the Bucky Four-Eyes Cotillion

Monday, October 16, 2006


Wednesday was always the day Mom's letters arrived. For all the years that we lived in different cities, she wrote to me once a week. I can totally back that claim up by opening the large plastic storage bin in my closet that is stuffed, to the proverbial gills, full of her missives.

She'd write about sports; she loved her Detroit Tigers, and rooted for Detroit teams in other sports; mostly, though, she was about hating rival teams, which is pretty amusing, considering how dainty and refined she was. She hated the Cubs, she hated any University of Michigan team, and she always referred to Toronto's baseball team as "Those nasty Blue Jays."

She'd write about politics; after my dad passed away, she really refined her inner pissed-off liberal. She wrote lots of letters to newspaper editors, too. I'm sure she was probably known as "that lefty" in Grand Haven, which just makes me smile a lot. When I'd go over to visit, I'd see her tuning in something like Rush Limbaugh, and I'd say "Mom! Why do you watch him when he irritates you so much?" and she'd say, "Have to see what the enemy's up to."

Once I started watching General Hospital a few years ago, she'd write her opinions of the latest storylines and characters. She had little use for too much kissy-face in the plot - she was more in it for the secret agent capers and Luke's banter - and had even less use for any of the teenagers on the show. She always bemoaned the arrival of summer, when the teen plotlines would be pushed to the forefront to attract kids who'd be home all day for three months. She didn't try to sugarcoat her thoughts, and she'd say things like "Somebody needs to slap Carly's mouth shut!" She wasn't wrong.

She'd write about how the weather had been, and what my siblings and other relatives were up to. Sometimes she'd include a little reminiscence from her childhood, never anything huge or dramatic, but just little details she remembered, and would just jot down out of nowhere in my letters. I always really dug that a lot. Stuff about cans of soup in the pantry and flood refugees and my grandmother making eggs...just random stuff, kind of a "by the way" moment.

I don't remember exactly when, but at some point she began including pages from a cat calendar that Squirl gave her (and, obviously, continued to give her). She'd always include at least two, and sometimes three. And darn, we all know how much I hate lookin' at cats. Mom adored cats, but hadn't had one of her own since the early '90s, so it was nice that we could still share kitty moments. I think everybody in our family reverts to about five years old in the presence of animals, especially of the feline persuasion. Blame it on Mom.

Last Wednesday, when the mail came, I realized there was no letter from Mom, would never be another letter from Mom, and that's when the concept of losing her finally came home to roost. The hospice nurse told us that the real kick in the chest would come later on, and for me, that was the moment the reality of it socked me as hard as it could swing. No more letters from Mom, something that had been a constant in my life for so many years. Squirl told me that maybe that would be the hardest Wednesday, and that each one would get easier and easier. I know it will, but I'm still dreading mid-week's arrival.

I miss her, we all miss her so much; if you'd known her, you'd miss her, too.

28 of you felt the overwhelming need to say somethin':

Blogger Unknown said...

I miss her because you miss her Bucky. She sounds like such a special lady.

I think Squirl's right. That was the hardest one, after that, they'll get a little bit easier each time.

Love you... hugs...

12:54 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger Squirl said...

I know you warned me to wait until I got home, but I couldn't help myself.

That was a great post. And call me if you need me this Wednesday.

1:24 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger Candy said...

Oh baby. Im so sorry. I knew missing her letters would be hard on you, missing her. Kisses to you.

1:27 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger Platypus said...

Bucky that was a beautiful post and makes me feel like I knew your Mum too. Massive hugs from me too. xx

2:29 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger Lori Denine and her cat said...


Her spirit was certainly with those Tigers. She would be overjoyed eh?!

She touches many hearts through you. All of the love, strength and courage and the many other great qualities she has passed onto to you will pull you through.


2:58 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger LadyBug said...

Oh, honey. I don't even know what to say.

I'm so sorry...sorry that this is so hard, so fresh, still...sorry that you're going through it...and sorry that I can't stop Wednesday from coming.

But, sweetie, what about that huge storage bin of letters? How about opening one each Wednesday, re-reading your Mom's loving words to you, and working your way through that box, one letter at a time, one Wednesday at a time? Might that help cushion the blow of that kick in the chest?

I love you, Bucky.

And P.S. This was a beautifully written tribute to your mom. Just lovely.

2:59 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ladybug - What a really great idea that is!

3:10 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger hemlock said...

The first Wednesday must have been super hard. And I think Squirl's right too, it'll get just that little bit easier every week.


3:59 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

When my grandfather passed away years ago, my Mom and Aunt had a similar issue as yours. He didn't write letters regularly, but he would call on April Fool's day and pull a prank. One year, neither the call nor the prank came. And they knew.

