Conversations with My Dead Mother (Pt. 2)

Dear Mama,

It has been a week of ups and downs – So much to celebrate but my damn anxiety really inhibits the celebration. I wonder if you had anxiety? I don’t recall you having anxiety or maybe that was one of the “evils of the world” that you tried very hard to keep from me, like dad’s drug addiction. I still marvel at how you were able to keep that one a secret for fifteen years. Normally, this would have angered me but I think I was old enough to understand that you did it out of pure and intense love for your children. I thank you for that.

I filed the final judgment paperwork for my divorce today at the courthouse, ma. Ya know, I thought I’d just go down there, turn in the paperwork and not feel much different. If I felt anything, maybe just a bit of relief because I accomplished an errand but no, I felt tremendous weight lifted. I think having no expectations was what made it feel so damned good. I wish you were here – you would have been the first person I called. You’re with me all the time, though, right?

I can’t wait to receive the mail informing me of my official divorce date. It is a date in the near future that I greatly look forward to and I have every intention on celebrating in a very big way. I’m fortunate to have some friends and my boyfriend that will be right there with me, toasting to my freedom as well.

Today, though, I came to the conclusion that there are some people who simply have no interest in my life yet I continue to exert my energy with interest in theirs. I shouldn’t say I came to the conclusion because this has been on my mind for quite some time but rather, I was able to arrange it in my thoughts in a way that is plain and simple to understand. I think, sometimes, I confuse things easily or I begin with the self-doubt but really it’s just a matter of no longer giving a part of myself to others who have no interest in giving me a part of him or herself.

And then, as if the Universe was speaking directly to me and I believe it was, one of my dearest friends (Meg, you know Meg!) posts this on her Facebook wall:

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Or trust the vibes you don’t get, I suppose!

I think that’s about all for now, mama. I love you more than words could ever convey.

Love,

Linds

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Channel Surfing

There are days, weeks, and sometimes, unexpected moments where it feels like she died yesterday, where the anguish and pain of losing her engulfs my very existence and sends me into a blubbering, sobbing mess.

What’s wrong?” “Are you okay?” “Is everything all right?” The unavoidable inquisition begins, as hiding my true feelings has never been my strong suit. And I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t want to explain – I just want to plug in my headphones and escape into the music, the music that has the ability to intensify the emotions but I tend to lean on the side of masochistic and that’s just the way I like it sometimes.

Inside my head, I’m screaming, “Just leave me alone,” strategically inserting a word or two of profanity here or there eventually having to remind myself that I can’t take this out on the caring people around me. I can’t simply avoid the public during certain hours and quite frankly, I never know if and when I’m going to feel this way.

I liken it to being in the room while someone is channel surfing, only it’s not happening in a family room but in my brain and I don’t even want the control, I just want the damn power button. Then the history channel argues that I can’t turn it off because I need to reflect and grieve – I need to turn up the volume on the sadness and allow for its release.

Fuck you, history! This is my life and the present is a gift – I must live in it and be grateful for it!”

The channel surfing continues until I thankfully find myself in a deep slumber, only to wake in the morning to realize that the dream I was just rudely awaken from by my cell phone alarm was a pleasantry starring me alongside my mama in a swimming pool, admiring newborn kittens.

I sadly think to myself, “Damn you alarm! No, I want to fall back asleep!” as it occurs to me that the knowledge of her absence wasn’t even apparent in the dream. Had it been known, I would have taken full advantage of her dream presence and then my mind realizes that it’s parallel to the feeling I sometimes regret – taking her for granted when she was alive. Oftentimes, only when someone is no longer here do we fully and truly grasp the extraordinary value of the human life, particularly that specific human life’s impact on our own.

My therapist has taken to describing the loss of my mother as leaving a giant, gaping hole, not only in my heart but also in my world with nothing and no one that could ever begin to fill it even in his/her greatest attempt. I visualize this hole as black, echoing and infinite and even I have attempted to fill it with various people, vices and things to no avail. As the Beatles once wrote, I guess I must simply “let it be.”

