Sunday, August 12, 2007

Forever and a Day

And now, a musical interlude.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Remembering

I can actually say that Wednesday, the day of Mom's service and burial, was beautiful.

Despite a lifelong aversion to being the center of attention, it was so nice for so many to turn out for Mom. Literally standing room only, it was truly moving and extraordinarily helpful for me to see as a part of my own coping process. Speaking of her, in front of those people, wasn't easy though.

It was extremely easy.

There was so much material she produced in that amazing, purpose driven life that when I sat down after rambling for ten (?) minutes, I had a handful of stories in reserve that I wished I had retold.

Hearing others share their own stories and memories of her made that day one that I will remember warmly and for good reasons.

But, the hurt is still raw. Flashbacks of laughs shared and love doted give way easily to tears. In her house and growing up under her wings, there was never a time where either seemed to be lacking.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Loose Ends

For those having inquired:

We will be celebrating her life on Wednesday, August 8th at the Bryant Funeral Home on 411 Old Town Road (Setauket, NY). Visitation will begin at 11:30 with prayer and praise to follow at 12:30. All are welcome. Dad plans to sit shiva at our house (7 Cornwallis Road, Setauket) on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, each beginning at 6:00 pm.

Many, many thanks to all reaching out and to those just taking a moment to remember the woman that she was. I'm sorry for not personally responding to each incoming message, but a lot is wearing on me right now.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Barbara Ann Carroll Lubin

1.20.49 - 8.5.07

She was quite a woman; generous, kind, and loving. Until her very last breath this afternoon, she was full of courage and concern for others. Never ever one to take pity on herself, my Mom refused to even let us take pity on her.

"This is not a tragedy," she would say. The child with cancer is. The fallen soldier is. "Be happy for me when it happens." So, here we are. I'm trying really hard to be happy. But, it's because of all our beautiful and shared and personal moments that I am continually brought to tears.

The bond between Mother and son is without equal among our species. To break it now is a wound and a scar on my unwritten story.

She won't really be there to see me become a husband, a father, or a career content. Yes, in the ether her spirit and in my heart her love, she will remain. But, that's something the grieving oft tell themselves to help them move on. I can only hope it's true.

What lies ahead for my father, my brother, and me, is the unknown. I've decided to stop working with two weeks left on my stay. I'd like to think the three of us will take some of that time and do something together, something relaxing, and something hundreds of miles away. Not to forget. Not to heal. Rather, to cement the bond among a trio of men that will support each other indefinitely.

She was the formative influence in my life and a true guiding light. Mom's hand, heart, lessons, and advice have played a part in everything I have ever accomplished in this world. But, I'd like to think that the flow of help and of growth went both ways.

During my Braveheart phase, I'd find myself without warning belting out a phrase or dialogue (or multi-person scene...) from the 1995 epic. One favorite exchange of mine took place between Wallace and his second-half-of-movie love interest on the night before his execution. Feeling brave, perhaps even inspired, though his end was at hand, he told the Queen that "every man dies, not every man really lives."

Maybe that rubbed off a bit on Mama. Towards the end, when it got more painful than ever before, she told me that "[she] did it all. The only thing [she'd] wish for is more time." This woman died with no regrets (save not getting earlier detection).

We should all be so lucky.

Goodbye darling Mom. I love you.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Street Justice

Revenge is a dish best served cold...

...and produced in Nike owned Malaysian sweatshops. (Hat tip: PSS)