A letter to my mom

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I get it.

After years of not understanding, I get it.

When my son fell in love – it was so painful, and all I wanted was it for to be the RIGHT person.

This past Christmas, you gave me a card that read:

‘Daughter, Even though you’re all grown up, there’s a part of me that wishes I could give you want you want most at Christmas.  But I know it’s not as simple as a doll or bicycle anymore. You have hopes and dreams of your own – things I’m sure you carry in your heart with the word ‘someday’.  And though I can’t give you those things myself, I hold them in my heart too.  And I’m always hoping you’ll have whatever makes you feel happy, fulfilled, and loved..  Because that’s exactly what you deserve.”

I cried reading it.

You put  a lot of attention into cards. I know this because it’s how we’ve always been. I keep EVERY SINGLE CARD!

It takes me forever in the card aisle – I’m bawling or laughing and spending way too much time.

Let’s cut this to the chase.

Mom.

I’ve cried wolf a bunch of times.

Every time I’ve said “I’m in love” I know you’ve cringed.

I know it because internally, I was cringing too.

I, for a while, was in love with the idea of being in love.

You knew it.

I knew it.

We played that game.

But I grew.

And I finally fell in love with myself – and became a great mom in the process.

There was one person I could not get out of my head.

James.

Never.

Never did he leave my thoughts.

We had everything in common but I was young and dumb. (As you know.)

I had countries to explore, mistakes to make – relationships to one day compare ours to.

You’re the mom who will bury someone who hurts me up to their head in sand and plant honey and ants around them. lol.

He will never hurt me.

I guess what I need you to know is, I fell in love with an old best friend.

And I finally found someone who I know my son loves.

Your grandson.

And knowing how much you love him is important to me.

He loves you that much back.

You were a second mom to him – and we couldn’t have made it without you.  At all.

Coming home from work, and you rocking him to sleep to that Irish lullaby – priceless.

And I thank you.

And I love you.

And I appreciate you.

And I adore you.

I think of our time in England, when you did everything you could – made me dresses, saved up for birthday dolls – and struggled – and I love you SO much for all of that.

So I hope you’ll believe with my clear and understanding and appreciative eyes, that I now know what love is.

Finally.

And no, he’s not a doctor or a lawyer. lol.

He is the man I truly love.

Always have.

And I know you’ll appreciate that.

He’s an artist.

Like you.

And he’s funny. And beautiful.  And tough. And does what it takes to make it.

I respect that.

I can’t love someone I don’t respect.

But you’re just like him.  An artist, and funny, and beautiful.  And tough.  And have always done what it takes to make it.

We made it.

And your card came true.

I love you mom. x

us

I find it funny how our memories differ,

I reacall cartoons –

while you remember Italy.

I always cherished what we had.

Not knowing what we had.

And today we have it all.

Before us.

And past us.

And locked in inegrating memories.

A whole story before us.

A story ahead – that no one else has heard.

Musings from the Laundromat: Forgotten Coffee & Allergic Dogs edition

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45 & 47.  Those are the washing machines I bravely claimed after asking “Is someone using this one do you know?” of a table of strangers.  MY OCD be damned – there would have to be a machine interrupting the numerical flow.

This morning was the second in a row of me waking and being so relieved to realize I could not only hit my snooze button, but go back to sleep again.

And I did find sleep once more, giving me long enough to have a disturbing dream.  I woke an hour and a half later, remembering that I certainly did NOT want to miss out on a good seat and good machines.

I leaped into action! Started a pot of coffee, let Butters out – (who, had decided since the first bleat of my alarm, that there were many, many things close to my bed that resembled drums when thumped with her tail), gathered all household laundry, brushed my teeth, ran a brush through my hair and tossed on some clothes.

I then proceeded to forget my coffee inside three times.

I had been up for 10 minutes, bleary eyed and in that ‘late to school!’ mode.

The neighbors dog decided my laundry baskets, plonked down outside of my gate, were intruders.  Barking madly as I went back in the third time to grab my coffee.

Everything finally in the car – and off I went. Still half asleep.

There were only two cars in front of the laundromat, relief washed over me again. (No pun intended.)

This place is much like a Tardis though – the outside does not lend an accurate picture of the inside.

Inside I was met by more people than expected.  And my favorite machines almost all taken.

Thus the dilemma of having to use 45 & 47.

#46 had a lavender basket atop of it, like a quarter on a pinball machine.  The strangers at the table weren’t sure if the two either side of that one were ‘taken’ – and while I’d usually back away and find another machine out of respect, this week I was staking my claim.

Rewind.

As tired as I am, as I waddled unevenly with two baskets of laundry and balancing my pouting coffee on one finger, (it was still a little upset I forgot it three times) I noticed a sign on the door.

“Absolutely no dogs allowed inside without medical identification!”

Now, obviously I knew what they meant, but I was hit with an image of some random pup walking in sporting a shiny tag stating its medical condition.

Laundry person: “You!  You there … dog!  You can’t come in!”

Dog: “It’s ok, I have allergies.”

