Yes. This. Yes.

 

What I Meant to Do

 

To my girl friends,
who have held me and loved me at my most unlovable,
some of whom are mothers themselves,
the kind of mothers I pray to God I might become someday;
to my girl friends who aren’t mothers,
but are sisters of my heart,
who keep me close
while my own sister is so far away.

To my education professors, to my pastor’s wife,
to the women in my church who take my breath away
with their faith and kindness;
to The Bloggess, to my dance teacher;
to all of the women who taught me that grace is better than anger
(even if I’m still Bad at That),
that it is Okay to be smart and funny and…

that God doesn’t just love women who are all doilies-and-teacups;
that it is Okay that I am not my mother’s Perfect Daughter.

 

Thank you.

I love you.

Happy Mother and Sisters’ Day.

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Yesternight’s Workout:

 

x3

20 squats
20 tuck-ups
20 bench jumps/tuck-jumps
250m run
1 min extended plank

 

I’m still processing my grandfather’s death and memorial.
There is so much I want to say about all of it,
that I’m just choking on the whole thing instead.

I am so grateful for my sister, for The Boyo,
and for the dear friends who listened to my first explosions
after the memorial.

Thank you for holding me.

Thank you for helping me both feel and be better.

Everything That Rises Must Converge:

 

My extended family is converging on Southern California
for my grandfather’s memorial.

Among the ridiculous things I have done to prepare for this onslaught:

1) Situps and pushups every night because my family is a family of skinny asses, except for me and my mom (thanks for the thighs, MOM)
2) Squats in the shower (see above)
3) White strips for my genetically murky teeth (DAD)
4) Frenetic face washing in the hopes that those pores will shrink (MOM!)
5) Spanx dance
6) Trying on every. single. piece. of. clothing. in my closet because showing your collarbones in my family is immodest
7) Realizing that I own ONE boat-neck blouse, and it is probably “informal”, according to the Boyo
8) Panicking about the correct date to get a manicure, since I will be making floral arrangements for the services
9) Putting a tablespoon of coconut oil on my morning toast, because
Someone Said it will make my skin prettier
10) Dropped almost $300 on a haircut and color so at least
my head looks presentable
11) Started counting calories again

12) Cried.

13) A lot.

 

And if all of this sounds like just so much sturm und drang
You haven’t interacted with my family.

Because what I should be thinking about are the
memories I have of my grandfather.
What I should be thinking about is how much I’m looking forward
to seeing my cousins again.
What I should be thinking about is how to help my grandmother.

 

I am not.

Because I am not good enough for my parents.
Never have been.
Never will be.
Nor am I good enough for my grandmother.
I was never defended from her acerbic tongue by either of my parents,
not as a child,
certainly not as an adult.

I could show up at the memorial,
dressed to the homeschooled nines
(because we’re not legalists like those Mennonites!)
in an ankle-length jumper,
crewneck blouse,
tights,
and flats,
with my hair hidden under a long-ass wig,
and my family would still find something to criticize.

Your ELBOWS are showing! HUSSY.

 

That’s just what they do.

Thirty years of this,
and I am still voiceless.

 

So I will do what I have always done:

Go.
Wear something reasonable.
Smile.
Say very little.
Find a corner to hole away into every couple of hours.

 

I wish my sister was coming.

 

Update: Sister was able to get a ticket after all!
I am so, so grateful that she will be there.

Yes:

 

“Maybe we visited a place so dark that we couldn’t see anything but the trauma or our loved one’s absence and maybe when we came back, part of that place stuck to us like a layer of soot across our eyes. Or an iron weight in our throat. A shadow that filters how we feel and think about the world, tinging everything with shades of gray.”

Laughing while Crying:

 

Surely the Germans have a word for that.

Home for the Holidays

 

Eventually,
I’ll put together my own tale of holidays with the family,
and the various substances I use to survive them.

In the meantime,
enjoy.

Family on Thursday Means:

 

Becca eats rabbit food until then.

 

I love my salad.

I love my salad.

I LOVE MY DAMN SALAD.

 

"HA. HA. JUST STAB ME NOW."