Monday, November 30, 2009


I picked up Nellie from the Doggie Hotel this morning.
Before her bath there.
I just couldn't take the quiet of the house any longer.

Stu and I came home yesterday. Unloaded the car. And left.
It was too quiet to be here.

I go away. And come back expecting a different result.
Like my house will once again be full of noise. And toys to step on.
Little socks and Star Wars underwear waiting to be washed.
Science Fair projects to start and be glued to backer boards.

But there is nothing.
Just quiet. Just the distant memory of laughter.

Today I am thankful for:
LifeWaters. These are little treats to me in this phase of my shrinking plan.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

our thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was good. Being with my family is just easy.

We went to my dad's side of the family on Thursday.
There are lots of people. Lots of aunts and uncles and cousins.
And food. Tons of deliciousness. And my Aunt Carole's yeast rolls.
I could go on and on about the yeast rolls.

We talked and laughed and played a game.
We took pictures. Though not on my camera because I forgot to use it.
I enjoyed their company.
My diet was blown. But in the very best of ways.

On Friday, we met my mom's side of the family for dinner at Longhorns.
A smaller gathering, to be sure. So fun.
I grilled my cousin Sean on all things about his dating life.
He was a good sport about it.
We also talked and laughed and enjoyed each other's company.
The food was so good and we didn't have to do the dishes afterwards. Bonus.

Saturday was spent with friends who are like family.
Watching football and eating wings.
Georgia prevailed and many in the house were overjoyed.
Though Stu and one other were not. Ah. Well.

And in between all of these gatherings, I spent much time with my mom and dad.
Just being together.

Time goes by too quickly when we are all together. I love being with both sides of the family and our friends.
I am blessed.

And through it all, I was keenly aware of the absence of Michael.
I thought of what he would have been doing during the Thankful game.
I thought how he and Sean wrestled every Thanksgiving and how that would have been accomplished in a restaurant this year.
I wondered which team Michael would have rooted for in the game.
I missed him. And his energy. And his joy.

Today I am thankful for:
A husband who will drive us home. I am a much better passenger.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Today. I will just post my thankful entry.
Be back tomorrow with something a bit more.

Today I am thankful for:
Time with my family this week. I have enjoyed two holiday meals with my family and have loved my time at my parent's house. I am reminded of how blessed I am to call these wonderfully nutty folks mine.

Friday, November 27, 2009

it is starting...

Happy start to the holiday season.

Michael and I put together this frosted window last year. See those fingerprint marks? Those are his. It is hard to resist the temptation of touching the spray snow. See those dots in the middle of the o's? Those are my fingerprints. I told you it was hard to resist. What you can't see is Nellie's nose print at the bottom of the window? We all left our mark. Except Stu. He can resist the temptation. Unless it is a Krispy Kreme doughnut, then all bets are off.

Today I am thankful for:
Memories. Photos. Videos. Scrapbooks.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving.
Enjoy the moments. With your family and friends.

These photos are from our Thanksgiving last year.

Today I am thankful for:
All of you that read this blog. That pray for us. That send us notes of encouragement. That call and write and e-mail. Thank you for remembering us.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by the spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lightened the flame within us.
Albert Schweitzer

Thanks, friends. For being the caretakers of my spark.

We are headed to see family for the Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to being with them. We are stopping at ikea and the pga superstore along the way. A little fun for me. A little fun for Stu. A little heartache for the trip without Michael.

Today I am thankful for:
Music. Songs to sing out loud to as we travel on our road trip.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

some pre-thanksgiving ideas

Thanks for all of your sweet comments on my holiday decorations. I will work on putting together a few tutorials for the trees. They are easy-peasy. In the meantime, I followed a tutorial for the book wreath. She even has a video - her tutorial on her blog is here: Living with Lindsay. I deviated a little bit from her guidance, but not much. I did indeed burn my fingerprints off with my glue gun. So be careful of that.

I'll post more pictures as I continue to decorate.

Thanksgiving is Thursday. I realize that is not news, but I keep repeating it in my head. I just find it unbelievable that it is here. Again, I will post with pictures. And not post my feelings just yet. Because I am not sure what to say.

So ...
Bundle up as you travel over the river and through the woods. It's November. It should be cold out there. Or at least pretend it is cold out there and wear a parka plus flip flops.
Eat your veggies. Smearing them on your face is completely optional.

