Mar 22, 2011
Mayan’s last official Spring Break and she decided that she wanted to visit my parents who were spending some time in Arizona.
Since we used to live there, she has an attachment to the Phoenix area and spending time with my parents is something that she always loves to do! She was able to visit and spend time with the little girl who used to live across the street and her best friend forever, Katie as well as her Big Brothers Big Sisters sister Jen.
My mom sent me a couple pictures that I wanted to share:
Dad and Mayan
Mom and Mayan
Mayan with her "big sister" Jen
I might have another picture or two to share in the next few days.
The last time she was in Arizona was four years ago when I took her, along with Sunny and Mel, to Phoenix for Spring Break their senior year of high school. We had such a good time. I am forever grateful that we were able to spend that time together.
Feb 26, 2011
Things have been quiet around here. Which is good!
Mayan (Starr) is starting to make plans for graduation. I, on the other hand, remain convinced that she just started college and graduation should be at least two years from now!
I started getting farm fresh eggs as part of my ongoing efforts to clean up my diet. They are delivered to my front door and I like that because I am still lazy. Though they can be a little dirtier than store bought eggs! This photo, however, is not the norm.
Mayan and Lexie (Skye) are gearing up for a fundraising concert as a part of the non-profit that they started in Sunny’s name and memory. It is going to be a lot of fun…as well as quite loud! They are hoping to get a lot of the college students to come out and fill the venue. Two local-ish bands have agreed to play for them. The concert will feature Nautical Mile and T-Shirts 4 Tomorrow. Mayan is both really nervous and very excited about the event. Proceeds this year will be going to Vh1′s Save the Music.
The cats remain sweet and regularly in trouble!
Jan 10, 2011
I started this blog just over three years ago. I thought that it might help me find a voice, or just speak the one that already existed but I was afraid to share, and as a desperate attempt to “get over” the death of Sunny. Cheap therapy.
So far, I don’t think that I have truly achieved either one of those goals. I do have things to say (I mean REALLY say), every day, but I don’t. I do take a stand once in a while, against hate, against intolerance, for love. As for Sunny, things are better, I feel the load lightening, but it is oh-so-very-slow.
Mostly what I have found are some awesome people who I am blessed to have met, who have shared with me, who have cried with me, who have laughed with me and shared the last three years of my daughter Mayan (Starr), growing up, experiencing college, finding her place (so far!) in this world, all with a great weight on her back. And the joy and support her friends Lexie (Skye) and Sarah (Sookie) have been to both of us.
After stumbling a bit with my erratic posting this Fall, I have decided that the blog is feeling like pressure. A should do, that is weighing heavily on me.
So, I am taking a break. A mental break. It is time to focus my “worries” on other things. Making art. My health. Finding me. Because as much as I love this blog and, even more, the connections that I’ve made, I feel like I have let “me” slide in the process.
I may become a once or twice a week blogger. I may just ditch the project right here. Or…I may come back to it seven days a week! I just don’t know. I might just post again tomorrow.
What I do know is that I am taking my mental “should” away from blogging. I am letting go of the stress of days when I have absolutely NOTHING to share!!
Jan 3, 2011
What I have learned, is that getting over the pain of Starr’s accident and Sunny’s loss is a very long process. Longer than I ever imagined, and I am beginning to feel that I may never actually be able to push through to the other side. However, I am not in the same place that I was last year, where I was slightly better than the year before. Slightly better is good, I will accept that and continue to work on my goals to live and breathe, to smile and learn to accept.
Here is last years post:
I just reread last years End of the Year/New Resolution post. Among other things, I said:
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions as a rule. Setting myself up for failure is something that I try to avoid. I believe that life is about learning and growing, fixing, changing, laughing, and loving…all the time. I try to make it a constant effort and avoid tying it to a specific day.
However, this year, today…not tomorrow…I am going to make a more conscious effort to allow myself to breathe, to live, to accept that I can’t fix this. To stop taking on everyone’s pain as my own. I have enough. It serves no purpose, it really doesn’t relieve them of any of their grief or suffering, it only adds to mine.
And to smile more and mean it!
Yes, Sunny is still on my mind each and every day. I miss her. I think about and send love to her family daily as well, as they still and will always carry the loss of their beautiful daughter. There are days that it catches up with me more than others, but I do think that I have moved forward in positive ways.
