Link fixed

For those of you that were bothered by the fact that the link to our house website didn’t work, it is now fixed. I guess some people are bothered by links that go nowhere.

Also, I should mention that there is nothing new at the site, it’s just that now you can get there.

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The things we leave behind

February was the anniversary of my mother’s death. This is the last year that I am, in time, closer to her than I am to this life I live now. A year from now I will be 34 and she will have been gone for seventeen years. I will have lived as much of my life without her as I did with her.

Of course I realize that I already am so far from her. Although the president’s name and his war are the same as they were back in 1991, I am a different person now. I have a different name, I have a husband, children, a house. So much has escaped my grasp over the miles these years create– her laugh, what we were like then, how it felt to have a mother at all.

Perhaps the worst part for me is knowing that even though I am everything to my girls—the wiper of tears, the fixer of broken hearts, the one that shows them the world piece by piece, that if I were gone tomorrow, they would remember almost nothing of me at all. All the same things of me would fade for them. What would I leave them with? What have I been left with?

It has taken these sixteen years to find out what wasn’t lost. The things my mother left behind. I am a kind and loving person and a fierce fighter when I need to be. I believe that people are mostly good and I believe in second chances. I trust that when someone tells me that they love me it is because it is true and that it is because I am worth loving.

I believe that my mother was crazy about me because she told me that she was, and so I make sure that I tell my girls that I am crazy about them because it is the truest thing I know.

I am open-minded and compassionate. I judge people on who they are and what they do in this life rather than what they look like or who they vote for or who they sleep with. These are all things that my mother gave to me. These things are her legacy, they are how she will live on in this life, through me, and though my girls. And they are everything that I have left of her.

And most days, they are enough.

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Who we are this week

We have been gone so long from this Internet documentation of the girls’ lives, and they change so quickly, that I feel as if I have to introduce them all over again.

Emily is passionately striving to expand her vocabulary. She has mastered the most important things: “Where is the food?” “What is that food?” “Can I please have some food?” And, to a lesser extent, “May I have some food?”

She won’t go hungry.

Now she is on to the luxuries of language. She rolls words around her mouth as if learning English by taste. “Palm tree. Paaalllllmmmmmm. Palm.” It is, in a strange way, a bit like watching an office romance unfold.

Emily eyes the word from across the room. You can see it in her face when she hears it. She begins by asking about it, trying to be subtle, but it is clear whom she fancies. She may as well be asking if it is seeing anyone.

“The fire is so delightful…” I sing.

“Sing that part again… the fire part.” She asks.

Finally she begins slipping it into conversations where if not exactly out of place it is nonetheless awkward at best. “This dinner was delightful.” She says, though much of it sits untouched on her plate. Better yet, it comes out deyightful.

Also, she can now write all of the names in our family, including the pets, so they adorn absolutely everything. Stick figure pictures now have labels. No ears, mind you, but names.

And Thursday, while talking non-stop about who-knows-what (she gets that from me!), she told me about something she had typed out. “I put in z, y, x…” I tuned out for a bit while the string of letters seemed endless and without reason, then came back in again as she said, “e, d, c, b, a.”

“What did you say?” I’m not so good at hiding when I’m not listening. “Did you just say the alphabet backwards?”

“Uh huh.”

“Do it again.” And she did, and not the way that I would do it, by saying one letter and then singing through the alphabet until I got to the next letter. She said it, albeit slowly, as though she was reading it. Apparently, her strength will, most likely be, in passing sobriety tests. So she’s got that going for her, which is nice.

Claudia, on the other hand, has given up what little language she had acquired and has instead embraced a single, solitary word, changing only her inflection to fit the situation.

The word? Mom. Or, more specifically, “Maaaaaaaaam”. Or “Maw am.” (said with a teenagers distain) Or “Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom.”

Oh, and she’s decided to change her name to Jo Jo. So much for months spent combing baby name books.

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