...random experiences, observations and thoughts of my daily life as mommy...past journeys and dreams of journeys yet to be taken creating my life story as i go...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

farewell to hayno...memories and time

hayno passed away yesterday. i was too emotional and upset to write about it and manuel encouraged me to not obsess and just go to sleep. i still don't know how to feel or what to do and am overwhelmed by all we've lost...but somehow i take comfort in knowing what a full life she had and feeling blessed i got to be a part of so much of it right up until the end...this first photo is sea (probably close to story's age now) not quite old enough to reach the doorbell...it seemed like she was that age forever...this next photo is fairly recent but always stands out in my mind as representative of the rituals we went through waiting at hayno's door bearing flowers or pictures or mail...she always took her time answering and then peeked through...i believe this is how story learned the concept of "peek"...
of course sea loved sharing cream puffs with hayno as i shared in my post of things we will miss
and one of many just after sea picked "too many" flowers...
the bear charlie (her husband) left for her on their bed when he left on a long trip...i have many of sea playing with this bear...
hayno, who loved dolls (as a child and as an adult) and loved watching sea play with dolls...
just after story was born...
sleeping peacefully on her super soft pink sweater shirt (she wore this often)...
one of his very first smiles content in her arms...
more recent, sea sharing stories about her dollies...

a cake we baked her for her 90th birthday...i think they ate off most of the icing before it got cut...
sea loved to "bake" with hayno...she got her this outfit and baking supplies...

sitting still just long enough for a kiss (their kisses were usually so quick but for some reason sea held still and allowed hayno to snuggle with her)...
sharing their beloved popsicles as i wrote about in this post...
i've been thinking about what i'd like to take of hayno's and really i am not attached to any of her things...i'm just so blessed she spent so much time with us over the years and so the only thing i can imagine wanting to at least photo copy is an old letter written in the 1800's...a poem, i believe about how really the only important thing you have in life is "time" and it was stashed in a secret compartment of a clock charles brought back from the war...here is story playing his game with hayno where she turned the hands and he counted with his fingers while the clock chimed...
and here is the clock...i'm choked up we have run out of time until we can be reunited in heaven but relishing in all the memories...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

somewhere over the rainbow sharing popsicles

today sea and story were sharing popsicles waiting for my mom in the hospital (hayno loved sharing popsicles with the children). hayno is almost gone. she is unresponsive and "sleeping" as her body shuts down. yesterday morning i got there early...before anyone else...she was wide awake like i haven't seen her since she got sick. she was sitting upright and elegant, looking around, waiting...i was glad i could "arrive" though we both quickly got awkward not sure what to say beyond "good morning hazelle, how are you feeling?" i forgot the gardenia i picked...i showed her a drawing sea made for her and she commented how talented she was but that i should probably take it home...i wanted to leave her with something uplifting yet simple so i flipped through my phone to find an old recording (sea was just over 3-years-old) of sea singing "somewhere over the rainbow"...

"Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?"

of course sea didn't know all these words and she mostly just sang the first few lines...but i'm hoping the sentiments were there for hayno...she was ready for me to go though i wanted to get in one more word, one more story, share one more video or have sea draw one more thing...that is how life is...there is always more...but when you are 90 and feel you've lived a full life i knew i owed it to her to leave...for her...the rest of the day she was in and out of consciousness and today seems completely unaware anyone is even there so really i was the last one to have "her" and allow her to just be...i think i squeezed her hand and said "i love you hayno" and gave her a kiss on her cheek and she said "thank you" and i said, "no, thank YOU" and that was about it but really i believe she knew she was loved and that i was there for her as much as i could be.

i look forward to sharing popsicles with her and the children in heaven...somewhere over the rainbow...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"dear hayno, we will miss..."