I get angry with myself when I cry. I get upset with myself when I can’t cry. I remind myself to be kinder to myself and an hour later, I’m beating myself up for behaving what I consider as selfishly. Taking a “lazy day” every once in awhile is hardly allowed and doesn’t come without at least a moment’s worth of self-chastising. Even this blog in which I completely control and manage is grounds for self-judgment. If I’m not posting a blog on a regular basis, the internal attacks ensue.

As I write, I am realizing that perhaps, it’s not so much that I haven’t been good enough for most of the people I’ve encountered in my life but that I’ve never been good enough for myself, for Lindsay? Perhaps, I need to shift my focus on why being good enough for others is so important to me and realize that self-approval, being good enough for me, is what has truly been lacking and is of the utmost importance.

A week ago, I was hiking the backbone trail of Will Rogers State Park in the gorgeous, scenic Topanga Canyon. As I trekked my way around the switchbacks, I gazed out toward the east, over West Los Angeles and swept my view panoramic style to the west and the Pacific Ocean as the dense fog was quickly finding its evening resting spot between the mountainsides. I instinctively wanted to call my mama and share this awe-inspiring beauty with her as soon as I got home, remembering almost simultaneously that I couldn’t do so. It felt like someone had sucker punched me in the stomach, very briefly knocking the wind out of me. I know what most of you are thinking – She was there with me, hiking with me, in my heart, amongst the winds and so forth and all those things are good and well and may very well be true. But nothing compares to the sound of her voice, to the wisdom in her words, to the love in her touch and to the joy that is sharing a seemingly small but momentous moment in one’s life with the woman that granted you that life in the first place.

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525,600 Minutes

I can say for certain that I want a divorce,” I divulged verbatim to David on that heavy, early mid-summer morning cruising northbound on the 101.  On July 29th, it will be a year since I uttered those words and made one of the single best decisions of my life thus altering the continuously self-damaging path that I was on.  It’s a lovely thought that the majority of people whom vow holy matrimony are making one of the single best decisions of their lives, however statistics would prove otherwise. Many would also assume that along with those poor decisions comes regret and this isn’t necessarily true.

I am confronted often as to why my “poor” decision to wed David on July 9th, 2012 wasn’t wholly a poor decision in that I have grown and matured into someone that I sincerely love without him. He is, in part, responsible for this sobering revelation in that he did a hell of a job showing me what I do not want and who I do not want to become thus adding fuel to my fire of strength. How unfair of me, right, to state that David only took part in the above? This is certainly not all that he had a hand in and I think I have made that clear throughout my 99 blogs before this but for the sake of this particular blog, that unintentional contribution of his will suffice.

I’d be lying to myself and to my readers if I were not to recognize that there is still lingering, sometimes surfacing anger that reveals itself at some of the most inconvenient though understandable times – so much so that I have decided to write a letter, thoughts or perhaps it’s a poem of sorts that releases some of this wrath, bringing to light some of the most vulnerable and human aspects of my inner cognizance…

Dear David,

I hope there comes a time when you’re more lonely than the night I first shook your hand, kissed your lips, tasted your embrace…I hope when that time comes you realize how much love I had for you, how unconditional and priceless was its strength and how I would have done anything for you and how you wouldn’t have done anything for me – How you’d given up on you and therefore given up on me.

I hope when that disparaging time comes you see that my introduction was your chance to be free, free from all that past pain, insecurity and debris – all of that you could have released upon me, not at me but know and understand that I was always listening, never controlling – only caring. I do hope there comes a time when you hear “our song,” are reminded of how we are not “better together” and understand the pain you caused me, the depths of what you’ve lost and remember, with me, you could have had a family. I hope that pain reflects back tenfold and you see all I have gained because I was once with you but now I am without you.

I do hope a time comes when your selfishness subsides, you remember me standing in front of our family and friends in that white dress, both of us saying “I do” and you desperately wish you hadn’t fucked it all up. I hope when that time comes you experience the hopeless fits of anxiety I used to when you would deliberately and knowingly leave me all alone. I hope those experiences inflict such sorrow you can barely breathe and in that moment when you’ve lost what you think is your last breath, you wish you would have just been there for me, your wife, because I was the single love of your now perpetually lonely life.