I do smile and laugh more and I definitely mean it!!
So, for 2010, I plan to continue…learning, growing, living, laughing, being silly, loving and healing. And I want to make more art.
Starr and Sunny, being silly, Summer 2005
mp3: “Raindrops” – Grand Hallway
“Oh the sound of life, oh the sound of love”
“Oh the sound of change, oh the sound of starting”
Buy it here: Promenade
Dec 7, 2010
Starr’s sorority had a formal this past weekend. Her date was the same young man she went to the Winter dance with her junior year of high school almost five years ago.
I don’t think that E and Starr are destined to be together, much to my dismay, but they have remained friends over the years.
Last Saturday night, seniors in college:
And February 2006, juniors in high school:
They were at Sunny’s house that day, getting ready, taking pictures and having fun:
Aren’t they cute? It seems forever ago, yet so very recent at the same time!
Nov 10, 2010
Starr said to me the other day, “I’m worried about my future.”
I asked what brought that on and she said that things have always been easy for her. That things sort of fall into her lap and that adults in the working world don’t get those types of opportunities.
I agree that she has had some great opportunities and that being a grown-up isn’t always easy, but let’s look at it realistically.
She has held office in her sorority for two years. They didn’t just hand it to her, she went after those positions.
She has been interning with our local congresswoman’s office. A fellow college student asked how she lucked into that. Starr’s response, “I called them.” And she did, she decided what she wanted, she made the call, went in for an interview and was “hired”.
She has done a lot of volunteering and has started her own non-profit.
She has volunteered for and then worked for the National Writing Project for over four years.
She has had a job outside of school and left a great impression.
She has experienced a horrifically tragic event that gave her life experience that we would gladly give back if possible. It matured her, she looks at life differently and she is aware of the strength that she carries with her.
They way I see it, she has been lucky in many ways over the years, but things haven’t always been easy. From the accident, to being a mixed race child of a single mom, as well as dealing with her mostly absent father. She has worked for and reached out for the things that she wanted. She didn’t just sit back and wait for life to happen, she is living it.
Just yesterday, she was talking to her boss from the National Writing Project about her goals to move to DC and possibly work as a legislative assistant when her boss offered to bring her to DC next Spring as her assistant. They will be meeting with legislators in an effort to shine some light on the National Writing Project. What a wonderful opportunity, at just the right time.
She is walking about 3 feet off the ground! It makes me smile.
I don’t know what the future will bring, but I do think that she is ready and that she is stepping out with the right attitude.
I think she will be just fine.
I worry about accidents, I can’t help it, but I don’t worry about her finding her place in the world.
Oct 18, 2010
When I was seven years old, our family moved to Athens, Greece. My dad was an airline pilot and his company contracted with Olympic Airlines to do some teaching/training. The plan was to stay there for a year, but life happened and we had to return to the states after about three months. I posted about it previously here The Summer of 1972. As young as we were, the summer in Greece left a big impression on us.
We rented the bottom apartment in a three story flat topped house. Our landlords, Constance and Sofia, lived on the top floor. The house was a wondrous place for a seven year old and her brother. Lemon trees, an aviary full of birds, the cats, a Koi pond, a guest house which also had a flat roof and was covered with lattice and grape vines. I loved to spend time up there in the shade where we could also look behind the house and watch kids playing in the neighborhood park. We could access the roof of the main house by climbing the iron spiral staircase at the back of the house. From the rooftop, you could see the sea and if I remember accurately, you could also see the Parthenon. The house was along the flight path, so we spent a lot of time up there watching for dad to fly over.
Sofia, our landlord
On the front porch
Some of the yard cats
The glassed in porch/breakfast nook
The main stairs to the upper floors.
My dad, fishing in the pond
DJ trying hard to pull up the fish
Oh, it was another one of dad’s jokes!
I remember eating the lemons from the yard, mom cut them up and would give me some sugar for dipping. Yum! Constance teased me about it, saying that the lemons were perfect fresh from the trees and would regularly pick and eat them, rind and all, just like an apple. I tried, and failed, to copy him.
