I feel as if I have opened the front door to my house just as a soft breeze blew by.
Looking back over my shoulder, while still holding on to the handle, I could only watch as the memories and moments of the past few months gently passed before my eyes through the open door and out an opened window.
The holiday months were tougher than I even thought to anticipate. Coming back from Europe I thought I would be ready to face the fun flurry of activities I always hope to do from Halloween through Christmas, but reality brought me far closer to just getting by. I do not doubt that it might be impossible to not think that she should be in this costume, that we should be celebrating thanks for her life here with us, or that she should be wearing those tiny matching Christmas pajamas, bouncing as we bake cookies.
And I kept returning to something my favorite talk-show host said once about a difference between males and females. He was comparing how differently they think: men, being quite simple, generally, think only of the task at hand while women, generally, constantly think about many things. “If I had to live inside a woman’s brain I would probably commit suicide,” he said. The constant chatter of the inner voice and replaying of events and things said would just drive him crazy. If this is not true for all women, then there are some lucky women out there but I, unfortunately, do fall into this generalization. Often I wish I could shut up my inner voice and often I wish I had other buttons to press than just “REPLAY.” The episodes I watch are not exactly uplifting.
The hardest part of all, though, is knowing that I am not myself anymore. And it is starting to feel like forever since I have been. I kind of miss me. But my life has changed; I won’t ever be quite the same; and now I am a slightly different me.
Despite all that, I told myself that 2012 will be better. There aren’t any big holidays for a while (and all will have to forgive me but, right now, that is a good thing for me) and the season of growing is upon us. This morning I finally planted the hydrangeas and ivy orb we were given as gifts at Elise’s funeral. They were so close to dead due to my neglect but ivy is persistent and, somehow, through all the dry weather and no watering, tiny green buds popped out from the bottoms of the dried hydrangea stems. I was handed another chance and I don’t plan to give up on them.
Tending my gardens will, hopefully, help my healing. It is hard not to get excited to see the blossoms and fruit of my care even though, sometimes, some of my plants don’t survive. And, as usual, seeing these gifts do require patience and work, and I will continue to be attentive.
Here is a little video of our past year. It has been a big year – not in the way most say big – but big nonetheless.
And finally! After manipulating this a little bit, here is the video. Don’t laugh about any strange background noise. I could not part with this pair of songs.
(I wish it would show the video here but it is blocked if embedded. If you click on the link, though, it will take you to the video.) ** Update: Poops. I guess Smashing Pumpkins (Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness; Tonight, Tonight) falls under stringent copyright rules. I’m nonplussed and not too excited to change the songs, but we’ll see what I can do.
We wish all of our family and friends a very happy, HEALTHY, and prosperous New Year! Here’s to the future.
Oh, honey …
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” is not true.
Just love your beloveds who are still on this Earth first, that what heals your heart, and just never forget the ones who departed.
Andrea, I have your “thankful” card on display in the studio and think of you each time I see it. My heart goes out to you and your family as you’re moving through this first year without Elise in your arms. You’re a really good writer. I hope writing helps to process the grief. I’m certain it will help others who read it.