linaewen: (Daffodil by JunoMagic)
Well, it's taken me a whole year to write this, but here it is -- what I wanted to say about my mom and about my loss of her. I guess it's appropriate that I should finally find the words for it in the final days before Mother's Day!

My family has always been fond of nicknames for each other. We have whole lists of them, usually silly ones that we wouldn't allow to be repeated outside the family -- but to us they are special endearments. One such name is the name we assigned to my mom at some point -- Meyer. I think it got started one day when I came home from school and announced that I had learned the French word for mother (mère), and Meyer was my sister's mispronunciation of that word. We thought it was funny, and so, of course, that's all it took for it to become our name for Mom. She answered to "Meyer" for years, and we all still call her that, actually, even though she is no longer with us.

Sometimes we would just call "Meyer, Meyer!" over and over again, and when my mom would come to find out what we wanted, we'd simply say, "Oh, we were just saying your name for comfort." She'd always laugh and shake her head in mock exasperation, but we could tell she liked it when we said that. She never minded being called away to see if we wanted something, because her reason for being on the earth was to serve, and she was always willing to drop what she was doing to see if someone needed something, and provide it if she could. Even if it was just us kids being silly in a loving sort of way.

Click here for more thoughts and a nifty song )

Mother's Day -- or should I say, Meyer's Day? -- will never be the same now, it will always be tied up in that day when she went away, but it will also be all that more special a day of remembering her. We are gathering this year to be with my dad, just as we planned to gather last year. We're going to go to the cemetery and take her some flowers, and then take my dad out to eat, and I imagine we'll shed a tear or two -- but they probably won't be noticed much, because we'll all be laughing and remembering funny things she used to do and say, and just having a good time together, saying Meyer's name for comfort. ;-)



linaewen: (Snowy Fenceline by wizzicons)
Since some folks have come looking for me, I thought I'd better update and let you all know I'm here and doing fine.  Life is good here in Chicago, albeit a bit snowy and cold these days.  And getting colder.  We are going to have fun with Wind Chill Factors in the coming days -- even more so up in Wisconsin, where we will be spending the weekend.

Chicago is an interesting place to live in the wintertime.  They only plow the main streets, so the side streets have to fend for themselves.  This makes it very interesting when you have to park your car on the street.  People have begun setting chairs out in the street by the curb to mark the spots they have shoveled out -- it's understood that if you park somewhere where a chair or a cardboard box has been placed you are in Big Trouble.  So far, we have been able to find parking amidst the snow piles and have managed to get in and out, in spite of the piled up snow, and we haven't had to move our car much, either.  It's great not having to drive to work every day -- all we have to do is put on our boots and walk a block and we are there.

So after having a lovely long holiday with the family, we got back to Chicago and have been busy, busy ever since.  Nice busy, though.  Except for the year-end reports I've been working on.  That's more like boring busy, and they've taken up a lot of my time, too.

This weekend the DH and I are heading up to Wisconsin.  I'll leave him with the DS and go on to stay with my dad for a night while my brother is out of town.  I'll be crossing paths with my sister who is also helping out while Brother is away, so that will be fun.  I don't get to see her enough.

A pretty neat dream... )

There's probably other things I could share about what I'm up to but for the life of me I can't think of anything else!  I'll have to update more often, so I don't forget what it is I do all day.

ETA

I was saddened today to hear of the death of Ricardo Montalban.  I've been a fan of his for like forever!  I had the privilege of seeing him perform in person, back in the early '70's, when he was touring in something, I think it was Don Juan in Hell.  I've never forgotten the experience, even if I'm not so sure what the play was!  I'll have to see if I can dig up the program I almost certainly saved from it.

Here's one of the many good obituaries written about him today:

http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OBIT_MONTALBAN?SITE=WIMAD&SECTION=HOME 

linaewen: (Asia on a Bulb by wizzicons)
One of the most frustrating things about having my mom not here anymore is that I can't pick up the phone and call her to tell her of the exciting things that are happening in my life, or to complain of the less than exciting things that are bugging me.

One of those times came recently, and I actually found myself reaching for the phone to tell her some good news, and had to stop myself, lol! I wasn't sad about it when I realized I couldn't call, I was just plain miffed, hehe! After complaining to the DH that I was irritated I couldn't call my mom, I picked up the phone and called my sister and my aunt (mom's sister) instead. ;-)

Most of you on my flist know by now that my hubby and I spent considerable years in Pakistan, where we worked with a nonprofit organization, mostly doing teaching. We are still with that organization, but have been a bit in limbo over the past five years since returning from South Asia. We spent time working in the home office, but for the past three or four years we have been not really doing much of anything. ;-)

For some time now, DH and I have been pursuing an opportunity to a work with a center that aids the Paksitani community of northern Chicago with things like learning English and adjusting to the American culture and helping in all kinds of other ways. It's the perfect set up for us who have spent so much time in Pakistan, and know the language and culture, but are now living stateside. That part of Chicago is less than 2 hours from where we live now, so we can also still keep tabs on our son as he takes the next step in independence by being in charge of our house here in Wisconsin, while living in an Urdu-speaking community just like old times.

