my Mother, My Friend

Friday, December 17, 2010

watching over

i often look on-line to see the weather on the way to where Onyx-Rose lives.

For many years she and i traveled these Roads together. The I-5 corridor between the State of Jefferson; the True Northern California; up through the state of Oregon where we shared many adventures... road trips and just plane trips... not the drug induced kind... the kind where you fall into a Rabbit hole like Alice and wonder what land you've gotten yourself into.

Snowy, icy roads were my least favorite memories. Onyx taught me how to drive Stick shift in a '62 V.W. bug on the windy winter roads of the small Buckaroo town of Molalla. The roads to 'Dickey prairie' where we lived on the outskirts of town were nauseating and fraught with the ever present threat of sliding off into the river.

Rose was intrepid and exceedingly patient with me...she always showed confidence and never coddled me when my desire was to freak out and give up the wheel...even when both our hands were frozen and petrified by the arctic temperatures. She knew i could do it. In fact we both learned an important skill while negotiating hairpin curves heading down to town. The Bug was bottom heavy ... while we may have started the trip heading forward down-hill.. swoop, fwoop... & we were instantly heading backwards in a slippery slide.... ....slooop! schheerpslerp! 

"i say old chap were We headed up the hill or down the hill???"

Needless to say ...we learned how to drive that little Buggy backwards in a Hurry! 'Cause there was No getting it turned around till we hit flat ground down the road a couple of miles... which seemed like Hundreds and Hundreds at those times. What an absolute rush THAT was and No Drugs needed! Those were the raw 'grit of your teeth' trips that forge the kind of friendship people need in order to weather the storms life flings at us.
 i think my Sisters are now forming their own weather tight bonds with Onyx-Rose and each other as they travel these roads together between the two states... this has always been a hope of mine<3.
Even though she can no longer drive or see too well, Onyx... Mom.... can still inspire confidence and trust.. patience, in the journey mile by sometimes backward mile.. as she Watches over those she Loves so well.
Thank You for the life and driving lessons MOM... it's because of You that i knew i could learn to drive a Tractor trailer rig pulling a 53 foot trailer... forwards AND backwards  & do it well,
 Even in the worst of weather.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks for giving

                                      Thank You Onyx-Rose!

Thank You for giving Joy & Love to this tribe of individuals. Each one of us holds a part of you within our hearts. Wherever we go, whatever we do, there you are.

 And Here You are with me right now. My thoughts return to all those days you went out  of your way to make celebration a part of our lives.

Thank You for feasts shared with family and friends:
 For sharing Grandpa & Grandma D. whose gardens were full of Roses and fruit tree's. Grandpa's game of "break an egg on your head"...his  menu favorites Ambrosia salad & German chocolate cake! Grandma's Irish Jig; Man could she ever cut the rug!  & her Pot Roasts mm!

 Gettin' hungry?

Thank You for Uncle D. who brought fantastic game & fish to the table, Quail, Elk, Abalone, Swordfish, Javelina (meals were never ordinary), Piggy back rides & jungle gym... a soft round belly to lean up against while watching Roller derby or Wrestling;  good for hiding eyes when those roller "babes" got scary & mean..........
............................Did he put that fuzz in his belly button just to be funny? 

Lost your appetite? (he,he)

Thank You for making sure we spent time with Dad and His side of the family too. You never kept us away from those important connections. While other families split by divorce were playing "Keep away" with the kids,  you were Making sure we had  time with All our relatives.
At Grandma R.'s little cottage We learned to love Goulash, and wonder why one tiny little lady would have all that Candy, overflowing candy dishes all over the house? It was a wonder we had an appetite for dinner after having candy dishes held out....   "Have some Candy sweetheart?" There was always a big spoon at the dinner table scooping out Goulash onto not quite empty plates, and that Lazy Susan going around in circles with a huge assortment of who knows what that 'needed' to find room on your overflowing plate!
.........................We were Love pounded with Food... squishy hugs & cheek pinches.

Thank You for driving us all the way out to the desert to be with Aunt & Uncle M. and all our cousins where we had so much fun we Were a Barrel of monkeys. We were so blessed that you and Dads Sister, Aunt M. stayed such good friends, that's the difference it makes when you share Jesus in common with others. That kind of Love is stronger than anything the world can give.

Thank You for giving us the opportunity:
* To learn how to love, to trust and be brave in new situations with new foods, places and People who matter in our lives no matter how tangled relationships might be.
*To step forward
* Go out into the unknown
*To embrace the moment and the People who love us ....

Though Thanksgiving day finds us filling our bellies with good things,
Our hearts are made Full from the memories of our loved ones who mean so much more than one person can say...
.......................................than i can adequately express in the here and now.

Although we cannot be together on this day  Onyx-Rose, i just want you to know how Thank-full i am for all that You've done, for all that You are and all You've shared with us.

With me.

Your unselfishness in sharing us with our families.... making sure we had time with loved ones no matter how difficult...or far away they were.  

