I Do. I Did. I Confess.

Last night I had some free time to myself, so I read over everything I had blogged for our anniversary in the past.

It’s funny how the things I wrote then – while true – are actually much more evocative and realized today. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. They were mere truth seeds – powerful in their makeup and design – but not yet fully or half bloomed through. Now to be fair, full bloom takes forever or never and a day, if it happens at all. But oh – the potential and beauty! It’s thick. It can overrun your garden, and the the soil and the foundation will just expand to fit it all in. I’ve seen this.


I see this.

I do

The truth seeds were grown, with their potential and their capacity, and we hopefully have a lifetime to see them realized.

To realize them into bloom.

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The things I say today, are some things I’ve said before but I can’t even begin to tell you how true they are today. How messy it all is – like your blooming garden – wet and naked, dry and warm, always changing, always needing change, always finding a way to crack, to bend, to grow, to bloom, to rest, and to do it all again. And again. When they crack, they let the light in.

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There is just so much to say about nine years ago that I can barely write. His Converse. My hair. His hair. The Jedi Knight robe. Moose and wolf light projections on the tent. A horse and carriage? Yes, a horse and carriage. It was that or a golf cart.

Showing Scarlet and Des pictures of the horse and carriage is MUCH more satisfying. “Oooooh,” they breathe when they look at the wedding photos. Look at you!” Look at us indeed. And of course, nine years in the blink of an eye? Well, no. Not when you fill in those lightning quick years with long days of cross country driving and two pregnancies, and tons of “LOST” and “Doctor Who” watching. And this crazy journey of child-rearing. Sometimes, it’s hard. Like the know-it-alls said it would be.

And what we knew it could be.

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Those same people who tell us to hug our children tight because “time goes so fast and you’ll blink and they’ll grow up.” Well, I hug those children nearly 12 hours a day and I couldn’t possibly do it more, short of keeping them up all night. And still time will go so fast and I’ll blink and they’ll be grown. Then I might be sad. And what will I be left with? Well, other than the knowledge that I raised two great kids into two great adults? You. You are left, standing with me. This is what we planned.

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So yes, it can be tough. I think we’re hard on each other a lot, due to stress and dreams too big to fit into a world with sometimes narrowing choices. We always dreamed BIG. We still dream big. And, we will always dream big. And I’m talking big. Maybe not fly away in a Tardis big, but as close as you can get to that. Northern lights and a place where moose and wolves co-exist in relative harmony. More Bruce Hornsby nights. These are all real. And oh, what a gift that is.

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I confess that one of my most vivid thoughts on my wedding day was this: “Oh man. Will my waist stay this way after children?” It’s the little, strange things you remember. The little, petty thoughts that stay in your head. The things that don’t really matter. So it’s ok to say it did/does matter to me, and I’m happy to say that I love my waist today, like I did then.

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I confess I never had a single shred of doubt about the man I was marrying. I mean, you read this, right? No room for doubt. Cold feet in general? Yes. The whole thing was a mind trip for me. The relatives, the flying, the being the center of attention.

Although, the groom was never in doubt.

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I confess that I didn’t enjoy all of the reception much – my stomach and feet hurt greatly. However, the ceremony was one of the single most meaningful, spiritual and enjoyable 45 minutes of my life. I was in an all-around love trance.

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As I mentioned above, I confess that the choices to get up the hill to the ceremony were: on foot in silver shoes, in a golf cart, or in a horse-drawn wagon. I felt a little strange taking the wagon, but I admit it had style. In the carriage with my parents we said, “Is this really happening? Is this real? Pinch me? After all that..this..it’s happening?”

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I confess that our Ketubah was designed from the map in the movie TIME BANDITS. As it should be!

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And, that my mom made the centerpieces and when I saw my childhood favorite, Donald Duck, I broke into tears.

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And, I confess that I don’t really remember what the cake tasted like but LOOK at it! Whenever I looked around after the cake had been served, I smiled to see some of our favorite people eating chocolate moose and chocolate skulking wolves.

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I confess that we took a fun dance class at the Cheryl Burke dance studio in SF and I forgot a few of my steps at the end.

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And that there were a whole lot of us.

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I confess that I almost broke my leg during a strangely punk rock, extended version of Hava Nagila!

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And that the song I chose for the father/daughter dance was “Drive” by The Cars. Not your typical choice, for sure, but it has always reminded me of him. “Butterfly Kisses” gives me hives, anyway.

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I confess that this photo was taken during the Time Warp. Obviously.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

And that maroon is the single best color in the world.

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I confess that we lit up a Vermont night. And late at night, we had projected images of a moose and wolf on the tent.

