Archives for July 2009

29Jul

Suicide…

I had an extremely difficult time accepting my mother’s death.  She had a massive stroke and died when she was 67.  I grieved for years because she was the center of my universe.  I finally came to peace with it, and I came to peace with it by realizing that my mother had her own deal with God.  The deal with God did not include anyone else – it was between her and God.  Daughter or no daughter, she was a being with a fate and a destiny that belonged to her and no one else.  In the end aren’t we all alone?  In the end aren’t we all single beings, birth and death, we do these things alone.

Suicide is different to me.  Suicide is about your relationship with the living.  It doesn’t seem to be about your relationship with God.  For that reason it just seems more hurtful, more personal and more painful.  I’m not sure how, if you are successful at suicide that relates to God…but it feels wrong to me.

I want to say “How dare you evaluate yourself in relation to me.  I value you, why don’t you stay here with the living?”  I want to ask “Don’t you see how you are needed?”  There is also a part of me that wants to scream hysterically, “don’t you see that death is the end for us, for our relationship – not a change, but the end?” 

This is just me, how I feel – that’s all.

12Jul

Ella Mae’s China

I’ve always wanted china, all of my life I have wanted china.  I also wanted all of the things that go with china, I mean the events…the agonizing choosing with my fiance’, the hundreds of guests bearing gifts at my extravagant wedding – all of those things that come with the china.

My life has not ever had that mood or demeanor.  From the time I was a teenager, even though I was late to the baby boom set, I have always thought of myself as a hippy.  I wore my hair long for decades eschewing the control that hairdressers have over normal womens’ lives.  I am practical and have many children.  The children – by their sheer number – have always forced me to be super-organized and structured.  I did not even know that a day could occur without planning until about 5 years ago…

Ah well, back to Ella Mae’s china.  My mother-in-law was the quintessential hostess, her husband a colonel in the Air Force, an attache’ who worked in many embassies world-wide.  So Ella Mae entertained everyone and anyone, sometimes royalty and at other times beggars.  Ella Mae was an accomplished cook (we did not call anyone and everyone “chef” in those days).  Ella Mae’s home was spotless and when she entertained the china came out of the cabinet.

At the holidays we always went to my in-laws for dinner and it was always an elegant affair.  The children always accompanied our party, luckily as that is where they learned manners.  I always felt the princess when I was there.  Her meals were lavish and she would never allow me to help her clean up.  I remember one Thanksgiving I insisted on helping scrape the plates and I banged a plate on the sink, Ella Mae gave me the “oh shoot” look and so I stopped.  I let her finish cleaning up.  We followed this tradition for years, and always I felt special because I could relax.  Ella would feed and pamper us and then send us on our way.

Now Ella Mae is gone, but she has left her china and it is the real thing.  Now my children are grown and I am wishing one of them would take the china.  My daughters rightfully own it and the sterling silver tea set that goes with all of the lavish entertainment tools that Ella Mae owned.  But the china fits nowhere in my daughters lives.  Indeed, where does china fit today?  Miraculously the china is completely intact, a perfect set of sixteen place settings of “Platinum Renaissance”.  We have thought about selling it, it is a valuable set, and a perfect set.  I can’t bring myself to do it.  I’ve always wanted china…

It’s one of those incredibly ironic events in life, that confirm to me the ridiculousness of chasing after possessions.  Thirty years ago, I really, really wanted china, I wanted the real thing and because I have been so busy with children, I never pursued it.  Now the children are pursuing their own lives and I am footloose and fancyfree, except now I have china.  I can’t sell it and so I have to pack it, and dust it and store it and bring it with me when I move.  Footloose and francyfree indeed!