Joy | Grief | Action | Change


This is the first time I started a Blog and felt like it had too many weaving parts to connect in one post. I decided I should leave this open as a living and breathing document. Leaving space for reflection and memories, as I make my point. It might take 2 or 3 posts but, I’ll get there. Let’s see how this goes…….

About 3 years before Buggy died, I started having a reoccurring dream. I would have this dream 2 to 3 times a week. I haven’t had the dream since her passing…..

It started with me driving on 62 or Hwy 5, close to the airport. A plane would catch my eye shortly after takeoff. All of a sudden, I would watch it descend quickly and crash. The plane didn’t explode on impact but, it caught fire. I was never close enough to be in danger but just close enough to help. I would get out of my car and start to run but something always got in my way. Whether it was people, a wall, water, or (most frequently) I’d be running in slow motion, I couldn’t get there. Then I would watch and scream until eventually the plane exploded or I’d wake up.

In hindsight, there are a million things this dream could have been trying to tell me. I’ll drive myself crazy if I go down that route. All I can think about is what it means now, with that, I am reminded by the importance of time. Think about it, I’m watching this catastrophe happen right in front of me and I can’t get there to help. It’s infuriating, frustrating, and terrifying. I’ve been thinking about time a lot lately. Along with the idea of not getting things done “fast enough.” That I have the means to help but, I am not getting it done in “TIME.”

Over Mother’s Day, my mom, Ashlee and I went to New York City. I wanted to get out of Minnesota. Mother’s Day is a hard day for my mom and I. I thought it would be nice for us to take a trip to one of Aria’s favorite Cities. A city where we all have so many memories of her.

When I was 6 months pregnant, my Mom and Grandma took me to New York on a “girl’s trip.” We had tickets to Wicked. My mom had seen it already and raved. We saw the Original Cast, except, Idina Menzel, who got hurt 2 days before our show. While watching the incredible performance, I felt Aria kick for the first time. That might seem late but, I was young, and everything up until that point felt like gas.  This time, I KNEW it was her. She was doing flips and dancing to the music. There was no doubt in my mind she was listening and enjoying the experience. Wicked, will always have a special place in my heart. By no coincidence its currently playing here in MPLS. As she grew older my mom would play her the soundtrack. She loved the music just as much outside the womb. “Popular” was her favorite.

Each trip to NYC we had to stop by Dylan’s Candy Store and FAO Schwartz (now gone), Serendipity, and Central Park. She loved visiting and spending time with Ashlee (mostly) and meeting her friends, Melissa, Jen, and Derek (Bugs had a major crush on him). She loved going to eat at hip hot spots that only the locals go. She hit the city hard. So hard that one afternoon, she took a nap. She was 8yo and this kid only napped for the first year of her life and when she was sick. Even then, napping was rare. She wrote a very repetitive yet catchy song about her unusual nap and sang it up and down the streets of Manhattan. It goes,

“I took a nap today, don’t try and tell me “no.”

“I took a nap today, don’t try and tell me “no.”

“Cuz I did”

“I did”

“I did, I did, I did”

“Oh I did”

You could call my mom and Ashlee, they could sing the song exactly how she wrote it. This is my favorite memory. It’s small and silly but it’s a reminder of how quick, witty, smart and talented she was. I still sing it when I take naps.

I’d imagine Aria would say her favorite memory in NYC was the impromptu invite to the Pretty Hurts video shoot. It was shot at a school in Brooklyn. When we got there, it was quiet. The neighborhood had no idea who was there or what was going on. There were very few people there. Only the crew, her family, and casted models. We spend most of our time “in the audience” as they filmed the talent show portion with Harvey Keitel. When Bey was finished with her scene she came to the audience to watch/direct the rest of the shoot. She was maybe 10 feet away from us. Bug’s couldn’t keep her eyes off of her. To watch Bugs experience something so special was exhilarating. This was after Bey put Bug’s in her Mrs. Carter Show: BeyGood Campaign, with the infamous “high five.” She was convinced Bey recognized her.

Bug’s had a wonderful time. Until she got hungry, then, came the boredom. Video shoots are not particularly fun. The last time she was at a video shoot was the Atmosphere video. At least with that, she was working and keeping busy. She lasted 6 hours in Brooklyn. I was proud. I am still incredibly grateful for these experiences.

Over Mother’s Day this year, while in NYC, we went to see Take Me Out on Broadway. It is a Tony Award winning play about an All-Star baseball player who came out at the peak of his career. The play touches on toxic masculinity within the locker room. Along with facing hostile teammates and culture as the “American Institution” we call baseball tries to navigate their “poster child” as being a gay man of color. It’s absolutely brilliant and relevant.

The play originally debuted in 2003. However, the revival stars Jesse Williams (Dr. Jackson Avery/Greys Anatomy) as Darren Lemming, the “All Star,” and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell Pritchett/Modern Family) as Mason Marzac, baseball fan and Darren’s accountant. I’ll be honest, there are HUGE (no pun intended) reasons why I loved this play. However, my favorite part of the play was a monologue performed by Jesse Tyler Ferguson. It implicates that time might not be as important as we think, its more about how we honor ourselves and how we “play the game”……….

( The link above is Aria singing “Pretty Hurts” for an impromptu talent show at church camp the summer before she passed. She never took piano lessons. Nor, have I ever heard her perform this song prior to this video)

( The cover photo is a photo I took in NYC. We were on our way to see Take Me out. We were moments before getting dropped off at the theater. I looked to my left, and this is what I saw.)

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