One thing that I will never forget was when DJ and I were playing with a hose and a tub in the front yard one sunny afternoon. I am guessing that we were laughing and squealing, as kids tend to do when playing in water, because what I really remember is Sofia leaning out of her third floor window. Angry. Yelling at us in Greek, waving her hand. I was confused. We hadn’t broken anything. Later, I found out that we had disrupted siesta time. A very serious infraction. We tried to respect siesta time from then on and I do believe that she eventually forgave us.
I found this online:
It is not only considered very bad manners in Greece to make noise during the period from around 2 to 5 pm (and especially after 3 pm), but there is a law against it (though broken sometimes by those doing construction or using rototillers, because work is often excused if the workers have no other time to do that work). This is less so and rarely enforced in the city of Athens much to the chagrin of many local residents. In theory it is quiet time. Siesta time!
So if a visitor to Greece is staying in a rooms complex that is near the houses of local Greeks, it is not appropriate to sit outside talking loudly and playing a radio or live music at that time.
The same need for quiet holds for those renting apartments in Greek towns or cities. During the hot summer months the midday meal and nap may get pushed forward until it cools off a little, with the meal even as late as 4 pm, and the nap to 5 pm or so. Few rules are ‘set in stone’ in Greece, but to be on the safe side, in the heat of summer, one should be aware that many Greeks are still napping until maybe 6:30.
Many visitors to Greece learn to do as the Greeks do, and find that this way of patterning one’s day makes perfect sense, given the climate.
For years, if we were in trouble, or about to get into trouble, my dad would lift his hand like Sofia did and we knew that we had better stop what ever we were doing and shape up!!
Sep 13, 2010
Several years ago, five or more, I decided that the pictures and junk that I’d collected on my refrigerator needed to go. I cleaned it all off and was happy with my clutter free fridge. Starr didn’t agree. She said that we needed pictures. That it was homey and the way it should be.
As usual, I caved and looked for a solution that would make both of us happy. I found these little magnetic plastic frames. It was funny, because the magnets just wouldn’t hold the weight of the frame to the fridge. Seriously. I hate it when things don’t work! I had to go out and find some magnetic strips and fix each and every one of those suckers.
For a while, I rotated the pictures regularly. With pictures of Starr and her friends, her siblings, my nephew…it was nice. And she was right!
In the past three years, since the accident, I have made very few changes. Sunny is still there, as is Skye, but they are all old pictures. It has been a comfort. I need to and want to make some changes. It is time.
So here is today’s door:
My goal is to make those changes…and soon!
Aug 25, 2010
Me. My name is Kelly. I’m a 40 something always single mom of one. Sometimes stained glass artist, music lover, reader and coupon clipper…of course there is a lot more to me, but this is supposed to be an overview:
My daughter “Starr”…currently 22 and a college graduate:
“Sunny”, Starr’s best friend who tragically passed away in an accident the girls were involved in. We miss her and love her dearly:
“Skye”, Starr and Sunny’s other best friend in high school. They were quite the threesome!! Supportive loving friend now:
Starr and Skye
Here is a pic of the three of them together:
Sunny, Skye and Starr
“Sookie”, another friend from high school who has been there for Starr in so many ways:
Starr, Skye and Sookie
Sammy, the cat:
Sammy and his basket
Zeta, the kitten:
Starr has younger half-(though we don’t use that term around here, but it helps a bit in the introductions–her father’s younger children) siblings, “Sissy” and “Rocket”, who I love with my whole heart, as well as her cousin “Racer” who is equally loved:
Rocket, 12 (when did he get so tall??) and Sissy, almost 16
First day of school, 6th grade and 10th!!
My nephew Racer, 10, with my brother DJ
I think that covers the usual suspects.
Aug 3, 2010
Starr and Sunny, Spring Break 2007
I was reading Little Bee last night when, in the story, Sarah asks Little Bee to delete her recently deceased husband’s number from her cell phone for her because she couldn’t bring herself to do it.
I still have Sunny’s phone number in my contacts. It has been over three years. I don’t know why it’s still there. Why have I resisted deleting it? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the letting go that I am not ready to do. It stabs me in the heart just a bit every time I scroll by it. I miss her. I know that deleting the number will not diminish her memory. I will still think of her and her family a hundred times a day…yet.
I fell asleep with the resolve that I was going to delete the number when I woke up. I was going to take that step. At midnight I felt ready.
In the light of day, I still can’t do it.