I didn't put on mascara today.
By the end of the day it would have been all over my face.
My day started out hiking up Mt. Rubidoux with my longtime friend, Barbara.
Barbara and I met when we were both reporters at The Corona-Norco Independent in the mid-80s. I've known Barbara longer than I've known my husband. Barbara was with Robert and I and some other friends in Ensenada, Mexico for a weekend back in 1985 when Robert proposed to me.
Even though she later moved back to Pennsylvania, where she grew up, we have stayed in touched and remained friends.
Whenever she is in town, we get together and hike Mt. Rubidoux and hit a couple of yard sales, or estate sales, or thrift stores.
We have always enjoyed being "junkers."
Today, though, we talked about how having "stuff" can take up too much space - in our homes, in our garages, in our lives, with our time.
I've been clearing out "stuff" from my house.
There is a lot of superficial clutter still in my house, but I am working on getting rid of it.
I told Barbara I could really live without a lot of stuff that I have...except for my bikes.
Yes, I am trying to hold my skirt down because of the wind.
Today was a windy, windy, windy day hiking up Mt. Rubidoux.
My eyes watered a lot.
If I had put on mascara this morning before the hike, it would have been running down my face.
After our hike Barbara and I got in my car to go breakfast when my sister called.
The news wasn't good, but it wasn't unexpected.
My mom died this morning.
My mom had Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a fancy way of saying "pre-leukemia."
Because of her age doctors would not consider doing a bone marrow transplant. She tried chemotherapy and it almost killed her. For the past several months she has been living on blood transfusions and platelet injections.
She was tough.
But the other day the doctors told her there was nothing else they could do for her and on Tuesday they sent her home to be on hospice.
I visited her on Wednesday.
I knew she was not going to be with us for much longer.
I'm sure I'll blog more about my mom later...as in another day when I don't feel so ripped up inside.
If I had been wearing mascara today it would be all over my face....I don't think I'll be wearing mascara tomorrow either.
After meeting with my sister, my husband and my mom's wonderful caring husband and setting the time and date for her Life Celebration, I went to the cemetery.
My visit to the cemetery did not have anything to do with my mom.
I had an appointment.
While I was waiting at the cemetery, I had a few minutes to think about life and death.
I looked around the cemetery and silently gave a prayer for all my relatives that were buried there - my great grandmother, two grandmothers, two grandfathers and one of my daughters.
My second-born daughter was buried there in 1994.
She was born and died on the same day.
Good thing I was not wearing any mascara today because I would NEVER had been able to keep it from running all down my face, or cleaned up in time for the real reason for my visit to Olivewood Cemetery.
My visit to Olivewood Cemetery had to do with the death of David Mendez. David, 22, of Riverside and a student at Riverside Community College, was riding his bike east on Central Avenue on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 5, when he was hit from behind by a car.
David was wearing a helmet, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The driver was arrested for driving under the influence.
At the cemetery, I joined up with Mark Friis, of Inland Empire Biking Alliance, to put up a ghost bike in memory of David Mendez.
Thank you to my guy for donating the lock and chain. Mark chained the bike to the sign closet to where the accident happened.
The bike is on Central Avenue along a strip of road that is unsafe for cyclists. It has no bike lanes, yet is a main road cyclists use to ride from the Poly High School area to the Riverside Plaza.
It is a strip of street that I have complained to city official for awhile. I can not ride my bike safely from my house to the Riverside Plaza, though the two are only about a mile a part.
Until the city of Riverside makes Central Avenue between the Riverside Plaza and Victoria Avenue safe for cyclists, I don't think they should call my city "Bike Friendly."
End of my rant.....for now.
Donations are being collected to help cover funeral expenses for David. You can contribute by clicking on the link below:
What is a ghost bike?
According to ghostbike.org:
The first ghost bikes were created in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003. Currently there are over 575 ghost bikes that have since appeared in over 200 locations throughout the world. For those who create and install the memorials, the death of a fellow bicyclist hits home. We all travel the same unsafe streets and face the same risks; it could just as easily be any one of us. Each time we say we hope to never have to do it again -- but we remain committed to making these memorials as long as they are needed."
While I was emotionally done with this day, the day was not done with me.
My boys had been told about their grandma, but my daughter had not. My daughter, 23, currently lives in Hemet in a group home for adults with mental illness. I've blogged about her before. She is schizoaffective. After several years of trying different medications that did not work, last year she started on a medication that works. A miracle drug for her. She has made huge strides and soon will be moving back to Riverside to live. But I couldn't tell her about my mom over the phone. My daughter and my mom were REALLY close. My daughter even lived with my mother for a while.
It was heart-breaking to have to tell my daughter that my mom had died this morning.
My daughter and my mom at Christmas....sharing memories.
At the end of this, I wish I had some great philosophical stuff to say about life and death....but here's all I've got -
Go out and make a lot of memories that you can share. Make so many memories that they overfill a photo book. Be so busy making memories that you forget to take pictures, except with your heart.
Try to make all your memories be positive.
Don't spend your time on "stuff", spend it on people and experiences.
Tomorrow I am going to make some memories, but without mascara (yeah, I'm thinking I'll still be weepy).
On Saturday, I am putting my mascara on.....I have some memories to make.