Sincerely & I know better than forever and a day,

Lindsay

I know the above sounds as if I have not forgiven and in many ways, truthfully, I have not. I’ve written a couple of unsent letters in the past year since our separation and each one is noticeably different. Give me a few more months or maybe another year, who knows, and the next letter could potentially read of significant forgiveness. I want to forgive. I really do – and not for his sake but for my own. I am well aware that all of the above anger and strife only harms one person and that is I. I also believe I am entitled to this anger and in no way is it misplaced.

I often think of my dear Mother when I think of this anger and I wonder how much time it took for her to find forgiveness in her heart in regards to my Father. I would imagine awhile considering her marriage lasted almost twenty-five years but my mama did have one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever known – there was endless, though priceless room in that beautiful vessel of hers. I like to think that her and my dad telling each other they loved each other shortly before his passing was one of the most substantial showings of forgiveness.

Love is such an interesting concept and I’ve honestly never bought into that whole “that’s not love,” or “love doesn’t make you cry” or “love doesn’t hurt when it’s real” bullshit. Everyone who has ever been completely and madly in love or simply loved someone with all of his or her being knows that it can fucking hurt and hurt bad at that. It’s all perspective, you see. Love is a basic human instinct and need, however, we all learn what love is and how to love based off of our personal experiences and sometimes, those experiences are less than subpar. Again, subpar being a matter of perspective as everyone’s standards greatly vary.

I’ve written a couple of times in the past year since my separation from David about “the one that got away,” my “skinny love,” and in since doing so, I’ve come to a great revelation which is so overwhelmingly kick ass, for lack of better terms. It solidifies exactly one of the main reasons why I began this blog – to gratefully serve as a crystal clear mirror in which to reflect my actions, thoughts and words right back at me.

Time and time again, I’ve toyed with this unconventional idea that I’m meant to love more than one man in this lifetime and this, I have done. I’m meant to love each one in the way my experiences have taught me to love, until he cannot handle or accept anymore of what I’ve deemed as my endless reservoir, all while holding on to the hope that one man, one day, will be strong enough to want my love for the rest of his life thus loving me for the rest of his. I am not holding my breath. My point, however, is that there is no such thing as “the one that got away.” I couldn’t force that man to desire my love nor would I ever want to. He walked away and I moved on because that is what we, as humans, must do – move on. This disclosure is incredibly freeing.

I like to believe I live in such a way that I could die at any given moment but on more than one occasion this past week, I have awoke questioning myself, “If I were to die today, would everyone I love know that I love them?” and “If I were to die today is there anything I would regret if it is possible to regret after our untimely departure?” These are two extremely important questions, in my opinion, and yet again, they both boil down to love. Love. Love. Love.

I’ve been deemed a hippie, an idealist, what have you but love truly is all that we need. It is the meaning of life. And to answer my above questions, I think everyone would know that I love them but not because I vocalized it, which is just as important as our actions as long as they are parallel. I would regret not verbally revealing my true feelings to certain people in my life. As I write, I reflect in that mirror I briefly spoke of and it appears I’ve got my work cut out for me.

I think fear drives so many people thus inhibiting our true selves, the beautiful, bright parts of our unpolluted souls that speak freely of love, longing, want and need. Everyone wants and deserves to feel loved, longed for, wanted and needed. Some can never quite overcome the fear and my dad was one of those folk, unfortunately. I understand that he did the best he could with the experiences that he lived and the love that he was shown, though it was never enough to know he loved me or I loved him simply because “he’s my dad.” I know we all hear variations of this expression all the time – “Of course she loves you, she’s your mother after all.”

If actions and words don’t seamlessly correspond, therein lies perpetual doubt and perhaps what we fear the most, an ounce or two of sobering truth. There is nothing in the Universe that states that one is incapable of loving a friend as if he/she shared the same blood pumping through each other’s veins just as nothing in the Universe states that love is inevitable and altruistic because one is born of his/her genetic makeup.

My brother comes to mind when I think of obligatory love, however, I do absolutely love my brother and I wouldn’t necessarily deem it obligatory. The best way I can describe it since I can remember the dynamics of my up and down relationship with him is that there is this giant brick wall he’s built and I’m the big, bad wolf. I’ve tried numerous times, in the past, to huff and puff that shit down to no avail. I’ve since placed myself on the road to acceptance – acceptance that we most certainly love each other but we don’t talk about it nor do we have much opportunity to show it and I would blame him for this but part of true acceptance is letting go of juvenile behavior such as pointing fingers, dwelling on fault and placing blame.

