Archive for September, 2014

Fall is on the horizon

Monday, September 8th, 2014

This morning started as many do, taking our dog Bella out for her morning run. I could feel the little chill in the air this morning that reminded me Fall would soon be here. This turning of summer to fall is one of those harder times of year. One looks back at the “to-do” list formed at the spring to summer threshold and sees projects unfinished, friendships untended, and a little drop in intellectual output. It was a pretty busy summer all in all, lots of big events, my favorite oldest daughter is now my favorite oldest doctor daughter, I have a doctor daughter son-in-law too, and was able to have time with my favorite younger daughter too! I discovered the color blue in the water and skies of the Aegean sea with the one who holds my heart, and visited Aunt Sylvia on the occasion of her 95th birthday Really pretty amazing as a summer.

“No day but today” was playing as I drove to work today. It’s from the broadway show “Rent” and is mostly about not living in the past, or really the future, just in the day.

Its a beautiful day here in Aggieland, blue sky, low humidity bright sun. The one who holds my heart is down south for a few days. I think about her a lot. Her Aunt Sylvia took a fall a few days ago hitting her head and had a stroke a few days later. We talked on the phone about it. The injury of family members is hard, it brings up all kinds of memories, some good, some difficult. Sylvia’s brother VG was kind of unique in that each time he faced difficult news, difficult changes, he’d square up and be the first to say “lets fix this” or be the one telling us how beautiful the day was, or how amazing the world around us was… “how much hay do you think you could fit in that skyscraper?” A positive attitude really goes a long way to letting a person enjoy the day, and letting the people around them do it too.

I’m sure, I remember, what loss is like. Unlike VG, its harder for me to see the upside of loss sometimes. I think I get to rolled up in how easy it was to hear my parents voice whenever I wanted, how clear my role in the family was, how much could be accomplished in a summer, or how well my joints used to work. Big things, little things, Big losses, little losses, life is like that. Dad was pretty good at accepting it too. “What are you going to do?” I remember him saying that when we discovered that the previous summers work on the cabin foundation was all 6 inches too tall. We’d go to work trying to figure out a solution, then go to work on it, a way of accepting and moving on. We did that a lot while building the cabin, one step forward, two to the side, three back, then repeat. Slowly it all got done, not perfect but a pretty good reflection of us as builders!

“How do you measure a year? In daylights? in Sunsets? In Midnights? In cups of coffee? How do you measure a year in life?” Another song from “Rent.” This one proposes the measure of our life is love. I think VG offered that in reminding us about beauty and wonder at that very instant everyone around him was seeing a loss. I think Dad offered work in the face of setbacks. Both are lessons in love for those around us…lets not brood over it, lets get on with it.

The anniversary of Dad’s passing comes this week. I don’t like looking back on those days. I don’t think anyone who’s been through the loss of a parent wants to look back on those last memories. We always second guess. We always wish. We sometimes blame. I’m hoping its a beautiful day that day, that I’ll be able to bring some of VG’s wisdom to the day, and some of Dad’s practical acceptance of the here and now, and keep moving on.

I’m super lucky to be with the one who holds my heart. She’s able to feel the loss still, but sees the beauty in the blue eyes and curly hair of a newborn. She knows that we have to feel the weight of the past, but also that we need to see the beauty of the day, every day, and our ability to share that beauty, in words, in food, in pictures, in the little things we do for each other to remind each other we love them, all this is love, a good measure of life I think.

We’re all human, we’ll be faced with darkness and loss and it probably will happen again, there’s no doubt of it. But the measure of us is maybe our ability to love those around us with ability to see beyond it, and share the beauty.

Be good to each other.
Look after each other.
Sit on the porch at sunset.
Hold hands.
Share the beauty and wonder of the world around us.