The Deal with Dreams

By: Lauren Thaler  |  Date: September 27th, 2011  |  Category: Discoveries  |  Comments: 3 comments »

I never paid much attention to my dreams. From what I can tell, my dreams were always as random as the next guy’s. I’ve had the adventure dreams, the anxiety dreams, the scary dreams, the birthday suit dreams, etc. They’ve bounced around from one topic to the next, seemingly without purpose or pattern.

But after my mom died, something kind of strange happened. Actually, screw it. It wasn’t strange — It was downright cruel.

My dreams became chronological, starting with my mom’s diagnosis. I had to go through the initial shock, heartache and pain all over again. So, basically, right when I was ready to start the healing process, my subconscious turned on and said, no way you’re getting out of this that easily. It was miserable.

So, for a couple months my dreams were revelations about my mom’s diagnosis. Once, I was at soccer practice, and then – BAM! – I learned Mom [...]

The Full Excavation, Paper Scraps Continued

By: Lauren Thaler  |  Date: August 9th, 2011  |  Category: Discoveries  |  Comments: 3 comments »

After sharing a couple paper scraps with you last week in A Paper Scraps Confession, I felt compelled to reopen the manila folder of my mother’s notes last night. This time, I sat in the middle of my bed and went through each and every note – each scribble – rediscovering vignettes and stories from my early childhood.

I ended up with three piles.

1. My Firsts

Included in this pile are the following: my first sleepover, my first dentist appointment, when I learned to blow my nose, when I learned to snap my fingers, and when I became officially toilet trained. (Although it appears I may have relapsed back into diapers for 4 months since there are two scraps with different dates declaring my accomplishments in this category.) More importantly, however, I can now pinpoint the date my love for party shoes was born:

2. Making Sense of Dad’s Death

This pile includes dialogue [...]

A Paper Scraps Confession

By: Lauren Thaler  |  Date: August 4th, 2011  |  Category: Discoveries  |  Comments: 9 comments »

As I discussed in my previous post, keeping vs. tossing an identifiable “mom-ism” is a common theme in my life since my mom’s death.

Things that fall into the “TOSS” pile:

1.     Compulsive record keeping

2.     Tax filing procrastination

3.     Defying the Internet (paying bills vis-à-vis snail mail, etc.)

4.     Late night feasting on Entenmann’s chocolate glazed donuts

Things that fall into the “KEEP” pile:

1.     Triple-checking that the front door is locked before leaving home

2.     Negotiating for discounts

3.     Thoroughly washing fruit before consumption

4.     A “waste not, want not” mentality of using every last drop of shampoo/hand soap/face wash/dish detergent/etc. – even if it means cutting off the end of a plastic container.

Despite the lists above, I white-lied about something. (Forgive me.) I haven’t completely tossed my mother’s compulsive record keeping tendency. Let me rewind a bit….

When I was cleaning out her apartment, I did in fact come upon receipts, records and notes older than my high [...]