Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Vicissitudes of Life Encapsulated in One Day

At times during the day, I've been at loose ends.
I flitted from one attention grabber to another.
I couldn't settle on one activity because another would call my name.
I was distracted.

At one moment, I have been sad, crying, and in mourning.
During the next, I would find myself rejoicing over the beauty of the day.

I couldn't settle on reading a book.
Couldn't seem to pick up my journal and begin to write even as thoughts tumbled through my mind.

I don't want to eat dinner,
yet I am searching for a snack.
I don't want to talk to anyone,
even as I long for a good conversation.
I want to be alone.
No, I really think I want companionship.

I have many tasks that need to be completed.
My desk if piled high with papers and books to be sorted through.
I don't think I even made my bed today.
Did I?
I don't know.  
Does it matter?
It is nearly time to go to bed again.

I've been tired,
but heaven knows I could never settle down to go to sleep.

Do you ever have days like that?

Today, 8.08 began at 8:08 A.M.
when I finally awakened enough to look at the clock.
Damn digital clocks.
Even they send reminders of Julie.
Julie,
as the story goes,
once said her ideal man was BOB.  
Digital watches were the new "in" thing when she was in high school.
8:08, meaning BOB, became a symbol of Julie's life.

Memories of her began to flood my mind.

I wasn't alone.
Many of us were reminded of her today.

In my memory
I vividly saw her twirling her hair around her slender fingers.
I saw her showing the grandchildren how to hula hoop.
I've been missing her so much lately.
I've needed her humor, her silliness, her kindness, her take on life that could be wise.

Julie, Amy, and Mom
I grieved because I can't be her to her sister Amy.
I know Amy needs her in her life so much at this time.
I called Amy to tell her that I wish I could be her sister to her,
but of course, I can't be.
Only Julie could be Julie to Amy.
Only, Julie could be Julie to any of us.

She was our family lynchpin.
She is gone.
What will hold us all together?


Grief no longer incapacitates me.
Or does it?
I went on with my day.
I had lunch with my sister.
I made tea for my husband and served him tea and cake on the porch.


This evening,
the two of us,
my dear husband and I,
took a walk in the neighborhood.
The air was crisp and cool, reminding us of an early fall day in the mountains.
We followed a beautiful buck in velvet who was just ten feet ahead of us on the path.
Peace and beauty filled my soul.
It was a good reminder that:
Life is full of vicissitudes.
And yes, there are days when those vicissitudes are encapsulated all in one day.

Thankfully, at the end of this day, I could agree with a quote from Jerry Sittser's book on grief.
I had experienced the ups and downs that come when one continues to grieve.
I could also honestly say, 

I was struck by how wonderful ordinary life is.
Simply being alive became holy to me.
~ Jerry Sittser
A Grace Disguised:   How the Soul Grows Through Loss

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