When I got home from California, I decided to take a full week to succumb to grief. Good Neighbor Anne advised:
Try not to have your typical "to do" list for a while. Or, at least cut it in half (or quarters).And I thought she was absolutely right. I canceled the two subbing jobs I'd scheduled, and I stayed home and took baths and hugged my kids and my husband and called Mom every day, and was just sad.
But then it was time for re-entry. On Wednesday, I met with my minister for an hour of pastoral care, which was lovely. I brought two pictures of Dad with me, and I told her stories about him and our family, and it was incredibly healing and sweet.
On Thursday I subbed for second grade, the grade I've determined is my favey-fave, and it was total fun. The kids are so cute!! Then I came home and hot-glued a bunch of twigs to a glass vase, to make a fabulous birthday present for Mrs. Cynicletary.
(I’ve been trying to post pictures of it but I spilled a tiny bit of margarita on my keyboard and now it’s possessed. Stay tuned!)
On Friday, I got up early and walked three miles on the Bike Path!! I realized that I was building this up in my mind to be something scary and insurmountable — the idea of walking far away from home and being trapped somewhere if I re-injured my knee had me paralyzed. But I figured — if I can do zumba, which is way more high-impact than walking, I can certainly take a walk. And worst-case scenario, I can always call for help. So I walked, and it poured rain on me, and it wasn't exactly fun but neither was it horrible, and I was so proud of myself when I did it! My knee definitely got tired and sore, and it took me much longer to walk three miles than it usually does, but hey.
Mrs. Cynicletary and I had a fabby birthday lunch (her birthday is May 30, but I was in California), and we laughed and cried together, and she let me talk about my dad for hours and hours. She lost her own dear dad several years ago, we are in this terrible club together (with Brunie and Good Neighbor Anne and J and Zanzibar and too many more friends to count).
This weekend, my goal is to finish the handout about my dad that we're inserting in the program at the memorial service, finish writing what I'm going to say (my brothers and I are all speaking at the service), and help Husband finish the slide show — pictures and music from Dad's life. We are also going to celebrate my darling husband on Fathers Day, because he is a wonderful father and deserves to be celebrated. My kids are so lucky.
Nurse Kathy just stopped by with a sympathy card — "and," she says, "some sympathy wine and cheese and crackers." Last week, Mrs. Cynicletary and her boss, Sweet Shy Bob, sent me flowers in various shades of purple, my favorite color, and Writer Jenny brought me yummy banana bread, which we feasted on all week, and a bottle of fancy champagne, which my imagination has been feasting on all week. The bread, she says, is Jewish tradition; the hooch, not so much, but knowing me, knowing how I talk about my dad, she suspected it would be welcome.
My friends are amazing. So far, I am using quotes from two of you — J and Michele, Oasis of Calm — in my memorial service remarks. I am so lucky and so blessed with true and wonderful friends.
As was my dad. Almost every day, Mom tells me about some new act of kindness. As you can imagine, it's hard for me to be so far away from her right now, and it makes me so happy to know that people are taking care of her.
And I am trying to take care of myself. I get a good night's sleep every night, I'm back in the exercise groove, I'm eating fresh produce and fiber like it's the latest thing. My dad would be proud of me.
Time to take Li'l Martini to a sleepover at HoneyBear's house. My kids are doing okay; they're used to having Grandpa be far away, so Heaven, California, whatever, it doesn't feel all that different to them right now. When we visit Grandma this August and Grandpa isn't there — that will hit them hard, I predict.
Ham-onion-Swiss omelets for dinner tonight. Yum!
— Lady C, grieving and coping in New England