It’s incredibly, eerily fascinating when parallels can be drawn some twenty plus years later, when the misery that was being alone with my dad and my brother at the age of four manifests itself into my adulthood. Due to financial strain, my mother had to work nights and I was often left alone with my alcoholic father and disinterested older brother. I would lay awake, eagerly, at night until 2:00 in the morning when I would thankfully hear the familiar clanging of my mother’s key in the apartment door. I would hastily, but quietly so not to wake my dad, crawl out of bed to greet my mother and she would allow me to stay awake with her and watch her VHS recorded soap operas, cuddled together on the couch.

Twenty-two years later, I found myself seeking solitude from my brother and dad’s uncomfortable company just days before my dad’s death, my mother hundreds of miles away. I would have given just about anything to be sleeping under her roof that particular evening. Interesting how previous moments that have seemingly disappeared from one’s memory are conjured up and sometimes, one doesn’t even recognize the significance of this full circle until years later.

There are some moments I have planned, without solid dates in mind as of yet, that I imagine will be quite noteworthy in providing needed closure and enlightenment. Two of those planned gestures include conducting a burning of my wedding dress and a trip to New York City where I will masochistically visit the site of my wedding reception as well as a few other places reminiscent of stored away memories. I do not view this as masochistic as it may appear to outsiders – it is more of something I see as a means of fully healing, gaining complete closure and untainting a city I once dreamt about with great fervor in my heart – a city that awoke my every sense with its vibrant multi-cultural energy and a city that I once loved. I want to make new memories – happy ones – that enable me to grow to love that city that I called home once upon a time. After all, it wasn’t New York’s fault that I happened to reside in its greatest borough during the worst couple years of my life.

My closest friend, Norma, was there through it all. She will probably never quite know the impact she has had on my life and continues to have. She’s always there with an open ear, reminding me of my consistent strength and providing comforting words when and where they’re needed most. From an impromptu excursion to the beach one sunny Sunday afternoon when my heart was heavy with David’s careless words and actions, sentiments of a failed marriage in the forefront of my tired mind, she knew exactly what I needed in that moment. I had picked Norma up at eleven in the morning with the intention of our regular routine of grabbing coffee in our neighborhood and chatting for a couple of hours before parting ways. She suggested we drive to Malibu via the picturesque Topanga Canyon, knowing that I had been going through it or for lack of better terms. I hesitantly agreed to drive to the beach and I couldn’t be more grateful of her thoughtful persuasion.

Endless is her priceless friendship and support as we chatted over sangria and wine earlier this afternoon, she looked at me earnestly and told me that she feels the most sorry for David because, “The truth is, he never really took the time to get to know you. If he had, I am convinced that he wouldn’t have fucked it up.” She followed this up by agreeing to accompany me during the burning and destruction of the ceremonial gown widely known as the wedding dress and because she knows me well and knows my history of impulsive behavior, she first asked, “Are you sure you’re ready to do that?” To which I excitedly exclaimed, “Oh yea, I’m ready!” God, I love that woman.

One of the most significant and constant reflections as of late is that of the woman I have become not only since the last almost three years since my mother’s death but in the last twelve months of my life. I do believe I have matured considerably this past year as I reread some of the ninety-nine posts before this and think to myself, “Wow, that was juvenile” however without the usual self-disdain. I am more understanding and gentler with myself as I feebly attempt to give credit where credit is due.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I wish my mama were around to know this Lindsay, to experience the reaping of the strength, the compassion and love that she had two hands in sowing. She is in stark contrast to the woman that wrote her dear mama on August 12th, 2012 :

Dear Mama,

How are you today? I hung out with Manny tonight. He is going back to LA, though, which makes me so sad. I like spending time with him because while he may not understand my pain from losing you, he does get me. We’re very in tune with one another – maybe it’s the positive vibe he exerts and maybe that’s why you liked him so much when you met him. I do look so much like you – I hear that almost every day. Are you here, mama?

