Friday, May 24, 2019

A Birthday Post Written With Full Heart

Hot, hot, so very hot. Going to get hotter. That's the late afternoon sun shining through some elephant ear leaves outside my back porch. If you look carefully you'll see Big Mama having a strut through the grass between them. I've got to be careful to make sure that all of the chickens have enough water in the next few days when the temperatures are going to soar even higher. I've got grapes to cut up to give them and maybe I'll even cut some up and freeze them for a treat.

Mr. Moon did get back last night, safe and sound. Turns out that it wasn't just the tire but also a spring that was attached to the trailer that broke and he ended up having to leave it anyway. We'd hit a pothole on the way down to St. Marks and I'm sure that's where the damage occurred. But all's well now, I guess. I don't even know where the boat is at this moment and Mr. Moon's heading for Las Vegas and St. George, Utah tomorrow morning early so wherever it is, I guess it's going to stay for a few days. He's going out west to be with some of the last of his family, his sister and two cousins and their spouses. I was invited and did intend to go until huge and horrible anxiety about the whole deal overtook me and I finally broke down and told my husband that I simply could not go. I mean, I'd go if someone's life depended on it but I don't think this is the case in this situation.
One would think that I'd jump at the chance to leave Florida and this heat and the bugs behind for a few days but one would be wrong. There are more than one kinds of discomfort and as so many of us humans do, I'd rather deal with the discomfort I'm used to.
Dance with the devil you know, they say. Or maybe they don't but I suppose that's what I'm choosing.

Still, this does not mean that I don't feel guilty and of course I do, despite my husband being so very sweet about the whole thing. God, he's patient with me.

And today is May's birthday! Also Bob Dylan's but I'm not his mama. I knew that she was working today but I still wanted and needed to see her, to get my arms around her, to kiss her and tell her I love her. And give her the present I bought her. Lily wanted to go too and so I drove to her house and she drove me and Magnolia June into town where we stopped at Publix to buy a pretty little cupcake and I got a beautiful blooming bromeliad. When we checked out the lady at the register did the sweetest thing. She said, "Beautiful," as she was scanning the plant and I said, "Isn't it?"
"Oh, I meant you, too," she said.
"What?" I asked. I feel so far from beautiful these days that it's not even in the same continent as what I perceive myself as looking like.
"Your earrings, your necklace, you," she said and she gestured widely, "Beautiful, all of it."
I wonder if she has any idea how much that meant to me. Of course I thanked her and told her that she was precious and I meant it with all of my heart.
After Publix we stopped by Jessie's house to pick up some flowers she'd grown and made into a bouquet as well as some eggs for May. August and Maggie had a little chat. I often think that they look upon each other as alien beings. They are so very, very different in so many, many ways. And yet, they do have great affection for each other. Levon announced that they were going to go to a pool with Dad. He did this by saying, "Dad!" "Pool!"
I understood.
I love his stage of babyhood. Yesterday at the library we did some coloring together. There were colored markers and I would hand him one and say the color.
"Purple," I told him and he said back, "Pupple." Then he would take the top off the marker if he could and if he couldn't, he'd hand it to me and say, "Help," and I would. He'd scribble a few lines on the picture and put the top back on the marker and want another. I traced his hand for him. He held it flat on the paper like a little starfish, so trusting and so sweet. He is, like all of my grandchildren, amazing and completely himself.

But I'm straying from my aim which was mainly to give you these pictures.

May and Maggie. 
Maggie and May. 
On my children's birthdays I get quite emotional. I know- big surprise, right? 
But I can't help it and a part of that is wanting my children to know how profoundly and deeply I love them and there just doesn't seem to be a way to adequately express that. Lily and I were talking about this and I said, "Well, maybe if I bought each of you a house..."
But even then, I don't know that my soul would rest easy thinking that finally and at last I'd shown them my true heart feelings. 
And yet, I really do think that all four of my babies know how I much I love them. I do. But somehow in my soul, I'm never satisfied that I've expressed how I truly feel. I can't ever stop showing them, telling them. There won't be enough time in my entire life to satisfy that need within me for them to absolutely know. 
And now there's the grandmother in me that feels the same way about my grandchildren. 
Oh hell. I'm not sure that thinking this way, feeling this way is quite healthy. But it is who I am. That's all there is to it. 
And the pretty bromeliad I gave May and the beautiful eye-shadow palette which I hope will help to make her feel pretty and which will perhaps satisfy some of the artist in her don't even begin to represent how much I love her. 
Forty-one years ago today I gave birth to her on my bed in a tiny house-trailer on a piece of property a few miles down the road from where I live now just as the sun was coming up. Her father was there, my midwife and three women-friends were there and as I held my beautiful daughter, a part of my heart that I did not know was there busted wide open. 
My darling May Ellen. 

Lord but I am a sentimental old fool. I am also a woman who did not discover the true meaning of love until I had my children which is perhaps why I feel so inadequate to the task of expressing to them how they have given me the goodness in my life that I never, ever would have known without them. 

So. Happy birthday, my precious May. Look how beautiful you are! And look at the way Maggie is looking at you. Her expression pretty much says it all about how lucky I am to have this loving, amazing family. Not to mention how brightly your light shines- so bright that all of your nephews and your niece too are drawn to you and your good, joyous soul with such natural and sweet affection. 
You are loved and not least by me. 

