Thursday, December 24, 2009

Linda Ronstadt

These last couple of weeks have been for deep thoughts and reckless reflection. You don't want to wallow too far or too long, especially around the holidays...don't know what it is, but despite being a time for joy and peace and brotherhood, it also often seems to be a time for melancholy, and being overwhelmed and underprepared can add to the feeling of drifting.

But, circumstances being what they are...I can't help but feel myself being pulled, emotionally, every-which-way. For the first time in my entire life, there was no Christmas celebration on my dad's side of the family. I'm trying, gently, to get everybody together for pizza and potluck for this weekend, but it's slow going, my friends. I, suddenly, find myself completely available this weekend, as our White Christmas was unceremoniously put on hold ~ indefinitely ~ by my mom, who continues to be worried sick. We were set to be in a cabin, stringing popcorn, as of yesterday and through Monday, but it wasn't meant to be.

BUT, Mimi is MUCH better than I thought she would be...though by no means "out of the woods" she was awake, social, and in quite a bit of pain. Also, totally exhausted by our visit. :-| And, as she regaled us with tales of the emergency room and cracked hilarious jokes about her nursing staff in ICU, I was crocheting away (I still have hope that these last few little projects will be pulled off! haha!) it struck me...she's a storyteller. Not just that she's a ham (she is) or a card (she is), but that it's the way she moves through the's the way she processes things. Everything is real when she's finally told the story.

And. Hello. Hello, there! I am like that, too. It's something I realized about myself only in the last year or so. I do a lot of professional development for teachers, where I'm presenting on how to teach math/how kids learn math, and I always tell stories about the classrooms or the content, and it just struck me not too long ago that it's the way I move through the world. It was so curious to see it in action, in somebody else! In somebody that I love.

And here we come, full circle...I keep feeling these stories, bubbling to the surface, and I'm hesitant to land on them, because they are often little reminders of times gone by, of people no longer with me, of plans and dreams that fall by the wayside, and if I land on them long enough to capture them, I will feel that dark, sad, underbelly of the season of light. I just want to be totally present for my boys and for this day. So I am skimming through these days and, still, trying to sink into the goodness and memories that are being formed even as we live them.

(I very rarely edit what I'm writing's all very stream of consciousness...but I will tell you that I just reread the previous paragraph and changed it from one sentence to three and a half sentences. You're welcome.)

The other day, Tommy looked at me and said, "Is there anything you want for Christmas that costs less than $17.00?" (That's the entire contents of his wallet, I happen to know, so I hid a giggle and asked him to make me something.) "Sure!" he said, and went to work crocheting. Yes, you heard me right. He's crocheting. Be still my heart.

But, the point is (yes, I have one), that I had this rush of memory from being right around his age. My mom gave me and my brother some money, around ten bucks each, and dropped us off at Longs Drug Store in Dublin. We budgeted and shopped for our whole family, wandering the aisles and trying to find exactly the perfect gift that also didn't cost more than $1.40. I ended up buying my mom, I shit you not, a poster of Linda Rondstadt wearing short-shorts and roller skates. It looked something like this.

Now, please understand, my parents were 19 when they got married, and had three kids by the time they were 26 years old. My mom was probably not even 30 years old when I bought this for her. And do you know, she hung it on her closet door, and it stayed there for a few years? Right up until my dad started to remodel our house, in fact! ha! haha! That is still so funny to me! I have no idea what she though when she saw this poster; her house full of antiques, and watermelon wallpaper in the kitchen, and let's face it, macrame (it was the seventies!). But, she woke up every day to Legs MacGee up there, satin jacket and all, because she is somebody who knows how to live for that moment. I learned about sinking into the love from her.

And it pains me to see her, her own stories spread over the last fifty years of her friendship with Mimi bubbling up and wanting to be told...

Hmmm....I'm getting ready to end this in mid-sentence. Sorry! I just can't hold onto it long enough to make it 'right'. I guess I'll just chalk this up to needing to stay on the surface of things. I am happy and bright, I really am, but there's a lot of sadness around me these days, and I'm just going to have to leave it at that.


  1. Thinking of you, Mia... I'm glad your Mimi is doing better :)

  2. Have a great Christmas are one of a kind;)

  3. If I could take a handful of sadness from you, I'd grab it! Merry Christmas Mia. Moose

  4. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with such heartache right now. These words are particularly striking:

    ... [these stories] are often little reminders of times gone by, of people no longer with me, of plans and dreams that fall by the wayside, and if I land on them long enough to capture them, I will feel that dark, sad, underbelly of the season of light.

    I know exactly what you mean. I lost someone close to me last year and I still see his face in crowds and I think to myself, "Look. There he is." And all the memories come flooding back.

    It's good that you're focusing on being present in the here and now, because, really, that's all there ever is. :)

    I hope you had a wonderful holiday!