Thank You for filling our lives with the things that matter: Sustenance, Affection,  Celebration, Family....  but most of all Your Love.

                                         Thank You for giving us YOU!

                                        with Love from me:
                                                       # 7 


Saturday, October 16, 2010

#1 Son

J is The first born of the tribe... though a prodigal Son ... he was not the first to leave the home, nor the last... He followed Dad who paved the way to the Big Out There where life seemed more ... that's it More... the Great Big More.
 It's what we all want isn't it? Of course there's More to that, always is. Struggle and pain in the growth cycle of the human soul is not so unusual.
J went searching for His ~More ~ in the wilderness, literally; In the surge of spiritual grasping that hi-lighted the  60's; the Age of Aquarius. 
At a certain point in life; the teenage years; Some of us tend to see ourselves as innovative and original... not so influenced by those that came striking out on our own we see ourselves as shrugging off the Old moldy ideas and ways.
    The 60's were well known for this mindset. Rejecting the examples of those who came before us; Refusing to acknowledge our connectedness to history; we set out in search of something those who came before seemed not to posses... More: knowledge, spirituality, Love, Freedom, care.... Life..
Adventure....wisdom...all those things we think will fill the God shaped void that exists within our souls.
    Onyx had a fantastic library in the hill-top home all her Prodigals launched from. She was an avid researcher, a seeker. We had access to studies on Art, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Science, Home economics, You name it... we had the world at our fingertips and voracious little minds.
Mom tried to teach us to seek, search and dig deep ... never look at just one side of an issue even if it seems ridiculous, there IS always More than meets the eye.
      As is common with parents and their progeny, Onyx and her children did not see eye to eye on many things.  As they all marched into that arena of Independence one after the other some were not outwardly appreciative of her beliefs, though it's clear they didn't really Know what those were... Teenagers often don't find the time or desire to stop and look at their parents, see them for who they are, only that they are not welcome to be a part of this growth spurt that often includes a massive rejection of all things that come in Parental packaging.This was a particularly difficult time for Onyx, being misunderstood is a hard place to be for anyone but having so many teenagers at one long expanse of time must have seemed like the end of the world. All going off in so many ways and not wanting to be interfered with.
    So J. was the trail blazer in  this family of Prodigals & What a trail he blazed!
 In the 60's, bridges were (supposedly) meant to be burned... along with bra's and unfortunately flags and patriotism...loyalty to God and country. "Out with the old ...  in with the new." Onyx did her best to fight the fires, maintain the connections with her scattering offspring though she was in the midst of her own burning building. When we are young i don't think most of us understand that our parents are also in the process of growing up.. specially if they began having children so young themselves. We can be a bit hard on our folks, expecting them to shoulder so much burden and behave in ways we imagine they should, to never challenge our precious sense of what the world is supposed to be.. the role we expect them to fulfill in our lives.
We pigeon hole those who love us, stick them in a tiny little bubble and then disrespect and berate them when that fragile bubble is popped. Teenagers are so quick to do this... some of us never turn back and look with fresh eyes when we finally grow up, leaving a kind of limbo stuck between family members, a big blob of unresolved angst and crusted over feelings.
It's so easy for us to toss off our youthful crumbum behavior as trivial while keeping our hardened concepts of others intact... "Aah, you Know how they are" .
Thankfully Maturity brings with it the rewards of renewal and re-creation of precious relationships. The storms of life have given way to clarity seen in the blue-sky eyes of our own version of
"The Velveteen Rabbit"... Do You remember that story? One of my favorite... along with Shel Silversteens "The giving tree".
Onyx is our family's Velveteen Rabbit.. our loving, Dear, heart & soul.
She is rejoicing in the return of her Prodigal family...children And ex-husband.
Onyx and our father have talked of getting re-married after 48 years apart.
This reunion occurred while at Brother J.s  mountain cabin last Year.
A good # 1 son... Just as Onyx-Rose always said.
Thank You Johnny... for helping  the rebirth of Love.
Thank You Mom... for giving birth to this lovely human being
and re-birth to Love.
You Are Awesome!
Thank You Jesus
for giving us your heart of Love.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Beauty from brokeness

