Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Surrounding Mist

I've been having a lot of trouble keeping my cool lately. Perhaps you've noticed. In calmer moments I look at the frustration and anger and tears and dissect the catalysts to be sure they are legitimately worthy of my emotions. For the most part I've found that they are. In lighter days I might have had the power to feel them and not act on them but these days aren't light. There are a lot of new little things happening and a lot of old things that don't wear on me any less for being old. If your shoes are giving you blisters you aren't going to get fewer blisters if you just keep walking.

All this, this "normal" level of boil and toil, is boosted by time. This time last year Auntie Blanche was alive but she wasn't well. I'd made trips to see her and wondered if I'd see her again. Tomorrow she would have been 99. Last year, for 98, we had chocolate cake and sang funny songs and gave her presents she didn't really care about because she was headed out. I'm sure she simply did us the kindness staying in order not to ruin the plans we'd made for her party because one week later, to the day I think, she died. I remain livid at the people who forced the move that precipitated her decline. ChemE said to me the other day, "I'm never going to forgive that man." She's not alone. It's possible Auntie Blanche would have died before September 2008 rolled around no matter where she was living. She was after all within spitting distance of 100 years old. I know there's no way to prove that staying in the home she had carefully researched, chosen and molded to her liking would have kept her spirit alive. Regardless of the length of her life, had she not been forced to move, especially to a mill (a clean, well lighted mill, to be sure, but a mill nonetheless) that was not her style or her choosing and completely impossible to modify enough to camouflage it's true nature, she would at least have died happier.

When she went she was happy to go. I hated it and it took every ounce of strength I had to wish her well because I knew she wanted to go and it would make her happy and if it would make her happy then it was the right thing to want. She should have gone while being happy about her place in life, her surroundings, her town, her people, and the area she had infused with her strength of character. Her scales were tipped to make her glad instead to leave. I feel like I say, "I miss her." over and over again and that there must be some other way to phrase it, some new thing to say about it, some threshold in the process to have crossed but I'm damned if I can find it.

I just really miss her.


  1. I'm sorry you're struggling with this...though I certainly understand it. Spirit to live...not just breathe, etc, but to everything. When that's broken, it's just so damn sad.

    Hugs from here.

    Oh, and this. It's okay to be angry.