I’m beginning to ponder the person I’ve become and while I’m not too fond of her jaded self, I also remind myself not to be so hard on myself which is probably one of the most difficult things I truly need to master. I know I’m hard on myself but it’s almost natural for me. There’s so much I wish you and I could have one of our long phone conversations about where there’s not a single moment of silence except to pause for breath. I would tell you how I feel like I run into rudeness – am I attracting this negative energy? Am I expecting too much from society? I know I’m an idealist but you raised me with manners. While I may not know how to set a table to its proper placing etiquette, I do know how to say, “Excuse me.” I need you. Plain and simple. Nothing changed there. I’m not sure how I’ve survived this past year without you. I love you, mama. Goodnight, love you, see you tomorrow. I wish. I hope. We always talked about never losing hope –sometimes it’s the only thing we’ve got.

Almost two years later, this is what I would like to say to my best friend, my mama:

Dear Mama,

I began this blog last September with the intention of keeping your spirit and memory alive. I am doing my best to honor this and do your beautiful, however short, legacy justice. So much has happened in the past ninety-nine posts including receiving an unexpected and welcomed message from one of your long, lost friends, Joan, who loved you just as much as every one else I know whose life you effortlessly touched. I moved, I did some traveling, I started a new, full time job and I’ve continued honing my writing skills, something you always wished to see me do though never instilling pressure.

Perhaps most notable to speak about in the past several months since beginning A Righteous Revival are the number of incredible people I have met that have left an imprint on my life whether knowingly or not. My energy has been that of positivity thus I am attracting positivity and this is blatantly evident in the company I keep as of late.

I know you’ve heard this before, ma, but I’ve met someone I care greatly for. This time I know it’s different and I know you know, too. Not having to wonder or speculate if someone cares for you back is refreshing and something that has sadly lacked from my past relationships as you are fully aware. Unexpected and beautiful is the best way I can describe it without divulging too much personal information as I wish to keep this safe and separate from the world of social media and information. This doesn’t belong on such a platform rather it belongs in my heart. Don’t think I don’t wanna stand on a mountaintop and shout out my elation to anyone within earshot, though.

And though I may be haunted by your untimely absence every single day, I put forth great effort to focus on the wonderful memories we shared rather than the potential moments that cancer cruelly robbed us of. I show your pictures and I talk about you all the time because I want people to know the person who raised me and who loved me unconditionally. I love you, more.

Love,

Linds

In Loving Memory of this beautiful woman…

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Happy National Best Friend Day

In honor of National Best Friend’s Day, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for my dear friends. If friendship were about paying others back for their loyalty and kindness then I would spend many lifetimes doing so. Thankfully, friendship is about a mutual give and take, the want to do and love without the desire for anything in return. At the same time, I believe it extremely important to communicate appreciation where appreciation is due.

As I go retrospect on the last twenty-nine years of my life, people have come and gone but the most constant, timeless relationship anyone can have is that of an endearing friendship. They don’t necessarily have to be “best” friends or “lifelong” friends either. I have met a handful of people in the last ten months that have enriched my life for the better and whether or not I am granted the opportunity to spend another second with these folk, I will always stand grateful for the special moments of my unique journey that I had the pleasure of sharing with these extraordinary individuals.

It’s quite the conundrum, in fact. I possess the basic yet strong human fear of losing even more so after losing both of my parents within four months of each other, however, I do not let the fear hinder me from diving headfirst and diving deep into relationships with people whom I deem valuable. For some people, they just don’t allow others to get close. I, on the other hand, seek out the closeness, the companionship I’ve experienced with all of my friends and lovers.   This is quite the recipe for anxiety. I’ve always believed it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all and I stand by that belief wholeheartedly but it certainly causes me to question how long until I lose yet another loved one.

It’s the support, the kindness, the love and the bond I have shared with certain individuals that gives me this strength to continue conducting my life as a giver and a lover – as one who stands, arms stretched open wide to those who wish to receive my embrace, literally and metaphorically speaking. I owe this genuine quality to all of my friends, all of the people who have crossed my path in this life and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.

I send thanks to the former best friend whom I was roommates with in college who suddenly decided she didn’t want to be my friend any longer without any communication or explanation. I thank the ex-coworker turned best friend who I’ve known since 2004 who also decided to cease communication within the last few months. I send thanks to David who I once considered my best friend as well as my lover, my boyfriend turned husband. I am thankful to the erratically, spunky girl name Jina who was my close friend not once but twice after forgiving an initial falling out who almost accidentally poisoned my cat to death. I thank her for the apology she recently issued regarding the last and final fall out.

