A Post Without a Title

I listen intently to her story about the plushie that she desperately wanted. It was a unicorn- fresh, new, soft, sparkly and purple. I hear her describe how she felt when she saw it. Her face shows the joy and delight she felt when she relives the moment her grandmother surprised her with it. She reveals that she also received a plushie that had been her mother’s. This plushie shows signs of wear and tear and years of love. It is an puppy, with brown faded paws and flat worn fur.  Before it became hers, it was kept in a box of her mother’s things. But now the old and new plushies are precious to her. They comfort her when she’s feeling lonely. With a tinge of sadness creeping around the corners of her eyes and the edges of her words, she shares that her mother died a long time ago.

Although I had suspected this, I struggle to swallow the lump in my throat that has grown from the size of a plum to that of a grapefruit in mere seconds. My heart misses a beat and I give her a tender smile.

She is only seven years old.

butterfly candle holder

 

“I’ll silently stand in the corner and cry, on this fateful day.

I refuse to say goodbye because I don’t want to see you go away.”

-Author Unknown

 

FOWC- Refuse

Ragtag Daily Prompt- Goodbye

 

Peace and love-

-Kat

Waiting for the Waves

grief quote

Most days I don’t think about the waves. I function like a somewhat normal person and my life seems about as sane at it can for that given day. I get things done. I might have lunch with a friend or have a mini-binge watching session of a good comedy. I might even laugh. I smile. I’m content.

And then out of nowhere, in the middle of a seemingly innocent activity I am engulfed by a wave that if I’m lucky just reaches my waist and throws me a bit off balance. I’m able to steady myself, brush myself off, blink back a few tears, and quiet the ache in my heart. Other times those mini waves are not in the cards and I’m knocked off my feet. My head is under water. I’m sputtering and flailing, trying to regain my footing. I can’t breathe. I can’t think. I can’t do anything but cry.

I can’t predict when the waves will come or how overwhelming they might be. Sometimes the biggest waves flow in and out, temporarily destroying me and yet I’m able to stand quickly- all the terror and pain residing. Other times tiny waves that lap at my ankles and cause little chaos linger for days. Or vice versa.

“Grief is a normal and natural response to loss. It is originally an unlearned feeling process. Keeping grief inside increases your pain.” -Anne Grant

I lost my loved one less than six months ago. I thought I had suffered loss in my life but nothing prepared me for the magnitude of what I felt when I saw that she was gone. I knew when I entered the house that morning and no one was waiting at the top of the stairs to give me an update. I put my bag on “my” chair at the kitchen table and set down my keys and tea. I remember feeling like I was wading through something I couldn’t see as I made my way the short distance to my loved one’s room. It was the breathless crying, the sound of sorrow that floated down to greet me, that was all the confirmation I needed.

My life changed forever that morning. Although her passing was not unexpected, it wasn’t expected quite that quickly. And nothing has been the same since then. I wasn’t prepared. There was no way I could be.

I know that it won’t always be like this. The waves will calm down a little, maybe lessen in frequency. I know that this first year is the worst. And because of the timing of her passing, I expect the beginning of the second year to be a bit rocky. I am fully aware that I cannot prepare for any of it and I just need to roll with it. I am going to continue to wait for the waves, get through each day, week, month…..until I can settle into a new normal for my life. One that goes on without my precious loved one in it.

-Kat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.”

— Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

5 Minutes

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You might see this image, or something similar, on social media from time to time. It is a heart consisting of transgender colors and a black ribbon- in memory of a transgender life lost.

Yesterday another transgender teenager lost their life to suicide. I won’t be sharing any other information regarding this out of respect and consideration for the family members. My heart aches unbearably for this child’s family and friends. I am mourning their tragic loss.

Unfortunately, this happens too often. The constant worry is very legitimate and quite real. I originally wrote the following post in October 2015.

Dandelion Fuzz

If you are familiar with the LGBT community, then you might have heard about the alarming statistics that accompany a person who falls in the T (Transgender) category. If you are unfamiliar with the T, the most basic definition is a person whose gender identity does not match their physical body. In my child’s case, Kris was born assigned female but does not identify as such.

Depending on the source, you’ll read that 40% (give or take a percent or two) of all transgender people will attempt to take their own life. It’s sobering. Especially when you consider that the national average is somewhere around 4%. It’s something that, as the parent of transgender person, remains in the back of my mind at all times. It lurks there in the darkest corner- the fear of losing my child. Each time I read one of those heartbreaking stories of a loss…

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A Little Teapot

My dearest friend, Ivy, collected teapots. I didn’t know this until just about a year ago when she was preparing to pack up her house to move. The move was bittersweet because she was not only leaving the house where she had raised her child, but also her childhood home and neighborhood.

