Sunday, November 23, 2014

A New Normal

The other day, through tears, I said to my husband, "I just miss feeling normal." He said: "There's going to be a new normal. Life will never be the same again, just like after we lost our first baby. But there will be a new normal."

Isn't he so right about that? 

Sometimes, things happen in our lives that change everything. They change the way you feel about yourself, and the way you see your life. Game-changers, I guess. At first you are ripped apart, and floating in darkness. You feel alone in your grief. You start to believe that this is all you will ever feel. Then days pass, and despite what people say, the pain doesn't lessen...but it does becomes familiar. You learn to live with it. 

The other day I realized that, from now on, whenever I meet someone new, and they ask about my parents, I will have to say, "My Dad lives in Germany, and my Mom died." This is now a piece of my story, and it's a part I cannot change. 

Rafael asks a lot about death. It has become a permanent part of the landscape of his childhood. This is another thing I cannot change. 

It means so much more than anything I can write here. The loss of my mother, the her-not-being-here, the no-more-letters-or-emails, the fact that her voice is only something I hear in my head. It has so much more weight than I can explain. It is woven throughout my days and nights. I think about it all the time. 

This lump in my throat, and the hot tears that spill. They are a part of my new normal. This missing. The terrible moment when I wake in the morning and remember that she is gone. Her final hours in the hospital, swollen, black and blue...and then seeing her lifeless, her body growing cold. It plays like a film in my mind every day. 

All a part of my new normal.

It's not that there wasn't beauty to be found in her death. Surrounded by loved ones! How many are so fortunate?

And it's not that there isn't beauty in my life. Just look at these photos. So much beauty indeed. 

But for now, it feels somehow separate from me. I laugh and smile, I play with my silly boy, and revel in his perfect face. I smooth his hair, put my face to his head and breath in his scent. I cook good meals, meet good friends. Talk about all the hundreds of things there are to talk about. 

But always, just beneath the surface, like a fine, lavender fog-colored layer that only I can see, right there, like a layer of second skin...there is that sadness. Always that sadness.

So the new normal is still settling in. I am still learning what it all means. 


Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Perfect Autumn Walk

Hope you are all having a beautiful Autumn.

Thank you all so much for your kind words regarding the loss of my mother.

xoxoxo Dawn

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Day My Mom Died

These pictures were taken just outside of San Francisco on the morning of August 25th. Later that day, my Mom died. She had been ill for a long time without knowing it, and once she found out, it went fast. We flew to her and spent her final days together. I was there, holding her foot, when she passed. 

Her illness was one of the reasons I stopped writing here. I found it hard to concentrate, hard to write about the beauty in each day. 

I don't know if I will continue this blog. Lately I find it hard to share personal things. 

I can tell you this: Rafael is blossoming, healthy, hilarious, and the most amazing person I've ever met. He is doing very well. 

The woods are still my sanctuary, the dogs are still my comfort, and my husband is still my best friend. 

I miss my Mom every day. It is unfair, and cruel, that she is gone. The past couple of years have been difficult, and I have had to be very strong. 

Fortunately, my life is also sparkling with blessings, wonders, and miracles.

Love, Dawn

Saturday, February 22, 2014

January and February

The first month of the year came and went in the blink of an eye. So many changes and new routines. Rafael began going to daycare two mornings a week and is getting settled in. I started waking up while it was still dark and the icy streets were empty to jog with the dogs. My husband's work year started up once again. Things felt fresh and full of good intentions.

My birthday was celebrated with a small but spectacular chocolate cake. I asked my husband to bring home flowers to decorate it, and he brought a big bouquet of roses. I ended up putting them in a vase and only using a cloud of baby breath on top of the frosting. I loved the simple look, paired with tall, thin candles. Friends and family came for the afternoon, it was a noisy bunch, toddlers running in and out of rooms, laughter and conversation. A friend made me a lovely little paintbrush organizer. My husband gave me a new wide lens for my camera. 

A couple of weeks ago Rafael got sick and I spent one of those terrible weeks stuck indoors with him. We watched lots of dvds, read hundreds of books, rolled out play-doh and lay out train tracks. He got amazingly good at doing puzzles. There were of course nice moments, but I have to admit that when he is sick I get depressed and my nerves are frazzled. Our whole rhythm is destroyed, and we are trapped inside these rooms with no break for days on end. I dream of going back to our regular daily routine, meeting with friends, going into the woods, even just going to the grocery store. In the end Rafael always seems a bit taller, and wiser. And I always think, "Why can't I just be more patient and serene?" 

Lately, when I get angry, and then Rafael and I make up again, he asks, "Are we best friends again?" And I melt and say, "Of course, we are always best friends, even when I'm angry." 

In my spare time I have been organizing my photographs and designing a logo and blog for my future small photography business. I will be offering child, family, and adult portraits. I'm feeling excited, mixed with fear and insecurity....can I do this? Will I be good at this? Will customers be satisfied? Am I capable of making smart business decisions? I try to put these questions in the back of my mind and don't let them slow me down.

Another important thing going on in my life right now is that, 11 days ago, I began Jamie Eason's LiveFit 12 week trainer program, and I'm already seeing and feeling results. It's mostly a mental challenge for me, sticking to the diet and getting my exhausted self to the gym. But the positive benefits are keeping me motivated. I don't want to look at old photos of the great figure I used to have with a sad feeling anymore...I want to look in the mirror and feel great about what I see. I also want to prove to myself that I can do this. It's not easy...if it was easy, everyone would do it. Sometimes I think, "What am I doing? Every-day-stuff is hard enough without adding all this meal preparation and training to the picture. Who cares if I'm out of shape. I'm a mom." My body is much stronger than my mind. My body if capable of so much. It's my mind that causes problems! I can't tell you how often I go on Instagram and look at motivating photos of fit moms, just to get myself to put on my gym clothes and go there. 

So that's what's been going on around here. I hope to blog again soon!



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