When was it exactly that we lost our humanity?

by renegademama

The other day I happened upon a post in my town’s “community” Facebook group. It was a photo of an apple and sandwich next to a light post, and above it was the comment “I guess if it doesn’t buy drugs, the homeless in our town don’t want it.” And then it was like a rage face emoji.

Apparently this woman had given food to a homeless person the day before, then happened upon it the next day, in the same location, clearly abandoned by the recipient.

Because I hate myself, I clicked on the comments. The first 90 thousand were iterations of the same concept: Homeless people who take $1 to buy whiskey are losers and don’t deserve our money.

Here’s a summary of the rest of what I read:

Homeless people who buy meth are even worse.

Refusing food makes them ungrateful trash people.

They are trash people because of bad decisions.

They are there because they are bottom-feeding addicts.

Local businesses shouldn’t allow homeless near their dumpsters or bathrooms because “it encourages them.” 

If they’re mentally ill, they should go to the doctor and GET SOME MEDS! “I know all kinds of mentally ill people who hold down jobs!” (<<<<That was a direct quote.<<<)

One genius pointed out that “homeless people don’t need to look so awful. They can wake up each morning and go to the Wayfarer center and get clean and tidy.”

To that woman, I simply say: “I hope you get hit by a large free-falling boulder, you fucking asshole.”

But to the rest, I’d like to chat. I’d like to have a quick convo about this whole “deserving homeless” situation, because I have to say, I really wonder when it was exactly that we lost our humanity.

When was it that we started looking at human beings living on the streets for whatever reason and our response is: “Could you please make yourself more presentable? You are unfortunate on my eyes.”

And when did we convince ourselves that we are some sort of Mother Teresa because we hand somebody a dollar. IT IS A DOLLAR. If you care so much about what the recipient does with the dollar, perhaps you shouldn’t be giving it away.

Clearly that dollar means way too much to you.

And you know these people drip in self-congratulatory declarations of their own “altruism.” You know what altruism is? Giving with no expectation of return.

And yes, expecting that the recipient graciously accept, appreciate, or spend the money on what you deem HOLY and RIGHT and GOOD is in fact demanding a return.

So here’s you: “I believe myself to be a deep and generous person and to confirm that, I will offer you something, but we need to be clear: I’m not doing this for YOU. I’m doing this for ME. If I were doing it for YOU, I wouldn’t give a fuck what you do with my dollar.”

Oh, I know. I know. Enabling! We are enabling the homeless by offering a dollar so they can buy a pint. Maybe.

But maybe they are going to buy tampons. Or French fries. Or maybe they needed that pint to kill the alcoholic withdrawal that would have killed them. MAYBE YOU SAVED THEIR LIVES WITH THAT PINT.

Okay, I’m being hyperbolic. But my point is real: We can’t control the outcome of our attempts to help others, and most attempts to do so are simply a way to feed our egos.

In other words, I’m going to give you this $1 so I can feel good about myself. The moment the recipient doesn’t participate in feeding our egos, we fucking hate them.

OMG SO CHRISTLIKE!

Seriously. Get off that Good Samaritan pedestal.

Here’s what I want to know, pedestal people: If you want to give a dollar, why don’t you do it simply because they are quite obviously not doing as well as you are?

If we have it, why don’t we give it because it’s nice to have an extra dollar?

Who the hell cares why they’re standing on a corner mumbling to themselves and asking for change? Bad decisions, drug addiction, alcoholism…does it matter? I mean, does it really matter? Is the central point of the situation altered in any way whatsoever?

No. No it is not. Because the central point of “giving” is that when you have a little extra, you share it. The central point is that no matter how you cut it, the person standing on the corner in dirty clothes, begging, is, generally speaking, a bit down on their luck and even IF they simply made 12,000 bad decisions beginning at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1985 and ending here, can’t we all appreciate a human who isn’t doing so hot?

Look, I know. I know you have never been that pathetically human before. How do I know? Because you’ve obviously lost touch with what it means to be human.

If you see a person filthy and sunburned and cracked in heart and face, sucking on a cigarette in piss-stained clothes, holding a sign asking for change, and all you think is: “Well that person is clearly a drunk.”

My god. You know what? Save your change. You’re gonna need it in hell. Maybe you can throw some green at Satan and get your fucking soul back.

Damn it. I promised myself I’d stay chill about this. But I’m telling you, it rips my heart out. How did we become these people?

