My Last Born

Sixteen years ago, on July 26, 2000, Colin Michael Busick, was born and completed our little family.

IMG_3516

IMG_3487IMG_3488

IMG_3490

My second little ginger came swiftly and easily and has never given us one bit of trouble since he arrived.  Easy to laugh, even-tempered, and always a smile on his face, he was the dream child for a young mother with two other young children.

IMG_3513IMG_3511IMG_3515IMG_3489

Colin has always had an active imagination and used it when he transformed himself into a Bionicle:

IMG_3491

Or participated in the dance classes I taught:

IMG_3510

IMG_3531

It was only natural that he would latch on to gaming and music.

6454DA34-7924-44FD-88CE-FAEE359613F9IMG_3529

It is so bittersweet when your youngest starts school.  Colin was my constant companion until he started kindergarten, so the only thing I could do was to keep busy when he started school.  I started teaching group fitness classes at L.A. Fitness to distract me.

IMG_3502IMG_3501IMG_3505IMG_3503IMG_3504

When Colin was 8, the music frenzy started.  He started with piano first, and then clarinet once he got to middle school.

IMG_3521IMG_3507

We were so lucky to be in Leander ISD with it’s awesome music and arts programs!

IMG_3499

IMG_3500

And as it always happens, time flew by and before we knew it, Colin was a Timberwolf!

IMG_3518

(First Uniform Fitting)

IMG_3526

(Hot Summer Practice On the Blacktop)

IMG_3519IMG_3523

IMG_3530

(First Show Freshman Year:  “For Whom The Bell Tolls

And the Award Winning Sophomore Year: “What’s Opera Doc?”

IMG_1753IMG_1755IMG_1754

It was a wonderful thing to watch this outstanding band win the Texas State 5A Championship!!

IMG_1728

IMG_1761

IMG_1830

Our Gold Medalist!!!!!

IMG_1809

IMG_1810

IMG_1752

 

The award winning performance!

Summer band practice starts tomorrow and this is going to be an exciting season, as the band is gearing up to go to the granddaddy of all band competitions…The Grand Nationals in Indianapolis!!!  Can’t wait to see them “bring it”!

It should be noted that Colin has also picked up the trumpet in the last year.  His goal is to march with a drum corps this next summer and get the experience he needs to pursue Music Education.  He wants to be a band director.

This year has also brought changes and milestones:

IMG_3005

IMG_3017

Music Milestones…

And first girlfriend!

IMG_3517

It doesn’t surprise me.  Colin is polite, kind, funny, smart, and handsome. Yes, I’m biased, but I’m sure Colin’s Emily agrees!

As wonderful as it is to watch your children grow up and become interesting and wonderful adults…sometime I just wish I could wind the clock back…just for a moment.  What wouldn’t I give to be able to kiss this little face again!

IMG_3508

IMG_3506

Colin, I feel so fortunate and blessed to be your mother…

IMG_3525IMG_3492

every single day!

 

I’ll Think About It Tomorrow…

My mother was finally buried today.

IMG_2507IMG_3468

This past week I feel as though I’ve been in a haze since my mom passed a week ago.  I thought I would be able to get a practical handle on things, because truthfully, I started mourning my mother when I heard about her Stage 4 stomach cancer diagnosis this past September.  Granted, it has been years ago, but I use to work for a group of general surgeons and oncologists typing up chart notes and Stage 4 cancer always ends the same no matter what you do.  There is almost never a “miracle”.  After hearing her diagnosis, my main goal was to see her as much as possible, as she was in Los Angeles and I live in Austin, TX. and I’m so happy that I got to do that.  When I wasn’t with her, I kept in touch often by phone, but towards the end, our conversations ended after 5 minutes instead of 2 hours, which was the norm for us.

My mother’s memorial service was last Wednesday, and even though I couldn’t be there, my daughter, Chloe, called me and kept her phone on, so that I could hear it.  My mother didn’t want a memorial service.  She never wanted anyone to make a fuss over her, but I’m glad there was one.  It warmed my heart to hear others memories of my mom.

IMG_0367

IMG_0368

IMG_0371

IMG_0373

IMG_0372

IMG_0370

IMG_0369

The images of the burial are painful to see.  The week since she died, I have found myself just trying to stay busy.  Anything to keep from thinking about my mom not being here anymore.  I so much want to just call my mom the phone and crack up with her, but that’s not to be.  It’s hard for me to think about…I’m not ready to face it yet.  So, right now with the help of Xanax, I will follow Scarlett O’Hara’s mantra…”I’ll think about it tomorrow.  After all, tomorrow is another day.”.

