Last day in Maryland and traveling home.
A facebook friend posted about her 25th annual garage sale. Through rain or shine, good times and bad, she has been passing on her stuff for a pittance and making a party out of it. Comes early and share our donuts. They are probably home made. I can’t imagine such a tradition and to make it fun? Not me at all, but this morning I woke up with ideas about an after Christmas party and since Hanukah and Christmas coincide this year . . . well, just that ideas like that are closer to me. An informal gathering to say many thank yous, to celebrate the winter season of lights, to share the new kitchen renovation, to cook a lot and have a full house, to chase the sadness and fill the house with cheer. This time with Lisa and family, and Cheshire and Chris has been lovely, but sadness continues to surface. Sadness now has layers -- just missing David is still there, but another sadness of moving on, feeling us moving on -- me with this year and the kitchen, Cheshire with beginning school very soon, Julia and reading and her numbers, and this battle of scabs and scratching. And I have shared none of this with David. If he appeared today, it would take days to fill him in. I/we are living through things that he was not any part of at all. And the awareness that there will be more and more of these. I am moving so far away from him that his influence/opinion/reference dims to nothing. I know that this is natural, this is what picking up and moving on is all about. But it is still sad. Still painful.
And when I am with Lisa and Cheshire, I am not lonely. There are others too with whom I register contentment. Who push me out of loneliness. How many times can I say that they are not David? And I know that they are not. And that is what is.
I still wonder about joy.
I am ready to go home after a week away. I have been on hold for weeks, waiting for the kitchen work to be done so that I could totally move back into the house and immerse myself in the next phase of the year. The scheduler from Home Depot called today. My countertop will be delivered on Thursday, December 1. Perhaps if I am lucky, Ed will be able to work on Thursday and Friday and finish up the kitchen. And so, here is the easiest indicator. Yes, change. Yes, shifting.
There is a shifting that has been shouting at me all week. After seeing Ellen, my spiritual healer, and feeling giddy releasing responsibility that I never appropriately held. So what is there after release. The lightness of being goes where?
Yesterday during a walk Julia told me that she “hated” that she had to love me so much. I have been on her, with her, telling her how to run her waking hours, and to keep her hands away from her itchy skin at night. She has had no autonomy, no independence. I have treated her like a young infant, and the strain is showing. Still, with three days of steroids in her body, bandaids on the scabs, and gloves on her hands, there is some healing. There are a few healthy scabs that need just a few more days. And I pray. And pray. And then I think that she can tell me how she hates me only because she trusts that I will tell her that her hate doesn’t matter. She is still mine. We still do the dance of attachment.
My jersey realtor called late on Friday, not to respond to my call of a few days earlier but to let me know that she lost a check that I had sent her. The repairs on the house, the hauling away of what was left there, the expenses of an empty house. She told me in passing that she had received a very low offer, not even worth calling me about, but worth the mention. Even though it is low, I take it as a good sign. There is someone out there looking. We will drop the price next week -- no where near the “offer” -- and I pray for that buyer who will be getting a great deal and will finally release me from inappropriate responsibility.
We listened to the beginning of a retreat given by Pema Chodron (SP). Much of what she spoke about resonated with me. Living intentionally like walking in the middle of the river. Letting go of the river banks -- hope on one side, despair on the other. Walking the middle path without reliance on that which can change. And that which can change is everything. Water logic, not rock logic. Not grasping, letting go, and letting it flow through. I want that life. I have touched it briefly now and then, but mostly during my most intense grief, but living that intentionally can spiral me into depression. It is risky, a life without bounds. It is painful to live in the present when the present is challenging and patience deserts me time after time. But hearing someone like Pema talk about what I have been struggling with, talking with Lisa and Nick and Terry, I am no where near alone. What I see as a lonely journey is a journey with so many who are traveling the same pathway. They are shadows at times. They are not near to offer daily support. Not near enough to sit together for the evening meal. They are not in my sight lines, but I need to remember their presence. Need to remember that we walk in the river alone but in company. Today, that feels like enough to sustain me. If I can do it, if I can become more accustomed to this middle way. Find some balance on the slippery rocks and the current which pushes me this way and that.
We are traveling on an empty plane which took off on time and will probably land on time. I am grateful for this small favor. It is the blessing of not traveling in tomorrow’s madness. We will have a long hour’s ride home but we should still be home before 10. After Lisa dropped us at the airport, all Julia could talk about is when Lisa and her family can visit us at our house, when we can go and visit them again. She wants them to come for Christmas and was so sad to hear that they would not come. I told her that Cheshire was coming out and that Linde would visit us as well. She perked up. I am so very grateful for a family of choice that loves and is loved by my spicy dragon.