A Mayflower's Musings

Friday, October 14, 2016

Why am I worrying what other people think of my grief?

Sorta over spending quiet moments worrying about what people think of me.

So concerned that people are thinking:

"wow it's been long enough"

"Stop feeling sorry for yourself"

"Look at all your blessings."

"She lived 65 years- that's a long life"

"So and so has lost more and they are functioning better than you"

Maybe these are comments that no one is thinking and it's my mean self talk.  I think so.

But moments keep happening that stop me in my tracks -  making me relive it all-  make me realize this remains a season under heaven for tears.

Like yesterday in the middle of dance chaos I answer the phone to a strange Portland number.  It's dr Quinn -  neurologist in Portland-  and he says he has mom's brain autopsy results.  Turns out mom had early onset Alzheimer's after all.  Doesn't really matter but my little soul is stabbed again.  Mom's brain.  Her intelligence, her neurons that held memories of beach walking and babies held for the first time and the knowledge of how to teach a 6 year old to transform chunks of letters into words... all sliced and prodded to give us an answer of what took her from us.

Maybe yesterday a mama I love hugged me at the gym and I felt guilt because she lost her baby boy in his sleep at a dear age of 17.  How can I cry when her hurt must of been bigger?  How can I use food to make me feel better when she obviously didn't-  she is fit and tiny and rocking life at 50 something.

I have no answers -  this is just my reality.  My reality that my heart is still bleeding- it's got a clotting problem that no medicine but time will stitch close.

I keep trying to squeeze it shut.  But then again like yesterday a card will come with the words "I had the privilege of knowing both your parents.  They were wonderful people-  I bet you miss them so much."

You can't ignore that truth staring at you in ink.

So devil on my shoulder that keeps putting words in my thoughts about how I should be acting -  quiet yourself-  and people out there if you have any of those thoughts for real.  Well quiet them too-  or walk away from me.  Cuz it's just my reality right now.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Happy Birthday to my Mom

After losing my mom I've lost a lot -

Desire to eat well.

Motivation to exercise.

Get up and go when it comes to chores.

Excitement for social gatherings.

Even my flowery words here.

I'm hoping to find those healthy feelings again soon.  You can pray for that for me. I know she wouldn't want this for me and my family.

Today I'm gonna take Maisie, her two girl cousins Emmy and Phoebe and her best school friend to Oaks Park to celebrate Ms. Jo's upcoming birthday!  I think I may find my smile in the roller skating and rides!  



I don't know what heaven is but I hope you are having your favorite -  German chocolate cake , some coffee,  enjoying a puzzle with grandma barb and snuggled in a cloud later with a good book.  Love you mama.....

Monday, September 5, 2016

Night before school starts ...

September 5th 8pm.... I read my kiddos 3 school themed books and prayed for them.

And cried when I tucked them in....

My mom believed that every child deserved and could thrive with education.  She loved greeting her new class and taking on the year of challenges.


She killed it.
Year after year.

Tomorrow our kids will meet their teachers and I know they will KILL it too.  Ruby, Fin, Phoebe, Max, Lincoln, Helmi, Josh, Jack,  Sierra, Cade, Maddy, Claire, Sam, and all of them......they all deserve the best! 

Praying tonight for all the kids and their teachers alike!

Beyond academics she loved them...

My prayer for my kids this year is that they recite this in their heads...

"Open my eyes
And let me see
Someone who needs a friend like me.

I know that I can surely be:

Loving, caring, always sharing"

Oh Lord, send my mom as an Angel to my babies tomorrow.....


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Harper family reunion 2016





I don't blame people when they assume grief has a beginning and an end.  It's something you learn from experience and also from time.

A book I'm reading describes how we don't get over hurt from loss but we absorb it into our life.  If we allow it -  the grief expands our soul.  We feel more sadness-  but feel more joy too.  I definitely believe that to be true!

Today was our annual Harper's family reunion.  Like many recent social gatherings I didn't want to go- to be truthful,  if I could I'd stay in bed and watch The Office or Friends and put off chores and fighting through these feelings.  But I keep getting into the shower and putting on some make up and facing life!

And inevitably some sad things occurred.  My great aunt Berna pulled me into the kitchen and showed me some pictures she'd pulled aside just for me and my siblings -  my grandpa as a little guy and also my dad.

Then later my Grandpas youngest brother - "uncle Ben" wanted to tell me a story.  One where he put my Dad on the handle bars of his bike and how they crashed....and how he took Dad to Canada on a fishing trip when he was 12.  He cried then and said how Dad was his favorite and how sad he was that Dad passed so young.  I didn't know this but Great Uncle Ben had wanted to give him one of his kidneys too....

These are things that happen to me now.  A new norm.  Sadness pushing in.  

Letting me feel joy for the bits of my family tree that remains-  for the picture and the story.  

A soul that's experiencing growing pains.

Friday, August 19, 2016


I couldn't sleep last night. Wanted to go back and delete yesterday's post or at least take it off of Facebook.   It's good to write when I'm sad.  It's like the words absorb my messy feelings.  Like a sponge they draw out the puddles of tears.  But I think my raw thoughts make  people worry about me.

