Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In a Fog

Maia and I were out walking a few days before Christmas.  It was chilly, damp, and fog was moving in and out.  Sometimes I saw blue sky.  Then fog would sweep in and obscure everything.  Sky, trees, shrubs, houses....all were drained of their color.  The sun was there, a floating perfect disc in the sky curtained by the fog.  If I were a painter, that is how I'd paint  the season of grief.  Wan, cold, damp punctuated by bursts of sunshine and "normal" color.  But I'm not a painter.  I can't make an image of grief; I can only experience it and live through and with it.  There are no choices about living in the season of grief.   My choice is which path I take through the fog.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Happiest Time....

...of the year!  All around me I hear the music.  On the radio, in the stores, even from me, humming along.  I am not feeling that this is the happiest time of the year.  I am not of good cheer.  Neither am I sitting alone, weeping.  Michael and I (mostly Michael) have decorated the house: lights up outside along the front; the wreath hangs in its accustomed place, the glittering tree is up and loaded with my beautiful collection of ornaments, decades in the making.  I have bought gifts.  There is special food in fridge and pantry waiting to be served on the big day.  I look forward to being with my family but I dread waking up that morning to be alone on the happiest day.  No bustle of fixing a special breakfast.  No watching Mark open a gift and seeing him smile and then say, "I thought we weren't getting anything expensive!"  Only he would think a thirty dollar sweater extravagant.  Of course if he gave me a lovely necklace and I said the same thing to him, he'd say, "But that's different."  Yes, it's a different time of year for me now.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Seeing it Through

Old timey, but I like it:  Mark saw it through with grace and courage.  I'm doing my best to follow in his footsteps.

By Edgar Albert Guest 1881–1959

When you’re up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it’s vain to try to dodge it,
Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you
And your future may seem grim,
But don’t let your nerve desert you;
Keep yourself in fighting trim.
If the worst is bound to happen,
Spite of all that you can do,
Running from it will not save you,
See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,
When with troubles you’re beset,
But remember you are facing
Just what other men have met.
You may fail, but fall still fighting;
Don’t give up, whate’er you do;
Eyes front, head high to the finish.
See it through!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Roses still bloom even in December.  Here's one left barely hanging onto the leafless branches and above the dry leaves.  I try to see my grief in that way: there are mostly bare branches and dead leaves but every now and then you catch a glimpse of something unexpected: a rose blooming out of time, an old friend at a local shop, a smile among the tears.