Thoughts About Mom

I am still so damned unhappy with mom dying when she did.  Sure, I am ready to do life without her.  She did a good job, and raised me right. What I am not ready for is days without being able to have a chat with mom when I want to hear her say, “I love you,” in the way only she ever did.  I am not ready to go months without being able to chat with her about what is going on, and what we have planned next, like I used to do.  I am not ready to go on without hearing her say how beautiful my children are, so I could know how happy they make her.  I am not ready to live without sharing joy with her.  And that’s what I miss above all.  Sharing joy with mom, the way we did for so many years. 

I miss her smile, her laugh, her willingness to pack away all the negative, and look at the bright side, just to make others smile, even when she had lost all hope already.  I miss what she gave of herself.  I miss what she was.  I miss her simple beauty.  I miss her complexity.  I miss her voice, and I miss her silence…  her deliberate silence.  Her silence now was not intended.  Her silence right now is never ending.  And in her words, it sucks. 

I try to tell myself she was just being her usual self and not being a burden on anyone for her end of life.  Truth is, she would be damned well a burden on any and all, just to be with her grandkids, her kids, her family.  The truth is, her death kills.  Her burden bears heavy.  The cold box where she decays does not need her, does not deserve her, but the bastard wants everyone, and takes all.  I don’t resent it for wanting me.  I resent it for taking her too soon. 

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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

To the ethereal memories of the one I have called Mom.  Happy Mother’s Day.  This is the first one without you, and you have been gone less than one month.  If I could write you a card, and you could read it, there is one thing I would want you to know.  You mattered. No matter how small this world makes us feel, by literal size,  or in how short a while we get to live here, you mattered. 

I am to the point where I do not cry every day now.  It is not easy.  I think of you, and when I do my heart flutters and instantly my eyes want to water up, and I have to change the subject of the conversation I have with myself in my mind.  I cannot hardly see to write this now.  But that’s something I just have to work with.

Also, I thought today that if ever someone might ask me how my mother was, I may tell them, “She was young, and that is all you need to know.”  It refers to ‘Only The Good Die Young.”  I also makes me wonder why I didn’t ever see it coming.  I should have always known. 

Happy Mother’s Day, mom.  I love you.  I miss you so much. 

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Images of Mom

There is a series of photos in my tablet that is difficult to scroll past.  They are the ones sent to me at the time of her death last month, and the ones taken at her burial.  I go looking for something, and as I pass them, instantly my heart jumps, breaks, and my eyes flood.  There’s no being strong, no peace or acceptance, no solace, just heartache, instant heartache at the loss of my dear mommy.  She has been dead for two weeks and four days now.  From her perspective, it may as well have been a billion years.  From mine, it may as well have been four seconds.  It just hurts.  The rock of our family growing up is the first one in that family to leave us.  That can never be mended.  It can never be ignored.  All I can do is pass by the images as fast as I can.

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Coping With The Loss

It was sunny and beautiful in the valley on mom’s last day.  The temperatures were short sleeve, late spring-like.  Then it rained the day she died.  Apropos.  I hope nobody thought it was because they washed their car.  It was the world crying for her loss.  Mom was a beautiful consciousness, whose love for people, sense of humor, and humility made her a joy to everyone around her.  From my perspective, the world was the worse for her leaving it, and it knew it.

The hardest days were those where she lay waiting to die.  The hemorrhage on her brain had done irreversible damage, and rendered her comatose, leaving death the only natural result of an event that took us all by surprise.  Waiting, wondering if in some last moment effort she might wake up and ask what the hell is going on, or if somehow she might be thinking, hearing, dreaming, and ultimately suffering in there, those are the bits that were brutal.  I gasped for every last breath in a world with her in it.  I cried every last tear in an ocean of love, respect, admiration for the woman who had raised me a man, and had given me everything good in her.  I daydreamed that somehow she could hear me from so far away, telling her that it was okay to let go, to suffer no more, to be at peace.  Alas, I know that those thoughts in my head, those words screamed at the steering wheel of my truck as I drove alone, those sights and sounds, were only for me, and only brought me peace of mind in letting her go.  She lay, unresponsive, so far away.  All I could do was commune with nature, and find peace within myself.

