Tag Archives: mother

Does Google Make You Real?

I grew up in a time just prior to the Internet explosion.
If you needed to gather information, you relied upon the library, encyclopedias, and microfiche.  I was taught the Dewey Decimal System and how to use a card catalog.

Now we just Google our questions. It’s remarkable what you can find on the Internet. The most obscure information is at your fingertips. We can even Google ourselves.

There is nothing that you can’t find if you search for it.

Or so I thought.

The other night, in a moment of sadness, I Googled my father.

I typed his name in and hit enter.
Nothing.

I put his name in quotations and hit enter.
Nothing.

There was no mention of his murder.
There was no record of those he left behind.
There was no mention of  his parents’ tears, their baby boy taken from them.
There was no mention of his siblings, devastated by their loss.
There was no mention of his widow, left to raise her two-year old daughter alone.
There was mo mention of me, a fatherless child.

I spent a day when I was a young adult, reading everything I could dig up about him at the local library and newspaper.

He was real and he did exist. The articles told in great detail the story of his murder and the heartbreak of the family left behind in its wake.

I know the story.

Why does it bother me that I can’t Google him? Why do I want so badly to read it all again, whenever I need to remind myself?

Why would it make him seem more real if I could see his name returned by an Internet search?

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Going Home

Kicking off Small Moments Mondays, a series of guest posts focusing on the little moments in life, the moments that can be so easily taken for granted if we don’t slow down to savor them, is Kris from Pretty All True.

If you’re really lucky, you meet a handful of people in life with whom you feel an immediate connection.  These people are a gift, whether it’s because they make you feel comfortable, encourage you to stretch yourself, help you to laugh, or offer you tremendous kindness that simply envelopes you.  Kris embodies all of these qualities and I can’t believe my good fortune for having met her.

One of the things that I admire most about Kris is the way that she fully embraces each moment of life.  Perhaps as a result of a childhood that offered her far more than her share of heartache or because of the beautiful little family that she has built, Kris savors life in a way that I truly admire.  When I was in the early stages of brainstorming this idea, she immediately came to mind, as she, though sarcastic and quick witted, appreciates the beauty in her life.

Though the first thing I noticed about Kris was her amazing sense of humor and her ability to tell stories that pull you in and make you feel as though you are somehow a part her world, she has a quiet tenderness and ability to make you feel as though you are important and loved that continually surprise me.

Thank you, Kris—for guest posting, for sharing your story, and for being my friend.  I am grateful for you.

Here’s her reflection on a small moment from her life…

Going Home – by Kris

Some of my saddest memories from childhood are of going home.

My home was broken and jagged and filled with sharp shattered bits of unexpected pain and sorrow. It was my reality. And most of the time? There was just acceptance.

And so, at the end of the school day . . . at the end of a trip to the grocery store . . . at the end of a trip to the library . . . I would just go home. There was sadness and fear, but also a sense of inevitability. Resignation. This was my life. This was my family. This was my home.

I would go home.

There were a few times in my childhood when I left our home for more than just a day. It didn’t matter where I had gone . . . the contrast between this other place and my home sometimes seemed more than I could bear. My heart would ache with longing for this other that I could not have.

Then, always, there was a going home.

And as I stared out of the window on the journey back home? My throat would clench so that I couldn’t breathe. The pain was so tight and jagged it felt as though I was swallowing glass. The increasingly familiar landmarks would blur before my eyes.

Going home.

Sigh.

A long time ago.

Today? I drove my daughters to a nearby state park and we rode our bicycles through the luscious humid green. Rode until we were exhausted and sweaty . . . in an enormous loop back to where we had parked the car.

Climbed in.

“Daddy’s making lunch for us, right?” asks my older daughter as she clicks her seatbelt.

My younger daughter answers happily, “Yes! He said he was going to make hamburgers on the grill!”

I start the car. I crank the air conditioning. I switch on the radio.

I drive down the tree-lined path out of the park.

We haven’t lived in Oregon very long, and I still get confused about directions. So I sit at the park exit, trying to remember if I am supposed to turn to the right or the left. Honestly? I have no idea. Everywhere I look, everything is just green.

Hmmmmm.

The GPS in our car? I love it. My favorite thing? There is this helpful touch-screen prompt, and when you select it? The car will give you directions home from wherever you happen to be at that moment.

And so I push it. The little prompt that says GO HOME.

I love going home. Every single time.

And that GO HOME prompt. It makes me smile. Every single time.

So I turn to the right.

“Ready for lunch, girls?”

“Yes!” My daughters yell in unison, “Let’s go home!”

It’s a small thing, really . . . it’s just going home.

But for me? Every single time?

I love to go home.

Stop by and visit Kris at Pretty All True.  Take some time to poke around, read a little of this and a little of that, and wait, some of this too.

Sprinkled in here, and here, and there are posts that take your breath away and stay with you, challenging you to truly think and appreciate life.

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So Much to Say

In the hours that I’ve spent at Craig’s mother’s bedside, I have found it difficult to be silent.

She alternates between moments of alertness, making eye contact and nodding in response to questions, and moments of unconsciousness. She is in there still…and she is trapped. You can see that she has much that she’d like to say, but she cannot speak.

So I talk to her and for her. I talk about her grandchildren, her sons, her friends. I retell stories that she has shared with me–stories of her youth.

I continually ask her if she wants me to talk and she always nods yes.

But, I can’t help but wonder if she’d appreciate it if I was just silent for a bit, or maybe if I would just slow down and let the memories wash over her, like warm sunshine on her face.

I find myself going on and on, afraid of the silences, afraid to waste one precious minute of the time that we have left, afraid that she will go and I will have some little thing that I want to share with her.

I tell her that I am eternally grateful for her son. I tell her that he is strong and true. Patient and handsome. Loyal and tender. (She knows all these things, but I tell her all the same.)

I tell her that Katie grows more confident every day and that she loves gymnastics.

I tell her that Matthew has turned into an impossibly happy baby and that he adores his sister.

I tell her how her granddaughter Keelin has an eclectic spirit that illuminates any room.

I tell her how her grandson Zai is turning into such a fine young man, intelligent and kind, silly and serious.

I don’t tell her that I am scared that I wont know how to help her son when she passes.

But, I do tell her that he is safe with me, that I will figure it out, and that I’ll never let go of his hand.

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His Name Was David Edward

Tonight I lay my son down to sleep and I cried for my mother, a woman who laid her baby boy down to sleep and found him gone forever the next morning.

He was barely older than Matthew and he was my mother’s first born, the one who taught her just how inconceivably intense the love of a parent is for their child.

She found him dead. Crib death they called it then. This baby, my older brother, gone before he had truly lived. Gone before he walked, but not before he smiled. Before he ran, but not before he laughed.

His name was David and he was breathtakingly beautiful.

I think of him often, wondering what he would have been like as a grown man, as my older brother.

I ache for my mother. No, not ache, because that cannot begin to touch what I feel. My heart is shattered for my mother. Young, full of love and joy. With a baby who died in the very next room. That is an unfathomable pain.

My mother…
You are brave
You are strong.
You are forever changed by your sweet son…by both his life and by his death.

I never take bedtime for granted.
I can’t and I won’t.

I love and admire you, Mom.

You are stronger than you know.

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