It’s not a bleeding heart thing. It’s not some “liberal” thing. Look. I hate liberals almost as much as I hate conservatives. This is a goddamn HUMAN thing. When did we lose touch with some basic love? Basic concern? Basic goodness toward the people around us?

And I don’t give money to everyone asking for it. When I see a group of 20-year-olds chilling with their pit-bulls and skate boards, bright-eyed and scrollin’ their iPhones, asking me for money because they did too much blow at Coachella, I’m like, nah.

Why? Because I am not Jesus, and they irritate me.

I TOLD YOU I AM NOT JESUS.

But we don’t have to be Jesus. We just have to be decent.

Give or don’t give. Do what you do. But don’t give for “altruism” then blame the recipient for not catering to YOU.

 

At one point I had to stop reading the comments. These people were talking about the homeless, mentally ill, and drug-addicted in our community as the “filth” of our world, as if they were not even humans at all, as if cycles of addiction and poverty do not exist, as if they could get out of the whole homeless predicament if they were just better people.

Oh, you mean like you?

Like the commenter who said she was disgusted at a fast food restaurant for giving a filthy homeless man a cup of water and letting him sit at a table? She wrote, “that’s more than I want to share with a homeless person.”

(The filth rubs off, I guess.)

Space. That’s more than she wants to share.

That’s more than she wants to share with our brothers and sisters who are sick, cold, tired, and hungry. And that hunger isn’t always for food. Some of us are dying from a hunger in the soul, so sick we don’t even remember apples nourish the body.

I guess as a recovering addict I see myself in those watery eyes. But I think if we looked hard enough, we’d all see ourselves in those eyes.

When I hand a drunk a dollar, I want to say, “Hey man, buy the whiskey. I hope you get what you need.”

I know what we need isn’t in the bottle, but I can’t tell him that.

I know it’s in our shared humanity, and I can show him that. For a second, at least.

Or not. It’s just a fucking dollar.

It’s nice to have one to give.

***

Join me in June for the last “Write Anyway” workshop of 2017!

(The rest of my year is slammed and I can’t do another.)

There are 8 spots left. Snag one!

Ride on, kid. I’ll be right back here.

by renegademama

A few months ago, my fifteen-year-old daughter Ava was introduced to a mountain biking team. It’s a high school team.

She was gifted a bike, and started riding.

If you could see my face right now, you’d see there are already some goddamn tears in my eyes.

I wish I knew why this particular topic makes me so fucking emotional. I hate feelings.

Alright. Fine. I do not hate feelings. I am super well-adjusted and in tune with my emotions.

I merely prefer they refrain from attacking me at random.

She was afraid at first. She was nervous and rode slowly. She teetered and stopped often and “hated it.” Mac went with her. He went with her on every ride.

She remained unsure.

But Mac loaded the bikes on the back of the van and took her on rides anyway, week after week.

She rode with the team and Mac went along with them.

She was absolutely unsure.

A day came when Mac wasn’t available to ride with her and the team. She sat at the kitchen table and told me she didn’t want to go. She told me, “I have never done it without daddy.”

She rode anyway.

 

On the night before her first race, she was irritable and angry and frustrated and scared and pissed the fuck off that her family “made” her participate. We suggested she not do it. She hated that idea even more than she hated us in that moment.

She rode anyway.

She came in second to last, elated to finish.

We raved and cheered at her success.

A finish. An actual finish.

A week later she rode 8 miles to school on country roads. I didn’t want to let her go. I was sure she’d get creamed by a drunk farmer.

She rode anyway.

Now she rides every day and you can’t stop her from it. She rides without even thinking, and talks about how good her little brother will be since he’s going to “grow up riding.” She talks about turns and hills and falling and how it’s “no big deal” and she doesn’t talk about riding alone, or not wanting to race.

 

Six months later, she’s finished four races, and with the last one, she placed five spots higher than the races before.

But who cares?

No. I mean really. Who the hell cares.

She had me at the fear. She had me at the falls. She had me at the mud on her face and the blood running down her knees. She had me at her tears when a dog jumped at her on the street and she fell and ripped her clothes and had to ride home humiliated and angry. She had me at still racing. At still riding.

She had me at the beginning.

 

I suppose it makes me cry because this is what I’ve always wanted for my kids. I suppose what I’ve always wanted really, at the end, is that when life offers a chance to do some cool and difficult shit, that they give it a shot and see what happens and bloody their knees because it’s better than accepting what the world tells you you are.

