Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Logical Conclusion

I had to have some fasting blood work done this morning.

Some people (Jill, maybe) hate to have blood drawn, but I don't mind it. What I mind terribly is having to leave the house in the morning without having a cup of coffee first. Breakfast I can do without, but coffee? Not so much. Without coffee I'm somewhere between irritable and half-asleep tired and bitchy. And I'm not nearly as addicted to caffeine as some. (Liz, maybe, who I imagine would have to be admitted to the hospital before they could get any decaffeinated blood out of her.)

Despite making an appointment so that I wouldn't have to wait in the lobby deli-style, I did have to wait--for the child screaming in the back to have her blood drawn--and it took longer than I anticipated.

Going home and making a pot of coffee seemed like a lifetime to wait, so I brought my morning to a logical conclusion, and stopped at Starbucks for a large coffee of the day. And a slab of banana walnut bread.

Now I'm not cranky at all.

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Normal

Today I am going to try to get back to normal. I won't be making any promises about not being sad anymore, because that’s unrealistic. Sadness hits me—like a Mack truck—without warning. Sometimes I can breathe through it, other times I cry. I know I will struggle with the grief, and my reactions to it, for a long time.

Excepting the sadness, everything else is within my control: what I make of my days, and how I make myself happy. Today my camera goes back in my purse when I leave the house for that scene I might capture, and in the kitchen when I cook to frame that plate of food that looks like art to me. And so today I will begin to cook again. And I will clean. I will no longer be overwhelmed by how much I have to do, choosing to ignore the clutter. I will attack it—one junk mail pile at a time. Then I’m going to find that web site where I can opt out of junk mail because I’m never getting back all the time I’ve spent recycling, and I’m no longer willing to squander any more of it on junk mail. I have better things to do.

I have plans this week for a haircut and a manicure, for doctors’ appointments and lunch with Amy in Hartford. And then on Saturday I go to Chicago with Deanna. When I get back Jill arrives for a week. I still have to choose a day to dedicate to reading this summer, and a dent to make in my summer reading pile. I haven’t had a good soft serve yet this season, and am due for more lobster. And a day in the Back Bay. And on the beach.

So today I embrace my new normal. I know my writing will follow.

Monday, July 11, 2011


So what does one do the day after her cousin dies?

Well, when she can finally get herself out of bed, which is quite a task, she knows she needs to start moving. So after a quick cup of coffee she gets ready and goes to CVS for waterproof mascara, and wonders why she hadn't bought some years ago. Duh. You cry all the time, she thinks.

Then she goes in search of some good granny panties, because even though she vowed never to wear control top anything ever again, she knows she needs them. There will be no pantyhose, but she needs a little midsection support. She wants to look good. For Donna, who was a fashionista. And she knows they made Donna laugh.

And then she goes to her aunt and uncle's house and grieves with her family. They hug, they cry, they talk. They share stories and begin cherishing their memories of Donna. They assure one another that she is a better place, that she is no longer suffering. And, oh, how she had suffered in the end.

She goes home and sleeps and starts the next day with a deep breath...and goes in search of the perfect necklace to go with the dress she intends to wear to the funeral, because she really does want to dress as a nod to Donna. They all do. They talked about it the night before: what they were all going to wear, what Donna would like, how Donna would be happy if not a single person wore black, yet understands it is a flattering color and will forgive those of us who choose to wear it--for fashion's sake, not in mourning. Especially with a splash of color. Or good accessories.

And when she finds The Perfect Necklace, the one she had pictured in her head, displayed right beside a necklace that reminds her of Donna, that she knows she must buy for Donna's daughter Lindsay, she takes another deep breath. Donna, is that you? she wonders.

She gets in the car and wonders if what she thinks happened really happened. She takes another deep breath and feels something tickle the back of her neck. She wipes away at nothing. She feels it again. And she thinks, Thank you, Donna. Thanks for letting me know you are here.

rest in peace, dear Donna

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