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Sunday, July 27, 2014

File under "Life Goes On"

 I dropped Emily for band camp this morning, to the only people she trusts, her peers.

On consideration, of course.
Five homes in fifteen years, five different sets of care givers.

Ignored by the brother she adores and struggled so hard to get here.
He has not contacted her in two months, in spite of the fact,
to quote a gleeful Emily to an old friend, two years ago,
"They were stupid enough to give us computers and phones."

She's so smart, she carries over a four point average.
Yet she seems uninterested in researching colleges that might interest her, and scholarships.
In two years these people will be gone, too
Big decisions between now and then.

My thoughts this morning, while hanging my laundry. It looks lovely, in a gentle breeze under blue skies, the awful clouds above cleared away. Tomorrow a service for Walt. Dear Mark, who has soldiered through this first test of life, death of a parent, with grace, said simply "I can't talk about him in front of a lot of people." 

I asked an older relative to speak about my mother, and now I'm the last one standing. I wrote out many index cards. Mark read them and even laughed several times.  Jan thinks it may not be long enough; I'll take questions from the audience.

There was a severe storm over night. I took a trip through the garden this morning.

The new rose on the trellis. A kind of multiflora, grows up to six feet tall.
It lost some petals in the storm, but not many. It's fairly protected.

A toad who waited patiently. We disturbed his home to plant the rose yesterday,
but he nimbly hopped aside.

The phlox lost a lot of petals.

 The rain seems to have beat through the petals of some flowers.
You all have given me this flower's name before. I hope to hear it again.
Funny, I managed to recover all my nouns after the stroke,
but I struggle with the ones I never knew.

Another one whose name I've been told. Maybe this time it will stick.
I was after the bumble bee, but they are in and out of these flowers so fast!
See him there a little left of center.

Petals from the purple flower were knocked down last night,
And the balloon flower has many petals made seer.

School starts in three weeks. Life goes on.


  1. I think Emily appreciates you, she is probably reluctant to show it as she has been disappointed by people.
    Tough week, as you say life does go on.

    That bee thing reminded me of something a crazy cousin once wrote for me.
    CM B's?
    MNO B's.
    OSAR, CM?
    OS I SM.

    Stupid huh. The things that stick in your head.

  2. I am not looking forward to teenage grandchildren. We have three -- one eight-year-old and two six-year-olds. Already they're past that sweet baby phase when we could do no wrong. Last time I visited with one of the six-year-olds, a sweet little boy, he told me to "go home." That would never have happened even a year ago, but now he's thinking that he'll see far more of Mom if I'm not there. It's logical, and I hug him anyway. I guess you can do is take it one day at a time with those teenagers.

  3. Difficult things on your plate. I hope Emily will recognize the truth in your wise observation that the friends that seem like the one sure thing in her life will soon be on their way to their own lives.
    And best wishes for your remarks about Walt; the more you care about a person, the more you have to say and yet the harder it will be.

  4. I thought toads didn't hop, but what do I know?

  5. Hari Om
    Roll on school days... for your sake. The last three flowers? Begonia, what looks to be a form of delphinium and Canterbury bells. At least you have a good reason for loss memory. Mine is just mud because it can be! YAM xx

  6. Ah yes, teenagers. This too will pass and soon they will be into the realities of adulthood. I'm pretty sure what you've taught her will help her go a long way. It's so sad that Hamilton hasn't been in touch with her.

  7. I THINK that first nameless plant looks like a Tuberous Begonia.

    1. I chewed my tongue for ten minutes trying to dredge it up. Thanks!

  8. Life does go on indeed, even when we are dealing with the tough things of life, it does have a way of going on. I am so sorry about Hamilton not being in contact with Emily; how hard that must be for her; I too adore my older brother and even though we are both in our 50s, I still miss the time we were together as children. I think you will do good speaking at Walt's service tomorrow. Sometimes keeping it short and simple is a good thing. I hope Emily has a great time at band camp! She does have some time to contemplate college and career choices after she graduates; maybe as her peers start contemplating their choices, she'll get on the "band wagon" herself (no pun intended.)