It was not her choice but she was moving into a smaller place. Therefore, she had to make the heartbreaking decision of what to keep and what to give or throw away. Her house held not only her own precious items but those of her parents, who had been gone for awhile.

Ivy was hurting, sad, in a dark, lonely place and I wanted to do everything and anything I could to help her. One thing Ivy was not- was weak. She was a fighter and she was tough and she did not ask for help. She had been this way since the first time I met her 14 years ago. And remains so today even after what has to have been one of the roughest years of her life.

Packing up a lifetime of memories and making those hard decisions that were forced on her were painful to watch. I wanted to take her pain away but I knew I couldn’t. Sometimes in life, people you love have to go through really trying times and you have to let them. It was difficult to keep it all in balance- the desire to help her with the realization that this was something she was going to have to handle on her own. Like I said, Ivy is tough, so just getting her to let me help was a major challenge. I did what I could and tried to be nearby in case she needed me. I hovered so closely that I’m sure I tried her patience.

Ivy tells me that I’m very complex and private, that there are many layers to me and I’m very particular who I let close. I think everyone is like that to some degree and at this time, Ivy, who lives out loud and whose emotions I can read a mile away, closed up shop and shut herself away. I understood.

She was at a turning point in her life. The biggest yet. And she was scared, hurt, worried, tired, angry, and more emotions than I could list. But as I watched her pack up her life and give away, donate or throw out possessions, I was concerned. She reached a point where she was getting rid of everything. I’m all for new beginnings and fresh starts but I feared she was going to regret this. I knew it. I offered to let her store things in my garage, which she turned down. Everything had to go. Even if she didn’t realize what she was doing, I did. She was punishing herself. See, Ivy blamed herself for arriving to this place. What she didn’t want to understand is that none of us lives in a vacuum and she hadn’t gotten there alone. But she was and remains very hard on herself. Ivy is the most loving, caring person I know. She would literally give a person the coat off her back, no questions asked. She is always thinking of others and she’s so outgoing that she has no problem making everyone around her feel her love with her words, looks and hugs. And she beats herself up, mercilessly at times.

And that’s when I found out that she had collected teapots. She asked me if I knew anyone who wanted them. She expressed sorrow that the collection had to go. I offered to store them until she confirmed that there was no place in her new home for them but she refused. She asked if my daughter-in-law might like them and if not, she was donating the lot to Goodwill.

I wasn’t sure how important these teapots were to her. (I had never seen her drink tea once in all the years I had known her.) But I knew that I had to take those teapots. She might want them back one day, even though she insisted she did not. (And maybe she will never want them back.) While she packed up her collection, she gifted me with her most special teapot and I placed it in my kitchen, where I think of her every time I see it. I also took possession of her collection and stored it in a safe place.

And then last week I was browsing around my local thrift store and I saw teapots on a shelf.

Ivy came to mind and I felt a familiar twinge of sadness at the sight of someone else’s teapot collection sprinkled throughout the shelves. There’s always a story behind the items on these shelves and I often wonder how they came to be there.

And then I saw it. It was hidden behind the bigger, flashier teapots. It was actually a sweet little white teapot. Not at all Ivy’s type. But then again, her favorite teapot that she gave me isn’t my type so I hope when I give it to her this Christmas that she will remember that.

She can categorize it as Christmas and pull it out once a year. She can store it in the corner of a cabinet. She can donate it. Or she can spray paint it some cool color, because I’m itching to do it myself before giving it to her. (Can you tell I discovered the many wonders of spray paint and want to paint just about everything?)

I hope she will accept this teapot for what it symbolizes. I hope she realizes how much I love her. How proud I am of her. How much I am in awe of her. I hope she knows that I wish her happiness and joy for the rest of her life and that I hope to be part of it-that I’ve hurt every step of the way along side her but there were times when she had to go it alone. I want her to know that even if it hurts, it’s okay to keep things from the past. Less is not always more. Sometimes that item represents something so much more.

She once said that if she decided to start collecting teapots again that she would start fresh. I don’t know if that is something she will ever do or if the teapots represent a part of her past, a part of who she no longer is.

I do know that life goes on and one day we will look at that teapot (or just talk about it) and remember this time when we were SO in this moment of our lives that we thought this is what it was going to be and we will realize that we had no clue. Just like we didn’t have a clue when we met all those years ago when our kids were so young.

I will do anything for Ivy and her child, and I know she will return the favor. I’m not pretty sure nor do I feel a false sense of security. We have been to hell and back together and I KNOW that we will always be friends.

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I hope she likes it!

Five on Friday