28 March 2006

freestyle (goodbye oma)

it's five a.m. and sleep is nowhere to be found. words are erratic things that come and go and I find myself writing sentences in my head at the strangest times, stream of consciousness working overtime. the words, they won't go away until they find some sort of permanent home, aka the blog, the journal. sometimes it's not enough to say them-- writing's the thing.

and so ward's grandma (oma) died friday night and we all knew it was coming, but still. we were all hoping, everyone was hoping. she was a life force, southern in every sense of the word, armed with the kind of strength you only read about in books. she was the center of the family, the matriarch. she lived every moment of everyday of every year for 85 years, so her life was full (I can only hope for so much) but she was suffering and it was her time. but what does that even mean? it just feels like what I should say. it's never easy, it's not designed to be that way.

I stood in the back of the chapel today, holding ezra, listening to oma's daughter speak (oma's daughter being ward's mom, my amazing mother-in-law carlene) and I was taken with her beautiful words. at the end of the day, she is a girl who lost her mother. and she talked about this image she had of her own mother, of someone who rode down a hill on a bike-- hands gripping the handle bars but legs straight out, hair flying wildly, screaming joyously, enjoying the ride all the way down.

we didn't make it all the way through the funeral, ezra and me. we waited out in the car and I let him climb the seats while I did some thinking. I watched ezra eat goldfish crackers and I thought about oma, about motherhood. i thought about the brevity of life, about how I might feel if I had to say goodbye to my mom, my dad. and I pushed those thoughts from my mind because I couldn't bear it. instead, I reorganized my make-up bag so as not to have to think about the things that are too hard to think about and I let myself think about stupid things and I watched ezra eat raisins and for about thirty seconds, all was right with the world. and then I thought about ava and what might currently be going through her mind. it was only a year ago when she first starting asking me questions about death and of course, I couldn't help but think of our first conversation on the subject. she sat with her daddy at the funeral, up in the special section for family. and ward, who looked so handsome in his suit that I thought I might pass out. all these things, running through my mind as I sat in the car with ezra climbing all over the place and a bra that did not fit like oprah says it's supposed to and shoes that were pinching my toes and a newly organized make-up bag and tears that had to be carefully wiped away.

I know now that I need to get at least one more hour of sleep before the day begins. and I know that I want my daughter to someday say that her mom lived life like she was riding a bike down a hill-- legs straight out, hair flying wildly. I know that much.

27 comments:

  1. "at the end of the day, she is a girl who lost her mother"

    so much said
    in that one sentence...

    i'm sorry for your loss

    xo

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  2. andrea, i cant imagine. im sitting here with tears. carlene's words and imagery are so moving. such an awesome description of a mom im sure she loved so dearly.

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  3. That's what I want too...to live a life so full that in the end I just sit down, sigh, and drift away. This was a great post.

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  4. Thank you for your words...reminders to live each day, each moment.

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  5. oh sweet andrea... i have tears in my eyes.... loss is a powerful part of life.... you and yours have such a good perspective - and you revel and your life. what more could you ask for??

    sending good thought and love and hope for relishing the good memories not the loss.... xox

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  6. Andrea and Ward, I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope Ava understands.

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  7. Thank you.
    Gosh, such a beautiful post with so much to consider and yet beautifully said.
    I'm sorry for your loss.

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  8. Beautiful words but, you've made me cry twice now in two days... Stop, please.

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  9. so sorry, beautiful post and now i'm teary-eyed too...

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  10. I'm simultaneously 1) inspired by your exquisitely-wrought description of such a full, well-lived life 2) so sorry for the pain of your family's loss, which, even when expected, is always overwhelming and 3) appreciative of your eye for the truth that emerges from the little everyday details, like the fussy baby at the funeral, the purse-cleaning avoidance technique, and the ill-fitting bra.

    Sincere condolences to you and Ward, and good vibes to you as you begin to work through it all and regroup.

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  11. Really beautiful, Andrea. I'm sorry for losing Oma. She sounds like an inspiration if there ever was one.

    Your babies are lucky to have you too.

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  12. *hug*
    i am sorry for your sadness.

    you are so good.
    so thoughtful.

    and, as danette said...your babies are so so lucky.

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  13. beautiful spirit - oma's and yours.

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  14. I'm sorry Andrea, for your family's loss. It's wonderful that Oma lived her life to the fullest and I too hope to have that. Life is so short and I can't bear to think of those losses myself.

    xoxo

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  15. your ending words really grabbed my heart. that's what i want too. blessings to you and your family during this time. i'm sorry for your loss. grieve well...

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  16. i am so sorry to hear this. your words are so fitting. what a beautiful tribute.

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  17. through cosmic art wanderings i came across this blog just to find out of your loss so recently, I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for your beautiful words...

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  18. I'm so sorry you guys are going thru this! Beautiful & touching words.

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  19. thanks so much, everyone. thanks for such kind words. what a comfort they have been to both me and ward.

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  20. wait wait, passing away is a completely unnatural thing, we weren't created to die, just remember that...and remember that the memory of oma's life carries on in a new way. ah yes my mother has now lost both of her parents, i watched my nana pass and thought of my mother as a child. unbelievable valleys we walk through, at least we continue to walk. peacenprayers

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  21. oh andrea - that was such an amazing post! you are so amazing at writing, really. you write about things we all do at times like this, but wouldn't think of mentioning, yet they should be because they are what makes us real; poignant. what a great way to be remembered. she sounded like an amazing woman.

    so very sorry for your loss.

    xxoo

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  22. sending love and squeezes out to your beautiful family.
    wendy

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  23. Oh Andrea, I'm so sorry. I lost my grandfather last year and it was heartbreaking. Your words brought me back to all those sad feelings, but they were also very beautiful and speak of a wonderful way of remembering and being remembered.

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  24. My computer isn't working, so I'm at the library right now brushing away tears and funny looks from others. Your writing is amazing.

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  25. Andrea, your blog is great. I am sorry for your loss as well, and grateful for your words. I lost my mom a couple of years ago when she was 64. Can't describe the pain. There are a few drawings on my blog that are from that time, but a few more I'm still not ready to post. Thanks for sharing yourself. Blessings to you and your family.

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