I thank my dear friend, Jimmy, for coming to my door the night I came home to find all of David’s belongings removed from the apartment we shared for several months prior to our decision to separate and divorce. I thank my beloved friend, Claudia, for providing me with clean clothing and a comfortable place to rest my head when David deliberately locked me out of our apartment. I thank Sandy for consistently coming to my side in times of my need for company – the laughs she induces and the love she endlessly provides. I thank Norma for her undying support and positivity – for sending me a care package after my cross-country move to the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, complete with Common’s autobiography and a package of coffee grounds from “our spot” in Studio City. I thank my constant friend of almost sixteen years, Ashley, for always welcoming me with open arms no matter how much time passes, for being able to pick up right where we left off as if we just saw each other yesterday. I thank her for the “strength” key and for providing me with the chance to willingly pass on the earnest sentiment. I thank “my person” for the unanticipated text message reminding me that I am, in fact, her person.

The above are only a handful of the significant gestures that stand out in my mind. If I really wanted to go in depth and take up bundles of your precious time, I’d speak of the countless moments said friends listened to the sounds of my relentless sobs or agonizing screams on the other end of a telephone line or the encouraging words, actions and/or messages unexpectedly received from friends near and far.

I wish everyone knew how much the little things count – how the seemingly most insignificant act can create the most significant impact. Oftentimes, these are the moments that stick with us for a lifetime. I thank my friend, Kwame, for the sincere hug and thoughtful words he offered me after I attended one of his performances in New York, in which he expressed his deepest sympathies for the loss of my parents. I thank an old friend, Arielle, in which she reached out via electronic mail to express her empathy after the loss of my dear mama. I thank my soulful friend, Chanté, for the depths of her compassion, for the simple act of sharing a poem she rightfully believed will render some movement in the pit of my heart.  I thank my dear friend, Elle, who humorously offers to throw cherry bombs off of the Brooklyn bridge with me when I visit New York to enact a primal act of closure.  I thank my friend, RaShaunda as well as others, for sharing their thoughts on A Righteous Revival because one way or another, they can relate on some carnal level, the historic similarities are uncanny and for a moment in time, all involved can feel as if we’re not alone. I am simply thankful for being a sheer thought in the minds of dear friends, old and new – I always feel the love and I always will, for I was blessed with such a gift.

I honestly struggle writing blogs of such nature because mere words couldn’t possibly begin to do my gratitude justice. I can only hope that the people mentioned above and so many that I have not mentioned understand, recognize and know deep in their souls how appreciative I am for their past, present and one can only hope, their future.

Please know if you were not spoken of specifically, this in no way means that I am ungrateful. This simply means that I cannot take up any more of my readers’ time with this blog but I am eternally grateful for your friendship, for your meaningful part in the journey of my life. I can only pray and hope that I provide a significantly equal place in your life. The fact that I could go on for pages is a blessing in and of itself. I love you all with my whole heart. My love has never been in vain and never have I ever taken your time, support or love for granted.

And in honor of my number one best friend, my mama – I miss you with every single breath and I owe to you my ability to love unconditionally for you taught me the true meaning of this phenomena. I am infinitely grateful for your fervor, your strength and your passion – your boundless heart.

For The Pretender

I’m gonna rent myself a house in the shade of the freeway…” Jackson Browne’s lyrics caused the familiar, yet seldom these days, tears to form aqueducts along the subtle curve of my lower eye, eventually spilling over upon my flushed cheeks. This moment served as a harsh reminder of all that I’ll never be able to do for my dear mama, namely, buy her that house in the shade of the Pacific Coast Highway or along North Carolina’s seashore. By the time my mother was finally convinced by my sincere persuasion to move west, she had fallen sick and by the time we learned that it was terminal cancer, I was moving east and she was bed-ridden.

En route to El Matador State beach in Northern Malibu on a stunningly gorgeous Mother’s Day morning, I played Jackson Browne’s “The Pretender” on repeat. This was similar to the day’s events almost three years ago as I made my way to the rocky hidden gem that is El Matador to spread her ashes along the dramatic coastline. The stark difference, though, was that this occasion was conducted solo and one of a more thankfully celebratory mood.

