For the Love of Blogging.

glowing crystal ball on pink background

I tried to quit this place. Really, I tried.

I didn’t want to blog anymore.  I was tired of the constant pressure to get more page views, write more sponsored posts, and MAKE ALL THE MONEY.

Because let’s face it. This blog? It ain’t never going to make no cash money. I’m just not that kind of blogger.

But it turns out, I can’t quit. When I do, the words all scramble up in my brain, twisting things around, and keeping all the other words from getting out. Which is bad (especially when you make your living writing and you know, hope to publish more romance novels).

I’ve been writing myself posts in Evernote. Subjecting my poor Facebook friends to unnecessarily long rambles. And having really weird dreams.

All of which I was willing to accept. Until, that is, I went to my grandma’s funeral last week.

During the service, the chaplain took us through her life story. He told us how she met my grandfather, what she did for a living, and what she did to keep busy while raising my mom and uncle.

A lot of it was stuff I’d never heard before. Some of it was, according to my mom, not entirely true (she’s not sure when my grandma and grandpa started dating). And all of it made me sad.

How much more was there to my grandma’s life that I would never know about? What was it like living as a young married woman alone during World War II? What did she wish she could do? What was she glad she had done? Did she want to be a fashion designer like my daughter does?

I’ll never know the answers to those questions.

But my daughter (and her children) will know a heck of a lot about me.  She’ll know how I felt when she was born. What my frustrations were while she was small. How very much I love her and how glad I am that she is a part of my world. And how ridiculously stupid I get when I’m tired (or drunk).

And I’ll always have a window back to years past. When I’m 65, I’ll be able to picture those first weeks at home alone with her. I’ll remember how frustrating being a working mom could be. And why it was all worthwhile.

I want those memories to be there for my family to read. For me to remember. And for strangers to giggle over.

Why? Because I have a lot to say, and I am nowhere near as eloquent when forced to speak. Such is the life of an introverted attention whore.

And because I really do love my life, and I want the world to know that even amongst the evils of terrorist attacks, Donald Trump,  and global warming, happiness was not just a possibility, but a reality for most of us.

Here’s hoping it will continue to be for as far as I can see (and write) into the future.

 

 

 

Good Bye, Sweet Kiwi.

brown and white cat in heart shaped cut outThe year was 1999. I was newly wed, happy in love and in life.

My husband and I rolled up to the animal shelter in our little blue convertible, looking for a feline brother or sister for the kitten we had adopted just a few months before.

There were lots of kittens. Lots of them. But the moment we spotted the long-haired mutt of a cat with the corkscrew tail, our search was over.

We took the meowing ball of fluff home and spent the next few weeks trying to keep the older cat from killing him. It was so bad, we thought about taking him back almost daily for a while.

But eventually, peace returned to the household and the fluff ball (now named Kiwi) earned himself a permanent place on my lap and in my heart.

He’s been my constant companion ever since.

He stuck to me like glue through the worst of my depressions. Purred me back to health after three surgeries and countless broken joints and bones. He shared my lap through hundreds of late night Tori feedings and shared my desk through dozens and dozens of marathon writing sessions.

Heck, he even learned to say “mama,” in the same tone and with the same inflection as my young daughter. It was so eerily similar that I often couldn’t tell which one was calling me (and neither could  my husband).

He was my baby in every way that matters.

And last week he died.

It was time. He couldn’t eat anymore. Couldn’t walk more than a few steps. Couldn’t even seem to sleep. Every time I looked at him, he was staring at me with preternaturally green eyes.

I knew in my heart that it was time for him to leave. I’d been telling him to let go for days.

But it still hurts.

We will get another cat. And I will grow to love him or her. But no one will ever take Kiwi’s place.

I miss that special little guy. I miss him a whole hell of a lot.

Forgive me while I catch my breath

tori graduate

Tori graduated from kindergarten yesterday.

It was a sweet ceremony. A silly ceremony. Much like the six-year-olds who posed in their tiny caps and gowns on the stage.

Their little feet bounced as the slideshow chronicling their year played. Their little bodies swayed to the music. They made goofy faces at each other, and when the time came to get their diplomas, they rushed across the stage, forgetting to stop and pose as their teachers had told them to.

In the audience there were smiles and laughter, sniffles and tears. I found myself choked up, unable to breathe.

My Tori is a first grader now. It hardly seems possible.

I know there are still twelve long years ahead of us before she graduates for real and heads out into the world.

But it’s only twelve years.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was tearfully leaving her at daycare for the first time?

I look at my garage, still full of baby things, and I think, “it’s not too late to have another. Am I really ready to leave all things little behind?”

The answer, of course, is no. And yes (I think).

Is anyone ever really ready?

At least I still have at little while longer to cherish her warm body curled tight against mine in sleep. To make doody jokes and name fart smells as she laughs those belly laughs. And to participate in impromptu ballet lessons and epic bubble blowing sessions that follow her very specific rules.

I’ll soak in those carefree giggles and soulful cuddles while I can.

In fact, I think I’ll record her telling me, “you’re the best mommy in the whole world,” now, before she forgets.

Because she will. At least for a while.

And I’m sure I’ll sniffle and the tears will fall.

But we’ll also laugh, and talk, and hopefully cuddle every once in a while.

I’ll keep doing my best to be the Best Mommy in the World, even when she just wants me to go away.

Because someday, she’ll be me, watching her little one start to grow. And I want her to know she can call her mommy when it hurts… after all, I’m about to call mine.

 

 

 

 

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