On Nine Years Without Her

I am starting to forget the sound of your voice, Mary, although I can still hear your laughter.

I am starting to forget how it felt to come visit you, Mary, although I will never forget how it felt to be with you.

I am starting to forget the exact words you spoke on our last call, Mary, although I will never forget the moment I heard them.

I am starting to use up the last of the stationary you bought me, Mary, although I will never forget its beauty.

I am starting to forget the last time I visited you at your house, Mary, although I will never forget the sunlight in your room that day.

I am starting to forget the sadness, Mary, although I will never forget the vast loss of you.

I have begun teaching my boys about you, Mary. We wished you a happy 84th birthday last week. They started asking about where you were, and who you were, and where you lived. I told them you were their great grandmother, and that you were my best friend. I told them that you were a teacher, and that you lived in Columbus before you went to heaven. We saw your picture, and they called you, "Mary."

I will teach them that the words that adorn their bedroom wall were written by you, Mary. I will teach them that they are part of a wonderful family, but they already know. They love your children as I do, they love your grandchildren - and their children - and already have a special bond. They run towards our family, Mary. They run towards because that is what you taught me to do. They already know that their best friends will always be with them.

I was making them dinner the other day, Mary, and I heard the familiar melody of Carmen Ohio begin to play. It was coming from the Columbus snow globe you gave me for Christmas, I think it was shortly after I graduated college. For a moment, I wondered if it was you telling me you were near. It played and I listened. No other sounds were coming from the office where it sits high upon a shelf, too precious to be any lower. I listened. I walked to the room and there was my husband, holding that little globe--and there were your great grandchildren staring up at it in amazement. I told them that you bought me that, Mary. Then they showed their dad your picture.

You have been gone far longer than seems possible. Nine years since I held your hand for the last time. Nine years since I wiped that last, solitary tear from your eye. You are with me every day and I with you.

I love you, Mary. 


Long May You Run

There are very few things from the past 13 years that are the same as they were in 2000. But there was always one constant that never changed, my sweet Abby girl. She stood side by side with me as I lived with my best friends after college, survived our shenanigans as we survived puppy hood. She was there through a marriage and its eventual end, and she was always with me as I picked up the pieces and learned how to stand on my own two feet. She was there for the heartaches that followed, she was there when my heart learned that it was capable of love again, she was there when I regained hope. It was Abby that was there in the passenger seat as I said goodbye to Lexington, our Hobbit House, and who was with me when we moved to a deluxe apartment in the sky. My Abby was there when I fell in love for the last time, when we built our house, when Piper, then Cat came to be ours. This time, it was her that I chose to be my maid of honor as I said "I do,” and the one I clung to in the days before I knew I was pregnant. It was my girl who was here to welcome home my sons, to sit with me in the wee hours of the night, and the one who would let them pull her tail in curiosity and glee. Through all the ups and downs, through a million laughs and a million tears, she was as loyal as the first day she became mine. But today, she left me for the first and only time. Today, she drifted out of this world just as she lay in my arms. The most difficult choice I’ve ever made, a bittersweet moment of compassion over pain, for the most wonderful friend and companion I've ever had.

Long may you run, my sweet Abby girl. 


What Happens Next?

It seems as though the times when I have sat down to write on this blog, for the most part, were when I needed an outlet, and the internets the only way to project my voice. Such is true again today, when the latest chapter of this long lost story begins. I wonder if it will allow me to come back here, my first blogging home, where my sad tales, romantic interludes, and mixed adventures were the mainstain for a good number of years, a good number of years ago.

I wonder what this new path will allow me to discover, what it might also heal, and whether these two volumes of words can come together in sweet precision, or if they go very far away in the opposite direction. So much has been left unsaid here, that without telling the middle part of the story, the new wouldn't necessarily make sense. I think that might also be the best part about it - that I can come back to you when I want, how I want, and all our history is still here. Collision of who I am, and always have been -- smack into the person I am trying to become. Should be an interesting ride...