Have you ever had a life-changing moment in your life that just leaves you breathless? So deep that when you think of it, your hear skips a beat and it takes you just a moment to gather your thoughts? Your stomach does a flip, you may feel a bit shaky and thinking is just something that you cannot do, let alone speak.
I wrote these words on my blog (here) four years ago; but they still ring true. I was reminded of this piece because a friend of mine is coming close to her own first anniversary milestone. We all get to a point in life when we grieve someone, when we have to face big life occasions without them. If you're there, I hope you find comfort in knowing that you're not alone - our journeys and timelines may be different, but the landmarks can be the same.
Iqiaqtiq had a favorite pass time for the cold dark winter nights. She and her mother would sing together while cleaning up the house. This helped her forget the bad things that happened to them all too often. "Mother has a voice like angels"- thought Iqiaqtiq, and she wished that when she grows up, that her voice would be just as beautiful. She and her Mother would recite the scriptures and sing till the house was clean.
Ever since I was real young and the first time I've ever went trick or treating on Halloween, I've always adored the season. Putting on costumes, gathering with other kids and walking door to door collecting treats while seeing other kids going around in their costumes always brought such festive joy. The fireworks, festivities, pumpkin carving and those tasty roasted pumpkin seeds are always just a few more things to look forward to every year.
You never think of researching something until it has happened to you or a loved one. This has been the case when I was diagnosed with narcolepsy, when I came out as transgender, and now. How many of you honestly knew October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day?
When I was just a little girl, my dad made one of the biggest decisions of his life. As a single parent and having nothing left to lose, he drove us across the country to start over. All I remember bringing was a small embroidered nap sack with an Aztec design on it, and inside it held my few rubber lion king toys. I spent the duration of the week-long drive playing with those toys on a tarred-up dashboard and hot leather seats pointing out birds on the road up ahead so my father wouldn’t hit them. “Nicole you have the eyes of an eagle,” my father would say as we drove down the highway. Sometimes, I would spot those birds miles before my father could even make them out at all and even with my keen vision, I didn’t see the courage that move must have taken my father until much later in life.
My mom passed away on August 12, 2020. She was very sick for a long time and didn't have a good quality of life. (At least this is what I try to tell myself and my family) Even though she struggled for every breath for several years, she was still determined to do normal things and spend time with her family. Each year that passed she was able to do less and less, but yet still did her best to not let her illness get the better of her. Don't get me wrong, she was very depressed and anxious, which automatically goes along with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, but she still had a zest for life. She had such strong presence and now her absence is unbearable for myself and my family.
The Woman With August On Her Chest
By Tammy Reese:
The word August is tattooed on my chest.
Some people probably just read that and said "super cool", "wtf", "that is totally weird", and some people are so intrigued to know more.
It starts with flour and baking soda...no, scratch that. It started with a steamer trip across the Atlantic on the RMS Queen Elizabeth. Born in Paisley, Scotland, of Irish decent, she traveled alone at the invitation of relations abroad to make her new home in America.
When a loved one dies, memories flood our consciousness and conversation. Naturally, the predominant discussion is of how much the deceased will be missed. That’s not all that happens. As a dear friend once told me, “families fall apart during weddings and funerals”. All too often, fighting over material things occur resulting in hurt feelings. While everyone else is fighting over the jewelry, there is something you can do that has far move value than a piece of metal or stone.
The last couple of months have been trying to say the least, and the last few days have been an accumulation of faking smiles, holding my tongue, and acting like everything is just peachy, and keeping the reasons for all that to myself, that is until the 'shit happens' stuff happened! When I dropped my phone at the end of an already 'shit happens' filled day, and my screen shattered, holding it all in was no longer an option, and I was all but ready to just hit the road and not look back. As it goes Grief and Despair, remind me that they are ever so close and will stay by my side like a loyal friend always.
My parents married on the 18th. of December 1964. My mother had five children at the time. I came into the picture on the 15th. of October 1965, I thought I had an awesome life! My father was a farmer, outfitter, rancher. My mother cooked at one of our local small town restuarants. So I had many experiences growing up on a farm and learned a great many things. I had a big family( 2 sisters, 3 brothers) . I thought I was loved and wanted... but. Certain things didn`t add up after a while.