(top photo taken after telling you we were engaged...bottom photo taken this past christmas at our house...the blurriness somehow seems appropriate as i have so many memories blurred into these two representative photos)
  • running back and forth between you and your frozen cream puffs...elated with the idea you really want to share ONE more bite...and when you don't, happily eating your share, too
  • watching the wooden clock in your dining room and counting each chime aloud while you smile and turn the big hand to just one more number and do it all again
  • running back and forth in the long strip of your back yard...collecting treasures like poppies and "dates" from the palm trees, walking too quickly along your little wall...sometimes splashing in a little pool or dripping popsicles all over your tiles, chairs, table and you
  • dumping every single block (plastic, wooden, legoed and otherwise) out of the plastic wagon and into the middle of your living room floor and then just looking for more to undo instead of playing with those
  • pulling one another around in this wagon and bumping into everything, dumping one another out, trading places and then running over your toes
  • throwing baby dolls down so you can remind us how to care for them and how that makes them sad...hearing stories of your own baby dolls you played with as a child...
  • sharing old photos of you as a little girl with your sisters; looking at your changing hair styles and even sharing and comparing real locks of hair
  • hearing stories of you making mud pies with your sisters...very specific details on your favorite aspects of how to do this and imagining do this along with you
  • realizing the deep love you shared with charlie and hearing stories of all your adventures...when you were first dating, newly married all the way through living with you here on c___ street and the big stuffed bear he left for you when he left on a trip
  • the quiet, patient way you listened to so much about "us" and we rarely got around to hearing as much about you
  • the autobiography you started to write for us through so many stories of you life that you shared that we never did quite get written down
  • the fun game of ringing your doorbell, knocking on your door, peeking through your window and then waiting with flowers we picked out of your yard, mail, newspapers, whatever just to see the joy on your face as your looked through the crack of the opened door to receive us...
  • anticipating and planning our visits to mimi around seeing you...when we could maximize our time, spend the most time, not be too cranky or tired yet feeling guilty we never quite got to see you enough
  • watching sea and story both anxiously point to your house when we drove by if we were in town but hadn't yet visited
  • random news, stories, tips on life that you read or heard about and shared with us to enrich our lives as they had touched yours
  • your generosity ever since i was too little to appreciate it...i remember one lesson you taught me as a little girl when i said you didn't need to get me two dresses and you told me they weren't to make me happy but because it made you happy to give them to me
  • your advice through the years on what made your life fulfilling...letting go of the small stuff and appreciating dear people who love you and love me
  • your support and love of manuel when others in my life didn't approve or understand all that i love about him
  • your patience with my two wild children and always focusing on their positives even when they were being rude and ungrateful and cranky...you somehow saw their angelic natures shining through or at least were so wonderful about emphasizing these qualities when they were hard to see
  • the grace and poise and strength and wisdom of how you lived your life...your character, your giving, your listening, you ability to be so much for so many...
  • but mostly we will just miss you
i feel somewhat morbid typing all this...tears streaming down my face as i remember and visualize each of these little moments...most of them are recent through the eyes of my own children but a few go back to me as a child...morbid because hayno hasn't passed away yet. she is in the hospital with pneumonia and doesn't have much will to live. but she is 90 and tells those who visit what a wonderful life she has had and there is a time for everyone...

so my experience with loss of those closest to me (my dad and grandparents mainly) has been so sudden i didn't have a chance to think of all these things about each of them. i didn't have the opportunity to share them while they were alive. some of this i think would make hayno smile...she would appreciate that i noticed and appreciated her on so many levels...but i don't want her to feel guilty, like she needs to stay around for us. i want her to feel ready to go and that we will be ok without her (even if right now i don't feel like we will)...how do i say these things? do i? i know with my dad he wouldn't have wanted to have this conversation...he most likely died of a cardiac arrest because we were instantly left with all these memories instead of having to share our sadness of missing him with him. but hayno may be different? i know she is very cranky and difficult in the hospital...she deserves to die at home...but what if she goes home with hospice care, gets over the pneumonia and this was all premature? i figure she would still appreciate the memories and love but i don't want to assume she is dying if she isn't? or maybe she would rather have my presence and love without hearing all of this...to "reall" when maybe she just wants to let go instead of having the pressure of all she will leave behind?

do any of you have experience with losing an older person who knew they were likely to die and/or was ready to die? did you have any "heart-to-heart" conversations with them? i think if i asked my husband what i should tell hayno when i visit her he might say to err on sharing it all...how i support her decision to hold on or let go but that i wanted to share with her how much she meant to me...

i've been babysitting a friend's kids for 9-10 hours each day for the past two days and i'm exhausted but this is the first moment, at 3:34 a.m. three days later that i've been able to grieve the possible loss of hayno and reflect on how to respond...i will try to call her in her hospital room in the morning (close to 11 so she can sleep)...but sometimes i have "intuitive" senses about things and i hope this intense mourning at this odd hour isn't because something has already happened...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


"now" is the theme for june on nablopomo which is actually a great theme for me right now :)
see, i already used the word! this photo was taken on the 4 year anniversary of the loss of my dad when i visited his grave...the image is of my dad and mom, in front of the ocean (he loved the water) and is in the upper corner of his gravestone along with one of his favorite quotes "thanks for the memories"...my daughter, sea, loves orange and picked the flower (we may plant this lantana bush in front of her bedroom window)...my dad was an extremely optimistic man who always tried to maximize every moment in a way that drove me crazy at the time but i can really appreciate now. see, i used the word again...so i'm trying to concentrate more on the present. i purposely did not blog yesterday so i wouldn't inadvertently "try" to blog every day of the month...i want to focus on LIVING and make blogging a secondary priority.

my 20 year high school reunion is a little over a month away. there is a lot more work to do in the planning stages and i'd like to work out not so much to look better as to feel better. so i'm hoping to get in regular walks (also to prepare myself for walking the mile each way to drop sea off at kindergarten in the fall!!!)...i'll start tomorrow morning as she has a kindergarten evaluation around 11. they want to see her "readiness" for school plus her personality and listening skills, etc. to decide which of three classrooms to put her in. part of me wants to check where she is at academically but the bigger part of me knows she is bright and wants to focus on her playing and being a kid as long as possible, not worried where she is at or what the teachers think...i may be a little too "outside the box" for this school, but a little more traditional setting than the hippy-types i hang out with will probably be good for both of us. sea can get all the hands-on, play-based, experiential, artsy, etc. stuff from me at home to supplement and i know she will love learning.

i already feel liberated this month knowing i can blog when i want to instead of because i "have to" for a commitment to nablopomo...but i also want to challenge myself to update every 3 or 4 days at least so i don't get weeks behind and feel discouraged. heck, i may even do that old challenge of answering the questions i asked "why do i blog...what do i look for in blogs i follow...what are my thoughts on comments...etc." and summarize your thoughts on these things!