We had snow in the upper elevations in October. The weather man is calling for snow mid week. It is dreary and raining today. I can hear the rain drops plunking on the vent for the range. The dogs are resting in our recliners, drifting off to sleep. My bird keeps watching me trying to figure out if I am doing anything that requires her supervision, which means she will fly in to where I am sitting and make her noises until I notice her.
The refrigerator is humming, the clock is ticking and I have my “happy” light beaming up into my face as I write. I made a to-do list last night. If I do whatever I please today and just don’t look at it I won’t feel guilty.
I realize that up until now I may not have been as deliberate about my life as I should have been. Everyone provides me with excuses for not being as productive as I have been in the past – citing the death of our son. But productivity and deliberateness are two different things. There are always “things” to do, but where do they fall on the scale of priority? What things, if any, really make a difference?
The writing of all this feels deliberate. Some days it helps me just to get it out, and some days it sets the mood so low, that I want to crawl under the rug. I haven’t even taken the time to read back through any of it. I don’t know if I ever will.
One day, years ago, when driving home I looked up at the road that leads to our house and suddenly it seemed not a road, but a ribbon draped over the shoulders of the mountain. Such a small narrow ribbon on such a large landscape, yet in my mind at times the road was all there was, to keep between it’s white lines and miss the oncoming cars. The vision of that ribbon road created in me a gut feeling, an ah-ha that happened. It only lasted a moment. It almost made me dizzy.
I know that just beyond my reach right now there is an ah-ha waiting. A dizzy moment when the water clears and I can see where to plant my feet safely, because I have been stumbling a lot lately.
The death tinted world is difficult place to dwell for long. Our windows are streaked with the nose prints of my and my children’s dogs. My glasses are streaked perpetually from splashing tears. I leave the dog prints sometimes, like grandparents leave the hand prints of their grandchildren. I often walk around all day with tear smears before my eyes, so much so, I am sometimes surprised when I take my glasses off and hold them to the light.
But maybe the tear smears are keeping me from seeing the ah-ha moment. I need to focus with purpose, deliberately and stop allowing the feelings, which can change with the wind to obscure what is important. I don’t want to miss anything ever again.
The effect of the death of our son was rough and raw on our life. I abandon myself to the pain of it sometimes, and sometimes I hold back. It is an exercise. His life changed me forever, his death is not allowed to make me revert from the good changes I established because of his life. My daughter and my husband and now my son-in-law influence me for good. My friends influence me for good. My son’s good influence was a ribbon of light draped across the landscape of my life. I just need to transfer my focus now and then, clean my glasses, wipe down the window.
There are other ribbon roads to see. Other people who if allowed can influence my life. There will be new lives and other unforeseen deaths. I don’t know how I ever expected to not be a part of it.
The switch opens like a shutter so quickly to let the light in, imprinting on our brain. We can ignore it, or we can focus watching it as we blink and see it repeat in our visual field. I hear him, I see him for just a flash everywhere. I clean my glasses and try to make it all as clear as possible. I focus hard on those who still remain, I will not let the smallest crumb of our interaction pass unnoticed again. They are the precious, the real things of life that range far outside of the white lines that try to contain us.