Saturday, December 31, 2016

Last Day

I learned that David passed on Facebook today.
There are all kind of end of the year lists, posts and shows. When I see a list of celebrities who passed this year I want to shout-DON'T FORGET LUCILLE PARISH!
I don't experience the death of famous people in a deep way. I feel sad. But it's not deep. The exception might be Leonard Cohen because I sought comfort in his language for so many years. When Joni Mitchell dies I will mourn.
I'm thinking about the difference between how David saw me and how the mommy saw me. David saw me in ways I wanted to be seen. The mommy saw me the way she wanted to see me. The loss I feel for the mommy is deep in my bones, my heart, my skin. It involves everything in my life. The loss I feel for David is only in my heart. I feel the loss of hope that I will ever see him again. I'm sad that I didn't finish my rewrite before now. I wanted to show him the book.
I've spent so many years trying to understand how to resolve issues in relationships. Now I just accept the idea that resolution may never happen. But relationship doesn't really go way.
People ask how I'm doing. I'm never sure what to say. Mostly I'm sad. I think about the mommy every day. It's a habit that won't go away soon. I'm not always sad when I think about her and I don't always dwell on the thinking. I still sometimes feel overwhelming sadness for no obvious reason.
Today I am working on plants but not getting much done. I may still be a little sick.
Oh David.
Oh mama.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Sick Daze

A few nights ago my sinuses started to ache. It's a feeling that usually signals illness is about to hit. I made a huge glass of Throat Coat and went to sleep. Despite it's anatomically specific name Throat Coat is really soothing when your sinuses hurt. The next day I woke up determined to be well but knowing I wasn't. By 9AM  I was back in bed. I spent the next two days wandering from the bed to the recliner to the bathroom with occasional stops in the kitchen for more tea. I was achy. Sleepy. Watery eyed. But it felt oddly good.
Remember when you were young and you were sick enough to stay home from school? Even if your body felt bad you were home, in bed or on the couch. You got Ginger Ale. Campbell's chicken noodle soup. To this day, despite my snobby tendencies when it comes to food, when I'm sick I want Campbell's chicken noodle soup. Salty. Mushy noodles. Odd chunks of (hopefully) chicken. Yum.
It was a reprieve. A day off. A day to be nobody doing nothing because you were too sick to do anything.
That's how I felt.
I've been very kind to myself. I do not push. Grief is physical as well as emotional. I've been allowing myself lots of rest. But this was different. This was the body pulling me in deep and keeping me still.
I was never terrible sick. I'm still a bit sniffley. My throat is still a little scratchy but I have more energy.
But I liked all that under the blanket time.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Village

The Mommie had a little ceramic Christmas village. A church, a post office, a general store. I don't remember them all. And there were little ceramic people and trees and maybe a Santa. The buildings had lights in them. Last year I put them on her windowsill. She was very excited about it. When she came back from dinner a few of the ladies came with her to see it. 
I was always wanting her to make a friend. She always had made friends everywhere she went. Looking back I realize she had begun to withdraw socially while she was still in North Carolina. I knew she had been but I thought when she got to Oregon she might open back up. She never really did. She liked my friends and care givers but she couldn't sustain conversations. She felt stupid. She had become very shy and insecure. 
So when this little group of ladies squeezed into her room to talk about this little village and Christmas it felt like a win. She called me to tell me and was very happy. 
And then. 
She was afraid to go to bed with the little lights still on. She had trouble turning them off. She pulled cords until the lights popped off, which essentially broke them. I don't know if she got entangled in the chords or just lost her balance but she fell. She broke the skin above her eye. She had a huge black and blue mark on her face and more on her body. Just thinking about it makes me cry. She wouldn't go to dinner the next night because she was embarrassed. 
I was always trying to create her world the way she would have done it for herself. There were often mixed results. Results that underlined that things were not as they had been and never would be. She had changed. I feel like I was always needing to realize that she had changed again. I had to keep up with her decline. 
It wasn't all bad. There were moments of sweetness. We had fun. It was just that things got narrower in a way. It often felt like I was walking her along a precipice. Trying to keep us both balanced. And then she fell.  
A friend fixed the lights in the little houses. I was going to put them up again because I would be there to turn them off. I was looking forward to it. I had plans. I've done plenty of Christmas, birthday and holiday days alone. I can do alone. But I've been with her for the last 12 or 13 Christmas mornings. I've made waffles and handed her presents and kissed her. I got the new frog calendar and frog chocolates. She smiled. I want that back. I'm not ready to not have all that. I had plans. 
I'm not feeling bah humbug. I'm not feeling Scrooge. Facebook is filled with pictures of trees and tamales and cookies and smiles. They are all sweet. There are menorahs and Kawansaa candles. I smile when I see them. 
I have been drinking the Hood River Coffee's Christmas blend. R asked me why it was a Christmas blend. I don't know. I always drink Christmas blends. It's a thing. I've had a glass of eggnog with rum every evening. I received some cards, which are on the shelf above my desk. Some very sweet friends sent me some very sweet gifts. I saved them until this morning. 
I'm OK. 
It's just that I had plans.
I'll put the little village up somewhere next year. I'll bake cookies. I'll hang a wreath. I'll say Happy Holidays and be excited about things. I'm just not there today. And I can't get there. I know that's OK. I'm not worried about it.