Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mother and Child.

I've been thinking a lot about mothers lately. It is obvious why I am thinking about them so much. My mother was just here visiting for a week, and Steven has been in Arizona with his mom since the beginning of the summer.

In spite of my feeling like a walking Cymbalta commercial, I thought I'd share my thoughts.

I have been thinking a lot about life and death; about beauty and ugliness, about joy and sadness, about how we live, and how we die.(Great, you're probably thinking, just what I need on a beautiful summer day! Feel free to click on one of my links at the right to avoid these subjects all together).

I wonder how we, as humans, continue to go on. How we manage to pick up the pieces and move forward. How knowing what we know, and seeing what we see, we are able to continue to live.

(Holy Crap. Please don't pull my dossier, I am just a little bit down. I am just reaching out a bit here).

Let's talk about the good, the beautiful....

My mom....

My mom. I love my mom. She is great. She is smart, and funny, and kind. I know it might sound strange for a woman of my age to say, but having my mom in the next room for seven days was so reassuring.

My mom was inundated with all things Ethiopian while she was here.

She ate it up,(well most of it, the wat was too spicy). She is very interested in Ethiopia, and her future grandchildren. She even attended Pip's Birthday party...

She listened to my political pleas....

She made me laugh out loud. We had gone to Barnes and Noble. She had a gift card from a student, that was burning a hole in her pocket. On our way out of the store, THIS MAN thought we were following him. He said,"Hello ladies." He had just been signing copies of his book at the B&N Store. I said, " Don't worry,we aren't stalking you." He said, "I have lots of experience with that!" Then he quickly introduced himself. My mom introduced herself back...

"I'm T.C." (T.C has been my mom's name since she was a kid.) John gave her a look and she said...

"Top Cat."

Later I called her Top Cat, and started laughing. Here in LA, if you introduce yourself as Top Cat you might as well break out the pasties because you are obviously a stripper. My mom said, "No! Top Cat! You know the cartoon."

Here is Top Cat, my new favorite cartoon character...

When I dropped my mom off at the airport on Monday,I immediately began to weep. Would that be the last time I spent with my 'healthy' mom? How long do I have left with my parents? Why do we live so far away from each other?

So often during her visit, I imagined what was going on in Phoenix. I saw these and thought of Chris...

I saw this and thought of my husband...

It's hard to see. It is the 'Sisyphus' watch. I think that you would agree that my husband is having a Sisyphean summer.

My husband and his mother are spending time together too. Their time is weighted, heavy, and sad. I hear my husband use the words, 'disappointing', and 'futile'. I hear the weariness in his voice, and the sadness in his heart. I wonder how we hold on, and what makes us want to continue.

I feel like I am about to break, and then I see something else...

I see mothers.

I see mothers and children...

I see the strong , single mom and her daughter...

I see the sensitive mom and her son...

I see the mom who just threw a great first Birthday party for her six year old...

I meet a mom who chose Ethiopia because she could adopt an infant, but on the way her heart swells and she adopts a Habi, a Habi who was waiting just for her...

I read about a mom who handles a setback with grace. I read about a mom who inspires me to run.

I hear the sweet voice of a new mom, reassuring her new babies in their first language.

I meet another mom,who is also a Julie in Los Angeles...

I meet this mom, who wrangles two small body surfers without even blinking.

I meet a mom who is as strong, as she is tall.

I peek into the lives of Cindy, and Rana and Evelyn; I meet Courtney, Jana, and Heather.

I see that they too, like me, are moms in their hearts.

I think about these strong women, and the other women out there,(in my life, in cyberspace, on my blogroll), and I think about how beautiful motherhood, and I hope you don't mind me saying this, but especially adoptive motherhood is. Thinking about this brings me a flash of joy, a smidgen of optimism, a hope for the future.

I also think about my husband and what a great father he will be. I think about my parents and how lucky I am to know them. I resist the urge to write something here like,"Go call your parents! Tell them you love them!"

Okay, so maybe I don't resist the urge.

Go call your parents. Tell them you love them.

I think about what kind of mom I'll be. (Right now that would be the ill-tempered, quick to anger, weepy mom.)

I think about my mother-in law.

