Monday, November 30, 2009


Tony has come and gone back to Colorado.  It was so wonderful seeing him.  It felt like Mary was just around the corner.  He is still very lost without her.  We talked, we cried, we cursed together.  I told him how much talking to someone about Mary helps me.  And I’m not sure why it helps so much.  It’s like a release valve.  He knows he needs some kind of reason to keep going but he can’t find it.  He seems to be looking for something, which is good.  He doesn’t have all the distractions we have. 

His parents came home on Saturday.  Tony ate dinner with them but didn’t stay with them at night.  We all ate together on Sunday night too.  Mary bought dinner for us.  I wish he had a better relationship with his parents.  But there’s nothing I can do.

When we started eating Thanksgiving dinner no one said anything about Mary.  I wasn’t sure what to do.  I kept talking about Mary’s coleslaw.  Tony pulled me aside and wondered why no one said anything.  So, I got everyone together and we toasted Mary.  It’s very hard sometimes to even think about her without bursting into tears.  And then sometimes I can talk about her for awhile and be very calm. 

I bought Tony a punching bag so he could have something to hit and release his anger on but he didn’t use it.  Not sure if I’m going to keep it or not.

We re-did Kerry’s computer room so he could have a ‘retreat’ from the world.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Black holes

Life Link came to my work and gave a presentation on donating life.  Yes, it’s more than just “organs”, it’s LIFE.  Only 5 people attended.  The Life Link lady, a kidney recipient, and my friend who donated one of her kidney’s (living donor) all talked for around an hour just as if there had been 40 or 50 people watching.  Yes, many had excellent reasons they didn’t come.  I guess I should assume other people didn’t come because they were already signed up to be organ donors.  Still, there was still much to be learned, and I did.  I wasn’t embarrassed, I was disappointed.  But I have come to find out, just as I was told I would, others don’t live and breathe things to do with Mary.  I may want the world to acknowledge her every minute of every day as I do but it’s not realistic.  I have to learn to accept this.  It’s hard.  The world lost a life of immeasurable vastness.  You cannot imagine what she could have accomplished.  There is a hole in the “life force” (as Star Wars calls it) that I don’t want to be filled in.  I want it to remain empty so all will see.  But, as with holes everywhere in the universe, over time, something is sucked into it and it fills up.  Especially black holes.  That’s what’s left right now – a freakin’ BLACK HOLE.

I cried going home.  But I got over it.  I truly don’t want anyone to understand what I feel or how I feel.  I want them to appreciate how I feel by appreciating their families and to realize the support they give me is so needed and appreciated by me. 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Random thoughts

I went to Compassionate Friends meeting last Thursday.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  There were about 14 people there.  2 others were also there for the first time.  One young mother had new born triplets and lost each of them one at a time.  How do you get through something like that?  Is it different when the child is very young, when you don’t know their personality?  When you haven’t seen the gifts they have to offer the world and know they’ve been erased forever?  I guess the only person who could answer that is someone who has lost both an adult child and a baby.  How awful.  People like to say that when you get to heaven you will be reunited and you will know each other.  How would you know your baby?  Are they still a baby in heaven?  Or did they grow up with a snap of god’s fingers?  Why do people tell you things they can’t possibly know?  Is it really to make you feel better or to make them feel better? 

I’ve been shopping for thanksgiving dinner.  Family is coming.  Mary will have a dish at dinner.  She made the most amazing coleslaw one year.  So, she will be making it again.  I just have to find all the ingredients.  We will toast to Mary with our Amaretto slushies and talk about how much we love each other.  We will spend hours just holding hands and kissing each others cheeks just one more time.  Just to make sure that the last time we see each other we will have said “I love you”.  Love doesn’t protect, it’s just the glue that keeps us together.