IMG_0374

Until We Meet Again…

This morning I lost my beautiful mother, Aida Salas Bustamante Rundquist, to a long and horrific battle with cancer.  It doesn’t seem fair that my mother, who had a massive heart attack about 8 years ago and almost died then, should have to endure something so much worse.  The full impact hasn’t hit me yet, as I was not with her at the end (because I live in another state), but I know that in my family, there will be a huge void that will not ever be filled.  For 42 years, my mother was the heart and soul of the little house on Sanford Dr in Culver City, CA, and though my siblings and I don’t agree on much…on this fact I’m sure we can agree.

IMG_3153

(Engagement Photo)

Though I was not with her at the end, I did visit her often during the span of her illness and my kids, husband and I were able to spend last week with her for one last time.  There is a flood of memories rushing through my mind right now, so indulge me for a moment…

FullSizeRender (18)

(My mom, my brother Edgar and me.  I love my mom’s late 60’s, early 70’s style!)

My mom was proud of her Mexican heritage, but she became a proud American just shortly after I graduated high school, when she applied for U.S. citizenship in the 1980’s.  I remember attending the ceremony and watching my mom proudly waving her American flag.  It was very important to her to be able to vote in this country.  Up until the last 3-4 weeks of her life, she was up to speed on all of the crazy election stuff that’s going on right now.  I know she will miss being able to vote in this upcoming crucial election.

My mother came to this country not knowing a lick of English, but quickly set out to learn, often utilizing American soap operas to do so and befriending hippies to practice on!  It would have been really easy for her to just stick with Spanish, since she was living in Southern California and the fact that my dad spoke fluent Spanish (due to his mission for the Mormon Church), but she wasn’t content to do so.  She set out to learn to speak, read and write English successfully.  Sometimes though, she would have a mix up (much to the amusement of her kids).  For example, in high school, Ingrid and I went with friends to see the movie “Footloose”.  She later asked, “How was the movie, “Shoelace?”.      When we kids pointed out the mistake, she just laughed at herself.  Sometimes she would just crack herself up and it would take quite a while for her infectious laugh to stop.

FullSizeRender (6)

My mother was also a KICK-ASS cook.  Two times a year she would make her famous tamales for Halloween and Christmas and shared them with the neighborhood.  It got to the point where the neighbors were anxiously waiting for her wonderful tamales.  Her salsa also, cannot be rivaled…I don’t care what anyone says!

IMG_3157  (Playing with my sister, Ingrid, at a beautiful park in Inglewood, CA)

My mom had a bohemian, artistic, romantic and passionate heart.  I have vivid memories of her singing at the kitchen sink while she washed dishes. She also taught herself to sew  (without a pattern!) and we kids benefited with the BEST Halloween costumes.   Through her talents, we were able to transform ourselves into Indiana Jones, Alice In Wonderland, Snow White, Spiderman, Batman, Jaws, Princess Leia and so on.FullSizeRender (17)  (Mom and me.  That’s Venice Blvd. in the background)

FullSizeRender (14)

IMG_3449

IMG_3450IMG_3452

My mother was a complex woman, who took pleasure in the very simplest of things.  She loved to paint and garden and took great pride in her front and backyard creations.  She also LOVED a good burger and a good mambo!  I think that the two things that hit her the hardest about her illness was the fact that she could no longer keep her garden up to her standards and she could no longer enjoy the food she loved.  She also missed being able to play hostess, which she was so good at!  Anyone who came to her door was treated as if they were royalty and were fed as such!

My mother also had unconditional love for her children.  Even when we chose to do, say, or live in a way she didn’t agree with, she continued to love us unconditionally. In fact, despite my mother’s heart attack, my mother did, in fact, own a perfect, loving, empathetic heart. My mother has a strong faith of the Mormon (LDS) church and when she was younger she served in callings for her church.  As time passed, though, she preferred to fly under the radar when she served humanity and practiced the true love of Christ.  She often went out to dispense blankets and coats to the homeless, not shirking to give out hugs too.

FullSizeRender (19).jpg

(A park in Inglewood, CA)

FullSizeRender (13)

IMG_2025

(With my first born, Keegan James)

IMG_0356

family1

family3

family5

 

My dear mother, I will not see you put in the ground in a hermetically sealed box because you are not in there.  You live on when I look at these faces…the faces of your beautiful grandchildren who you have left a permanent and beautiful mark on.

IMG_3426

IMG_0246

family6

You live on in the people whose lives you touched.  You live on when I hear Chloe talk excitedly about a plant or cooking. Your life print is so strong, that the memories I have of you in life are stronger than the memories I will have of your death, I am certain.  I’m no longer a practicing Mormon, but for you, mom, I will hold on to your belief in the afterlife, and instead of viewing your death as an end, I choose to view it as a beginning.  And instead of saying “goodbye,” I shall say, “Until we meet again.”

momm