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Category Archives: Hannah

Holy Day Traditions

The time is upon us, as it always happens, to begin the rituals that bring us joy in the darkness.

Our cycle of memorial begins each year with Thanksgiving. It was 10 years ago we celebrated Mitch’s last Thanksgiving with his mother visiting from Cali. Loud laughter, that’s what I really remember because that’s what people heard when we were around. Joy overflowed and washed away our thoughts of possible futures, keeping us firmly in our Very Happy Right Now.

Daddy’s SO funny!

As was the Way of Mitch ♥ This holiday has since been one filled with a deep desire to celebrate and an equally deep desire to hide from any and all thought of it.
This year we’re celebrating with a few of those who understand my conundrum, with those who perhaps find themselves in one quite similar to my own. A place where laughter and tears shall flow as freely as the hugs and conversations. I want to start the Signing of the Tablecloth tradition; I want to light a candle for those we can no longer see with our eyes, only feel with our hearts; I want to leave a place at the table, ready for that unexpected Thanksgiving Guest to feel most welcome. And then I shall go home and cry and nap.
Then, I find it’s worthy to pick myself up for a drive through the Pepsi Christmas Light Display!! My most favorite kitschy Christmas thing to do in Corvallis. I shall go often and gleefully!
On Friday, there is the Downtown Holiday Parade. For which I shall dress warmly, bring a thermos and a blankey and take a gazillion pictures. Elvis just might show up again!
Mitch died on the First Sunday of Advent and you shall find me at the Catholic Mass that day; possibly giggling through my tears. We joked that Mitch waited for the church to be decorated with all it’s holyday finery before holding his funeral in the otherwise unadorned sanctuary.

Rise and Shine
Hannah Singing for Daddy

I may consider raising our tree on this day, though we’ve traditionally waited until Mitch’s actual Death Day, December 3.
Disneyland is calling ♥ I love, love, love to celebrate Mitch at Disneyland. It was one big trip he wanted to take with the kids, to share a bit of his joyful childhood with them. Instead, it’s the refuge we seek in mourning him, in remembering him.

What to do after 2 funerals for Daddy...

(we shall heed this call soon enough, we’ve many things worthy of a Disneyland celebration in our lives ♥)

Hannah + Funeral Cake
Hayden + Funeral Cake

This year, as the 10th Anniversary of Mitch’s Death, I’m looking for something Mitch-in-Oregon to inspire new heartfelt tradition. Whatever else, I hope the day includes some skee-ball & beer, laughter & children, and the ever important: Cake.
And adorning of the tree! I love adorning the tree! Our Angel Eeyore shall be placed in honor of Mitch, atop the tree. (Purchased on the above photographed trip to Disneyland) And the new ornaments I want to get to celebrate our 10 most Amazing years Since and Because of Mitch ♥

This season also marks the beginning of a New Moon circle of Women. I am eternally grateful to begin this ritual in step with the potential overwhelm of holyday rituals.

All the while, in the in between moments, I shall be creating the gifts we are exchanging this year.

For me, the real beginning of what is commonly called The Christmas Season is our Solstice Spiral tradition. On December 21, the longest dark of the year, I welcome you to join with me in Renewing Your Light & Ringing the Bells to Welcome Back the Sun ♥
I love to deliver little gifts on this night, thinking historically how these wee bits of joy would bring lightness to those who felt the dip in spirits that accompanies the dark time of the wheel. This is why I give gifts at all, actually.

I do the full-on Christmas decorating, a big ol’ tree, lots of lights, cheesy santas everywhere you look! I love all that is joyful and happy about ANY holiday, especially one that covers such a large part of the American Calendar. ANY excuse for people to look upon one another with an extra bit of kindness and compassion (me included!) is a good and wonderful thing in My World ♥
Pajamas have now become a Christmas Eve gift tradition. So we all look cute with our stockings the next day. Santa’s gifts are under the tree on Christmas Morn & the stockings have a stash of chocolate buried inside. Most Christmas Days are low-key, hang-out affairs. I’m thinking a ginomous feast is in order this year and shall be taking steps to see it happen. I love how life works that way ♥

I keep the trees and decorations up & the music playing as long as the people in my life will let me! Most often, I make it until January 6, the Day of Epiphany (those who want to keep Christ in Christmas? Gift exchange in the name of Jesus comes from the traditional gifts presented by the Magi, in January, FYI) the official ending of the Christmas Season in Diana’s World ♥

love the lights!

I’ve a few weeks respite then, before we reach the 12.5 years of life for Hayden and 14.5 years of parenting for me and 5 years without Hannah benchmarks, this February ♥ I’ll have the perfect Joyful Mournful Celebratory rituals ready for then, too. It’s what I do.



The Family Hayden Got

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A quick peek at the four of us, just before Hayden joined us on the outside (12 years ago!)

The Jenners, August 1998

[Rubbing burn ointment on his radiation burns. “Owie Daddy?”]

