coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Thursday, April 25, 2024

April 2024 with a touch of bromeliad

It has been a busy month for us. Well, busy by our lazy and reclusive retirement standards. We've had two short term visitors this month. A beloved nephew, and then an old friend. Both visits were deeply meaningful and gave me a lot to think about.

Tomorrow we pick up my Baby Sister from the airport. She is just here for the weekend. I look forward to sitting out on the lanai, talking and talking and talking. When my mother was alive, Baby Sister and I talked on the phone every Saturday morning. She was Mom's caretaker. My mother was in the advanced stages of Parkinson's for a long time, and it was hard to talk to her on the phone because I couldn't always understand what she was saying. Baby Sister was my touchstone when it came to Mom. I say "Mom," but as often as not we called her Ma. Why is it so hard for me to believe my mother has been gone for over 9 years? 

I must admit, this whole "time" thing really messes with my brain.

a crazy bromeliad


  1. It is heartening to have these glimpses into your life with family and friends. Thank you so much.

    When my middle sister (there are three of us -- I'm the oldest) was living in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, I sent her a bromeliad because the hospital where I worked as a transcriptionist had one near the cafeteria. I thought it was the most wonderful plant I had ever seen. Sweet to know they grow in your garden and likely would be able to grow in Mississippi!

    1. Oh yes, Mississippi could handle bromeliad!

  2. I still miss my parents every day. Daddy died in 1982 and Mom died in 1993. I still feel like an orphan sometimes.

  3. One of my daughters calls me Ma. The other, Mom. Perhaps someday I'll ask. My own mother has been gone 27 years. I think we called her Mom.

  4. I absolutely miss my mom every day. The void is more intense whenever I speak to one of my relatives. But so to is the joy of remembering happier times.

    Love the plant.

  5. I wish I could have a bromeliad like this one!
    My siblings are distant, we try, but no, I left the town, the state, the country and even the continent. That's too strange for them, both stayed put, just walking distance away from our childhood home.
    I probably did everything the worng way when our parents died.

  6. I still talk to my Mom all the time even though she died 10 years ago. I'm lucky to have my sister and 2 brothers here in my town.
    Cool bromeliad! Enjoy the visit with your sister, Colette!

  7. Nothing better than a sister (blood or otherwise)!

    It's been 12 years since my mother died and I still get the urge to call her. Always in our hearts!

  8. Indeed, where does the time go? My mother died in 2018 but it seems like last week.

  9. I would get a phone call from my father nearly every Sunday morning.I would get all the family news and details of what was growing in the garden or happening in the village. He died at the start of the new century but some Sunday mornings I still half expect his call.
    Yes, time is such a strange, elastic thing, it pulls us all over the place! Loving parents we keep with us always, I'm forever saying, "wouldn't Mom/Dad have loved this!"

  10. Of course, it’s too long. You may tire before you reach the end. But it mirrors your situation.

    My mother died in the UK while we were living in the USA. Over Christmas 1971 too, which meant those wanting to make transatlantic phone calls had to wait until a slot became available. No emails then. Some 48 hours after her death I picked up the phone and listened to my younger brother, mumbling, stumbling over the words, passing on the news.

    I’ve often written about the point when one becomes an adult; my mother’s death was one such point. But not immediately. At the time I had no interest in poetry and decades were to pass before – following the urging of two good blogosphere friends – I started messing around with what I prefer to call verse. Retrospectively I profited from the delay. I was better equipped to try and catch that dreadful moment in this difficult art form.

    I wrote sonnets and they end with a rhyming couplet. Pittsburgh 1971, which covers this distant period, ends thus:

    She wrote, I write, but here’s the difference
    No letters, now, to foil my ignorance.

    But there needed to be some recognition at the time. The tiny US company I was working with had started to collapse. I had saved money to ensure that if this happened in the USA our family would be able to return to the UK. I needed to attend my mother’s funeral but the costs would seriously reduce this lifeline. I flew anyway. My brothers had conferred; they would reimburse my costs from the very modest sum my mother had left. Perhaps we all took a step towards adulthood.


So, whadayathink?