Feeling like a super mom today. Exhausted but endowed with power and magic. Today is never easy. 7 years. Another anniversary of the beginning of my unexpected life.
I have long entertained the idea that the cells of the body are recycled bit by bit every 7 years. Where did I hear that? I have no idea, but if it were so, there is no cell in my body left that actually knew David. Could that be? Even if it was the general rule, I imagine my cells clever enough to bypass such ignorance. They might have whispered and conspired, perhaps saving one very, very old seven or eight or nine year old cell and sitting at her “feet” to listen to stories of when I was not lonely. And really, there was that time when I knew joy without effort. And maybe in the stories of that old cell is the seed of a coming time of such joy. Just maybe. Continue reading
We drove up to Ashland, WI, during the weekend, a short trip to go to a memorial service. I’ve not been that far north and although the weather was wet, damp, then rainy and rather cold, there were trees to drive through and lake beaches to walk on. I fell into writing about where Julia is this summer which I’ll post separately.
I loved getting out of Madison! Apart from a very few quick trips to the Chicago burbs, its been months since we’ve left. I love Madison but I crave travel. Driving up north was unexpectedly satisfying. Quiet, gray, rolling hills, lots of evergreen trees and water. The lake looking so vast that a casual observer might mistake it for a sea. And the lupines! I have not driven through a landscape of wild lupines. Like in Barbara Cooney’s story of Alice Rumphius, a kid’s book I haven’t thought about in years. The lupines were beautiful. Someone at the memorial said they were invasive. It may be wrong but I wish to be invaded by lupines. I stopped by the side of the road more than once trying unsuccessfully to capture what I saw.
The lupines were worth the drive. Continue reading
Rain and thunder for the last two morning. My brave girl, terrified of thunder, puts ear plugs into her ears, wears her sister’s red rain jacket and grits her teeth against the challenges of the day.
Breathe, honey. She runs into the rain towards the little bus that drives her to school. I am grateful for her bravery, for loving bus ladies and for her teacher who thanks me for a heads up email. Continue reading
Trees are in bud; daffodils are blooming as I turn around; I dug up the purple crocus that were finished on Thursday. I’ll dig the yellow ones today. When I civilized my wild, overgrown garden back in Indy, I dug up scores of bulb plants as they finished their bloom determined to save and replant. I did not let the greens develop as is advised because if I had I would have forgotten what they were and colors. Rows of bulbs with greens attached dried in the sun until the greens were browns and the bulbs were stored for fall planting. I need to do the same process with the bulbs on the terrace gardens. The purple crocus was a beginning. As the daffodils and tulips come up, and with only those plants coming up on the terrace beds, I can appreciate how many there are. All representing my work and love. Taking apart these beds as been full of so much sadness and pain; this spring there is room of appreciation and a bit of joy. Continue reading
A friend explained that she was distracted because she heard of another death. My first thought was of how another person was going to have to go through that journey. I sighed and felt bone tired weary. I know, I know, it’s inevitable and I know every journey is different — beloved partner to acquaintance, tragic, expected, prepared for, unexpected — but it is the journey from brokenness to the Kinisuga masterpiece of a life. That is, if we are fortunate enough to recognize the journey is necessary and patient enough to make it.
The urge to grab onto a bit of melancholy is due in part to Friday’s memory of transplant day. It’s been seven years, and over this past year I’ve started looking again at the memories Facebook offers to share. I stayed away from those memories for a long time. On Saturday seven years ago, I posted that David was sitting up eating Jell-O and how glorious that simple act seemed. There has been so much work from that time to this. It feels like a mere girl wrote those words not the woman who was looking forward to her 30th wedding anniversary. Continue reading
So much of life flies under the radar and goes unnoticed. By me. Sometimes I notice a new hair cut, I comment on a Facebook announcement of a new job or I ask about an increased spring in a step, but so many times I miss much of the lives around me. I don’t know whether to attribute it to self-involvement, a teenager who needs attention or a general character flaw. Continue reading
I don’t believe that everything happens for reason. Or that there is some sort of divinity arranging events. However, I do believe that the examined life demands that I take advantage of my experiences as teaching and learning moments.
And that’s where I am today.
Last week I canceled almost everything we do. No cello lesson, therapy with Marilyn, speech therapy, reading group, Chinese brushstroke painting, ice skating for Julia or songha for me. We stayed home. I went to a show on Friday night with a friend driving and we went to church on Saturday Night which had the bonus of a potluck meal afterwards. I did homework with Julia every day and we found time to write to thank you notes that she owed but without other obligations she also had free time to play video games, listen to music, and draw Sonic. This morning I had a chilling awareness that what we did last week, no therapy and just a little bit of learning, could be what Julia’s life post high school could be like. It could become a lonely life of unrewarding work and coming home to an evening of mindless TV. I know it’s four years away and she will change between now and then but my mother fears bubble up. What if she doesn’t change or grow during these years? What if at 21 or 25, Julia is not curious and needs me to fill her days for her in some productive way? What if only me wanting this fuller life for her? Immediately, I went down the rabbit hole of worry and fears. What if… What if… What if. Continue reading
“You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done… you are fierce with reality.” ~ Florida Scott-Maxwell
Last night I dream of David. I haven’t dreamed about him in a very, long time. I was one of those real-feeling, ordinary-day-feeling dreams.
This last week has been intense and concentrated, filled with reading and writing and two long phone conversations with an old friend who reframed some sad events of the last few years. During the course of our conversation, my friend told me about a phone call that she had with David. A call that either I did not know about or had completely forgotten. Either one is possible. It concerned her, not me any way. But hearing about it after all this time blew a little bit of life into the dusty ghosts of my imagination. Continue reading
This morning my eyes opened before the alarm rang to the reality of the next month or so. OK probably it’s going to be six weeks. The pain is subsiding and I’m feeling somewhat claustrophobic and trapped inside my house. After a few days of trying to do things with one nondominant hand, I’m ready to admit to the utter uselessness of that hand for anything other than picking stuff up off the floor. I need some help.
First, I need to find someone to clean my house. I can go through a service. Any recommendations of either a service or a particular person would be most appreciated. I’m not a clean freak but I’ve tried vacuuming with my ultra light stick vacuum cleaner and it might have made an decent SNL sketch. I can’t imagine pulling the sheets off the beds or cleaning the bathroom with one arm.
Second, I’m thinking of getting groceries delivered. Does anybody in Madison do this? Does anybody in Madison use Woodmans to do this?
Third, over the next two weeks or so, we could really use a few dinners. I have stuff in the freezer I can defrost but not enough for the next month. Cutting and cooking anything it’s almost impossible right now. Once I get a real cast on I think I will be able to hold things with my left hand but I don’t know if I will ever be able to do anything with a knife with my right hand and not end up in worse shape than I am already.
Fourth, salads and fresh fruit make up a good part of our diet and I cannot cut vegetables or peel any fruits. Julia is helping out some but I hate to put too much responsibility for food prep onto her. Would anyone consider coming over once or once every few days to cut up some cucumbers, apples, avocados, etc.?
That’s all I can think of for now, but if anyone, who has been through this one handed thing, sees something I’ve clearly missed, please let me know. Thanks for reading, thanks for offering to help. I am grateful that I feel free to ask for this kind of help. I do have an incredible community around me. Love you guys.