I love you so so so so so so so so so so so so…. much

Terri’s been close by these last few weeks. And I’ve been searching for a way to pay homage to her on this first anniversary of the day she left this earth.  In a way that makes sense to a six year old…

As Terri said in her May 30th, 2012 post, “Today is the second anniversary of my mom’s passing. It’s a weird day. You don’t really want to “celebrate” per se. But the day cannot go unrecognized. All day long she has been with me. In my thoughts. In my prayers. In my meditation session. In the James Taylor music that came on the radio. I know she is helping me on this journey. But I still wish she were here in person, alive, to hold me and cheer me through it all. She was always my biggest cheerleader. I miss you mom!”

We miss you too Terri… And we wish you were here in person, alive, to hold Miss M and all of us close…

But somehow, someway, we were able to figure out how to honor this day. For you… With you… Through the guidance you provided…

It all started with my idea to start a new tradition of decorating their Christmas tree on this “anniversary”. Heron loved the idea, and Miss M was up bright and early, eager to start our day.

As she savored her whipped cream decorated oatmeal, we scrolled through photos on my computer, watching video after video of her as a toddler. One captured Miss M, Terri and I preparing for a special surprise anniversary dinner that Miss M and I had created for Terri and Heron. The time was ripe…

“So, you know how people celebrate special days like birthdays and anniversaries? Like you and I did in the video for Mamãe and Papi? Well today is a special day like that.”

“I know we are going to decorate our tree.”

“That’s right! But it’s also the day that Mamãe went to heaven last year. Remember how we used to go to Ptown to remember Nana Canada? We would go to the cemetery and out for ice cream and go out to eat? We used to go on the day Nana Canade went to heaven. We went with Mamãe, Papi, and Grandpa. And Nana Nana and your Aunties. Well today is a day to remember Mamãe and how much she loved you and how much we loved her.”

“Are we going to have a party?”

“Sort of… Jamie’s coming and Aunty Eryka. And we will decorate the tree and then go out in nature like Mamãe loved to do.”

“Ok.”

And that was that…

We prepped the living room. I ran to the grocery store. Jamie arrived and Papi got a fabulous tree. Music filled the house.

And then there were these moments… Like when Miss M lovingly opened the ornaments I bought her last year with pictures of her and Mamãe, and found the perfect spot on the tree for them. Or when Papi lifted her up to place the Nana Canada star at the top of the tree. Or when he took her upstairs to get a surprise for Aunty L- the blue light necklace given to him by hospice last year on the day Terri died. We told Miss M the story again about how Papi came to Dartmouth the day Mamãe died and brought her the blue light. He reminded her it stayed lit for 3 days because that was how long it took for her to get to heaven…

We eventually made our way to the beach. Late in the afternoon, when the sun was just beginning to make its descent. As Miss M made up racing game after racing game for Aunty Eryka and I, Papi quietly spread Terri’s ashes in the ocean. A single seagull sat perched on the jetty.

“He has been sitting there the whole time we were here. He is people watching,” joked Heron.

“If you ask me it’s Terri. She’s been here all along,” I replied. Aunty Eryka tearfully agreed!

As the sun sank into the horizon, Miss M instructed Aunty Eryka and I to put o’s between all the s’s she was making in the sand. They started right after, “I love you”.

“Who is this for?” I asked.

“Mamãe.”

As she made her way farther and farther away, Eryka and I tried to make sense out of what she was doing.

“S.O.S.??”

When we finally reached her, way up near the car, I asked her, “What are you making??”

“I love you so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, much…”

In the end, it was Terri Luanna’s precious daughter, born of the mother love created by Terri, and her mother, Jeanne, before her, who payed the highest homage to her mother.

I will leave you with a slideshow, inspired by a musical visit I received from Terri a few weeks ago.I was driving home one night when the Laura Nyro song, Triple Goddess Twilight, came on my Pandora. The lyrics evoked repeated flashes of our Terri Luanna… And her mother, Jeanne… And daughter, Miss M… Triple Goddesses.

