Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Alive on Wednesday Morning

The morning, still dark, is enchanting.  It is 6:00 AM. I walked both my girls to their cars in the velvety mild of this wondrously warm January day.  There is something in the air, great happenings soon, both heart breaking and beautiful. I can feel it on my skin, I can hear a sweet mummer, close by. 

My muscles are alive with tender care given.  Yesterday I watched my Gumbygirl, grandbaby for about thirteen hours.  It is blessed time spent. It is also exhausting, as I swoop her in the air, wrestle when it comes time to change, crawl into play huts, push a toddler car and generally police everything that is a hazard to a 16 month old. And everything is a hazard. A fork is a deadly weapon. I hear the Jaws theme when I spy a Chapstick cap on the floor, diving for the choking hazard that she is drawn to like moth to flame. She is so quick. Leaving for a walk to soak up some of that glorious sun yesterday, we were met with a ten inch patch of snow, hanging on right outside the apartment door. "Ooooh!", the Gumbygirl said, eyeing the slush up like Hawaiian Ice.       " Snow!" I said, slipping my key into my pocket. In a micro second,  with one turbo swoop, she had a mouthful of the bedraggled stuff.  "Mmmmmm!"she said, brown eyes shining, shredded mulch hanging out her mouth, dirt smeared up her cheek, into her eyebrow.

When she leaves I am still in mode, still scanning, still on alert for a good two hours. These old bones are tired. But for some reason I just had to make my dad his favorite cornbread and rice pudding before I sat down. I knew I would be seeing him today; He is 88 and it's a small thing I can do for him. Moving out of my house had been so draining; and with this apartment kitchen, being all but nonexistent, I had sorely neglected him these past few months. As the cornbread baked and as I stirred the rice pudding, I called my mom to check in, like I do every night.  Usually when I ask how they are, I  hear, "Great, we're both fine." But last night's, response was, "Not so good."

It seems as though my dad's bones have worn away. Either disintegrating or cracking, or maybe worse, and he has extreme hip pain, has been in extreme pain, which he did not want to worry anyone with. I swear this big Marine of a man, is, among other reasons, staying alive so he can be certain that I am back on my feet. But this big Marine of a man is literally falling apart and even he cannot stop it.  It is happening, I know it is happening and although I looked the other way in the demise of my marriage, I will not turn away this time. I will find a way to see the sacred in this impending loss.  I will find a way to be of use to my dad, the only man, that may have ever loved me.

Incubating also, is the marriage of my daughter. The middle one: A chirpy bird of a girl. Happy, giving, a love- bug from day one. She is marrying a good man. If I personally had scoured the planet for her I could not have handpicked a more generous soul. 

Beginnings and endings are vibrating all around us. Molecules of each swirling all about, colliding, embracing. My dad is to give my daughter away at her wedding in a few months. All of us pray that he will be able to do that, and if he can will himself to do it, he will and if it is God's will that it does not happen, we will find a way to accept that too. 

If I perch and picture the rest of my life unfolding there is no doubt at all that it will continue to be punctuated with great loss, just like the rest of humanity's.  Up until a few years ago,  sorrow had not stopped that often at my door.  I am so very aware that I will come to know sorrow intimately from here on in. I will have to befriend her to survive, inviting her to tea with my good friends Grace and Love.  We will each drink from old china cups, each with a different pattern, hopefully mine will have sweet peas, or maybe forget -me- nots. All the cups will have a hairline crack or a smooth chip or two. We will sip our tea, looking over our steaming cups at each other- Sorrow, Grace, Love and me. We will see that we are each beautiful and here for one another.   



  1. Oh Wrinks, what a day you did I..I had Finn for the entire day...and golly..the body doesnt' move the same does it? and I know what you mean about Jaws themem in the background...ha ha gave me a huge giggle....and our daoughters..relying on us to do a better than anybody else kind of job wtching thier adorables. So sorry to hear about your does sound like hip....I wonder if they would replace it at his age..My body who is 79 is getting hers done who knows....
    But you are right about things darkening our doorway the longer we live. As you probably have figured out by now...I too am suffering so..sorrow is visiting me right now..our whole family. My daughter's baby has edward's syndrome, her daughter who most likely will not even be born alive....or if she is she will not live very long and will have terrible problems....She is so grief stricken ....and I am HER mom..and ..oh it's so sorrowful...
    I love how you speak of your dad as a tough Marine...All we can do for our aging parents is be there and care for them....All of this going on while a wedding is being planned...oh dear
    But you shall get through this...and with grace and dignity and foot in front of the other...and with complain and bitch to and to cry and laugh with...we will all get through it.....these shadows at our doorsteps....
    Now , I want the cup with the violets on it ...
    peppermint tea please, one cube a bit of milk...
    and a pretty little silver spoon for stirring
    I wish you would have gotten your home...that is so made it a home....OKAY>>>I GOT THAT OFF OF MY CHEST..I'll sit and sip now...and shut up
    love to you today Wrinks....

    1. Hi Suz, I knew from some of your posts that your daughter was having problems but I had not heard of Edwards Syndrome until your recent poem. I cannot imagine how hard it must be for her and for you, her mom, because no matter how old they get we will always want to find a way to make it all better for them. And to feel so helpless must hurt so much. Even though I do not know you, I have thought a lot about you and your daughter and your granddaughter. Please derive some small solace in knowing that I, as would every mother upon hearing of your sorrow, carry a little prayer in my heart- that peace finds you and helps ease your pain. We may not ever know the purpose of that tiny girl's life, but she is surrounded by love, has generated more love, no matter how short her days may be.

      Thanks for asking about my dad. It seems they are treating it as muscular, not taking xrays for the time being to see if there is any improvement. I suppose at his age, it is best to hope for the best first.

      And yes you may have the violet cup, but will have to settle for a stainless steel spoon until my next time "hunting" at the flea market. Hugs to you and your dear daughter.

  2. time I will put my glasses on and use my PC
    so horrilbe is my typing on this laptop...forgive all the mistakes
    really...I can spell Hope you can decipher the odd words!!

    1. There were odd, misspelled words? I truly didn't notice.

  3. Love the picture of your tranquil morning. Especially in contrast with wrestling with a toddler. Hard to know which are the joys sometimes.

  4. I love wrestling with the wee one, even when she is being stubborn. Even though it surely wears us out sometimes, doesn't it? The picture is of my daughter and her fiance's hand the day they got engaged. It was a sweet day to be remembered.

  5. Wrinkles, thank you for your loving words from the bottom of my heart....I'll settle for stainless

    as long as I'm sittng with you

  6. Hi Suz, thanks for noticing!!! Had a lot of stuff going on, with wedding shower plans, babysitting and interviewing for jobs. You are so sweet to check in. Hope things are "ok".