Collective Hope

In times of collective grief, trauma, and stress, also live moments of hope.

In 2017, I lost my mom suddenly. It seemed as though the world kept moving and had left me behind. The sadness was palpable in every breath and the grief seeped into every conversation. It felt like it would last forever.

And in those moments it did last forever.

And then forever passed.

And I caught glimpses of laughter and memories of – well, nothing, really. It was all the little moments that made the difference and warmed my heart when I needed it.

Like how she would sing to birds.

Like how she loved to take pictures of clouds.

Like how she brought circus peanuts to family potlucks.

Like how she would clean her house but never really finish cleaning. Ever.

Like how she would laugh with me. Listen to me. Hug me.

And also like James and I this morning. We snuggled and chatted. No topic in particular. Just together. Being goofy.

When we look back on this time of collective loss throughout our world and in each of our families, I think this will be one of the pieces James remembers. Goofiness and glimpses of hope.


Years ago, in one of my moments of feeling loss so deeply, I looked at this sunflower in our garden, through weepy eyes, and there it was…

A heart.

A reminder that hope lies constantly within loss. Resilience exists within enduring what feels too heavy. And love moves us forward together. The sadness comes too, but we wrap it with authenticity and love.

Today, wrap yourself in love. Sometimes sad, always, authentic. Love.

Make Your Own Rainbow

One positive aspect of social media is the ability to feel connected to a loved one after they’re gone.

I can sign in to Facebook and look at my mom’s beautiful face. In a video I can hear her infectious laugh. I can see her dear friends post about her lovely spirit. And I can read posts she wrote herself, imagining her voice as I read.

Today, I looked at her Facebook photos and something stopped me at this rainbow.

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“Lovely little storm just flitted by, dropped a few raindrops on my patio, and left me with a rainbow. I really appreciate the rainbow.” – Debby Susan Mosher 8/10/2016

What a simple and powerful statement.

But life doesn’t always give us rainbows. Sometimes we have to make our own.

So I told my family I was feeling funky today. I needed to be outside and to somehow connect to the energy and space around me.

We went to the dog park.

We drank afternoon coffee.

We rode our bikes.

We had a paint gun battle.

And in all of this, my funk is still slightly there but I can feel a shift in my presence. I can feel a lighter energy on the horizon – maybe after a family snuggle sesh and good night’s sleep.

Perspective is everything. Seeing the storm as lovely and appreciating the moment no matter the presence of rain or rainbow.

And sometimes we just have to make our own rainbows.

Inherited Forgetfulness

My mom was really good at forgetting things. Super good at it. In another sense she was good at remembering things falsely.

She frequently lost her purse. Or glasses. Or keys. She never remembered her passwords. Ever. Even with a password keeper on her phone it caused her an insane amount of stress. She also struggled to comprehend financial life planning – unemployment, retirement, social security, etc. She benefitted from hearing things seven or eight times. And she was always confused about Daylight Savings Time. Seriously, every six months we had to revisit which way the clocks should change.

As for me… I have inherited this forgetfulness and today was a prime example.

Today is the last day of school and I am proud to say that James and I biked to and from school together and Miles not only is NOT flunking his classes, but he has no D’s either (a pretty huge accomplishment for an indifferent teenager). Our deal was that if Miles finished the semester with A’s, B’s and maybe a couple C’s, we would reward him with a PS4.

After eating lunch, I took him to get this said PS4. We spent a long time looking at games and chatting it up with the kind GameStop lady.

Then came the purchase.

And my card was nowhere to be found…

Now, if you know me, you know that my purse can be an endless abyss of stuff – kleenex, blocks, pens, socks, snacks, papers… I could probably pull a Mary Poppins lamp out of there one of these days. So, I went to my car and frantically pulled all this crap out of my purse to look through all the places it might hide. It wasn’t there.

I searched the glove box, the console, the floor, my work bag… and over again. It wasn’t there.

