Saturday, April 25, 2015

Grateful and Shattered.

My heart is so full and completely shattered at the same time. I lost a dear person in the blink of an eye almost four months ago. Since then, I have been mourning what is not going to be and celebrating what is. The juxtaposition of emotions is raw, deep and at times overwhelming. I identify more as a mother than any other role I have had in my 44 years. Mary, was the other mother that I mothered with side by side in the early wonderful first 10 years. We were smart driven highly educated independent women who choose the path of stay at home mother. For years she was my family away from family. We enjoyed each other's company immensely and a strong bond formed. We both assumed we would share in the next phase. One filled with adult children, jobs, marriages and grand babies(no time soon please). In fact the last text I received from Mary was her saying how fortunate we were and how wonderful our children's childhoods have been and that her fingers were crossed that the next twenty will be as blessed.

Shattered and Grateful.

Her legacy is beyond measure. Mary had a tremendous passion for people, particularly children. And now, she is not here. She is irreplaceable in the lives of so many. Just like that, a simple car accident and she is gone. I will never understand. I know others have lived thru it and I will too. I know that my pain pales in comparison to her family. I feel such a strong need to be with her children and husband. To be her eyes when I can. Her voice is often in my head. "Please check on my babies." Her children and husband have been so generous in sharing their love and pain with me. The deeper the love, the greater the pain but also the deeper the love; well, that love IS what gets you through. I do believe that. For Mary. For Bo. For Alexa, Kelly, Jamie. Each time I think or say the kids names, it is Mary's voice saying it in my head. Everytime we spoke, it was of our children. That deep love has shown it self so much in the last few months. It hurts like hell, yet her family is showing up, living, laughing, crying....carrying on. That is where the celebrating comes in, from shattered hearts to grateful hearts, full and deep. I celebrate Mary's legacy of love daily. Not many people have the energy, zest or passion for life like Mary did.  So grateful she was intimately in my path for so many years. She will continue to influence it for many years to come.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mary Tymczyszyn Richardson

I met Mary in 1997. It was a few days before Alexa’s 3rd birthday. I was a new mom in a new town taking a walk on Honey Rock Road in Chambersburg, PA. She was in her driveway holding a 10 month old Kelly and watching Alexa cross the street to her best friend Ellie's house. She said “hello”. Mary never met a stranger. She invited me in. I was so grateful. We became fast friends. She had just stopped working full time as an engineer to be a stay at home Mom. We were both in new worlds, and we found a common bond of friendship with our children and each other. That day Mary was making a cake for Alexa's third birthday. Two months later when Kelly turned one, my family and I went to our first of many Richardson birthday parties. Mary made beautiful cakes for her children. She knew how to throw a party. PiƱatas, games, family and friends, both new and old. It was organized chaos and Mary thrived in it. Years later as her children were becoming more independent, I was not the least bit surprised when Mary told me she was running calls. It fit her personality to a tee. She loved her job and the adrenaline rush it gave her. It also gave her the flexibility to not miss lacrosse games, or spontaneous trips to visit her girls at college. But most of all, it gave Mary another chance to help people. She loved helping people. She was the ultimate giver. She gave and she gave.

When Bo and Mary left PA, we threw them a going away party. Yet, five weeks after they left, we missed them so much that we moved to North Carolina too. It was meant to be, Mary and I continued to raise our kids together. We were both happy to have a friend for support in our new town. Our families’ friendship continued to deepen during the seven years we lived here in Concord. Bo started his business and Mary supported him every step of the way, as they built the business together from scratch. Both were thrilled and over joyed for this new adventure and were perfect partners in life. Mary loved showing her children the world thru the Edward Jones trips. She was planning the next one as soon as one was done.. We watched and shared in their joy as they built their beautiful home in Park Creek together. Mary was the closest thing I had to a sister. She was also incredibly close to her own siblings and talked of seeing them often. Planning annual trips to Florida and Jersey were above all else. When Mary turned forty I was fortunate to help Bo with a surprise party. We managed to bring her entire family in for the occasion. I don’t think any of us there that day will soon forget seeing Mary walk through the door. It was one of the few times any of us saw her speechless, even if it was just for a moment. Her big Ukrainian family was her backbone. Laughter, joy, and everyone talking over everyone is the Tymczyszyn  way.

