8.27.2010

Today Is Di's Day

Today we place another tick on the calendar, another date we etch into our memory and give thanks, share love and hugs and tears with those that all hold a common bond of love for Di.

We all loved Di so much and after months the time has come to bid the final farewell to Di.

Words and song and praise bring us full circle at the place that Jerome and the kids picked specially for such a special woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.

I knew the day would be hard but I didn't imagine that I could stand next to the area that was chosen for Di and look up the hill and see Lullaby Land; so close to where I stood 35 years ago as a child and bid farewell to my only sister. 
Time and fate and chance and destiny and coincidence all play a role in our lives and I think they all intersected today in this one place at this one time while we were performing this one important and poignant act. 


The formality of Di's funeral was epic and the interment was informal and blessed with words and holy water, heartfelt thoughts, prayers and song by Jerome and Em. 
I read a short set of words that I put together this morning and even with my sometimes overpowering and loud voice, I found my voice cracking and low while the tears welled in my eyes.  It was hard but I needed to say these things.  I did not speak at her funeral; I think I was still too raw and very intimidated by the enormous amount of people in attendance and I just didn't know what I would say; how I would say something...anything...without fumbling over my words.

The words that I spoke at the interment were:

As I drank my first cup of coffee today, I thought of Di, just like I do every day. She is in my thoughts, in my actions and in my heart always. Di found a place in each and every one of our hearts and she will remain there as long as we never forget to laugh and enjoy the memories of the past while we move forward and live our lives just as she would have wanted us all to do. All the love that Di created is still here with us all and it is comforting for me to know that she made such an indelible impact on so many people in the short time that she shared her love and her life with all of us.

Today is Di’s day.

We take time out of our busy schedules, our confusing lives and all of the demands that we have to acknowledge that for all of those years after Di’s diagnosis she made time everyday and in every way for each and every one of us.
Of course Di probably would have said something like this is not the party that she had planned but I’m sure that she’s been dancing her toes off in heaven and there has been many times that God has told her that she has to let Him talk sometimes too. Today marks the day that there is finally another place in our world for Di; a place for us to all remember, recollect and share our thoughts our dreams and our memories privately and personally.

A quote from one of Di’s favorite places, StoryPeople that I found that exemplifies my feelings is:

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.

The importance of people in our lives over the years and the impact that they have caused the day that they crashed into our lives and changed them forever is something that we should never forget.
I will never forget Di.


I believe that I can finally let my heart whisper....Godspeed Di.
But I still miss her and still grieve the loss and I still cry everyday.

8.26.2010

Good Days and Bad Days and THE DATE

Everyday I miss Di.
I have good days and I have bad days and I have very bad days.

Some days it's the physical trials and tribulations that stop me like a deer in the road and make me shudder.  It can make me stop in my tracks, and it takes my breath away and I feel like I'm hyperventilating as the tears well up in my eyes and my heart feels like it's beating a million miles an hour or more.
This doesn't happen all the time but it happens. 
It doesn't happen as much as it used to but it still happens nonetheless. 

But, the pain of loss is not related to only the physical type; it's also the mental anguish of the loss and the burden of the loss on our psyche.  The utilization of  subjective emotional experience when looking at death and the traumatic upheaveal of it forces us to delve into arenas in our brain that sometimes are unequipped or unable to cope. 
Mentally, I have 'triggers' that knock me back and I find that it happens often times when I look at the calendar no matter where it's at - home, work, my computer, my scheduler; anything that has a calendar on it takes my mind back to THE DATE.  The mental emotional draw of losing Di is a constant blip on my radar.  
It's hard to go through life without a calendar; we are all so reliant on dates.
Can you live your life in hours and not dates and still function correctly and fully?  

The reason I felt compelled to write about this is because I don't think that people talk about grief and loss enough.  Maybe people are ashamed to cry in front of others, in public.  Maybe this is why grief is confined to the dark places in our lives and people don't show their sadness outwardly as often as they should.  The saying "wearing your heart on your sleeve" is a very powerful one and I think it's abused more than it's used.  People grieve for years, for decades and for their entire lives.   
You never stop missing someone that you really loved.  Someone who made you feel good with just a look or a smile is so very powerful and important.  How many people in your life do you really cherish you and how much will you hurt when they are gone?  Think about it.  It's integral to our psyche that we 'have' those people in our lives that make what we're doing worth it all. 
I will always grieve this loss.  But, I am blessed to have Di's loss to grieve because having this loss means that all those moments, those years, those 'things', those hugs, those talks, those questions and those answers were all worth it for me.

The poet, Alice Walker has a book entitled Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth: New Poems and in it she writes about how the powers of love and acceptance within grief are the same "As Gold".  It's true. 

Life and loss is Gold, it's a treasure, it's a prize, it's something that we should never take for granted and we should clench it tight in our grips and know that we are the lucky ones who have the power to hold this "gold" when we experience loss.

This is written on the cusp of Di's interment service. 
We will all finally have a "place" and Di will have another "place".
Amen.
Cathy

8.17.2010

9 MONTH TAB IN TIME...August 15, 2010

The total number of days between Sunday, November 15th, 2009 and Sunday, August 15th, 2010 is 273 days.
This is equal to exactly 9 months.

The total time span from 2009-11-15 to 2010-08-15 is 6,552 hours.

This is equivalent to 393,120 minutes.

I miss her so very much.
We all miss her so very much.
Time has a way of passing by quickly and in my haste, I lost track of time and did not post this on
8-15-2010, as I had intended.

A smile for Di, a hug for Di, a kiss to the heavens for my girl. 

Love you much and only wish time was not our enemy most days...

