Closure

I used to think when people said they needed closure it meant they wanted to be done with the thing in all its forms and walk away.  That isn’t it, though, is it.

Dannica wanted to be “planted with trees.”  Simply learning of this so close in time to her passing is a miracle.  I overheard her and her brother laughing about the video game noises they wanted to make when they died.  Such laughter, such silliness… I loved being a “fly on the wall” for those wonderful interactions.  So much love between my babies, these siblings, these soul mates.

No music in the world was more beautiful than the sound of those two laughing together!

As I look back over our lives, I can see now that her soul knew.  There were so many signs she would not be with us for long.  Things said, things done, not done.  Things not done well.

Each moment since Dannica’s passing has been surreal… as time moves forward it only feels more so.  I look around me, reflect upon my daily activities and interactions and once in a while, or several times a day, remember *that night*, that moment, the horror, the incredulous split… the separation of my own spirit from form which was absolutely necessary to keep me taking one breath after another, one step, another step, constantly reminding myself that none of this is real.  Were it up to my conscious self to go on, I’d be long gone.

 

 

L.O.S.T.

I must be an optimist.  Life just hits me in the head with a bat day after day, sometimes a day or so in between but then, WHAK! another day, another bat.  I try to maintain that attitude of gratitude.  “Thank you, God, so very much for that bat to the head.”  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  And I choose to do it again, day after day after day with that glimmer of hope that it might one day feel a little different another day.

Why do I try so hard?

Why do I feel I have to?

Who actually cares?

Why does it matter?

What difference does *any* of it make?

What if I didn’t?

Who cares if I eat Goldfish crackers for dinner?

I know you’re still with me, I know you haven’t really died.  So what is the point of this exercise in pretending you have?  Why do I have to continue eating Goldfish crackers as if you never left?  Why won’t you show yourself again and eat them with me?  Show me a goldfish…

I sit on our park bench alone with the ducks.  I adore the empty sight of it each time I drive by and crave the company of *anything* sincere.  Of course, you’re there.  You’re there as much as you’re anywhere and it’s comforting as much as it can be to an earthbound human being.  My human heart will simply never get it.

My human heart will simply always bleed.

…and when I die of a broken human heart, no one will be surprised.

Birthday Buttons – The rest of the story

There is more to the story of Dannica’s Birthday Buttons.  I wanted to include everything in my previous post but I felt strongly about sharing what I could on her special day and  wanted to wait for the appropriate permissions to come before sharing the full story… the miracles involved.

Since my baby passed, miracles have become commonplace in my life.  I will never take them for granted, they will always take my breath away and bring my hands to my heart and my soul to its knees and I will forever bask in their warmth, their coolness, their peace; postcards from home while I’m here on Earth, at “Summer Camp.”

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I saw a photo, similar to the one above, on a home page; something anyone would see when logging on to Etsy Thursday morning.  Generally, I move quickly past this page because I’m there to sell, not to buy and I usually click through to my own stats’n’stuff, only taking time to browse other shops after that.

I really could not take my eyes away from that beautiful tin and those beautiful buttons and they took me back to Dannica’s childhood button adventures instantly and fondly.  I felt her with me, beside me, in my left ear, up the left side of my face and into the crown of my head… tingling sensations of her presence, and her happiness, excitement, and her love.  Priceless!

Dannica’s Birthday, June 16, the details of this transaction between myself and Chickie became beautifully and brilliantly clear.  I had been tag-teamed by Angels.  This spontaneous purchase of antique buttons was a quantum setup between myself, my Dannica and Chickie, a lovely woman who’s also passed away and who’s Dear Ones have continued to honor her life through their own Etsy shop.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChickieVintageLove

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This is a photo of a beautiful young Chickie <3

I sent a note to the shop owners to thank them and to let them know what a special gift this was and how pleased I am with it.  As I continued to look at the buttons and the little card that had been included; the birthday cupcake Thank You note from heaven.  I could almost hear the two of them giggling about it.  In the conversation that followed my purchase, I learned that Chickie’s birthday was June 13, three days before Dannica’s.

Love, Love, LOVE! to the Angelic Gemini twins.  How exciting and comforting it is to know that Dannica is continuing to enjoy the things she loved on earth from the other side.  She’s making good friends.  She’s happy.

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Birthday Buttons

 

Today, our Dannica turns 21 years old.  I remember the day she was born so clearly… the sweet smell of her little head, that first fragile cry echoes in my mind so clearly.  I’m not sure why some of those first memories are more vivid than some of the last memories.

I think of Danni every day, nearly constantly, but this week I found myself wanting to take her shopping, wanting to get her a birthday surprise and make a special treat for her special day.  The energy around me has felt spontaneous for days; like Dannica.  She was so quick witted, so creative, so curious… so FUN!

