freshly remembered

Talking with a friend this morning, I mentioned “musical breadcrumbs,”
a post I’d once written on my phone while pacing up and down
a tree-lined street on a work break.

I wrote about this post here, two months ago;
it was one of five posts on my old blog
featured by WordPress.

It didn’t feel right linking the posts then,
so I didn’t.

But this morning, I went to find the post
to share with my friend …
and couldn’t, at least not
quickly.

When I did find it, I thought,
“I’d better actually link this post somewhere,
so I know exactly where to find it next time!”

So that’s what I’m doing:
Sharing a link to archives of that post,
and two others of my five WordPress-featured posts.

One, “Reading While Walking,” is not
quickly accessible via this archival copy;

the other, as I mentioned in March, is
not worth the effort of finding.

Here are the three worth finding
(and linking!) today:

What Report Cards Can’t Report
(December 18, 2013) Continue reading “freshly remembered”

a skateboard into the past

Today I rode a skateboard,
while remembering another one
I once barely got to ride.

When I was in middle school, my mom knew I was fascinated with skateboards. Since she was forever stuck with junker cars that lasted only a couple of months before croaking, she wanted me to have wheels that would last. She scrimped and saved for months before that Christmas to buy me a kick-ass board.

I was so proud of that board, I almost immediately showed it off to a schoolmate whose mom stopped by our house.

The schoolmate was so impressed, he immediately told his friends.

Within a couple of days, one of those friends broke into my home and stole the board.

I was crushed. I’d been building up confidence to really ride it, this rare and beauteous first-hand gift, and now wouldn’t even get that chance.

When school was back in session, my schoolmate told me who’d stolen my skateboard. Continue reading “a skateboard into the past”

Dead Moms Can’t Care

My mom didn’t have to die, and she didn’t have to suffer so deeply for so long before she did.

I summed up her final years in a tweet yesterday: 

My mom suffered untreated, serious mental health issues for years before she succumbed to cancer treated too late. Why no treatment for either illness? Simple, in her own words: Literally living off other people’s garbage, she could never come close to affording the care.

I’d written about this at greater length in 2011, in a blog site since deleted.

In “Dead Moms Can’t Care,” I wrote some words that have been reverberating through my soul the last couple of days: “Think the cost of helping her through that minor infection is high? Imagine the costs of caring for her four motherless children.”

COVID-19 has gotten me thinking about all the moms (and dads) who, lacking appropriate governmental protections, must choose between potential exposure to illness or feeding and providing shelter for their children. Forced by economic realities to show up at work, they potentially risk their own longer term futures for short-term survival, yielding so many tragic losses–for them, for their children, and for the society that loses all their creative contributions that could have, in a more humane system, been.

In 2011, I thought my mom’s death was an unfortunate outlier, despite a nurse friend telling me how pissed off she was watching many of her poor patients traverse the exact trajectory to death my mom did. Continue reading “Dead Moms Can’t Care”

Breadcrumbs

When I deleted my old blog, it had more than 8,000 subscribers.

It was hard to say goodbye to that, but it was important, too. I’d come to have an unhealthy relationship with all things online. I needed to step away, and deleting my blog was one important piece of that stepping toward better.

Unfortunately, it turned out I didn’t have copies of all my most important posts, some of which appeared to be lost to the Internet Archive.

Last night, I was just on the verge of sleep last night when it hit me: I’d gotten dates wrong in a recent post!

No big deal, I thought. I’ll just find the right dates in a minute or two, update stuff, and then it’s Snoozeville for me.

This isn’t, as you might have already intuited, what actually ended up happening. Continue reading “Breadcrumbs”

The Magic of Fighting Monsters

My mom died ten years ago today.

Each anniversary of her death, I take at least a few moments to celebrate her life. I offset memories of her profound late-life mental illness and slow succumbing to cancer with joyful memories of her.

I remember her meeting her first grandson–my oldest son–and rejoice that she lived long enough to meet one of her eight grandchildren.

My mom with my then tiny oldest son

I remember, too, the joy of being her daughter when I was a child.

I remember her reading with me and my siblings. I recall the sense of adventure we shared as books and comic books took us places we hardly noticed our poverty prevented us from visiting. 

I remember Thunder Thighs, her superhero alter-ego who battled villains with superpowers such as B.O. and the earthquake-sized reverberations created when she’d stomp for good with the might of her thunder thighs.

Thunder Thighs, as drawn by Sina Grace

I remember how much she loved horror movies, and how I loved trying to sneak-watch them with her.

It’s that last remembering that’s closest to my heart today. Thanks to immersive theater, which I once dismissed as simply one of my husband’s “hobbies,” I had the irreplaceable opportunity to connect with my mom as she’d once lived and breathed.

You can read more about that–and what else it has to do with today, specifically–here on No Proscenium.