I’ve always been so afraid to do “physical” things. There were athletic kids and then there was me. I’ve always believed myself to be “the intellectual but not athletic one.” The funny thing is, we said the same about her. She was kind of the two-left-feet kid, you know?

But her dad didn’t believe it, I guess, and neither did her uncle who gave her the bike, and neither do her teammates or coach, or little siblings who watch her ride, and the finish line? That fucking finish line didn’t believe it either, I guess, because it just sat there while she crossed it.

But mostly, it was her.

It was Ava who didn’t care. It was Ava who decided to define herself.
I wish I could tell her what her muddied, bloodied knees mean to me, how fucking gorgeous they are to my eyes, eyes that perhaps never believed that would be her life, or mine, or that such things were even open to us. To try even though you have no evidence you can do it. To try even though you’ve got no history of it, no vague inclination, nothing at all rooting you on except a person you care about who’s right there next to you.

To try, and keep riding, even when the glory is simply a “finish.”

Even when the glory is simply getting to the end. 

I held her as a newborn. I held her until she crawled, walked, and I now, I guess, rides. Right beyond the horizon of my dreams, to a place she’ll find.

I’m happy to hang behind. It’s never been mine to own, and the gift is getting left in the dust.

I want to be the man in the BBC video.

by renegademama

So, we need to talk about that viral video with the dude whose kids barged in while he was being interviewed. You remember. The yellow-shirted child who walked in owning the place, and then the baby in the walker who charged in after? Yeah, them.

I found it cute. Of course, the Super Concerned Citizens Brigade had some concerns about the way he gently pushed his kid away. Of course they did. Because one should always be excited about having their children around. They are precious gifts from god, even while working. Obviously.

(Nope.)

And of course the people wondering why we are “congratulating a man for doing what women do all the time.”

Hmmm. Okay.

I thought it was an amusing glimpse into the shared experience of trying to work from home with children who don’t give a fuck that you’re trying to work from home.

And then there was a parody video: “How a woman would have handled it.” And it was a woman picking up the toddler and giving her a bottle instead of trying to get rid of her, and then roasting chicken and ironing and putting out a bomb and helping her husband find a sock, etc. It was funny.

I mean, sort of, until I realized the video wasn’t really critiquing the process, and in fact, the woman joyfully states at the end: “Alright let’s find this sock then!”

The point of course was to highlight women as master multi-taskers who would have DONE IT ALL while being interviewed about international politics, and I fear I may be the only person on the planet who thinks this is utter bullshit.

Look, I love humor. And I’m only uptight on Sundays. I’m the funniest person I know (this is not true). But I felt a wave of repulsion when I saw that video.

I know the point was to “revere” women and point out our incredible ability to take care of all the things all the time and hold down careers. I get that. And yay us.

But truly, fuck that shit.

I want to be the man in that video.

No, I AM the man in that video. When I work, I don’t want my kids around. I don’t want them barging in. I don’t want to feed them a bottle while I do my job. And frankly, fuck you for expecting me to do so.

I don’t want to be the one grilling shrimp and changing a diaper while writing a book. Yes, I 100% EXPECT MY HUSBAND TO GET THE FUCKING TODDLER OUT OF MY FUCKING ROOM SO I CAN WORK.

Sorry for yelling, but come on.

Roasting chicken, doing taxes, buying coconut oil, and planning parent-teacher conferences while working is to some extent the reality of my life, but mostly I accomplish “motherhood and career balance” by failing in rotating areas and lowering my motherfucking standards. I put out fires and focus on that which must be done right now.

Glorification of this “do it all” mode of being makes my stomach turn. I do a lot of things in a lot of areas, but I sure as hell don’t do them perfectly, joyfully, or with an attitude of “no problem. I got this honey.”

Why is it that women have accepted “juggle all the things” as our job? Why and how and when did we get it through our heads that we are even CAPABLE of such a thing (::whispers:: it’s the patriarchy)? We all know it’s impossible, and yet we celebrate it.

It has become a mark of accomplishment for “women,” an intrinsic aspect of our identities, a badge we wear with apparent honor.

