” I am speaking in the context of dying and going back to our maker, God.

Does the nobility of dying grant peace or does it just grant a pardon from life?

I realize that death is inevitable but at what cost do we succumb or allow those that we love to succumb to the pressures brought on by the pain, the physicians, and the loved ones rallying around praying for a cure or an end?

In many aspects, I do not feel that my faith in religion is strong. At a young age, I lost my sibling and with that loss my family retreated into a shell and stopped teaching and affirming religion in our household. No more church services on Sundays, no more Christmas Eve services or Easter services. It all just came to a direct halt.

As an adult, I have followed in the footsteps of my disjointed family and allowed myself to ignore religion. I realize it was a choice but without a sense of the time that needed to be devoted to a particular religion, choosing a church and congregation, I really do not feel that I would have been able to make that choice on my own. As I have grown older I feel guilty that I have not chosen ‘my path’ of religion and hence decided that sleeping in on holidays and Sundays was the right choice for the particular day. I sometimes feel guilty for being selfish and find myself wanting to know if I really ‘want’ more or if my thoughts and feelings are just part of the normal construct of the beliefs of others.


Just my ramblings…

Cath

Loss - Story People


The loss is not yours alone, she said & you will see it in their eyes when they do not think you are watching. How long does it take? I said & she put her hand on my chest & we did not speak.

"We still have lots of time left, Cath."  I remember Di telling me this over and over the last few days that I was blessed to be in her presence but there was a different plan in motion and I know that she knew this.  She always put everyone's needs and feelings first and let her pain, feelings and thoughts take a backseat.

 She wanted more time.  We all needed more time. 

You Are Always With Me In My Thoughts

I carry you with me into the world,
into the smell of rain
and the words that dance between people
and for me, it will always be this way,
walking in the light,
remembering being alive together...



Peace.
Tenderness.
Love.
Cath

Happy Heart Day


When I first met her, I knew in a moment I would have to spend the next few days re-arranging my mind so there'd be room for her to stay.

I Wish You Enough.....

Di and I communicated via email many times over the years and we would send one another little snippets of "hellos" and "love you's" and StoryPeople 'finds'.  I will cherish the emails that Di sent me and one of my favories emails was one entitiled I Wish You Enough.  This saved email says it all.....


From: Diane Brich [mailto:dbrich@cox.net]



Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2006 8:20 AM


To: Andrea;  BARB; Bev; willworthin; Bonnie; Cathi; Cathy K; Chris and Wendy; Cindy; Dave ; Mary;  Deb; Di Di; Donna; gwagner; Jean


Subject: I wish you enough!


I really enjoyed this story and thought of you….

" Recently I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. The airlines had announced the departure of their flight.


Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, "I love you and I wish you enough".

The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom".


They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?".


Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking,
but why is this a forever good-bye?".
"I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is - the next trip back will be for my funeral".
"When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough'. May I ask what that means?".


She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone". She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. "When we said , 'I wish you enough', we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them. Then turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.


I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude
bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in your life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.


They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them but then an entire life to forget them.


TAKE TIME TO LIVE.....



To all my friends and loved ones,


I WISH YOU ENOUGH


Diane Worthing Brich

Di You've Been Gone Too Long








After nearly three months without "my girl" I've finally decided to post my thoughts, recollections, meanderings and memories of Di.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/omaha/obituary.aspx?n=diane-brich&pid=136047594

Please check back frequently for updates and add your comments if you would like.
Also send me photos if you would like them posted in memory of Di.

                                                       Thank you to everyone,
                                                       Cath


The people we meet form the foundation of our lives that when built upon allow us to bloom and blossom in ways that we never would have anticipated.