Wednesday, May 12, 2010


On Tuesday, I began learning my first Janis Joplin song. I'd say that's a milestone for me...most definitely. Later in the week, I began learning Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" and, the icing on the cake, George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Music has been utterly consuming my world lately. If it weren't for those damned barre chords, I'd be a guitar badass. It'll all come with time, I know. But, as I journey deeper into the realm of listening to and playing music, I'm finding that my musical tastes are becoming so varied. It's awesome. Seriously, I don't push the "Next" button on my iPod nearly as much. I feel like I'm really hearing and feeling music like I never have before.

On a related note, there is a silver lining to depression. Everyone has highs and everyone has lows. Most people live day to day only experiencing the in-between. When the lows cut you down the point of near non-existence, it's the worst pain in the world. But, in turn, when the highs come back around, they are even more magnificent. One is much more likely to acknowledge them and appreciate them. It doesn't have to be much. Rain can be falling all around you for lengthy periods of time, but that one rainbow that peeks through unexpectedly is the most beautiful thing & that moment is one to hold on to. And remember.

Sometimes, I can't believe how something as simple as my guitar can give me so much hope. There is a feeling that comes with perfecting a song that I've been working on for weeks. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to perform for an audience on a regular basis and have such a wonderful organization of supporters. For those few moments on that stage, the world can't touch me....I am as high as high can be. The entire music experience leads up to that moment...hearing, feeling, and finally emoting. It's intense and incredible.

I'm still fighting the uphill battle against my depression and anxiety, but one week into my new meds and several guitar practice sessions later, I feel like I've taken a step. One step. That's all I need for now. It's progress. I've willingly seen the sun more this week than I have in ages. I've pulled myself out of my house a few times just to run a menial errand or two...something I literally did not have the strength or willpower to do one week ago. I even dressed up once just to feel pretty for the day. For a few hours, I did feel pretty and it was nice.

Who knows what next week holds for long as I don't digress, I consider everyday progress. I've realized that I have to take the "one day at a time" thing quite literally and that's just fine by me. Adam and I will celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary on Monday. I have my 3rd showcase next Sunday. I am playing 3 songs. Throughout my entire life, 3 has been an important number. I don't know what significance that has here, just thought I'd mention it. I'm thinking I may finally officially join a gym this week. It's always nice to have something to look forward to and my birthday is coming up in July. I'd like to be healthier...and thinner...but, healthier first.

I leave you with a lyric from a song that I am performing next weekend. It is quite fitting, in my opinion.

"Strange how hard it rains now
Rows & rows of big, dark clouds
But I'm still alive underneath this shroud...
Rain, rain, rain...."

-Patty Griffin, "Rain"

Monday, May 10, 2010

Letter to Mother: My First Mother's Day Without You

Dearest Mother,

I don't know what I expected to feel when I decided to come home for Mother's Day this year. The drive here(and the week leading up to it) had me in a heartbroken panic. I still cannot believe you're really gone. All I want this weekend is to cook breakfast for you, sit on the couch together, and talk with you like we used to. I remember when I was a kid, we'd make you breakfast every Mother's Day morning and bring it to you in bed. I'm sorry we stopped doing that. Correction; I'm sorry I stopped doing that. I really should have appreciated you more while you were here. I cannot change the past, but just know that I love and appreciate you immensely now. Hindsight's always 20/20, right?

Sometimes I find butterflies around me and I like to think it's you trying to make your presence known. This time of year, butterflies migrate through Austin. They're everywhere, Mom! One followed Adam into our house one morning last week. It sat in his shoulder as he climbed the stairs to our bedroom, where I was sleeping. It woke me up by crawling all over me. That was you, wasn't it?

Last year, we were all together on this weekend. It was Kelsey's graduation. We made you breakfast and we all had dinner together at Carino's. You looked beautiful. I distinctly remember thinking that. You and I spent hours together at your work office. I cut your hair in the back bathroom. You loved it. That weekend is one of my most treasured memories. It would be so great if we could do it again. Someday, I guess...

We all miss you so very much. Life is just not the same without you. You should still be here. We should be celebrating this weekend together. But, I do know that you are now in a much better, more beautiful place with Grammy and Lonzo. Sometimes, that is not much consolation to me because all I want is to see your smiling face and hear your infectious laugh once again. I still have voicemails from you. I listen to them often. I'm afraid I'll forget your voice. Hearing you say "I love you very much, girlie" always makes me smile through my tears. I keep your picture by my bedside. It's so weird not having you, Grammy, or Lonzo here when I come to visit. It just doesn't feel like home anymore. Nowhere does, really.

I'm trying my best with Krista. Sometimes, I just don't know what I'm supposed to be doing, though. That's when I need you the most. She is such an amazing kid, Mom. She's such a true blessing to have in our home. You did such a great job with her. I only wish you could be here to watch her grow into a young woman. She does so well in school but she seems lost without you. I guess most 16 years olds are lost in one way or another. But, I can't imagine my life without you in it at age 16. I remember we butted heads quite often and most times pretty intensely, but I know now that it was for the greater good. You loved me enough to let me be angry with you.

As much as it pains me to say it, your grave is you. Flowers, wind chimes, pinwheels, & pretty little flags surround it. It radiates light in a weird, but beautiful way. I wish I could visit more often...

I'll be honest, though. I didn't visit your grave today. I'm in so much pain and I only wanted this day to be over. I slept through most of it and avoided people like the plague. It was hard to watch Adam and his mother interact today. I will even go as far as to say, I felt a little resentful. I find myself feeling so alone these day, Mom. Even when we were on the outs, I never felt like this. I knew you were right around the corner if I needed you.

It's been such a sad, sad day without you, but I allowed myself to feel the pain. I even dreamt of you. In the dream, we were together and we went to Grammy's house for dinner. It's unfortunate that what once was our reality and now my fantasy...a distant memory. It won't ever happen again. For the living, death is so final. Knowing that you can never again have what you once had is a hard pill to swallow. The reality of it all is very difficult to come to terms with. I'm just glad you never had to feel any of this.

Mom, I still can't wrap my head around it all. I mean, I have no choice now but to live the remainder of my life without you. That is just too big for me to accept, even now, 10 months after your death. I know it will take time. But, I am impatient. You know were the same way. It's such a shame that you passed away without fully knowing how much of an impact you had(& still have) on so many people. Especially me.

I feel as if I could write forever because, in some way, it makes me feel like I'm really talking to you again. You never were one to listen for a long time and I was always one to ramble on & on & on. By the way, Kelsey gets her short attention span from you, which is all too obvious now. I find it funny, really. For your sake, I'll wrap this up.

Mom, you mean the universe to me. You were/are my mother and that can never be taken away from us. You will always be my Mama. Even when I become one myself. This year I write to you with a heavy, broken heart but the memory of your smile sends butterflies racing through my soul. Most importantly, thank you. There is nothing I could ever say or do to express my love and gratitude for you. You carried me & nurtured me and, without you, there would be no "me".

I believe there is a special place in Heaven for mothers. I hope your day there was beautiful beyond words. Please tell Grammy that I thought of her so much today and I love her immensely.

God, I miss you. I love you. XOXO.

Your forever loving daughter,

Kira Marie
age 25