Feeling embarrassed and frustrated with myself, I went back into the store to announce that we could not purchase it because I did not have my card. She agreed to hold them for us until we got back. James and Miles were a bit disappointed – but this is not the first time I have gone to purchase something and not had my card…

We arrived at home and I promptly searched all the regular places: jean pockets, bathroom drawer, bedside drawer, kitchen drawer, really all the damn drawers in the house. Then I re-searched my car. No luck. I took everything out of my purse – all the kleenex, piles of papers, old receipts, a container of granola, a used spoon, and six pairs of socks. The card was nowhere to be found. Miles supported my search and helped me search my car for a THIRD time. It wasn’t there.

Feeling defeated, I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down. In my purse search I found two Target gift cards (score!) and started calling to see if there was anything left of them. Finding myself 15 dollars richer, I opened my wallet to put them in.

And there it was.

Staring at me.

Laughing.

My card.

It was there in my wallet all along. I had looked. I had shuffled papers around to see. But in my flurry of mom-ness, I missed it.

Silently I held it up and showed Miles. We had a good laugh about finding it in my wallet and of all the bizarre contents of my purse. And now we’ll head back to reclaim our purchase. And I will make sure I have my card before we leave the house.

This experience happens more often than I would like to admit. And I would always call my mom and share these details. She knew what this was like – the frustration of having lost something or not understanding something, the embarrassment that accompanies it, and also the humor that follows.

I love all the things I took from my mom – except for this trait. But now it holds a special meaning. I get to roll my eyes at myself for my forgetfulness and think about all the humor my mom added to my life because of hers.

Thanks mama, for my inherited forgetfulness.

Morning MASH

Do you remember the game MASH? You write out four people you want to marry, four jobs, four numbers (amount of kids), and any other life detail you would like to wish for, and you end the list with MASH – mansion, apartment, shack, house. Then you pick a random number and eliminate all but […]

Sesame Street Words of Wisdom

I ran several errands this morning with the kids – so many that the Sesame Street CD began to repeat songs I had already heard. I didn’t take it out or complain about the music because it was giving the two toddlers in the back so much joy! They were singing, clapping, and laughing at one another.

I drove on to our final errand before going to the park and listened to the song that was playing. I remembered it from watching Sesame Street when I was little, but I felt a great appreciation for the meaning of the song now that I am older.

“I believe in little things like you and me and just how big little things can be.”

This line filled me with instant gratitude for this last year at home with my boys. For the rest of my life, I’m sure I will look back on this year and think of how wonderful it was and how I wish I could be here again.

I am now beginning my journey into graduate school and I feel these little things will become much much bigger things next year. All the things I do now will become precious commodities when I start school. The mid-morning walk, the afternoons at the park, the random snuggle naps, the pajama days, the don’t leave the house days, the simple days – just together days. I love being a mom. I absolutely love it. It has become one of my core defining features, and I love it and live it. Although I will be busy next year, I’m sure I will always find time to watch Sesame Street and bask in the wonderful beings that are my children.

He’s Growing Up

My son just kissed me.

This is a rare occasion for my 10-year-old. So rare that I cannot remember the last time he willingly kissed me. He also hugged me – a smile on face, hands reaching out kind of hug – and he hugged hard.

Sigh… Cherishing the moment…

As I think about this fleeting moment, which only happened 20 minutes ago, it brings tears to my eyes. The last six months have brought me to an exciting but difficult realization that my son is growing up, moving on, and becoming a wonderful person on his own. I know that everyone who has ever been a parent tells you it goes too fast, to savor the moments, they will grow up before you know it, etc. I know this, we all know this, for we are too kids of someone out there. We grew up and became independent wonderful people on our own.

But no one can truly tell you what it feels like as a parent until you feel it.

I feel it deep. I feel the wonder and pride for how fantastic he is and how amazing I know he will become. I feel a pain and loss knowing that he, in one way or another, is moving on. I know he will still need me – he does still need me – but I see him growing up right before my eyes. And this all makes me happy, sad, grateful, lonely, loved, and thankful all rolled into one. It makes me want to do nothing tomorrow but sit with him, play with him, listen to him, and love him. He is mine, some of the best pieces of me all put together in him.

