Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Mom

My mom, Carol
You might have noticed that it's been a little quiet around here. The last few weeks have been pretty rough, and I want to explain.

My mom passed away two weeks ago, on February 12, and it's been hard to process. I was able to be by her side in Oklahoma when she passed away, and that brings me some comfort. But my heart hurts deeply, and I still have the feeling that I can to call her and talk about everything. She would know what to say.

I've heard that feeling doesn't go away, or at least that it takes a long time to go away.

Despite the heartache and the whirlwind of decisions that have to be made once someone you love passes away -- namely, the funeral and burial, and what to do with all of their things that also seem to be waiting for their owner to come home -- I have at moments felt a peacefulness and comfort that I can only explain as her spirit helping me through this. (Full disclosure: I'm Catholic and believe in God.)

Some things that otherwise would have seemed too much somehow fell into place, and when I've felt especially down, there has been something about the way the sun was shining or the gentleness of a Southern California breeze in February that told me she was at peace but also that she was still with me -- that she would always be with me.

I was talking to Will about Grandma, and he asked where she was. "In heaven," I said. "We need her back," he responded, which made me smile. (CC has processed this in her own way, keeping a strong face while sometimes allowing herself to cry. She's really into the Beatles right now and wrote a song about her sadness to the tune of "Yesterday.")

You might remember the times she visited -- here, here and here. Her obituary was also picked up by the Cherokee Phoenix. (She was Miss Cherokee Holiday in 1959.)

I will miss her visits out to LA, and I'm sad that my children were only around her for such a short time, but I know she will always be with me. With us.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Must-Do With the Kids: 'Odysseo' by Cavalia

This week, CC has been so excited about knowing how to spell "magnificent." It's a big, grand word and definitely something for a third grader to be proud of spelling.

And when I think of "magnificent" lately, I think of Cavalia and the equestrian performance company's latest show "Odysseo," now playing under the white big top in Irvine through March 27.

Will and I caught the premiere earlier this month, and once again I was blown away by the beauty of unfettered horses and their respectful and ethereal riders. My 3-year-old son, while sometimes fidgety as preschoolers are, was still enthralled by the performances, too.

"Where are the horses? Where are the horses?" he asked when they'd run or trot off stage.

It's such a gorgeous show, and the stage -- a seemingly vast landscape underneath the big white tent -- creates the illusion that the audience is outdoors, watching as artists dance, perform gymnastics and whisper to horses amid thunderous rain storms and beautiful open skies. That's thanks to a talented design team and a huge LED screen behind the main area.

And, of course, the 65 horses.

If you're not familiar with Cavalia, the theatrical and equestrian-centered entertainment company is based in Montreal, Canada, and blends special effects, live performance and high tech to create its unusually magical shows.

CC and I have caught two previous shows when they arrived in Burbank, and I am still blown away by the otherworldly feel of the performances.

Luckily, Cavalia has extended its dates through March 27, and it's definitely a must-see!


Under The White Big Top
16576 Laguna Canyon Rd
Irvine, California, 92603
Tickets: Starting at $44.50 for adults; $39.50 for teens; and $29.50 for kids ages 2-12
Playing through March 27


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