I really despise the not so nice person I become on occasion. I become snarky and condescending, with a holier-than-thou attitude that is oxymoronic considering my Satan-of-the-moment persona.
Minutes later, I’m filled with regret. I’m horrified at the pain I’ve caused. I want so badly to take it back, purge that memory, time travel and try again (ha – I’m sure I’d bungle it again, considering my track record).
The saddest part is who I attack – the man who is always on my side, who vowed till death do we part. To his credit, he is always gracious. He sees the bigger picture. The extent of his love and patience show me how low on the maturity scale I’ve dipped.
There are no excuses. No matter my glum state of mind, he deserves my best. He deserves for me to take a breath, reflect on who he is, who I am, what we have and then act and speak accordingly.
Maybe now that this is a written testament, I will more often do what is right. I hope so.
Memories are two-faced.
Friend and foe.
Smiles and tears.
No matter – I wouldn’t want to exist without them.
So thankful I experienced.
So thankful I’m here to create new ones.
My man is really special, and from all indications he likes coming home. He likes our life together. There IS a secret that helps make this possible. At least the empirical evidence of Debi’s life quality points to this conclusion.
It’s all about the honey-do list.
Seriously? Men hate honey-do lists. They sit on the couch for six months saying they’ll “get to it.” Ha.
So I’ll let ya in on my covert formula: create that list with care… Wait! Hang with me. Stop and clear your head. Ready? Now, think… what does he really enjoy (other than sex – that’s a given). My guy – he likes to shop, travel, eat, drink, take long grueling bike rides, talk, watch dark complicated TV shows, dissolve into silly laughter. So there you have it: that’s his honey-do list. As long as I stick to that list, he doesn’t mind me asking – in fact he jumps to do his chores. Works every time.
Example: during last night’s dinnertime honey-do conversation (not that he’s aware we’re executing his list), I blurt my theory out loud. He takes this all in with twinkling eyes. And… next thing ya know we’re researching and booking a 4-night trip to Tahoe in August.
Moral of the story: plan your honey-do list with care.
It goes by too quick. Life does.
I look into the face of my dear friend. In the hospital. (Apparently, it’s a recurring thing lately – these hospital visits.) He has aged. I have to admit when I look in the mirror – I have too. Dammit. And dammit that it took the alarm of the ICU to get me off my butt and by his side.
We share news of kids and grandkids (his) and great-grandkids (his again – yes I’m envious). Nearly four decades of communal history are in the room with us… like it all happened yesterday: crazy dangerous fun, laughter, pain, loss.
He says he doesn’t want to grow old. This scares me. So I ask him, “But if your quality of life is good, old is good, right?” I can’t bear losing him.
But I don’t think I’ll lose him any time soon. He’s a tough bird, “older than dirt” according to his estimations.
He’s side-stepped doctor recommendations for a good long while now, hence ICU and the once-again stay in the hospital. This time they’ll be keeping him for a while – in the pulmonary rehabilitation wing. The fun of youth catches up.
(Seriously!? Are we allotted just some quota of over-the-top living!?! I suppose there’s no rhyme or reason to the life and death cycle TIMING thing but it’s REALLY hard to not contemplate and wonder if there is some allowance-of-fun-score-keeping device that pulls the plug on us through death or discomfort.) Sigh… Enough ranting.
I wish you comfort, my friend.
And LOTS of old age that we can share together.
I love you, Claud Wayne.
Threads curly-Q ribbons ‘tween and above toes.
Feet rejoice in earth,
Assure my psyche of roots in eternal soil.
Ears drink bird-cries of joy.
Eyes chew on nature’s early fall blush below threatening skies.
Distance passes beneath churning legs,
Lungs fueled by moist healing air.
I pull my heel out of an unseen crawdad den
And say a silent apology to its unsuspecting resident.
I head for home,
Back to today.
But better than I was…
Renewed of spirit, energy, creativity.
In a moment between rains.
Steam floats, surrounds with dawn,
Clear blue frames greens
sharp tipped, round, sap – drip, drip,
greens lime & iridescent,
greens deep, dark, black…
Shadows sharp as a briar’s sting
no smudge of summer
too soon here…
Laughter of friends, family
Cocoon of love, harmony
Thank you, Life
Nine members of my family and almost four-hundred other persons. BA flight 2069, December 28, 2000.
It’s not something I think of often, but my daughter, Rachel, recently posted on Facebook a dramatic re-enactment of the hi-jacking causing a flood of memories. It made me wonder how others on the flight were affected by the experience.
Here’s one article with comments from fellow passengers:
I distinctly remember my heart pounding so loud and slow that other sounds were drowned out. I’d never felt as calm as I felt in those moments – and I’ve never felt that since. I knew we all were on the verge of death, and I was thankful all nine of our family were together so none of us had to face the pain of life without the others. I accepted my fate as easily as I would accept a hug from a loved one.
Does that sound callous? My husband of twenty-two years, the father of my children, had died suddenly in an electrical accident six months previously. Russell, Rachel and I were still reeling from the loss. For me, the contemplation of imminent, sudden death was not at all frightening.
If you were on the flight, what are your memories?
If you weren’t on the flight but have had a similar experience, please share.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich is an entertaining read, excellently written, but her new book The Last Report On The Miracles At Little No Horse is one of the best books I’ve read.
Issues that touch each of us are breached – sexuality and our social standing due to gender and how it would be affected if we morphed genders and/or faith and how it would be affected if we morphed beliefs. All of this is woven into a touching, soaring, sometimes hilarious story.
Louise Erdrich is on my short list of favorite authors. The questions she raises in my mind are deep, often new, sometimes disturbing but always worth contemplating.
A memory floats.
No clear vision of -
Yet… clear in feeling.
Soul searing perception
Gut wrenching in loss.
I cry not knowing why
Yet… knowing exactly why.
Moments that will never be again
Moments that defined happiness
Except in memory.