SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

Every morning, once Everett goes down for his nap, I get anxious, wanting to open my computer and write to you. I’ve come to really look forward to the time spent in this journal.

This past weekend was busy and fun, being entirely spent with family. I still feel like I’m on some kind of high from all our togetherness.

Last Friday, I took Everett on his first zoo trip. Allison and Nana tagged along and the four of us had a good time. Everett just wanted to run around, his interest more concerned in the amount of free roaming space he had, rather than the animals. He did laugh at the sea lions, though, and we got to see an elephant get her bath; it was pretty cool.

But right before we left the house for our adventure, I had set aside ten or so minutes to buy concert tickets for the Sylvan Esso show that Allison and Tatum and I had been planning to attend. It was our birthday present to Tatum.

A few weeks ago, they were $25 a piece online, and not thinking the price would change, or there would be any kind of ticket shortage, I waited to purchase them. Silly me.

Turns out, tickets had doubled in price. I immediately texted both sisters and they each flipped out on me, responding with messages like, why did you wait omg I am so mad I can’t believe this Hayley. And I knew if I didn’t cough up the extra cash to cover the costs, I would be verbally slaughtered by the two of them, teaming up on me, two against one.

When I added the tickets to my shopping cart, they disappeared. I tried over and over, entering my credit card information and address, my fingers literally shaking at the keyboard because I was so nervous and in a rush. You only have a small window of time to check out when wanted tickets are in your cart. And we had to leave for the zoo; Nana was already on her way there and I was still at the computer in only my underwear and hot rollers.

Every ticket was sold out on Ticketmaster.

Too scared to quit, I found some sketchy website that had “4%” of tickets remaining, and after securing tickets only to lose them to somebody else, I tried one more time and somehow snatched and succeeded the three I needed.

My total came to $228. Each ticket was three times its original cost. I wasn’t even going to tell Chris what I paid–I was so embarrassed to have made such an oversight mistake in procrastination.

My plan was to deposit my stashed away cash from yoga paychecks, secretly covering the charge to my debit account. But I texted him, saying the total and my jaw dropped when he responded, “No problem babes. Put it on the American Express.” I just about died. And secretly felt super turned on and proud that my husband would say such a thing.

I’m happy to report the concert was worth both the money and anxiety. Oh did we have fun! I mean fun, involving a hotel room, two uber rides, Jimmy Johns and enough laughs and petty sisterly arguments to remind me how incredibly lucky I am to have those two girls forever in my life.

We are so different but of the same stuff, literally, fitting together like peas of the same pod would, perfectly right.

And as we danced, orbiting in a triplet of twirling circles singing our hearts out, I thought how of much I absolutely love them and us and you and where we’ve been, who we’ve become and the places we’ll be going with your guidance.

It was obvious you were with us. And it’s in a way that I can’t explain on paper without sounding stupid because unless somebody has lost someone, they can’t possibly relate what it feels like to feel you from “beyond.”

When we walked into Jimmy Johns, the song Lean OnIwas playing over the speakers and Allison said, “I love this song! It is literally my favorite.” Then in the uber on the way to the concert, it was playing on our driver Sherri’s radio and Allison looked at me, dumbfounded, like how in the world am I hearing this again? 

In the morning, we went to Brugger’s Bagels before yoga to get breakfast sandwiches and coffee. While waiting in line, the same song played and with her awed mouth wide open, still painted in the night before’s red lipstick, she said, “Okay now. This is weird.” Her eyes expected me to have an answer, giving me the epitome of her “Allison look.”

It was weird. Hearing it three times made me feel like you were aware of us together. It made me stop and remember and feel grateful for my sisters and just be happy, right then and now.

I treat signs like these as reminders that I’m in the flow, I’m in my groove and I’m connected to Source Energy, where everything originated from and where you are now. love when they happen, my evidence that there is a great power always at work, the one you’re a part of.

Sorry if it’s been annoying to hear about all this energy and force and spirit stuff over and over, it’s just that I finally have a reason to keep practicing ways to raise my energy and feel better: you.

The more time I spend consciously present, the closer I feel to you.

At this point, I have totally accepted the fact that I’m always going to be one of those weird people. Dad mocks me, saying ooo the negative energy in here….and my sisters do the same thing, always making fun of the advice I try to give. And yet I’m the first person they call when shit hits the fan and some simple positive perspective is needed.

It takes a brave mind to believe differently and dare to destroy the illusions they’ve always simply been taught and told.

I have slowly become so used to feeling this way about you, knowing you’re everywhere and that there is no real reason to ever miss you (besides when I want to physically hug and kiss you, which is often), that I forget the heartache I felt all those years after you died. Nine years has given me a lot of time to heal and learn and think and come to certain understandings/beliefs.

December 7, 2011

Chris was over at Pius street the other night and we snuggled up in my little room. We hadn’t seen each other for a few consecutive days and all I honestly really remember was telling him, “I can’t believe how much I missed you.” We were having sex, something I sometimes still weirdly feel ashamed for doing and I’m twenty years old. It’s like you can always see me, even between the sheets.