I’m a writer. I have a major deadline coming up in five weeks. For the past three weeks, one of my children or I have been sick in rotating cycles of hell that have reduced my already scant 20-hours a week of office time to 4-5 hours a week. To make up for it, I have worked evenings and entire weekends, which means I leave my family for two days at a time, missing activities and evening events and their faces. I have all but ceased grocery shopping and cooking. I missed a parent-teacher conference because I had the date wrong. I may or may not be returning phone calls.

Ultimately, I have to REMOVE myself from my family to pursue my career. It’s hard, and it stings. But is it worth it? Yes. That’s why I do it.

You know who picks up the slack? My husband.

Because that is what we do for each other because we are not superheroes we are humans. 

So please stop implying that my family can literally or figuratively join me in my workspace, or that if I were a better woman, I would bring the kid onto my lap rather than kick her the hell out of my office.

 

And the truly unfortunate thing here is that I have the “ideal” career for “balancing” motherhood and work. I work for myself, so I have “flexibility.” My husband works two hours away as an ironworker. He is not available during the days. If he doesn’t show up for work, he doesn’t get paid. I am grateful I can be here.

But even though I enjoy “ideal” conditions, this shit is still impossible. I cannot do it all. Ever. And I’m growing mighty tired of the idea that I can.

I know people will read this and say, “Hey genius if you wanted a career, why’d you have so many kids?”

And to you I say: That is an excellent question.

And I will answer it as soon as we start regularly asking men the same question: “Hey man, why did you have so many kids if you wanted a career?”

Most of us are working – men and women – BECAUSE WE NEED TO EAT. But only one of the genders is being asked why the fuck they aren’t getting the ironing done.

I’m kidding. Obviously nobody actually irons.

 

When I excel in one area, it is at the cost of another.

When I focus on one area, I have less focus to offer other areas.

This is logic. Excellent stuff.

I cannot do it all. I cannot balance it all. I cannot perform at stellar levels in every damn area of existence. And that’s cool.

I will pass on the incessant multi-tasking, thanks.

So yeah, get the fuck out of my room while I work, kids.

Mama loves you.

Bye.

 

15 Reasons I Need Plastic Panels in my Mom Jeans

by renegademama

I will admit, at first I was unsure how I needed  “slick plastic panels” to “bare my knees for a futuristic feel” in my “mom jeans,” but now that Nordstrom has mentioned it, I’m discovering the ways my mom life could benefit from such a thing.

What are “mom jeans” exactly? Oh, glad you asked: They’re jeans signaling the degradation of fuckable woman body, characterized by a large, flat ass, marriage and a minivan, and complete surrender to never being hot again.

The jeans themselves are characterized by high waist, tapered legs, and throwback denim from the 80s. These exact jeans are considered hip and trendy on other bodies, so the real key to recognizing “mom jeans” is the ability to apply a misogynistic gaze to determine if the wearer is still meeting the requirements of “hot thin young woman,” or not. Give it some time. You’ll figure it out.

Anywho, back on topic.

As I mentioned, at first I was unsure how and why I needed plastic panels on my knees, but since the advertising guys are always correct, I simply put my mind to it and realized there are at least 15 ways I can benefit from strategically placed knee panels:

