There’s an unholy trinity, of sorts, that we all know. The three dates on the calendar we all dread: her birthday, the day she died, and Mother’s Day. The first two are yours to cope with any way you’d like; short of a phone call from family or your closest friends, the outside world doesn’t know the significance of the day. You can celebrate, grieve, or simply hide.
On Mother’s Day, though, there’s no hiding. It’s a cruel joke of a parade, amplified tenfold by Facebook and every other stream of media surrounding you—friend after friend singing the praises of their wonderful mother, smiling next to her with mimosas at brunch this morning, telling the world they “don’t know what they would do without her.”
Continue reading For The Motherless, On Mother’s Day
So there we were, an extended family of about one dozen scattered about the sectional couch, tentatively and collectively focused on the television across the room showing the final minutes of the movie Elf. The little ones had quieted down for a few minutes; for a scene or two we could hear the words instead of just watching the images flicker by.
Then, in the penultimate scene of the film, Zooey Deschanel gets up on a carriage and starts signing Christmas carols to… I don’t know, something about Christmas Spirit and an amount of it needed for Santa’s sleigh to take off – or an idea along those lines. On the corniness scale, this ranks somewhere past Nebraska in August. If Splenda could talk, it would tell this scene to tone down the sweetness a notch. Continue reading The True Value of Christmas
In the days that followed her passing, during the grim perfunctory tasks that come with cleaning up after a life, my mother’s handwritten journals made their way into my hands. There were five books in all, each one spiral bound with a very Hallmark-esque pastel flowery cover. Newspaper clippings and hard copies of emails received rained from the books when handled.
Mom told us, my sister and I, before she passed, that she wanted us to read them; indeed, our eventual reading of them was her sole purpose for writing them. She wanted her children to know her, as an adult, in a way she never got to know her parents. My sister grazed through them immediately after her funeral; I read through a couple of the books during business trips over the Pacific in the subsequent months. I think subconsciously, neither one of us was ready to absorb any of the words – not yet.
Continue reading An Investment in Peace
Today, I had a much more normal night of sleep. The second I woke up is when the normal ended, though, because the first thing I heard was a muffled but booming chorus of people – it sounded like dozens – that seemed to be mere feet away from my window. Continue reading Rome : Day III – …to Torre