Wednesday, July 24, 2013

...when you're singing a song...

(I have to go into blogger edit to make these videos viewable on mobile devices, but I haven't yet. At some point I will.)
No gloom or profundity for today, just a favourite collection for you to consider. My mother was a professional singer all her life, with a beautiful and rich alto voice. She also had a brilliant memory for remembering songs. It wouldn't matter where or when, she could immediately offer up all the verses of a song she knew, and she knew thousands, in perfect pitch.

As a result, although my songstress skills are nothing like hers, I have always had a tendency to collect songs that I try to know all the words to, so that driving in my car or cleaning house or just bopping down the sidewalk, I'll have a song. Some are fun, some are classics, some are lifesavers. But I have them IN me, and they just bubble up, and I can heartily recommend that you learn some songs all the way thru, and can sing them without benefit of iPod or radio. That way, you'll always have a way to entertain a child, look foolish in public or just keep yourself entertained on a slow day.

The first came up this morning on Facebook, when the screen jerked and I didn't, resulting in an awkward misplaced comment. Sometimes they don't even have to hear you to embarrass yourself, but you do have to get up in the morning, so this one is a fav for getting a body in motion first thing:

Irving Berlin, Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning

The next is a John Prine tune about his grandpa, who seems to have been the same generation as my Pop. When I first heard this song, the line about "put a penny in a burned out fuse" sent me back years to when I first saw Pop do the same thing. The better version is on Will The Circle Be Unbroken: Vol 2 (a collaboration album with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.)

John Prine, Grandpa Was a Carpenter

Next up, because every woman should know at least one Patsy Cline song by heart, here's one that will not break your heart, regardless of lyric content. Something about the tune and the jazzy little piano riffs always make me want to dance. Of course, this one needs a partner to dance with, one who can spin you out and bring you close again, so you might get a little bluesy after all.

Patsy Cline, Walking After Midnight

Are you with someone whinging about how impossible something is, how they will NEVER... fill in the blank? Start singing this and Really make them mad. It's fun!

Rosemary Clooney, It Could Happen to You

I was a big Linda Ronstadt fan in my teens, convinced those love songs were the sorrow filled truth. Forget that trash, she also taught me those cowboy songs were worth keeping. The first old cowboy classic:

Linda Ronstadt, Old Paint

This one will make you laugh for miles down the highway and it brings up that old and fine talent - yodeling! Truly, get Suzy Bogguss' first big album, Somewhere Between, and learn every song. The title track is a great interpretation and every song is for singing along with.

Suzy Bogguss, I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart

Well, it seems I favor the golden oldies, but that might be the trick, seeing as how they were written to sing. I haven't even scratched the surface of all the songs I'd care to recommend, so I'll do this again sometime. I'll sign off with with a direct link to another of Suzy's best and one of my theme songs - "Handyman's Dream" (This video is an awesome collection of country ladies singing, if that's your fancy.)

Remember, get you some songs to sing when it's just you by yourself. Not everything has to be perfect to be thoroughly delightful.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dressing the loom

I should have known, but somehow things just slip my mind. Since I challenged the Lord in public to make something of me, I should have known that he would take up the dare. He dismantled my dearest dream on my birthday this year, and having lost that prospect, the dismantling of other projects and goals has continued. I am now able, not just willing, to give away most of my books, along with any other project that I've been saving the stuff to do but never have done. You know - furniture, clothes, memberships, browser bookmarks - all those things that I wanted to do something with but just never found the time for are disappearing.

I'm not nervous about it, I'm not grieving anything, all most of my tears have been shed and it's just a persistence of motion to clear things out. The only reason I mention it is that I'm a little shocked at my own behaviour. Books? Hundreds of books going out the door??? Any stick of furniture without a home will find one somewhere else. I find myself rebuking myself at length, out loud, every time my mind starts to wish for my old dream back again, and I listen and obey like a little child. It feels like a bit like the Ghost of Christmas Past having his chains pulled off his shoulders. We all see the futility of those chains, but we know it takes more than a good idea to get them off.