  1. I can’t lie. I have on occasion been disturbed by my wardrobe’s total lack of “futuristic” allure. I mean there just isn’t enough sci-fi space vibe to my daily attire. I feel so present-day earthy. Total drag. So Nordstrom, for a mere $95, really spoke to the exact sartorial motif that’s been missing in my life.
  2. Now, not only can I be spacey cool, when my kid vomits on my legs, I can simply Windex that shit.
  3. Also if I happen to piss on myself and it gathers in the knee area. You know what? That’s a stretch. I never full-on urinate in that manner in my own jeans.
  4. Or if I need a spot to do a line of cocaine.
  5. Please forget that last one. I am simply brainstorming potential uses.
  6. I can also have more consistent knee visibility during colder months when shorts aren’t an option. One of the big problems in my life is that I can’t see my knees at all times. I need little windows to my knees.
  7. Why? Well, to assess whether or not I need to shave, or maybe they’re fat. Do I have fat knees? I should go running. Nobody likes fat knees. Little knee windows allow me to assess fatness and hair density and length, allowing me to more fully meet the expectations of how you think I should look.
  8. Wait omg. Also OTHER people can assess my knees. Hallelujah! Freedom!
  9. It also sounds fun to sweat against the plastic during hotter months. If I sweat, will the windows fog up? That sounds fun. I hope they sell anti-fog knee-panel spray and that it’s available on Amazon Prime.
  10. Plastic knee panels would serve as a tiny adorable slide for my toddler, turning me into a living play structure!
  11. Also, my kids may enjoy covering the little panels in tissue paper and glue, like little stained glass pieces. That way, I could wear my child’s art at all times, which has always been a goal of mine.
  12. Or, I could tape things to the inside of the panels, perhaps little Post-it notes with my shopping or to-do lists, or daily affirmations such as, “You are a bright shining star.” Happy reminders, you know, to stay positive while I make a casserole and wait for my husband to come home.
  13. But most importantly, plastic knee panels help me remember that I am a unique individual. I can be a mom and wear funky cool things and really stand out, like in high school when I decorated the soles of my Doc Martens with black permanent marker. My individuality has not been erased by these kids. Thank you, Nordstrom, for understanding that. Thank you for seeing the ME in here.
  14. Um, well, hmmm. I’m working on more uses. A portable plate for my toddler to eat off of! (Easy clean-up too!) No grass stains! The ability to teeter on my knees on wet grass without my jeans getting wet! That’s something I often want to do.
  15. You know what. That’s all there is. There are only 14 potential benefits of plastic knee panel mom jeans, but that’s good enough for me, because if you tell me something’s cool and necessary, I AM WITH YOU ALL THE WAY, AMERICA.

****

Look, the key to a meaningful life is writing ridiculous lists of useless information. Find out how! Let’s do it together!

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We start on April 5! Join us! So many exclamation marks!

I found this a year after I named my workshop “write anyway,” which basically means I am Junot Diaz.

I want you to know a few things about grief.

by renegademama

I generally try to avoid writing “helpful instructional” posts, mostly because I don’t really know what the hell I’m doing (you know, in life), but every now and then, fate hands me some piece of information that I think may be helpful to others, so I share what I know. For example, alcoholism.

And now, traumatic death and grief.

For those of you who don’t know, on the evening of November 9th, 2016, my grandmother was murdered by my mentally ill cousin. I was pulling out of my kids’ school parking lot the next morning when my mother called, screaming.

And in that moment I was inducted into the traumatic death grief circle. I don’t love it here, and hope you never join me, but you or somebody you know probably will.

I want to write what I’ve learned about grief because let’s be honest, nobody knows what the hell to do when a friend’s sister, child, spouse or parent suddenly dies. Nobody knows what to do when somebody’s loved one slowly dies. I didn’t. I sent a text or call or card, flowers or food or chocolate, and moved on. If it was a close friend, I showed up once or twice.

I see now that I could have done better for my friends. And I will now.

 

It’s not surprising we sort of suck at this. We live in a culture that does its best to protect us from aging and dying – botox, face lifts, endless “anti-aging” creams, sending our elderly to homes – so I get the feeling most of us don’t want to move too close to the topic of death, and the grieving among us become death beacons. We’re like giant glowing WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE marquees.

And who wants that?

BORING.

When it comes to death and dying, we want to show up for a moment, touch it for a second, then recede quickly back to our fantasy of safety. There’s nothing wrong with that fantasy. In fact it is necessary for life: How else would we feel comfortable every day hurling down a freeway in a box of metal with thousands of strangers who are probably texting?

Delusion of safety.

And believe me, after having it ripped away, I realize fully how we NEED that delusion. Because I’m terrified all the time now, and I sure won’t weep when that’s over. (My dog suffocated in an insulated lunch bag 5 weeks after my grandmother was killed, and we found him dead in the morning, and it was precisely at that point my psyche shifted into random death can occur at any moment mayday WE ARE NOT SAFE mode. And now I’m weird AF but getting better.).

 

I’ve read a lot of posts about “What not to say to grieving people,” and while I suppose that’s helpful, I’m not into it. People say stupid shit. People said profoundly insensitive things, and honestly, if you message a person whose grandmother was murdered wanting details of the crime because you saw it on the news and you’re living out some detective fantasy, nothing I can say will help you. And yes, that happened. More than once.

But most of the time, people just don’t know what to say. Every time somebody said, “I know what you’re going through. My grandma died last year of old age.” I wanted to be like, “Yeah that’s not actually the same thing as having your grandmother stabbed to death by a family member so please stop,” but I knew that person was trying to reach out, to empathize, to help. So for sure their words were not “perfect,” but it’s small, you know?

