Friday, January 18th 2019
NOTE: Contemplations on the end of life written before six flights scheduled in 10 days, and posted after completing all of them safely, FWIW!
Maybe I’m a little afraid today, but not much. I’ve been flying my whole life so it’s not the biggest deal. But seeing all the TSA security folks working their butts off and knowing they are receiving no pay; it’s boggling. They even found a secret little multi-tool in my wallet today I’ve flown with tons of times before.
And yeah, I stayed up all night packing and fussing over things, because it’s the only way I know. But somehow taking leave of my family hurt extra today. Maybe because we know the airplanes haven’t been inspected and the air traffic controllers are financially strained so it’s just a matter of time before the soaring tin cans start falling from the sky. All due to this inconceivable, unhinged, incomprehensible, bloviating, petulant asshole. I prefer to see him as a symptom of the GOP and not the driving force. But looking around it is amazing the number of people he is able to hurt -“on both sides” of our borders- with a tantrum stunt that hijacks the whole country.
[Edit rant about Bitch McConnell overseeing the whole thing, the thousands of children they’ve already kidnapped for detention, molestation and torture, and the latest goal of MORE military escalation, to scratch the surface.]
But if I die here is what I want my children -and Dear Hubsand- to know:
1) I die happy. So incredibly and extraordinarily happy I cannot begin to fathom the incalculable amount of fortune I’ve had in my limited little life.
2) I die doing what I love; traveling with this conflagration of tremendous knuckleheads, these exquisite, exceptional, unique and priceless human beings; on our way to a gathering of even more of us to further professionally develop these attributes in the service of enhancing lives.
3) You will be okay. Obviously that is impossible to hear, very close to a devastating loss. But it’s true. They way loss works is that it crushes you and destroys everything as you knew it. And you cannot imagine that things could ever be okay again unless they are restored to they way you knew it before. But what can happen, if you let it, is that your life WILL go on, and all the chaos will sometimes begin to have a little footing here, a little comfort there. Along with the pain, you will discover strengths you never knew. You will discover coping mechanisms. You discover support, in different forms. Friends and loved ones, in different forms. You will be surprised both by people you never expected to be there for you, and by those who aren’t. Because they are hurting too and they don’t know how or can’t.
4) The problem with pain is that it HURTS. SO. Much. It is debilitating. Truly debilitating. Like a bad car accident or bad disease. And you must take no shame in any of the ensuing incapacitation. Healing takes time. So much time. And there’s little you can do to speed up the process. You take all the time you need. Pull that blanket up around you, hold each other a lot, watch all the marvel and anime you can possibly handle. And please throw in some Bill Murray, among other things.
5) If this seems morbid, leaning into the possibility is my way of inoculating against it happening anytime soon. If this seems unedited, sleep deprived, dashed off at the terminal gate haphazardly, well it is. So maybe I’m sleep deprived and feeling a little weepy and existential. One doesn’t really know when one is going to die. How is one supposed to know when to tell your loved ones your final thoughts?
6) I am crossing through that gate, and I expect to cross through many more, fully well, healthy and in this lifetime. But what our culture ignores all the time is that there is neither a guarantee nor any rhyme or reason why this should be so. Nobody –no one– gets out of this lifetime alive. It is exactly natural and acceptable that a child loses its mother. If you can believe that.
And the child lives -if painfully and confusedly and never the same at first- to continue developing their lives and go on to become the amazing people they were destined to be. The road doesn’t always bend in the ways you envisioned.
7) Loss feels like torture. And so it is. And you did nothing to deserve it. And it’s not fair. And there’s no reason for it. Life isn’t fair.
8) BUT… what a run we had! I have more fun and privileges than a person could ever hope to have. I would not wish any of it different. Well, except for more time with you. For that my appetite will never be slated. Our Flamly time has been the greatest privilege of my life. Specifically -and I hope you forgive me for this Dear Hubsand- being the mother of Gavin and ClaraJane. How unbelievably awesome it is to know you, to be with you, to love you, to guide you, to tangle with you, to clash with you, to learn with you, to snuggle you like there is literally no tomorrow; to be your mother.
I think I finally understand Joanie Mitchell’s lyrics:
I could drink a case of you and still be on my feet…
9)The over ten and seven years I’ve had with each of you have been the very favorite of my life. Gavin you have been a saint lately and so appreciative of your privileges. You show this every day with your personal conduct; how you treat others, yourself, your work, your play and your responsibilities. ClaraJane, when I was kissing you goodbye this morning you went from mumbling in your sleep to packing me a ginormous Box of Kisses. You even got up and followed me into the kitchen to administer instructions on how and when to take them on my trip.
10) WELL CHEERDLEN, I have a magic indestructible Glass Elevator Box of Mamma’s Love to enshrine you the rest of your days. It doesn’t matter when I die because no matter how long I live I could never love you enough, and I could never finish loving you. I will ALWAYS be with you, loving you, guiding you, protecting you to the best of my ability, encouraging you to taken those intelligent but daring steps even when it terrifies you. I will be in the silky smoothness of kitten’s fur, in the playful defiance of his perpetual attitude problem, the inarguable rumble of Peter Parker’s purr, the unapologetic buffering and fatness of Flash Cat’s essence. I will be floating around in the corners of music you discover throughout your life, whispering to you, holding you and filling you up. I will be in the throes of drama when you dive into a good good story. I’ll be in all the fringe, experimental and circus theatre you get to dance with, the occasional inexcused cuss word, and definitely in every bit of fabulous, wonderful, sometimes inappropriate comedy and laughter. To that point I will be the relief you feel after every fart you break into the wind. And I will especially live in your relationship with each other. But you know this. So please take care of each other. I know you will. It won’t be perfect, but it is still my crowning achievement and the most beautiful thing I know. And I will be in every wolf howl, saying “IWoveYoooooooooooo!!!”
11) So our relationship will feel different now. And you will do a lot of work on yourself to get to a point where the new normal will pass muster. We can never go back to what we had. But didn’t we have it though. My my my. And,
12) Don’t forget the blog. I know you wouldn’t but I’m not sure you understand it’s a time machine I built for you. It will be there as long as the infrastructure holds out. And I, your mother, will be embedded in the circuitry of the universe -watching out for you, listening to you, helping you the best I can, learning from you, loving you. And being so, so, so very proud of you.
Nothing, not anything, can ever change that.
Remember you will be okay.
Even if not today.
Love Always and Forever, past Uranus across the Universe and back,
Your Own Dang Mom
PS: And take care of your dad. Be as good to him as you can. After all I got you the very best one I could find. And he has been so breathtakingly good to me. And what a time we’ve had.