I suppose I could fight the process if I wanted. I'm sure I have before, but I'm in a sweet spot right now. I know about the ADHD now and I'm learning more about the neurological quirks that come with it, I have no family member for whom or to whom I am responsible, I'm not attached to my job or have any particular career goal to achieve, and I am very clear headed and know whom I have believed. Not many opportunities like this come along.

I recognized what was happening in my imagination first, saw the image of a loom being torn down and redressed from scratch, and as it turns out, the analogy holds very well indeed. I'll let a professional explain it:

"Dressing the loom is what took the most time.  For those who don’t know what all that means it’s a lot of work.  Dressing a loom just means getting the thread on a loom so that thread isn’t breaking all over the place.   It’s a lot of meditative work.  First are all the decisions:  are you making something specific and if so, how long and what length? ...
What it means though is cutting  a lot of strings a certain length and threading them through all these parts of the loom without tangling them.  Hence the meditative part.  Weaving, if nothing else, has taught me how to separate mandatory things to do and nice things to do."

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Living people

I'm the youngest in that photo, my great-grandmother is the oldest. Her grandfather was living with her when he died in 1922.  He had been in Pickett's charge on Round Top at Gettysburg, where he was wounded. He had become a pastor after the war, but had enlisted from Stokes county, N.C. under Stonewall Jackson. My mother became a Methodist minister and pastor herself after her divorce, and always spoke very highly of the godly example her grandmother had lived in front of her.

I also knew my maternal great-grandmother on my father's side, and it is my great-grandfather who bought the farm that we still own and love. My father's paternal grandmother is the one who supplied our (my father's and my) sense of humor and and ability to find the funny in just about anything, a trait often mentioned with fondness and relief by my great-aunts, and it is to her family's reunion that I go in two weeks. My ADD comes from my mother's father, and it is his creativity and talent for drawing that got passed to my nephew, who now works as a computer graphics illustrator.

If you are a geneticist or some sort of materialist, you might find all that information is some sort of confirmation that genes will out or we are all acting out of some sort of determined path carved out for us by Nature's influence on our physical composition. If you are the member of a family, you will recognise the cascade of taps on the shoulder, words spoken in season and out, and family legends passed on not in story or myth but in lingering examples that shaped one person and then the next.

As I woke up this morning, I was thinking about the image of a gloved hand reaching thru time and the generations. If you were a scientist, you might think of that hand as ideas carried in people, and how powerful an idea can be as it stirs up change and influences every generation that finds it and acts on it. If you wanted to clothe that same idea in religious garb, you might think about how powerful habits, weaknesses and proclivities get passed from one generation to the next and how spiritual forces shape and move human beings. 

If you grew up in a family, then you'll know that hand as Una Mae patting you on the shoulder and pointing out how ridiculous Portly was in all his affectations and seriousness. You will watch Hallie sketch in the evening to relieve his stress and draw dry cleaner advertisements in the day to earn a living. If you are descended from a family, then you will pull out a doily and wonder how "Mom" made fabric out of thread and still cooked and cleaned and kept the grandchildren long past "retirement age." In every case, you will see that it is not ideas that are being passed thru time, but people who are giving of their lives to those that follow, and I am not a copy of their DNA, but I've been touched, tangibly altered, by the works of their hands imprinted onto living people.

The god conundrum works the same way. Some people think of god as an elemental force, the set of existence whereby things, including people, came into being and we describe his nature in physics and biology and sociology as great waves of events as effects ebb and flow. The more philosophical or religious elevate god to a plane where he has made laws and principles or declarations of intent and we all are measured against his standards and plans, creating our successes or failures along the way as we work with those concepts and ideas. Then there is the third way, where God is a person who is creating a family.

