Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hummingbirds do fly.

JoLai and me in November 2012 ~ remembering the joy after everything changed.

"There are not many things in life 
you can be sure of


rain comes from the clouds
sun lights up the sky

and hummingbirds do fly . . ."

~ from "Everything must change"


This morning I woke up and was at least two hours into my day before realizing that daylight savings time had taken place. It was literally almost ten in the morning before I had any idea--which I think is kind of crazy for a grown mother of two kids. And a doctor responsible for a bunch of hospitalized people.  


Fortunately, I had already planned to go to the hospital a little later than normal since the team would be admitting new patients. Thank goodness I hadn't planned on going to church or else I certainly would have been among the poor, unfortunate souls (albeit well-meaning ones) that showed up an hour late for service. 


When I figured out the time, I was fully dressed and prepared to go run a few miles before heading to Grady. I couldn't believe that I made it that far into a new day without having any idea that I'd lost an hour of it. I texted my mother and blamed her for it. 

When she replied, it dawned on me that she wasn't actually my daylight savings reminder person. Nope. 

Deanna was. 

It was Dee who always texted me and said, "Fall behind tonight, Pookie!" or "Spring ahead, Pookie!" She also kept me on my toes with school and federal holidays and other important dates. All via inconspicuous little text messages laced with emoticons and smiley faces. 

I tied up my shoes and headed out for that run anyway. Hoping badly that it would counter the deep ache I felt welling in my chest in what seemed like such an ordinary moment. And while, yes, my run did feel really good. . . .there wasn't much I could do to push down those feelings. 

I couldn't.

Man. I missed my sister so, so much today. In the deepest, most unrelenting way I did. I wanted to see her, talk to her, laugh with her, hug her neck. . .  .or just know I could. I wanted to talk to her about Lupita Nyong'o because I know she would have been a fan. I wanted to ask what she thought of the last episode of Scandal or how anxious she is to see the next season of Orange is the New Black. Because all of these are things that Deanna would have loved and I hate it that she isn't here to see them.

Damn I do.

When the boys did their black history presentations last month, I felt that same feeling. And even though that day was perfect, we were driving home and I could tell by looking at Isaiah through the rearview that he was feeling the same way. His eyes were quiet in that way they get when something is swirling through his mind and his heart. At some point he just came right out and said it:

"Auntie would have been at this if she was still here. And she would have really been proud of us." 

And nothing could be truer. Nothing. 


Damn. I miss her so much. We all still do every single day. And there are still days that I just sit there staring at my phone with her name still on my favorites saying, "I cannot effing believe that you aren't here. I just . . .cannot." And I say it out loud just like that. Over and over again.

Then I scroll one name down, call JoLai and say the same thing to her. And she always says something back that makes me glad I called her.


So like I mentioned, I went running anyway. Even though I had the time wrong, I did. During my run, I felt emotional so I let myself cry. I needed to do that and it felt good. Good because I don't ever want to get to a point where seeing an impossibly beautiful day or hearing a perfect joke or watching a beautiful brown girl winning an Oscar while dressed like a princess doesn't make me think of Deanna. I also don't want to ever reach a place where I don't miss her. I don't. I guess. . . I don't know. . . I think I like the idea of missing her forever. Forever.

Does that sound crazy? 

In case you're wondering--was it a bad day?  No. Not at all. See, any sustained thoughts of my sister always end in feelings of intense gratitude. Always. So few people get to have what we had. All of us together who had her in our lives as family. We had uniquely close, deeply personal relationships all our own that weren't soured by misunderstandings or selfish tendencies like a lot of family ties can sometimes.

Nope, not us.

So in the end, even on the days where the grief sets in like a bad toothache. . . .I'm always more glad than sad. Always, always, always. 

But even still, I missed my sister terribly today. In the deepest, most unrelenting way I did. 

And you know what? I'm okay with that. I am.

Thanks for listening, y'all.

"Winter turns to spring
A wounded heart will heal
But never much too soon
Yes, everything must change

The young become the old
And mysteries do unfold
'Cause that's the way of time
Nothing and no one goes unchanged

There are not many things in life 
you can be sure of


rain comes from the clouds
sun lights up the sky

. . .and music makes me cry."

Happy Sunday. (Oh and Jill and Stacy? I need you both to add "daylight savings time" to your lists of things you help me keep track of. . . wink.) 

Now playing . . .which interestingly was on my running playlist today. Love this version of this song the best (sorry the video is kind of weird.) This is what tipped me over into tears on my run. Whew!


  1. You told it so well -- your grief -- I could feel a bit of it. Keep on running toward and with it.

  2. This post really resonated with me. My mom died 20 years ago when I was . I like the idea of missing her too because that means I remember. As time passes, I have to fight harder and harder to remember her voice, smell, the sound of her voice, all the little nuances that made her who she was. This post made me have a full ugly cry. Thank you for voicing your pain, our pain.
    - Bridgette

  3. I have a tube of her lipstick. It's not a color I particularly like, but I wear it because when I put it on my lips, I think of it as a kiss from her. And that brings me joy.

  4. I learned a long time ago that when someone loses a beloved, it is not wrong at all to talk about that person who is gone on. It is a gift to the survivor because they WANT to talk about, think about, remember that person whose life they celebrate so very deeply, even as they miss them so very much. To talk about them, to remember them, to think of them, to MISS them is to keep them alive with us as best we can. And I love your mother's comment. That made me cry.

  5. From the Deck of the Poop,
    From early this morning: As I read your words regarding missing your sister, I thought about my feelings when I miss her. I am really struggling with the feeling of anger when I see her picture or think about not being able to hear her say "Hi Poppy" when I say "Plinko". I am angry because Deanna had so much more to offer this world. I think to myself, "Why did someone decide to take my big girl away from me." The memory will always be there but I am just hoping that the pain associated with the memory will subside. My eyes are filled with tears as I try to type this comment. People have tried to explain this to me but no one has even come close to helping me make sense of this. I know they never will.
    She was my Big Girl.


  6. It's interesting that you wrote this post, because I had this same conversation with Chris M. the other day... which would have been his sister's 50th birthday. We both still say, "I can't f'n believe she's gone." Then we cry... and we laugh & remember something funny. It sucks, but it's the new normal.


    PS-- you know I'm always here.

  7. In your family that is like tapestry, your sister was one of the brightest, spirited fibers. But you keep your legacy going until you meet her again. I am a touched reader today - thanks.

  8. I am here bearing witness. I have no words to lessen your pain, but I am here, listening. Thank you for sharing Deanna with us.

  9. I, like the poster before me, have no words to lessen your pain but want you to know that I am standing here in silence, honoring your pain and your sister. <3


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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