Hello, It’s Me

…I’ve thought about us for a long, long time. Maybe I think too much but something’s wrong. There’s something here that doesn’t last too long. Maybe I shouldn’t think of you as mine… (Sorry, I can’t say those 3 words without hearing that Todd Rundgren song in my head.)

Okay. I’ll stop now.

Yes, it’s been over a year since I last posted, but I promise I have not forgotten you. I think of you as mine. (Darn song. Is it stuck in your head too?) Please forgive me for vanishing for a while. Some of you must be wondering what happened.

There was a small buzz that I had won the lottery, bought an island (named it The Empty Nest) and was busying myself populating it with puppies, giraffes, pigs and other cute animals that I dream of having in my life.

Some thought I had finally met Nell Harper Lee and she asked me to ghost write her second book.

And then, there was the ridiculous rumor that after 28 years of marriage to Sweetbuns, I had dumped him for a young cabana boy and was living in the Caribbean spending my days soaking up the sun and drinking sweet, adult beverages. (I just love those little umbrellas.)

Closer to fact is that I fell off the deep end, went mute, and have spent the last 12 months cutting out paper dolls.

Not really, but close.

None of what you heard is true.

Here’s the truth: I actually did fall into a pit of despair. It was a minor fall that I dealt with by basically erasing myself from this life. I know. It’s crazy, but true. I rearranged and put away my photos and art, deleted much of my Facebook account, quit writing, quit doing art, and quit hanging out with friends. I just quit sharing (and you KNOW how much I love to share.)

I went inward. Not so Abby Normal for me, but this particular time was a doozy.

Although it was a short-lived time of Eeyoredom, it took me months to dig out, and assess what was going on with me. Today, it’s clear as glass.

I was grieving.

It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last. But that’s what it was.

My mother, as you may have read, has mixed dementia. Honestly, we didn’t expect her to be with us this long, but she is still alive. Yet, here’s the thing. The Mom that I knew is gone.   Our shared secrets, our history, our inside jokes have faded.  I am grateful that I can still have her in my life, but my Mom is a new Mom. I love my new Mom, but the adjustment has not been easy.

Tack on a hefty dose of life’s curve balls and I was a mess last fall.

Now, don’t you prefer the thought of islands and drinks with small umbrellas to the real story? (I promised I’d be honest here. It hurts doesn’t it?) Let’s move on okay?

So much has happened this past year. There is no way to catch you up on the adventure. It has definitely been a year of growth, gain, and loss, and I’m not talking poundage, body parts and facial hair. (Well. Maybe I am. I did finally have a hysterectomy.) Anyway, I’m going to clue you in on something.

I began this blog when my child went away to college. It was a therapeutic, creative outlet for my writing. My goal was to share my feelings, and in turn hopefully help others. Well, I’m cool with the empty nest. I really am. Alli is in her junior year now, and is actually studying abroad in Paris, France this semester. Sure, I miss her, but I feel that I have adjusted well to this new stage of life. Maybe it was because I wrote my way through it? If I had known that the whole Empty Nest thing was such a huge media hype for the heart-strings, I wouldn’t have named my blog what I named it. And I sure wouldn’t have used that Midol advertisement photo of myself for the header.

So, here’s the deal pickle. I’m in the process of creating a new blog which will focus more on general humor (Yes, I heard the plea) and other items of interest.  You will still have to endure my obsession with my loved ones, but I promise I will make it fun.

Are you guys on board? I need a new, grown up name for the new blog. Any ideas or suggestions?  Should my posts be shorter? Do you like the photos or are there too many? Thanks for your help!

I’ll keep you posted. (Pardon the pun.)

Love,

Libby-Lu

P.S. Larry and I celebrated 29 years of marital bliss this past September. There is no cabana boy! That was a bad rumor. But I have been busy thinking of ways to meet and write with Miss Lee, own hundreds of cute animals and live on an island.

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The State of the Union

28 years ago we were told that we stood only about a fifty percent chance of staying married.

This grim statistic was given to us by a preacher during a mandatory counseling session  a few weeks before our wedding.

He was doing what he was supposed to do, just making sure that we were serious about our decision to spend the rest of our lives together.

