I Don’t Want to Say Goodbye — So, I Will Say Hello


I am going on a trip to Wyoming without my husband and son.  I am going to visit my mom and spend time with her. She is in a nursing home.  Last May I got a call on a Thursday from the nursing home that she was very sick and that I should get out there to see her.  I got the call on a Thursday night and I was on a plane Saturday.  I thought that she was going to die.  In fact, I have thought she is going to die since she was diagnosed in 2000 with brain tumors. It’s a pretty heavy burden to carry.

My beautiful mother, Betty.

Unfortunately, my son and husband cannot make the trip with me.  I am very nervous about leaving my son for a week.  We are very attached to each other.  Our family practices Attachment Parenting.  It’s not even something you practice, it’s just something you do. And I think a lot of families are practicing Attachment Parenting without even knowing it, but that is a topic for another time.

My son is still nursing, and now I am worried about that.  I plan on pumping while I am out there.

I decided to spend eight days out in Wyoming (two days are travel days) since my 20th high school reunion is happening, as well.

There is nothing more beautifully blue than a Wyoming sky!

My sister has warned me that my mom has declined even more.  She was pretty much bed ridden and could not move from the waist down last May.  Now, she can hardly move her hands and has to be spoon fed her meals.

For most people, I assume you think this would be the most difficult thing in the world to experience.  I am a little callous about the whole death thing to be honest.  I have been expecting her to die for so long, that I have failed at times to see she is still living.  It is hard to accept this could be the last time I see her.  OK, now I am feeling sad and am not so callused.  I think that is why I feel so anxious.  I just don’t want to see her so helpless.  If you want to read an essay I wrote about her and the impact she made on me as a mother myself, read this: Magic Mama.  Here are some past posts about my trip to Wyoming last May if you would like to read them.  You can also read the archives by using the archive tab on the sidebar.

My mom, Redhead Betty

I don’t want to say goodbye — so I will say hello.

Anyway,  I am going to be offline for a week.  I am not going to log on to a computer. Anywhere. Anytime. Period. I do not have a smart phone, so I will only be able to text my friends and call people.  I think it will be good for me.  The fact that I will in Wyoming will magnify this sense of disconnecting with technology.  I am burnt out from social media (I am trying to build a platform as a writer and I really have no idea what I am doing.  I am just putting myself and my work out there).  I have also started to focus more on the great relationships I have built. I have met so many wonderful cyber friends.  I am evolving and learning more and more about myself as writer everyday.

I am not totalling going off the creative grid.  I will be taking photographs and writing by hand in my notebook and journal.

I have also been working really hard on my Attachment Parenting motherhood memoir.  It is in the editing stage and I am about 85% done until I feel it is as good as it can possibly be.  Then I will begin the submission process with various agents.  An agent in New York (I love saying that — it sounds so important and distinguished) is reading the manuscript now, as well as the book proposal.  I have been working on putting the book together so it is a complete manuscript.

Writing a book is a long process.  Right now I am excited about the future of my writing career as I have evolved in the past six months and I no longer look for outside validation to acknowledge I am a “real” writer.

I am also working on finishing up this memoir so I can get started on my next book project: The Evanston Community Kitchen.  This book is about my mother’s side of the family.  I’d tell you more about it, but it is all on the website.  If you enjoy history and food, I pretty much can guarantee you’ll enjoy the story.  And that story is still growing; in fact, I have merely only planted the seeds.  It is very exciting.  I am bringing my video camera and tape recorder so I can interview my mother.  She is still mentally “with it.”

I will leave you with a slideshow of some photos of Wyoming. It truly is like no place on earth.

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PS – I dyed my hair red.  My mother is a red head.  I was pretty nervous about it, but I have received feedback that it looks great.

Mystic


This poem, Mystic, was originally posted on my website, http://www.meganoteri.wordpress.com, that was dedicated to all things rodeo.  I recently made the website password protected to prevent further photo piracy.  I am figuring out what to do about that website.  Lots of left brain stuff has to happen before I make my next move with that website.  So, for now, we will continue our right brain magic here at memomuse.  Oh, how I love the right brain!