The way I met him was to watch him in red letters while he lived in front of his family. He loved little kids, like me, and he seemed to be always looking for the next guy to feed. I always liked how he could talk to the wind or the sea, and how the fishes would do what he asked, and how at the end of a big city disaster that got averted he said how glad he was the animals wouldn't have to suffer any more, too. When I got older I really appreciated how he didn't talk down to women and he would never embarrass someone if he didn't have to, even if they got themselves into a bind. I liked how he loved being with people so much that it didn't matter who was having the party, he was going to be there - so much so he got a rep as a drunk! (Man, talk about not worrying about what folks think about you!)

My favorite story of all time is when he was coming into town and and everyone came out to see him, but there was a blind beggar sitting in the dirt asking him for help, too. My God? He stopped, he turned around, and he saw blind Bartimus on the ground, and he touched his eyes with the palm of his hands. Blind Bartimus saw like a natural man. That I can type out a lyric that says God stopped, turned, saw and touched just blows my mind and is completely out of line with nature, but a living person can see and move and touch with love and kindness. To be family with this man is incomprehensible, but true.

Update 07172013

If you want to hear some more about being part of a family, and that image of a living person's hand in a glove, listen here.  I didn't have that link in mind when I first wrote this, but it sure fits, and it's true.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Badlands

Well, we're out of the deep blues (old background picture for the blog) and onto the crisp, blue heights of a mountain range (new background picture) - I have no idea where. I did not know that walking on thru the darkness would find me at dawn's bright light looking at country I've never seen. No really, I still can't see it today, I just know I've crossed a ridge line and we're moving on to new country.

I don't like words like "accept" or "resigned," but the Lord and I are on the same page regarding my expectations and dreams. I've set aside my lists and wanna do's and we are agreed that we're just walking along day after day and won't be talking about those things anymore.

The best analogy I can give is like those pioneers headed across the deserts of the West sometime after the War (between the states.) You might start out from the green hills of old Virginia, hire the best trail boss and load up a fine new wagon pulled by the healthiest of oxen, and yet somewhere before the salt of the ocean would breeze across your face again you would still have lost the wagon train, roasted the remains of those oxen with the last kindling from the family chifferobe, and be walking the trail in uncertain company.

I thought certain I was at least allowed to keep a list or two of dreams. Surely one is allowed to have goals to light one's path, some kind of markers to let you know you were headed in the right direction? Not so much. The very last dream I had - ancient, sweet, and of great sentimental value - has fallen onto the trail for the last time, not leaving even a recognisable remembrance of it to carry in my pocket for old times' sake.

The only aspect of the journey that remains the same is the Friend who sticks with me. I've never paid him too much attention, I always thought he was too busy for me, but now that all the other has disappeared, he is it.  I don't know where I'm going or why I'm going. I feel somewhat like a beast of the field, going from one clump of grass to the next, and really, I'm not an outdoorsy, let's go camping kind of girl AT ALL. Nonetheless, I'm trying to not be so completely aimless, I try to remember to ask my Friend what shall we eat, what shall we wear, shall we go by the northern route or the southern route to work today, do we have a shopping list,  I don't want to call the hotel - help me, where's that check I was supposed to deposit, and where are my glasses I CAN'T SEE!!!

All day long like a lost shiny baby. Decades and decades of trying to do it myself with the least of help, I thought independence was the goal. Now I don't even know what "it" is, and I am becoming more dependent with every evolution. Unless I completely botch this up, without him I can do nothing.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The hills, the highways and the byways

I'm reasonably happy, I still have a job in this economy, my friends and family, my house projects are moving along, I'm progressing one step at a time in grief and what all recovery - things are okay. Yet, amongst the happy tunes and the French pop and the bluegrass whine and the piccolo solos in the airs and flourishes, my fingers dialed up this song on the way home this afternoon. Maybe it was the rain and the daily disappointments, but by the time I got to my own neighborhood I was quiet in my heart with tears streaming down my face, but not because I was sad.

This is the hardest thing to try to explain to someone, and I know I've heard a hundred personal stories and a thousand sermons trying to explain it to me, but I never understood a thing about it until this year. You see, I'm technically alright, until I turn to look into God's face and he lights up all my frustrations and anger, and all the things I've tried and failed, and all the things I know are waiting for me in Him but I cannot find no matter what I do or pray. 