Kelly, Alexa, Jamie, Bo.  Your loss is raw. Your loss will not go away. Please PLEASE keep in mind that your Mommy’s love won't go away either. She loved all of you fiercely. Her main goal in life was your happiness. Grief is not linear. It is going to hit you like a Mack truck some days. It will ebb and flow. We can't have love without grief, nor grief without love. You will laugh and you will cry. Keep in mind your mother’s happy, stubborn spirit. It is in each and every one of you. Mary represented the fruits of the spirit more than anyone I have ever met: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness. She had them all while talking a mile a minute.  I know she wanted me here today to tell you all of this. All of us here have your back. Lean into us. Let us do what Mary did for so many. You will get through this. You are your mother’s children. There is no other way but through it. Your Mom was so happy and proud of each of you.  As your Dad said yesterday, there is a lot of living left to do and Mary wants you to do it.

Thank you all for coming today. It means a great deal to the family. Thank you for the outpouring of support for the family as we all continue to grieve this loss.

We love you Mary.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Nov 3 and 4

I did not do yoga on Monday. Some may see this as failure, early in the game. Might as well hang up the idea. I don't see it that way. I knew Mondays were going to be a challenge because of my work schedule and Katherine's dance schedule. I will do better next Monday. Today I stayed after my regular yoga class, I stretched in pigeon for a long long long time. Onward.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Taking him down....on the mat.

Day two-yoga challenge-a yoga teacher for 15 years in need of a recharge decided to do yoga everyday for a month for atleast 30 minutes. This is the story, day by day.

This is gonna be fun! Day two found me traveling for Katherine's dance classes. Phil and I took advantage of the free time. We biked and then he did 30 minutes of yoga with me, in Richmond, in some lobby, in some fancy private school, with our sweaty bike clothes on. Awesome!! Although we both discovered that doing yoga with frozen toes is difficult, particularly standing poses. He has not done yoga in 18 months. His mid back and shoulders have really gotten tight.  This is gonna be fun getting him on the mat with me this month as much as I can. 

Goofing off after 30 minutes. Bike clothes in 8 limb pose.

Now that is a biker's ass :-)


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Yoga challenge day 1

Like a good little yogi, I started this challenge with sun salutations. One, begin again, two, begin again.....thirty in all. Breath was steady. Was aware of what foot I stepped back, switching it up. I like symmetry, or atleast the illusion of it.

Friday, October 31, 2014


 We quietly observe our children their entire lives. It begins the moment they emerge from the womb. Their breath is magical. Their skin warm and their bodies flailing in this new gravity driven space they find themselves in. We begin to catalog those observations, first smile, first steps, first words. After many years they tend to meld together and can even seem trivial, forgettable. Some though are engraved upon our hearts, no baby books needed. My first memory and connection with Abigail was seeing her wide awake eyes as she was laid upon my belly. There was a stillness and peace about them that calmed me. She did not cry as our eyes and flesh met for the first time. She said, "Hello, I'm ready, are you?" The story of Abigail began at that moment. Abigail was born ready. Ready to learn. Ready to suckle, ready to seek.

Ready to love. Most babies are, I believe.

   Today, Abigail will perform the lead role in a one act competition at her school. At 17, this is her first time being in the acting spotlight, something this quiet observer and seeker of knowledge does not often do. Without question, it will be one of those moments that will stick. She was born ready to do this. I know. I was there. 

Motherhood is a privilege, an honor, and a bitch. It is gonna be a sweet one today as I sit in the back row, by myself, observing.

Two hours old. Wide awake. The kid never took naps.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The 30 day challenge

   November is upon us. November is upon us. For me, this means darkness, coldness and potential dreariness. I plan on warding it off this year with some fun and challenging intentional actions. I am going to read more books. I am also going to start a book club. My friends don't know this yet but they will soon. And, I am going to do at least 30 minutes of yoga a day. I have taught yoga for 15 years now. I usually go to one training year and several local yoga classes. When I was a newbie teacher, I was a sponge and sought out class after class, connection after connection. I am happy to still have some of them today. As with any hobby or relationship things ebb and flow. Yoga has never left me. I have become much more selective about what classes I take and where I take and teach. I know that I am a good teacher. I do keep learning but every few years, I start to feel stale to myself. This is when I know it is time to mix things up and rededicate myself to a home practice. November is the perfect month to do it. I look forward to blogging about it on the way. I plan to revsit my favorite teachers, Bryan Kest and Seane Corn. I plan to work on inversions, arm balances, backbending, and balancing. I plan to learn some different sequences and work on series that float from standing, to floor, to standing again.

I can't wait!