Begin Again.

I haven’t posted anything since October, a few days before Grandma passed away.

In my last post, I wrote about trying to get a bug out of my car and killing it in my attempts to set it free. I sat in the passenger seat while Mark drove us to the hospital to visit my grandmother. The Dodgers were playing in the first game of the World Series. Mark and I both wore blue and listened to the game on the way to the hospital.

At the hospital, we turned the game on the television. Grandma told us, in between moans, how she and Grandpa used to get season tickets. I’ve never seen her in so much pain. She shut her eyes tightly, crying aloud, her body tense and clenched. The pain would come in waves and last about a minute or so. She told us she waited to take the pain meds so she wouldn’t be out of it during our visit. I asked her to please take the meds.

At one point Grandma said, “Okay, I’ll have alcohol now.” She laughed.

“What did you say?” I said. “Say it again so I can get you on camera.”

We all laughed.

I never saw my grandmother drink alcohol my entire life. She never drank. But she drank Pepsi like water. Before we left for the hospital I asked if she needed anything. The answer was, “A cold Pepsi.”

I knew from seeing her in so much pain and the alcohol comment that this was not a good sign.

At some point she finally got her meds and the pain decreased.

The Dodgers beat the Astros that night 3-1. I was glad she got to see it. And I was thankful my husband was there with us. He always made her laugh. We had a great visit despite the pain, there was Pepsi, Dodgers and laughter.

I felt guilty leaving her but her pain had subsided and Mark and I were starving.

We kissed her goodbye, told her we loved her and we’d see her again soon.

Mark and I left and as we walked toward the parking structure, Mark playfully grabbed me and pulled me into the stairwell for a romantic kiss. We kissed and laughed at our cheesy affections.

We went to sushi for dinner. Mark talked a lot with the sushi chef and the chef kept handing us things we didn’t order. But everything was delicious. I think he enjoyed our company.

I told Mark how appreciative I was that he went to see Grandma with me. And how I was so happy that he made her laugh.

We ate too much sushi, drank some beer and sake and felt comforted for the night.

Five days later Grandma passed away and the Dodgers lost game five of the series. Mark and I were there, along with other family members and friends, and it was a very long and heart wrenching day. There was a sense of peace when Grandma finally let go but I had yet to let go.

And I stopped writing for a number of reasons but mostly because I felt lost.

Well, I don’t feel as lost anymore but I’m still working on letting go.

There is so much I could write about her. I could fill a book. And maybe one day I will.

The one thing I will say is: she wanted to be the one, the only, the capital “G” – Grandma. She hated when I would say grandma followed by her name because she wanted to be number one.

Well, Grandma, you were it. My number one “G,” best G-Ma eva. I will love you always.

Little Life Moments.

I tried to save a bug tonight. Actually, I tried to get it out of my car. It sat beside the windowsill of the passenger seat. I lowered the glass with the press of a button. Once it was down, I flicked the bug but it fell further down the side door. I flicked it again and tore its body apart. The bug died at my attempts to set it free.

When I sat down to write, this was the first thing I could think of. And I can’t tell you why, but moments like this stick out in my mind. Little life moments that last only seconds or minutes. They come and go swiftly like the wind.

Speaking of wind, another moment that struck me today was the way the dry leaves tumbled across the grass. They remained low to the ground like wheels rolling on the pavement. The leaves rolled on the earth with force from the wind. And they traveled like a herd of fallen stars.

Does this mean anything? What’s the significance?

I don’t know. It’s just what I remembered. And I felt like writing it down.

Painting with Punctuation.

I am a creature who thrives on creation. I need to change my setting, create new art and grow things. I have a craving for white walls, green plants, semi-colons and music: a few things I realized I needed in order to grow and feel alive.

The walls in my living room are an extremely light blue-gray. But they are not light enough. I want blinding-bright-light. The whitest-white that screams – clean! The perfect backdrop for a vibrant green. Green plants which provide clean air and bloom with life. I want my home to feel awake and alive. But clean. I need cleanliness and order. Life can be so messy, especially with three children. However, more plants means more dirt. I want more cleanliness and more dirt? What a contradiction!

It was just last night, I vacuumed a pile of dirt in the hallway. I carried the succulent in my hands and I bumped into Mia, or she bumped into me, either way – the plant toppled over and dropped to the floor.

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Recently, I took the children to the nursery and bought succulents (four small and one medium sized), an Aloe plant (which I guess is a succulent too), and a plant with blue flowers that supposedly attracts butterflies. We welcomed these plants into our home along with the herbs growing in mason jars on windowsills. There are a few spots in our home blessed with direct sunlight: the windowsills in the living room and the small balcony hidden behind lengthy blinds and a rusty colored couch. Yesterday, I put our plants with flowers on the balcony – which is more like a ledge – to bask in the sun. I think about putting more plants on the ledge, but worry the squirrels will knock them over. The squirrels are everywhere: along the walls, on the patios and in the trees. They have us surrounded. There are limits to what I can achieve with plants. Maybe what I’m really after is a blank canvas and something to paint with.
I guess I could paint with punctuation, instead of plants. And the squirrels wouldn’t eat my words. My words struggle to capture another tail: the elusive semi-colon. The act of dotting a comma is foreign to me. It seems sinful, yet sophisticated. Semi-colons have an arrogance about them. They’ve taunted me with their knowledge; the many things I do not know or have forgotten; I’ve been afraid to misuse them; I don’t want to abuse them. And I don’t want to appear as though I know what I’m doing; I don’t. But, I long for the confidence and the day I’ll use all of the available tools to get there.

Music is another tool I need to create but often forget about. I’ve been thinking up a plan to get music streaming through every room of our two-bedroom condo. But I have yet to follow through.

Last Sunday morning, I longed for a peaceful beginning: music, coffee and quiet children. I walked over to the Block Rocker, a large speaker near the fireplace, and sat on top of a stack of boxes beside it. The box I sat on, a black round hat box with a white floral pattern, was full of cords used to connect, energize and amplify sounds and images. Abe stood nearby, at the coffee table, very close to the speaker. I switched the block on and connected my phone via bluetooth. I pushed play and “Love Me Do” burst through with voracious volume. Abe jumped in fright and screamed with fear. His little arms reached out for me. I turned the volume down, grabbed Abe and put him in my lap. Our weight broke through the hat box. I laughed, stood up and held Abe in my arms. The music played at a comforting volume as I soothed Abe with a waltz around the living room. I heard a violin playing in the background. The instrument came to life as Alana wove the bow along the strings in her bedroom.

Two rooms filled with music. It was not a peaceful beginning, or day for that matter, but music played and my craving settled for just a moment. I’m working to satisfy the rest. The walls are not white – not yet – but they will be. But I hear music playing, I see greens growing and I am painting with punctuation.