Are We There Yet?

Sarah Cavanaugh

Sarah Cavanaugh
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA
August 01
My poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Nimrod, and Southern Poetry Review. Currently, I am trying to reclaim my life after being blacklisted. Don't mess with the Federal Government or defense contractors. Wish me luck.


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AUGUST 29, 2011 1:29PM

Tears in the Fabric of my Life

Rate: 24 Flag

    Just for a brief moment, the thought flickers through my mind that I want to call Mom and tell her the news, or just to chat, or to make plans to have lunch together. Then I remember that she is gone and there is no one to call.

MOM ((at a wedding)


Or I hear on the news that there is to be a meteor shower that night and I want to call Dad, the amatuer astronomer, to see if he plans to get up to watch it. But then I remember, Dad died years ago.




Often I think of my husband. There is some gem about the grandchildren I want to share with him. We were divorced but still on friendly terms. Then I remember that he, too, is gone. 



I sometimes find myself wishing I could have just one more slice of my Pennsylvania Dutch Grandma's homemade whole wheat bread. I never knew either of my grandfathers, but I miss both of my grandmothers.



Grandma's sister used to visit during all the major holidays. I miss setting her place at the table. She and Grandma used to get into arguments that went on and on in their quaint Pennsylvania Dutch dialect.



I miss the trips to the mountains to visit my Irish grandmother, the wife of a coal miner. We used to go when the leaves had turned and the whole mountain wore a cloak of gold and red.



I wonder, sometimes, if what I miss most is simply my childhood.



So much loss. My two grandmothers, both parents, my husband, my favorite aunt, my childhood--all gone. It seems like tears in the fabric of my life. This is how I feel about all this loss.



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I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures. Thanks for stopping by.
Sarah, what a gorgeous wedding dress! Princess Kate found this photo and copied, didn't she?
I know exactly how you feel, many of us do, I suspect. We are now the elder generation, the grandmas that our grandchildren will remember and miss if we're lucky. That shift takes some mental adjustment, doesn't it??
I built my Mother's cherry tree coffin.
It was a practical way to grieve and love.
Mt oldest son helped. There were stains.
I always resist the idea of showing it here.
The local Historic Society wrote a article.
The side boards were white bleach-tulip-
popular wood.
The top board was local harvested cherry.
I used the same wild cherry to built a desk.
I am typing in wood from the same cherry.
on and on...
It was the Civil War bent-kerf style shape.
My Mother fit perfectly. I used white lace.
The local mortician gave me a baby pillow.
I wrote about Mother on @ Arthur James.

I really enjoy these Family Post.
I came home from the grave yard.
I almost reached for the telephone.
I wanted to tell my Mother about it.
I use to say often to myself "Gads!"
I have to call Mom and Dad. forget.
Now I am adjusting to a fact. Love,
My Mother always signed her letter:

Love always

This is wonderful

I feel I will wander

I will ponder Life

Why we live brief

I'll wonder about


There was a time post war I didn't.
I wandered off the planet. Grieving.
My Mother and Father grieved too.
JT, It's shocking how often I forget for a moment that they are gone. Thanks.
Art, What a beautiful comment--as beautiful as your wood creations, I imagine. Thanks.
jramelle, Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
Thanks, Sarah - those precious moments go by too quickly.
Do tell about that beautiful dress, if you wish to : )
JT, The dress I wore was borrowed from my husbands sister. I am a little taller, so I had to wear flats. After the wedding, I returned it to her. I was glad I didn't have to store it. I did think it was beautiful. I had a 22 inch waist at the time. But now, three pregnancies later....
Tears, as in weeping, or tears, a rend in fabric? Either way works for me. Exactly how I feel about my own losses. Beautifully said; thank you.
I just talked to my mom on the phone. Increasingly the phone calls are about, or include, health problems. I'm sorry that you've crossed over to the other side. I'm beginning to see it, hopefully far far away. But I can see it. And I wish I didn't.
Those of us who have lost our parents, husbands, friends, family may now find ourselves the oldest in the room most of the time. That is when life becomes most precious. We should all try to remember our loved ones, as you did here, and try to keep those we love in our hearts.
Beautiful photos and sentiment. It is hard when loved ones pass. It leaves a hole.
I totally relate to this and loved your photos as well as reading your thoughts.

