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Sorry for the hiatus. It’s been a busy, emotional, exhausting, traveling week. The highs: dancing with my students at their graduation party, my cousin’s baby shower, experiencing first hand how amazingly supportive my coworkers are, and my mom taking care of me at the end of it all. If you’re curious about the lows, take a look at my last post. I’ve been dealing with memorials, graduations, and heartbroken coworkers. I feel just like a sailboat tied to a mooring line: bobbing through the waves, blowing off course, but being pulled back–anchored to something unexplainable.

I’m still a little short on words this week so I will share a story from this afternoon. My mom treated me to a massage today. She has had a bum shoulder, so she wanted to spend time with me, but figured we could both use a little pampering. She had a nice and easy massage, and because I prefer the opposite, I had the hell pounded out of me by a 120 pound girl barely out of college. Somehow, I managed to fall asleep; probably due to the back and forth between the Bay Area and Tahoe over the past three days.

Anyway, after our fabulous massages, we had a glass of wine, basking in the Sierra sun. We were both relaxed, and after two or three straight days of tears, exhaustion, loss, and anger, today was a happy departure. Today was glorious.

I don’t know how it came up, but I mentioned my Gram and a story I had told a good friend about how we will never know if her cancer caused issues with her memory, or if she actually had Alzheimer’s. It’s been nearly 4 years and although we all think of her daily, tears only come up on holidays, after a few drinks, or when something else goes wrong. Regardless, Mom and I were smiling about her bravery, and out of nowhere, a black and white butterfly flew by. Traveled right between us, and actually silenced us for a good 30 seconds. I grabbed my mom’s hand, and her response was, “Okay, Mum. We got it. We’ll stop gossiping”.

I don’t know what I believe anymore, when it comes to religion or faith or whatever. All I know is that there have been three or four moments before when the butterfly appeared while the two of us had mentioned Gram. For some reason, she manifests herself as ladybugs and butterflies.

Once, there was a very ugly green bug stuck to the side of my car window when I picked up to call her while driving home but realized as it rang that she was gone. The damned bug held tight with it’s ugly expression for at least a few minutes on highway 280. I was somewhere between sobbing with tears and laughter. I couldn’t tell. As usual, she was probably telling me, “Your shirt’s in a knot. Quit ‘yer bawling and get back to reality”. Perhaps like today. Or yesterday after I spent a good three hours crying.

And that’s what we did.That’s what I did. I quit the tears. They needed to stop.  I got to hug and laugh and cuddle and read to my niece and nephew on Sunday. I get to see my other nephew in a week. In fact, the 10 of us will be together then, which is a rare treat. I have a long weekend filled with college friends starting Thursday. And I get to see my best friend tomorrow when I head home. After a long week of playing Hide with not wanting anyone else to play Seek, I’m returning to normal. So here’s to normal, Life. I am on my way to returning.

Clothes of Sand–Nick Drake

Sweet Seasons–Carole King

It’s not Supposed to be that Way–Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson

Stand Out in the Rain–The Jayhawks

Round the Bend–Beck

I Love Every Little Thing About You- Stevie Wonder