After I carried her to her grave with my brothers and hers, and my sister, the next challenge was to find a day where I was strong enough not to wake up on a damp pillow, and to go the whole day without crying.  I finally made two in a row, a record dampened as I write this.  This could have been the third.  Still, I don’t regret the tears.  They are a natural part of the healing process.  How much worse would it be if there were none?  How awful would it be if there were no reason to cry?  But mom had lived 63 beautiful years, too few years for love, too many for the tragedy she lived.  While she faced the prospect of cancer in the end, the physical suffering that goes along with fighting it, and the pain treatment, it is the torments of her mind that also come to needed rest.  Living is always the best option, but the heart finds peace in the release of life when living well is no longer possible.  Mom’s days of wellness were gone.  My heart was shattered for that. 

As the hours turn to days, and those days are beginning to turn to weeks, I feel as cold as the grave myself.  But one day on my timeline the weeks of my life will turn to days, then hours, and the coldness of the grave will find me, again, this time as participant. Mom would have me spend no more moments mourning her.  She’d stand before me and say, “You look after my grand babies for me, and tell them I love them, every single day.”  That’s where she would be selfish, and demand a daily tribute.  I am sure she would insist these grand babies are the greatest legacy of her life.  I would disagree.  Her greatest legacy comes from the daily lessons she gave me in goodness, and how to raise these grand babies well.  Next comes the glorious memories of my youth, spent in the sacred days we shared.  I began my youth before she ended hers.  And now she has ended her old age before I began mine, if 63 could even be called old? 

As I carry on, suddenly without her, I feel like a cloud drifting overhead.  Sometimes I may rain, sometimes I may let the sun in. In a moment I may drift away, or my vapor may dissipate.  Only a few will notice me.  At times there is thunder and fire inside.  But mostly, I feel like mist, almost transparent, unable to be touched. 

I miss you mom.  I love you.

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Carrie Jo Bancroft, 1952 – 2016

This has been a pretty tough week.  Mom went into hospital on Saturday morning with a massive hemmorage on her brain, which resulted in so much dammage that despite surgery, she could not be saved.  Early Sunday morning she was taken off life support.  Today is Wednesday.  I was born on a Wednesday.  Mommy died early this morning.  I am in a million billion pieces. 

I knew somewhere inside that the day would come.  She had some form of cancer beginning to form in her, for which she had begun chemo and they were looking for a bone marrow doner for her, but none of that could have stopped what eventually took her from us.  I never expected it to come so soon.  She was only 63 years old.  Her own mother was at her side when she died. 

This week took me by surprise.  I have cursed and I have cried.  I have reviewed memories throughout my life, such as when she slept on a sofa at her dad’s house, or had a little apartment on Redwood Road in Salt Lake City, working in an envelope company, but still made sure my Christmas Morning was enough to convice me that there really was a Santa Clause, and that he was generous.  There was the house on Flint Way in Broomfield, and so many wonderful memories there.  I remembered being so upset and shy that I could not speak to my high school crush, and mom sang the Everly Brothers, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” to me.  My heart exploded the other day when it played in the kitchen, by chance.  Mom said last time she was here that she knew my wife and I would do a great job as we began to modernize the house.  I cried today as I wished so badly she cold see it when it is finished.  I decided that her memorial feture in the garden will be a Pitcher Pump well, which will bring the waters from the ground, to give life to the world around it, just as she did. 

My mother, Carrie Jo, was truely one of the most wonderful people anyone could hope to know.  That’s not just my biases talking.  She was a peacemaker to a fault, to the point she could alow others to walk over her.  She suffered more than just the onset of cancer too.  She suffered in her later years from paranoia, and possibly a bit of scizophrenia.  But she learned how to hide it from those who thought she was crazy, and only talked about it to those she thought believed her.  Religion was also one of her greatest downfalls.  She was brought up to believe in Mormonism, but was promised by a Stake Patriarch that she would go to hell if she continued to follow her current path, which at that time was delving into Ouiga boards and the occult.  Till the end, she believed that stones had powers and magnets could help heal her.  Ironically, that sort of thing is frowned upon by Mormons, who don’t believe in the powers of stones, except when translating ancient scriptures, so she was always at odds. 

I am happy that she no longer needs to suffer from the mental or spiritual anguishes she suffered.  I am not surprised that she slipped out before the Chemo Therapy and further Cancer treatment became a huge burden on anyone else.  She and my baby sister lived together, and I know for a fact that she loved that.  If it were up to her, she would of had all her kids living close by.  I had hoped so much she could visit us again, see what we have built, come to the farm and enjoy all of the animals, and the wonderful summer days.  But instead, she spent a beautiful spring day on earth, and then left us. 