I’m That Mom

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Ed, diana & Hayden, July 2010

I’m the mom who, right this minute, is delaying her travel plans to give her son more time with his very bestest friend who lives 22 hours from home.
… has another visit, with another friend, built into the travel plans. Still.
… loves to talk about how to incorporate Hayden’s gaming desires into our family’s budget. With Hayden.
… loves making those desires a reality & seeing her son’s heart swell with a deep feeling of being worthy.
… allowed her 9.5 year old daughter to make her OWN choices in an acute medical situation.
… knows in her heart that her offspring have more to teach HER than she could ever imagine teaching them.
… works long & hard on her own inherited baggage, so one cycle is ended and another, healthier one, begins.
… isn’t afraid to make light of the darkest moments in life. No matter how *inappropriate* she may be deemed.
… never wants to be viewed as a hypocrite, so she errs on the side of TMI.
… has faith bigger than circumstance.
… loves deeply in ways heretofore unthought of.
… thinks a good ol fart joke (or a loud fart) makes the world a funnier place to be.
… still struggles daily with her deep desire to have her daughter back and for these 4.5 years to have been a dream.
… realizes she wouldn’t be who she is without everything that has happened; so she begrudges herself nothing & shines without regret.

Hannah Lately

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Trisha took Breann to Hannah’s Bench at Falls Park yesterday. Just after Hannah died, I looked at then soon-to-be-married Trisha and said, in all seriousness, never get pregnant. Lucky for us all, she ignored my lunatic ravings refused my counsel ♥ I miss those girls, all three of ’em.
Then Jojo sent a message today: Had a Hannah moment the other day that made me miss you guys. Eating breakfast at Bagel Boy, The Reason came on. Love you
And I found more!
From Quinn, April 17, 2008: My Nana (Mom’s Mom) used to own a pond house on Johnson’s Pond which is right near where I live. You can actually get to it if you walk through the woods across the street from my house. My Mom used to spend her summer’s there when she was growing up. And Nana used to take me and Maddie there on weekends. Nana had to sell the house because she couldn’t afford the land she needed to buy to keep the house. This was probably about 5 years ago. (And the people that own it now are rich bitches, who I don’t like at all.) But it turned out to not be that bad because my old best friends grandfather had a house two houses down, and she would be there every weekend in the summer and she would invite me over to hang out. And we met these kids that visited for all of July that lived a couple houses down and we spent a lot of time with them and it was great. And the point is; There’s this place we called The Point where we would swim because it had a nice sandy area, and I went there today. And I brought my piece of Hannah, and it was really nice out and really peaceful and there was no one around and I was thinking how it would have been amazing to bring you and Hannah and Hayden there, and I found this stuffed monkey, and I left some of Hannah in the waves (after thinking it would be like a movie but I couldn’t get the baggy open because of my stupid fake nails. But don’t worry, I got it open), and I cried because I miss you and I can’t believe how lucky I am to know you and because I couldn’t hug you after reading your blog.

The stuffed monkey I found I named Hannah.
(Photo from L&L Albuquerque 2006, my favorite picture of Quinn)
And there’s a couple more big pictorials coming soon.
Yes indeed, I’m out and about once again ♥

Landmark Day

Today Hayden is 9.5 ♥ He is now officially the oldest child I’ve ever parented. He’s quite honored. He thought I’d be sad, instead I reveled in his Joy.
Here are the results of our family tie-dye party.
Hayden’s beloved Jojo’s NYC Adventure tee was infused with new life today 😀 The results of Scotty’s octopus experiment.I tied dyed my Amy shirt, another friendly reminder from the Universe
at Exactly the right moment.
Two years ago, Hannah reminded me she’s a rock. Today, I am too. Cool innit?

Hannah Jenner World Tour Update

Madeline and her Boys took my Girl on vacation with them this Winter/Summer in Australia.
As I opened her blog, to copy the link, Girl America by Mat Kearney started to play. In the most perfect way, I let the song play, even looking up the lyrics. Of course, it’s the song for reading Hannah’s Point. Here’s why:
My girl America, stop can’t you see
It’s not the circumstances that determine who you’re gonna be

But how you deal with these problems and pains that come your way

It’s for you that I pray with hope for a brighter day

And so I say, your deliverance is coming

Thank you to the collective souls who collaborated to make this memorial happen. From Kelly Lovejoy creating the space for us to meet, to Madeline’s Brother with the foresight to move downunder, to the sweet, sweet Grammas along that day’s journey. And Hannah. Yeah, especially her. Magic. Pure, sweet, love-as-magic.

~♥~ ~♥~ ~♥~ ~♥~ ~♥~ ~♥~ ~♥~ ~♥~ ~♥~ ~♥~ ~♥~ ~♥~ ~♥~ ~♥~

And this from our friends in Rapid City:

Patrick, Barb and I made a trip to Cape Cod during the entire month of August 2007. My closest friend back there is a guy named Andy. He is friends with a number of people who are professional mountaineers and who travel constantly.
We took half of the little packet of Hannah’s ashes that you gave us last Halloween with us to Cape Cod. I gave them to Andy and told him to give them to his friend Gregg Prescott who was making a journey to Africa in the fall. He was told to scatter them in a place he felt was appropriate. I found out from Andy several days ago that Gregg scattered them at the head of Victoria Falls on Lake Victoria in Africa. It is my understanding that these are the highest falls in the world. Gregg Prescott said that something rather freaky happened when he scattered the ashes — a wind came up and scattered them in a clockwise dust devil over the falls. It literally took them out of his hand and took them over the falls. As a Wiccan you know that a clockwise dust devil can be a very sacred thing. Gregg Prescott just reported to Andy in a letter that it made the hair stand up on his head. Anyway, food for thought. This apparently was done the evening of Sept. 29.

Weird, isn’t it?

The remainder of Hannah’s ashes that we kept I scattered on Christmas Eve at the little playground here where we live.

All the best–

Ed, Barb, and Patrick McCormack

Merry Christmas, Mommy

Lookee what I found in my quest for decorations!The note inside
Waiting for me in my stocking…
Givin’ Peace a Chance…
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