Tag Archives: grandparents

Maude.

This is my mom.
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Actually, growing up I called her “Maude.” Now I call her “Mommy” a lot too.

I am ridiculously lucky to have her in my life, and around the corner, and so much a part of my day-to-day life.

But really, everyone in her life is lucky to have her. She is THE person you want on your team, in your corner, on your side.

She is a cheerleader, a confidante, an advisor, a shoulder, an advocate, and a fierce warrior for those she loves – in ways and at levels that I pray I will someday come anywhere near to achieving.

Teenage Keri was borderline awful to her – I reveled in finding ways to piss her off and defy her at times in my younger years. To this day (many MANY moons beyond being “teenage Keri,”) I will wake up out of a dead sleep remembering something crappy I did and fight the urge to call her and apologize for the jerk that girl was. (Sorry Mommy, seriously.) Time and time again she chose to see the best in me even when I was showing her only my worst. She chose to lift me up and support and empower me. (I might have chosen to lock me in my room if I was her.)

As her life-long best friend, Karen slowly lost her painful battle with cancer, my mom helped her family coordinate care. She spent days with Karen, helping her and listening to her and being next to her. I know it made her sad. I know it broke her heart.   Standing with someone in the final moments of a life, is impossibly difficult. I believe it is also an honor and a God given opportunity to call upon the strength of your humanity to be a gift for someone you love as their life comes to a close. I know that belief comes solely from my observations of my Mom as she cared for Karen; and for my Grandpa, her “Daddy,” as he slipped away as well. So much of how I view life, and my role in the world, has been shaped by the way I view her in it.

There have been times of profound loss and trial in her life, some at ages younger than I can comprehend experiencing such difficulty. I know they have shaped her, creating in her heart a combination of deep, genuine empathy, and a passion to fight for those she cares for with all she can give.

It leaves me in awe.

She is warm and welcoming, funny, smart, reasonable, supportive, fiery, compassionate, no-nonsense, generous, strong, beautiful, selfless, and so loving.

And so loved.

She is the mom I pray I can be to Jr. She is the person I pray I can become.

Happy Mother’s Day, Maude. Words don’t exist for how blessed I know we are to have you.

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Sick in the Suburbs

Last Friday night/Saturday morning – in the wee, dark, small hours when the house was blissfully asleep – I was possessed by a demon from the depths of hades.

Well, *maybe* that isn’t what actually happened, but I woke from a peaceful slumber and went into a very good imitation of Linda Blair and the split pea soup incident from the Exorcist in 2.2 seconds and it sure as shit felt like a foreign presence had overtaken my being.

I am proud to say that, after prayerfully holding down toast and chicken broth yesterday, I graduated to full Keri pig out mode normal today.  Huzzah – she’s back in the saddle again!!

That being said, it was by far the sickest I have been since we set up camp back in the old hometown, and there are somethings that are just different about being sick in the suburbs.

Don’t get me wrong, some of those differences are very good. Like the part when I realized that the foul and mysterious illness wasn’t a mere one-and-done attack of the barfs and called my dad early Saturday morning to come wisk Jr away from the giant puking germ his mom to the land of magical grandparent lovin’ now located 5 minutes away.

Also , there is the ability to shoot Binky-the-wonder-dog out the back sliding door to do his doggie business, no muss, no fuss.  Previously  that would have required me to get (semi) presentable and make it down the elevator and up and down the street while he tried to find a suitable spot to poo (making no promises that I wouldn’t then use that spot to ralph instead, taking us back to square one.)  However, that is only somewhat successful with a dog who is as reluctantly suburban as his mom is.

So there is that.

HOWEVER.

There is also the fact that packages don’t just get left in the lobby anymore.  The UPS/FED-EX/DHL/WT-to-the-F delivery person cheerfully dings on the door and waits for you to answer and receive your package “just wanted to make sure someone was home to get this.”   Yep, someone is home.  Oh look, it appears to be a female version of Beetlejuice toting a plastic bucket and groaning softly.