I have come to he conclusion that it is ironic that people fear death.  It is only the living who carry the burdens of guilt, shame, fear, or anything else that weighs us down.  That being said, I know for certain the kinds of things my mother, lover of life and people, and most of all family, would say if she were stood by my shoulder now.  “Oh honey, I love you so much.  Don’t cry, don’t be afraid to carry on.  Just take good care of my grandbabies for me.  I love you, my sweet little boy!  Tell my grandbabies I love them, every day.  Remember I love you too!” 

So, to my children, all of them, and my nieces and nephews.  Nanna Carrie wanted me to tell you that she loves you.  She loves you to the moon and back.  To the stars, and to the sky.  Her love for you is like the waters in the ocean, the sun up above, the earth down below, and everything in between.  And she’d do anything she could to give them all to you.  I know this, because she told me so.  I know this because it is how she was from my first memory of her, to the very last. 

So, now I sit here between her death and the funeral.  I have gasped deeply every last breath I could in a world with her in it.  Her body lies in wait to go into the ground.  She is yet to have a funeral that I cannot go to because of cost, and because I really don’t want to.  Funerals are for the living, not for the dead.  Since it is not for her, I cannot really do it.  It is not how I want her to be in me.  I want her ever alive in me.  So I won’t close that door, even though I expect to find myself at some future date, long from now, crying, and whispering, “I miss you Mommy.  I love you Mommy.  And I know you love me too.” 

For My Mommy, Carrie Jo Bancroft.  I will always be who I am because of you.  I will always try to give as much love to my children as you did to each of yours.  Thank you for being my first Best Friend.  Thank you for the times you gave up so much for me.  Thank you for the times we spent together.  You shaped me in so many ways.  You gave me so many gifts, so much of your time, so much of your love.  Now I am a grown man, and you were so right, even when I hated as a yong man to hear you say it, but I will always be your little baby.  I am sure crying like one over you now.  I love you!

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Working on the Kitchen

Today’s fun started out at a Restore store in Logan, Utah, shopping for cupboards to use to build a kitchen island and a baking station.  We got a sort of random bunch of cabinetry that had been torn from some house, and a countertop.  There was no way to bring any of this home in our little Ford Escape, so I had to come home, then go back out again later in a truck to get it all.  When I got there, they had received a few more pieces from the same house, and invited me to have a look.  There were two wall cabinets, and two drawer cabinets.  I snached up the drawer cabinets, because Iwas disappointed on the first trip that we did not get any.  Next we loaded the five cabinets into the truck along with the countertop and headed home. 

We unloaded right away and started experiementing in the kitchen with different layouts till we found one that would create a sufficient island, and enough room to walk fairly comfortably around it on all sides, including where the baking station will go. 

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What we came up with is a double cupboard facing the sink, and two drawers facing away from it at opposite ends. 

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We intend to build shalves on the back of the double cabinet and on the backs of the drawer cabinets where we can either set pots and pand if they are deep enough, of Mason Jars or other canisters of foodstuff if the shelves end up shallow.  We are planning on covereing all of the cabinets with beadboard to match what’s going on the ceiling, then painting it all white in a high durability paint.

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The baking station at the far corner of the kitchen will be a sort of hoosier cabinet when it is done, with most of the baking supplies there to prepare whatever pies, breads, pastries we want at a moment’s notice.  With the oven on the opposite corner of the room, the island is right in the middle to line up breads as they rise, or trays of goodies as they wait to go into the oven.

I know the place looks a bit like a bomb hit it right now, but it should finish up nicely, and complete a sad and wanting kitchen that had poor lighting, not enough cabinet and drawer space, and nowhere near enough counter space.  All of the cabinets and the counter top we bought today cost us a total $150, no tax, and all the procedes go to Restore, in support of Habitat For Humanity. 

I’ll post more as things move along.  We are working on relatively low budget, so this may go a little slow.

Oh, and it is snowing tonight.  Nothing like in Washington DC and New York!  But it was sure peaceful out when I went to feed all of te animals and collect three chicken eggs. 

