30 July 2010
29 July 2010
At the door of the cathedral in St Albans. We only spent a little time walking through. Ches and I have been there before but I wanted Julia to breath in a bit of the ancient even though I knew she would not really understand much.
Just a nice picture of the two prettiest girls in London this week.
Julia's first train ride going into London. She really liked it, and the underground was also a fascination for her.
Julia posing in front of London's Museum of Natural History. A great place for kids and adults, by the way.
A building picture to show a bit of the vastness of the place. There is a whole new side which is as large as this older side of the building.
Just gotta love gargoyles!
Julia showing off her dino knowledge. Really, it continues to amaze me how many she knows. And now, if she can't figure who the bones belong to, she guesses based on looks and many times comes up with similar dinosaurs.
Julia loved this cool column with created fossils.
And we saw many, many animals, fish, and birds that were stuffed and in glass cases. At first we had a seemingly unending loop of 'are they alive?' 'were they alive?' 'how did they die?' 'how do they look so good?' But sooner than I thought, she stopped with those questions and starting asking about attributes of animals which is much more fun to answer.
After a busy day, we returned to Victoria Station and started our journey to our little house. Julia really enjoyed a piece of carrot cake before heading for St. Albans. We managed to find a Chinese restaurant on our way home and she enjoyed some noodles when we got to the little house.
27 July 2010
26 July 2010
We are over Canada, Julia and I. We managed to get out of the house only a half hour later than I wanted, and to Chicago almost on time. We parked, shuttled, checked in, went through security, got seats at the gate (and were upgraded to economy plus -- what we use to know as economy), found some noodles for Julia, and boarded the plane. I had asked Julia to be cooperative and laid out what our steps were. We went over the list as we mentally checked off each task. Julia became anxious just a few times, and I asked her to do something to calm herself. Twice she complied and once she apologized for getting angry at me. This is wonderful control for her.
Julia drew in her travel journal during take off. She has no fear at all about flying, no sick feelings reported. We’ve had our dinner -- she pasta, me chicken and rice --, watched our respective movies -- she Toy Story, me two parts of two awful films--, and now we should be ready for sleeping. I have Julia two benedrill tablets 20 minutes ago and I hope that helps. I could use the sleep, but I need her to fall asleep first before I will be able to.
We are sitting in the middle of the plane with a very nice man sitting in the thrid seat across. He has graciously tolerated Julia’s dinosaur talk and entertained. She loved it, and I just hope that she is not daddy shopping. I don’t think so, but we’ll see how she responds to other men that she will meet in the next week.
This is my first trip to Europe without David. I felt the challenge of doing it all alone. Nothing I couldn’t do but yesterday I was turgid, moving way too slowly. I’ve stopped looking at pictures of David for a bit. Completely. It is too hard, too alive. I am not avoiding thinking but I don’t need any more reminders than I have inside.
And it is queer. I am functioning as if I always knew they would be the way it is. It chills me when I realize it.
The thought running through is that I don’t always want to be alone. I’ve already talked to Lisa about someday moving in with them. I love Madison, and it could become home base for a long time, but I am not so independent to be without other adults. I am lonely, these days in a desperate sort of way. I hope I can be healed of some of that.
Julia is trying to sleep. Maybe I should too.
So far, we are great travel companions.
Later. Over the middle of the ocean.
Julia slept for a short time, tossed for awhile, and now tells me that she is done sleeping. It is about 9:30 our time and she should be happily asleep. So much for benedryl. And she is hungry. The only thing I can scrounge is a brownie -- probably not good for sleeping either.
We’ve are night owls together tonight. These days, it is just me most of the time. Even with a sleeping pill, I find it hard to sleep. And I have not be dreaming, probably due to the sleeping pills. I am used to dreaming. Sometimes I’ve have memorable dreams, but these days nothing.
Lisa told me she has dreamed of David twice -- short dreams and elusive. And another friend, one who was long lost, had a dream with David in it. I have not. It saddens me some.
Oy, I am tired and not sleeping, and now, my own writing is boring me. And now, Julia has taken out her travel journal and is drawing planes and birds. I don’t want to turn on the light but there is enough light from the seat next to our for her to draw by.
