I am from Sunburns and Malted Milk Ice Cream

I am from particle board furniture and 70’s decor,
with brown shag carpet and bright gold wallpaper.
I am from pink bedroom walls and a hammock full of toys,
stuff with Barbies and Care Bears.
I am from rooms full of sunshine and TV noise.
I am from happiness and love.
I am from gorgeous mountain views and constant home construction,
with dirt, and grasshoppers, and prickly weeds.
I am from nosy neighbors, who offer fresh vegetables and fruit,
in the summer and fall.
I am from a street with forty young children,
who all moved away.
I am from trips to Florida in the summer time,
to visit grandma in her condo on the beach.
I am from sunburns and malted milk ice cream,
beaches with sand like baby powder.
I am from warmth, freckles, and salty water,
and the feeling of waves rocking you to sleep.
I am from sharing my toys with my younger brother,
and stealing my older sister’s clothes.
I am from Hamburger Helper and Crescent rolls,
for dinner most every night.
I am from best friends who are silly together,
and make each other laugh until belly’s ache.
I am from piano lessons and library trips every Saturday,
with trips to the mall with Mom for a hot dog on-a-stick.
I am from pizza every Friday night and gourmet breakfasts,
every Sunday morning.
I am from my Dad’s homemade potato soup,
that warms our cold bodies in the winter.
I am from Christmases with fake Christmas trees,
and kleiner dough to look forward to.
I am from Christmas mornings eating aebleskivers,
with powdered sugar and cool glasses of milk.
I am from Christmas dinners at Grandma’s house,
with Danish banquet soup and pumpernickel bread.
I am from first jobs in frozen yogurt shops swirling cool, sweet cream,
with fruit stains on my clothes from making smoothies.
I am from clothes bought in thrift stores,
for fun not necessity.
I am from driving my parent’s mini-van until I was 19,
We named it Bessie.
I am from falling in love with Casey,
who is kind, handsome, and strong.
I am from a big wedding, with a big dress and a big cake,
with Uncle Frank driving everyone crazy taking pictures.
I am from giving birth twice, to a girl and a boy,
and a house filled with toys, laughter, and Cheerios.
I am from a mother who died of pancreatic cancer,
leaving a wake of grief behind her.
I am from giving birth the third time without her,
yet feeling her Spirit present.
I am from being a motherless daughter,
and trying to mother without her.
I am from a broken heart trying to heal,
in her pained absence.

I am from going back to college at 27,
to earn my degree and my self-respect.
I am from working in Adoption,
the miracles and the heartaches.
I am from watching people become parents for the first time,
because someone made the most selfless choice possible.

I am from trying to move forward,
because everyone else is.
I am from building a house,
our dream and our life savings invested.
I am from trying to give my children a safer place,
to just be children.
I am from a happy family,
and I have created a happy family now.
I wrote this poem for my Issues in Diversity class back in January 2006. The last few paragraphs written in purple have been written since I turned in this poem for my class. Because my life has changed significantly since then. My blogger friend wrote a poem on her website, an insight to her 35 years on earth. She challenged her readers to do the same.
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Happy Birthday to my Mom

Today is my Mom’s birthday. She would have been 65 today. This picture was taken on her birthday in 2004. This year the sibs and I are going to get together and celebrate her life. Celebrate her great sense of humor. Celebrate her quirks. Celebrate her kindness and compassion. Celebrate her flaws as well as her strengths. Celebrate that we had a mother who loved us so much she would have done anything for us. Lately I’ve been missing her a lot. You see, whenever I was feeling down I would call my Mom and she would cheer me up. Now that person in my life is gone. Her utter belief in me always made me feel better. She never failed to tell me how smart and beautiful she thought I was. Anything good about me, I got from her. And I think she was an amazing woman. She went through a lot of emotional trauma in her life. But she still tried to make those around her happy and to laugh. She never lost her sense of humor. Not when she battled breast cancer at 42 and not even when she was battling through a very painful and terminal case of pancreatic cancer at 62. She was brave, strong, and kind. I strive to have her courage.

I love you Momoo! I miss you every single day. That will never change. Til we meet again, mother dear. We celebrate your life today.