Also, living not only in the suburbs but also in the town where one was raised makes it completely impossible to “just run in for a few things” to the grocery store.

Someone I know is going to see me.

To see me in a slightly modified version of The Suit, with a bachelor basket full of bananas, saltine crackers, Jr diapers, and generic chicken noodle soup.  Unbrushed hair tied in an actual knot at the back of my head, no make-up on, doing a runner and praying that I make it at least back to the bucket in my car and don’t heave in isle 9.

(Blessedly this time it was my oldest, dearest friend, who was horrified only out of concern, but still didn’t deserve to see that dead man walking through the produce section, yo?)

I would say that the comically unneeded amount of square footage we have is a good thing, since it meant that The Mr was able to stay upstairs and away from my gross while I cowered on the sofa like a wounded animal hiding its weakness and watching TCM 24/7; except that the basement renovation has reached phase two (where we find nit-picky cosmetic stuff that we no longer like in our new pretty space and re-do it.)  This means that, based solely on what I know of how much sound carries through our vents in certain situations,  I am pretty sure that the contractor heard me power-barf in the 2nd floor powder room as he assessed the situation for new decorative tile in the basement bathroom.  Hot?  Not.

Basically living in the ‘burbs means that I am forced to inflict the sights and sounds of Illin’ Keri on way more actual people than I ever had to as a sicky in the city.   An experience NO ONE should really have to have.

I will say this – 4 bathrooms can really come in handy once in a while.  I never thought there would be a situation where I needed to be tripping over a bathroom every damn place I went in a house.

Keri can admit when she is wrong.

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It worked for Dolly. Just Sayin’.

Full time mom + Full time job + bathroom remodel contract supervisor + proud daughter of daddy with shiny new heart valve + shit I am forgetting right now = no sleep and need for clone.

I think I slept while making dinner last night. .  I did it but I don’t remember doing it.

Not enough me.

Just Sayin’.

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My Daddy

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So that’s me in the bed, snacking down on ice chips after Jr. was born. Jr is the burrito situation with the smooshie face and beanie.
The guy holding Jr the Burrito? That’s my daddy. “Pop” to his grandkiddos.

This has been a pretty big Father’s Day weekend for him. On Thursday – also known as his twin daughters’ 37th late 20ish birthday (oh gawd… old,) – he had a valve replaced in his heart that was even more in need of it than we realized before his docs got in there.
Here we are together again in that same hospital where Jr was born, but he’s the one who gets to lay down this time.

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My parents are pretty much the cutest thing EVAH. Married at 18, together through an amazing amount of life’s challenges, lucky enough to have adopted twin girls at 6 weeks old (ok, it is my sister and I who were the lucky ones… we got the BEST parents.)

And my dad?  My daddy? There aren’t words… I saw him in that bed when they let my mom and me in to his ICU room before he was awake after surgery, and a lifetime of moments flashed through my mind: two blond-haired little girls each up on a knee at the breakfast table while he read the funnies to us; hilarious impromptu tripple jump competitions in the back yard where he let us win and treated us to a Snickers bar from the Circle K as a prize; hearing him chaining up his plumbing van to go fix someone’s heat in the wee hours of cold, snowy winter nights; the time he came banging on the window of my first serious boyfriend’s car in his bathrobe after we sat just a little too long; the road  trip we took with two of my friends to visit West Texas A&M my Jr year; countless rodeos and country concerts and farm team hockey games he and I went to; his trademark daddy spin as he walked me up the isle to marry The Mr; all the moments I have watched Jr filled with pure baby glee playing with Pop; and a billion other memories of him and our family.

This Father’s Day we are celebrating the new ticking portion of his heart, and everything it means for him and everything he means to all of us.

I am so glad we get to keep him…. this daddy’s girl knows how very lucky she is.

Happy Father’s Day to my Daddy, The Mr, and all the Daddys out there. Thanks for all the little and big things you do for your kids and grandkids every day!

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