Reminded that life can change in an instant, I feel particularly keen to take pictures of what I see and love, and enjoy, and it helps me, now, to look at pictures (before and after)... to remember, to appreciate anew, to let go, but quietly, with a thankful heart. So, I look at Maria in her Witch Thursday hat, the one her friend painted for her for her birthday, and though it is bittersweet, because I love every happy memory of Jet Puff, our family car, and I am sad it's gone, I am glad I have this photograph, this normal, happy moment.
And after the hospital, and the tests, and all of the scary and surreal events of the night, I finally did go upstairs to my dear, familiar bed, and Cairo came and did what a sweet pet will... he stayed close beside me, warm, and comforting, and I felt at home, which meant the beginning of healing.
All of these pictures are moments in December when I saw something beautiful, wanted to hold on to scenes when I felt something joyful. I was a quiet observer, or was aware of what I could not do, or how much of what was happening was an altered, or interrupted event... I don't know how to explain it, but even the good in these moments makes me recall what was also difficult, or disappointing, painful, or muddled. Still, I am glad that we took as much of our time and intentions as we could, and made the very best of it we could. (I am not convinced that was a good sentence, but...)
These pictures... this was the first really happy laughing, I had. And so silly. Cairo was after my tiny tree I put on that cupboard, and he was biting it and knocking it over. So! I sprayed it with an essential oil mosquito repellent, because I read "mint" on the bottle and he hates mint. Well, after I sprayed, he was worse! He tore the tree down, and went for the things on the wall, and then! Then he started chewing the carpeting! I was aghast. Alex, asked about the spray and I told him, and he laughed, reminding me that the natural repellent, so effective at discouraging mosquitos, was mostly catmint! Poor Cairo was high as kite! Muddled, muddled me.
Everyone should have a heating pad.
When I was showing signs of rallying, when the government was about to shut down... my Mom had to make a choice about getting home. I wish we had taken more pictures. Yeah, see... this seems like a lot of pictures, for some, I suppose. But I was keenly aware that I was not taking as many as I usually do, that I didn't have the mental vigor to organize family pictures, or more... what are those called? Natural? Spontaneous? Darn word... Anyway, suddenly my Mom was flying home, which was good, because she was going to be with Dad, and could hopefully recover. And I just wish I had more pictures.
What is that word?
Is this concussion, or just being 52 years old? Let's call it concussion. Because I am not in the mood to imagine that I am mentally doddering, yet.
I had to analyze many things that were on the calendar or planned for, and consider what I was up for, capable of managing, or consider how we could make them manageable. Like school. My last day of school was the very next morning after the thing, and missing my final was way sadder to me, more unbearable, than I could stand, so with Alex's company and assistance I went to school. I was slow and felt strange and... no matter, I felt empowered, and triumphant and glad to have made it. But then shock wore off and pain crept up and up, and things made me very tired, or simply run out of anything like energy or sense... and we started crossing things off the to-do list. Crossing off, as in cancelling.
Of all the big and fun happy holiday events, my favorite tradition is probably celebrating Solstice. I always feel as though it's our gift to our friends, our thank you to them, and such fun to gather and observe the fortune of friends, light, merriment. But I wasn't sure it was such a good idea this year, which was too depressing to accept. Finally, William, Alex, Maria and Max, looked me in the eye, assuredly and calmly, and said, Don't worry. We will get everything ready, and it will be an easy and happy party, that you will love, and will not want to miss. And it was. They rallied. They cleaned, cooked, prepped, and hosted. Ruth came early, to bring apple crisp, and yellow roses. I had made the theme about our heritage, everyone's heritages, the recipes and traditions we have from our immigrant or Native ancestors, and it was a potluck. Everyone shared food, recipes, snacks, anything that comes from family, from love. I loved the stories. I loved the whole night.
I wish I had taken more pictures. It was a full house, and spread out into the front yard, too. I went to bed late, and happily tired.
Next time I will blog about Christmas Eve and Day, and a birthday... and more memories, more moments that make me smile, thankful, heartened. I know I mixed in mention of that event, the accident, but that's how it's been. It's part of the story, sadly, but I mean to deal with it by speaking of it, and acknowledging that it happened and it caused things. It helps me feel some power over what happened... I've noticed that other hard things that I've kept to myself, or tried to cope with by hiding, suppressing or minimizing don't go away, or get better, but just kind of linger, ache, resurface in unexpected or mixed up ways. So... new approach is to talk, speak, voice, express, write, cry, laugh, deal with it. And then look at all of the good, and celebrate, and triumph! And heating pads. Everyone should have a heating pad.