November 25, 2004

"Out For Thanksgiving"

I gave much study to what we would watch on this day off. Alexander, though poorly reviewed, intrigued, but its three hour play time convinced me that it would be better to wait for the DVD. Sideways was highly reviewed, receiving a 99% rating at Rotten Tomatoes. So we gambled on that, and Julia and I headed to the brand new Harkins theater.

I did remember to take the camera with, determined to get some outdoor shots. The new theater looked inviting and I got a view of it:

I would have taken more pictures, but the black suited man at the theater said cameras were not allowed. Such is the fussiness of 'big city' theater. However, they played pleasant classical music through out the theater and the deco was visually pleasing. I did at least get a pic of the nifty door handle shaped like a reel from the soon to be 'old' film format as theaters go entirely digital.

Sideways, about two slightly loser friends out on a vacation together before one gets married, was odd. It had a strong feeling of reality about it, though, and I liked escaping into California's wine valley for a while.

When we exited the theater, a young man from a local news station, video camera in hand, asked us what we were thankful for this Thanksgiving. Julia seized the moment and declared she was grateful for "her life partner, freedom and life itself". I rather flaked out, and echoed what she had said in the original sample poser, "life itself". It would have been better if I had reciprocated the gratitude for life partner, but I was stunned.

After the movie and interview, we went to Yuma Landing and had delicious barbecued ribs. Then we rushed home to watch the news. I have had my eyes glued to that station's news, camera at the ready should our bit show up. Others have been featured, and they were quite articulate.

Still, that sort of articulate response, all so quick, has never been one of my strong suits. Far better for me, the slow and considered response.

My mother must be out for Thanksgiving, as she did not answer her phone. I hope she is having a good time tonight. I hope that you readers, on whatever day you are reading this, find yourself well and happy.

November 26, 2004 A

"Plan For The Day"

Current Cosmic Conditions, via
The predominant transit for today

November 26, 2004
(Uranus square Moon)

And a big, fat moon sits low in the sky. I saw it peeking through the window blinds, like Seti smiling at me, looking upon me...

It is a grumpyish day. I have to work and Julia doesn't. If I don't finish all the stuff on the line, I'll have to work Saturday, too. Yeah, I'm grumpy. Uranus square Moon, that could also be a prime recipe for grumpy.

However, as the horoscope advises, "Before you react, pause and think. Before you exhaust yourself, get some rest."

Yes, with mindfulness, I can do better.

What do I wish to accomplish this day?

Get through the day with a minimum of grumpiness
Be calm and efficient in my labors
Be mindful in the feeding
Don't pick at fingers
Look for things to laugh about

Yup, that's the 'ideal of perfection' for today. I want to be 'at ease', 'copasetic', fully aligned, comfy, and 'cool'.

(Wave of the wavy wand!) ZAP! Manifest THIS!

Mantra for the day:
"At EASE!"


November 26, 2004 B

"My Mother Is Dead!"

Oh my god, I can't believe it. While I was at work, my half brother Dan called. He never calls, so when Julia told me he called, I knew it had to be bad. But I thought, "Let's not panic and make assumptions," all the while my hands are shaking. So I called my mother's house first, however the phone ringing had an empty sound.

Then I called my brother. Thursday, he'd called Mother at noon to make plans to pick her up for Thanksgiving. Mom said she didn't feel well, and wasn't up to going. Then at 3:30pm he got a call from my mother's neighbor. She found my mother fallen on the ground at the foot of the steps to her back door. It was snowy, and maybe she slipped. Or maybe she had the stroke first and then fell.

The next part is unclear. Anyway, my Mother ended up at Loyola Hospital, and they spent the rest of Thanksgiving and this morning with her. But the doctors could do nothing for her. She died at noon today, which would have been 11:00am our time.

I feel so bad. I was going to go visit her this summer. I was determined. I'd already bought her Christmas presents. One vest, like the ones I've been enjoying and a button front vee neck sweater. The berry color would have pleased her as would have the green of the vest, the same as the one I have. Now her skinny little body has no need of warmth ensuring garments. She was so skinny. She was trying hard to get some pounds on her, but I don't know if she got past 100 pounds.

I feel so bad. I feel so stinking bad. We just talked so recently, and she sounded fine. She had the same ol' aggravations like car troubles and what not. But she sounded healthy, she sounded fine. I feel so bad. I wish I'd have gone with my original plans last summer, to go to San Franscisco and then to Chicago. But travel was scary, and so I just did the one set of planes. I wish she'd have hung on one more year. I'd have made it up there, I would have. I feel so bad.

I took this picture of Mom when I came home for Dad's funeral in 1993

November 27, 2004 A

"Coming To Terms"

Last night was spent dealing with the shock. I'd felt as if my head had been physically injured. Now my head is clear, and doesn't feel 'injured', but I feel sick and shivery all over. My throat hurts. I hope I don't get sick.

Today, my brother will call regarding the funeral plans.

All sorts of memories are coming to me. The difficult ones, too. The ones of the divorce and a wailing Mother, and . . .
and . . . She'd say sometimes if she knew then what she knows now, she'd have done so many things different. Of course she would have. Of course we all would have. I'd just like to know what a future Self would be telling me about NOW, the best way to handle it.

Future Self, current Self?
where are you?

Eclipse all,
the consuming grief.
Fireflies fly
over the death,
gathering gloom
weaving it into brilliant tapestries.
Because it is their nature.
Death can be transformed,
She will journey on.

But will her journey be easier in the future?

That is for her to decide.

Will she?
I'd like for her to be happy.

