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.