Fidgety, I climb within myself. This span of days knows my reasons. I am anxious. I am aware. Deliberately with heavy purposes unbeknownst to those around me, I operate on the surface with head down in task mastery. I carve out no time for rest. No. No rest. For in rest, I am reminded even more confoundedly. I talk little. I share even less. I climb within. And sit. There. With me. Yesterday was hers. My Mom-Mommie would have been 84 years old. Tomorrow is Mom's. She would have been 63. In medias res is my October 11. Metaphorically, the image of above tells my story.
With wet locks and clean toes, my red night gown and I climbed into bed with my Eli last night. He lay on Kenny's side so smooth and still. I noticed his profile is looking more like that of a young man as the lamp light's glow cascaded down on his peaceful slumber. His jaw bone more defined. His brow line more noticeable. I sat on Kenny's side of the bed and watched him for a bit. Stroking his bare arms and fiddling with the covers over him like I did when he was a tiny baby. Kenny and I will sporadically call "sleepover nights". These are nights where one of us will sleep with a boy. They are never planned and only happen every now & again. The boys get so excited when these nights come around. Last night I called one. I called one and asked for Eli. Eli Garrett, I needed you, sweet boy. Because of you, I am one of them, my first born. Because of you, I know them more. Eli, you are your Mama's heart strings. We are fashioned out of the same cloth. Our souls sync without words. I needed no one else but you.
In the middle is tricky. It's antsy and sometimes streaked with wild strokes of anger only followed by sadness. Memories move into you encapsulating your present. Remember Mom's hands, Meghan. Do you remember them? You do, right? What about Mom-mommie's smell? Do you remember that? Can you remember how her back felt when you hugged her? Can you? What about what Mom would say? You know when she sat and talked with Dad. Do you remember how they would laugh and plan grocery lists? Do you remember how she liked her coffee? Do you? How she wore her robe? And, Mom-mommie when she counted money at their store. Do remember the back office? Do you remember how neat and efficient she was? Can you? Do you remember what she would tell you when you were upset? Do you remember her constant worry over cars and your hand in the parking lot well into your teens?
Flooded. Swooned. Yes, confoundedly they come. In medias res is my today. And, I write real for a reason. Not to dampen spirits or to pull out the pity for me. No. I write honest for memory's sake. As memories are precious. So very. I cling to them with a crazed possession. They are mine. Please don't leave me. Please. I can handle you. You are all I have. No, don't leave. But, the pressure of reality is overwhelmingly immediate & present. Just go. Move on. Hurry. If the 13th would just get here already. I know they are no longer here. I know. I have operated this thing called life for so many years with out one and with growing years without the other. Pierced, my heart bleeds an ache that can only be understood if you live in the without.
And, as I fiddled with the images to ready myself for this post last night, I found myself looking away for relief. For a safe haven from the buried miss yous that were being pulled out of the chest of my me. I always fight the cry. I have no idea why, but I do. I want honor and respect for them each and every time I meet their memory. And, somehow, I feel tears do not belong. I fight. Oh, do I.
My Eli lie to my right snuggled in slumber. I counted 4 times that I fell flat faced into the crook of his back twisting myself askew & awkward away from the computer screen for solace. My cries were heaving and deep. Like dead weight, I pressed into his growing body. With an emotional myriad of sadness & sweet, I thanked God for my boys. For giving me the chance to be one of them. For the overwhelming outstretch of love I now have in my being because of Eli and Casey. Intertwined with these whispers of thanksgivings were deep confined shouts of I miss you. With clenched teeth. Sobbing. I miss you so very much. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. Thank you for being my Mom. Thank you for being my Mom-mommie. Thank you for loving me. I am so proud to be yours. I love you. I love you. I love you. Hushed and hurried, I emptied my within. Eli never moved. Deep in dreams, he carried me. My first born.
My maternal grandmother was my softest place. She was so many things my Mom was not. So many things I am not. She was petite and quiet with a smile that overtook the room only when she let it. Her laugh was uncontrollable when she got tickled. And, just as soon as she lost control of her happy explosion, she worked quickly to regain composure. She lived a life poised and efficient. She was a worker. A servant behind the scenes of my grandfather's glory. Introverted, she was the quiet one. And, in her quiet I found my rest. Merriam Loraine was beautiful. Using only a Merle Norman powder puff and a 3 rotation carousel of lipsticks, she beamed. Her brown eyes were big and her skin was supple and soft. She was a lady. Put together and pressed. She found strength in the details. Ironed creases in pants, the same sections of velcro curlers patterned in her hair for preparation, corners of bills straightened and situated as she did the accounting for my grandfather's music store. She lived to be excellent. For others. Her place in my life was sacred. She loved me. So very much she did. She wanted me to feel love. She gave me moments of rest and pretty. I love that she would take me to the Merle Norman store just down from their music store in the mall. She would talk to me about colors I enjoyed. She would let me take home samples if I asked. Mom-mommie would give me white bread toast and she would buy me the pair of heels or sandals I so desperately wanted on occasion. She loved sitting and talking with me. With no particular subject in mind, we would ramble. She found my heart and helped it to grow in such the sweetest way. Once I stayed home after Eli was born, I made it a point to go down and visit her every year on her birthday, 10/10. The day was spent sitting with her. I am so thankful for the string of 10/10's that I was able to share with her at the end of her life.
She carried Mom. With her. And in her. For me. She could barely speak of Mom as her memory evoked emotion Mom-mommie was not willing to share. Privately and in her own person, she grieved the loss of her daughter. 6 years after Mom's death, I married Kenny. Mom-mommie was the one to place the yellow rose into the centerpiece that stood in honor of Mom. This centerpiece stood beside me as I became Kenny's wife. I love this picture. Last night I studied it intensely. A lady of quiet strength represented the place void of a woman so boisterous and busy and bold. She carried my Mom. With her. And in her. For me. On this day and on all the days until 5 years ago this December, she did.
And tomorrow, the 12th will find me. I'm treading now. Right now. Fast and strong, my legs circle rhythmically in the waters of them. In and out in and out, my hands time their strokes to keep me afloat. Memories keep me buoyant. Memories make me sink. It's the push and pull of the water that strengthens my middle. Resistance. Release. Resistance. Release once more. In medias res is my today. And, I write real for a reason. Not to dampen spirits or to pull out the pity for me. No. I write honest for memory's sake. To grow deep and to reach out. For now is my time. Now is my memory making. As I carry them with me in the work of my hands and in the hideaways of my heart. In my smile that looks a lot like my Mom's. And in the soft places where I sink to soak up my Mom-mommie still. Eli's ability to get me will always be Mom-mommie to me. He is my soft place. My first born, the carbon copy of me. Intensity and passion and high energy and awkward tendencies and bouts with the battles of perfectionism, he gives me grace. He knows my within. For in him, I am there. And, she is there too. Harmoniously and what I like to call a beautiful entanglement, our past pulls out our present. It's the push and pull of the water that strengthens my middle. Resistance. Release. Resistance. Release once more. I needed him by my side last night.
I am one of them now. And, have been for 8 1/2 years. I know this love. This one. The one that will take your breath away. The love that will boldly stand and fight. The kind of love that wants the best and instructs only to inspire and instill morals laced with a heavenly hope. Yes, I am one of them. And, God so preciously reminded me of this just yesterday. He painted the image you see above. And, in His perfect timing he whispered, "Capture it." This overwhelming outstretch of love. Harmoniously and what I like to call a beautiful entanglement, our past pulls out our present. I carry them with me in the work of my hands and in the hideaways of my heart. It's the push and pull that strengthens my middle.
In medias res,