My Daughter Elopes Today

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Amber, 1 hour old, 1983

My daughter, Amber, elopes today.

How do I express how much this baby/girl/woman means to me? How I have loved her every moment of her life with the whole of my heart?

I remember the moment she was born, the unconditional love that flooded me with the certainty that I would cherish this tiny person for all my days. I remember looking ahead into her future, at the winding path she would follow, how I would be unable to protect her from the travails of love, from the valleys of life, from failure and disappointment, from loss and gray hair. It made me hold her closer.

We named Amber, after the stone of healing, altruism, and wisdom. The child of my heart has found her way, carving out a life as a loving mother and partner, a caring friend, sweet daughter, and unsurprisingly to me, as a healer.

At the young age of 32, she and her partner of nine years, Shawn, are tying the knot. Celebrations to follow.

LOVE

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Ambie and me

I love you,
Not only for who you are,
But for who I am
When I am with you.

Scan14 - CopyI love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

Showtime

Showtime

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things

Mother and daughter

Mother and daughter

That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

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Ambie and the Overlord

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song…

Author Unknown

rev 2

The renewed family 12/5/2015

Mothers and Daughters

My great great great grandmother. Her mother was Indonesian and her father was a Dutch sea captain.

My great great great grandmother. Her mother was Indonesian and her father was a Dutch sea captain.

mothers allMy mother called me and told me I need to drive to Colorado (17 hrs each way) to pick up six boxes of family heirlooms and transport them back to Oregon…Now.

The timing isn’t convenient as I’m committed to weekly babysitting for the Overlord so his mother can work, and I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo for the first time ever. I shall write on the plane…yes, I’m traveling by plane and engaging the services of USPS for the boxes.

My mom grew up in Indonesia where my grandfather worked for the Dutch government. Our family goes back quite a few generations in that part of the world, and we are proud of the sliver of Indonesian heritage that flows through our veins.

My mother still identifies as Indonesian, an assertion that earns her an odd look from time to time. During WWII, my grandfather was interred in a Japanese POW camp. My grandmother and her children escaped that fate – because of those droplets of Indonesian blood.

When I was a girl, my grandmother told me stories of those years, of supporting her children by painting portraits of Japanese officers, of lobbing chickens over the camp wall.  My grandfather, a large man, weighed 95 lbs at the end of the war.

My mother has a few Indonesian plates and vases, batiked linens, wood carvings, and other unusual pieces that I have mused over since I was a little girl and first allowed to touch them. I like old things that are infused with history. I think about the artists who made them, my ancestors who cared for them. Some pieces go back over two hundred years to my great great grandparents. They’re part of our family heritage and as the family grows, these heirlooms will be dispersed to an ever-widening circle of descendants.

Sometime in the next year or so my parents will be relocating to Oregon to live closer to me. My mom has entered a packing frenzy and has begun giving items away in an effort to lighten the load. I asked her not to part with the family history. She doesn’t understand what I mean. She wants me there to explain and so I will go.

Choosing a Break

brainstuck.com

brainstuck.com

This Adventure in Blogging requires time. A year ago, I remember thinking a once-per-month post was daunting…now I spend at least 4 hours a day blogging – reading and commenting, writing posts and replying to comments. It’s carved out of my writing time, so my books are traveling by horse and buggy versus high-speed rail.

But it’s my choice.

I’m grateful to have choices, to recognize that there are few things in my middle-aged years I MUST do. Long ago, when my life was harder, when my options seemed fewer, I still had them. Maybe working grueling hours while single parenting didn’t feel like a choice. Yet, even then, my attitude was within my control.

lotsofjokes.com

lotsofjokes.com

Life fluxes. Kids grow up and move out, and sometimes move back in. Grandchildren appear and suddenly I’m the lifesaver for stressed out new parents. The Overlord is two years old and Grammy is a hot commodity. Now my parents are reaching their mid-eighties and my time is stretching in another direction. Time passes and new choices roll out as they always do.

My parents are arriving in Oregon today and staying for a week to look at senior housing. I’ve done the legwork and pulled together appointments. The Overlord and his parents will be tenting in the front yard with the coyotes and my brother is flying in from the Alaska to “camp” in my writing room.

tomperwomper.deviantart.com

tomperwomper.deviantart.com

My mom is blind and loves to talk. My dad is losing his hearing (and too young for hearing aids) so we all talk VERY LOUD. I’m a terrible cook, which means meals are more like science experiments. We’ll all go for walks, drive to our little town for lunch, show my folks the area, and stay up late with the TV blaring.

I’m making the choice to breathe deeply, to relax, to laugh, to dedicate my energy to a gathering of loved ones that may not come again.

Needless to say, I’m making a choice not to stress about blogging for a week. I’ll miss you all. I’ll miss some great posts, lots of laughs, poignant stories, magical poems, stunning photography, and heartfelt connections. I will, of course, be back.

Have a great week. Wish me luck!