I've heard it said that people who have died and gone to heaven and come back report it's always dark down here in comparison. No matter how bright the sun or pretty the day, nothing compares to the light of God's presence in all its fullness in heaven. In much the same way, I look and see God's character and goodness in Jesus, I hear his heart declaring his love for me in all the scriptures, and then I do my chores and my job and my laundry and my patience and my alms and my prayers and I rail at him because it's so tiring and I don't want to keep doing all of this. It's dark and cold and wet, nearly an endless Scottish night, and I want a lit hearth and a welcoming smile to greet me at my door.

Maybe we never notice these songs when we are still wet behind the ears. When we are young, we're sure we won't need them, but ones like this have meat and marrow - life to keep us moving on to the next step. I'm home in my own driveway now, the devil is beating his wife, and I'll get on with the next chore. But I'll let my tears fall with the rain one more time, because I have a Friend trudging along with me, even if he is just out of my sight. 

Now God walks the dark hills,
the ways, the highways.
And He walks on the billows
Of life's troubled sea.
And He walks in the cold, dark night
The shadows at midnight
God walks the dark hills
Just to guide you and me. 

God walks the dark hills
to guide my footsteps.
He walks everywhere, 
by night or by day.
And He walks in silence
on down the highway. 
God walks the dark hills
to show me the way. 

Then God walks in the storms,
the rain, the sunshine.
He still walks in the shadows, 
Or thru glimmering light.
He helps us walk up our mountains so high,
Cross our rivers, thru our valleys.
God still walks the dark hills,
He loves you and me.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Love affairs

The oak sideboard has reached its final placement, so I'm loading it up with all the stuff I've had elsewhere waiting while it migrated around the house. I'm going to use it as a server, so in digging the liquor bottles out of the closet I thought I'd see how long that stuff is good for. I'm the world's worst drinker, I keep forgetting to do it. I like a good drink - I don't really care for bad ones - and I have a ridiculous amount of vodka now because I kept forgetting I had it.

Anyway, as it turns out, open bottles of liqueurs don't last forever, perhaps 18 months at best. I had two petite bottles of Grand Marnier and Tia Maria that I had retrieved years ago in cleaning out Mother's things. They were bought no doubt during my parents' marriage and saved for "some day special." Someday never came, and as it turns out, the cork on one had dried out and the alcohol began to evaporate.

Love affairs, like good liquor, are for enjoying now, this year, while you have it. All you kids know that, but no one in my family ever did. It was all for  "we'll do that later, when we have the time, right now I need to ..." paint the house, get rid of this headache, call about taking a class next semester, go see about the farm. Love and happiness could wait until tomorrow. 

Not really, the love dries up and goes away.

I'm thirsty.

Little sips, Sweetie, little sips. Just begin where you are.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Stars and the Heavens

Some who know me won't believe this, but I've been looking at my horoscope online. They've been having them in magazines and websites about your decorating style, and I was rather hoping to narrow my style down from the massive amount of things I like. Of course, my sign is supposed to be all mercurial, pardon the pun, but they never get it right either. I think it just confuses the astrologers, who are trying very hard to put people into a sign box.

So, anyway, I invariably end up linking on to other aspects of astrology and what I'm supposed to be like according to my sign, and then on to people I know and what their sign is supposed to say about them...and a lot of times they get a lot of stuff right! Shocker, I know. The neat thing about these days is that you can get a free chart according to your birth date and place, and that should tell you even more. It used to be years ago that you couldn't get anywhere near something like that unless you paid a lot of money, so of course I clicked on it.

I was tooling around with it, blah blah blah, maybe so, maybe not, that isn't really much news - and then I started putting in someone else's birthday to see about them. I didn't know what time or exactly where, so I had to guess. Blah blah, yeah I can see that, uh I dunno, well maybe I ought to try a different time of day to see what changes then? Well, well, well, all sorts of things got changed - from the time of day!!! I thought that wasn't very helpful.