But, in all honesty, if we had any doubt at all about our relationship we would have run from that place and each other. He scared us to death!

The odds really were against us.

Engagement photo by Dad – February 1984

But Larry is my best friend, and we knew different.

So, on September 15th, 1984 – a beautiful day in Nashville, surrounded by our friends and family, we were married.

And as usual, there was humor.

First off, Dad and I planned something funny that was our little secret.

During the rehearsal before he walked me down the aisle, we both put on our Groucho Marx noses.

Everyone, including the preacher almost fell on the floor with laughter.

That night, we went home to a phone message from our cake baker that the wedding cake, which was only supposed to have a light tinge of blue, had turned out “a little darker than expected.”

But really, people. Who has a blue wedding cake?

Overnight, one or more of my bridesmaids (No names mentioned, A.S.M.) changed the church sign out front to read,

Crew begins here, today

The day of the ceremony, my mother arrived with a friend leading her into the dressing room like a blind woman. Her head was back and she was holding a wad of tissues on her face.

She was having her first ever nosebleed.

While we were all getting ready, my Mom was sitting in a chair staring at the ceiling, tissues on her face and shaking with laughter. The thought of that now, just cracks me up.

My brother John, and his family arrived for the event in a police car. (Fortunately this time it was only because his car had broken down.)

I loved my wedding dress. It was layer upon layer of lace over a hoop skirt. I looked like a giant white bell.

No, not a belle, but a ding-a-ling bell.

Of course, I had to visit the ladies room about the time I got that thing zipped.

Let me just say that wrestling that hoop skirt in the bathroom stall was an experience. I was laughing out loud at the situation and was very thankful I was alone.

And last, but not least, I tried to marry my Dad.

Not really, but I had a minor case of nerves and when he walked me up the aisle, and with a strong grip on his arm, we bypassed the wedding party and I drug him right on up to the altar.

The Preacher Man, trying not to make a huge deal of our mistake, nodded his head toward where we had come from, and without moving his lips in pure ventriloquist style, whispered, “You need to go back.”

Okay, stairs were involved.

My dress was huge.

There was no way I could go back without taking the candles, the greenery and possibly the maid of honor with me.  And I’m pretty sure I would not have landed on my feet. And oh Lordy that hoop skirt would have gone over my head!

It’s true, I thought of that whole scenario in about two seconds flat before trying the ventriloquist thing myself and whispering to preacher man, “NOT in this dress!”

Preacher Man then nodded to Dad and whispered, “You go now” and then motioned to the best man, my brother, and the maid and matron of honor to join us at the altar.

The good part is that only the wedding party knew we had a major “train wreck” up there.

Oh, and guess who cried during the ceremony? My big brother, Gary. Bless him. Just look at him in this photo. (far right)  He’s looking off into the choir loft trying not to come undone.

Our reception was held in my hometown of Goodlettsville, at one of our favorite parks at the historic Bowen Campbell House. It was a wonderful reunion of our loved ones, with perfect weather and music…

And, a very blue cake which totally clashed with the tablecloth.

no words…

The next morning, when Larry found out that our limousine ride from the hotel to the airport would not be just the two of us, but that we had to share the ride with a Mr. Post, he was infuriated.

“Who is this Mr. Post?” he grumbled.

It was just a ride to the airport, but he had planned it out so well, and now we had a third wheel.

When Mr. Post joined us in the limo, Larry’s face lit up.

He whispered, “That’s MIKE Post, the composer!”

The trip to the airport was spent with Larry and Mr. Post talking shop.

As you know, we never do anything in a normal fashion.

But, we’re living happily even after. (No, that’s not a typo.)

Recently Alli asked me a few questions about marriage. It’s so odd that she is old enough to think of adult matters.She wanted to know if you grow apart the longer you are married, or if you get closer.

I told her that you get closer. You go through so much in a life together that the difficult times may seem to break you down, and pull you apart for a while. But you always come to the realization that this mate, this one person shares this union with you. In order to get through the low times, you have to be there for each other. In helping each other through a tough time, you grow even closer.

Always address the union.

For those of you who have found love, hold on tight to this treasure. For those of you who are looking for your soul mate, enjoy the search.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetbuns!

-Libby Lu