Thursday, May 3, 2012

Birthdays and Anniversaries

This whole notion of time passage is hitting me square in the face right now.
I just turned 47 on Tuesday. My parents celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary the day prior. Severals days before, my little Valentina turned 3. And, looming ahead in the distance is Joey's 10th anniversary. Ten years since I've seen that face, held that hand. Heard that laugh.

I never know which way the marking of his death is going to hit me, physically, mentally, spiritually. Will I cry when I wake up? Will I melt down in the middle of Manhattan for no apparent reason? Will I go for a run and pass 8 miles before I realize that my legs are moving? All of these things have happened. It's the when part that is unknown. While the time frame is approximate, the feeling, when it hits, is quick and specific. Like an ice cold rush of water on the body.

Given that my mom's health is on the decline, her memory slowly slipping away in the sands of time, I am inclined to think more deliberately about my past. I try to bring forth a morsel of it to share with her on phone calls, to see what she remembers and how the two of us can review any moment of family life. What additional perspective she can give--if any at all--is always welcomed. I didn't do enough of this before her mind was impacted, and I lament that there are facts and details and loving things locked up like prisoners in the recesses of her brain. Will I learn that lesson, the lesson that keeps coming back to me: don't wish away time. Don't wish for more or better. Because more and better are right here. Abundance is within reach.

I said a few posts ago that I wanted to write more about the emotions that swelled up inside when I learned of the deaths of two youths from my home town of Howard County. I've been inert. Because it means looking at that date on the calendar, that May 19th date on the calendar, and remembering a loss so profound that it took about 5 years to shoulder the pain. I'm much better at that externally than I was back then. The flip side is an inability to communicate with any level of clarity my feelings about grief. I used to be better at this. How did that shift? Why?

This blog, if I can take on the routine and discipline of writing, will serve to help me go back to those emotions. Not because I want to feel sad--but because I want to remember the important details and feelings associated with those events. I know dealing with loss made me a more empathic person. Perhaps this paralysis set in when I lost my job over 3 years ago. I lost me somewhere in the process. I think my self esteem left town first, and then my sense about people took off as part of the search party.

Time to re-group, to pull together those emotions set asunder during the course of the last 4 years. Time to address the grief and loss and simultaneously celebrate the love and abundance. And remember the accomplishments in that timeframe too. It isn't all a tale of woe.

Days like today, I can't help but wonder what Joey would make of this life of mine: living outside of New York; the friendships I've forged; the stupid relationships I clung to for no good reason; the 5 kitties and the studio apartment and the marathons and all of it. My path alone. My path with him as my angel.

If I could, I'd tell him I'm sorry I didn't answer the phone one last time.
Through writing this post, I've unearthed the tears that have been storing up. Here we go, into the Valley of Grief.  Not to worry, I don't isolate myself there. I know how to live in that world and the real world at the same time.

Maybe in my next post I'll write about chocolate chip cookies. Something sweet and delicious.

Until then, I share with you the song that is currently on continuous loop in my head.

Sound Garden: Tears of Pearls



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