Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Signs of you

Mom, you always believed in "the other side" and "spirits". We used to joke that we would come back and haunt each other. That we would have a list of all the annoying people in our lives and they would be sorry when we were flicking the lights on and off at midnight while they were sleeping. It was all jokes and giggles. 

I took solace in the fact that I knew grandma would visit because we had a strong connection and she "wouldn't just leave us without any goodbye". I remember the night she visited. I was sleeping and it felt like someone was sitting on the edge of my bed. It was her. She looked different. Younger. Her hair was pinned up in puff, super high and there was a light around her. She was skinnier. She was wearing pin strip pants. That was weird. She always wore sweatpants. 

The next morning, I remember coming to you with my concerns: "she was skinny, is she not eating in Heaven? Why wouldn't God feed her?" and "she was dressed fancy, not grandma. Did some other spirit get lost and sit in my room? Maybe YOU Should sleep in there mom, not me?" 

You laughed and cried at me when I told you. You told me that not to worry. IT WAS GRANDMA. But, "when people go to Heaven, they are in a state of perfect health." So, she looked younger and healthier because she was. You said she visited me because you were too sad and upset to get any of her messages, but she knew I was strong enough to get the message to you. I'm glad.

Below is a picture of you. I wonder how old you were. I wonder where on earth you are in this photo. Why didn't I ever ask you? Did you WANT your hair to look like that or was it a mistake? Have you had me already? Were you in high school? Were you not pregnant yet? There are so many things I never asked. I always figured we would have more time I guess. 

Part of me wishes we would have known you were going to die. Maybe if it wasn't so sudden, we could have planned better. I would have been certain that your final wishes were completed. I would have had time to ask all the right questions. I would be able to hold you and hug you and tell you all the things I should have said. Do you think that makes me a bad daughter? I'm glad it was fast and you didn't suffer much. I would never want that. And that is not what I am saying. I guess if I'm aimlessly wishing for a different thing to happen, I should probably be wishing that you never died in the first place. LOL. 
I wonder if this is what your "HEALTHY heaven spirit" would look like? I hope not for fashion's sake, and because I would NEVER be able to recognize  you in heaven.
We used to watch Practical Magic and every time the broom dropped, you used to say, "I promise to leave you signs when I go" and we would laugh. 

Well mom, the broom never fell. 

Last night, I read an article by Silvia Brown, you loved her. She said, our loved ones leave all sorts of signs: (1) they visit in dreams (2) they touch you or sit next to you and you will feel their presence (3) you smell their fragrance (4) you hear their voice (5) Animals will do weird things, like black crows are a big sign (6) they will put objects that have meaning in your path.....there was more, but I forget. 

Once I was dreaming and I thought I felt you. But, I couldn't be sure. I wait to see you in my dreams, but you never really come. Have you forgotten about me? 

None of these signs have really happen to me. And I thought our bond would conquer everything. That we had a connection better than any other mother/daughter pair. So where the heck are you mom???????? Put down the sufflebaord, or the drinks. or whatever you are doing up there. Step away from grandma and Kelly and get down here and visit your daughter!!!!! STAT. 

My current biggest fear is that I will forget you. That I AM forgetting stuff right now. What if I can't tell my kids? What if I don't have kids and your legacyc dies with me? that's so sad. Why couldn't you have kept a diary or wrote me letters, why couldn't we just have more time? 

I will make sure I pay attention to the signs. I'll be waiting mom. I love you and miss you. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Night will come

When I was little (well 5th grade), we had to learn a lullaby from another culture. Now, I forget what culture I chose, but it was a song I learned in chorus, so I used that one.

You loved it! And sometimes when I couldn't fall asleep, or I had a bad dream, we would sing it. 

You used to leave messages on the house phone for me with it. When I went away to camp for the first time, you told me to, " look up at the moon and say I love you, mom" and at that exact time, she would do the same, and since we were looking at the same moon, she would feel my love and I would feel hers. 

That camping trip, I used the voice recorder you bought me for my history project and sang the lullabye to you. I think you appreciated that...

So, today, this is for you, mom!!!!!

Soon night will come 
Following the sun 
Sounds of the night growing near
Here the winds whispering 
Whispering to you
Sleep sleep sleep 
Goodnight my sweet one 
Goodnight my dear one 
Good night my sweet one
To you, good night! 