And drink your milk.
Eat all of the sweet treats you want. Go all in.
Take pictures of your family and friends. Preferably as they are smearing veggies on their face, milking it up and smashing their face in cake.

Today I am thankful for:
Close family friends. I am looking forward to seeing them while we are at my parent's house this week. We spent Saturdays together. And New Year's Eves together. Went on vacations together. Ridiculed dates of the oldest together. (Thankfully, that wasn't as strong when the rest of us starting dating!). I am glad for our family history together and look forward to seeing them again.

Monday, November 23, 2009

i decked some halls.

I am totally stealing this blog idea from my dear friend, Kim. I am hoping that she won't mind.

I decided to decorate my house a little early this year. Today, in fact. This post won't be about my feelings on doing that - though let me say I started with the easy decorations. Next week, when I put up Michael's tree in his room and the tree with all of our hodge-podge, school artwork. I will have more feelings to tell.

Today is just about the pictures.

The below is a very new tree. I have wanted a white tree for a long while. But they can be so pricey. Stu found this one on super-duper sale last year (for $20!) and snagged it for me. We bought all of the ornaments from Target after Christmas for more super sales. This is the first year that I have put the tree up. I adore it. The bright colors. Just looks like a party on a tree. I need to add the tree skirt. And a topper. But I haven't found one that I like just yet. I might try to make one. This tree, these ornaments were not part of our decorating. Last year.
These are the makings of the tree that we will put up at Michael's grave. I wanted ornaments that would stand the elements. Stu and I picked out these wood and metal ornaments. We also picked up a Star Wars (small) lego set and GI Joe figures to put on the tree. These are items that would have been in Michael's stocking. But will now be on his tree. I'll take pictures once it is finished and in place. at the cemetery.
I made the wreath below out of an old book I had lying around. I'll probably keep this one up year round. (That is my grandad in the picture - isn't he handsome?) And that sword was Michael's. He had many adventures with it.
Hands down my favorite nativity set. Because of the memories associated with it. It was my mom and dad's. They gave it to me last year. The family dog, in his first Christmas at the house, snuck off with baby Jesus in his teeth. The wood still shows some teeth impressions from him. Makes me smile when I walk past it.
Michael and I made these trees last year out of fabric and buttons. It was one of our advent activities for the season.
I haven't yet put up everything. Just a little jump start. I'll put up other items in time. When the time feels right.

Today I am thankful for:
This time that I have to not work. But to focus on me. And how I feel day to day, moment to moment. I am so grateful to be able to do so.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

little buddy

Missing our little buddy. This day. Everyday.

Today I am thankful for:
ABC Family Christmas movies. Michael and I watched these all last year during the holiday season. Stu and I watched them today - a Christmas movie marathon - while we cleaned the house. A couple of the movies were ones that Michael and I had watched last year.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Today I am thankful for:
My family. Mom and Dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins. I have wonderful people in my life. They are crazy. They are nuts. They are the most amazing people that you will meet. Down to earth. Sweet. Generous. I am so looking forward to soaking up time with (most of) them this coming week. And excited to see others at Christmas this year.

Today I am a bit sad. I am more aware of the coming holidays and that they are another first. I am feeling a little anxious about the coming days. So this day, I am a bit sad.

Friday, November 20, 2009

flippin friday

For Christmas last year, my mom and dad gave Michael a Flip video camera. Michael loved to play. And he wanted to film his battles for all of his "viewers". Now he was able to do so. What a fun present for a budding filmmaker!

His videos were nothing fancy. Mostly a peek into his play. I adore them now. And watch them frequently. I thought I might post one here that gives a glimpse of Michael cleaning his room. He played everywhere. Going to Target was a game. Walking home from school was a new episode. Cleaning his room was an adventure.

This is Michael. Uncut.

Today I am thankful for:
My son's imagination. Oh, how I enjoyed listening to him play.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

photo catch-up

I'm cheating a bit on this post ... but thought I would post some pictures of things that I have talked about but have never shown. Here goes.

This is Michael's spot at the cemetery. This was taken about a month or so ago. He has more things there now. I like to walk up and see something new added. I like to think of friends visiting him. I put the flowers together - if you look close, you will see some Storm Troopers peeking through. These were his. I thought they belonged in his flowers too.
This is Nellie. She is my constant companion these days. Love her.
This is the New Kids on the Walk. My team for the 3 Day walk for Breast Cancer. We walked 60 miles together. We camped. Indoors in pink tents. We wore pink leg warmers. And I loved spending time with them. Such a fantastic group of women. I still need to blog about those 3 Days!
This is one of the bulletin boards that I made. I know. It is so bright. Lots of color. Lots going on. But that is kind of the way my house is. You should all come over so you can see what I mean.