Then I started resenting all that "just be aware of this" advice. I recognised it from my real life experience because that's how many people, especially women, like to control or influence others. It's one thing to warn someone specifically of what they are doing, it's another to take someone under your wing and habitually give character statements about what they are like, what their weaknesses are, and make general descriptions to them about how they interact with the world. If they yield to that, then there is a control element that has come into play - and every tragedy on the stage begins with a little whisper of influence misplaced.

But what to do about the stars and all the times the signs seem to read correct? I wasn't looking for a Christian trump card - even Jesus' birth as the Messiah was corroborated by "wise men from the East."  The moon and the stars were put into the sky as signs in the heavens, and there are prophecies in scriptures that speak of signs yet to come. Hmmm, what to do, what not to do? Then the time of day thing pointed out a problem, one that only Christians have, because we are born again people.

We have a second birthday, we've been born anew from above. Our new life comes out of a living union with Jesus - and his destiny. Even if all the astrology stuff has some accurate elements, there is nothing in any of the astrological charts about the date of our new birth, they have no information about the date of either Jesus' first birth in Bethlehem or resurrection from the dead (again, a new life begun even for Him, with new parameters and a different "sign"), and yet those are the most powerful dates controlling our lives. For all the the influence the sun, moon, planets and stars, and dates and times and seasons have on us - Jesus upsets every chart and every prediction, because not only is he himself The Bright and Morning Star, he is the Ruler of his own House, and all things are in every way subject to Him.

So then, no matter what I started out with under the heavens, and no matter how many things I can see the star charts get right, my whole life path got upended when I died in Christ and was born again. Now the life I live is not my own, but is hidden with God in Christ Jesus - he unrolls a new scroll in the heavens with his own plan for me written on it, and no astrologer on this earth can touch it or read it or change it.

But I can read it.

Rom 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

And I can do something about it.

Rom 8:25 But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure. So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.
27 And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.
28 We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

Here, have a mystery picture, because you don't really know where I started, and only God knows where I'm going. 

[No, I didn't know I would end up here. It's the ADD and the Holy Spirit, I always seem to careen sideways into the truth. Well, as long as I get there, that's what counts. :) ]

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Not ANY Thing

I've let the ADHD issue slip to the back burner for over a year (a very ADD thing to do, of course,) but I've joined an ADHD group online now (can't remember how, again...) and so now I'm having all the ADD issues thrown up at me repeatedly on a daily basis. I had read a few things before, learned a bit, watch some very educational videos, but I hadn't really meditated on it daily and seen how the disorder was working itself out in my life. Until now.

Long story short: Not ANY thing I ever wanted to do, participate in, interests to pursue, anything you can think of - not any of it was ever possible, because I can't keep my intentions together and follow thru, and because I offend people all the time with my personality and what I say.

That's harsh and maybe I shouldn't put it out here, but it's really true, and I don't have any resources to do anything about it.

All my dreams and hopes are dying. All of them.


Here's a pretty picture to look at instead.

Have a nice day.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

French pop is for lost love

...and there is no one better than Lara Fabian:

I'm ill

Versions: #1#2
I don't dream anymore
I don't smoke anymore
I don't even have a story anymore
I'm ugly without you
I'm dirty without you
Like an orphan in a dormitory
I don't want
To live my life anymore
My life stops when you leave
I don't have a life anymore
And even my bed
Becomes a station platform
When you leave...
I'm ill
Completely ill
Like when my mother went out one evening
And she left me alone with my despair
I'm ill
Perfectly ill
You arrive but you never know when
You start again but you never know where
And you'll have soon been doing that for 2 years
Yet you don't care
Like a rock
Like a sin
I'm attracted to you
I'm tired, I'm exhausted
Of pretending to be happy
When they're there
I drink every night
And every whisky
Has the same taste to me
And every boat
Wears your flag
I don't know where to go anymore, you're everywhere
I'm ill
Completely ill
I shed my blood in your body
And I'm like a dead bird
When you sleep
I'm ill
Perfectly ill
You deprived me of all my songs
You emptied me of all my words
Yet I did have talent
Before your skin...
This love's killing me
If it continues
I'll die on my own
Next to my radio
Like a stupid child
I'll listen to your own, own voice that sings to me
I'm ill
Completely ill
Like when my mother went out one evening
And she left me alone with my despair
I'm ill
This is it, I'm ill
You deprived me of all my song
You emptied me of all my words
And I have a heart that's completely ill
Surrounded by fences
You hear... I'm ill...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