Upon my early arrival, I took in the stretch of striking beach atop the steep cliffs, overlooking the Pacific waters, noticing that El Matador isn’t such the “hidden gem” it once was what with the scores of families and sun worshippers already lining the shore. I blame that con on the travel magazine I saw it featured in a couple of years ago. And though a desired destination beach now, I will never stop going there on these special occasions, these exclusive moments where I get to revel in the natural beauty of it all along with my mama’s spirit.

Mama's Jar of Sea glass
Mama’s Jar of Sea glass 5/11/2014

I lovingly reminisced about the moment my mother first witnessed that glorious stretch I speak of as we trekked our way down to sea level and how we spent a couple of hours walking in the sand, searching for sea glass and exploring the small caves inside the giant boulders that had found their resting spot upon the beige sands. Windblown and made tired by the excess amounts of vitamin D we had taken in that day, we sat peacefully upon a rock, delighting in the visuals before us – the endlessly crashing waves, seagulls in search of their next meal and the winding expanse of oceanfront to the south. A little over a year later, I found myself back at El Matador, solemnly spreading her remains along the shallow waves, in the sand and into the salty, ocean air.

On this particular Mother’s Day, I find myself wishing she were here to witness the woman I have become. I believe I am the best version I have ever been of myself and I would have wanted to share this with her. I think I would make her proud, as so much of this woman, this human being, I’ve become is owed to her guidance, her unwavering strength and her poignant wisdom. She deserved to know this me as much as I always wanted her to know the kind of love that fills in the missing colors in her paint-by-number dreams as Jackson Browne so affectingly describes in the final verse of “The Pretender.”

My heart sometimes literally aches at the thought of her permanent, physical absence and the tears I had begun to shed continued due to the fact that this joy, this beauty and this love that fill my heart and soul cannot be shared with the most important person in my life. In the past, I would often find myself saying that the meaning of life is love but I now believe that past sentiment to have been about 85% words whereas now, I live a life full of meaning, of love, at 110% and it’s incredibly fulfilling. I endeavor to imagine that she knows a great bliss that I do not, that wherever she may be, exists a sort of reverie unlike the kind I am presently experiencing and that one day, we will share in that.

My gratitude was in overdrive yesterday as text messages and phone calls poured in from some of the dearest people in my life:

Happy Mother’s Day to your Ma…”

I will place the flowers I bought out so your Mom can enjoy them on the balcony.”

Hi Lindsay. Thinking of you and your mom.”

You’re in my heart today sweet sister! Always, just a little extra today ;) She is so proud of you xoxo. Me, too.

All of the above beautiful sentiments were synonymously as unique and as sincere as the loving, wonderful people that sent them and that I am proud to have surrounded myself with. Stating that I am truly blessed simply doesn’t do this immense gratitude justice any longer but I know you all know that I am genuine.

I willingly spent the greater portion of my three and a half hours on the shores of El Matador beach observing the numerous, seemingly happy families – the mothers running toward the waves, carefree, with their little ones in tow, the little boy receiving a kite flying lesson from his eager Mother and the Father gleefully sliding down a small sand dune with his two young sons. All of these sights delivered more joy than the pure sadness or resentment that they used to. While I, of course, wish that I could share a simple moment as such with my mother again, especially on days like Mother’s Day, I’ll be grateful for the times that I did share with her. It was truly soul stirring and instilled within me a dream that perhaps, one day, I’ll be that mother showing my son how to fly a kite or picnicking with my little family, relishing in the second Sunday of May that is Mother’s Day.

Dear Mama, I wish I could expel all of the joy my heart is bursting with upon your deserving ears. As I sit at the edge of land, watching the Pacific Ocean live in its vibrant beauty, crashing toward the shore, beckoning, calling vigorously to my soul, it’s reminiscent of the simplistic happiness I experienced when I would come to Kansas City, to our home and share a home cooked meal with you.  Happy Mother’s Day to you today, everyday, forever and always.

I (HEART) U with mama's pic in the sand 5/11/2014
I (HEART) U with mama’s pic in the sand 5/11/2014


With Love,

Lindsay