It stung because it reminded me of my own sense of isolation and loneliness – as in, what sort of freak has this happen in their family – but during those first couple months, damn near everything hurt like hell. Everything reminded me of the trauma. I had to get off the internet entirely. I was a raw open wound and the world was unknowingly chucking salt into the center of it about 80 times a day. So it was more about ME than them. They were never gonna win with me. I hurt too much.

Plus, how can we make hard and fast rules about what to say or not say in a time as personal as grief? For me, I had to make some sick ass jokes. I needed to laugh about some really dark shit – not at the expense of my grandmother, but rather, the situation in general – because the weight of my sadness was crushing and I needed relief to breathe. At some point, I needed maniacal laughter, maniacal laughter to open a vent and let a little of the insanity of the situation out – my brain unable to hold it. My heart unable to house it. My thoughts unable to reason with it.

 

It’s not about saying the perfect thing.

It’s about showing up and meeting people where they are and I think we do that through opening our eyes and really seeing people, in all their grieving mess, and not making it about ourselves, our comfort, our fear. I know immediately when I’m around a friend who I can be honest with and those with whom I need to give the “Oh I’m fine” runaround.

But here’s what I really want you to know:

Grief is a physical pain. It hurts the actual body. In headaches, tension, anxiety, exhaustion – my bones ached. My face. My head. So I appreciated physical help: laundry, cooking, food, cleaning.

Grief scatters the mind. I straight up forgot about a button on my car that unlocks the doors from the driver’s door. I used it a thousand times, then forgot about it entirely for weeks. I’ve missed more appointments the past 4 months than probably the past 3 years of my life. I will commit to something on Thursday and forget on Friday. I can’t figure out simple questions. I grow confused easily. So I appreciated people’s patience with my mistakes and when they didn’t require me to help solve their emotional problems as perhaps we had done in the past, because holy mother, I HAD NO MORE TO GIVE.

Grief makes you super weird. My pain moved from a freight train slamming my body to waves of panic and terror and sorrow to a gray cloud descended over me all the damn time. A heaviness. A strange apathy. And then, at the strangest moments, the wave comes again, and I think maybe I can’t withstand this one.

And I want you to know how much terror is involved in grief like this. If this is true, what else can be true? What else can be taken? 

Every time my kids want to ride their bikes, I want to say “no.” Every time my mom doesn’t text back at night, I wonder if she’s been killed, and my body physically responds. A friend showed up unexpectedly at 9:30pm one night and my heart raced for 30 minutes after because I thought he was the police, there to tell me somebody had died. The simple walk to the door had me panicked. This happens 10 times a day, still, in response to random tiny events. My intellect says, “Janelle, this is nonsense. Stop. My body and heart say: ‘DANGER.'”

I walk around with that inside all the time, and the world doesn’t know.

So yeah, it’s weird and dizzying and painful for a long time, in a literal, material way – and sometimes I feel like I’m going to get carried away into oblivion, and just then, I get a message from a friend that says, “Hey I’m thinking of you and you don’t need to respond but know you are buoyed, and we will not let you drown.” And I cannot tell you how much I think those messages actually made me survive.

And it was the people who kept sending them and calling two weeks, one month, two months after it happened – and still bring it up sometimes – that helped me beyond measure because they give me permission to keep talking when I was afraid to “bring people down,” and they slammed that sense of isolation.

Because in our busy lives coupled with the desire to distance ourselves from death, once the funeral is over or a month has passed, the world says, “Oh you’re fine now let’s get back to the usual programming,” and that is precisely when the agony settles in: Reality to the new life.

But where did everybody go?

Back to life. Back to the routine. I get it. But there are a few friends who stick around, who keep showing up, who keep asking, “How are you?” in a way that really wants to know, and they keep us alive. They keep us above water.

So now I’m going to show up for the grieving when everybody else has stopped asking. When everybody else thinks it’s “over” and “time to move on,” I’m going to come to your door through word or body, and I’m going to say, “Hey. I’m here.”

And whatever happens with you will become the power to get us both through. Your world is falling, and I know it, but I’m here with you so let’s get weird and real until all the waves have crashed, and we’re just sitting here again in the sunshine.

I’ll remind you it will come, as they have done for me.

 

With my Arlo a few days before she died. I don’t know what I’ll do when he outgrows those dino pajamas. She thought they were so cute.