Friday, August 5, 2011

Connect the Dots

Friday afternoon is probably the absolute worst time of the week to blog. But seeing as the first week in August is coming to an end, I feel an internal obligation to just get out what I have been working on and prove to myself that this project isn't over until its really over.... which is supposed to be at the end of this month.

How is it that I find myself in the last month of my year long project to get through my 32nd year? Where did the year go?

The truth is that my goal for this month was/is to go whitewater rafting for my first time ever. Come to find out once I did the research, that the season is mostly over at this point in the year. I've looked into a few places mostly in West Virginia, a reasonable drive from the DC area, to have my time in the sun. But, its been challenging to fit it in with my new found time consumers: moving and the trauma ICU.

We are moving across town at this end of this month into a townhouse and although its literally just down the street, it seems as though this move is to another world. Friends talk as if they will never see us again and some feel as though us going to a new synagogue means that something was wrong with the old one. Before I get too ahead of myself, I should say we're mostly moving because of rising costs and lack of space in our current place. We found this wonderful set up that we just could not turn down. I am sad to be leaving but very optimistic/excited about the new opportunities that lie for us just across the way. Those plans, combined with my husband's return to the trauma ICU for two months, means a mommy with the kiddies most of the time.

So, finding time, weekday or weekend to grocery shop for the next two months is going to be a challenge let alone rafting. So I've reluctantly put rafting on the agenda for perhaps a future trip. So, I've decided to spend this month trying to tie my whole year together. I've realized over the years that although I have been so upset from losing my mom, I really have little knowledge about the woman she was. I have a few photos with her when I was first born but she was already so ill and that its hard to remember her that way. We have some family photos pre-my arrival in this world which are lovely. And a few years back, my dad burned all the family super 8 movies onto dvd. It was the first time I saw my mom move.... of course there was no sound, but I will take what I can get.

So for this month, I have set out to learn a bit more about my mom, try to track down old family members and friends that knew her and see what I can learn. Its not really a fear to overcome but it will be a challenge. It will also fulfill a dream of mine to learn more about my mom and who she was as a person. Through the wonderful aid of Facebook, my dad encountered the maid of honor at my parents wedding. A childhood friend of my mom's that learned of her death many years after she had passed. Through some effort, I was able to connect with her and hear old stories of my mom growing up, playing violin and taking care of others. In so many ways, it felt as if I was on the phone with my mom. It was such a powerful experience to hear how someone I do not remember even meeting impacted others and shone such a vibrant light into this world. It made me want to go back and be there, like a fly on the wall, watching her grow up and become the woman, mother and wife that she became.

From that encounter, I am now on the hunt to locate my mom's first cousin who is somewhere in the state of NY. They apparently were inseparable through childhood and I am hopeful, in this world of technology, that she is out there awaiting my call, email, text.... you get the point.

I guess I've seen enough of those long lost family reunion shows on tv and never realized just how much detective work I could do to uncover the true story behind my mom. I am so invigorated and inquisitive about the opportunities to uncover lost stories and photos and who knows what else.

So August may be on its way, but this little lady isn't done until the clock runs out and the birthday candles are literally on the cake. Have faith and doors will open along the way. The end is in sight and so is my 33rd birthday. A year I have looked forward to my whole life and one I plan to spend under a shady tree in my hammock. And now that I will soon have my own backyard, its a place I cannot wait to make into a reality.

So forgive me for the last minute pre-shabbat post but the research will go on and the puzzle pieces come together. Although I know a complete picture can never be, a mosaic of a few pieces here and there can help make me feel more whole inside and fill up the hole I have had in my heart for so long. Slowly slowly, its starting to fill with love, memories and hopes for the future.

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