Now that someone has twisted my words into something they are not, it is very hard to write.  Like someone watching you paint a turns into trash with every stroke.  Feels like they are laughing at every letter I type.  So I will write to myself for now.  Will the hurting of people ever stop?  Were evil people ever sweet little babies when they were born?  What changed them in their life to make them so awful?  So unlovable to themselves and others?  So mean and vengeful?  How can a mother prostitute her 5 year old daughter?  What plan is this?  It’s just free will, I guess, and evil people.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Went to Drake today to ask them to donate some money to the computer science scholarship for Mary.  There were 8 of her friends plus the president of the company.  They came up will all kinds of fund raisers they want to do in Franklin.  It was pretty awesome that they want to keep Mary’s spirit going as much as I do.  And Mary didn’t think very many people knew who she was at Drake!  She touched so many more lives than she ever imagined.  It is incredible.
Let me tell you what it feels like walking in Mary’s footsteps around Franklin , NC.  F---- horrible.  I’m trampling on the images of her walking, talking to her friends, working at her desk, laughing and eating with her friends.  She is still very much alive at Drake in all their work days.  Her name is still in all the code she wrote, the manuals she wrote for training, at least once a day she is mentioned somewhere.  At least that’s what they tell me.  I believe them.  I have to.
I walked along the streets and paths that she walked every day.  Talked to the same people she did.  Probably ate at the same restaurant.  This is why people don’t go “back” to places where their loved ones were.  I realize that I’m still living in the house she grew up in.  But she wasn’t living here.  I didn’t see every single day, 8 hours a day.  All of my memories were always about her as a child.  All the pictures, the school papers, and report cards.  I can deal with those.  It’s the pictures of her from last year, the last month, last week memories that are tearing me apart.  I look at them and it’s as if she’s just around the corner.
They have rearranged the desks in the office so her “desk” is gone.  No one has “taken her place”.  Her plaque is beautiful.  She will be remembered long after I’m gone.  My thoughts are bouncing like a beach ball lest they stop and I decompose.
I’ve got so many things to do. I’ve got to get organized.  I need my Mary to help me.  Where are you, girl?  Speak to me.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I believe I have the mostly amazingly patient son ever born.  He puts up with my nagging about taking his pills and getting his blood tests done with a smile after each word.  Then he does what he wants on his own time!  When you look up the word patience in the dictionary, you see a picture of Danny. 
I wanted to say something else today but I can’t for the life of me think of what it was.  I’m always reciting long winded speeches in my head while I’m driving, sitting around, painting, or even watching TV.  Many of them are directed at “that man”.  Many are aimed at other possible/probable drunk drivers in an effort to warn them and hope they have enough conscience to understand the pain they might cause.  Unfortunately, most can’t see beyond the end of their noses which is why the do what they do.  Other times I’m merely ranting to myself about how much I miss Mary and all the things we should be doing together.  Then there are the poems and songs I compose.  I usually forget the words minutes after I say them.  I’ve even tried to record them.  But driving and recording goes together about as well as driving and crying.  Should have a sign posted that says “if you are not a professional, don’t try this in the car”......

Sometimes the things I think in my head I can only say in a poem.


Regrets Regrets
Feels just like sand upon my teeth
Regrets Regrets
Or like pins on the cushions of my feet
Every single time I said good bye
Whether on the phone or staring in her eyes
I said “I love you”,  I said “I love you”
My regrets are for what could have been
Not for what I should have done and when
Time cannot heal …….what isn’t said
Regrets Regrets
They are the mud upon my shoes
Regrets Regrets
They are the sadness in the news
Some would say that I’m the lucky one
Luck is only for when you’re having fun
This pain is real……it will not fade
Every single time I said good bye
I said “I love you’…..

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mary's blankie

Sunday I met with the promotions manager at McCray’s Tavern where I’m having Mary’s birthday party.  It’s a fund raiser for Mary and Danny’s funds.  All last year Mary wanted to raise money for Danny’s transplant fund so we could reach the $10,000 level.  But most of the time to raise the money was during the development season at her work.  That meant she hardly had time to breathe much less eat. 