I saw a quote today that I fell in love with immediately. I don’t know who this person is, but I came across it on another blog. “Motherhood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It’s about understanding that he is exactly the person he is supposed to be. And that, if you’re lucky, he just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be.” – Joan Ryan

Well said.

Earlier today, before the endearing hug and kiss, my son randomly looked at me and said, “I couldn’t ask for a better mom.”

Sigh… Wiping happy tears… Cherishing the moment…

Thank You, Kind Woman at Dillons

As James is getting closer to turning 2 years old, store trips have become more of a game in which I must always be on my toes. I must plan that if I need bananas, apples, milk, pretzels, or anything that James likes, I must try to get it at the end of the store trip so to avoid yells to eat it right at that moment. I distract him with silly faces when he gets antsy. We talk about colors, shapes, foods, toys, babies, and anything else that might seem interesting to him. I do these things naturally, without thinking, and they all add up to ensure we have a swift, painless grocery store trip.

I had a spectacularly good store trip with James yesterday. He was engaging, sweet, and calm, and all of my mom tricks worked wonders. After we checked out and headed to the car, a woman walked up to me and said, “I always love hearing mothers enjoying their children. He must be really special.”

What a wonderful thing to say. It made me feel like the best mom ever and brightened up my whole day! Thank you, kind woman at Dillons. I truly love being a mother. Sometimes I’m not sure all the little things I do go noticed by anyone because they have become so second nature to me that I forget I’m even doing them. Thank you for noticing. Thank you for commenting. Thanks.

Weekend Redemption

Saturday started as one of those days. A “mama told me there’d be days like this” kind of day.

I was tired when everyone else wasn’t. They slept when I just had some coffee. I had a garage sale and was haggled by grumpy people. James has been extra clingy – no one does it like mom, therefore mom must do it all. He hasn’t been sleeping in his bed, so that means baby arms and legs in my face all night. Miles was grumpy cause he stayed up late with his cousin. Our house was a complete disaster from getting all the stuff out to sell at the garage sale. There was pee on the couch and James spilled yogurt everywhere. Etc etc etc…

I am usually very easy going, and if one single incident had happened, it would have been no big deal. But take a sleep deprived Suzy and give her a series of incidents and you get a grumpy mom who had a crummy Saturday.

I apologized to my family for being grumpy and told them I had a really bad day. We all apologized for being grumpy to each other and went to Sonic for ice cream. Miles unbuckles, leans forward, and starts giving me a shoulder rub. He takes the head rest off to be able to give me a better one. This was my weekend redemption. The whole day simply melted away. What mattered most is this moment right now. Us together, crabby or not, one half naked baby covered in sticky yogurt goo, and all of us being kind to one another while eating our ice cream.

Life doesn’t always go as we plan it to. There will always be bad days. We can all be crabby and stressed out every once in a while. But when you share it with the people you love, they step up to the plate and help you out, whether that be with an apology, a shoulder rub, or maybe a night time cuddle before falling asleep in their own bed.

Mars Needs Moms

It’s Sunday morning at 11. I’ve already been up for several hours. James and I played cars and trucks, made breakfast, went to the store, and ate a watermelon snack.

I am now watching my second movie of the day. James and I started with Toy Story. When we went to the store, we got Mars Needs Moms and The Green Hornet. Now James is falling asleep on the floor, Miles is curled up in a blanket on the couch and Casey and I are enjoying a very relaxing movie day.

All I can say about the movie so far is that it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about being a mom and having boys. I love being a mom. Especially to boys.

I spent Friday on the driveway with James making cornstarch ooze, stirring, pouring, squishing, and laughing. Miles walked home with a friend to spend the night. They played Call of Duty and Mass Effect 2 all night, had Nerf wars, and maybe got 4 hours of sleep.

When we picked him up, he sat next to James and read him a story. They smiled and laughed together. It’s nice to see them love each other and spontaneously do things together to make one another happy. It made me smile.

I love my boys. I love being a mom. If only Mars had moms. They make everything better.