I've neglected this page. Not that I imagine anyone's on tenterhooks waiting for my next post; I just don't like to let things go unattended. I'm a doer,  a list-maker; my father's daughter, I like to "git 'er done." But sometimes your list gets shot to shit. Sometimes life gets in the way.  Earth-shattering life, the kind where you lose your footing as sure as if a temblor had passed beneath you. I said goodbye to my dear, sweet mama in September, and things have looked very different since then. I'm sure a lot of you know first-hand all that comes with that. If that's true for you, please know you have my sympathies. Sincerely.

Thousands of miles separated us, but my mom and I talked nearly every day on the phone. We had a system worked out, a code. She'd call from Pennsylvania in the morning once she was up so that when I woke on the west coast three hours later, I'd see her missed call and know she was okay. I'd have my coffee then ring her once I'd dropped Wyatt at school. All these months later, it's the rare morning that goes by when I don't have that split-second thought to pick up the phone to call her on my drive back from dropping Wyatt at the train. Every time, I shake my head as if to clear something stuck, then give her my monologue on the thises and thats of my life out loud.

Being with my brother (my rock) at our mother's bedside those days-turned-into-nights-turned-into-goodbye was one of the greatest gifts of my life. There's a long story I won't tell here, but trust me when I say I know that my mother in all her stubbornness and strength willed everything that happened so I could be across the country with her and Joel when she left. She was a force to be reckoned with, Dona was. She was a light. She was a laugher, a dancer, a hoot. She was fiercely loyal and could hold a grudge like nobody's business, but one kind word and she'd melt like butter on burnt toast (her favorite.) She baked a Texas sheet cake so delicious you'd want to eat it by the fistful and preferred Pepsi to Coke. She is so very, dearly missed.

But our Dona instilled in me a fair amount of her iron strength--I am also my mother's daughter--and slowly, surely, I'm finding my footing once again. The path just looks very different now.