On my ride home tonight I was feeling drained. Empty. I had put Laura Nyro on my Pandora. Suddenly, it came on…

Love, Aunty L

 

 

17 Responses

  1. We went on a candle March this evening to welcome Christmas. A tradition in Montreal. It ends at a park with a beautiful lake and normally it is classical music that plays but tonight, it was Quebec’s number one DJ who brought out the dance beats. Everyone was grooving. And then when the fireworks started and lit up the sky, the first boom hit my chest and my eyes filled with tears as I looked up and felt Ter.

    So-so-so much love for her all over the world. Thinking of you all today and always.

    (Ps. Solène’s nicknames have been lulu and so-so so your post today made me smile)

  2. I little shiver went through me when you mention the s’s on the beach and making the o’s to go with them — it was as if Nana Canada were reminding me of the last lines of Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “Filling Station” — where the so-so-so also appears: back in the old days it was the sound folks made to calm horses, she writes elsewhere. And each ‘o’ you put in was another of Jeanne’s wonderful ensos — each one unique, yet all the same, too — I remember her almost *flinging* one onto her Buddha board at one point during our one visit on Bowen, and even ventured to send her one of my own in one of the letters we exchanged. Years ago I did a palinode of “Filling Station” — so many things change over time — beloved places change owners, beloved bodies are left behind, — but the qualities and the experiences that made them beloved are eternal, and transcend the transitory and temporal.

    Here’s a link to EB’s poem — http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182897

    and one to mine — http://elizabethbishopcentenary.blogspot.com/2010/08/where-old-filling-station-was-my-but.html

    Much love to you all on this sad and happy anniversary. — John

    • I so loved your reminder of Jeanne’s ensos… Yet another symbol of their continued “presence” in our lives. Love, Aunty L

  3. What a lovely way to remember Terri. Sad, happy, meaning-full. Life goes on, and so do we; changed forever by the love and memories, ever green 🎄. My heart goes out to all of you, especially Heron and Spider. Please give them a hug for me, will you? And here’s one for you, too. 💚

  4. Thank you so so so so so much for posting this. I had Terri’s transition date in my phone and will honor her every year, and also at so many other moments of the year as she pops into my awareness. Your words touched my heart. I pray for you all and Heron and MissM to have peace and joy.

    • So so good to hear from you Renee… You literally, just “popped up” yesterday- I have been re-reading Terri’s blog, and she was paying homage to the immense healing she received from you. We are feeling your prayers…

      • Aww! Thank you Auntie L! Terri literally changed my life- as she did for so many others. She encouraged me to quit my secure “day job” to pursue my healing work full time, as I didn’t have the courage to do it for many years. Every time I saw her she said, “Have you quit your job yet? THIS is what you should be doing!” So six months ago I took the leap into the unknown- as she would so easily do with things in her life- and I quit my day job to do my healing work! And I said aloud to her, “Terri, I’m doing it! And I’m gonna need your help!” It’s been the best thing I’ve ever done! I love what I do! We had just talked on the phone two months before she passed and she insisted we make plans that I come visit in the spring. She wanted me to see the town and thought maybe I might want to move there to do my work. She wasn’t feeling her best, but yet here she was trying to help me out! Then she transitioned in December and I knew I had to quit my job. Life is too short. Terri grabbed it with gusto and I needed to also. It was like I could feel her continuing to ask if I’d quit yet. I feel so blessed to have known such a beautiful soul, inside and out. I still “see” her in others sometimes. It may be a look in the eye, the shape of a nose of someone.. of course its not her, but I feel a momentary glimpse of her continuing influence.. and I am grateful.

      • And she continues to “speak” and inspire and move us towards our dreams… Thank you for sharing. I feel Terri is sending me a message through you… Through this blog.. Through Marisa… As her friend Eryka just said; “The awesomeness that is Terri…”

  5. I feel like I was there and part of the day, thanks to your beautiful words and pictures. I love and appreciate your gift for making art with life. You and your sisters (and children) are all amazing – embracing music, dance, magic, love, family… it’s no wonder Spider loved Jeanne so much. And Terri, Terri loved us all, she was like an ambassador, so incredible. Thanks, Auntie L!

  6. My heart just broke. Again.
    But in a good way, if that makes any sense. Thank you for the post, it’s been hard to imagine that a year has passed since Terri left us. I’ve been thinking of her and Jeanne and all of you all week. The photos were wonderful, especially the light pouring in as Miss M decorates the tree – beautiful.
    Hugs to you all. S.

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