Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Birthday

Dear Mom

It's your birthday... 59th to be exact. Lord, you would have killed me if I told anyone that while you were alive. I have fond memories of your birthday cakes always reading "Happy 27 + Birthday".

Your last year in your 50's. I wonder what you would be doing. I guess that depends on if you were healthy or not. Let's say healthy... we spent too much time with the 'not'. You would probably have still be working as a docent at a museum. I think you really liked that when you were able to do it. Maybe you would be a massage therapist... I know I would be a willing practice dummy. You would definitely be swing dancing with dad, of that I am positive. Maybe you would have taken a fashion course... or an art course... or studied to be a therapist. You had so many interests... just no real way to complete any of them because you always ended up sick. Cancer sucks that way. Doesn't just kill you, it robs you of life.

I digress.

I think you would like so many things that are going on in my life now.

You always wished for 'hard times' for Adam and I... to build a stronger foundation and life for us. I hardly think this is what you had in mind... actually I am pretty sure you meant financially but regardless we've had both. Adam is doing very well... happy and working hard at his own firm. I think we all could have seen that coming ;~) He's still sober and going strong at almost 14 years. You would be so proud, I know I am. He's still as patient and kind as always... and he puts up with my crazy. Something I am eternally grateful for ;~)

Chase is amazing. Man would you ever be proud. He is as smart as a whip! He questions everything and needs an explanation for everything else. If ever I need him to do something he doesn't want to do, generally explaining why and my reasoning will work and he will do it. I am learning to keep my cool (slow process) with him and talk him through frustrations and fits... and it works so much better. I am also learning to pick my battles with him... which is a battle for me ;~) I think I am becoming a better mom each day. Oh and the talking.... dear Lord the talking. You always said you "hope I would be 'blessed' with a child who talked as much as I did"... yeah, well you got that wish like ten times over. He is a constant chatterbox... which most of the time is great and we have this real friendship going. But other times... when I just want quiet.... well now I know why you and I used to have 'talking breaks'. Makes total sense now.

And now Lil Bean... another boy! Can you believe it? Who would have thought we would have boys! Luckily Sandy is well versed in all things boy... although I am dreading the day that Chase decides he is no longer terrified of bugs and instead wants to show me each and every single one. Up close and personal... I am shivering just thinking about it. Lil Bean is moving strong in there... seriously he doesn't sit still very often. I think I am in for it when he comes to meet us. I wonder what I was like when you were pregnant... was I more still like Chase or did I move a lot like Lil Bean.

Oh, you might be happy to know that Sandy and I are in the midst of a "North and South: the miniseries" marathon. I have memories of you watching that show (and me thinking it was completely lame)... which would fit with your taste in TV. Well that and the fact that every woman was watching because of Orry and George ;~)

I am learning a lot as time goes on. Now that the nesting instinct has hit me, Adam and I are going through every item we own. That being said, I am selling a lot of your books to a local used bookstore. Whatever they don't take will be donated. I hemmed and hawed over this for a long time... and these books have been with us for several moves (much to the chagrin of the people helping us move). But this time... through this sweep through of our stuff I decided that even if there were sentimental attachment... even if there were stories behind the books and reasons you kept them, I would never know. No one is here to tell me why you kept certain books and if I don't have that... well then I just own a lot of paper. So I kept what had significance to me and everything else is going. Not that it's all your stuff... I am giving away a crapton of books that I have collected over the years. Stupid wasteful buying of books. Did you know they have big buildings with all sorts of books that they just loan you... with nothing more than the promise of bringing them back??? Revolutionary. Oh and to that end... I actually remember to return books now! No more having to face librarians and explain why I couldn't return a book (or 8) on time and then having to beg that they reduce my library late charges. Good times.

I also just went through and threw out bottles of perfume that were yours or that you gave me. Is that insane or what? I had this revelation that just because I throw out a few items, doesn't mean I am erasing all that we had or were. I don't need to hold onto every. single. thing just because you touched it. We are still we... no matter if I have 80,000 items or none.

I reached out to David, Marie and the girls. Crazy right? I think you would be proud since you are the one that taught me about forgiveness. I'm extremely happy I did too. I am in contact with David on a fairly regular basis and do enjoy that piece of history he provides me. Sadly I am not as in touch with Marie and the girls as I thought we would be... but I guess that isn't a bad thing either. I did have to tell her you died... 4 years almost to the day. That was awkward. I think she took it ok but like I said, contact has been pretty sparse since then.

One of the best things I have done as of late was to name you Nonna. Chase has a special name for Sandy and I thought if you were here, you would want one too. So I thought Nonna would be the right fit. Chase knows that Nonna lives in heaven with Jesus... and he also knows that Nonna gave me the china cabinet, the dining room table and the secretary. It makes me really happy to hear him call you that.

I wish you were here... especially today. I found the perfect gift for your birthday! It's a big chunky necklace with bold colors... it would have looked awesome on you.

I wish I could tell you how sorry I was for certain things. We should have done the mother/daughter spa weekend getaway. I don't know why I didn't take you more seriously and book the plane tickets when you brought it up. I am sorry that I didn't really truly believe you when you said you wouldn't be around to meet your grandchildren. I thought you were just overreacting to this bout of sickness and that of course you would meet them... you just had to hold on a little longer. I'm sorry I didn't help more in the final months. I was right there and should have spent more time with you but I didn't. I am so sorry for that.

It's hard to believe that almost 6 years has gone by. It's this weird phenomenon of you moving into my history... not just my recent past.

I miss you a lot and while I hope I have many more years here on earth, I look forward to seeing you once again.

Jessi

5 comments:

Adrienne said...

This post brought me to tears. You put things so beautifully….through the tragedy, I see the growth and through the pain I hear your heart! I wish you a day filled with all the things that make YOU happy to be a mom!

Vicki said...

OK, I'm crying too. I loved your mom and still miss her. She would definitely be thrilled with all that's happening in your life.

MIL said...

Your Mom would be very proud of your mothering skills. How often do I say to you "you're your mother's daughter" when you're holding your ground with Chase at those times when he's fighting you with every fiber of his being to get his way. It is very impressive mothering indeed. You are one of the strongest people I know, and I know you got that from your Mom. She taught you well because she loved you so much. And now you are passing that love and those lessons onto your own kids. She would be proud indeed. Nonna is alive in you, and in Chase, and no doubt in Lil' Ban as well.

Ru'sGrammy said...

Nonna would love this Jessi. Because she loved and loves YOU. I, too, was moved to tears, remembering my dear friend. I sit at my desk and I look up to see a photo of her sitting on that rock on the beach...her life was too short, but, she left a legacy in you and your precious family. And, it's beautiful! Love you.

namoo said...

I was listening to "If you were here" by POE yesterday. "If you were here... I know that you would truly be amazed.." how the song goes.

lots of hugs...

xoxo,
Insung