Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I want to tell you about this thing that happened. I don't know why I feel like I need to tell this story, but I do. And yet, I feel silly putting it down in black and white. Because honestly, I feel silly believing it. But I do, despite my efforts to reason, justify, rationalize and explain it some other way. I do believe it. Maybe because I really, really want to.

About a month ago, my sister called to ask me if I had seen a charm that belonged to my Mother. It was something that held meaning for her and so, had ended up on her list when we reluctantly divided up my mother's belongings. But it was nowhere to be found. She searched my Mother's house up and down, and her own as well. She looked in handbags and cabinets and dresser drawers and storage boxes and various little catch all vessels that my Mother had around the house. It was just gone.

My Mother knew she didn't have very much time left, so she had spent a lot of her time organizing, labelling, categorizing and inventorying. It shouldn't have been missing. But it was and my sister was just sick about it. I told her I would look through the things I had brought home, just in case I had picked it up inadvertantly. But it wasn't there. She decided that she had probably put it away someplace safely away from little hands that can wreak big havoc, and had since forgotten where.

Several weeks later, she called me to say it had been found. She sounded calm, but there was something in her voice that put me on instant alert. That sister intuition, which had told me she was calling with bad news the day my mother passed away, told me once again, that something peculiar was afoot.

"It's so weird...." she said slowly "I found it on top of my computer monitor. I saw it the minute I walked into the office. I put a lot of stuff there, including the memory cards for my camera, which I'm always switching out. I look there a million times a day. And I looked there when I was searching for it. It. Was. Not. There."

I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. But I had to first explore the obvious.

"Could the kids or Husband have found it and put it there?" I asked.

"I asked them. They all said no." She paused for a moment. "You know what I'm thinking. Am I crazy?"

"No." I said. "No, I don't."

But I did realize that we are still grieving, and grieving minds are often governed by grieving hearts. The heart can accept a lot that the mind won't. I thought maybe in time, it might make some sort of sense. She agreed. We hung up.

Now, let's rewind a few months, back to the days immediately after my Mother's death in October. When I arrived back home two weeks later, I was laden with pictures and momentos. The momentos I stored carefully in a small armoire in my bedroom. The pictures I wanted to put with the other historic family photos, which I kept in a large padded manilla envelope, clearly marked. Many are very old, some nearly a hundred years. Some are fragile, all are irreplaceable. I kept the envelope with more recent family photographs and portraits in a cabinet in the living room along with extra picture frames and the million and one snapshots I still haven't gotten around to putting into albums or even some kind of cursory order.

I went in search of it, intending to add the photos I had carried home with me.

 It wasn't there.

I took everything out of that cabinet, emptied all the boxes and storage containers, removed all the board games and playing cards. It was not there. And that's when I began to panic. Where could it be? I tore my bedroom apart. I checked all my other various storage places. I looked in closets and under beds and even in my kids' rooms. But it was just nowhere. And I was just sick over it. But like my sister, I decided I had probably stashed it somewhere safe and since forgotten exactly where I stashed it.

Months later, in February, I visited home again, to tie up some loose ends regarding my mother's passing and to care for my sister's children while her eldest daughter had surgery in another town. Again I returned home with pictures and momentos. I put the new cache of photos in a place where they could not and would not be reached by any hands but mine.

Two days before Mother's Day, I got out my carefully gaurded treasure trove of pictures and selected those most special to me. I began uploading them to Facebook. I wanted to celebrate her in some way. Words were failing me, so pictures would have to tell the story of how extraordinary she was. I came across a photo of her as a child; perhaps 9 or 10 years old, that looked stunningly similar to Diminutive One. I thought it would be fun to post pictures of them together, so I went to the cabinet in search of one of his school portraits.

I opened the cabinet door and....

You can guess what was there, right?

Right on top. Plain as day. Impossible to miss. My own handwriting in bold black ink proclaiming....

Old Family Photos; FRAGILE!!

My knees went weak, I couldn't breathe, and my head swam for a moment. I was almost afraid to touch it, but I finally found the courage to pick it up and look inside. As far as I could tell, all the photos were there. And then I sank to my knees in front of the open cabinet and cried. It was shock, relief and disbelief that caused my tears, but something more too. I felt her then, though I tried to deny it. I reasoned and rationalized, just as I had done with my sister. 

I jumped up and called my husband. I said nothing of what had just happened, I simply asked him if he had recently found an envelope with old pictures in it and put it back in the picture cabinet. He had not. I asked him if he though the boys would, had they run across it somewhere. He snorted, confirmimg my own skepticism in that regard. Later that day I asked them anyway, but you already know what they said.

I hung up and called my sister. I told her the whole story. And then there was dead silence as we both struggled to process what had happened.

When I could bear the silence no longer, I said..."Now I  have to ask I crazy to be thinking what I'm thinking? Am I inventing in this? There's an explanation right?"

She said, "No, you're not crazy. Yes, there is an explanation. We just can't accept it because we don't think that way."

She's right. We are empirical proof kind of people. Seeing is believing. Logical. Practical. Not unimaginative, but not given to flights of fancy. We are far too pragmatic for this kind of nonsense.

And yet, we both felt that somehow, she was responsible. And it's a hard thing to shake when you want it to be true so very, very badly. When you want to believe that in some way, on some plane, in some form...she is still here with us.

I still can't explain what happened. But I can tell you that I check on my envelope every day. I touch it, just to make sure I'm not imagining that it's there.

Am I crazy? No, I don't think so.

I just really, really, really miss my Mom.


  • At 1:20 PM, Blogger jess said…

    This is beautiful. I have no doubt that your mom is with you.

  • At 1:39 PM, Blogger Just Words On A Page said…

    You are not crazy and it really is okay to accept the unexplainable regardless of how you believe or don't believe.

    How I believe is that your mother is with you -- and her spirit is strong.

    But I know that's not your mindset and that's okay.

    This was a lovely, I loved it. You are wonderful.

  • At 2:23 PM, Blogger Avalon said…

    Something similar happened with a treasured item that had been my Grandmother's, She's been gone over 20 years. I believe.

  • At 2:39 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    At first, I was a bit worried that you might find the charm in your belly button (now I'm hoping that was you that found the diamond...wasn't it?)

    Anyway, amazing story.

  • At 3:44 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    LOL! You have an amazing memory. Yes, that's where I found my missing diamond. And though I have a capacious belly button, I doubt a charm would fit in there quite so stealthily.

  • At 3:46 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Avalon, I want to hear about it! Please write about it on your blog. Pretty please?

    JWOAP, It's not that I don't believe it. I think I do, but the fact that I do worries me just a bit, because it's not at all like me. Make sense?

    Jess, thank you. She is. In many ways.

  • At 4:04 PM, Blogger Any name said…

    You are not crazy. My experience did not involve tangible object, but none the less, I KNOW my dad was with me.

  • At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Natalie G. said…

    This made me cry, in a happy sense, reminding me of my mom. I think this is our task in life....finding peace and acceptance in the inexplicable.

  • At 2:09 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    For you, BA, I blogged the story!

  • At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Apryl's Antics said…

    Thanks for bringing me back to your blog. I'm afraid social networking has stolen the time I used to spend reading the blogs that lead me to some of my most cherished online (and offline) friends!

    This is a beautiful story and not unlike many I have been privileged to hear in my line of work. As you know, I am much like you in the sense that I approach every philosophy and belief system with a hardy measure of skepticism---and disbelief. I not only believe your mom is putting those things there; I believe she did it when you and your sister most needed---and were ready---to find them.

    I could say so, so much more, but I have already hijacked enough of your comment section.

    Thank you, again.


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