Sunday, September 20, 2009


My youngest son Carder is so much like mom. Nate claims he is a mini-me, but in truth he is a mini-mom. They have the same hilarious way about them. They share the same temper, but they also share a fierce loyalty and sweetness with those they are close to.

On Saturday night, Kaden went to a sleepover with a friend and Carder and I went on a date since his dad was down with the flu. As we were eating, Carder said to me: (paraphrase)

When I grow up I don't want to be a superhero. Superheros have to wear funny costumes and work a lot. They have to save people and go in burning buildings. No, when I grow up I want to be a wizard. They can cast spells and get whatever they want. Mom, you know what my first spell is going to be?

"No, Carder, what is your first spell going to be (thinking invisible or candy machine)"

I'm going to make a tube from Heaven to here so Gaga can come and visit us. Because I know you say she is happy but I think she would be happier if she could talk to me and I could tell her my jokes.

"I can't wait for you to become a wizard, Carder." To that he smiled and said,

Oh mom, you know there is no such thing as wizards. We just really miss Gaga don't we?

Out of the mouths of babes. Sometimes it is easier to plan and believe in fantasy than to deal in reality. I saw pictures today on facebook of dear, dear family friends. Friends that mom and dad knew in high school. As I looked at the picture of their daughter's wedding, I could just hear what she would be saying.

People say that time heals. True. Time allows you to learn to cope, learn to find joy, learn to move forward. The word heal though seems to final like it is an end destination. I would say time removes the ugliness from the loss. Just like a cut or incision, your skin never truly heals, but because of God's incredible design through bleeding, forming a scab and new skin growing, the ugliness of that damage goes away.

My heart has been damaged, and I still cry what my friend calls, "the ugly cry" quite often. I can envision times to come that the ugliness will dissipate and be filled with a scar on my heart that I gladly share with a smile. In the meantime, thinking of mom and sharing her here brings me joy and relief.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Yesterday was just a beautiful day in Chicagoland area. My appointments for work cancelled and I decided that it was a perfect day to go shopping. I headed off for an outdoor shopping mall in Aurora.

As I walked around, everything reminded me of my mom. Some of our happiest memories came when we would spend the day laughing, eating and buying. Actually, we spent most of our time looking and agreeing that we didn't really need it.

When I first walked into the center, there was a big sign that announced "Talbots Coming Soon." I thought, "Oh I need to call mom." Funny, I don't think that thought process will ever end. Then later, as I was walking I saw a Chicos, and tears flooded my eyes. The last time I was in a Chicos mom and I were buying clothes for her trip to Europe.

I love that I have no regrets. I absolutely adored my relationship with my mom. I wouldn't have changed it. It fulfilled us both in very different ways. Rather than spending my time wondering why it had to be short or why life had to be unfair, I have found myself spending more time being so so thankful that Norma Carder was my mom.

So many people are not given the blessing of having a person like her anywhere or anytime in their life. I got to have her as my MOM! There is so much I daily do to better my life that came from what she taught me.

Today is another BEAUTIFUL day, and I intend to laugh and enjoy in honor of how great she was. I'm sure she's laughing and enjoying and brightening someone's day in heaven.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grit Steeped in Feeling

Recently, someone coined this phrase about my mom.

"Grit steeped in feeling."

I have that type of resolve going on in me right now. I am excited to proclain that I am excited about something. I haven't felt that emotion in a very long time. I have pushed to find joy. I have perservered to find purpose. I have stretched to see logic in a crazy mixed up world, but never did I even dare think about feeling excited again.

When you are in the midst of dark grief its like all previous life was a fantasy. When you experience loss that strikes you to your core you start to look for a new life, a new way to live and think and love, because you know that the old life, old thinking and old relationships will never be the same.

That is all true. So, my excitement about a new adventure has surprised me and given me hope for enjoyment of this coming year.

Of course, following in mom's path this excitement is found in my business. With my new outlook on life, fortunately, I now don't come down on myself for this. I don't feel guilt or judgement. I just realize it is the way God wired me and the way mom raised me. I like it. No, actually, I love it.

I am dedicated to be one of the top 14 businesses in my company this next year. I found out today that it will be harder than I could ever imagine, yet I am capable. It will be a stretch. It will cause me to grow in many facets, and stating in writing that I WILL MAKE MY COMPANY'S PRESIDENT'S CLUB causes me to shutter and think, "But what if I fail?"

Well, if I fail, I will fail trying not hiding. If I fail, I will fail living not dying. If I fail, I will fail forward not backwards. If I fail I will fail with the help of those I love and not without it. If I fail, I will fail for short-term not long term.

But guess what..... I WILL NOT FAIL. I will be on President's Club. I will wear my mom's crazy Clark loafers that she wore to her first and only awards banquet for my company. I will wear them when I'm worried. I will wear them when I'm confident. I will wear them when I win.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mom, The Business Woman

Today I read a wonderful tribute to my mom today. Her boss sent me an email containing his contribution to her journals. During my mom's celebration service we had journals all over the tables for people to write memories so that my boys could have great memories of my mom.

Greg gave me several pages of heart today. One of my favorite parts of my mother was her business sense. Her tenacity to work and achieve. I feel that on a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute basis. However, there are other parts of my life I feel too. Daughter, wife, granddaughter, mother, friend, woman. I know my mom felt all those roles. There is a smile that crosses my face though when I think of her work ethic, her joy in the struggle.

I have always loved my work. Whether is was Steak n' Shake, teaching, or running my business, I have always taken pride in doing a good job. I get this from my mom. While there may be times that I live out of balance, while there may be times that I work too hard, I feel good today knowing she would understand, agree and even smile at that part of me.

I love all that my mom created in me. My life is full because of her, not empty.

I will fulfill my promise to her....My life will be great and full and happy.