Creating an Urban Homestead

Posts tagged “loss

Life is But a Dream—or Maybe Just a Big Bowl of Soup

Nothing like the holidays to bring back memories of holidays past. Former lives within this life haunt me—so many moments and people that are now gone forever. They are real in my mind but elusive as a dream.

Life is so much more fluid than I ever knew. My mind keeps bumping into the people of the past as I cherish time spent with people of the present.

“Their souls are in the halls of my mind,” says Flash of his dearly departed. I know what he means. (more…)

Slow Food and Fast Food, Love and Pain

Avery eats his first turkey leg. Photo by Flash

Avery eats his first turkey leg. Photo by Flash

Flash, CC, Marley, Avery and I celebrated Thanksgiving early this year—a potluck with friends. Somehow, I ended up cooking my very first turkey for the shindig. After two short years of cooking regular meals and 10 years of vegetarianism only recently ended, it seemed a daunting task. (Mike was such a fantastic cook, I was truly handicapped in the kitchen by the time he died in 2007. I rarely cooked a meal in the 17 years we were together.)

Since returning to my omnivorous roots back in February, I’ve been purchasing local, free range, antibiotic-free meat from a farmer that I met while on a photo assignment years ago. Vegetarian at the time, I made a mental note that if I ever were to purchase meat again, it would be from Charles Ritch of Goose Pond Farm.

And I’ve made good on that promise. (more…)

Tear-filled goodbyes and a difficult introduction

Back to reality. Whatever that is. Kids are home from their month long trip to New Mexico. They stayed with Mike’s mom Dinny and her husband Frank in Las Cruces. From all accounts, the trip went swimmingly well for everyone.

Dinny brought them back yesterday and flew out of Birmingham today. About an hour before she left, Avery asked if he could go back to NM with her. “Just for a day.” And then he asked why she couldn’t stay here longer. Oh God, I knew what was coming. A big burst of tears after he said goodbye to her at the airport. Absolute sobbing. And I thought to myself, “I don’t remember him crying like this after his dad died.” Of course, he was three then and surely didn’t know the ramifications of what had happened to his dad.

“We’re not going to see grandma for a long time,” he said in the car. (more…)

okey dokey here we come

It feels like (and is) the next big chapter in my life. Flash has built me a beautiful light-filled office on what used to be the back porch, and the kids have seperate rooms to come home to tomorrow.
I came home from a party just now thinking I’d cut the grass and Flash beat me to the punch. He’s already out there slogging away, so I sneaked in the office (which has giant windows overlooking the back 40), grabbed my laptop and brought it into the kitchen to get in a quick blogging entry.
We’ve given my (our) house a name. Flash’s house on southside was given the name “The Asylum” years ago. One night he casually asked what we are going to name my (our) place. I blurted out “The Okey Dokey Ranch.” We both laughed and I promptly forgot about it.
A few days later, Flash said that he really liked the name I gave our house. He had to remind me of the name. Much easier than naming a child. Though I feel like The Okey Dokey in some strange way IS and will be our child. Our big creation together. (more…)

Marley lost her first tooth tonight

Another first–a non-holiday milestone that Mike has missed. One of those things that I know he would have loved to celebrate with her. And maybe he is. It’s just not that apparent to me.

Marley is soooo excited. When this happened, I of course was happy for Marley, but my mind also immediately went to “well, here’s another thing that Mike will never get to enjoy.”


Heart crush

Sometimes the weight of what has happened hits me like a wrecking ball. It is all I can do to not crumple to the floor and disappear. But it is good that it comes in waves because if the real impact of this horror hit me for a full day, for instance, I don’t know if I could continue to breathe. Even now, my breath is shallow and I’m having a hard time believing that my heart is even beating.


Space Cleansing

It’s been an intense weekend. Many social events, and also a more private happening. A cleansing of the “trauma energy” in the space in my basement where Mike died. (more…)

Life as a ghost

It is so strange going through the day as if nothing has changed.

Bring the kids to school; work on the books; close on a house; bullshit with the real estate agent; answer the phone; meet the HVAC guy; talk to the guys doing demolition work on my houses; listen to the radio; read a snippet of a novel. (more…)

A letter from Mike’s mom Dinny

My dear Michael,

You are a man of so many talents, there was little you couldn’t do–if you didn’t know how you just did it anyway.


Sunday blues

I can already see that Sundays are going to be the worst day of the week; it was most often the day that all of us would be home together, working in the garden, cooking, listening to NPR. Yesterday was just like one of those days, except it was Mike’s mom with us from New Mexico instead of Mike. And that was great–she’s had a great time with the kids and vice versa. Mike and the kids and I have always appreciated and enjoyed her visits. (more…)

A quick question

How dare the sky be so blue today?


oh my partner

how i long to laugh and to cry

in your arms

to feel your breath on my skin

to see your smile light up the sky for eternity

or just one more time

On the strength of peanutbutter jars

I’m so mad at Mike that I won’t even write what I’m thinking about him right now. I’ll save it for the ears of those special few (you know who you are) who are kind enough to listen to my rants in person. (more…)