Today I am thankful for:
My time that I worked at Florida State. I met some really fantastic people while I was there. My co-workers and graduate students. And I was glad to be there tonight to see the opening of The Velveteen Rabbit. Such a sweet show.

Stu and I have been out two nights in a row. On school nights. We are wild and crazy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


From the time Michael was around 2 or 3, I was constantly told that he looked just like that actor. Macauley Culkin. I'm certain I spelled that wrong, but am too lazy to look up the proper spelling.
Michael was always asked to do the face. The one from Home Alone. With his hands to his cheeks and his mouth wide open. And begrudgingly, he would do it. Secretly. He loved it.
Today, I am thankful for:
Date night Wednesdays. A new fun to our household. Stu won a silly bet earlier in the week and got to plan tonight's adventure. Dinner at Crispers. The movie, 2012. Dinner was fun. The movie ... not a favorite. But we had a great time together.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


You know it is going to be a day when you cry at a Best Buy commercial. Best. Buy. I understand when I shed tears at Hallmark or Publix spots. But Best Buy? It's a problem.

Today I am thankful for:
Ibuprofen and bags of ice. I had this funky knee pain during the 3 Day Walk. It came back with a vengence today. Spent most of my time today with my knee elevated. Nellie kept me company. Sweet.

Monday, November 16, 2009


"It is a happy talent to know how to play"
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today I am thankful for:
Our dog, Nellie. I love the way she greets me at the door - like she has been waiting all morning for me to come home. Even when I am only gone for an hour. Her greeting is always the same. And I like the way she snuggles into my legs at night as we sleep. A very sweet dog.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

michael style

I am a fan of the hoodie. I wear mine quite often. It might not be the latest trend. But I always feel warm and fuzzy in it.

I bought Michael a hoodie every year. Sometimes more than one. There is something about a little boy in a hoodie. Adorable. Pair it with khakis. Love it.

Stu and I were taking further advantage of our 30% off coupon at Old Navy on Saturday. He needed some weekend clothes. His clothes go from business to hobo with nothing in between. It was time to take action. He bought some great things. Even tried all of them on. His shrinking is really starting to show.

He was looking at a few things while I perused the women's clothes. I saw the boy's hoodies at the end of the women's section. So I went over and thought I should buy one. Because I always did. And they were on sale. I picked up Michael's size. I put it back. I walked further into the boys clothes, past the college shirts (what Michael called collared, polo shirts) and saw the business shirts (another Michael phrase ... button up, long sleeve shirts).

He called his clothes his Michael style. He liked lots of layers. Shirts under shirts. He thought it was fun to wear his pants backwards. Sometimes I didn't catch it in the mornings and he went to school that way. He would laugh. I would laugh.

Today I am thankful for:
Lunch with Michael's fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Branch. She has become such a wonderful friend.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


One of the things Michael would wander about was who he was going to marry. It was cute. I told him he didn't have to decide about that right now. That he could wait for 30 more years to decide on that. While he lived at home. With me.

He informed me that he would be moving out at 18 to go to college. But no worries. He would still visit me. So that I could cook him dinner. He had big plans.

Michael stayed home from school with me the two days before that terrible Thursday. Oh, I would not give back those days. He admitted that he felt fine, but wanted to stay home with me. He had been to my parent's house the week before and I think he just wanted some mommy time. We were so close.

On that Wednesday, Michael received a phone call from one of his best friends. A best friend in the form of a cute little blonde girl. Michael and I were in the middle of our UNO tournament, sitting on my bed while he talked with her. Such a funny conversation. Because it was all one-sided. Michael barely spoke. His sweet friend chatted him up. And then had to go. Michael was excited by the phone call.

The next day. That terrible Thursday. She brought him a welcome back to school present. Only he never opened it. Because he was going to open it at home. With me. He didn't. Because he didn't come home that day.

His sweet friend sent me an e-mail a few weeks later. She shared that Michael was her best friend. And that she had had a little crush on him. Sweet girl. She was with him when he passed out in the classroom.

I'll keep her gift to him forever. It sits on my bookshelf, wrapped. A reminder of the future plans that Michael had. A reminder of the future milestones. That are not to be.

