Sunday, September 30, 2012

How I created something perfect

     Okay, after yesterday's epic and emotional post this is going to seem utterly mundane.  But they can't all be tear jerkers and without the simple bits of life, the dramatic parts would become tedious.  

     Today Brennan, the kids and I went to the Snohomish car show with my brother in-law and sister in-law.  I am not at all interested in cars but it felt good supporting my husband's interest and the kids loved it.  It was a gorgeous, sunny fall morning and Snohomish is an insanely cute town on a river so walking around with blue sky and red leaves and antique shops all around felt really good.  

     But the very best part of the morning was the walk back to our car.  The kids were done, you could just feel it, but we just happened to pass a furniture store that the perfect modern style dresser in the window.  We have been looking for a new dresser for months, and we had a very specific style in mind to go with our newly remodeled master bedroom.  I mean, we have checked every website out there, gone to every store and had no luck.  

     Uncharacteristically, we had decided to put whatever spare cash we got into an envelope and save up until we found the perfect dresser.  This is something new for us; spending willy nilly is more our style so this was a pretty big step.  We also happened to have saved just the right amount in that envelope.  We had two checks coming in for royalties on our book, and Brennan had another royalty check for his other book, plus a few odds and ends saved up.  It was perfect timing and a perfect piece of furniture.  We braved our kids' impending melt downs and, on a total whim, bought our new dresser.  

     This is such a great reminder for me that what we create can be perfect.  When we set things in motion with positive intention and patience, then things that were once difficult can be as easy as peasy.    Nothing in life needs to be hard.  We can always have what we want and need.  

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Losing Mom

     I was trying to think of a subject for today's blog and couldn't come up with a thing.  Not a good start for a blog.  I had a few subjects tossing around my head but nothing was sticking out.  I think though that I'm just dancing around the true topic that I need to write about.  My mom.

     It's scary to write about her.  I'm in a good place right now and don't want to bring up the pain again.    It's been almost a year and a half since she died and, miraculously, I feel okay.  I didn't think I could ever get to this place.  Ever.  So I suppose writing about her from this place is better than the other place.

     My mom's name was Janette Dean and she was beautiful.  She was hilarious, and warm, smiling, grounded, gorgeous, spiritual, feminine, artistic, creative.  She was my best, best friend!  All I wanted when I was a kid was to be physically close to her.  I wanted to crawl into her lap and melt into her and stay forever.  I don't think I ever got past that.  When I saw her I would often just sit next to her on the couch and want to snuggle into her, even as a grown woman.

     I would call her nearly every day.  I would tell her everything, especially the emotional and spiritual stuff that were the puzzle pieces of growth.  She helped me sort through everything....even my own feelings about her cancer and the possibility of her death.

     She really was the most amazing person.

     I guess I'm trying to lay the groundwork of how awesome she was so that you get the picture of how fucking horrible her loss was.  And it's all tied inextricably to my kids.  When I found out she had breast cancer, my first child Megan was about 4 months old.  She lived for a year and a half after finding out, so I spent the majority of Megan's little young life dealing with the fear of her dying and seeing her sick, and she never saw Megan's 2nd birthday.  Also, 9 months of her year and a half were spent pregnant with my second child Finn.

     When Finn was three weeks old (I still can't believe that I went through all of this), my mom went into the hospital.  Then cancer had spread to her brain.  She was way, way out of it.  I remember feeling completely abandoned by her.  While most new moms have their mother come and help with childcare and housework my mom was dying.  I remember Brennan had to talk me down and tell me that she needs me now.  I think it helped shift my thinking.  She pretty much stayed in the hospital for the remainder of her life, about four more weeks.  I brought the baby to the hospital every day and he slept in his car seat in the corner while me and the family mourned and tried to stay upbeat, but mom was basically in a coma most of the time.  It was horrible.

     There were a lot of small things to be thankful for at the time.  The childcare given to Megan that allowed me to go to the hospital every day, the support of friends and family, the increasing closeness of the family when we could have easily been broken apart, the kindness of the doctors and nurses, health insurance, the fact that I had had Finn already and wasn't going through the last month of pregnancy and labor and birth without my mother.....many things to be grateful for (and I truly want to write a different post about all of those things).  But holy crap, it really fucking sucked.

     Watching my beloved, strong mother shrinking and sick and unconscious.  Knowing it would be just days, then just one day, then hours.  She died on May 2, 2011, my sister Sherri's birthday.  (Another strong my sister is for getting through that).  I remember that my grandparents and dad were in the room and Sherri and I took Finn to eat lunch in the cafeteria.  I had a salad.  When we came back there was a noticeable shift in the room, her breathing was different and it felt strange.  Finn started fussing and needed feeding so I got him out of his carseat and under my nursing blanket so I was across the room.  My grandma said to come over because it was happening right now.  But I couldn't because I was futzing with Finn.  And then she breathed her last breath.  I missed it and honestly I am so thankful because I didn't want the image running over in my head like a video.  My dad cried out, a sort of primal sound and we were all crying and he hugged her and called for the doctors to come in.  I remember some poor young male nurse came in and dad yelled at him to get the doctor.  But it was obvious that she was dead.  It was surreal and horrible.

     It calmed down after that.  It was done.  We all said goodbye one by one.  Grandma and Grandpa said goodbye, such an incredibly heartbreaking thing to see--two parents saying goodbye to their daughter.  We started cleaning up the room after a month's worth of accumulated stuff and garbage and cried on tissues had built up.  I held mom's hand and it was cold.  I would never be able to crawl into her lap like a child again.  I said goodbye and took Finn out and down to the car.  We all met at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

     Whew!  I am glad I just wrote all of that.  Sorry it was so depressing!  And I promise that not all of my posts will be this sad but I think I needed to tell that story for a while now.  I know that for the longest time I had a sort of PTSD from it all.  I still can't smell hand sanitizer (an ever present hospital smell) without a wave of grief hit me.  But, like I said, right now I'm in a good place.  A lot of the initial shock and grief have naturally worn off (I don't think a person can maintain such an amped up level of sadness for too long).  In another post I will describe the moment the shift into positivity happened.  But for now I'll leave it at this.

Love to you all,



Friday, September 28, 2012

I'm starting a blog

     Yay!  I'm starting a blog.  Lately I've been exploring what makes me happy.  Mostly it's the little things, bits of goodness tucked in between bustling and cleaning and corralling chaos, and it's also starting new things.  I have always journaled and I enjoy sharing far too much information via facebook, so this seemed like a good next step.  I have a lot of ideas swirling around and this will be my platform.

Some of the things I want to start writing about:

My kids and all things parenting
My family and my successes and failures with relating to them
The death of my mother and how it continues to affect me, especially as a mother
Every day stuff--- my thoughts on the demise of Sesame Street, recipes I try, Pinterest, friends, playdates, shopping, exercise, television shows, movies, wine
My quest to unflinchingly be my SELF

A little bit about myself:

     My name is Shauna and I will be 39 years old next month.  I have been married to a wonderful man named Brennan for three years and we have two awesome children, Megan, 3 and Finn 1 1/2.  I live in Redmond, Washington but in many, many ways my heart belongs back across the lake in Seattle.
    I think that I have a pretty interesting history and I might write installments as part of this blog.  There are all kinds of possibilities with blogging!  Yay!  I look forward to this new adventure.

Lots of love,