We finally got permission from our organization to move to Chicago -- and that is the good news I so badly wanted to tell my mom, lol! She had been a great source of support of our hopes and had been praying for a long time that we would find something like this to do. :-)

One reason you haven't seen me around much recently is that this past week we have been apartment hunting! Not an easy thing to do when you don't already live in Chicago. We have made several day trips recently, armed with phone numbers and appointments to view places. Even though a number of opportunities fell through by the time we got down to Chicago to look at them, we managed to see enough apartments that we were able to make a decision on one.

The place we are hoping to rent -- if we are approved -- turns out to be the very first place we viewed! It is pretty small, but new and beautiful, and located right near all the best Pakistani restaurants! And it's only one block from the Center where we will be working much of our time.

We decided on that place on Monday, and now are waiting for the landlord to approve our credit report. DH spoke with the landlord's agent this morning, and it sounds like he might be able to go down as early as tomorrow to sign a lease, if all goes well! Nothing like waiting for ages for something to happen, and then when it does, we can't keep up with it! ;-)

I am currently visiting with my my dad for a few days, but when I get home, I guess I'll have to jump into packing some things to move down to Chicago! Hopefully it won't be too hard to go back to living in an apartment after owning our own home -- but the nice thing is, our house in Wisconsin is not so far away that we can't visit it whenever we need a break from the big city. It will be the best of several worlds all rolled into one!

Now if only I could tell my mom about it...

But who knows, she might even know all about it already! :-D

ETA: Hope this entry doesn't need an LJ cut; I'm on my dad's computer and I don't seem to be able to do anything the way I'm supposed to be able to with my LJ -- and I can't remember how to do a cut the old fashioned way. ;-) I had to come in by the back door, so to speak, in order to get this to post as it is! Oh, for a nice wireless connection right now. ;-)
linaewen: (Heart on Checks by wizzicons)
I can't resist sharing a lovely picture of my mom on her wedding day, which I found in some things I was sorting through recently.  I just love this picture!  And today being the day my folks would have celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary, I think it's appropriate to share it.  ;-)




My folks met at a mission school in Frenchburg, KY, where they were both teaching.  They got engaged only a few months after they met!  My dad had always said he would marry before he turned 30, and he managed it by the skin of his teeth, since his 30th birthday fell on June 5, 1955.  :-D

I'm here with my dad today, to be with him on his anniversary -- since my mom is no longer here.  He seems to be doing very well, at least emotionally.  He has no trouble talking about her, which is his way of keeping her memory alive, I think.  Tomorrow, on his birthday, the family plans to drive over to the next town and pick out a monument for the cemetery.  Not the sort of thing one usually does on a birthday, but that's what he's keen on right now!  I think he wants everything to be nice for her.  ;-)  He mentioned to me last night that he never got the opportunity to pick one out for his own parents or brother, because they had military monuments, so I think he's pleased that he gets to do this for that reason, too.  He's a very practical sort of guy, and I think that's helping him a lot.

I am doing very well through all this, my dears.  Typing this has made me a bit teary-eyed, but it's good tears, if you know what I mean.  It's going to be be a good day today.

I shall write more about my mom, for sure -- and about how I'm processing everything that has happened in the last three or so weeks.  I just haven't got that all together yet!  But I sure didn't want to put off sharing this picture of the cute and happy couple.
linaewen: (Bear Sad by wizzicons)
Well, I just got the call that no one wants to get -- my brother called to tell me that my mom died in her sleep last night.  It is very unexpected, though I know she wasn't feeling well, as we spoke on the phone yesterday and she didn't sound too great.  Flu, we thought.

Anyway, we were going there anyway today to celebrate my sister's birthday and for Mother's Day -- now I guess I'll pack for staying for awhile.

I'll keep you all posted, just thought I'd let you know what had happened so you'll know where I am and what I am doing.

I'm okay at the moment, I'm still dazed, but I'm starting to get a bit shaky.  ;-)  No one is home at the moment -- of course, the DH went off without a cell phone!  But I've left a message where he is at, and he''ll be calling soon.

Pray for me, my dears.  It's going to be rough go for a bit, but I am not in despair.

(((((Hugs you all, especially those who have experienced such shocks)))))

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