Today I am thankful for:
A husband who will go with me to craft fairs. And not complain. Much. And who loves me despite my (many) quirks.

Friday, November 13, 2009

nice wall

I ordered pizza a few weeks ago.
This is not earth shattering news to anyone. I love the pizza. Papa Johns. Yum.
I hadn't had it in a while because Stu and I are on this incredibly restrictive diet. But we were in between phases. And it was allowed.

The people at our local Papa John's thought we must have moved. Because we used to order all the time. And we don't now. Because we are working on shrinking ourselves.

Anyway. The pizza man came to the door. And I signed my customer receipt. As I was doing so, the pizza man told me that I had a nice wall. Weird. But he was referring to my photo wall in my foyer. Filled with photos of our family. And mostly Michael.

Thanks, I said, as I closed the door.

And it struck me then. That these picture frames will never be changed out. I won't have new photos to put into the frames that line my foyer wall. Nothing to update. Eventually I will run out of pictures to scrapbook. Pictures to post on this blog. I will run out of pictures. Of the least photogenic kid. But MY least photogenic kid.

Today I am thankful for:
My pajamas and The Wizard of Oz. Oh, I do enjoy a little sing-a-long with this most beloved movie.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

an old post

I write all kinds of blog posts that I don't post. Either I can't formulate the thought or the sentences or I run out of time and think I will come back to it later. I usually don't. That leaves me with many a blog post that never makes it to cyberspace.

I thought of one that I had started a very long time ago. This one.

Last Thursday, a group of my friends and I went to see Steel Magnolias at the Tallahassee Little Theatre. The show was pretty good. I was moved to tears which says something.

For those who have not seen the movie or the stage production, and do not want the ending ruined here ... I would suggest you stop reading. Don't say that I didn't warn you.

At the end of the play, the character made famous by Julia Roberts, Shelby dies. She had a long battle with diabetes, goes into a coma, and passes away. Shelby's mom, M'Lynn is asked how she is doing.

In a moment of anguish, she says "I am fine! I am great! I could jog to Texas and back but my daughter cannot and never could." This is the moment that I let loose with a flood of tears. I could not help but think how I could relate. My son has a half a heart.

And that is where I stopped. I didn't finish.

But I understand where I was going. I could walk 60 miles. But Michael couldn't. Not then. Not now.

Michael's heart condition was just a part of our lives. I was in tune with his needs. I had his history memorized. I made certain that the appropriate people were informed of his diagnosis. I constantly thought of it.

But he didn't.

Oh. Yes. He knew about his heart. He gave a presentation about it for his class in January. He was a smidge nervous about it. So I went to hear him. To be there for him.

He did so well. I was amazed at his poise. At his stage presence. He held the little microphone and talked about this condition. Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome. At the end of his talk. He said "And I have Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome". Mrs. Branch asked for questions. Every hand in the classroom went up. The kids were curious. Who could blame them?

Michael's best friend wanted a step by step account of how the surgeon fixed his heart. Michael simply told him that the doctor cut open his chest and he didn't remember anything after that. Because he was asleep.

Another classmate asked him. If you hadn't had the surgery, would you have died? Michael answered. Yes. Pretty Much. The classmate said. Well I am glad for that surgeon so that we can have Michael in our class.

And that is when I cried. And Michael answered another question.

i forgot to be thankful

Oops...I failed to mention what I was thankful for in my today's post. Crud.
Today I am thankful for:
30% off coupons for Old Navy. I bought a few new things today. Just a couple of sweaters. And I tried on a skirt. That didn't fit me. It was too big. Love it when that happens.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

egg-dyeing ensemble

Doesn't everyone dye Easter eggs in a Storm Trooper costume? No? We did have a Star Wars egg-dyeing kit. So. This fit. And he needed to look the part. This boy. Makes me laugh.

Today I am thankful for:
My new (old) china cabinet. Given to us by my mom and dad. I was finally able to pull out our wedding china. And crystal. And put it on display. The crystal and the teacups and the plates look so pretty in their new home. Thanks mom and dad!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I was reminded of this sweet memory today while working with at a friend's house.

When Michael was little, he couldn't quite say Grandma in reference to my mom. In fact, he wouldn't say it. He called her truck at first. Trucks were his favorite things as a toddler. So this was flattery in its highest form. Really.