She was also very tactile and as a small child had dexterous little fingers that enjoyed disassembling anything that was held together by nuts and bolts.  These things were usually left for me to find as surprises such as the handle falling off the wood rack followed by the fireplace screen separating into three separate panels followed by the handles to the fireplace tools going missing.  The most memorable to me was one of the legs to the kitchen table just falling over onto the floor leaving a three legged table balancing over her and the little pile of green nuts and bolts.  She looked so proud!

One day while I was folding laundry, I noticed her in the closet admiring the shiny buttons on the sleeve of a coat.  She traced them and slid her little fingers over the raised patterns on them.  I’m pretty sure she was trying to figure out how to unscrew them, too.  She never lost that love of shiny buttons and even as a precocious 8, 9, 10 year old still spent time in the closet lost in fascinated examination.

I have spent the past ten months or so surrounded by my new hobby of jewelry making.  Each night, I sit on the living room floor and sort through beads, twist wire, experiment, create.  It relaxes me.  It keeps my hands busy and makes couch potato television watching (or floor potato as the case may be) feel like more of a productive activity.  It’s been positively therapeutic as well as introvert appropriate.

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This path led to Etsy.  Each day, I log into my shop to see what’s new and what others are doing.  This past Thursday when I entered the site, the first thing I saw was a photo of a beautiful vintage tin full of buttons!  I couldn’t take my eyes off it and my first thought was, “Danni would *love* that!”  I nearly clicked away from it but I just couldn’t so I bought it for her.  I could just imagine the excitement in her eyes when she opened the tin and I could see her sitting on her bed laying them out, touching them, finding her favorites and putting them all back again.  They would have become her friends, the way my beads are my friends; the way these buttons are becoming my friends, too.

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I can feel her joy as I slide my fingers into the box, buttons closing in to cover them completely…maybe if I reach in far enough, I’ll feel her hand doing the same from heaven.  Again, my child’s birthday brings me a priceless gift.  It even arrived with this little card containing the image of a birthday cupcake.

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Thank *YOU* Danni Jade <3

Send

 

 

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Dannica and I used to communicate constantly through text messages.  Silly, silly stuff!  Not only that, though; there were times we actually had some pretty good talks about things that might not have come up face to face.  I thought of them as ice breakers.  It made those things easier to talk about face to face, later.

Before we had cell phones, we wrote notes.  I wanted her to know it was important to express her feelings to me no matter what they were.  I remember a time when she was much younger.  I was irritated and we weren’t communicating well.  I sent her to her room so we could both calm down.  When I went back a while later so we could talk about things, a little note had been slipped under the door.  “Mom, you hurt my feelings.”

My heart crumbled when I read that.  I knocked and she invited me in and I just held her close and cried and told her how sorry I was.  Regardless of anything else, hurting her feelings had never been my intent and I was grateful she told me what I had done.  I received many little notes from Danni through the years and I saved them all.  From time to time, I’ll find one in a place I didn’t expect such as in a cookbook or in a stack of papers or a journal I haven’t written in for a while and I am crumbled all over again.

Once again, It’s been months since I posted anything here.  See, I had the holidays to get through and that took all the energy I had been able to conserve since August.  New Year’s eve I took on a project involving one of my bookshelves and as I flipped through one of the books there, a Danni Note fell into my lap.  It was written on a little sheet of stationery in pink pen.  At the top of the page is the image of a little angel in a country dress with willow leaves for wings.  She’s holding a watering can in one hand with a butterfly perched on her other and she’s floating over a garden of sunflowers that line the bottom of the page.  The note says, “I don’t know what to write.  I need a hug from mom.”  Aw, little angel… Now it’s your mom who doesn’t know what to write and needs a hug from you.

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I keep Dannica’s cell phone charged and sitting on a table next to the couch where I often sit.  After she passed it continued to make noises each day and I’d pick it up to see the Dicionary.com word of the day.  She was a writer, too.  Though it frustrated her, whenever she’d ask me what a word meant, I’d suggest she look it up and let me know, too.  Text messages and emails from people who didn’t know she’d passed continued to come in for a while.  Even some who did know continued to write to her.  Eventually, service ended.  The phone is no longer even updatable.  The only noise it makes now is a once monthly reminder to transfer $40 into her checking account to pay a bill that no longer exists.  When she would receive a text, her phone used to make this sound.  I miss it.

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One day, I missed hearing from her so much I wondered what might happen if I sent her a text message.  I see her name in my contacts and it’s a conscious effort to ignore it every time I send a text message to my husband, Daniel, because his name is directly above hers in the list.  One day, I selected her name anyway and I wrote her a short note; something I’d said to her many times, something she’d know was from me no matter where she was.  I cried.  I read it over and felt the stabbing pain in the center of my being and I pressed Send.  There it went, with a “who-oop?”

