Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim." --Vicki Harrison

At the end of the day it's been a week since my mom left her Earthly body, and started her new journey. It's been a really, really weird week.

It's like being in a fog-- everything I do has an air of sadness about it. Everyone's advice sounds cliche and trite; I assure you, I know that time is the only thing that is going to put things right again, even though things will never quite be right again.

I have had a couple of comments posted to me on social media about my mother and I's relationship, which has been hard, but I just delete it. MY PERSONAL  RELATIONSHIP WITH MY MOTHER IS NO ONE'S BUSINESS. I know that's hard to understand, because I do share so much of myself online, however you'll note that I don't share my personal relationship, or experiences I had with my mom. I really keep that part of myself separate from my online life, and to think that my mom didn't have a profound influence in even my daily activities is absurd.

I feel like this shouldn't need explaining-- it is weird how many people have given me/gave me unsolicited advice on our situation (unsolicited meaning if I don't see/speak to you at least 4 times a month, or our interactions are limited to Facebook then I probably am not seeking your advice, or care to know your opinion).

Anyways, my composure on the subject hasn't balanced in the last week, clearly.

Bradford and I have had a lot of good talks in the wake of my mother's recent passing--he's been a true pillar of strength, going through his own mother's death in Fall '11. Moreover, Bradford has been going through his own stuff, 15 days ago he was laid off, and even though we've been trying to focus on things in a positive light it's naive to think that we are anything less than stressed out.

Especially since it's hard going to work for me right now, and being upbeat and positive-- it doesn't help that I absolutely love my job, but feel under appreciated and I am not getting the hours I need to not only support myself, but I can't even fathom how I can even begin to be of some help to Bradford.

However, after much discussion I think Bradford and I have a plan to help our current situation. A week ago, Bradford received a letter from Worksource Oregon Employment Department stating that he is eligible to apply for the Self Employment Assistance Program (SEA). The benefit of the program is to allow a person to concentrate full-time on a personal business venture while not having to worry about conducting a weekly work search, and still receive UI benefits.

In short, Bradford would get paid to help focus on Buckleberry Hoops and do some of the things I've been wanting to do for years, and haven't been able to. Buckleberry was found on July 6, 2012, and was mainly formed as a next natural step in my hooping journey, and though I feel like I've been allotted opportunities to expand on my business, grow as a hooper, and educate myself I haven't been allotted the time. Now, Bradford and I have the time to really focus on making Buckleberry a more full-time career.

I am excited, because we've already started conceptualizing our website, I talked to my good friend that does design work, and she'll be making up our business cards, and on top of the website, and business cards I also have Radiance Photographics permission to use images for the website.

Also, speaking of excitement, on Friday I am donating two hoops to two local schools (a drawing will be done Thursday to determine who wins said hoops), and in July Buckleberry Hoops is donating three hoops to The Lane County Fair as prizes for juvenile winners of the photography contest at the Photography Exhibit.

I guess, that in light of some hard times, we are still working hard, and dreaming, and laying the ground work for something positive. I plan on finishing the Hooping with Kids Hoop Teacher Training Course, I have compiled a list of services for the website/business plan focusing on the following; hoop classes, hoop jams, private lessons, custom hula hoops for kids and adults, performances, hoop making workshops, birthday parties, corporate event entertainment and more-- it's my hope that after three years of making hoops at home that Bradford and I can start taking the steps to get us to the next level and make us a legitimate business.

I am ebbing, flowing, and swimming like a true Oregon Duck-- gliding across the water, gracefully, as I work below the surface, tirelessly.


Friday, April 24, 2015

all the flowers that u planted, mama, in the back yard all died when u went away I know that living with u baby was sometimes hard but I'm willing to give it another try

My biological mother, my first friend, and the biggest influence on my life passed away Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 7:15 in the evening. She was home with her husband, my step-dad, Matt, and my younger brother-- and, I am sure there were other people with her as well.

My brother, Andrew, called me shortly after she took her last breath. It was hard news, but not unexpected. 

It's weird how that evening played out-- I had spent my morning having a lot of strong, overwhelming feelings about my mom, and all day long I started thinking about what I first thought when my brother, Trevor, had originally called me with the news of my mother's failing health. 

I started thinking about how my mom wasn't going to make it to April 24th. Later in the evening, Bradford and I were sitting on the couch, playing video games, horsing around and I started singing George Michael's Faith, out of nowhere, from beginning to end. It was an anthem from my childhood, as my mom really loved George Michael, her favorite album when I was small was Faith, and I remember singing that song a lot with her when I was very little.

Five minutes after I was finished singing I got the call, and since then I have been feeling the emotions as my days have started to stretch on for eternity, and even though we had an absent relationship the last few years of my mom's life, I still, even now cannot imagine the world moving on without her color.

Since then I continue to struggle to wrap my mind around this loss. It's there. It's reality. It's fact. It won't change. My mama doesn't exist anymore. She only lives on in our memories, thoughts, and feelings now.

Our first meeting: May 29, 1984 in Eugene, Oregon

Our last picture (I think) taken together: April 21, 2010

And, so far my feelings keep telling me to play Sinead O'Connor singing Prince. When Sinead covered Nothing Compares 2 U she has been quoted saying she was reliving the hurt she felt from her mother's passing, and the agony of their tumultuous relationship.

I can relate to that. 

Today is harder than yesterday. I miss her, and have missed her, but I refuse to let anyone make me feel bad, or guilty about her. I loved my mama more than anything, and anyone in my life knows what a profound influence she had on my life.

And, as I struggle with coping with this loss I am going to be grateful. I am grateful that my mom will no longer struggle with her many ailments. I am grateful for siblings a phone call away. I am grateful for my dad, and his kind, thoughtful words of love and support-- I don't think I could adult right now if it weren't for knowing that he's a phone call away, and I get to visit my dad and mom in South Carolina so, so soon.

I am grateful that I have Keith Green songs to sing methodically in head to bring calm and peace-- even in not being Christian it reminds me of her being calm. I have good memories of my mom, and the knowledge that she loved me completely, always had grandiose ideas and hopes of me, she encouraged and fostered in me great empathy and taught me to love and care to a fault. I am grateful that I have an eclectic style and my taste in things from my music to my daily mannerisms are all her.

"Life's not a song.
Life isn't bliss, life is just this, it's living.
You'll get along.
The pain that you feel, you only can heal by living.
You have to go on living.
So one of us is living.

The hardest thing in this world is to live in it."