That is for her to decide.
Meanwhile stands now
a gate and a gate.
Mind ye which ones you take.
The others may be too late.
Saved remembrance
is saved treasure.
Gather what you can,
apply it to your world.
Save the treasures,
discard the rest.
Set your mother free.
Let her roam her new path.
All you can do is say goodbye.

JAL, 11-27-04

November 27, 2004 B

"Coming To Terms II"

There's an odd sense of passing time. The twin guitars (via CD) pace through their prose evenly. It is a soft comfort. I do not know when the funeral will be. I'm waiting on a call regarding it. Dan said Mom had expressed a desire to be cremated, and yes, that is in accord to what I know of her. He is doing his best to keep it as she'd want it, no evangelical preaching and such, as she'd bristle at that. She told me she'd often tell her brother Benny, "Don't discuss that, can we discuss something else?"

I remembered a poem she sent to me after Laura died, as she found it a comfort and thought I would. It was read at one of the 9-11 memorials. But I cannot find it. We have lost a whole ten yards of fabric, so what is one sheet of paper amongst all that? I seem to remember it had an Indian 'Great Spirit' feel to it, and belief that something of those who died there went on. But can I find it? NO!

I am feeling somewhat better after a long nap. I appreciate the letters of concern. Any words are the right words when a friend's loved one has died. Just opening that door of communication and listening to the person talk about their concerns is healing.

That "At Ease! Breathe!" mantra is still proving useful.

November 27, 2004 C

"Coming To Terms III"

I screamed. Bloody loud, I screamed. I hit the 'confirm flight' button and then's website told me all my data had been lost, and to start at the beginning. It looked like there were only three seats available on the plane, so I was pretty nervous and furious. So I again pick and click and hit the 'confirm flight' button, only to be told the same damn thing!

So I got out the phone book, and called the airlines. Alas, TWO reservations had been made! We don't have enough money in the account for two debits! So then I had to talk to a real person at Travelocity and she sorted it out. I will get the code numbers in an email soon.

But, OH! the annoyance! The sheer scream of it all! I will be out from work three days. Fortunately, my co-worker gave me her home number. She must have had a feeling. They're wanting to make it quick and done in one funeral parlor visit, as a couple of her brothers don't get around very easily. I can understand.

Yow! But what a week this will be. Wish me luck, send good thoughts, whatever.

November 28, 2004 A

"Coming To Joliet I"

Wow! I checked the temperatures for Yuma and Joliet:

SUN 64° | 44° (18° | 7°)
MON 59° | 40° (15° | 4°)
TUE 61° | 41° (16° | 5°)
WED 62° | 43° (17° | 6°)

That's COLD by our standards! Now read the projected temps for Joliet:

SUN 41° | 27° (5° | -3° )
MON 39° | 30° (4° | -1°)
TUE 41° | 25° (5° | -4°)
WED 38° | 25° (3° | -4°)

That's I-can't-even-imagine-it COLD! Also, there is a 'Chance of Snow' predicted for Monday. No snow, please! No snow! Thankfully, I didn't jettison those winter woolies. I'll be digging out the ragg wool hat, mittens, etc. LAYERS, lots and lots of layers will be the fashion style. The only thing is I don't have any closed toe shoes anymore, except for a badly worn pair of hiking boots. Should we go out and buy a pair today? Meanwhile, I must do the wash and start planning the suitcase contents.

To add to my anxiety, the TV news reporters are telling us about all the airport delays due to bad weather and so many people coming home from their Thanksgiving visitations. Some will not be able to get home until TUESDAY! I need to leave MONDAY!

I'm more than just a teeny bit nervous. I'll remember that "At Ease! Breathe!" mantra!

November 28, 2004 B

"Coming To Joliet II"

The lady I spoke with last night assured me the confirmation email would arrive within four hours after our conversation. Yet this morning, there was no mail with code numbers and when I checked the 'my stuff' page at Travelocity, I was told:

"You currently have no trips purchased or saved."

I went into hysteria. The second conversation with yet another lady with an Indian accent produced a confirmation email lacking code numbers, so she gave me the code verbally. Oh, I hope I understood her correctly! The website still reads that "[I] currently have no trips purchased or saved."

I do try to remember that "At Ease! Breathe!" mantra. Without it, I might forget to breathe entirely.

November 28, 2004 C

"Coming To Joliet III"

Well, I'm all packed and I think I haven't forgotten anything. All our coats were too heavy to haul around. Some were also too big. I won't be borrowing Julia's coat, even though she kindly offered it. So I went to Sears and invested in the coat version of the fleece vest. It, doubled with the vest, should be quite warm, and it rolls up nicely into the carry on bag. A few months ago, I got a nice Eddie Bauer bag, with zillions of compartments. It is so much nicer than that big yellow boxy thing I hauled around in S.F.

I've spoken with Dan and Cathy, and they know I'm coming and when and where to meet up. With all this done, and me freshly bathed, I feel much better. During the day Tuesday, we will be going to Mother's house and going through stuff. This is good, for I very much want to do this. How strange and empty that house will be! I will be saying goodbye to it, as well.

Well, growth is a process, and this will be a process. I will be meeting myself, too, in odd corners I hadn't expected. I will be meeting old versions of myself, ghost like apparitions of selves that used to be. In all of this, much dust, I expect. I need to do this, I know. And knowledge of that need, and means to accomplish it will make this all come into being.

Forth into the unknown, forth into the known, forth into what has been and what will be, and I am on the threshold of it all. I will bid my mother a good journey into her dark unknowns.

November 29, 2004

"Coming To Joliet IV"

I'm dressed, my bags are packed, I shall be leaving soon on the mechanical winged bird. I shall return again with new tales. Until then, take care, stay well, and may peace, wisdom and strength be yours.

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