Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 4: Strength [Be Gentle, Be Love]

I have a really eclectic sort of religion. I've mashed up Christianity, humanism, paganism, a little bit of ancestory worship--it's all there. So when I started thinking of my strength totem, animal, whatnot, I immediately thought butterfly. I adore butterflies. One of my pseudonyms on the internet is butterflyvertigo. I chose it because being a dizzy butterfly can actually be freeing. I also love that for how fragile butterflies are to us, they are so strong. They metamorph from plain caterpillars; they brave the winds; they live so briefly. Packing a lot of life into a little space, no matter how long on earth you have...

But when it came time for me to create my token, I started thinking of the strengths in my life, my family instead. I was having a hard time deciding what kind of butterfly it should be anyways. My mother, my grandmother, my children. So tonight I created some scrapbook pages instead. I've only ever made about four other scrapbook pages before so its not something I have a real hobby of. I tried to do a class at the library and bought all of these supplies (with my own money) and then only a couple of people showed up.

This is my first baby. He's about 8 in these pictures. He's 11 now. I got him when he was only 7 months old. He hasn't lived with me his whole life, but I think we've been together 7 years total. I love him. He used to be my everything when he was just a baby. We used to hang out so much! I always let him know that he was my strength in learning how to love children. 

Other kids came along--his older brothers in 2001 and this little guy in 2008. This is a scrapbook page of Preston eating his first chinese food. There are two things that are tragic about it--his dad hates "ethnic" food so we never get to eat it (although he ate some sushi this past Sunday and hated it so maybe he takes after his dad more than I would like to admit). The second thing is that the reason that my husband wasn't around is because I had to drive to Central Texas to put together my mother's funeral.

She had died in kind of freak accident circumstances. In fact, the pictures I used for her scrapbook page are ones she was putting up on dating websites a month before she died. I thought she looked so goofy and was totally annoyed that she was making me take the pictures. Now, of course, I'm extremely grateful. Her strength was that she always enjoyed life and lived it to her fullest.

My grandmother is still alive. She is 93 years old and has been married three times. Her second marriage was to my grandfather. The picture above is with Jimmy and Zan, her bio kids, and Iris, her stepdaughter. My grandfather had been married before as well! It was unusual to have a blended family like that in the 50s. I've always loved her strength and tenacity for standing up to society and leaving a man that was an alcoholic and likely to be a danger to her.

This is the tattoo I got last year in honor of my mother and bio dad. My mother had an ivy leaf tattoo on her arm--my first word was tattoo! I felt pretty invincible afterwards--this pain was useful to me. I had to get over my mother's death in some meaningful way. I don't know if I've moved on, per say, but I've moved above?

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