I could use a long nap -- just an hour would get rid of my headache.
25 July 2010
24 July 2010
23 July 2010
22 July 2010
21 July 2010
20 July 2010
19 July 2010
17 July 2010
16 July 2010
15 July 2010
14 July 2010
13 July 2010
12 July 2010
11 July 2010
I’ve been looking at this blank page for two day trying to impress upon it something that would tell you of my David. Something very special, something secret, something so apparent that some of you would yawn.
I started with Dayeinu which is a Hebrew word that means "enough." At Passover seders we sing about each successive step of God's provision for the Israelites and we sing a chorus of Dayeinu -- that would have been enough. I could do that chant but in the end I could not/ cannot feel Dayeinu. It was not enough. David and I wanted more. And I am having trouble with Dayeinu.
Just before David and I married, we were reading a lot of Rainer Marie Rilke. We were caught up in his book Love and other difficulties. In particular, this piece:
The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude . . . . A merging of two people is an impossibility. . . But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them.
In our vows, we promised to guard each other’s solitude and to witness transformation, reconfiguration, melting into nothing, and springing to life from the phoenix fire. I had the front row seat to stories, refinished windows, hagadas, a pond, acceptances and rejections, plays, plumbing, novels, putenesca sauce, songs, tears, speeches, silence, articles, and the silliest man I have ever met.
In the expanse between us, we made our life and that was not always easy. We were both passionate, both sure we were right, neither one willing to give in for the sake of peace. Well, maybe David was sometimes. David gave me the first unconditional love that I ever knew. Our love honed the pointy ego places that could have kept us apart. His soft voice quieted my shrill; his silences encouraged my talking; his perseverance inspired every uphill battle that I fight. And there was a moment, more than 35 years ago, when my eyes met his, over the hood of a beat up Dodge Dark, that was magic. And slipping my hand into his made everything in my world alright. The love, the devotion, the complete attention of one person is so much more than enough. So much more than I had any right to expect. Dayeinu.
10 July 2010
06 July 2010
This is what I wrote to our circle of friends. I wanted to share it here as well.
It has been a very hard day, made easier by my dear friend, Lisa. Lisa is not only friend, godmother to Cheshire, and keeper of my secrets, she is also a UU minister who has all of the expertise that we need this week. We are working efficiently and with such love because she is here to guide us -- and also do tremendous amounts of the work! Lisa will be conducting the memorial service that I will tell you about. Cheshire, Julia and I have also been gifted by the presence and help of one of Cheshire's lifetime friends, Linde. We are talking and there is some life in the house. We need this so much right now. I am reading all of the messages and emails that are coming. Thank you all. The comfort and prayers and love and support helps.
These are our plans so far: David's body will be cremated at the end of this week. A memorial service celebrating his life will occur on Sunday, July 11, at 1:30 pm, at the First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin (900 University Bay Drive). You are all invited to come although I completely understand that this circle of care is far flung and travel will be impossible for some. If you cannot attend, please keep us in your thoughts, hold us in the light on Sunday. After the service, we will have a reception -- a meal that David specifically asked to share. It will be at the home of my friends, Suzanne and Mike Swift (1811 Jefferson Street, Madison). This is a beautiful house and an incredible gift to us because Suzanne and Mike have been experiencing some challenging times over the last few weeks.
I would love to invite you all to stay with us for the weekend; however, our home is small. Another wonderful friend is getting a list of local hotels together that I can send tomorrow. She will also be available to answer any question that out-of-towners may have. Of course, if anyone comes up to Madison for David's memorial and has some extra time to spend with us, we will be home and we would love to see you.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Forward Theatre Company, P.O. Box 14574, Madison, WI, 53708, or through their website:www.forwardtheatre.com. The Forward Theater Company did a staged reading of David's most recent creative endeavor was Kiritsis, a play in the spring which David, just home a week was able to attend. It was our first foray into the Madison theater scene and David enjoyed it completely.
04 July 2010
And I love this close up smile. I tried to take a few of Julia and Cheshire, but they did not come out very well. I have a week to improve on that.