I sat there wondering why I just did that.  Why did I actually send it?  And where did it go??  I still don’t know the answers to those questions.  I picked up her phone and began swiping through her photos and her notes hoping to find something I maybe hadn’t seen yet.  Then my own phone whistled to me from the corner of the couch and the message was there.  My hands shook as I opened it, “Who is this?”

“I’m sorry,” I immediately apologized (what had I been thinking…. honestly) “This used to be my daughter’s number.  I hadn’t stopped to consider it might be someone else’s now.”  Really?  Hadn’t I?  Well, I hadn’t wanted to.

“No problem.”  says this mystery person as yet another part of me flat lines.

Well, now it is someone else’s number.  Another fear faced.  Another life experience I seal myself away with on my down days.  Another something to wrap acceptance around.

Your Own Park Bench (Poem)

Your Own Park Bench

Come, Sit with Me For a Time…

Let’s take a walk, like we used to, arm in arm, happily; silly laughter at silly things that give way to less silly, harder, heavier ones and tears, usually mine, but sometimes yours too.

Let’s go watch the ducks float on the pond and listen to the people in the park.

Ask me anything.

Tell me everything.

We’ll sit silently if you wish.

~<3~

Acceptance

Upon rising each morning, I wander, I stop.  I sit.  I listen to the silence of the house.  I get up and I walk quietly from room to room and I look out each window.  I sit again, not moving, in the silence.  Am I hungry?  I’m not sure.  Thirsty?  Maybe.  Tired?  Usually. Tired enough to sleep? Well, I just got up.  “Just try,” I tell myself, “to sit a while longer, breathe deeply, clear your mind, listen to what your body is saying to you…you are actually okay in this moment.”

I hurt.  My body hurts; my stomach.  My heart aches.  My mind is restless.  I am sad. When I lay down at night to sleep, I hear sirens, far off in the distance.  I roll to my side and pull a pillow over my head.  I still hear them.  I travel in time and through space to that night, to that place where Dannica passed from her body.  Tears come.  I can’t breathe comfortably.  It hurts. Who met her?  Her grandmother?  My grandmother?  That was my job….to meet her from the other side when she passed from this one.  That was my job.

They wouldn’t let me near her.  I couldn’t tell her, “I’m here, baby, I’m here with you…. little mom is here, please, don’t leave me!”  Loving strangers got to do that.  Compassionate, caring strangers held her hand, let her know she wasn’t alone.  I was moments behind them…but they pulled me away.  They wouldn’t let me near.  It was my job to hold her hand when she passed…to comfort her from this world if I couldn’t be on the other side to comfort her home.  Going in the ambulance with a loved one;  apparently, it’s a figment of TV and movies.  I feel robbed.  She died with strangers.

I put the foot of the recliner up.  I turn my palms to the sky.  I breathe deeply.  I envision a brilliant crystal in my mind’s eye and I say to myself, “Clear…clear…clear…”  I remember when Dannica was upset or when she didn’t want to sleep or didn’t want me to leave her at bedtime we would agree to meet somewhere in our dreams.  Quite often this place was a big, beautiful field of purple flowers.  Lavender, or a meadow full of wild flowers that were all a deep and brilliant purple.  I told her that when she saw the field and the flowers in her dream to look for me and that I would do the same; look for her.  Then we could run and dance and play and fill each other’s hair with flowers and make crowns and necklaces, bracelets, rings, anklets and toe rings of flowers and be flower fairies.  We’d both fall asleep thinking of this beautiful place and the fun we’d have there, between the worlds.

At some point, sitting there, “clearing” and breathing, a calm comes over me.  I cannot feel my body at all unless I move it, so I don’t.  A warmth tingles through my brain and I am only aware of my mind.  In this calm and within this stillness I have come to understand what it is, this thing called acceptance.  Dannica’s death.  She will never again walk through that door.  She will never again sleep in her bed.  She will never again do her laundry.  She will never again laugh or make fun of me for being a dorky little mom.  She will never bake her famous chocolate chip cookies again or make her amazing peppermint fudge at Christmas.  She will never send me another text message full of silly emoticons or answer when I dial her number or hear the messages I leave telling her I hope she’s fine and that I love her and hope we can have a girl’s day soon.  I don’t accept any of those things.  I won’t ever accept any of those things.

Acceptance is the simple understanding that my heart will ache in a very specific way as long as it beats.  That is the only acceptance there is.  It will hurt forever.  It will.  You may be saying to yourself or wishing you could tell me right now, “It never goes away, but it does get easier.”  No.  It doesn’t.  And *that* is what I am learning to accept.

The present moment is made easier by “clearing” by breathing by working and being of service to others.  This loss, is not made easier by anything.  I accept that.  That is what I can accept.