Monthly Archives: October 2009

my best costume

or: thinking outside and being inside the box

Halloween is upon us. I went trick or treating as a younster, in costume, of course. We didn’t buy ready made costumes generally; we made them up ourselves out of clothes at home, sometimes using donations from our parents’ closet, along with makeup and maybe a bit of crafting supplies. The few Halloween costumes I recall featured some very colorful skirts and bandanas and such (gypsy look).

But the best costume I ever had was for a classmate’s summertime birthday party in seventh grade. The party invitations called for coming in a Mother Goose rhyme themed costume. I was thinking of the normal things: Red Riding Hood, Mary Quite Contrary (which would fit me perfectly), etc. My older brother spoke up and changed all that.

He said to do something different, unexpected. There was no reason to be a person. Nor even an animal. Why be something living? So we thought about it and decided on something different but still easy enough to design and build.

I went as Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. We took a large box, fit it around my upper body, and covered it with a lot of brown construction paper. Made up doors and drew empty shelves that showed when the doors were opened. I wore brown pants and maybe brown makeup on my face.

It was awkward to get around in and I almost couldn’t sit down. But I won the prize for best costume.
My brother was brilliant.

two cats

two cats are sleeping.
one stirs and rustles a bit,
the other lies still

thinking about loss

sepiafleur I haven’t posted in a while. Par for the course. I’ve been thinking about loss a lot lately.

This is a post about losing loved ones. In the past year, I’ve had (too many) losses and seen family and friends through even more losses.

In March, I lost the other half of my best buds/roomies, my sweet cat Jesse. We lost his brother Toby nine months prior, almost to the day, in June, 2008. While Jesse was still around, it was easier to handle Toby being gone, partly because I had to keep taking care of Jesse; both cats were ill before they went, and of course, because I still had Jesse to keep me company and share my homelife. As an adult, Toby had been the attention grabber and a bit of the leader between the two. When we lost him, I had more time to dote on Jesse and that was good for both of us. When he died, I felt the loss doubly hard. By that time, there was a new cat at home, Juliet, who has blossomed now as a solo cat. I took Juliet in hoping she’d be company for Jesse, but they never really clicked. Still, Juliet badly needed a home and I’m glad to have her with me. She’s affectionate to me, but my loss is still very deep. Jesse had been with me almost 16 years and I will always miss him and Toby. They were truly my soulmate cats.

I also lost two aunts this year, one my uncle’s companion and later my mom’s kid sister. Both were dynamic, smart, and interesting women. Both were elderly and I know we all expect the losses, but it still hurts when it comes.

Then recently came a huge loss. One month ago today, my mom passed on. She was one of the most important people ever in my life, not just because she gave me life. We lived on opposite coasts, but her presence was significant every day; it still is. I spoke to her twice a week usually, sometimes more, and as much as I disagreed with her about a lot of things, I value all her knowledge, common sense, advice, opinions, and ideas. I knew I would lose my mom someday, she would have been 93 less than a month after she died. But it’s made harder due to her suffering, lingering on with complications and in pain after what should have been an easy surgery (though no surgery is easy at 92). Mom spent the last 3 months of her life in the hospital with a couple of week stays in a rehab care facility. She had severe pain for much of that time. She begged for death some of the time. It was hard to see but I know it was harder to endure. Mom was a loving woman, with strong feelings about family and a lot of love for us all. It was a bad ending to a great life.

Anyway, there’s no point to this post. It’s just venting, I guess. Not a celebration (maybe that will be next), not a lesson, not really even an observation. I guess it’s a lot like death: it just is.