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I was still amused by this as I leaned against the counter waiting for my turn with the laundry lady.

Her: “Fresh pot of coffee just made!”

Me: “Thank gawd!”

Her: “I think that old man is mad at me.  He keeps looking over because I have blankets in the industrial dryers.”

Me: “Well, he keeps cutting his eyes at you, you come get me.

Her: (laughs) “Ok.”

I adore her.  She’s always so nice.  I remember when she had to find a new place to live and was exhausted from moving – but still had a smile on her face.  I love that she has been part of my Sunday mornings for over 4 years.

I put what I can in her tip jar, which I’m pretty sure is meant for the customers who take advantage of the full service laundry that they offer.  But I like to show my appreciation anyway.

Isn’t it odd, that she is a part of my routine … my life, and so many others I’m sure.  I want her to know it.  To feel special and to know I’m grateful.

And as I glance up, I can see her folding someone elses laundry, while scanning the room to be sure everything is running as smoothly as the seams she irons – and I’m feeling a litte silly for being ruffled over having to use two machines that did not sit side by side.

As my boyfriend said this morning on my Facebook (accompanied by one of his old school photos lol) – I’m the luckiest girl ever.

And I am.

Everything that should truly matter, matters to me.  I’m grateful for everything I have and everything I don’t.

And really glad Butters doesn’t have allergies.

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Musings from the Laundromat: Brave bras, pink panties and a safe heart

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There are three bras slung over the rail of a laundry cart … just out there for all to see.  And no one is looking at them.  Untrue, can’t stop looking at them.  I keep glancing up.

Here I am, the one who turns 50 shades of red when I drop a pair of panties on the ground whilst removing my dry load from the depths of an industrial dryer, gawking at the sheer bravery of these bras.

And I’m reminded … not everyone is interested in looking at your stuff.

I’m at a strange table again.  And painfully aware that there are people behind me.

I hate having my back to people.

Anxiety girl!

I just glanced and saw a free table in the back … I’m moving!

AH! Much better.

When I walked in Of Monsters and Mens’ Little Talks was playing on the radio – and I smiled.

While driving here – Take me to Church was on in my car.

Like most everything else, I read too much into music.  Today was no different, but in a good way.  Felt like two good omens.

I wonder do we block out the songs that aren’t relevant to our current state of mind?  Do our little ears perk up when one comes on that fits the soundtrack of our lives?

I’m sure there’s a very scientific explanation.  Probably much like the phenomenon of hearing a new word for the first time, and then hearing it multiple times that day.  Or getting a new car, and noticing the same car everywhere you go.

In tune to something you never paid much attention to before.

I’m in tune to lots of things about myself that I didn’t pay much attention to before.  Feeling things I haven’t felt before.  Cringing at some of my cat lady posts and all my ‘no one will ever complete me’ exclamations.

I feel like I found that last piece of a jigsaw puzzle.  The piece that would make my beautiful little life a complete picture.

And I’m so hopeful.  And very, very fortunate to have found someone who will temper my anxiety with a laid back attitude and a funny and creative view of things.

I’m also very, very fortunate to have found someone who will be so good for my such loved son.

An example of so many things.  Patience.  Persistency.  Humor.  Self acceptance.  And love.

I’m the luckiest girl on the planet right now as far as I’m concerned.

My heart feels Home. And Safe.  And, I just dropped a pair of pink panties from the washer onto the ground and only turned 25 shades of red.

See – progress!

 

10:15 … nah, it’s 4:30

I am bananas over my guy.  And stayed up because he was worried about his best friends dog.

I had this song hit me – and thought about my very best friend.

The good times.  The young times.  The innocence and the not so innocent times.

And him.

Back in the college days, Lisa and I would get ready and go out.

Here we are through the years:

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We always had such fun.  Not only did we have music we swooned to, but she had TONS of clothes, and she would rock them with her pixie hair cut and  I felt so … less than, and always loved her. We have memories of Nine Inch Nails … before you knew them. lol.  And always will. I have a top she loaned me, that I still have.  It’s too big  on me now.

It’s weird isn’t it?

How we grow and who stays and who doesn’t?   And when it comes to girlfriends, most of them stay.

But my best ‘boy’ friend back then … stayed.  For the most part.

Life took him in a crazy direction – but I found him.

It’s very odd that the guy I didn’t realize meant so much, would end up being my ever after.

I find it more strange, that my son turned out to be just the epitome of him.

A marvel comic fan.  A Dungeons and Dragons player – someone who marches to the beat of his own drum, and never has cared that anyone was in tune with him – while all along, he had a musical ability.

It’s crazy to me – that after 25 years, after clubs and ditching college classes and being my sons age – I should discover that the one I loved all along without knowing it, would be the one I loved.

I wrote to my sons girlfriend tonight.  I told her I was sorry.

That I had forgotten what it was like to be 20.  How important those feelings that I so easily discounted in my 40’s were back then.

They were important.

And real.

And if they mattered enough – they stuck in the 40’s … and still emerged butterflies.

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