Life goes on…

Published April 24, 2020 by hrhdana

Lately, the thing that makes me angry is how life just goes on. Like the world just keeps spinning. Bills are due. Food has to be cooked. It makes me want to punch things. I want to curl in to a ball and sob oceans of tears. I want everything to just stop and be still while I process what it is like to be in the world without him.

And it doesn’t. The world just keeps going.

“How are you?” Well meaning loved ones ask. It’s habit, really. Someone picks up the phone and you say, “Hello. How are you?”

How am I supposed to answer?

I am not okay. I miss him. I miss him so much. I spend hours letting memories of him go through my mind. I miss him. He worried about everything practical. He worried so well that I had time to worry about things like what kind of person I want to be. He had me and mine covered. Always. Even when I didn’t live here he had me. Always.

No we have to have us. We see. We appreciate how much he took care of for us. How many things he set up, dealt with, made sure were right…his love was action. It leaves a physical and emotional vacuum. We have to do all the things now. We aren’t even confident that we know what all of the things are. Here we are. Doing them. Missing him more. Appreciating him more.

I am not okay.

And I know it’s okay not to be okay but I’m prickly. All I really want are hugs and words can so easily rankle me. I isolate. I am deeply heart broken. There is nothing anyone can do to help me. I have to go through it to get to the other side. The place where I can function with this darkness inside of me. This deep, never ending well of grief will not be denied. I will not let it consume me but it has to out.

My therapist is sick. She has the virus.

I pray fervently she gets well. She and I have been together for years. She has helped me through so many lows in my life. I miss her now in this moment of grief and trauma and ptsd and isolation and confusion. I need her to get better.

I can’t help to notice how the universe has been hammering home lessons to me through all of this.

I am capable. I am enough. I am worthy. I am human. I am loved.

In the midst of this series of worst moments of my life I have done the absolute best that I could. I have held nothing back. I have left it all on the court. I have walked with God, the creator. I have trusted in the universe and my ancestors. I have called on and walked with Jesus. I have done the absolute best that I could in those unbelievably awful moments. No time to consider or pontificate. No time to grab a conference call and get advice. No back up. Just me and adversity.

I wish I could have saved my Daddy. I wish that with everything in me. I feel guilty about my ignorance, my humanity. My inability to be the one who decided if he stayed or went. At the same time, I know, unequivocally that I did every single thing I was capable of doing. I was strong. I was loving. I was decisive. I educated myself with reliable information from trusted sources. I asked for help.  I did the best I could and it wasn’t enough to save him. The Lord had a different plan.

I lean not on my own understanding.

One thing I know. I know my Daddy is proud of me. He always was. He told me every chance he got. When my progress was on the internal me. He noted the changes. He savored them. He watched me and smiled. Daddy was NOT a smiler. lol This slight upturn of his lips as he listened to me share some part of my day or situation I encountered. He was proud of his baby. He saw me as good and smart and capable and worthy of protection.

I see it too Daddy. Adversity breeds character.  I will come out of this clearer in who and whose I am.

I just miss him.

So much.

Thanks for reading.

The eve of my father’s funeral

Published April 16, 2020 by hrhdana

On the eve of my father’s funeral…

I watch her sleep

count her breaths

allow her breathing to regulate mine.

She’s better

I say it out loud

“She’s better Daddy”

tears falling

“I’m so sorry.”

I wish I could have

done more

been more

known

more.

My humanity is disappointing.

 

On the eve of my Daddy’s funeral

I do not sleep.

I keep watch over his Queen.

Every time I close my eyes

my mind goes wild.

My Daddy passed weeks ago

I’m not familiar with this funeral home.

What is he going to look like?

No.

I do not sleep.

She’s better. Right?

 

On the eve of my Daddy’s funeral

I see how he

is still taking care of we.

The masks and gloves we will wear courtesy of him.

He was always prepared.

How do I say goodbye?

Middle of the night

body, mind and spirit exhausted

eyes wide open.

She’s breathing. She’s better.

 

On the eve of my Daddy’s funeral

he and I sat up together.

I felt the weight of his care

almost too much to bear.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown

and his was.

Mr. Sunshine such a gloomy gus

he identified every single evil that could harm us

and prepared.

Never caught unaware.

I have his crown on…

I’m watching.

I got them Daddy.

 

On the eve of my Daddy’s funeral

I do not sleep

my watch has begun.

Awful and Awfuler

Published April 13, 2020 by hrhdana

*blows dust off of keyboard…pushes tumbleweeds out of the way…peeks out…*

Are ya’ll still here?

It’s been a long time, huh?

If you have been here for a while you know writing is where I go when the hurt is too much to bear.

My Daddy died from Covid19 on Thursday, April 2, 2020.