I think about her sons. I think about her life. I think about how life seems futile and unfair. I think about what an amazing job she did raising her sons.

I worry and I weep. I wonder what they will do without her, what I will do without her. I know that we don't have much time.

I hold on.

I think of you.

I borrow your strength.

I Hope you don't mind.


  1. Beautiful. Thank you for posting this.

  2. That was an amazing post, you are such a great writer. Thanks for this post and for sharing your thoughts with us.

  3. Oh, Julie. You break my heart and fill it up at the same time. Thank you.

  4. Now I have tears. I needed to read that. I'm feeling a bit like an ungrateful adoptive mom right now and this helped.

  5. Wow - what an astounding and profound post. I am honored to be mentioned in this, and so so happy that I got to meet you. And my heart aches for you as you are losing your mother-in-law.

  6. What a moving and touching post. I love reading what you write.
    And your photos always rock.

  7. I loved this post until I saw the unflattering picture of my double chin... LOL.

    I loved your mom too. You are blessed to have such a great relationship with her. Some other moms (like me) are trying to be the mothers we never had.

    And I know you will be an awesome mother too, and I look forward to that day!

  8. Thanks for sharing this...
    Kerri, Medina, and Ruby

  9. Ah Julie! You made my cry...but a good cry even if at times from sad things...like death but also from the happiness that one day we will get to experience being moms ourselves. I think in the end it will all make this thing called life worth while.

    Thank you for the beautiful post!


    P.S. I don't mind if you borrow my strength at all...because I come here...to your blog...to borrow yours.

  10. Thank you for your mind, your heart, and your eloquence.

    Heather put it perfectly.

  11. That is a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  12. Julie,
    Such beautiful, reflective, hopeful words in a difficult time. Thank you for trusting us with your thoughts; thank you for trusting us to help carry you through this time.

    Life is full of such joy and sorrow, gift and loss. Thankfully, we have been given dear ones to journey with us and guide us. What a gift of a guide, journey-er, and loving parent you and Steven will be.

    Off to go make some phone calls...
    Sending hugs your way...

  13. Now I'm crying! You have such a beautiful way that you express these feelings and thoughts...

    And you will be such an amazing Mom, Julie. Seriously, I would definitely place children with you and Steven.


  14. Like all the others have said...now you have me sobbing.

    And yes I think about these things all the time.

    Oye - you are indeed an amazing writer.


    Thank You.

    They will be home before you know it.

    Children give hope and breethe life into loss.

  15. So moving and thought provoking, Julie. Beautiful, bittersweet, and no, I don't think she minds you borrowing her strength. Thank God for our mamas! How would we managage without their lovely example?

  16. What a beautiful and profound post. Now I am weeping. I took your advice and called my mom & told her I loved her. Then I looked up into the heavens and told my dad I love & miss him.

    Stay strong. Thoughts and prayers for your mother in law.

    So wonderful to meet you at the blog union, and I hope we see each other again very soon!

  17. Your soul, mind and body are ready to be a mama I think. Thank you for sharing your heart. I will give my Mom a call today!

  18. Wow. Wow. Wow. WOW.

    Hey- did you see our first meeting picture on Drew and Carey's site? I wish we could see your face on it- but you could obviously see how excited I was to meet you. I wish we could get together for a dinner and chat.

  19. Hi Julie, thanks for the mention, and for the great post. I hear you. I think about it too, so often, how are people able to pick up the pieces and move on after suffering so much? Sometimes sleep is the only reprieve from the pain and heartache of loss. I wonder if Zufan's birthmom feels that way. I think of her every day, sometimes many times a day, and wish I could hug her, and wish she knew how much I love and respect her.

    Glad you had a great time with your mom. Age doesn't change it, does it? It is always comforting to have Mom around, and puts things in perspective.

  20. Julie,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Your writing is lovely and true. I wish there was something that I could say that would bring some peace or calm but I have nothing.

    Thanks for leaving your comment on my blog. I've been reading yours for a short while now and didn't realize it was you.



  21. such a beautiful post. There just are no words to describe how touching this post is.

  22. Lovely post, how wonderful. And I hate that we didn't connect at the BU (the only down side to the event: it was so big, and I'm so shy!). We're sometimes in L.A. for work, maybe we could have coffee?