Monday, February 25, 2013


What is it about peas and ravioli that prompts a child 48 hours shy of four to casually say,
Why do people sometimes cry when they're happy?


It wasn't my prowess at boiling water that prompted her thoughts.

What made you think of that, Pumpkin?

Flashback to this time last year when she asked what "Let it be" meant. Struggling to define an expression that's so simple it's complicated.
Well, our heart sometimes feels really good or really sad. And when something moves us, makes us really sad or really happy, our heart somehow makes tears. Good tears. Happy tears.
It just comes from inside.

Chew ravioli.
Spoonful of peas.

Like when you were born, I was soooooo soooo happy that you were here in my arms, safe and healthy that it made me cry. You were something that Daddy helped me make and it just felt so good to see you.
I'm so articulate.
(Great. Now we'll revisit how we made you.... Way to go Sus, way to go)
And when Addison was born and Simone was born I cried too - because I was sooo happy for Uncle Dave to have such special little people in his life, that I cried.

In truth I'm not sure I'll ever be able to encapsulate with words what Lily's birth day was like. It was preceded by seven months of darkness, daze, bewilderment, ache and marvel.

Wow. This is it.

What I got.
What he got.
What she gets.

Surrounded by the quietest quiet I've ever known.
Heard nothing around me.
Blank, unfeeling faces.
No one got it.

Unsplendid isolation.


But Lily moved. And kicked and lived. Persisted like crazy within.
Grew and grew, with one less artery to feed her and she just kept going.

It all makes sense now.

Like an acrobat, she was.
So much so that videos of late night maneuvers were National Geographic worthy.
And in those moments,
I smiled.
And I spoke to her, sweetly. Softly.
The only time I liked hearing my voice.
Heard my voice.
Heavy hearted but full of hope because of what she offered.
My Secret Girl.

So that day, nearly four years ago, my heart flipped again.
And joyous broken tears found a way out.
I had Maria by my side, Rita... south, at Dr. Paka's side. Robert at my elbow, and a Super-Nurse at controls.

Alan was on the wall, positioned where I could see him,
and he,

Then out came a child who must never feel the burden of being the life-saver that she is.

She must have been covered in fairy dust.

In fact, last night I spied red glitter on her bellybutton.

Yesterday we had her party, and I can still hear its soundtrack of giggles, squeals and delighted laughs.
Lily and her many sweet friends, some missing their dads too - and a new one to add, sadly, to her posse within the posse.
But he'll be OK too. We'll all watch over him.
Plenty of sad tears but happy ones too.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love like an ocean.

The best part of this morning was Lily singing Peace Like a River on her way to school.
And she's a belter.
I've got love like an ocean in my sooooooullllll...

Good way to start the day in the middle of a cold, dry, snow dusted month.
My birthday month, and Lily's.
Last week I made it to Alan's age when he passed away.
It was a day greeted with mixed emotions.
How did I get here
Why do I get this


So many moan and groan as birthdays approach.
Saddened by the passing of time.
What it means, what it measures, how much is left.
What has happened, what has not.

But how fortunate we are.

With our extra days, moments, highs and lows.

What so many would give to have even the worst of days.

Accept with grace, Sus.
Just do it.

Admittedly it is much more fun celebrating Lily's advancing life.
She will be four in just weeks - which I am reminded of hourly. Holidays are big in our home. Halloween and Christmas, apparently fast approaching - and I'm grateful to witness how she inhales it all.
Studies everything whether it is a piece of bread or a stick or human action.
I love to see her life take shape.

So glad I'm here.

Stored up inside me is my brother's voice when faced with life threatening illness himself,
I just want to see my kids grow up.
All I want.

He is still here.

So I got it good.

On my birthday as I sat on the floor, face to face with Lily - my hand steady with a spoonful of medicine - coaxing her to drink up, she cupped my face with her hands.
You know what your eyes say Mama?
What Pumpkin?

Daddy loves me.

And then she gave me a kiss.

How sweet she is
How sweet it is

All of this.