A childhood friend let me know, early this week, that her father had just died. It wasn’t unexpected and yet, for her, the surge of accompanying grief was.
She’s 58. I remember when my darling daddy left this earth a neighbour attempting to comfort me with ‘there is no good age to lose a parent’. I was 22. True that wasn’t a good age, but I feel sure 58 isn’t either.
My friend planned a couple of quiet days to herself before tackling the long drive home at the end of the week. It’s at least 7 hours. I could imagine myself taking off as soon as I heard the news. I always try to outrun anxiety.
Driving in panic, heartbeat as fast as the car can go. Not helping anyone.
You know the fight or flight when you basically run round in circles doing the headless chook?
Stop. breathe. respond don’t react.
don’t you love that moment when, after countless figure of eights, the cat settles down next to you and – leans in
and so today I talked to my doctor about the dreaded anxiety and we’ll make a plan together next week
and then I bought myself flowers 🙂
Do you remember where you were when you heard JFK was shot? A line on a tv show that’s rhubarbing in the background…but a line I’ve often heard in social settings.
Before my time but instantly I remember where I was when I heard Robin Williams was dead. I was in a Starbucks on Newbury Street. The little one was in line and I was using the wifi and checking facebook while I sat near the window. When something big happens you can’t avoid it on fb. Not something I wanted to know, let alone sitting there, a world away from my comfort zone.
The little one’s new apartment was literally across the road. What I don’t remember is whether we already knew that – were we there to look at it, to meet one of the guys? Or were we just randomly on Newbury Street and she wanted something with caffeine… She was in that Starbucks so many times over the two years that she doesn’t remember that particular visit anyway. It was my first and only time but I wonder if I’d remember if not for the image of my screen and my disbelief.
Who knew I’d ever go to Boston. And then in two years I went twice. There are bits of Boston that I know now! I doubt I’ll ever get back there but I have to remember, when darkness is sliding down the sky and blanketing me, that I didn’t ever have the faintest clue I’d see Boston in this lifetime…so who knows what’s next. It’s not over yet.
(this coffee from an earlier, healthy time)
If we were having coffee, and I wish we were, I would tell you that I’m still getting over pneumonia. Maybe you know what that’s like?
Being ill reminded me of how well I’ve been for a long time! Even though I feel achey and old I have been really well compared to this.
I would tell you what wonderful nurses both of the cats have been, little hot water bottles on my feet as I blend in to the couch. They’re missing the big kids too and are unsure of this new world order.
If we were having coffee today I would share with you how much I have to get done before she who rules the world arrives and casts disdainful eyes over the abode, wipes fingers along surfaces and tuts. I don’t have the strength to get started. Mother would have said it’s psychological – I often get sick before the great sibling’s arrival.
I have a light week and I hope I can get back to normal activities.
What would you tell me? What’s going on with you, what are your stories?
The little one, who has impressive counselling qualifications, did a workshop on what comes next with me. This involved taping flash cards to the big glass doors between the kitchen and the world, and then spending a minute or two thinking about the word written on each. Ideas waterfalled under those first cards…but you’re left very tired and with more questions. It’s not meant to sort things out straight away.
We did this because ‘I feel you’re a bit lost at the moment’…
Aren’t we all? And aren’t we always?
I’d like to stop this post there. But I’d also like to tell you that I’m spending today decluttering my inbox, while listening to the two-up game being called at the pub a couple of blocks from here. The ringkeeper is loud…without even going to look I can see the crowd spilling out on to the surrounding streets from every doorway. Anzac Day – we pray at memorials at dawn, watch marches on tv all day until the football comes on, and/or we get drunk. And we remember them. Lest we forget.
You could be forgiven for believing the alphabet ends with e my friend. I am exiting this challenge today – still many letters left un-done.
It seemed like it would be fun. Thinking of interesting words to use and expanding on them. I should never have begun!
I am not in the frame of mind to write a daily post and so the challenge has become just that. Writing is to be enjoyed, words don’t need to be forced out of me.
What other words would I have eked out this month? Surprise me and make a post with one…
Forgiveness, Generosity, Homelessness, Ice Cream, Junk food, Kitchen, Love (of course), Mental health, Narcissist, Other side of the road, Pulse, Queer, Roadtrip, Sunset Bar / Turtle Bay, Ulster, Valued, Waikiki, Xylophones, YES, Zuchini and other greens.
(That’s quite a list! Maybe I WILL revisit these words, just not day after day this month)