So this is Mary’s chance to help Danny’s fund.  The girl I talked to went to school with Danny and walked in the walk-a thon the school had for Danny.  Small world.  They have done events like this before and will help gather donations for the raffle.  As I was riding to work Monday morning talking to someone (on a hands free headset) telling them all about my plans for the birthday party when I realized the emptiness of celebrating without Mary.  She loves to have birthday parties for other people.  The three of us went to Mc Cray’s the Friday before Julie’s birthday.  Saturday she decorated the house for Julie’s 30th birthday party.  Friends and relatives came to wish Julie happiness.  Julie went home around 9pm.  That was the last time she saw Mary.  They did talk and text over the next few days.  But the last hug and kiss was on Julie’s birthday. 

People still tell me “Mary would want you to …..” or “Mary wouldn’t want you to ……”.  But all I can think is that Mary is still pretty damn pissed at not being here to do all the fund things with us.  And I’m not talking about all the things we are doing “in her honor or memory”.  We wouldn’t need to be doing those things if she were here.

As I keep planning for parties and doing all the new things I’m trying out, I am pushing the reality of Mary being gone under the grief blanket I created.  I didn’t even realize what I was doing but I know I’m ignoring the truth that hurts.  Tears come only when I allow my self to think about where she is.  I know I’m balancing fantasy with reality but it helps me get through the days.  I don’t ever ask “when will the pain go away or lessen” because the pain keeps Mary alive and beside me.  It keeps me from even considering the idea that I’ll “get over it in time”.  I just haul that “blankie” (as Mary used to call her baby blanket) around with me all the time.  Speaking of “the blankie” – Mary slept with her blankie until the edges were so ragged it started unraveling.  She kept cutting it back and when she was in 4th or 5th grade she made it into a pillow case.  She took it with her when she spent the night with friends.  She always had her blankie with her and no one knew it!  Sometime in high school I think it finally fell apart.  Although, if I ever finish going through all her things downstairs I wouldn’t be surprised if I found the remnants.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Candles in my brain

I remember in years past when we, as a family, were making our first trip together on a plane.  We were going to Alaska.  I told Kerry that I think he and I are supposed to travel separately, each with the kids split between us.  This was in case something happened to the others there would still be a parent alive to take care of the other children.  He told me if anything happened to the kids he didn’t want to be around so we all traveled together.  Nothing ever happened.

The sayings “never say never” and “you won’t know what you will do till you get there” are probably the most accurate of any I have ever known.  Although I’ve always lived by the first, I did think I would know how I would respond in most situations.  After all, who knows me better than me?  But I was wrong.  Dead wrong.  So wrong that I surprised even myself.  Even today I still don’t know what I will be doing tomorrow or even the next hour.  Never have I lived “minute to minute” like I do now.  Although that should bother me, it doesn’t anymore.  I’ve always been somewhat of a planner.  I used to think that’s what mothers do.  Or at least one parents.  Someone has to remember to carry all the necessary health care products and extra clothing on outings.  I’ve always assumed that’s what purses were created for. 

Because of Danny’s heart there has always been this little candle light of knowledge flickering in the back of my mind that he might not make it.  There, I’ve said it.  This is something I’ve never actually said out loud.  Danny has said in the past that he probably won’t make it past 30.  I, of course, shun his every negative thought with grandiose pictures of old age.  His thoughts aren’t really that negative, more like stating a fact.  So this little candle light is bright enough to cause me to envision what I would do if something happened to Danny.  I have no freakin idea now what I would do.  Probably go into a catatonic state – that sounds reasonable – then I can just ignore life and dream my fantasy of life as it was.  Or maybe just stop breathing......My counselor says not to go there.  Planning for disasters doesn’t make it any less painful when it happens (true). It just makes you live the pain longer (also true).  Now, you go tell my psyche that.

I think I’ve said this before but I have noticed lately that little things irritate me more.  Stupid little inanimate objects that fall over (cups on the shelf), stick to you (lint), burn (toast), and most especially talking inanimate objects – like the pot hole commercial.  I almost gagged when I heard that one.  I used to not be so irritable.  I can feel it in my shoulders all the time.    

I have to force myself to slow down and take a breath.  I never find time to write anymore because of all the other things I want to do.  I can feel the words backing up in my brain causing a blockage.  I know there is ‘writers block’.  Is there something called ‘writers constipation’?