You are, as always, my heart. 
Thank you for being my baby. Thank you for being May. 
Just...thank you for everything. 



  1. Mary Moon, I am so happy Mr. Moon found you, and loves you. And I don't know what else to say there, except what the clerk at Publix said. You're
    "all of it" beautiful, too.
    How sweet it is Miss Maggie of the golden curls has no need for a little "moment" with Aunt May, who may be the best aunt in the world. As good as any of mine.

    1. I'm just so lucky all the way around. And I know it.
      As to beautiful? Well, my earrings definitely were. And the words were so kind.

  2. Right now, this is just the post i like to see. I am so glad to see your happy post. The deepy-downs are hitting hard and the sadness is so deep and your happy post is helpful. You and I share those unexpected shitty down times and I am so so grateful to follow you through them, which always makes me feel hopeful and less helpless. Thank you Mary, and bless your heart.

    1. Oh, Dianne! May you feel better soon. Sometimes all we can do is hang on and trust that the down time will end. I know. It's so hard.

  3. I often simply cannot come up with what I want to say when I read one of your posts. I get dumbstruck for some reason :) so I will just say that I think you are as normal as can be to want your children and grands to know how much you love them, but to not feel like you can give it justice. You are normal. And I hope also that you feel the difference you make for them and even for us out here in internet world.

    1. I'm sure it's normal to feel this way. It just gets overwhelming sometimes, these deep emotions. But that's how I'm wired.

  4. nothing unhealthy about the way you love your family- nothing at all. How fortunate you all are. And a Happy Birthday wish for your dear May......she is so beautiful and I've always thought she looks SO much like's uncanny.
    I am sorry you are sweltering.....lordy, it's not fun
    Susan M

    1. May and I did used to very much favor each other and then I got old. But...that's the way it goes, eh?
      Sweltering is the exact word.

  5. Wishing your precious daughter many happy returns of the day!

  6. You are so right about the weather and the heat. One could cook on the sidewalk! You amaze me with how well and how frequently you express love for your family and friends. I wish you truly knew what a gift that can be. Happy Birthday to your lovely May. You are both lucky to have each other.

    1. It's just plain old fucking hotter than hell, isn't it? Did you get your AC fixed? I sure hope so.
      I think that I am the one who is so gifted by my family and my friends. And I want them to know how deeply grateful I am.

  7. "And yet, I really do think that all four of my babies know how I much I love them. I do. But somehow in my soul, I'm never satisfied that I've expressed how I truly feel. I can't ever stop showing them, telling them. There won't be enough time in my entire life to satisfy that need within me for them to absolutely know."

    I wonder if this has less to do with them and more to do with you and the lack of love you received from your own mama. They know you love them. You are not your mama. I imagine you would protect your children and your grandchildren with your life. You are a good woman Ms. Moon. A woman who loves deeply and long, despite your upbringing. Sending hugs and love.

    1. Lily and I discussed just this thing the other day and I do absolutely think that's true. But Lily also pointed out that she is always desperate to give her children the very best birthdays and Christmases and she says that she never felt not-loved when she was young so...who knows?

  8. I did not know that May's middle name was the same as mine. My name and also my middle name. Hot here but not too intolerable as it will be deeper into summer. I have zinnia seedlings to get in the ground today, they are finally big enough.

    1. "Ellen" was her midwife's name. And after I'd named her, I discovered that on her father's side, she had a great-grandmother and a great-great-grandmother with the names May and Ellen.
      So. Meant to be? Sweet coincidence at least.
      I hope your zinnias thrive!

  9. well, I think you are very smart for staying at home, Those two places are not a favorite of mine to be sure!
    Now if Mr. Moon wanted to bring you along with him to a place north of Seattle , to stay in our downstairs, I would be all for it!
    As for children and children of children- yes , the heart expands to a ridiculous all encompassing love and all of the feels! The older I get the more the heart explodes- probably not healthy especially considering the lack of future we are left with , having "humaned" the planet too much- "times they are a changin'."

    1. You are so right- the older we get, the more we feel. At last some of us.
      If I ever make it up your way, I will definitely come see you, dear Linda Sue. Thank you.

  10. See, that's why I love Publix. The service you get there is exceptional -- you feel like you're interacting with a person, and they're interacting with you on a personal level. Whereas some other grocery stores they just throw your food in a bag and chew gum as they silently palm your money. You know?

    (And she was right -- you ARE beautiful!)

    Your comment about being a woman who "did not discover the true meaning of love until I had my children" gave me pause. I've never had a paternal instinct at all but when I hear things like that, I do sort of wonder what I've missed out on!

    1. You're right about Publix. I always feel as if I'm interacting with a person and the difference between that and what passes for customer service in places like Walmart is simply immense.
      Oh, Steve! I didn't mean that people who never had children can't really know what love is. That's just how it's happened for me. And there are so many different sorts of love, aren't there?
      While I was watching the "Above Us Only Sky" movie I kept thinking how beautiful it was that Yoko had finally made John feel loved and I am sure that he was able to love her in a way that he'd never loved before. There is more than one way to experience love.

  11. I am glad that woman told you how beautiful you are. Happy birthday to your darling girl May!


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