Although I haven't lost quite so many family members as yourself, I often long for the way life was when they were all here.

The cycle continues with or without us and all we can do is treasure our memories and hope there is more than this life.
Catherine, and leave tears in the fabric behind. Thanks.
bnzoot, Glad to meet you. Thanks.
Bell, Sometimes I long for the company of the old ones once again. Thanks.
Lea, I'm glad for my crop of grandkids. They help stave off depression and make me feel young. Thanks.
Susie, Yes it does. Sometimes it seems like I have a lot of holes in the fabric. Thanks.
Linda, I think I feel the losses most during holiday gatherings. I'm most grateful for the boxes and boxes of photos that have been kept for many decades. Thanks.
And speaking of losses, my beloved retro Huffy 3 speed bicycle was stolen from the library bike rack while I was inside on the computer. Oh well, such is life.
Melancholy, but oh so lovely. Sigh...
tell em anyway. once in awhile, subvocally
or out loud... i do.
"some hurricane, huh, mom?" (sarcastic...she loved to
watch the weathermen get it wrong, which they did & didn't, i might argue with mom, prompting her to say in frustration : "oh you know it all, don't you, james mark?")
talk to dad too.
re. weather of course what else? he=the soul of a newenglander.
i often try to justify some of my life decisions.
or at least explain them.
and i am especially interested in why i keep dreaming
about them and the house i grew up in.

the subtle answers come in
very mysterious ways, but they DO come. always.
I miss my childhood too. Plus, two kids not speaking to me damn sure ain't helping things!
This post is so sad and beautiful. Life is so much loss.
You have had more than most. "Tears in the fabric of my life." ~r
Excellent poetry, Sarah. The blurred images make it almost dreamlike. If you ever want to make sharp clear copies, send me a message. I do it all the time. Sorry, I always think in terms of imagery. But the poetry and emotion is what works so well here. Well done.
I understand this moving post so well. Love the photos. -R-
"I wonder, sometimes, if what I miss most is simply my childhood."
Wise wondering. It's such a melancholy cloak we drag around as we lose people dear to us, isn't it?
Love the nostalgia and time is so heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing these great pictures.
j lyn, Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
James, What a wonderful idea--talk to them anyway. I will. Thanks.
Christine, It's something we all go through. Thanks.
Scanner, I hope you can patch things up. Please try. Thanks.
Joan, I'm really grateful that I still have lots of photos. Thanks.
Dianaani, Thanks so much for those kind words.
ds, Sometimes it seems unbearable. I think it gets worse around the holidays. Thanks.
Algis, When it comes to photos, you're the master. Thanks for recognizing the emotion, though.
I like the photos - they're fascinating. Thanks for the meditation on loss. Sorry you have lost so many, but glad that you have so many people you cared about.
All of them are gone for me too. I think about them so much these days. I had an Irish and a Finnish Grandmother and loved them both so much. I often think of picking up the phone to call my mother. I called her everyday towards the end.
Wonderful pictures and loving words.
rated with love
One thing about aging; you appreciate life more and the people who helped weave the fabric that is you. I like to think my family will think of me as generously as you do yours.
Helen, I'm glad I still have the photos. Thanks for stopping by.
RP, I hope I will be remembered by my grandchildren with even a small part of the fondness I feel for mine. Thanks.
Chrissie, You should print and save your posts for them to read some day. Thanks.
This broke my heart. I guess the thing is that these people live on in your memories, and you've honored them well here. I love the idea of your grandmother and great-aunt arguing at the table. I guess it's these little things that keep lost loved ones alive for us. And I know one day (hopefully not for a long while, though), you'll be able to see them again.
How universal the feelings you capture are. When we came home from the funeral of a grandfather who lived with us, I started upstairs to tell him about it, as I always did with whatever I'd been doing, and then remembered... And I miss my grandmother's homemade bread. And I long to talk to the younger sister who died of cancer at 58. Like you, I feel a part of me dies with each loss.
I am so sorry for all the loss in your life, Sarah. Beautiful photograph of you and your Irish grandma. Sending warm thoughts your way. Rated.