One night, I had Michael name everyone around the table during a visit to my mom and dad's house. I pointed to myself. Mommy. I pointed to my dad. Pa. I pointed to my mom. That.

That. So funny. Where did he get that? It makes me laugh just thinking of it.

Luckily, That didn't stick around for long. In fact, that might have been the only time that it was used. Nana became the chosen name for my mom. It suits her.

Today I am thankful for:
Time spent with a dear friend. And Diet Coke.

Monday, November 09, 2009

this time of year

I am a stickler for tradition. I have mentioned that before. I am especially so at this time of year. I like to know that we are going to play Bingo, that each of us will have new pajamas on Christmas eve. I like to plan our Advent Activities now. Looking for fun things to do or make during the month of December.

I like the arrival of the Look Books from the department stores and watching Michael circle what he would like this year. Those just arrived this week. I saved them. For what, I am not yet certain.

One of my favorite traditions of the holiday season is to look through the aisles of Christmas things at Target. I look forward to the time just before - sometimes after - Halloween when the ornaments are unveiled. And I always think that perhaps this is the year that I will find the perfect tree topper. Michael and I would spend quite a bit of time in these aisles in the months of October through December.

I found myself in those aisles in the days before Halloween. I went to get candy for our trick or treaters. It didn't occur to me that this would be the day that the aisles would be filled with holiday decoration. The bags of candy were a mere two aisles away. And I couldn't turn away. I went up and down the Christmas aisles. And cried my tears.

I admired the brightly colored ornaments and the twinkling lights. I delighted in the ornament garland strung from a white tree. We have a white tree. Stu bought it on super sale last season. And we have never had the chance to put it up. This garland would be so festively fantastic on that new addition to our Christmas decor.

I looked through the themed ornaments. And wondered which ones Michael would have chosen for his tree this year. We've been collecting ornaments for the tree in his room over the years - he got to pick one (or a set) of ornaments every year. The past two years, he has chosen Star Wars. Another unanswered musing. Add it to the list of others.

I don't know how my love of tradition will work this year. I don't know. Perhaps participating in some of the same traditions. Perhaps making a few new ones. We'll wade through it. The best we can.

Today I am thankful for:
My hot glue gun. I really enjoyed breaking it out. Dusting it off. Adding fabric and ribbon to some simple cork boards for my office. I was reminded of craft days at my Grandma's house. [Once I hang the boards, I will post a picture of them here for all to see.]

Sunday, November 08, 2009

i lied

Yesterday, I said that I wouldn't dedicate whole posts to what I was grateful for that day. But today I am tired, so I'll start that trend tomorrow. I'm just delaying the rules. Totally fine, right?

Today I am thankful for the game Banana Grams. And Ultimate Fighting Championship cage match fights. Weird combo. But totally made for a fun Saturday night with my folks. We laughed and enjoyed our time together. And I won at Banana Grams. Really stomped them. Which is always more fun than being stomped, I think.

And I am thankful for an impromptu trip to their house. To spend time with just them. They might spoil me ... but just a little. It was a good thing.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


During this season of Thanksgiving, I find it difficult to cultivate a heart of gratitude. This is not surprising as I continue to struggle with my feelings of bitterness. I don't want to be bitter. I don't. I just find it easy to wallow in my sadness. To wallow in my feelings of unfairness. And unjustness. And anger.

I'd like to work my way up through the depths of this despair.

So. With that in mind, I will write out one thing that I am grateful for each day. No matter how small. (And some days it may be very small.) One thing that I am thankful for. I won't usually devote an entire post to it - I'll just make a note at the end.

I'll start with the most obvious. I am thankful for the joy of my 9 3/4 years with Michael. I am thankful to know the joy that he brought me. The joy of being a mother. His mother. The joy of his hand in mine. The joy of his delightful wit and humor. The joy of his funky dance moves. The joy of his curiosity. The joy of his sound effects. The joy of his love of plastic army men. And Star Wars. The joy of doing homework. And signing his Friday folders.

The joy of our time together. Short as it was.
I am thankful for Michael.

Friday, November 06, 2009

the self portrait

My cousin, Melissa and I were into self portraits long before they were a MySpace/Facebook/Teen Queen fad. We have many, many pictures of our cheeks pressed against one another. Every holiday, every family gathering, every time we are together ... we take our traditional picture.

I continued this tradition with Michael. We also took family portraits this way. Photo Booth, on my Mac, was Michael and I's favorite. We put together some videos. Took some pictures. Our faces together. Being silly. These are some of my favorite photos now.

