One Day at a Time….

The  ‘Fun and Games’ are over and done with.

The Christmas tree is down,

The New Years Eve dance party is over.

This holiday season was the hardest I have ever lived thorough;

Mommy’s presence in the cheese ball and the ornaments

and everywhere I turned.

I expected to awaken to a new year and new hope.

I was horribly wrong.


Grief is hovering and filling each breath and movement.

It is time to face the facts:

My mother is dead and we had a complicated relationship

I am left with complicated grief.

That is odd isn’t it?

‘Complicated Grief,’ as if there is any other kind.

Today was perhaps the hardest day;

the expectation of something lighter was a mistake on my part.

I have Done Grief. I thought I knew what to expect.


My parents are both dead.

Mommy died when we were not expecting it.

Her alcoholics dementia had forced a leave-taking years earlier.

Her life long alcoholism created distance from day one.

‘Complicated Grief,’

An understatement.

Now, what to do?

Write about my mothers dementia


write about her death?

Both caused by her alcoholism;

My anger too…

caused by alcoholism.

Here it is; a new year

and an ancient story.

Devastation wrought by booze.

A tale as old as the hills

and haunting me still.

“One day at a time,” I learned in the 12 steps programs,

One day at a time….

Peace, Jen

~ by Step On a Crack on January 1, 2012.

15 Responses to “One Day at a Time….”

  1. Someone told us that a new year is supposed to hold some kind of mystical promise. It’s somehow offered as more than just the hanging up of a page with a different picture above the 31 boxes.
    There’s no magic as we start a new year with last year’s heavy heart.
    A tale as old as time – grief – beauty and the beast.
    Yes, it is complicated.
    Love to you, dear Jen.


  2. I always appreciate Debbie’s comments for they are pretty much the same as what I would write, too. 🙂

    I’ve been holding up unrealistic expectations of the new year and myself yesterday and today. It feels yucky — this pressure to have the new year be something more, for me to make something more of myself in it. Damn resolutions. No matter how much I *don’t* want to make them, I feel a ritualistic compulsion to do so anyway, and it already makes me feel like I am coming up short! Ugh. Debbie is right, there is no magic as we start a new year, just a new page on the calendar. There is something nice about a new page, though, and it is true that in taking things one day at a time, we get to leave yesterday behind.

    I hope for your new page to be a release and a freedom from complicated grief. I totally get it — I totally understand grief is a complicated creature, compounded by the knots and scars of broken relationship. I feel & know that. But I also know that we make things as complicated as we want to, we create complication for ourselves, and really those complications are illusions. It’s the “Maya,” you know?

    So. In some sense, it is only as complicated as you and I want to make it. My anxiety about 2012 is illusion. Your pain, while very real-feeling, well, it’s an illusion, too, in a way. Know what I’m getting at? I’m tiptoeing a little because in no way do I want to diminish your pain, nor have you shortcut your grieving process or dismiss how you are feeling. The only way out is through, and sometimes we have to sit and be in that mud and dirt of digging through the pain. But then there is a way in which we can also be released and free if we center ourselves, calm ourselves, and recognize the freedom in which we really live. The perfection that things really are in the “beyond place.” The here and the now of the pain and the struggle are really just a kind of illusion. We’re players on a stage, feeling these things to help our souls grow. But it is not the “real reality.”

    I hope that does not sound too hippie-trippy and that it is something that is helpful. It’s a helpful concept for me, one that has very truly kept me alive in some trying times; maybe it could be a helpful idea for you, too. I know that we are “wired up” with a lot of similar thinking, Jen, so I thought I would put the idea “out there” not only for you, but for me, too. I need to understand that the pressure I feel today on myself and on life is only an illusion. I’m myself taking a deep breath and releasing today so that I can move forward.

    And sorry my comment is longer than your blog. I do that a lot — have since I really started blogging six years ago. Heh. I can get wordy when I read something I like and really respond to.

    Be well.
    Mrs D


  3. I pray for a wee bit a clear sky for you sweetie. One minute: Just one minute of peace and joy! I’m here for you! Love, mel


    • Thank you sweetie! I think I do need to drop my expectations. Mrs. D is right.
      It is what it is AND it is all illusion and perspective.

      It’s still pain.

      Damn. Love. Jen


      • It’s super painful. Super powerfully painful. I think that’s why I have to go to the place of de-realizing things a little — of going into the place of saying
        “All the world’s a stage,
        And all the men and women merely players:
        They have their exits and their entrances;
        And one man in his time plays many parts…”

        If I don’t go into that place then it becomes way too painful, way too complicated. But knowing that it is just a play, just some time spent here to learn, it helps me “grok” the whole situation. You know?

        Yeah, a bit of clear sky. That’s a good thing! I keep thinking of the beautiful clear blue Colorado sky on a clear day. Nothing like it. I love to think of that sky when things get tough. 🙂


  4. I was thinking about you yesterday and KNOWING that it will be a good year for you; not perfect, but GOOD! You did a lot of HARD prep last year : your mom, your hip, otherstuffiwon’tmentioninablog….. The hard prep has been done so that you are ready for a better year for YOU! I believe you tipped the scales in your direction when you started this beautiful and beloved blog.


    • ‘tipped the scales’ maybe so, maybe so…

      Thank you my Friend for being here in ALL of it. WE need a better year. WE will have one! Darn it.

      I am putting on my tiara right now!

      LOVE J


  5. You learn to get up and breath, You just get up and breath and make it through one more minute, one more hour, one more day. Time will pass and the overwhelming grief will lessen, but it will always be there.

    Try to be kind to yourself.

    Sending hugs



    • Dear Judy,

      Thank you for touching base. I know you know about this and for that I am truly sorry. My complicated grief is nothing compared to yours. I will trust your words of wisdom and know that time will indeed pass.

      I am in the one minute moment now… Thank you for reminding me of that and to take care. Easier said than done.

      Hugs back,

      Thank you so much



  6. One thing I am certain I know about grief and that is I know nothing about grief. There is nothing that could possibly prepare a person for something that is as unique to us as our smiles. Similarities, yes, but never the same. You may have “done grief” but it is not done with you. Please don’t take that as harsh. You’re as direct as I am so I know you understand me. I do know, you will not be alone in your journey. And that helps. Really, It does. As the guys would tell me “we got you on this”. love and peace to you, dear Jen.


  7. One day at a time, and even one hour at a time seems like more than enough for right now. Thinking of you often and wishing you gentleness – strength can wait!


  8. I think . . . each day is a new start. Each day is brand new with no mistakes on it. Each day we have strength to walk a bit further, take a few running steps.
    Like an athlete training for a long race, we mark off bits and conquer them, then begin looking at the next mile and the next, until we can run that race with ease we never had at first.
    Here’s to a safe trip . . .


    • Kathy, ‘each day a new start’ now that is what I need to hold close to my heart. Step by step and this race will be won; one way or another.

      Safe trip yes. and a complete one too.

      Bless you as always,



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