Mother Knows Best


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Letter my mom write me in college

“Excuse writing, but is 4:30 and coffee not done.

Don’t be too broken hearted about lost love – there is someone waiting in wings for doll like you.

Stay the way you are – don’t change a hair.

Try to get heart in soccer…”

My mom wrote me this letter in college. I was sad over a lost love. She wrote, “Don’t be too broken hearted  over lost love. There is someone waiting in wings for doll like you. Stay the way you are – don’t change a hair…”

Mother knows best. My husband was waiting for me. And his love gave me wings to fly.

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Airplane at Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

I will let my mom go tomorrow and bring her to Arlington National Cemetery to be inurned with my father.

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Statue at entrance to Arlington National Cemetery

It is time.

Here are some photos from our trip to DC.

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My husband and son at the Air and Space Museum. My handsome astronauts.

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My son, Benjamin, at the Lincoln Memorial

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My son and I wearing our red, white, and blue (red hair, blue hat, white shirt)

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My husband, son, and I at the Lincoln Memorial

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My family at the Lincoln Memorial

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American flag that flew on the Wright Brothers airplane

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Abe Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial.

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My son and I with my mother’s urn box. My son kept saying it is a treasure box. He was perplexed why it would not open.

If you are interested in back story go to post titled “Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Beautiful” a couple posts back. Lots of links and lots of explaining.

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My mother’s ashes and me in the lobby at our hotel

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Sunset near the entrance way to Arlington National Cemetery

“As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.”
―     Kristin Hannah, Summer Island

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Semper Fi: Help Send My Nephew to Arlington Cemetery for his Grandma’s Funeral


If you can spare $5, I have a FundRazr campaign up here: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/cXcEe.

I am trying to raise money for my nephew to buy an airline ticket from Wyoming to Washington D.C. It is last minute flight arrangements as we recently found out the date of the funeral. And my nephew just was able to get the time off of work.  His boss has been a veteran for 25 years, so that helped.

My Nephew and Me when he was eight years old

My Nephew and Me when he was eight years old

My Nephew and Me at my mom's nursing home August 2012 (the last time I saw her)

My nephew and me at my mom’s nursing home August 2012 (the last time I saw her)

My mom is being inurned with my father at Arlington Cemetery. My father was a member of the Frozen Chosin that served in the Korean War (Marines). My father died in 2003 and his ashes are waiting to be reunited with my mom’s ashes.

My Nephew and My Mom

My nephew and my Mom

“It’s not gonna be easy but I know Betty would cross the world for our funerals. So I’ll cross the United States for her.”
– John, my nephew (regarding making it to his grandma’s funeral at Arlington Cemetery).

My mom died Christmas Eve, but it takes a long time to schedule the date of the funeral at Arlington. I want my nephew to be able to go to the funeral, but we just found out the date and my nephew also just got the time off from work, so it is last minute. Can you spare $5 to help pay for the airline ticket? The funeral is July 1. We are covering hotel and food expenses. I think it is important for my nephew to be able to go to his grandma’s funeral and honor both his grandparents at Arlington Cemetery. They were very close.
Thank you for your help and passing this on.  Here is the link to the FundRazr page: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/cXcEe

Semper Fi

Today is my parents’ anniversary (June 21). I am preparing to reunite them together (at least their ashes) when my mother gets inurned with my father’s ashes at Arlington Cemetery. He was a member of the Frozen Chosin in the Korean War. Help my nephew be a part of this funeral. He has to fly last minute from Wyoming to DC. Thank you for your help and passing this on. 

Semper Fi

My Mom and Dad

My Mom and Dad

I will be posting photos from Arlington Cemetery on my blog, www.memomuse.wordpress.com, if you would like to follow us on this journey.

American Flag

American Flag

Semper Fi

Here are some posts about my mom :

The Red Rose of St. Therese

Magic Mama

Christmas Eve Angel

Build the Castle

Garden Muse: Seeds and Sorrow; Fruits and Joy

The Red Rose of St. Therese

and my dad:

The Dress and the Snake

My Father — My Thoreau

A Tribute to My Father

Photos from my wedding

Photos from my wedding (Top left – my dad and me;; top right – me; bottom left — my husband, me and nephew; bottom right — my mom and me)

Angel Light "Every moment of light and dark is a miracle." - Walt Whitman

Angel Light
“Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.” – Walt Whitman

Art Is Created from Great Storms


I think I put too much pressure on myself that every blog post has to be written like an essay or written as creative nonfiction worthy of publication in a literary magazine.  I take myself way too serious sometimes.  I am currently dealing with the loss of my mother. I don’t really even know how to express the grief I am going through.

I have been posting photos and mini blog posts that reveal nothing.  Yet at the same time I want to share with the world what I am going through. I recently told a mom acquaintance at Mommy and Me Gymnastics that my mom died. This need to tell the world so they understand the fragile terrain I am walking on is overwhelming. I almost want to wear a sign around my neck that says, “Handle with care. My mother died.” The grief work I am doing is so intimate it is hard to express it in words. I have my mother’s ashes on my mantle and will drive them to Arlington Cemetery  in the coming months. From what I understand, it takes months to schedule a funeral at Arlington. My mom will be buried with my father’s ashes (Korean War Veteran) who passed away in 2003. Both of my parents passed away in December.  In the meantime, I have been lighting my Christmas lights that are intertwined with my favorite set of Christmas lights around fake green garland that snakes across the mantle in our family room. They look like sugary colored crystal balls.  There is a star that lights up that I have connected to the Christmas lights. Two Santas my mom gave me anchor both sides. In a way this lighted mantle is my memorial to her.

My February Memorial Mantle

My February Memorial Mantle

I did manage to take down the Christmas tree sometime in late January.  I took off all the ornaments and un-twirled the lights — my toddler helping me as I walked backwards around the tree. After taking down all the ornaments and the lights, I took a moment to look at the bare dried up tree. It was striking in its beauty — the absence of the decorations — the absence of my mother. I made a connection that there was beauty in looking at the bare tree — its bare beauty.

I have had many moments like this where a great calm overcomes me and I am left to marvel at the sensitive, fragile beauty of life. Then there are the moments of ocean deep sorrow.

This photo is from a recent trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

This photo is from a recent trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Outer Banks Trip 2013 043

Footprints in the Sand
The Atlantic Ocean — Kill Devil Hills, NC

I will share this: I got down on my hands and knees (crying, of course) asking God to help me through this difficult time.  I have never actually got down on my hands and knees before in total surrender, although I have heard of people doing it. I realized this burden and sadness is too heavy for me to carry.  So I asked God to carry it for me.  My mother has not been buried yet. We are waiting to hear back from Arlington Cemetery when the funeral will be. My mother passed away on December 24, 2012.

The month of January seemed to move by slowly, yet I hardly remember it.  I did not move; I was stagnant with acute pain and a deep sadness. Where did the time go?  I have been grieving and getting by. I have enjoyed the time I have with my son as I am a stay-at-home mom.  My son is painting right now. He asked me, “Help me paint Mama.,” gently grabbing my left hand and looking at me with the love a child can express through a  simple gesture such as this. I said to him, holding his hand in my palm, “I am painting here while I type. I am painting with words.”  Now he is creating his watercolor masterpiece as I try to paint a picture of what I have been going through.

My son painting with watercolors

My son painting with watercolors

February photos 2012 003 February photos 2012 006My son and I made a gallery of his paintings. He told me where each painting should go and in what order. For now, I am taking it one day at a time and honoring the grief. I am ready to paint my own canvas and allow the colors to choose themselves. It is a process and art is always created from great storms.