Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Memories


When I was a little girl my Granddaddy always gave me a box of Brachs Chocolate Covered Cherries for Christmas.  When he died, no one bought me chocolate covered cherries at Christmas anymore.  When I was married to ex #2 I shared this Christmas memory one year.  That Christmas I received a box of chocolate covered cherries & he told me they were from my Granddaddy.  That is one of my best memories of that marriage.  Someone loved me enough to listen to how important that memory was to me, and saw to it that I knew he knew it was special to me.  Now I buy them for myself every Christmas & remember childhood Christmases.  I did it this year too.  It was very important to do this year.  I have had one or two of them every few days.  I will finish the box tonight when I am home after spending the day with friends & having dinner with them.

I remember the year I was 16 or 17 & my family went to see all the Christmas lights in the nearest big town.  Back when stores stayed open late & were located on Main Street.  Music played, all the windows were decorated, & as we walked in & out of stores I would comment on things I liked.  We would then stroll on, me & Mama.  As I would later learn Daddy would wait until we were in the next store & he would buy me everything I had picked out.  All those gifts were under the tree on Christmas morning - the peach colored bucket type shoulder bag, the arora borealis crystal pendant.  There was more but those two I have always remembered.  But mostly I remember the beauty of walking in & out of the stores so beautifully lighted with lovely Christmas music playing.  I always loved to shop with Mama.  We had so much fun looking at things, commenting, watching people, trying on clothes & shoes.  We would have lovely lunches & shop some more.  No one was a better shopping partner than my Mama.  I wish I had known the last time we shopped together would be the last time.  I took it for granted.  Now I cherish the memories.

Merry Christmas, dear readers!!  Cherish each day, each memory you make as if it is the last one.  Make today a special memory for your family & for you. 

~~blessed be...

Monday, December 13, 2010

I remember Mama...

I am not one of those people who immediately, upon the death of a loved one, make them into a saint.  I remember my departed loved ones quite honestly.  I have been doing the same throughout the weekend with my memories of my Mama.  We had such a turbulent, conflicted, not always pleasant relationship. But there were other times that we had such a great time together, really enjoyed each other's company.  Lots of times we had fun, laughed, acted silly, & just hung out.

In the words of Maya Angelou "We do the best we can & when we know better we do better".  That pretty much sums it up.  Mama did the best she knew how when I was growing up & when she knew better she did better with me.  But it took us years to come to being comfortable as mother & daughter.  She was always amazed when she would find out that I didn't know something.  Like the fact she thought I was pretty.  She never told me that until a few years ago.  She "thought" I knew.  She also thought I knew,without her telling me, that I was smart, she was proud of me, & that she loved me.  Well, guess what, I did not know those things.  That is why it is so special to me that I was the last person she spoke to & that those words were "bye bye" "I love you".  I think she came back just so I could hear those words, & could know without a doubt that my Mama loved me. 

We went almost 20 yrs without really speaking & never seeing each other.  I would always call during the Holidays & her birthday.  She never called me.  Never knew until it was all over how abusive my 2nd marriage was & how I had self-medicated.  She always refused to believe I was an alcoholic/addict.  She never saw me that way & for my Mama who always wanted everything to be perfect she had to believe it was not that way.  She had a vision of me that was impossible for me to live up to, but in these last 10 or so years she had come to appreciate the woman I have evolved into.  The belief system I have, the values I cherish, the strength & get it done attitude I have adopted.  I heard her tell one of her friends one day "We'll ask Donis, she always knows what to do & she will know how to solve this"  High compliment indeed.

I have been known in my family as "Wild Child" for a very long time because I was the adventurous one -the one with the gypsy soul.  The one who could just pack up the car & move across the Country on a whim because it sounded like fun or because whereever I was just wasn't working for me.   I think that independence both awed & scared my Mama.  I think she would have liked to have had the adventures I had, but I think that my having those adventures scared the hell out of her, for me. 

But in the end, I came back to Oklahoma.  Came home to take care of  Mama, but then took care of my brother instead.  Now I have honored Mama's final requests, carried out her final wishes.  Took care of business just as she knew I would when she gave me the instructions over & over.  Knew I would make sure the doctors did not prolong her life artificially.  Knew I would voice her wishes & carry them out.  Knew I had the strength to do it all.  Knew I could do her funeral service.  And I did it all.  Because Mama knew I would.