For the record, I used to be a Special Education teacher (I was a teacher for 13 years — now I am a stay-at-home mom and freelance writer and photographer), and when I had to get IEP (Individual Education Plan) paperwork ready for IEP meetings, I was a left brained rock star.  I do have a left brain, and a whole brain, but I love me some right brain muse, where color and poetry seeps out like a river running wild, wrapping itself elegantly around a mountain.  So, with that being said, here is a poem I wrote in 2009 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, as the last of the rodeo trailers, cowboys, cowgirls, horses, and people left Frontier Park, when Cheyenne Frontier Days ended.  The photo of this beautiful horse (sepia print) I named Mystic, was one of the last horses in the stalls.  She and I had ourselves a right brained conversation.

I love horses!  What I appreciate and love even more, are the people who take care of them.

It is a lot of work to take care of a horse.  A friend of mine (shout out TJ) recently was up all night, sleeping on and off in her barn, taking care of and loving her horse, who had an injury.  So this is a shout out to all horse lovers and for the people who take care of horses.

Source: artflakes.com

Mystic ~ Photo by Megan Oteri © All Rights Reserved

Mystic

After the rodeo fans

leave

and the cowboys drive off

to the next rodeo

the horses graze under a sunlit sky

the emptiness of Frontier Park stands still

hearts ache for 2010

and the next time they’ll see each other at The Daddy

horses hold patience while feeding

and an intangible sadness calms the lull

off in the distance are

rodeo cowboys driving down long winding roads

to another ride

another rose

under a sunset somewhere across Western landscape

Poem by Megan Oteri

April is National Poetry Month (this post was originally written in April 2012).  Cowboy Poetry week is April 15 – 21.  Do you know any cowboy poets or cowgirl poets?  I am looking for cowboy poets on the PBR and PRCA rodeo circuit for an article I am writing on Cowboy Poetry.  If you know of any poetic cowboys or cowgirls, tell them to give me a shout.   They can contact me at memomuse@gmail.com.

“Up the Down Staircase” ~ Photo by Megan Oteri © All Rights Reserved ~ Photo of a cowboy going up the stairs in the cowboy ready area.

I think it is rather serendipitous that my photo of Wyoming cowboy poet and country crooner, Chris LeDoux was up for voting the week of Cowboy Poetry week.  Voting started April 16 for my photo of Chris.  Here is a link to the photo, Chris LeDoux, on Talenthouse.  You can become a supporter today and you will get an email reminder from Talenthouse telling you when voting opens.  I am a fan of reminders.  I will also be posting a story about meeting Chris LeDoux at Cheyenne Frontier Days in 2003.  He is a special man and oh, those sparkly eyes and beautiful smile, can make a Wyoming girl blush.  Chris and I went to the same high school in Cheyenne (not at the same time): Cheyenne Central.  Go Indians!  I promise it is a good one.

Here is a video of one of my favorite Chris LeDoux songs: This Cowboy Hat

Also, check out the  Chris LeDoux official website, run by his son, Will LeDoux.  When you go to the website, you will be greeted by Chris’ music.   Check out the tab that says, One Ride, while you are on the website too.  One Ride is a musical that depicts the life of a rodeo cowboy, set to Chris LeDoux’s music.  I can’t wait to see the musical when it comes to a theater near me.  Shout out in the comments if you have seen it.  I am writing a guest post on, Lost in E Minor, about it.  I would love to hear your thoughts on it.  Also, shout out if you want and share your thoughts on Chris LeDoux.

And I will leave you with a quote I really like.

“Why not just do something a little on the gentle side.” ~ Chris LeDoux

Please vote for my photo, “Smile”  today.  It is the last day to vote. Here is the link to the photo.  I just need enough votes to get in the top 50 so they judges will look at it.  Talenthouse is American Idol for artists.  You can also read this post,  to learn more about the cowboy in the photo — professional bull rider, Clint Craig.

Thank you for your support.