This hurt? It’s unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life. It is a physical, emotional and spiritual hurt. It is deep and unyielding and it takes my breath away. And in the midst of this hurt I am still nursing my mother, raising my daughter, and managing my terror and devastation all while in quarantine. Reality feels like fiction. If you pitched this reality as a show or movie idea no one would bite. NYC quiet and empty? The economy suspended? Broadway closed? Times square empty? Too much even for fiction. You would strike out.

Yet here we sit. In a reality stranger than fiction where my Daddy, my superman, is gone. It is too much to bear. Too much.

Awful isn’t a strong enough word when things keep getting awfuler.

Two parents sick with a highly contagious, potentially life threatening virus? Awful.

A virus that you may, or may not, be responsible for having brought in to the home you share with them? Awful

A home that your 8 year old daughter also lives in? Awful.

Weeks of managing their symptoms with no medical training all while persistently being advised NOT to take them to the hospital? Images and stories of overburdened hospitals being shared with you daily. Fears of lack of life saving machinery. You play double dutch with their lives trying to time when it would be safe to jump in to a hospital. Awful.

Having your father go from coughing to silent to unresponsive in a matter of hours? Awful

Doing CPR which you haven’t done in well over a decade while you beg him not to leave you and your Mother and daughter watch and sob? Awful

Having paramedics come in to your home in protective gear and take over only to hear him pronounced as gone? Awful

Making call after call only to hear that every funeral home in the Bronx is full and can not offer embalming and refrigeration, only cremation? Awful.

Your Mom hitting the height of her illness just as all of this is all happening? Awful

Spending nights watching her sleep. Praying that you will know this time when it is time to jump in. Praying for the discernment to make the right choices for her when the outcome with Daddy was loss? Awful.

Folks I haven’t even gotten past April 2nd.

There is so much more awful I could build a mountain out of it. I need to wade through it. I need to process it in small chunks. I need to let it out enough so I can continue to be Mommy, Daughter, Aunt and all of the things I am.

People keep telling me how strong I am. Please don’t be people. This is not strength. This is necessity. This is no other option. This is God holding me as I scream internally. Strong is not something I want to hear. It rankles. I should probably explore why. In the meantime please don’t use it as a compliment. If I had ANY other option I would take it.

This is my space to be naked. I am vulnerable. Processing in this way has helped me so much in the past. I pray that it can again.

Tomorrow we get to see and say our final goodbyes to my Daddy. Only 10 of us are allowed. It is not safe for out of town family to come. We will all wear masks. We can not hold each other. We can not go to the cemetery. We can not have flowers. Our priest is not allowed to come in person. This is not the honor my Daddy deserves. He deserves so much more.

He will have it. We will honor his life when this is over.  I promise Daddy. We just have to get through awfuler and awfuler and awfuler.

 

P.S. -I’m not going to proofread these blogs. If I go back and reread I will self edit and that is not part of the process. Don’t judge my spelling or grammar. Judge yo Mama. LOL

 

Mothering

Published July 26, 2017 by hrhdana

I am mothering a little girl.
I want her to be
everything that she can dream
innocent and whole and free
present and at home in her body.
I want to be
the right balance of open road and safety rail.
I want my mothering to be balanced.
I know she has to hurt, fail, cry, fall
I can’t protect her from it all.
I want to.

I am mothering a hungry mind.
I want to fill her with
self-love,
tenacity,
kindness,
wisdom.
I want to be
the perfect mixture of
speaker/leader
and active listener.
I want my mothering to
honor her voice
teach her to make good choices.
I know that we will fight.
It’s alright.
She will learn how to give and receive
Apologies.
Lessons on how to resolve things.
Sometimes I will get it wrong.
And she?
Will love me anyway.

I am mothering a feminine body.
I want her to
always feel at home in herself,
love her construction,
execute bodily autonomy,
live a life free of shame.
I want to be
an impermeable barrier
protecting her innocence.
I will be a woman first
know when to pull back and let her bloom.
I want her to be free.

I am mothering a soul, an essence.
I want her to
connect to the infinite
be love
practice self-care and empathy
embrace her innate royalty
her divine connection to the almighty we.
I want to be
a role model sharing my own journey
a listener so she talks to me.

I want so much
for us.
I pray hard
that I can be enough.

I am mothering a little girl.
She is the most important thing in my world.

Mommy’s neck

Published June 8, 2017 by hrhdana

My Mother smells like everything is okay.

She smells like happy.

She smells like peace.

She smells like the emotion you feel when you see puppies.

Her scent grounds me

quiets my active mind immediately. 

Her scent is all the good things.

My nose,

 deep in her neck

is my happy place.

She smells like everything is okay. 

Priceless

Each deep inhale savored

aware that one day…

My mother smells like everything is okay 

Her scent makes me better

beautiful and weird.

I love my Mommy.

They saved me

Published March 8, 2017 by hrhdana

There was a time when I was so lost

I didn’t know who I was.

I played at princess

gave myself to peons.

Wearing a tiara

sitting in the dirt.

Filthy.

1

I thought a man was the answer to everything.

