Memories, Mental Health, Neighborhood Miles

Stop Popping the Hostas!

A few days ago, I took a walk downtown; something I haven’t done in a while. It felt good to get out and walk a different path for a change. Although I was out there trying to burn calories, I took time to look around and snap a few photos of things that interested me.

One of the images was of the bell tower in Baker Park. While I’ve seen it hundreds of times, I’ve never noticed the beautiful little path leading up to it. While walking that path I came across a patch of hostas in bloom with soft purple flowers, and instantly a vivid memory of my childhood came rushing in.

The suburban home I grew up in had a small yard that my mom and dad kept neat and tidy. In the backyard, along our garage, was a row of lush hostas that I’m guessing had been there for many years. When I was little, those plump, purple buds … just before they bloomed … were like bubble wrap to me. Yup, you read that right. I just couldn’t help myself from taking the delicate petals between my fingers and squeezing them. The popping sound they made delighted me. Of course, I imagine it didn’t delight my mom.

I can’t actually recall her scolding me for popping the hostas, which makes me wonder if she ever noticed. (Who am I kidding? Of course, she did.) It’s more likely that she did yell at me and I just don’t remember. What I do know is that I would have completely deserved the telling-off!

While I would never even consider defiling a beautiful hosta today, this memory made me think about how I’ve shielded myself this last year; building a soft, delicate bubble around my memories just waiting to be popped. Or, perhaps, just waiting to bloom? Either way, I think it’s time to pop this “hosta.” Who knows, maybe I’ll be delighted at what I find?

Until next time …

Here are a few more photos from my walk …

Mental Health

Finding My Way Back

Several weeks ago, a friend and I met over cocktails and discussed ideas to help us get out of our writing rut. We made a pinky promise that we would both document our summer … at least one blog post a month. I have to be honest … I didn’t think I would keep my promise, but here it is. My first summer post, which—I must warn you—isn’t a fun, summery read. But it’s real, and that’s where I’ll begin.

My last post was more than a year ago—March 8, 2021—a few weeks before my mother went in for heart surgery. Since then, it’s been a year (actually 14 months) of lots of changes, starting with the unexpected loss of my mom in April 2021, followed by Bella’s cancer diagnosis in June, seeing Connor off to college 1,400 miles away in July, the loss of Cora on October 30, the loss of Bella exactly two months later on December 30, and my 50th birthday this March (this one stung—I felt my mom’s absence more than I expected that day). Sprinkle in a few seriously big parenting growing pains (oh, and a pandemic), and it’s been a tough one.

I keep thinking it will get better and that my feelings of loss, anxiety, and deep sadness will pass. Unfortunately, they’re not and I know it’s time to speak with someone. That’s hard for me to admit. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in therapy 100%, it’s just I like to think I’m strong enough to get through things on my own.

I do need to add here that my family and friends have been wonderful. They’ve listened, offered support, and cared … for that, I’m so very thankful. But this is unlike anything I’ve felt before and it’s time to admit to myself that a qualified professional is what’s needed. I’m putting this out there for you all to read not so you feel sorry for me, but maybe as a lifeline for someone else who might be feeling the same way. Mental health is hard. Really hard. And it’s something that we don’t talk enough about.

So, first things first, I will find someone to help me through this rough season of my life. I want to fully appreciate all the little things again. They’re there … I know they are, and I’m working on finding my way back to them and to myself.

Until next time…

P.S. Be sure to visit my friend’s blog Paris Is Calling. You’ll thank me later!