Sunday, June 27, 2010

Coming Home

100_0381_1496 It was wedding weekend.  My daughter’s friend was getting married and she was a bridesmaid.  It would be the first time she has come home from Atlanta since moving there in April and she was looking forward to seeing her family and other friends and she was bringing her boyfriend along.  There was the wedding, parties with friends, and, never having seen old Mom dance in public, she would get to watch me perform at Pridefest on Saturday with my dance troupe.

It’s hard to go home once you leave.  You come home with expectations and things don’t always go as planned.  The time available to spend with her friends was short.  Their schedules didn’t line up with hers this weekend.  And after waiting for 20 minutes in the blazing hot sun for the dance performance to start, she and my son ran to go pick up their waiting lunch and missed the performance.  So she still has not seen her old Mom dance in public.

100_0367_1482While she was busy with her wedding obligations, her boyfriend and I got to spend time together.  I have known him since he was a small child but we really don’t know each other.  We didn’t do anything special but we had fun and now have a comfort level with each other that was not there before.  I approve.  He is a great guy and he fits right in with our crazy little family.  So it was a good weekend.  When we weren’t doing the wedding things we watched soccer, ate out, saw a movie, chatted about music and old times.
And then it was Sunday.  It started early this morning.  I was dreading her to leaving but I didn’t say anything.  She went about packing quietly.  “We need to leave about noon” she mentioned.  “I don’t really want to go”.  I didn’t say anything.  I know she misses us but I know she can’t stay.

We went to get something to eat before they left.  We talked about her not being able to see her best friend for more than a few minutes.  She said she wished she could stay a few more days.  I told her we would plan another weekend when there was not so much to do, when we can all just hang out.  We joked that she and her boyfriend could spend six months in Atlanta and six months here.  They dropped me off at the house before leaving.  I gave her an old iron from the garage and she packed up the Wii and Playstation to take back with her. 

Casey and Wes 6_27_2010I really had to work hard to keep the tears away so she wouldn’t see.  This time was harder than when she first moved. I miss her.  I stood in the driveway as they drove away and I saw her cry.  I can’t watch her cry.  I tried not to wipe the tears away until after they were down the street.

It’s hard to watch your child struggle even when you know it’s a good thing for them.  She is in a new city and starting to make new friends.  It’s hard to pay rent and utilities and insurance and car payments and buy groceries.  It’s easier to be taken care of at home where there is a mom and a big brother that love you.  It’s comforting to have your friends around you that you have known since middle school.  But she loves being in Atlanta and she loves that boy.  So she will figure out how to do it and eventually we will both do it without tears.


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Friday, June 18, 2010

Not On My Bucket List

8_8_08_weeping I have heard a great deal of discussion lately about Bucket Lists.  Seems like everyone has one.  As people talk about what they did last weekend or what they plan to do this summer you hear “yeah, that’s on my bucket list too”.  I hear it a lot.  Maybe it’s my age.

For those unaware, a bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”.  I don’t have a bucket list.  At least not a formal type of list.  I have a lot of things I want to do before I die but those things change as I get older.  I have also done a lot of what I wanted to do when I was younger. Maybe one day I will sit down and make a list
As I listened today to three people discuss items on their bucket lists, I very quickly came up with a list of things I have no intention of doing.  Evah!  So here are 5 items you will NEVER see on my bucket list:
  1. Jumping off of or out of anything over 5 feet high.  No planes, no buildings, no bungee platforms, no bridges.  Fear is good.  It keeps you safe. Strapping a backpack to my back that contains giant piece of shiny cloth that is supposed to make me float to the ground when I jump out of a flying airplane will never be on my list.  I’ve seen those Dateline stories!  Neither will strapping a giant rubber band to my ankles and launching myself head first over the side of a 30 story building.  Never, ever!
  2. Eating exotic foods.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to food but I have a pretty definitive line that I am not crossing.  Bugs are meant for squishing.  Chicken feet are meant for transporting chickens around the barnyard.  Sheep’s eyeballs are meant to allow them to see the farmer coming after them with the carving knife so they can run away!  If any of those things were meant for eating they would sell them at Kroger and Whole Foods.
  3. Hiking or climbing to the top of giant mountains.  I live at the foot of the Smoky Mountains in the Appalachian Mountain Range.  The mountains are absolutely beautiful.  I love to look at them and to be a part of them.  I even hike and climb around a bit.  But there is no peak anywhere that is waiting for a flag with my name on it.
  4. Interacting with wild animals.  No desire to go on a safari to see lions or tigers.  No desire to swim with sharks.  Or try to outrun a bull.  Or ride an elephant.  Most of those animals have large teeth or large pointy things sticking out of their heads.
  5. Anything that involves running any distance.  I am not, nor will I ever be like Forest Gump.  No desire to run across the country or even really across the street.  A marathon holds no interest and most certainly, neither does a triathalon.   Nope, not even a 5k although I have actually done one of those.  Cars were invented to cover long distances for a reason.
There are only 5 things I can think of so that still leaves a wide variety of choices that could actually make it to the list.  So . . . what’s NOT on your bucket list?
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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Nope, Still Not Any Easier

I keep thinking that this day will come and pass by unnoticed.  That hasn't happened yet.  It's been 9 years today.  The anxiety starts a few days before, coming on unexepectadly then fading.  Then when June 3rd arrives, that feeling in the pit of my stomach is there all day.

I relive the events of that day 9 years ago.  It was a fairly normal day even though the kids and I were in a different city, helping out my family.  I go through the day, the phone conversations and then the phone calls unanswered, the night spent awake and worried.  Why doesn't he call me back?  Where is he?  I'm not sure why I choose to torture myself that way.

I thought it would be easier by now.  Nine years is a long time.  Life did get easier but June 3rd is not.

I don't know if it ever will be.