I appreciate all the guidance in the universe to be in the present but I find it’s good to keep track of time too. Otherwise, life – and all the things I want from it – have a tendency to get away from me.
Sometimes she woke up in the middle of the night with the very normal idea that she was completely screwed up. She found that oddly reassuring.
It was the very start of her day and – based solely on the number of times she hit the snooze button – she could already tell it was going to be one filled with baby steps.
She often joked about needing a drink – so much so that people thought she might have a drinking problem. But really she meant drinks of the caffeinated variety, and she was never seen without a grubby paper cup of java in various stages of approach to cold murky grossness.
She took all her pieces of sadness and glued them together. Then she carefully added just enough glitter and ribbons to hide anything plain or ugly. She tacked on a slight smile and put on a laugh track, the one from the 1970s that crackled at the kind of humor on Archie Bunker. She taped any stray pieces into place. Then she poured it all into a power suit and sat it behind a fake cherry corporate desk.
This was her work self and it worked well : as long as no one touched her. She actively discouraged touching of any kind. She also couldn’t stand crying – water made the glitter slide, and the sound on the laugh track skipped and stuttered.
Actually, now that she thought about all of this, she realized that this was also probably her dating self.
Wait. Scratch that – it was her all purpose self.
She wasn’t even sure what was underneath it anymore. Neither did anyone else.
Her younger daughter provided the most scientific explanation for that eerie quiet that falls over the world during a snowstorm.
But she, the mother, believed in the magical idea that the calm came when life paused and caught it’s breath at the beauty of snowflakes brushing against the warmth of love and grace in their tumble toward the earth.
And she hoped maybe one day her daughter would find the logic in that explanation too.
On the coldest day of the last several decades, I dwell on the details of my funeral – even though there is no apparent need to do so.
It’s just so impossibly cold – and I like to be prepared.
Today someone told me that the secret to happiness in life was
Inconvenient really, since I just decided that love isn’t really for
Oh, and I don’t want to keep any more secrets either, thank
Today we found an old music and art library and spent a lazy afternoon breathing in the smell of old salty vinyl, musty leather and brittle paper. We took photographs of all the carefully catalogued items in a vain effort to catch our fleeting memories of this time together, knowing the images would never be as perfect.
But anyway, on the way home, my younger daughter fell asleep in the car, hugging her big camera.
And I thought this was a good day. A very good day.
My sister called to tell me that Ms. Nona died today.
Except Ms. Nona was the one elderly woman at the hospice facility who didn’t seem to be dying, at least not anytime soon. She wandered around in wide circles and tugged on your sleeve for attention. She spoke gibberish and laughed gleefully. She appeared to be just a happy person trapped in an old and uncooperative body. My sister says Ms. Nona simply collapsed – mid jabber, mid circle – on the dirty shag carpet — like her spirit finally escaped and was now free somewhere. And so I was glad and – just in case her spirit could hear me – I whispered out loud: fly away, Ms. Nona, fly far far away.