Friday, May 25, 2012

“…clear skies, with occasional melancholy”

 Judy is reading a book Life's That Way, by Jim Beaver, about the death of his wife, and she feeds me occasional quotes. She wasn't sure if she should give me the book to read, because she worries it might be too painful. And before… way before… I might have agreed with her. But now I find that it often it takes a more eloquent person expressing how they feel as they walk through the death of a loved one to enable me to make sense of what I am feeling. He writes...

Today's one of those days when I catch myself saying, "I'm never going to get over this, am I?"  And then I remember the grief recovery proscription against projecting current feelings on the future. And so I allow myself the possibility of getting over this. Whatever that means.

Lots of twinges and groans from the heart today.  No special reason, no identifiable triggers.  Highs in the upper nineties, clear skies, with occasional melancholy.

Yet another similie to add to the collection.  This is like a runaway train headed down the rails and the engineer sees a disaster looming ahead and is powerless to stop it… Life is like a river, it flows over rapids, swirls and eddies and broadens into quiet pools…

May can be a tumultuous month as far as the weather is concerned. Some days will be crystal clear and beautiful and warm, and others crystal clear and beautiful and a bit nippy. It was very windy yesterday, Richard regretting that we do not have a windmill to generate power. Some mornings one wakes up to heavy fog hugging the land. Some days there are ferocious storms. In fact, it was about this time last year that a good portion of Joplin was destroyed by a tornado.

And the tumultuous weather is a good similie for the tumult in May on an emotional level as well.

Clear, with a chance of melancholy…

Even when one knows intellectually that one’s parents are going to eventually die, one is never quite ready for it. This was my third Mother’s day without my Mom and my second Mother’s Day without my son. Missing my mom so much. Being thankful I had the chance to be a mother myself… missing our son so much.

And overwhelmed at how loving my husband was on that day. He made me a pretend card as though our son were here to give it to me. He picked some daisies, as though they were from our son, and put them in the cup of the “trophy” our boy gave me on the last Mother’s Day we were to have.

And then on Wednesday morning of this week, I arrived back home from aerobics to a message from my Dad on the answering machine that his last surviving sister, Aunt Vera, had died. About 3 months ago she was given “3 to 6 months” to live, and the doctor had it about right. I am happy I got to see her last June when my niece got married. I am so sorry that my three cousins and their families have this sorrow in their lives.

I especially love this picture of her and my mother, which was taken 2 months before my mother died. 

It is one of the last pictures anybody took of my mother that I have, at any rate. My mother had a spiritual bond with Vera, and my sister tells me of a conversation she overheard between Mom and Vera shortly after Mom found out she had cancer. She had told my aunt, “Vera, I am on my way to heaven, and you’re a-comin’ with me…” And I believe she was right. I believe Vera is in heaven with her right now.

But it hasn’t been all sorrow and melancholy.

Early in the month, I moved the ancient cactus that once belonged to my Grandfather outside under a tree and poured about a half-gallon of water on it. This cactus was part of much larger cactus garden he had in his yard in the 1960s, and it went with him when he and my step-grandmother sold the house and moved into a mobile home park. And my father brought it with him when they came to visit us here in the early 1980s after my grandfather had died. 

A few days later one gorgeous flower appeared on the little prickly sausages.

A mother armadillo has taken up residence in the old culvert under our driveway, and Richard spotted her and 3 babies the other day as he was leaving in the truck; in fact, the babies were running around under the vehicle. He says one of them stopped to sniff his tire. These armadillos will almost certainly be killed on the highway in front of the house, but for the time being, they are safe with us. We do not have a fancy lawn, or beautiful flowerbeds, or an extensive garden. We don’t care if armadillos make holes in the ground looking for food.

Having decided we no longer wish to run the gauntlet of scolding wrens every time we come in or out of the back door, or listen to them berate the cat all day for sprawling on porch, we removed everything that they could possibly build a nest in from around the back door. 

So they constructed their nest this year in the coil of an air hose hanging on the back wall the garage (which used to be the side of our house). It is exactly at eye level as we come walking down the stairs,

 so we get a peak at the 4 fuzz-covered heads with gaping mouths that bob around waiting for mom and dad to bring bugs.

And my two nieces received their Master’s degrees on Wednesday. What a joy for all of us and especially their parents.

I believe Grandpa is especially proud of them. So am I... which reminds me...


Far Side of Fifty said...

I think you are allowed the occasional melancholy! Your Mom was a wise woman..and I am certain that she helped your Aunt along the way..just as a good sister would. I imagine everyones sadness was heavens gladness.
Armadillos..very cool:)

Leilani Lee said...

An armadillo tale: they spent all day working very hard putting in a lovely raised flower bed. Spent a lot of money on plants. Went off tired but happy to celebrate, came home shortly after dark to find several armadillos were in the process of tear it up. Husband sorely tempted to tear across the lawn in the car and run them all over. Instead he got his gun.