Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October Tribute

Never been a big fan of October. Most people love the fall, especially in the whole northeast area. The pretty foliage, the pumpkin everything- lattes, ravioli, scones...you name it. They look forward to riding boots, sweaters, and leggings. Hay rides, apple picking and football. (Well, I'd never look forward to football, even if October didn't already blow).

Not me. I kind of hate October. Autumn. And I consider myself a very positive person. I just can't think of October without really thinking of death. The death of summer. Of flip-flops. The leaves turning color to eventually fall off. Death. Of people.

Aunt Barbara
First there was my Aunt Barbara. My mom's older sister. She loved me like she was my mom. Had she actually lived closer, she probably would have taken over that job with joy through the good times and the hard ones. She was forty-four when she passed away. If I remember correctly, she had some rare form of cancer that like three people in the world had at the time. Or something like that. But it doesn't really matter what it was that took her. The end result is that she is no longer around. She didn't actually pass away until January of 1989, but her real decline was the fall of 1988. The weather rapidly worsened and so did she. The whole passage from summer to autumn became tainted starting there.

Me and Matt- 12/31/88
I don't even know how to describe the next awful October moment. While no one wants to remember that night, no one affected will ever forget. I don't want to go into detail because it's not something anyone wants to re-live. Suffice to say, the world lost a beautiful person with the potential to be and do great things. I often think about what he would have been like, what he would have been doing, whether we'd still be friends. I always have had a tendency to keep people around from the past. My friendships are very fluid. I rarely speak to anyone on a regular basis, but I have always been the type to be able to pick up where we left of, out of the blue, whenever. With no drama or judgment. I feel like he also would've been like that.

It's so hard to say what someone who passed on at eighteen years old would be like in their 40's, but what he was like then leads me to believe he would be fluid with people too. He was such a good person. He was a true Capricorn, which means, I was a giant pain in his ass. But he rolled with it. Exasperated, but he did. From lectures after catching me smoking cigarettes numerous times, to stupid stuff Ann and I did that he had to get us out of, to just giving me a lot of time and attention, he was special. I'd say that was the best words to describe Matt...He was "special".

Rita and Me
My mom passed away five years ago on Oct 2. Her birthday was Oct 5. I'm not going to go on about my mom because I have before, and I just don't know what else there is to say. It sucks. As my son grows up, it sucks more. He would have loved to know her and vice versa. I have friends losing parents now and it's not a club to which anyone wants to belong.

Honestly, I never needed or need parenting advice from Rita...(#JokingNotJoking ??) but she would've been a great grandma and she would've loved having the job. That, I know for sure. We all miss out with her gone. The laughing. The belly laughs over nonsense. Sometimes, I just lose it, laughing manically over something I can't even explain. To the point of tears. B & E just look at each other. Shrugging. B just shakes his head and says to E- "She's just like Grandma Rita. I have no idea what she's laughing at". Then there were always the made up "factoids" she liked to dole out. Hey Rita, I thought "the sun always shines for the Jews". Really Ma? Tell that to last Saturday's drenching Yom Kippur weather. My mother said INSANE things that she really believed as true. The best was when I would look at her, not quite sure if she knew what she was talking about, and she'd say- "Wait. Don't tell anyone that. I might have made that up".

I know, if there is a place where she can see us (which most know I think that's a BIG "if"), she was LOVING my entry about freezing pb&j and so proud of my freezer packed with perfect sandwiches.

I guess I'm writing about this today because it's all a lot. Facebook is awesome for remembrance. Whether you like it or not. I admit I sometimes find it jarring when I sweep through my feed and there is a photo of my mom posted by someone else or a photo of someone else that has passed. When you're not expecting it, it can just give you a little jolt. Not in a bad way- just something you weren't prepared to see. But when I signed on Facebook early this morning, and saw Matt's face, it just brought me a smile in the middle of an ordinarily crappy week. I mostly ignored the five year anniversary of my mom's death. It's just my way. Even when Matt died, I tried to go about life as usual right away. I ended up having to deal with it better a few months later, but I wasn't ready in the moment or the moments shortly thereafter.

I'm not someone who "takes to the bed". I think after my aunt, then Matt, so close in time, I have become a little desensitized, or maybe- protective? of myself. I just keep moving. Keep busy. Keep going. Keep living. Not because that's what they'd want, but because it's what the ones left behind have to do to really live. Not to "just survive". I have a five year old that doesn't slow down for a second. I need to live. Not just go through the motions. I have to be the motion. I also need time to process, to think about what I want to say, if anything. I also don't want to write something or put something out there just because it's expected. I need to feel it. It's easy to write about politics or cool, fun places I find to go. Products. I'm passionate about those things but in a different way. Anyone that really knows me, understands that.

I think I might try to "take back October" and just celebrate them all. They all deserve it. I can't change what happened but I can try to inject some happiness into fall and remember them with the positivity they gave to everyone they touched. I eat perfect pb&j today for Rita, with a side of veggies for my Aunt Barbara who always said to me that it's imperative to have all the food groups at dinner, and for Matt...I'll hang on to a "warm fuzzy".

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