Several months ago I said to a friend "I'm here because I will have to take care of Mama at some point.  When she is gone there will be nothing to keep me here & I will move on with my life somewhere else.  Maybe I will return to Seattle or move to Florida.  Who knows."  Well, I love my job.  I love my house.  I have a life here that works for me.  So, I am after all, an Oklahoma Girl.  And it appears that here is where I will stay.  I still have a gypsy soul but my adventures will keep me closer to my roots for now.

I will continue to remember Mama.  Tonight I almost called her then remembered that I couldn't.  I don't imagine that will be the last time this happens. 

~~blessed be... 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hit the ground running

That's what my dear friend Sparky said to me yesterday when he asked how my day was going & I told him I just seemed to do nothing but sitting in the recliner & resting.  So he told me to take care so that on Monday morning I could return to work and hit the ground running.  Yep I said.  I'll do that & when people ask how are you I will lie and say fine.


7:15am  Wednesday, 12/01/2010 my Mama went Home to be with my brother, all who have crossed over before her, & her Savior.  She is happy, whole, no more worries.  Her service was Thursday, 12/02/2010 in my hometown.  She had requested a graveside service, closed casket, no wake or viewing.  Mama wanted her earthly body to be buried immediately so according to her wishes this was done.  We were able to go to the funeral home & view her body one last time before the casket was sealed. 

This is something my Mama wrote about grace that I found going through her papers the day she died.  I read it at her funeral.


Ephesians 2:8 & 9

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God not of works, lest any man should boast.


The grace of God says because you are saved, not in order to be saved.  You are not trying to keep a legalistic system.  You are responding to a system of love and peace.

What is grace?  It's what someone gives us out of the goodness of his heart, not out of the perfection of ours.  The story of grace is the good news that says that when we come, He gives.  That's what grace is.

Grace is a pleasant surprise.  Grace is a kind gesture.  Grace is something you did not expect.  It is something you certainly could never earn,  But grace is something you'd never turn down.

You know what happens when someone sees the grace of God?  When someone really tastes the forgivng and liberating grace of God?  Someone who tastes God's grace is the hardest worker, the most morally pure individual, and the person most willing to forgive.

Roberta LaDell (Groomer) Dowling Bolich
08/27/1932 - 12/01/2010


The following poem was paperclipped to the inside cover of her Bible.  I also read it at the end of her service.

"Miss Me, But Let Me Go"

When I come to the end of the road,
And the sun has set for me.
I want no rites in a gloom filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little, but not too long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me and let me go!
For this is the journey that we all
Must take, And each must go alone!
It's all a part of the "Master's" plan,
A step on the road to home,
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in good deeds.
Miss me, but let me go.


  So here, where I always speak the truth, I am NOT fine.  I am numb, I am sad, I cannot believe my Mama is no longer a phone call away.  I have not really cried, I have been too busy being strong & taking care of all that I have had to do since last Saturday.  Too many arrangements to make, doctors, hospice, going through her things (thanks so much to my dearest Aunt for helping me go through Mama's things & picking her final clothing).  Tears are coming and I know I just need to sob out my heart to Great Spirit, to the Universe.  But I am  so afraid that if I start I may never stop.  I got to hear my Mama say "I love you" one last time, she told me bye bye before she closed her eyes for what would be her final earthly sleep.  I know by brother came for her because she told me he was there.  I know she is so happy to be reunited with him, her parents, and all the rest.  But I want my Mama,  Damnit I want my Mama.  I want her to say "Donis" in that way that only she could.  Usually because she was appalled by something I had said or because she didn't want to laugh a some comment I had made or a joke I had told her.  But I remember her laugh when I would do my comedy routine for her.  She made me promise to never do it publically until she was dead because she was afraid someone would recognize her.  Now I don't want to do it without her.  But I know, after all these years & all our ups & downs, that beyond a shadow of a doubt my Mama loved me.  I am so friggin tried of being strong.  It is time to just lay down & weep.  I have let you go Mama just as you asked but I miss you so much.  It will be a long time before I am able to be "me" again.  But I will never be the me I was last week, for I have been forever changed.  I am all that is left of the family with whom I grew up.  I am alone with my memories.  No one remembers what I remember any more.  There is no one left with whom I share history from my childhood.  My shared history is now only 34 yrs old - the history I share with my beloved son. 

Gotta go now.  I will write more about Mama as the days, weeks go by.  There is so much to share.  So much I don't want to lose.  I love you Mama!! 

~~blesssed be...