Maybe Wednesday will be your day to adopt a new tradition to pass along.

5:13 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger PlazaJen said...

I am glad you have all her letters, because someday they will give you joy & comfort. My biggest grief from the burglary came from the fact they took my computer, and with it, my father's last emails to me. Sigh.
I'm still waiting for the kick-in-the-gut moments to pass, and I think maybe they never do, they just don't last so long. Your mom sounds like she was a wonderful person and you'll have so many points in your life where you'll smile and feel her in the moment.

5:14 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger Dixie said...

I hate to say it, but those kick in the gut moments never really go away. They will be less often as time goes by. I'm sorry you've had your first one.

7:31 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger SierraBella said...

Ladybug has a wonderful idea!

Beautiful post, by the way. You really nailed that feeling of emptiness and loss.

7:31 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger Spilling Ink said...

Whenever I had any news of any kind to report, I would pick up the phone and call my father. Just when I started to get used to the idea that he was gone and got out into the world to do something besides work, I was reminded like you are now. I had great news to report and I picked up the phone and started to dial his number... and then I remembered that he could not be there to answer.

I wish I could come over there and give you a hug. I wore my rose colored glasses today and they made me think of you. Ya know, Bucky, I'm thinkin' - let your sorrow be softened a little by the extras that come with a broken furnace. Love is good. Much love to you.

9:36 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger I'm not here. said...

(((huge hugs)))

9:59 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger Susie said...

Yea, I wanna endorse LadyBug's idea, too. That is such a good one, it ALMOST makes up for her monkey-murdering ways.

What a treasure chest that plastic storage bin is. Email is great, but it doesn't compare to paper, with handwriting, that you can fold and unfold, touch.

This is a beautiful post, sis. Hugging you in my heart, always.

10:21 PM, October 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there... I can only imagine your loss.

11:43 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger Lynnster said...

I'm not much of a commenter, but I read here pretty regularly and I was reading this yesterday during my lunch break, laughing and smiling with you thru it all until the last paragraph, and then I just lost it and boo-hooed... probably right along with you.

I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad a little over three years ago, following far too many of my closest friends. I can't really say it gets better or that much easier... but it does get different at least. You'll get there. Hang in there and will be thinking good thoughts for you and your family...

3:19 AM, October 17, 2006  
Blogger Bone Machine said...

That post is a thing of great beauty.

1:43 PM, October 17, 2006  
Blogger Maven said...

I wish I knew your mom in real life. From the looks of it, from the outside here in the 'sphere, she sounds like she was one hell of a lady.

Good vibes to you for tomorrow.

You know she lives on, not just in those letters, but in the stories you tell about your mom. Poofy hair and all.

3:13 PM, October 17, 2006  
Blogger Kranki said...

Ah Bucky. I am sorry. Ladybug has such a good idea but I can only imagine how hard those Wednesdays are going to be. As sad as it is I loved this post becuase I really got a sense of your mom. What a lovely lady. Hugs to you.

5:17 PM, October 17, 2006  
Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

Thanks, everybody. I appreciate all your kind words and thoughts. Perhaps I will take monkey-murdering LadyBug up on her idea.

Now I shall endeavor to post something that isn't whiny. :)

8:34 PM, October 17, 2006  
Blogger MilkMaid said...

I'm behind...what a touching post.

6:01 AM, October 18, 2006  
Blogger Opera Gal said...

dammit, you made me cry.

8:37 AM, October 18, 2006  
Blogger eclectic said...

Not whiny -- lovely. Sorry it's so hard, but at least you know she'll never get too far away from your memory as long as Wednesdays keep rolling around.

10:44 AM, October 18, 2006  
Blogger Susie said...

Here's a Wednesday hug for you. I love you, little sister.

10:56 AM, October 18, 2006  
Blogger dashababy said...

It's been awhile since I visited your blog but I came by to check and see how you are doing. What a great post. I think Ladybugs' idea is great too.
Big hugs to you my dear although it is little consolation. xoxoxoxo

5:55 PM, October 19, 2006  
Blogger The Q said...

I'm so freaking tardy it's disgusting (hello! It's Friday night, Wednesday is long gone Soozie?!?! I'm super sorry but we've been so busy at the store)...I'm so sorry you're going through this. I cannot FATHOM losing my Mom so when I think about you, know that it's with the deepest of sympathy.

1:05 AM, October 21, 2006  
Blogger Flying Mermaid said...

Damn, girl, you know I'm feeling every inch of you! Been 2 months for me, but I'm still rattling around my mother's house by myself, uncertain how to leave.....

4:02 AM, October 21, 2006  

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