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. 

My bathtub is trying to kill me

Mom is reading Tidbits. She says to me, “This will make you feel good. Number of people who traveled by air worldwide in 2012, over 3 billion.”

Me, “How does that make me feel good?”

Mom, “No, keep listening. Number of passengers who died in crashes in 2012, 414.” (Still not seeing how this will make we feel good… But I keep listening.)

Mom, “Number of people killed or injured by bathtubs each year, about 182,000. So you’re more likely to die in your bathtub than a plane crash. Don’t you feel better?”

Me, “No. I hardly ever fly but I use the bathtub all the time. Now I’m scared.”

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And then there’s the day you shave your mother’s head for her birthday

I’m not the first daughter to shave her mother’s head due to chemotherapy and I won’t be the last. Actually, it was kind of fun. There’s just something about shaving someone’s head. If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend it. I have shaved my share of heads in my day, mostly my husband’s, but once I shaved my own. Having shaved other heads and my own I have to say that both experiences are pretty cathartic.

I shaved Mom’s head on her actual birthday, August 16th and then we went shopping for scarves and hats.  We found a lot of scarves but not many hats because Mom has an abnormally small head for an adult.  She claims it is due to being a preemie.  I have decided to start calling her “Baby Head”.  It’s her superhero alter-ego.  I’ve been trying to think of a good pirate name for her too.  Pirate Nana is good but Captain Baby Head might be better.

She has been really awesome through this whole experience.  It’s nice that we can joke around and make a terrible situation light-hearted and a lot of fun.

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Penguins of Madagascar

For my mother’s upcoming birthday, two of my sisters and I took her to the St. Louis Zoo today for a Behind The Scenes Tour. Here’s a few pics of penguins and people petting penguins:

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Mom checks “Pet A Penguin” off her bucket list.

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Meghan chillin’ with Shadow the penguin.

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Sammee befriends Shadow the penguin.

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Cantante on the left and Shadow on the right. Zoo cuties or “zooties”.

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Cantante the penguin kept on giving me this stare. It was hilarious.