Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I Kinda Crack Myself Up, Once I Get Over the Panic.

These days I am spending a good deal of time pondering a large plumbing issue in our house. A hot water line burst somewhere under the cement and tile floors or perhaps somewhere in the cinder block walls. We have a wonderfully sturdy house. Not gonna fall down any time soon. That said, galvanized pipes embedded in such sturdiness don't last forever and here we are. Getting estimates from plumbers and contractors. Getting more estimates, more itemized, for the insurance company. Who will pay a portion, perhaps a tiny portion? Damn. Or fiddlesticks, as my mom says, haha!

A lot of stress, leading to anxiety. I needed to work at home today to be available for worker guys to come take a look. Since I was here, I hired a repairman to come fix a broken freezer. I sorted papers. Deep cleaned the bakery. Took apart shelves, washed giant windows, organized the pots and pans closet. I yanked a counter out of the laundry room that had been in the process of slowly falling for a year or so. Put in some racks that had been sitting in the carport for a month.

The girls took the truck, a load of food, and headed to Big Bend National Park to swim in the Rio, play, get out of the house. Probably due to my heightened state of anxiety, after a few hours, when they didn't reach our friend's home, I began to worry. My imagination went crazy on me.
I kept up the deep cleaning, organized, set up racks in the bakery. Took out trash. pulled some weeds out of the garden and fed them to the poultry.

Of course I was thrilled that the kids were going to be unplugged for a few hours, enjoying majestic canyons, cool river, rock skipping girl time. But as three hours turned into dark hours, I felt my face get a bit tight. I breathed in. Breathed out. Made a point of releasing the muscles in my face, in my shoulders. I surrendered, praying a prayer of trust, the no matter what prayer of trust. Not an easy one for me, but one that has been used more than once. We know loss, and I guess when my silly little mom worries spring up, it ties into the place that knows not every story has a happy ending.

I was just finishing up washing the sink out and wiping down the counters when I got the text all were safe and sound at our family friend's home. Indeed, they had been swimming in Boquillas canyon, all was well, I imagine they were dirty and tired and hungry. The relief washed over me and I sobbed for a couple of minutes. Crazy, right???

Wow, parenting is great practice for the whole surrender thing. I am not in control. At least I am not in control of very much. The releasing process is one that requires a great deal of practice. Life is terrific at offering myriad of opportunities for such practice.

All that energy certainly was terrific for chores! I love seeing the results.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

One Day at a Time. or Figuring it Out. or The Journey is a Beautiful One and I am Grateful.

I felt a bad mood coming on today. Irritable. Tender around the edges. These days I try to pay attention to the feelings. Acknowledge them. Investigate and see if the feelings I am feeling are based on historical stuff, grief, hunger, exhaustion, etc.

The other evening I missed an estrogen pill (thank you, estrogen, for the backup after uterine cancer, and wow, when I forget you, you sure have a way of reminding me, hmmm.) I was ready, paying attention, warned Nora that if I got weepy, loud, sad or mad and it didn't make sense, that was why.

So when the annoyance started simmering, I figured it was purely hormonal. And then all of a sudden, the feelings grew a bit more intense. My barometer perked up. Something said to myself that these sad, mad, brittle feelings were starting to feel a bit like grief.

"What grief?" I asked myself, thinking, what the big deal? At least 4th of July didn't hold a lot of grief pain for us.

And then I fell into a puddle, as I scrubbed the kitchen. Not a puddle on the floor, haha. But a puddle of tears.

What was I thinking? 4th of July was great big potlucks on the farm. Piles of people, mountains of incendiaries, sparkler dances, homemade icecreams, plenty of wineberry tart, salt potatoes, big pans of baked beans bubbling on the stove, kids chasing big kids, parents and teenagers and college kids, grandparent figures, fellow farmers, christians, atheists, a few mystics and an agnostic or two for good measure, some neighbors, just about anyone in our circle hanging around having way too much fun.

Meaningful conversations, laughter, oh my goodness, Philip and the sparkler dance! Serge and the potato cannon. Boys and bonfires and the sweet vision of young love and old love and family and farm and fireflies and moist grass.

I am crying as I write. No wonder I don't really have much desire to do anything on fourth of July anymore. It just feels blah.

I don't want to make up new traditions.

Maggie came in as I groused and mopped. She is a bit blah herself. As are the other kids. I cried as I mentioned my grief surge. We laughed to think about how we have way too many family traditions that got rather discombobulated with Philip's death...

I just don't feel like making picnic food. I had a homemade pie crust sitting out, so I filled it up with all the stuff to make a giant green chili cheddar quiche. That's american, right?

We all sort of ate together, kind of. All our good friends are busy with their own families, or out of town, or doing something else. I don't really want to go sit out and watch fireworks, even though that used to be so much fun for me. In Ft Worth, at the park, orchestra playing 1812 overture, the cannon, babies, picnic, cheap wine and the patchwork denim quilt and Philip. I don't remember what we did in New Jersey. I probably stayed home with a nursing baby while Philip tag teamed by taking the kids out to local events. I think that is why our memories of the farm are so sweet. We were all together, surrounded by friends, happily entertaining, some of us entertaining more than others, ahem, that would be Philip!

I am offering myself compassion, and trying to be mindful, offering up my vulnerabilities to the girls. Wishing we didn't have so much pain in our journey. Aware that there is no journey without pain unless you are so numbed you miss all the rest of the feelings.

Anyway. Writing it out helps. Gonna run Nora back to the baptist church youth group firework stand. Gonna pause the housecleaning. Gonna buy some sparklers. Maybe I will watch the kids twirl with theirs. Maybe they will find their friends in the park and I will get back to my book. Sounds like a perfect ending to my day!

Oh, and I apologized to Rose for being a bit testy. Told her about the hormonal swing and the grief surge. My kids are so compassionate to me. Now she is driving Nora to the stand, and Thomas is going with the girls. They all grabbed a spoon, planning to buy a container of Ben and Jerry's at the grocery store. A new tradition? I sent extra money for sparklers.