Sunday, May 10, 2009

We are less scared about the whooping cough. I think everybody who needs to be on atntibiotics for prevention is and I feel comfortable being around little Liam starting on Tuesday. Joanna actually was given an extra day off work to prevent any possible spread and is using her Mother's Day with the boys here to clean house. She says it feels good because having the house clean will feel so good. The boys here are in really different states. Zachary seems well but Danny, who had more time to get really sick, is still coughing and weak seeming. I hope he feels better soon, but am just relieved this illness hasn't spread more. I give Bob lots of the credit with his research skills and ability to persevere regarding getting us medication. As of now I know more about whooping cough than I ever wanted to know.

I assume K.K., only big enough kid at home, is helping her Mom with the house work some, though I know she has lots of homework. Yesterday we got to watch K.K.'s regular ballet class' end of year show and WOW! They are level 4B now, the very top level of the Intermediate program. Next year they are pre-professional with lockers in the company dressing room and as I said WOW. The class danced a jazzy number that was utterly a kick - not so much a sense of students dancing but of dancers. This was especially true because of the way Ballet Austin does it's end of year shows, each one starting with tiny beginners who are walked through the moves by their teachers, moving up through the levels and ending with a demonstration by the big kids - the amazing 4B's. I remember when K.K. was one of the lost, scared littles, when she was moving up, becoming more and more competent and delighted in her dance - and yesterday, well, as I've said twice already, Wow!

Paul's memorial service yesterday was deeply touching - a superb testament to the fact that it does matter how we live our lives. Paul lived from a place of generosity, kindness, heart, fun, joy, compassion, and people of all ages from all over the world had stories to tell about him yesterday. I was especially touched by a little guy, couldn't have been more than seven, maybe younger, who had to choke his words through tears to tell us about the cherry tree he and his Dad had planted with Paul, and to remind us that "It's still here." As is everything else Paul planted. That service really reminds me to keep very conscious of what I plant.

Issue of legacy also came up because of Mothers' Day, which my crew has remembered sweetly. A friend asked "how do you remember your mother?" a good question and one I could have answered very differently at different times. I'm glad to have gotten to a place with my feelings about my mother where I remember her living more than her dying and her strengths more than her flaws.

I remembermy mother for her music - singing "Amazing Grace" or "mack the Knife: in the kitchen, singing "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree" of "Hush Little Baby" to me, and later my babies I remember her singing "Moon River" and (for some odd reason since she'd never even set foot in Georgia "I'm Rambling Wreck From Georgia Tech and a Heck of a Heck of a Heck of and Engineer" with her daddy, cousins, uncle, aunt, and brother on the screened in back porch steamy summer nights. I remember Mama singing in Czech and in English, happy, sad, every mood inbetween. I remember her singing along when she played hot jazz piano while delicious dinners cooked. The piano was always as close as possible to the kitchen and Mama run off to the piano and always get back before anything stuck to the pot.

I remember other things about my mother. I remember her sense of style, her excitement in a fabric store, her patience crawling around me on the floor getting a hem just right. I remember her temper, which I later understood was all about fear, mostly fear I wouldn't be alright if she didn't get everything right raising me. I remember her relentless and very effective problem solving. I remember her openness with me about many difficult subjects, especially sex, sexism, and money. I remember and treasure her ultimate respect for me despite our many differences. I remember and emulate her willingness to apologize. But if I have to boil it down to one thing, I remember my mother for her music.


Judy Roney said...

Wow, what a tribute to your Mom, Victoria. I enjoyed getting to know her more. I wonder if you have her love of singing.
I'm so glad things are winding down now with the whooping cough scare and that things will soon get back to normal. I hope Danny gets over the cough and lithargy soon as well.
Congratulations to KK for her stellar performance and advancement into a more advanced class. I'm so glad she loves it so.
It's nice to hear about Paul's memorial service and how it does matter how one lives their lives.

Ann said...

Glad to hear things on the whooping cough arena seem to be improving, Victoria. What a great many responsibilities are in your life now. I'm glad Paul's memorial brought you a measure of comfort. My mother also loved music, but sadly, didn't express this until near the end of her life, when her retirement community encouraged her to sing again. Turns out she always wanted to be a big band singer. Who knew?

Mary said...

I am glad you are no longer so scared about whooping cough!

So wonderful to read about K.K. now being top level of the intermediate progam. Such a talented dancer she must be. I keep wondering where her career will take her.

Paul's memorial service must have been wonderful and beautiful. I can see that he touched many people during his life, has a wonderful legacy.

I enjoyed reading about your mother's legacy as well. Makes me wonder what mine will be, what each of ours will be. Hope it is as good as that of Paul and that of your mother!

Diane T said...

What a scare your family had with whooping cough. So glad it is almost past now. I smile at KK's accomplishments in ballet, remembering the time I saw her doing gymnastic moves in the park. What a talented and poised young lady she is! The story about the seven-year-old at Paul's memorial service was so touching. I am sure Paul impacted his life forever.

Victoria said...

Judy, I love music, and used to play piano a bit, but I don't have my mother's talent AT ALL. Playing was a joy of r me, but hard work too and I was never extraordinart. Singing I just don't do well at all - love to listen and wish I could sing.

Peggy said...

So many topics here Victoria. Glad you shared so much. You have been in my mind with the wh cough and the memorial service. Glad to see in the next posting that the illness seems behind you all. Glad it did not spread. Being with Liam does sound like a delight for you. They burrow their way into our hearts so quickly! Enjoy.

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