Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 In Review

This past year I...

Spent a long birthday weekend with two of my favorite friends here.
Saw Neutral Milk Hotel, Tool, The National, Justin Timberlake, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Rufus Wainwright, Merle Haggard, and Spoon in concert.
Remodeled our master bathroom.
Redid the floors in our laundry room, half-bath and kids' bathroom.
Got to visit the campus of Google in Mountain View, CA and OMG, y'all. It's as nuts as you've heard.
Visited one of my best friends and her toddler in Atlanta three times.

Sent my flip-floppin' kiddo to a gymnastics camp put on by none other than Bela "You Can Do Eet!" Karoli.
Surprised that same flip-floppin' kid with a trip to San Antonio to see her FAVORITE performer (Justin Timberlake, see above) in concert in San Antonio.
Spent an AMAZING week in a beautiful house right on the water in Maine.
Lost a dear friend to ovarian cancer.
Watched a taping of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" from the front row.
Started seeing a therapist regularly.
Finally bought myself a computer (I haven't had a computer of my own since grad school.)
Celebrated my 6th anniversary with BH and my 15th anniversary with my employer.
Laughed way more than I cried.
Managed the change management and communications on a MAMMOTH system implementation at work.
Arranged to take a 3-month writing sabbatical from work that will start in January.

It has been a pretty good year, and I'm looking forward to what lies ahead.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The Woman Who Couldn't Apologize

Even when she yelled, "Fuck you! I'm never coming back here! Good luck!" slammed the door and stormed out on Christmas eve, not caring that my 9 year old daughter was watching.

Even when she said to me, "You're mean and hateful. You make everyone around you miserable. You need help."

Even when she said to me, "I feel sorry for your husband and your daughter having to live with you because you're such a bitch."

Even when she told me my house was "disgusting," and a "torture chamber" for my child. Even then.

She would not apologize. Or rather, she could not apologize.

She couldn't understand how heavy her words were, how they bruised and beat me.

She doesn't understand the role she had played in the fracture of our relationship. In her mind, I've built the chasm between us. It is all my fault because I am just such an awful, uncaring person.

She will never admit that she might be the slightest bit wrong, even though she is the only person on this planet who believes all these horrible things about me.

This is what she thinks of me, and she will never, ever apologize for the damage she's done.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

For Kim, On What Would've Been Her 46th Birthday

I thumbed through books filled with the words of others,
hoping to find that perfect couplet
the resonant stanza that could
or would
convey what it is to lose
a teacher, a sister, a mother, a daughter,
a friend.

But nothing and no one
described the way I fell to my knees when I learned you were gone
or how we cried in a restaurant while toasting you,
not caring what anyone thought,
or how reading of the way you had made so many others
laugh, learn and grow
during your short, brilliant ride on this beautiful terrible planet
made all of us even more grateful for you.

Instead I went back to a lesson learned as a child
while standing around a pond at summer camp.
On the count of three, dozens of us threw green pinecones
into the mirror-still water.
In silence, we watched as the ripples from each spread out
and touched the others over and over again
until every one was connected
and the pond was alive with movement.

Each child you've taught, each friend you've made, each tear you've dried, each laugh you've shared
THAT is what connects us to you now

You have gone, but the pond is not still.
Your waves run through us all and across this place.
We catch the shimmer of you in the autumn light
and commune in the stillness of your beauty,
offering thanks for your overwhelming love and strength.