    i was a newborn when Onyx Rose found herself a single parent of seven in a house far removed from her former friends and the "old neighborhood." The one consolation was that her parents were about a mile away..close enough to care and be available for support through the next years trials she would find herself in.
    The one she had chosen to marry had found someone else who was more "needy" of his time & efforts than the eight of us. The story of this other persons "Hole in her heart" would dog us for the rest of our lives. Through numerous encounters with this woman we soon understood that the hole was not In her heart but that the hole was  her heart.
i was a result of my mothers attempt to reconcile with my father. To his credit he did remain in the home til i was born, but the other woman had boldly called my mother to tell her that She was more in need of him than a mother of a newborn and her children; She was "die-ing".  One of many untruths to be dumped upon the lives of the innocent.
   After his exit from our home, My father took up the role of Santa Clause... the Easter bunny and sometimes Dracula on Halloween... the Good time Guy who took us out to Farrel's ice-cream parlor, Aunt Emma's pancake house and Bobs Big-boy. i know Mom was grateful for this attention to his children but it set up some tension within her  growing brood who needed their father more than he understood,  More than they knew how to express... but Mom did... and was met with excuses and reasons why his chosen path prohibited more engagement with his children. We heard it all the time... there was So much work to be done, money made in "The business", then we would All be together more and life would be grand; til then "Daddy's gotta run!". These sporadic indulgences and dream spinning helped set up that classic of all classics ...Good parent, Bad parent syndrome where no matter How hard my mother worked to support and care for her groaning tribe, she was the one left to discipline the kids, while Dad played Daddy Warbucks and built up our appetites for the good things Mom could not afford as a columnist for the city paper. Mom could not afford the many little things her kids wanted but supplied our needs at great expense nonetheless. We lived on Commodities...Corn meal mush, powdered milk, mystery meat..."Dog food" one Sister calls it. But Onyx made the best of it. One time she concocted a recipe for Mashed Potato Ice cream!O Yeah! it was something?? i think she asked Dad to take us to Farrel's ice-cream parlor after that.
   Any way it was hard on Onyx because our father enjoyed being the 'good parent', party guy, taking his tribe out in his 'Stinkin Lincoln', His favorite car the Lincoln Continental. i don't believe he meant any harm but it could have been easy to grow up with unrealistic expectations, thinking the world out there was one big Pinocchio was drawn into. Some of us children had the funland experience growing up... it gets hairy out there sometimes...donkey ears & all.
  How did Onyx-Rose cope? Sometimes she raged, over the pain of what was... dealing with 7 busy kids and absent partner/father, was mind blowing. Sometimes she withdrew and cried.. i remember the closed door as she sought solace from the storms.
    She picked herself up... became a teachers aid in a preschool and went back to school at night getting her degree in Early Childhood Education and half a Masters. 
    Hard as times were, she did not deprive her children of good things. She took us camping to the desert, the mountains, the beach with bonfires. We attended plays downtown at the Children's festival in Balboa park. Visited the museums, Art galleries and arboretums, the Zoo, Old town San Diego, shopped across the border in Tijuana Mexico. She provided a roof over our heads in a wondrous home with fruit trees, veggies, room to stretch out away from the hustle of the world, dirt to walk barefoot, a pool to cool ourselves, Sun to grow beneath. Music to educate our minds: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana brass, John Gary, Roger Miller, Rachmaninoff, Strauss, Stevie Wonder, The Coasters, Judy Collins, Jose Feliciano, Pete Seeger, The Clancy brothers and Johnny Makem, Johnny Cash and more...she tried to expose us to all kinds of Cultures, and herself was always researching and learning right along with us.

Though her heart was broken in many pieces she did her best to hold her family together under her wings of Love. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In the Begining

 Born in 1933 in the city of San Diego; Onyx Rose (aka:Rosemarie) is the daughter of a Carpenter, sometimes Gardener and a Roaring Twenties Flapper, Rosy The Riveter & sometimes Secretary. She has 2 half  brothers born to her father, and a baby brother stillborn and awaiting to meet us in Heaven.
She was brought up Catholic, though her father was of atheistic leaning; she attended school at Sacred heart Catholic school in the big city.  As a youngster she Rebelled fiercely against Piano lessons, the "Sisters" would find her at home after school instead of at her lessons and would drag her back to sit in the rectory office till Mom or Dad came for her. She had a scruffy dog named Brownie who would push his way out the door and race off down the road with Onyx Hot on his heels yelling "Browniee... Brownieeeee!" A Mighty Rascal, yet to this day dogs are The Most favorite critter in the Universe of Onyx Rose. She's had what amounts to a sizable pack stretched out over her life.. Rascals one and all.
    A woman of strong Independence, Onyx has always had a soft spot in her heart for the Underdog... the critter kind....and the Human kind.
     She fell in Love and Married her best friends brother at the age of 19. They had Seven.... yes 7, bouncing bundles of Independant Personhood... within a Ten year span. We are 2 boys and 5 girls.
     i am the 7th .... the last.... and at just about 48 years old, i will always be,"The baby of the family."
i hope to share The Beauty of My Mother, My Friend, with My family, friends and the world who need to know that This is One Extraordinary Woman Perhaps Her family will join in and share their Memories. We have so much to be Thankful for.
Thank You Onyx For being the Hub of our family. For being both Mother And Father to this Rag-tag troupe of Rascals! Thank You for All you have done; Keeping a safe roof over our heads and bellies well fed. For holding our lives together when your life was breaking apart. For standing up for your beliefs in the fierce face of unbelief. For always hoping for the best & keeping a place open in your Dear heart for your "Prodigals" to return and know what Love truelly is. You are My mentor, My teacher, My Sister and confidant, My Forever Friend, My Father & Mother.

This families Heart...

Our Onyx Rose

(written Biggie style, so she can read it:)