I may feel better after writing-  like if I admit my struggles and then share them with the world,  it'll clear my slate and I can have a do-over.  And maybe like a friend reminded me today - others feel the same and my honest admissions clear their slates too.  Unite deep feelers and those that feel unworthy to hold the title wife mother friend and even female.

But in a world searching for less of a facade - I've always been an open book.  "Stefanie -  don't tell your father how much we spent at the grocery store."  Two minutes later I had to clear my conscience and tell Dad that we had spent such and such dollars at the grocery store.  Even today I can't keep a secret or my feelings to myself.  Maybe tho-  every blog post should come with a disclaimer:  I write to purge my deepest thoughts-  it soothes me-  please don't worry to much about me.  I want you to know my dark thoughts almost as a giant hug to myself.  I want you to know me - all of me-  and still hopefully like me.

So here's the rewrite.

As we prepare for school to begin again the to do lists are both overwhelming and exciting.


Daphne feels much better about going to middle school this year!  She has friends.  She is in her schools advanced choir and a singing competition team at a performance studio in town.  I'm thankful her confidence is appearing again!

Maisie is headed to 5th grade and has found a new love-  dance!!!  Now we just have to decide how many dance classes we can afford and how many her week to week endurance will allow!  I always thought she'd use her long feet for swimming but it's looking like she's on pointe with something else !!!

Ruby roo has more personality than us all!  Well Henry is a close 2nd.  She's so funny.  And soccer season and 3rd grade are right around the corner -  how can that be?  We haven't read or practiced math facts as much as I'd have liked but her tan and battle wounds prove she had an adventurous summer!

Henry appears to like the water more this year and food too.  I can't believe I'm going to place him in full day preschool three days a week this fall.  I won't lie I'm not ready for that.  But where I've lacked in school prep for him,  I know his teachers will help him greatly !  He adores me and I him.  I think he thinks I'm his girlfriend which is sweet and I know won't last.  Henry too is gonna try soccer this fall!  

See -  I can be positive.  And yet then it just dances the surface of my heart.  And well my heart is tore wide open right now and my friends and family alike may just stumble into its trenches every once in awhile.  If I bring you there sometimes just know sharing sorrow helps me heal.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I'm not mother goose or duck

Do you ever feel like you have so many ducks to get in a row that you might as well throw a party and serve duck? 

I swear being a mom couldn't be any more of a responsibility.  

These ducks.  They love me so much and I love them so much that we sorta strangle each other.

Make sure Daphne has a fun 13th bday party and a smooth transition to 7th grade.  Transfer request to the chosen middle school, "raw talent" paid for, new clothes that will be just right for a girl that has a woman's body, some cuddle time that she still desires, and that stinkin overdue ortho apt.


Maisie.  She's demanding.  Demanding of perfection.  I am not.  We have been working through some tough stuff all year.  She's smart beautiful and talented.  But stronger than me-  way stronger.  And I've let her push me around so now the balance needs to be reset.  Something a professional is helping us do. The to do list for her is new jeans (every girls nightmare unless you are Christie turnington or Kate moss) , a bedroom makeover, a fantastic 11 year old birthday smash,  another school transfer request, a big soccer decision, dance sign ups and possibly a new procedure to avoid morning debacles every school am!  
Ruby needs some new clothes too.  Definitely a backpack without a broken zipper,  haircut, transfer request,  soccer and gymnastics sign ups, and hopefully we will have mastered her arithmetic flash cards by September 6th!!!

Henry.  Possibly the easiest to do list and yet most tear worthy of them all.  He will turn five with an easy Mikey's pizza birthday party.  And then I will send him to preschool three days a week so I can possibly begin to make money for this family again.  I would be fine with this if I had been the mother to him that I had been to the girls.  He's barely been read to.  He doesn't know his numbers or letters and he's watched way more tv too.  I love him as much and he loves me possibly more.  Oh I shall miss him.  Miss the park dates and the snuggles that I dishwashed and gym workouted away.  He has lived more in my survival mode of the last 5 years than I wished for-  hopefully I can make it up to him!  Sign him up for soccer,  more bedtime read alouds and I'll feel Much better.

Budgets.  Parties.  Activities.  Dreams.  

Sent my mom to heaven. Hoping to transfer the hours I used to give to her to my husband and kids.  Please let me not waste them.  I'd like my ducks in a row for once!  Order and sequence and not a pile of feathers.  Please oh please Lord send an Angel that works wonders!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

So grown up

Just sitting here wide awake thinking how grown up I am.... These are some of the words I've been using these past few weeks (not for the faint of heart-  sorry)






Brain harvesting 


Funeral home

And many more....  That's the stark sadness.

In between those words came:

Loving hugs, prayers, caregivers, friends ...

Licorice skittles and wine!

Family vigilance 

Beautiful hymns 

Meal train

Flower deliveries 

Canvas pictures


Facebook comments


I'm trying to remember the good amongst the sad.  When I hurt and want to be mad.  Grace and love beats grief 1/2 the time.  Soon it'll be 3/4 time!  And never fully until I reach heaven too.  

Thank you if you are on my grace team!