Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Day

Today is a day. Just your average wonderfully ordinary Sunday where people do things like have lunch, watch television, have birthdays (Hey Michelle!) eat, breath, walk, talk, sleep and then start out all over again tomorrow.

Today is also the anniversary of when my Stephie stopped being alive. Nine years ago. I know it's not the big ten, that is usually the one to get marked, but something happened recently that got me missing her even more than usual. I was spending time with Sissy's kids and I started to tell a story that involved Stephie when only her oldest Taysie remembered her. I felt gutted. No spark, no tiny piece of memory from them. Nothing.

They are missing out on her and she on them. The giggles, the jokes, all the family parties with the wretched verses of Happy Birthday that can make your ears bleed. Her tiny feet and hands. Her smile. Purple, always purple.

It's tragically and beautifully strange, because her funeral was during the time of Hurricane Katrina, and I kept thinking how lucky we were to have her body to bury. Now, every year the anniversary of Katrina and all of that misery is mixed with those memories of sitting next to her special purple casket and being so grateful, and now it is mixed with such longing and sadness for everyone that doesn't get to carry the silly and fun memories of her around with them everyday.

Some may want to comfort me with platitudes of how it was her time or she's in a better place. Don't. I'm comfortable being uncomfortable about My Stephie no longer being alive. What does give me comfort is sharing stories of her, remembering her, and being here to love and enjoy all the things of life I know she would. Each and every day.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Face Forward

I had severely crooked teeth while growing up. My mouth, which has been measured to be 10 millimeters too small (yes Miss Big Mouth in actuality has a tiny mouth) couldn't hold all of my teeth properly so four of them had to be pulled as well as my so called wisdom teeth (we can surmise that all of my potential wisdom was extracted with them.) As all of you that know me, not much that has to do with my body goes smoothly so the pulling of the four teeth was an ordeal. They broke off so they had to cut open my gums and pull them out root first which made healing take so much longer and the ultimate goal of braces so much further away. The correction of my crooked teeth didn't happen until freshman year of high school, so I had years and years of the habit of covering my mouth every time I smiled or laughed. My brother used to swipe away my hands in an effort to retrain me. Even then he saw what I would do to hide myself. I hated any and all pictures. I hated smiling without my hand over my mouth.

As a teenager it felt like the world was picking on me. Giving me another thing on top of all the things. Being a teenage girl, in this beauty obsessed culture, surrounded by such pretty friends (I secretly hatched a plot to get less attractive friends so I could be the Queen of the Uglies) you constantly measure yourself. We, I, still do it. Facebook, Instagram, Selfie Sundays... #NoFilter, it's the same. The saying "Put your best face forward" in this society that makes snap judgements, either giving credit for beauty from the lottery of birth and then conversely assigning blame for unattractiveness. I was doing it. I do still, with Thor.

Truth is, to have a face at all, an actual functioning face with teeth and a nose and lips and both eyes and both ears without a terrible malformation that you can utilize to communicate with the other people in your life if you are lucky enough to have some is not only more than some people have, THAT is putting your best face forward.

So many people tell me I have a terrific or a beautiful smile now. It doesn't have anything to do with my teeth, or the years of braces and headgear. It's because when I smile I mean it.

The Bun

The Bun
If you don't like rabbits, you can suck it, shove it and then go soak your head.