Sitting in the main square cafe at Chautauqua with coffee, laptop, iPad, and the book that I promised myself that I would read for an hour today. Julia was off at 8:45 to Girls’ Club with a very capable Lizzy as her aide. Lisa off before that to teach her class. I tidied up our room, washed dishes, made our bed, and headed out. It is a cloudless blue skyed cool day with low humidity. Quiet, with the rumblings of talk about the NY Times, last night’s concert and what someone was wearing. And laughter. An older man gets his wife coffee and a muffin while she thumbs through her Chautauqua Daily news and strains of a choir rehearsing waft in the air. Echoes of a sermon enthusiastically delivered in the amphitheater down the street. To be here for a week is pretty much heaven. To stay for the summer might be more wonderful than a simple soul could handle. The topic is cheating this week and the two speakers I heard yesterday asked hard questions. After a summer spent figuring out next week’s spelling words, keeping toys and the house orderly, and taxiing Julia to therapist appointment, a bit of brain exercise is most welcomed. And of course, Lisa, to talk out the kinks in my heart and hers.
Julia and I had a glorious weekend with the group we call China Sisters -- the group of families who traveled to Nanchung to get our girls. This was our 5th reunion -- the little girls are 6 or so and Julia is 11. Angela who organized this year toasted at Saturday’s dinner, saying how thankful she was for our group, for our willingness to be together, for what we share. I wanted to, but did not, offer a toast of thanks for the love and support these people have offered me over the past two years. There has been no demand on my energy to help get our reunions together since David died. And there is never a time when we are together that I am not offered a hand with whatever is in my hands or Julia. Never a time where I am short of hugs and kindness. And when these people tell me how far Julia has come and comment on this behavior or that, I know that they know. And I know that they share in her growing. What a blessing from where blessings come from to be given such companions.
So many times I worry about not having what I need -- and to the extent that I need my partner, David, I know I cannot have him. I can spiral down with that thought at times, but I can be rescued just remembering what is it that I have been given. I can still summon up the feeling of amazement and wonder that I felt after David died. That had everything that followed close on death’s heals had not been connected with losing David, that the time would have been so exciting. I am still living in that wonder. People, places, opportunities -- I have needed and what I needed has appeared. Again, being so thankful for the blessing.