ashes to ashes

(Or... how I found my way back to church.)

Last Thursday, on the playground after school, I saw yet another person who did not know about my sudden return to Denver. My friend Dave, grandfather to E & H, who both attend our school, caught my eye from across the yard. I wandered my way over to him and said hi. He, in turn, said hi and that he sure was glad to see me back.

Dave is a disconcertingly tall man, with a sweet mullet and a peculiar love of PBR. He also likes the ladies quite a bit. Not that he's not happily married, 'cause he is, but he is sooo not afraid to check out a nice rack if'ns he crosses one in his travels. He works the door at the Halloween carnival we throw every year, always in full costume, always with a buzz. He is fun. Funny. Kind and sweet. He loves his grandchildren, he loves their school. He is, in short, good good stuff.

So, he welcomed me back with his usual up and down look, a sly wink and a nice hug, and I was on my way.

He died that night of a massive heart attack.

Today was his service. Half of the school showed up for it. The minister talked of love, joy and peace and how Dave exemplified all of those qualities in every aspect of his life. And the dude was right. Dave was a wonderful, beautiful man and he is sadly missed. He was never anything but kind and patient. He always smiled, he could make anyone laugh, he was warm and genuine and a joy to be around. My heart aches for the loss of him in my life, in my sons' school, in our community. I am honored to have known him and to have called him my friend.

And Rollee. Dear Rollee. My friend has this dog, this little dog who thinks she is 15 ft. tall AND bulletproof. Rollee has the kind of white curly hair that absolutely screams out for pink bows and ribbons, but I can't imagine that she ever would have stood for that. You see, Rollee is refined and shit. She is a dog who knows her worth. She never hurries, she doesn't whine or complain, she just takes life as it comes to her with elegance and grace. She is sweet and kind and likes babies (at least those babies who drop food off their highchairs for her). I'm not so big on the dogs, but Rollee rocks quite a bit. Rollee would have loved Duncan The Wonderdog, Molly, had they ever met.

Well, Rollee also had to move on to greener pastures today. She lived a long, full happy sort of life and gave my friend an irreplaceable sort of love and companionship. I will miss her fluffy hair and bad breath. Lily will miss feeding her inappropriate foods. My friend, whose heart is heavy with sadness tonight, I grieve for you and with you. We all loved her and we all will miss her.

well....oh, nevermind

Today was bumpy. This weekend was busy. This week has seen me swinging like a pendulum through emotions.

I don't care, though, because you know what? I just caught up on some blog-reading and I can say for sure that I love Molly and if you haven't already you need to go read her blog and be moved to tears and tell her what an amazing woman and mother she is.

Cause she is, yo.

better late than never

(aka - worst mother ever, edition 7, 853)

Dear Lily Claire,

You turned 369 365 (play along, will ya?) days today. One whole year. Excuse me while I go throw up.

You are one. One whole year. I can't get my head around it. A minute ago you were all tiny and wrinkly and kind of smelly in my arms. Today you spent most of the day tearing through the fallen leaves in the front yard. Though still a bit smelly, good on ya girlie. A year ago you nursed for the first time (for 2 hours straight, you little devil), today you ate a whole hot dog and an apple with your two little teeth and had some meatloaf with us for dinner. A year ago, when you were born, I checked you out inch by inch to be sure you were all there and in the right spots because even though they said those tests were wrong and you had fine, normal genes, I just would not believe it until I saw for myself, and today I sat back and watched in awe this perfect person who has some funny looking, kinda webbed toes but otherwise is so far beyond beautiful that I think they will make a new word for it.

You have the most amazing brownish-greenish eyes, absurdly cute curly, sandy blond hair, the kind of olive skin people pay money for and a laugh that stops strangers walking down the street. You...you...you have made it all worth it. I could seriously do nothing more than eat your toes for the rest of my life.

You have lived in 5 houses/apartments/hotel rooms and 2 countries since your birth. You have already done more international travel than I have in my 31 years. You have been bounced around, moved around, held by strangers, slept in cribs and beds and air mattresses and basements you don't know and forced to grow up way too fast in your first year. And you have done it all with the type of grace I hope you know for the rest of your life.

I can't imagine what you think the world is all about. I wonder if you still remember your dad, that guy you love so very much, that guy you haven't seen for too much of your life. You don't say dada anymore and it sort of breaks my heart. For a long time, that was the one word I could get out of you.

You do, however, say Idiot pretty clearly and in interesting company. You also say puppy and nana. You say a few other words pretty regularly, I just can't figure out what the hell you're talking about yet. You walk. Everywhere. All day long. You loves the walkin'. It helps that you have some ridiculously cute shoes to show off (thanks, ASYB'er!), doesn't it?

I don't know much, but I do know this...I waited my whole damn life to meet you. I cannot believe that I actually get to be your mother. I get to talk to you every day for the rest of my life. I get to know you better than anyone else ever will. I promise you, baby girl, I promise I won't waste a minute of it. I will love you so bad it hurts every single minute of every single day (except those where you choose to scream directly into my eardrum while biting the closest fleshy part of with those little razors you try to pass for teeth, those minutes I could live without) until I breathe my last breath.

You were the best present I EVER got. Thanks for being my kid. I love you, sweetheart. Happy birthday.

blogging, lite

Tastes great, less filling!

I have beautiful birthday pictures and stories of presents and remote-controlled cars, as well as tales of the first day back to school, but alas, you will have to wait. I received a top-secret email complete with a message that totally failed in every way to self-destruct (boo hiss) from our old friend, The Retropolitan, calling me to guest-blogging action.

So, I'll be over that way hashing it out with Andy, astonishing the readers there with tales of poop. Tales to astonish, indeed.

Agent Mr. Lady, out.