Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I got tagged!

This is from my friend Kathy at church:

1.What is your occupation? Mother, choir director, iconographer, workforce development professional

2.What color are your socks right now? Socks? I don't DO socks. The last time I wore hose of any sort was a year ago Thanksgiving when I was home in Boston.

3.What are you listening to right now? The clatter of the keys on my keyboard and Poochie snoring

4.What is the last thing you ate? Lunch: Lidya's lentil soup, half a bagel and a yogurt

5.Can you drive a stick shift? Yes, but its ugly!

6.If you were a crayon, what color would you be? I can never answer this question - every color has its beauty!

7.Last person you spoke to on the phone? Elisabeth's Baba Dorothy

8.Do you like the person who sent this to you? Absolutely!

9.How old are you today? 51

10.Favorite nonalcoholic Drink? ice water

11.What is your favorite sport to watch? Figure skating, but its not as much fun to watch alone as it was with my mother

12.Have you ever dyed your hair? Oh yes! And Cat dyed my hair as well - first fire engine red, then purple. I mean, aubergine. Yes, aubergine. After that, I decided to wash away the gray myself with Copper Penny, until my white streak in my bangs turned pink.

14.Pets? Puccini, the fat and spoiled shih tzu and Maggie, the spoiled tabby

15.Favorite food? Lobster, chocolate, Thai, Indian, stuffed artichokes, my grandmother's gravy

16.What was the last movie you watched? I re-watched two movies the other night: The 40 Year Old Virgin and Bride and Prejudice.

17.Favorite month of the year? Not a favorite month per se, but I love fall.

18.What do you do to vent anger? Blog

19.What was your favorite toy as a child? Guadalupe

20.What is your favorite season? see #17

22.Cherries or Blueberries? blueberries

23 email you back? Yes

24.Who is most likely to respond? Not respond? To MOI?????

25.Who is least likely to respond? See #24

26.Living arrangements? I live with a lazy, demented dog, a spoiled evil cat who hates me with a virulent and painful passion, and my 17 year old dear daughter. Somebody help me!

27.When was the last time you cried? Yesterday

28.What is on the floor of your closet? Shoes, clothes hamper, clothes, water color paper, art portfolio, jar of loose change

29. The friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? Ellen

30.What did you do last night? dozed on the sofa and then read

31.Favorite smell? bread baking, freshly bathed babies, puppies mouths, KL perfume (alas, no longer made), Bill's neck

32.What inspires you? Beauty. God is Beauty.

33.What are you afraid of? Success

34.Plain,cheese or spicy hamburgers? Yes

36.Favorite dog breed? Small couch potato lap dogs

37.Number of keys on your key ring? 1 car key, 1 house key, 1 rental house key, 2 church keys

38.How many years at your current job? Current job with GA DOL since August, 2006

39.Favorite day of the week? Sunday afternoons

40.What states have you lived in? MA, NH, CA, GA and Mexico

41.Favorite holiday? Pascha (Easter)

42. Ever driven a Motorcycle or heavy machinery? I've ridden on a mortorcycle, but never driven one. I have driven a huge truck and earth moving equipment.

43.Who's your favorite NFL team? What is NFL? Does it has to do with figure skating?

44. Do you have a house phone that is NOT cordless? no

45. 10 inches of snow or 100 degree weather? Neither. They both are unbearable.

Now you know your friends better! Make their day and do something you now know they would like!

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Beatrice Elena Cieri Babineau
March 13, 1919 - February 11, 2005

It has been two years since my mother died. Today, it has been two years. I keep replaying that last day in my head, that last day that I knew would her last day. I remember everything.

After two years, the constancy of the pain has ended. Now, there is only pain when I remember that I will never see her again, or smell her, or talk with her, or hear her voice, or touch her, and that is every single day. But its not constant. There are periods of every day when I'm busy doing something else, or reading, or painting, when I don't remember that my mother is dead.

Sometimes when I remember her, I remember good things and laugh. I tell stories about her to people. Once in a while, I do or say something very Bea-like and my daughter laughs and tells me that I'm channeling her. We laugh together over remembrances about Mom a lot.

But underneath it all, the forever of death is sharp and painful and neverending.

I read Sheila's blog yesterday, and she wrote: "I miss my mother all the time; it only hurts when I think about it, so I try not to think about it too much." I understand. I miss my mother too, and I miss her mother as well. Love is strong - it won't allow itself to be severed - so you go on loving but with nowhere to actually "put" that love, because the person is gone.

When Adam and Eve were thrown out of Paradise, they were told that the results of their sin would cause them to live by the sweat of their brow and to bear children in pain. That pain is not physical labor pains, I don't think, not at all. That pain is knowing that death and separation are inevitable, and you will be separated from those you love the most. You will die and those you love will die.

The biggest pain is this: Whatever I'm feeling, the pain and loss and loneliness and separation, my death will inflict on my daughter. Deep sigh.

Today, as is the Orthodox custom, my parish will serve a memorial service for my mother following liturgy. The words of the prayers are so beautiful -- I pray them for my mother regularly:

O God of spirits and of all flesh, who has trampled down Death and overthrown the devil, and given life to the world; Do Thou, the same Lord, give rest to the soul of Thy departed handmaid, Beatrice, in a place of brightness, a place of verdure, a place of repose, where all sickness, sorrow and sighing have fled away. Pardon every transgression which she has committed, whether by word, or deed, or thought. For Thou art a good God and lovest mankind; because there is no man who lives and sins not: for Thou only art without sin, and Thy righteousness is to all eternity, and Thy word is truth.

Give rest with the just, O our Saviour, to Thy handmaid, Beatrice, and establish her in Thy courts as it is written; not regarding her sins, as Thou art good, whether voluntary or involuntary, and all things commmitted in knowledge or in ignorance, O Thou who lovest mankind.

With the saints give rest, O Lord, to the soul of Thy handmaid, Beatrice, where there is neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting.

Thou only art immortal, who has created and fashioned man. For out of the earth were we mortals made, and unto the earth shall we return again, as Thou did command when Thou made me, saying: For earth thou art, and unto the earth shalt thou return. Wither also all we mortals wend our way, making our funeral dirge the song: Alleluia!

Give rest O Lord, to the soul of Thy handmaid Beatrice, departed this life.

With the spirits of the Righteous made perfect, give rest to the soul of Thy handmaid, Beatrice, O Lord, and preserve her in that life of blessedness which is with Thee, O Thou who lovest mankind. In the place of Thy rest, O Lord, where all Thy saints repose, give rest also to the soul of Thy handmaid, Beatrice, O Lord, for Thou only lovest mankind.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Thou art God who descended into hell and loosed the bonds of the captives: Do Thou also give rest to the soul of Thy handmaid, Beatrice, O Lord.

Now and Ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O Virgin alone pure and undefiled, who without seed brought forth God, pray that her soul may be saved.