8.12.2010

Painful Haircut

A haircut should not be painful but for me, it's a painstaking process.
For so many years, Di cut my hair; she was my "hair girl" and that bond that we had was special and priceless and important in every aspect of every facet of it.  She tested on me, changed my color several times, changed the style and actually took me from very long hair to below my shoulder with a lot of resistance from me and even talked me into being a 'willing' participant in a hair show many years ago.

The only time that I can remember being upset with Di over all the years that I was proud to call her my friend was the one time that she cut over 10 inches off my hair and colored it very dark.  I sort of freaked out when I saw it and promptly left the salon to go home.  After I was home, I realized how stupid I was in acting child-like when I thought I saw someone different in the mirror than what I was used to.  So, I put myself together, flew to Di's and found her and Jerome in the basement hanging out; Jerome was playing guitar and he and Di were smoking cigs and talking.  I immediately hugged her and told her that I was so sorry that I acted like a child and that the change that she had set forth for me literally shocked me.  She understood.  She forgave me.  She always understood.  Then we laughed about how dumb I acted and we drank some coffee and hung out until the wee hours of the morning.  Those were the days.  No 'real' cares in the world, hanging out with music and good friends.  Oh how I miss those days....

I finally brought myself to go and visit my 'new' hair girl yesterday. 
It had been a little less than 9 months since I was last there and that was a very difficult time.
Back in 2007, I had to find a 'new' hair girl because I could see that it was really tiring Di out when she had to cut and color my hair and I just did not want to push her anymore.  That was very hard.  I know that it really hurt Di too.  It hurt her that she could no longer do this for me.  I told her I understood.  She knew that I understood and together we both mourned the loss but knew that it was for the best. 
For a girl, your hair girl is your woman that you count on to make you beautiful, talk to about virtually anything and everything and be the one that you can count on to tell you if you look horrible or beautiful; she is the holder of the golden scissors; the God of Hair; that was Di. 


9 months ago I called and made an appointment to get my hair 'done' for Di's funeral.
I think I just sat in the chair and cried the entire time; I didn't even watch it being cut; I just wanted it short - like Di would have liked it.  When I was done, my hair girl would not let me pay her, she said it was on her, she wanted me to look good for Di.  I think her heart was broken too since I had shared so much of Di with her over the past 3 years.  The first thing that would come out of her mouth after I would show up for an appointment would be "How's Di?"  And then we would chat about her for a bit and I'd tell her latest and then we would move on to other girl talk items.

8.10.2010

8-9-10

Today marks the birthday of my sister, Nancy. 
It has been 35 years since she passed away.
I have fond memories of Nancy that take me back to when I was young.

Music was an integral part of Di's life and I remember Nancy and how much she loved her music.  I can still see her holding her arms up high in praise in the front pew of the church singing Jesus Loves Me at the top of her lungs.  What magnificience my parents missed out on.  They never went to Sunday services; it was me that escorted Nancy to services at our church two blocks from our house.  A yellow polka dotted sundress adorned with three cherries embroidered on the hem was her favorite "Sunday" dress.  She wore those little socks with lace on them and her polished shiny white mary janes. And when she was feeling good, she'd skip ahead of me and I sometimes would hear her heels as they clicked against the pavement and in between the clicks you could hear her humming as her little purse swung back and forth as it fought to find a stable place on her ever-moving forearm as her sun hat bobbed up and down.  When she was not feeling the best, she would still insist on going to church.  She had that drive like Di, that perserverence that could not keep her down.

Di and Nancy would have gotten along fancifully; in fact, I probably would have been the third wheel if they would have ever met.  But, time and place and people and life pave our paths and if my life was nill of Nancy's death, I'm sure that things would have been very different in my life and of course in hers.

Today I celebrate Nancy's Birthday and the joy that she brought to me during her short 7 years here.
I'm sure she's singing to everyone and her bright blue eyes light up every time she giggles with God.

Nancy.
A life.
A sister.
A daughter.
Missed dearly.
Missed memories.
Missed sister bonds over a lifetime.

It has been many years since I lost my sister. Time has passed, memories fade but still remain etched in my brain. "Our Little Sunshine" shines on her headstone. A life cut short too soon. Left-handed wonder with a purple crayon that wrote from the right side of the page to the left side of the page. Amazing talent. Amazing grace. Amazing stamina. Amazing strength. Amazing faith.

Here's to knowing that there are two special angels up there watching over me each and every day...

8.07.2010

Landscape of The Heart...



It is still so new & all we see is the empty space, but that is not how it is in the landscape of the heart. There, there is no empty space & she still laughs & grapples with ideas & plans & nods wisely with each of us in turn. We are proud to have known her. We are proud to have called her friend.

8.01.2010

First Sunday In August - Friendship Day

The United States Congress, in 1935, proclaimed first Sunday of August as the National Friendship Day. Since then, celebration of National Friendship Day became an annual event. The noble idea of honoring the beautiful relationship of friendship caught on with the people and soon Friendship Day became a hugely popular festival.

Friends are important, they keep us keeping on, they share, they listen, they laugh, they cry and they are the ones that we turn to under any and all circumstances and they keep us grounded. I don't think that friends really know their importance in our lives until we lose them either by unforseen circumstances or lose connection with them over time. 

Di was one of my closest and dearest friends and there are days that I wish to hear her voice and want to call her and emotionally sometimes it's hard to fathom that she is really no longer there for me and for her other friends that counted on her for so very much. 

I honor this day with the memory of my good friend, Di.

One quote that caught my attention was:
" Two may talk together under the same roof for many years, yet never really meet; and two others at first speech are old friends. "     - Mary Catherwood
                                                                                                                    


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.