Saturday, June 6, 2015

Celebrate Life! We Will Miss You Nana!

Grandmothers are joyful, independent, generous, loving, and full of spirit. At least Stephen's Nana was all of those things. I would even go so far as to call her spunky. She was a kindred spirit that would not indulge the foolishness of anyone. She could take care of herself and once even got into trouble by her doctors for excercising too much. Nonetheless, she was fierce, especially about her family and loved ones.

Christmas 2011
St. Petersburg, FL

On Thursday, June 4 we got the call that this marvalous woman had passed away. It was not unexpected since she had recently been diagnosed with cancer wide spread through her body. However, up until only a couple months before her passing she lived independently in her own home. After 88 years of taking care of five kids and many grandchildren, she passed peacefully in her sleep in her own bed with her only living daughter and son keeping her company.

I have been blessed to be a part of this family for the last decade. I remember the first time I met Mrs. Ida, though I have only ever called her Nana. I was nervous because everyone said that she was iron-willed and could be critical, especially when significant others were brought to her. I suppose I could see how those adjectives could describe her, but they were not ones that I would use. I was lucky, she immediately loved me. I don't know if it was something in my personality or my smile. Perhaps even the way that I looked at her grandson that did the trick. Nana was the last test I underwent before I was inducded in the family for good...somehow, I passed with flying colors. And now, ten years later, I am as grieved as her blood family of her passing.

Summer 2010
New Hampshire
Though even now, we continue to celebrate her amazing life and not mourn her death. We will miss her, but she was a flame who would have never wanted to be dampened. She wanted to burn bright right up until her end. And then, she would have not wanted everyone to wail and agonize over her death, but to dance and throw a party. She would have wanted everyone burn as brightly as she did, for the entirety of her life.

I will miss the confidence in which she conducted herself. I will miss her laugh and her eagerness to hear about Zoey and how our lives are going. I will miss her dancing to stuffed singing animals. I will miss her Wedding Soup, which we've made for Christmas several times. I will miss her silent pleasure as she hugged and kissed her grandkids.

Summer 2010
New Hampshire
I am at least thankful that Zoey was able to know one our grandparents. Both my grandmother and Stephen's grandfather had passed before we met each other. My grandfather, who was there along with Nana at our wedding, passed while I was pregnant with Zoey. But at five, Zoey has had many opportunities to get to know Nana and was sad as well by her passing. But she knew her laugh and her love and nothing can replace those memories.

Live Well, Love Much, Laugh Often

Nana will always be alive in our hearts. Her voice will live in the back of our minds, always encouraging and improving us to be the best that we could be. I am thankful to have known and loved this exceptional woman. We love you Nana!

I found this really cool collection of pictures from Easter of 2013. We were all at Stephen's Mom's house in North Carolina coloring Easter eggs:

Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life. ~Albert Einstein

There are so many moments and memories...

People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad. ~Marcel Proust

We love you Nana!

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Writer's Life For Me

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It's been about three months since I've written on this blog. Honestly, it's been that long since I have written or been creative at all. That was a mistake. I have learned at several points throughout my life that I NEED a creative outlet. If I go to long without that type of release I begin to go a little crazy. (Just ask anyone who sees me on a regular basis and they would agree.) So on the realization that I need to write again to make sense of everything that is in my head, I have once again resurrected Tales From A Mother, the blog that has been with me through everything.

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However, the choice to write is easy. Of course I want to write. The problem comes with what to write. One reason I haven't been creative is that I don't feel like I have anything to share. I've been working alot lately and when I'm not working I spend my time with my family. I feel like I've accomplished great feats if I get the laundry done or are able to read a book for a bit. So writing and creating have fallen off the list. It will now get back on and get moved to the top.

I don't know what I will write about. I don't know what I'm writing about right now. But words are coming out and thoughts somehow magically organize themselves as I write.

I couldn't pass this picture up...I feel like this is the truth of my life. Sometimes, I just feel like I am a big mess. That's why I write. That's why I read...It lets me know I'm not the only one.
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"Writing is the painting of the voice." ~Volitaire

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Writing and Drawing

I would describe myself as an artist, specifically a writer. I love to draw, but to be perfectly honest, I'm not very good at it. I'm not sure why, I've just never really taken the time to get good at it I suppose. But for some reason, it is writing that makes sense to me, even if my words don't always make sense.

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I've been practicing my artwork, specifically drawing and painting. I find that I'm better at painting simply because I blur the lines and colors together easier. It is also easier to create layers. I'm learning how to draw more by practicing more and more.

Nonetheless, it is writing that comes naturally. I figured it out, at least in part, recently. I can sit down with a blank piece of paper and be inspired to fill it with words. Even if those words don't connect or flow, I can still create them to make some sort of pattern. However, when I sit down to a blank paper with the intention of drawing, my mind goes blank. I have the stirrings of a panic attack and don't know where to start. I can't unload my mind using drawing like I can with words. Even right now, I know what these words look like on a paper, but I am clueless as to how to transform this emotion into artwork. One day I hope that changes, that I can sit down and draw my emotions. However, until then I will continue to practice my drawing and my painting and fall back to words to make life make sense.

This is an example of pouring my heart out on paper,
just trying to make sense of my world.

That's all we need right, to create order and understanding even if the method is chaotic and messy. Even if the words don't make sense, it creates sense for me. That is all art is...emotions for all to see and hopefully experience in their own way. Art is something that can never die because with it ends all human understanding. That would be a sad day indeed. For now I will write nonsense and some stories and continue to practice other forms of art. Maybe one day the world will make sense. Until then, just enjoy the journey.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

What's in a name?

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It's interesting what inspires you creatively. My biggest creative outlet is my writing, thus this blog. Songs inspire me often, which is why I post so many of them. However, it seems any insignificant moment or word will do the trick.  The best part is, this random inspiration usually happens when I am at a point when it feels impossible for me to even put two words to paper. Like now. So I'm glad for a least this moment, this glimpse of what is to come.

The thing that has inspired me lately is something that hasn't ever before...that is names. For some unbeknownst reason, two specific names have inspired me to create a story around them. The first is Quentin and the second is Celeste. One is a male and the second is a female. I'm not sure what the setting is or even exactly what the characters suppose to do, but that is their names. I am excited about this actually because you never know what will inspire you, it is what you do with that moment that makes the difference. I can't wait to sit down with a block of time and find out who Quentin is. He is a character that will reveal himself to me if I will only listen.

The fun part about writing is this idea that I create a character and a story. However, that is often not the case. Most of the time it is an abstract thought that finds me and demands to be written down. It is not my imagination at all that creates this story, but an idea that comes and demands to be developed and doesn't let me rest until that happens.

I hear the same concept comes with the creation of music or any type of art. There is something slightly off in the minds of those who create things. Perhaps it is simply part of being human. I don't know about other creative minds, but I am happy to be part of the process.

I sit at my computer now as I write this thought and get so excited about taking the next step and allowing this character to live and this story to be written. Someone somewhere needs to hear what this character thinks, even if that person isn't me. It is a wonderful concept to imagine that a word, a phrase, a concept can change the life of a person. It is a great responsibility and a great honor.

I am excited about the creative process, no matter how irrational it is. I am excited to bring life to these characters and ideas that make the minds of people spin and grow. I am excited to grow myself with the characters as they tell their story through my words. One day I will meet Quentin and find out who he is and what he has to tell me. The same with Celeste. That will be a good day.