Mommy & Jessie First Photo

Friday, November 14, 2014

Snow :)

" Heaven is at the feet of Mothers" -Persian Proverb

Pictures of Kokomo, Indiana where great grandma Kerby lived 

Mom and I sure loved snow. It doesn't snow very often in Baltimore, but when it did, we enjoyed the magic of it. The smell of snow in the air always made you happy mom...and it made me happy too :) 

Here is a picture of the snow at my house in Erie, PA today! 

As I sit here and watch the gentle snowflakes fall, I will think of you mom. Maybe it's a sign from heaven that you are thinking of me too. 

Lalalalala lala lala means.... I love you! I love u mom

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


" Don't Poets know it better than others, God can't be everywhere always, so He invented Mothers" - Sir Edward Arnold 
My mother always did her best to be there for my every need. But, not just me-she was always there for my uncles, aunts, cousins, and her mom (my grandma). She bailed family members out countless times. On this particular day (image above), we were staying at the Riviera in Indiana while visiting my Great Grandma. On this visit, we stayed in the Captin's House right across the street from the convenient store, where we gorged ourselves on chick-o sticks all summer long. This was a good day because mom and I walked down to the porch swing at the Lake and watched the water until the sun set. It got chilly and she snuggled close to me to keep warm. We talked and talked. 

I miss our talks. I miss your voice. I feel like I may be forgetting all kinds of things about you. Before you died, it wasn't a struggle to recall anything. But, now, that I can't just run to you with any little question, I am charged with remembering. 

Your voice was sweet and loving. It had a rusty quality. it was beautiful.... 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Disassembled & Rearranged

Five years ago, November 8, 2009 to be specific, many things happened. It was the 20th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall; The Healthcare Reform bill passed in the U.S. House of Reps; People were preparing for the upcoming Veteran's Day; and the News reported on a girl that had lachanophobia- a fear of all vegetables (yea, her and every other child in the U.S.)So many things happened that day... But, five years ago, one of the most important things happened, the world lost Anne Marie Payne: a great sister, my best friend, and my wonderful mother. She was completely selfless in everything that she did. She sacrificed her life, happiness, and love in order to be the most successful and best mother I could have ever asked for. As a child, I never "needed" for anything. My mother worked tirelessly to make sure that my needs were always wanted. And you know, as a single mom, she was both the mother and the father and she did a good job at it. I never knew that I was missing anyone because I was so surrounded by love and joy and values- my family. In fact, it wasn't until I was at least 9 that I realized I didn't have a dad. Myself and little Corey had been throwing the basketball outback at our tree all night and we came in because the mosquitos were through feasting on our ankles and exposed arms. The only light we had was lightening bugs... we were washing up, and we sat next to grandma on the couch, discussing what my Uncle Corey was going to do with the boys and myself the next morning. My grandma mentioned he was what a dad should be. He was better than my dad ever could be because he was present. And shocked, little Corey looked up, "Jessie has a dad?" and we all laughed. We laughed so hard that there were tears in our eyes, and little Corey was just so confused. My mom had done such a terrific job with me, and our whole family that I had never even wanted for my dad. I never wondered what he was doing, or if he was thinking about me. I didn't need him for anything- EVER. Yes, there was that ONE moment that he and my mom made me. But, after that one moment, my mother was transformed into a parent, a caretaker, a loving boo-boo fixer, a chef, a chauffer, an ATM, a personal assistant, a tutor, a santa, a disciplinarian, and a woman of strength, courage, and integrity. And after that moment, my so-called "father", was just the same as he ever was, he was a selfish teenager. So, I owe everything to my mother. I could never imagine life without her, and I didn't think I would ever have to endure this for a very long time. Parents shouldn't die until there children are very old, and have become the parent themselves. But, Alas for the last five years, I had to suffer through life without you, mom. I think God knew he was ready for someone amazing in heaven, and I think my mom did her job so well that God (and my mom) knew that I would make it, that she raised me strong, and taught me how to be the wonderful woman I am right at this moment. So five years ago, my life was disassembled and the little shattered pieces of my heart were rearranged. I have been strong, I haven't quit yet, even though I miss you so much. There is still a piece of my heart that will always be missing because I gave it to my mother a long time ago.... As I fill this blog with memories of my mother, and how much her life means to me, I feel like those pieces slowly mend back together. So, five years ago, I lost my mother, MY life was forever changed. But, I want the whole World to know that they lost something that night too, They lost a strong, beautiful, amazing woman. I think the universe has heard me. I think it knows what it lost, because as I sit here crying, remembering the joy in my mother's eyes and how vivacious she was...the previously sunny skies have opened and rain is pouring. The universe is weeping and so am I. We all miss you mom.