Thursday, November 5, 2009


Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak:The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly:
No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? 
Paul Varjak: Sure.
Holly Golightly:
Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name! 

Kind of tough for me to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's.  But man, I've been fighting the mean reds for a couple of days now.  I wasn't going to write about it.  Considering how I was kind of whiny in my last post. I don't want the few of you who come here to start thinking I'm Debbie Downer all the time.  But part of the reason I started blogging was to get some of the stuff that rolls around my head OUT of my head, so there you have it.  You can veer off now if you'd like, my feelings won't be hurt.  And I'm sure I'll come up with something more uplifting soon, just not today.

It started the other night.  Which was a perfectly normal night, hanging out with the kids and the Mr.  Doing the dishes, watching the general craziness.  Wonderboy brings over the binder that has all the letters my Mom wrote to my Aunt (the one I just mentioned in the Halloween post.)  Anyway, there are some pictures in the back that he was showing me - I don't know why he pulled it off the bookshelf.  The pictures are in the back of the book and I turned and started reading the last letter.  My Mom was writing about my brother and me - ages 15 and 11, respectively.  About my pre-teen drama and my brother learning to drive, about possible trips we were going to take that summer.  And then it hit me.  I flipped the page forward and looked at the date at the top of the page.  Early February, 1983.  She never made it to the end of February.  Never saw me and my brother hit ages 12 and 16.  We never went on those trips.

I don't often get maudlin or depressed (anymore) about  Mom's sudden death.  I try to remember, with my Dad and brother and her sisters, the wonderful person she was.  The creative, funny, smart woman.  But sometimes it just comes out of left field.  The hurt and anger.  The taking your breath away unfairness of it all.  When that hits it's hard not to just curl up in a ball and hide under the covers.  For the past couple of days I have been hiding behind the pages of a trashy novel - uninspired to do much of anything.  But that isn't a way, or a reasonable way with two young kids a job and a husband, to be.

I recently listened to a recording of Joan Didion's book "The Year of Magical Thinking".  I decided to try the book on CD thing and oddly, because I prefer the trashy novels, picked this out.  It is the true story of the impact and aftermath of a sudden death.  In this case, the author's husband.  The subject matter is heavy, yes, but it isn't unbearable and Didion's examinations and thoughts on the aftermath are very interesting. It is a book I would recommend to anyone. 

Maybe reading this so recently is part of what triggered my emotions.  Maybe I was just tired.  Maybe I just missed my Mom.

Since I can't combat the mean reds by a trip to Tiffany's to window shop while eating a danish, I will continue to try to shake them off the best way I know how.  By keeping my brain busy with the day to day stuff, and more importantly, by hugging the Mr, Wonderboy and the Pixie very, very tightly.  And never letting a day go by without telling them how much I love them.


Logical Libby said...

Sounds like you got emotionally sucker punched by fate. Ice cream might help...

HeatherPride said...

First, I want to say I'm so sorry and that is completely unfair to lose your mother at a young age. My husband's mother was killed in a car accident when I was 8 months pregnant with our first baby. He almost never talks about it, but I know it weighs heavy on him so much of the time. I'm sorry for you both.

Octopunk said...

Man, I am so glad we have those letters but I've certainly gotten my emotional ass kicked from reading them. I remember the first time I read them after our aunt sent them to us. Since I was only 15 when the letters stop it was suddenly like the balance of years in my life since then didn't count, if that makes any sense. Like I was stuck waiting to read the rest of the letters so I knew how to be. Kicked my ass good for a day or two.

I think I've only read them one other time since then. It was okay, but obviously I'm wary.

Sorry, babe! Sucks to get blindsided by the dusty baggage when there's plenty of current stuff worthy of fretting over. Me, I go to the toy store to feel better. Even if I can't buy anything, it works.

anymommy said...

Give yourself a little time - I honestly think we have to reprocess huge traumas all our lives.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

I'm sorry. And you should ALWAYS write about it, no apologies or disclaimers, nobody's going to think you're a whiner. That's why the blog is here, and that's why we're here.

I can't imagine what you've gone through, but I'm thinking of you and hoping you ride out these mean reds.

The Floydster said...

I agree with "anymommy" about having to reprocess huge traumas - been doing that a lot lately, myself. I REALLY hate sucker-punches because we obviously don't see them coming and can't get set to roll with the punch. Its good you can have perspective on what you "need" to do for the sake of others, but sometimes we have to take a wee moment for ourselves as well. That's why I read murder mysteries and play FreeCell.

for a different kind of girl said...

I, too, agree with anymommy. I don't necessarily think that time heals all wounds. Sure, those wounds seem better over the years, but things like what you and your family went through is a giant wound, and finding it reopened from time to time is probably natural. You had a short life of memories with your mom, and I can imagine the sense of wishing you could share your achievements with her now can be great at times. Never, ever apologize for feeling sad sometimes. I think it shows how rich your heart is.

Maggie May said...

I can just third or fourth Anymommy- reprocessing, yes, especially a sudden heartbreaking loss. I'm so sorry you lost your mom so suddenly, so young. I didn't know.

I'm glad you shared this.

Christy said...

I haven't read the halloween post yet, but I want to say I'm so sorry that your mom passed suddenly, so young. It's tragic, and so sad, and you have every right to get sad whenever you need to. I've heard great things about the book on tape you listened to -- it's helped a couple of my friends out too. I hope you get to give lots of hugs today, and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend together! Big hugs!

Zip n Tizzy said...

My cousin lost her father at 9.
She's in her 60's now and she says you just never fully get over it.
You're right, it is important to just keep doing the dailyness and let those important to us know they're important, but we understand if you find yourself on occasion with the mean reds.
We love you even still.

Captain Dumbass said...

You can't get to Tiffany's, but you can probably find a danish. Let the mean reds out, they don't do any good stuck inside.

bernthis said...

I read Joan Didion's book. It was incredible. I think you are doing exactly the right thing by just living in the now. xo

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