Monday, April 17, 2017

Please tell me that did not just happen...

It was a beautiful Easter day. Although not my holiday, it is a day I happily celebrate with my in-laws and we always have a terrific time. There is food galore, a frenzied and exciting Easter egg hunt, lots of laughter and more love than can fit in the house.

In the midst of the chaos and excitement and heat-wave that was Easter 2017, I excused myself to the go the bathroom. The window was open and I sat there for a moment, enjoying the sounds of the kids squealing outside. Then I picked up my phone and checked to see if I had any messages. I may have also scrolled through Facebook.

I stood up, washed my hands, checked my lip gloss and promptly dropped my phone in the toilet.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I have never moved so fast in my life. I retrieved my device, dried it as best as I could, ran outside to tell everyone and promptly put my rose gold beauty in rice (at the suggestion of almost everyone there).  

And then I was to wait 24 hours to check my phone.

After about 15 minutes, I started to sweat. And it had nothing to do with the temperature. I am so attached to my phone that not being able to look at it when I wanted to was actually giving me a panic attack. My hands were clammy and my mind was distracted. Even though there was nothing I needed my phone for right then, I was immobilized with fear as to what I would do if my phone was soon going to just be used for parts. 

Several hours later when we got home, I was able to check my iPad for urgent issues. Other than that, I had to wait.

Life without my phone was calmer. Life without my phone was less distracting. Life without my phone was scary! All I wanted to go was look up "What in the world am I supposed to do without my phone?!?!?!"

About an hour ago, I held my breath and powered up my electronic friend. The screen came to life. Everything seemed fine. There were a few rice kernels wedged into places where they did not belong, but with a thumbtack and patience, I got them out. All seems fine.

And now? Now I am writing about the experience while it is fresh in my mind. My daughter is in the room with me waiting for me to play with her. And my phone? It's sitting on the desk next to me safe and dry. There it will stay when I hit "publish" and go play with Miranda. There it can stay for the rest of the day. There are a lot more important things in this world than my phone.

Six years ago on Easter weekend, we lost Allie. Four years ago on Easter weekend, we found Miranda. This time of year is supercharged and I do not need to add to it with my reliance on my phone. I get it, universe. Lesson learned. Either leave the phone where it is or for crying out loud, make sure the toilet lid is closed!

Monday, April 3, 2017

On Death and Dying

Miranda turned 4 on Friday and virtually overnight, she has changed. While always interested in the world around her, in the past week, she has become more perceptive and more inquisitive. She no longer accepts my reply of "just because" or "because I said so". Suddenly she wants more.

She has always confused butterflies with her sister...she thinks they are one and the same. I have tried to explain that Allie was a person, a baby, and that we use butterflies as a way to remember her and honor her. She always nodded but I knew she did not get it. I never pushed the issue because I also knew she was too young.

Last night, right before bedtime, she asked about Allie the butterfly and wanted to know why she was in heaven. I explained that she was there because she died. I am not sure I ever used the word death before, but I sensed it was time.

Her eyes opened really wide and she said she didn't want her to die. Then she was worried that she might die.

With a tear rolling down my cheek,  I tried to explain that all living things die eventually. That the birds and the trees all around us are alive now but that one day they will die, too. I reminded her that our cat Zoe was once alive and now she only lives on in our hearts. I reminded her that my dad, Pop Pop Jim had also died and so did her Great Aunt E who loved her very much.

She understood it more than I thought she could. Within a few minutes, we were back to brushing teeth like nothing had happened at all. And maybe that is how it is supposed to be. Maybe I am not supposed to make a big deal out of it. Death is just another part of life, after all.

I worry so that my daughter is going to have her share of difficult conversations. But maybe what is difficult for me is not so tough for a 4-year-old. Maybe if we start the conversations now, they will be less severe than if it waited until she was older.

"I will explain it to you when you are older" was a phrase I heard so often growing up. Maybe keeping the truth from me did not do me any favors. Or maybe it did and that is why I am who I am today. I am not sure there is a way to know.

So I will continue to be as honest as I can with Miranda until she asks too much of me or asks me something I simply do not think her little brain can handle. Until then, I guess I will just do my best. I think that is fair!


Learning to Love Yourself No Matter What

One of the problems with being a writer is that I use words as therapy. By writing my thoughts and feelings, I can often make sense of the w...