Truth time and I’m Still Here

Truth time:  I’ve written over 50 songs in the last few years.  I’m not really sure how many.  I don’t post many of them on here for one simple reason: time.  I’m a mom with a full schedule, it’s difficult to find the time to get a semi-decent take to post on here.

More truth:  My husband has a very nice recording studio that I could utilize whenever I want.  But I have even less time for that.

But I want to make more time for recording.  And I want to make some actual good recordings.

I’m working on it, guys.  Give me a break.  😉

Anyway, until I get around to making decent recordings, I’m gonna try to make more time to post my semi-decent iPhone recordings.  At least you’ll get to hear those gems.

So here’s another one for you.

I’m Still Here.

But first, the backstory:

Some of you know that my mom passed away April 3, 2016 after a two year battle with cancer.  I wrote this song at a time when I was trying to make sense of it all.  I had been reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed (and watching the movie that was based off of the book) around the time I wrote this.  Cheryl’s mother also died of cancer and her story is heartbreaking.

CherylStrayed_book_PCTAnyway, there’s this scene in the movie when Cheryl has this realization.  She’s been hiking the PCT for a while (Pacific Crest Trail) and she’s still hiking even though other, more experienced hikers have quit the trail due to adverse weather conditions.  And she says, “Wow.  Greg quit and I’m still here.”  And something inside me just broke.  It’s my favorite scene in the whole movie.

(The book and movie are not for children, just FYI.  There are definitely some “fast-forward” scenes, as I like to call them.  I’m not ashamed to admit that even though I’m 36, when a sex scene shows up in a movie I cover my eyes and make Nick fast-forward.  Don’t judge me.  You don’t know my story. 😉 )

Anyway, that’s where the words “I’m still here” come from.  It’s this realization that even though we’ve been battered, bruised and beaten by the storms of life, we survived.  We’re still alive and here and ready to take on the next day’s challenges.  And even though it hurt a lot, we’re going to be ok.

So, without further ado, here’s the song:

I'm Still Here lyrics

 

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I should have stayed in bed today

Took the chickens to see Pete’s Dragon this afternoon. Today would have been Mom’s 57th birthday and I knew I didn’t want to spend the afternoon alone. So instead of sending them to Grandma Sherri’s house, which is their standing Tuesday afternoon activity, I decided to take them to a movie. We went to see Pete’s Dragon and it was absolutely great. Really, I recommend it to anyone who wants to sit in a room full of strangers struggling to keep their sobs quiet so they don’t disturb anyone. 

I guess what got to me was the end when *spoilers* Elliot (the dragon) motions to Pete that Pete needs to go live with the family. Watching Pete and Elliot say goodbye basically turned me into a puddle of cries. All I could think about was Mom. 

So if you know anyone who has lost someone recently and you want to ruin their day, tell them to go watch Pete’s Dragon. It sure worked for me. 

My mother sent me lilies

Surprise lilies are these beautiful lilies with large pink petals and long stems.  They show up in the summer suddenly, blooming overnight.  They were one of my mother’s favorite flowers.  She always wanted to have them in her yard and, in fact, she and I talked about trying to find some bulbs and planting them.  But because of her cancer, we never got around to it.

This morning I looked outside and discovered surprise lilies growing in my backyard very near to the place I planted a small memorial flower bed for Mom.

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All I wanted was to be able to pick up the phone and call her to tell her that I had surprise lilies growing in my yard.  I can hear her reaction in my mind right now.  But I couldn’t call her so I put my head into my husband’s chest and just sobbed.

I called my sister and told her about the flowers.  She said God gave Mom permission to plant some lilies in my yard.  I have to laugh thinking about Mom in heaven pestering God because she just wants to garden some more.

So Mom sent me lilies.  Thanks, Mom, they’re beautiful.

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P.S. That’s a pic from a few years ago, after Mom took my daughters around our old neighborhood and stole the surprise lilies from the neighbors’ yards to make a bouquet.  I told them it was wrong to steal from the neighbors but I laughed and took a pic anyway.

I went away…

I haven’t posted a thing on here in a million years.

I tried. 

I tried so many times. 

But I just couldn’t. 

My mom was sick. She was in a nursing home, dying from colon cancer that had metastasized to her liver and lymph nodes. I wanted to write posts but whenever I tried to think of something to write, the only thing I could think of was my mom. And I didn’t want to write about mom. 

All I ever did was talk about mom. For months. Every conversation left me raw. So I just couldn’t talk about her on here too. 

She passed away in April of this year. And I’m still thinking about it all the time. Last night I even dreamt that she was still alive. I told her that everyone thought she was dead, that we’d had a funeral for her. She just smiled at me and shrugged her shoulders. 

My mom and I had a complicated relationship. Saying that she drove me crazy is an incredible understatement. But that hasn’t stopped me from missing her. And I do. 

But somehow, tonight, as I’m writing this, I feel ok. I don’t know when or if I’ll ever post again but I feel ok about posting this. 

I miss my mom. I really do. But I’m gonna be ok. 

Smell

Smells bring back memories

And

Memories bring back smells

That antiseptic smell that lingers in the hallways of hospitals also lingers in the hallways of my mind

And that smell brings a flood of emotion

I love that smell

I hate that smell

That smell hurts my heart, it breaks my insides

It saved my daughter, it ruined her life

It stole years from my mother, it gave me more time with her I didn’t know I didn’t have

And I don’t have to smell it to remember, the memories themselves bring back the smell, no matter where I am

Even when I’m sitting in bed at night ready to fall asleep, the smell haunts me, it invades and steals my peace of mind

Goodnight, Smell, leave me alone tonight