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I confess that there’s always a higher. I once thought love faded or turned into eventual annoyance and complacency. And I know that can and does happen, and I know I’m “only” nine years in. However, I do know there’s an alternative.

And we’re lucky.

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Does toddler Cassidy remind you of anyone?

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Happy 9th Anniversary, Love.

The Only Things I’m Certain About

I’m certain about death and taxes, love and life, rainbow sprinkles and mashed potatoes.

I’m certain about death and taxes, love and life, rainbow sprinkles and mashed potatoes, and that I was handmade and homemade and home-grown to be a mama, writer, photographer. And I’m certain I’m even-tempered, but only as even-tempered as someone who is HIGHLY sensitive to the changes and the shifts, the tastes and the smells, the FEELS… oh, the FEELS – like fingernails lightly down your back, or staring into space for five minutes after an evocative episode of This is Us.

Ok, they’re ALL evocative. For me, it’s the doctor character. And William. Sweet, sweet William.


I’m certain about legacies.

Sometimes I feel it coming – these changing tides – even while they’re still being born and unfolding, and I have to type fast before they implode. Or I have to race to a computer or phone before I explode. Today is a mix, like sun and clouds.

I’m certain about loss and grief, but not about the paths they take. I’m certain we have to rise up to move through paths and waves, and probably not as seamlessly as we’d like. Life’s greatest challenge. I once wrote a piece about grief that has since disappeared, but I think of it every now and then. Since I can’t get it back, I can rewrite it and give it to you right here and now. So let’s ride the waves together. FTSF Topic: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes ..”

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I once wrote that grief is like “the princess is in another castle” theme from Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. games.

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Just when you have confronted demons, fought valiantly, been sucked through warp zones, and fought on in endless pursuit of fireballs, feathers, mushrooms, and frog suits, you arrive at the castle level to fight the next big bad buy. And you do it, and you do it in style. You fight so hard and so well, only to be rewarded with a simple message printed across the screen.

Super Mario Brothers

So then you leave to enter a brand new world – full of brand new demons, and one brand new big bad guy at the end of the castle at the end of this world. You defeat the brand new bad guy, only to be greeted with the same disappointing message.

When does it end? Where is your reward? Where is your princess?

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Eventually in the game, you get to the real end, you defeat the final bad guy, and you get your princess. For keeps, this time. It doesn’t work that way in real life, although we certainly do have our rewards – like learning to unlock new layers and worlds within your own heart and mind. And finding yourself to be stronger and smarter than you ever thought possible.

The problem is that grief doesn’t have a set endpoint – there is no final big bad guy you can defeat, and then expect to never be challenged again. You will most likely continue to unlock new levels and worlds – through warp zones and not – collecting gold coins and stars, new weapons and new rewards, only to find yourself once again at the doors of a gated fortress.

It’s disorienting, isn’t it?

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My life has been full of such fortresses. After my father passed away suddenly from a heart attack when I was just about four-years-old, there was that first night without him. And then there were subsequent nights of resisting but having to let my sister and my mom out of my sight during day to day life. There were the weekdays that I waited for him to come home from work. There was the year following his death which I have mostly blacked out from memory. Therapy. A fear of loud noises.

A new home, a new dad and new siblings. A new school – the start of kindergarten.

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When I thought I was past a lot of my anxiety and grief, there were new challenges in young adulthood – going to college and falling in love. Moving several times. Becoming a mom to a girl who looked like me. And to a boy who reminded me of me.

A challenging time for me was being pregnant with Des – a baby due right around my father’s birthday. It wasn’t until Scarlet approached her fourth birthday that I began a new grieving process. My father had passed away three weeks before my fourth birthday, so I breathed a huge sigh of relief when that day passed, and we sailed through her fourth birthday party happily and whole. I then had a calmness I hadn’t thought possible, until a new trigger revealed itself – signing her up for kindergarten. I showed up on the first day of registration, as the first parent there, and my heart was pounding in my throat and my chest was constricting. How could I be back here – so far and so grown, but still shaking at the thoughts of change?

We defeated that bad guy, and now it’s Des’ turn for kindergarten.

Where is my next castle/challenge/bad guy? I don’t know what it will be and how it will hit me. I know I will probably live my life with challenges, but hopefully with gaining new skills, weapons and tools too. Moving through, as I also move on.

I’ll live my life fully and effectively, until I get the next message – “Great job, but your princess is still in another castle, and probably always will be.” And then I’ll stop, reassess my tool belt, add new weapons, and learn to move through.

This brand new world, until the next one comes along.

This week’s Finish the Sentence Friday topic is “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.

What are you certain about?