If I could just get one man to

see me

love me

validate me

then I would be complete.

And I tried

guy,

after guy

after guy.

I hurled my love like a weapon

consuming them.

I wrapped my legs around

bodies with no soul inside

gave all I had to lie after lie.

I cried

a lot.

1

And each rejection

was confirmation

that who I was wasn’t working

broken, undeserving.

More lies.

More cries.

But my sisters.

Baby, my sisters

saw through my foolishness.

Shared life lessons I could not resist.

“Sis no one can love you

until you do.

Forgive yourself. Start new.

I see you.

I’ve been there too.”

1

I sucked my teeth.

They didn’t understand my love.

Couldn’t understand that if I would just shut the fuck up

He wouldn’t have to…

They called bullshit.

Refused to quietly sit

while I ran towards my destruction.

My sisters showed up with garbage bags

packed all my shit and took my hand.

We out!

YOU are out!

Threatened the man

If he laid one more hand

on me

they would find his body

floating.

1

And I wondered

How can they love me more than I love me?

Want a better for me that I can’t even see?

How can they deem me worthy?

But they did.

In thought

word and deed.

My sisters,

they saved me.

1

 

Imperfect me!

Published April 7, 2016 by hrhdana

I never thought I’d be a Mom.

I desperately wanted to be one.

I knew when I was a kid that I wanted to be a wife and a Mom.

Real talk.

But when you make it to 30 plus and it hasn’t happened for you, you start to believe that it won’t.

Then it did.

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I think I floated for 3 years. I marveled in every milestone and accomplishment. I woke up and went to sleep with prayers of thanksgiving dancing off of my lips. I researched parenting like it was a master’s class. I subscribed to every blog, purchased at least 40 books and lived on parenting websites. I knew what kind of Mom I was going to be. I was going to be patient and fun and creative and loving. I was going to be kind and calm and supportive. I was going to be perfect.

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That is always my goal. To be perfect. No matter how many times I tell my therapist that I know I cannot be perfect. No matter how many times I said that I know perfection is impossible, unattainable and just a way that I self-sabotage, I still believed I could do THIS thing, this Mommy thing as close to perfect as possible. I mean I had never done anything THIS important before. I had never had a blessing THIS big before. Surely I could do THIS thing perfectly. Surely I could.

I tried. Mommying consumed me. I don’t know how my friends put up with me. I had nothing to contribute to conversations unless it was about my Little Bit. I lost me. And I lost me so well that it took me at least two years to even notice that I was lost. The most depressing part was that even in throwing my all in to my parenting I wasn’t perfect. I still lost my temper with my little blessing. I still struggled with playing on the floor with her. I still couldn’t make Pinterest creations translate in to real life. I still burned dinner sometimes. I never did make it to Michael’s or get my Christmas cards out this year. I still couldn’t get her to eat avocado and she didn’t care that it was a “perfect” food. Sighs

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And it stopped being fun for me. I love my kid with everything in me. She is amazing. She is smart and kind and funny and gorgeous and patient and stubborn and she makes me proud every single day. But I? I was falling short in so many ways. She was watching hours of TV when I know that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids 2 and older have no more than one to two hours daily. She was drinking juice. And not only juice, but the kind I brought from a store and not the juice I told myself that I was going to make for her with organic produce in my juicer at home. She was off of vegetables almost completely. She was eating candy for Christ’s sake! What kinda perfect Mom lets her kid have candy?!?!?! I was failing. And it wasn’t fun for me anymore because instead of seeing a happy, well-adjusted kid all I was seeing was MY failure at the most important blessing God had ever given me.

woman-sad

I failed. Again.

Parenting will reveal every single patched over wound that you possess. Your children will strip you bare of all the makeup you wear for the world AND for yourself. My kid is like a magnification mirror that shows me all of the places inside of me that are decidedly UN-perfect. And it is hard. Because if I want to be the best Mom that I can be it starts with being the best Dana I can be. That means owning my crap. That means removing the foundation I slather on my face and addressing the problem that caused the dark spots under my eyes. It means getting the actual sleep I need so I don’t look like a raccoon. It means accepting my imperfections and doing what I can to address the problems that I am hiding under makeup.

 

And it’s hard.

Did I say that already?

So, here I am. I am standing here naked faced admitting what everyone else knows. I am not a perfect Mom. I’m not a perfect anything. And if I keep trying to be what I cannot be it will squeeze all of the joy out of my life. This is a lesson I have been trying to learn for decades now. I tell my therapist at least once a month that I’ve accepted my imperfections. But I haven’t. I still want desperately to be the perfect Mom. But I can’t and it isn’t any deficit in me. It is an unattainable goal. It is not possible.

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I am the best Mom that I can be to my Little Bit. She loves me for who I am to her. She tells me almost every single day that I am, “the best Mommy she ever had.” Lol I realize there isn’t much competition in that arena but I’ll take it. I love her perfectly. No one can take that from me or from her.

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