  9. Delores beat me to the first nameless plant. And my brain is still chewing over the second.
    I am sure that you will do Walt proud - and hope it isn't too hard on you.

    1. He and I had a lot of practice, sitting on the porch, swapping stories.

  10. Dear Joanne,
    if I understand it right Emily has to choose her college now. Having mastered all the difficulties before (as I understand) she will be quite capable to do so. Some things one has to decide for oneself, and she will ask advice when she is ready to.
    Your flowers look lovely - the rose especially.
    You will honour your brother by your speech.

  11. Joanne, I'll have to chime in my two cents, perhaps more thoroughly in an email; but basically, your grandchildren are much like the kids I met when I ran the homeless shelter. And it takes a lot longer than two years for them to feel safe. I hope you don't take their negative actions and reactions personally. xox

  12. That's a lot of moving around for the kids. Perhaps Emily feels uncomfortable about making plans because she continues to believe she can't count on anything.


  13. A lot of emotions there to process. The garden probably helps,

    I hope Emily is inside herself finding the ability to look for what she wants and aim for it. Things take time, she's still so young, and so smart.

    The flower is a begonia, I am pretty sure.

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  15. Joanne, I'm emailing you as well.

  16. I've never had children so I'm no help at all,but I do know that you will do your brother proud.
    Jane x

  17. 5 different sets of care givers - I can't imagine that. I think someday if not already she will appreciate the care and lessons you have provided. Sad about Walt. "take questions from the audience" - let us know how that goes. I wrote and gave an eulogy once and hope not to do it again.

  18. I am hoping that the band camp with also deal with the OSU marching band problems. These kids need to become less naive. The big outside world. you will be wonderful at Walt's funeral and I will be there for you.

  19. That beautiful sunset coloured flower is a begonia, I can tell by the leaves. I don't now the pale purple spkies below it, though it looks familiar.
    I do hope Emily gets her mind sorted soon. What she does and decides now is the basis for the rest of her life. Her entire future rests on sensible decisions now.

  20. Lots of thoughtful comments above. My grandkids aren't teenagers yet, but I hope they both have smooth sailing through life. Hope all goes well at your brother's funeral.

  21. I agree with Jenny above Joanne - time is what is needed - that and love - unconditional love.

    Yes, I agree that the flower is a begonia.

  22. First one is Tuberous Begonia and the second is Speedwell

  23. I found our children did not like or respect us until they had to get jobs and pay for their own car. Suddenly we were wonderful. Hang in there.

  24. the purple under the orange begonia is known as obedient plant or false dragonhead, latin 'physostegia virginiana'.

    no good deed goes unpunished, right? Emily will come to appreciate all you are doing later in her life even if she seems not to now. I imagine she will/is testing you to see just how constant you are, to see if you give up too.

  25. I wonder if her disappointment at her brother not contacting her is coming out in general 'orneryness'. We don't have kids, but were the family 'Borstal' for years and became used to the sort of refusal of opportunity, refusal to contemplate the future....and all those kids have turned out well, in their own good time - but none of them had had five different sets of carers in their life.
    Enjoy your garden..and remember that those kids helped to make it,not by routine, but with an interest. They'll remember it later.

  26. Indeed, the universal truth - life goes on. And as it goes on, bad times fade and hope is re-injected into life.

  27. I like Alan's comment; perhaps the brother doesn't contact as it's a reminder of a time he wants to push aside, not the sister but a painful time for him

  28. I've just now read back a handful of posts, as I work to put together names and histories so as to properly respond. What I know is that I always FEEL your tone and mood so well in your writing, and I am so hoping that your remarks went well. Tough stuff, all around.

    I have to say, of Emily: she sounds like many/most of my community college students. There is much intelligence inside, but life has made it difficult to launch into the world in "traditional" college fashion. If she's not interested in yet another transition and move, see about a local community college, if there is one. She can always transfer from there.