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Just Some Thoughts

I like to write.  In fact, I actually love it.  I love to sit at the keyboard and put down thoughts as they come to me.  It is a way of recording whatever is on my mind in the voice I hear in my head, minus the words I can’t spell.  Those usually get changed to something simpler to save me looking them up.  But otherwise, it is how my inner voice speaks, rather than my outer voice, which speaks at a different speed to my inner voice, and stumbles a lot more.  Also, my inner voice doesn’t get interrupted as often by the opinions of others, where my outer voice gets cut off from time to time so I have to listen to someone else’s outer voice tell me that I am wrong about whatever I am speaking about outloud.  Surely they are doing it to impress their inner ear with the sound of their own outer voice though, and inside, the know that I am right.  I won’t be duped by their outer voice though.  I know what they are up to.  They just don’t know the right words to say that I am right, so they say I am wrong, but that’s not what they mean.  They are just trying to impress themselves with a compelling arguement that thet are right, when they know inside that they are wrong. 

Excuse the paragraph above, as it developed while I wrote it.  I know my inner voice needs regulating, and that my thoughs are often incorrect.  My world is the creation of my perception.  The universe will continue long after I am dead.  But for me, it will all end, and exist no more.  And all I will ever have known of it is what I have thought, and percieved.  More developing thoughts… 

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The Workings Of My Mind

In between all the highs and lows, the running around and standing still, the bright and the dark moments, I get to plan out the summer work here on the farm.  I honestly don’t know what goes on in the minds of other people when they have nothing to do, but for me, all I can think about is “what’s next?”  I have lots more ideas than I have money to accomplish them all.  I should have played the PowerBall.  My share of all that money would have started out in my Amazon Wislist.  I would have added everthing to the cart then hit Order.  That’s over 300 items.  The UPS driver would have had to bring me my own delivery truck load.  It would have been a great day!  Next up would have been consulting with Sand Creek Pole Barns for a barn across the street.  I would have made a private residence upstairs, and moved in, then this house would be redone top to bottom and a Bed and Breakfast opened in it.  After that, Iwould be buying tracts of land around here and started working them to my satisfaction.  John Deere would be sending their sales rep to me.  Not a lot mind you.  Just enough to grow enough food to sustain the Bead and Breakfast, and our family, and a Farmer’s Market stall.  Okay, a lot!

Now you are asking yourself, how did I get from planning to dreaming?  I ask mself that just about every day. 

So, back to planning.  This summer we want to buld up the barn to hold animals inside, making winters with them much easier for them and for me, the muggin who has to go out and feed them.  We want to add pigs to the farm, and a few fowl, such as Peacocks and geese (again, thanks dogs!).  I want to replace the egg flock for better laying next year, and I want a meat bird flock to put chickens in the freezer for the coming winter.  I also want turkeys. 

I need to build a pigstye, runs for some of the animals, the barn work, and fix up a lot of fencing.  The back pasture across the street needs all of its fencing redone, which is a lot, especially where we’d like to block off the bird sanctuary in the drainiage ditch, and put waterfowl there.  I’d like beehives on the strip of land other side of the drainage ditch.  I cannot even thing about bulding a bridge over yet, or even doing any work on the bridge over the canal.  Those will come after we get some money coming in, if that ever happens!

Basically, millions of dollars spent, and that’s without wining the lottery!

We also want to try a garden again this year.  That is going to be a lot of work! Clearing the earth here is difficult.  Grass and weeds grow in quickly, and clove will overtake any bare land.  I want to get a pig in to clear it first, since they will root out every last bit of vegetation, and till the earth in the process.  I am very excited to try this out!

And lastly, the big next plan…  Last year the mower saw its last day.  I want tools Ican easily fix and maintain, so a scythe is one of the next things I intend to order off that huge Amazon list.  If I am not more fit by then end of the summer, it’s because I’m dead. 

So, there you have it, a brief summary of what kinds of things occupy my mind in the down times of my days, and the waking moments of my nights.  There is a lot left out, and this doesn’t even include a list of what Missus Bacon wants to do.  It excludes adding cows and doing some landscaping too.  It doesn’t mention painting and decorating insde the house, nor the paint that needs doing on the barn and the granary.  I am way too poor to live the things I dream!

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Mom Again

I got hold of my sister to find out what was up.  She laughed it off.  Grandma blew things way out of proportion.  A gentle reminder of why I keep grandma at a certain distance.  Could this have been another of her old manipulations?  It’s the type.  Anyway, mom is well enough, and due out of hospital at any time, if she is not out already.  Back to the idea of her just treating the cancer, rather than the idea of a world without her. 

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