“I missed you too,” was all he said back, and it felt good to know that someone sincerely missed me. The tone of his voice and the movements of his body legitimized his words. Chris is the type to show how he feels rather than say it provingly, and I’m slowly learning that there’s more meaning in actions and behaviors rather than words.

Tears formed in my eyes before we simultaneously finished, seconds after exchanging our “I miss yous” and intermingled breaths of loving sounds.

I now have a person that when I miss, they miss me back. But missing him is easy. It’s missing you that’s difficult. And I’m so fucking sick of it. 

While we laid in bed together afterwards, I stared up at the ceiling and ached, absolutely ached, to see you. I kept the stinging tears in my eyes, hidden in the dark, not wanting to admit I was crying over my mother after such an intimate moment.

I walked into your closet the other day at home, just standing there and staring, wondering how your belongings could be hanging in front of me but you’re nowhere to be found. I don’t understand, Mom. I feel like all my life I’ll somehow be searching for you, waiting to find you again. Do I really have to wait until I die to see you again? 

Three years is enough time for enough moments to miss you. I’m done. I just want to surrender and come home to you.

I think of you constantly. I wonder when I take a hot shower, if you will ever feel that sensation again. When I eat tiramisu, your favorite desert, I wonder if you’ll ever taste it again. I wonder what you think of me, every single day. I wonder what you’d think of Chris and whether you think I’ll marry him. I think of you when I’m alone, when I’m stirring cream in my coffee, and yes, even sometimes while having sex.

All my choices involve you. I always think, what would Mom do? Would Mom be proud of this? Would Mom approve? Can Mom see what I’m doing? But at the same time, no choice will ever really involve you because it simply can’t. You’re gone.

A part of my life ended when yours did, a piece I’ll never get back; of this I am certain. Everything that happens, everything that I do, has no definitive purpose or approval. I don’t have you anymore to tell me what you think of me or my choices or my schooling or my job or my relationship. 

Right now, I want that more than anything. “Just tell me what you think of me,” I silently plead.

It’s like I’m swirling in circles, waiting for the bigger part of me (you) to tell me where to go, like I’ve taken a huge breath in, way too large for me to hold in my lungs any longer. And I’m just floating at the top of this uncomfortable inhale, waiting for you to tell me to let it go. 

I want you to say, let it go sweetheart. Let it go, I am here and you will always be okay.

Some of these old journals to you are so sad to read. I hate remembering that place of not having you. The distance between you and I was a constant pang, a never-ending thought that literally shadowed everything I felt. And now, all I want is for my sisters and brother to realize you’re not gone, and that they never have to feel far away from you.

I absolutely refuse to ever again believe that you were taken away from me and our family. I refuse to feel like I can’t reach you, or that you are separated from me.

Imagining there’s no heaven, no hell below us, and above us only sky, is the most freeing thought when you’ve lost someone. I played that song at the end of my yoga class this morning and keep thinking of that frame of lyrics. (Funny how I tried all of high school and college to be “hippy,” never authentically succeeding, and now here I am trying to live by the words of John Lennon without much effort).

For so long you felt like a big brick in my pocket. I was always conscious of it, always aware of its weight and bulkiness. With time, the grief got easier to hold and molded into what I remembered you to be. I came to covet it, refusing to ever let go of that “missing you” feeling because it seemed to be all I had left of my mother.

But I don’t need to carry the grief or sadness to feel you. It’s not you. It’s not where you are. Sadness feels terrible and I won’t allow myself to wait until the day we “meet” again to put the damn brick down.

I really do think there’s only sky above us, and you and I are both a part of the power that shines its stars; it doesn’t matter that you’re dead and I’m alive.

I love you. I so absolutely love you and the knowing-feeling that you’re here with me, like while uncontrollably laughing in public with my sisters until one of us pees through her jeans.

She turns fourteen today. Make sure to give your birthday wishes, in that special secret language way you always seem to somehow manifest.





















2 thoughts on “SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

  1. Simply wonderful ! I saw Tatum and Allison at Giant Eagle and we talked for awhile . So great you are all so close ! Your mother would love that ! Keep writing I love to read it ! It keeps me feeling connected to her as well !

  2. I’m trying to think of something to write here that sounds beautifully scripted, but I’m just not as talented as you- thank you, thank you for being so real. I’m a big fan of your writing; I feel like sometimes you pull thoughts out of my own head and put them into words and feelings I can’t seem to express. The one post about your husband leaving little hairs on the bathroom sink really got me. I can so relate. I have not lost my mother, but as my own child grows and learns each day, I can’t help but wonder if my father in heaven shares our moments. I know the difference between a girl loosing and having to grow up without a mother versus a father, are probably vast- either way loosing a parent a young age just down right sucks. I always thought you were a beautiful girl, and again, thank you for being so real. I didn’t know how much was inside behind your gorgeous smile. Keep doing you. Stay on the path to positivity. ~

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