The photo above is the screen saver on my phone. Love that sweet Mama's boy!

One of our first Photo Booth sessions...
Before the Christmas chorus concert that FSU performs every year. This was an advent activity at Christmas.
My favorite family photo. Taken during our first trip to Disney World. For Michael's 8th birthday.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

five things about my grief

I thought I would share five things that I experience in grief. These are not my top five things. They are just the five that come to my fingertips the quickest. And I am a list person.

I share these because ... well I know it is difficult to imagine. It is difficult to imagine if you haven't experienced a devastating loss. And in my efforts to be transparent in this time of life, I share my grief with you.

1. Nothing that anyone says will make things better. Or easier. In fact, I probably don't remember much of what people have told me these past [almost] 7 months. But I remember the kindness of my family and friends and strangers. I know that it is hard to know what to say. What does matter is that you say something. Anything.

2. I want to talk about Michael. I might cry. It is a strong possibility that I will. But I love to share stories about him. I love to hear your stories about him. I love to hear that his life made an impact on those around him.

3. There is no time table for grief. I cannot snap out of it or give you a mythical deadline for when I will be all better. This grief. Will last forever.

4. Grief feels like I am treading water. And I sometimes dip below the surface. Unable to breathe. The slightest push sends me below.

5. I, at the tender age of 33, have lost my innocence. I have lost the carefree-ness of being able to think about the future. To think about what a year from now will be like. I knew that loss was a possibility. I understood that death happened. I understood that tomorrow was not promised. Or so I thought. In my mind, death is what comes to those that have lived long lives. It does not happen to those in their 40s, or their 30s, or just before their 10th birthday. Because that would be unfair. And life, as I have learned, is anything but fair.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

the question.

I was asked again tonight if I have kids.
I'm not sure that I have a great answer to that yet.
I decided to manage expectations by answering in this way:

"Oh, [tennis opponent], this is an awkward question for me. And I don't have a good answer for it. So I'll just tell you... I have a son. Who died in April. He was 9."

[insert uncomfortable silence]

And she said she was sorry and that she was sorry that she asked the question. I told her I was sorry too and no need to apologize for asking. It is a common question.

I just don't quite know how to answer it so that I don't make the other person feel bad and so that I don't cry, awkwardly, in front of a stranger in between sets of a tennis match. The tears tend to blur my vision when I am serving.

I need to practice a better response. I'm just not certain, yet, what a better response would be.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Because today I am struggling for the words.
I chose another Brian Andreas to share.

They left me
with your shadow,
saying things like
Life is not fair

& I believed them
for a long time.

But today,
I remembered
the way you laughed
& the heat
of your hand
in mine

& I knew that
life is more fair
than we can
ever imagine
we are there to live it

Monday, November 02, 2009

by hand

I had great plans for this halloween costume. I sewed it by hand. And when I say by hand, I mean it. No sewing machine. Just needle and thread. And many a pricked finger. I used stuffing. I used elastic. I used a whip stitch. I used my fingertips.

I was a Martha. A total Martha. But without all that perfect nonsense. My stitches were gloriously imperfect. My panels were cut crooked. But with much love.

For this GHOST costume.
Not a white pumpkin. Not Humpty Dumpty.
A full on Ghost.

It was Michael's request. He wanted to be a ghost. I had visions of The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown show ... with the sheet and all the eye holes cut out. This wasn't the ghost costume for my 4 year old. He needed cute.

Ok. His mama wanted cute. He just wanted a costume. To get the candy.

So I sewed it by hand. The armholes didn't line up. The elastic was not so elastic-y. But I felt proud of my accomplishment. This sewing of the Halloween costume.

And bought every other costume for Halloween after that.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

bitter. better.

Here's the truth: I am having a difficult time coming up with a first post for November. Or for the past few weeks. I think I am worried about all of you. What you might think. What you might infer. So. I have decided to get over myself and just write what I know. What I feel. What my days are like.

So here goes.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the concept that grief will make you bitter or better. I have jumped into the bitter with both feet. Landing squarely in the middle. And wallowing in it. I've made a home for myself there.

I don't quite understand the better part. How am I to be better when Michael's absence is so profound? How am I to be better when the best part of me is gone? I find the concept that I could be better almost offensive.

I'm looking for something in the middle.
I am not there.
I sometimes feel like I have a handle on things.
But I am wrong.