One day later

LATER (one day):  I believe I'll leave it up. Facebook is for community, blogs are the sole proprietary of the author, or as I put it when I first started in a post long gone - I am the tyrant of this blog. If I can't be myself here, speak in my own voice to no one who hears, then where?

Last November, before all the deathly seriousness began, I sent myself two texts so I wouldn't forget.

    "I'd like to be in a relationship to which I'm actually invited."


    "Solitaries don't need lunch, solitaries need families. They need a family that isn't "all of us" until they are there, too, and they need to know it's forever, not just until some Christian charitable obligation is fulfilled."

The latter was in anticipation of the holiday season to come. True to form, and in the blazing face of all the deathly seriousness at hand, not one "Christian" family invited me to a hot meal in their home. I understand the busyness of the holiday meals themselves, people guard that day like the gold at Ft. Knox, and I don't really mind that. Even in the face of heaps of poultry and "special" desserts that we consume every day, the preciousness of those holiday meals have been amped up even higher and they are reserved for family.

What I don't understand, and had to relate in tears to my father in a recent visit, is that not one of these Christian saints of God could find a place or a time to say, "Come and have dinner with us at our house tonight. It will be good see you." Twenty years knowing the same crowd and that's where I stand. Obviously I need new friends, ones with fewer church bragging rights and a place in their hearts for the people in front of them.

The first text is probably the source of the troubles in the second. I'd like to be in relationships (all of them, friendships, co-workers, casual, true love) in which *I* am welcome - the actual me, the me that doesn't have to cut myself up into acceptable portions so the other person can pick out the parts they fancy - like slaw, beans or salad at the Piccadilly. Really, what most people prefer is that I not come into the relationship at all, but just stand at the door, smile and make a joke and leave (before the meal begins.)

Thanks to the ADD, I'm at least a mile wide, I can cover acreage and entertain, but I'm not an inch deep. I also bring the heights and the deep with me, and it's just too much for most. It's definitely too much if you need to dwell by quiet shallow pools. I spin too fast over the next range and up to the cloud banks, and wait in the cool darkness for Leviathan to come near. Who wants all that at dinner every night?

Friday, April 12, 2013


Begin morning nautical twilight
They say that's when attacks were launched during the French and Indian Wars.
Is that why I wake up to rustling sounds of things in motion that I don't want know, things I thought wouldn't be this time, because this was going to be different, but it isn't really? Just more of the same, always more of the same.

Why : it doesn't matter. Why makes no matter, it just is.
Here: because  Facebook is full of  "friends" now, and we (me) must be full of polite and not notice and not know, because we're all nice there now. Here has no followers or readers of any kind, so I can say here in the darkness what I'm not supposed to notice there.

Hello little spam bots. [Delete]

Just listen to the song of my soul, and rock, and hum along. Morning is coming. The dawn will drive away what the heart knows in the night.

Don't worry, this post will go away, too. We must all be nice here, too. I know nothing. Never did.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

In the hands

 I'm looking forward to this film very much. I hope it inspires many more to create and even apprentice. The beauty of a garment isn't in the designer, it's in the hands who make it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Out of the woods....

and on to new vistas.

(For the record, I've changed the background image on the blog from deep in the forest to some high on cliff by the seaside view on an emerald green island, probably in the North Atlantic somewhere. Dunno where. But it looks lovely and I'd like to go!)

The briefest of eulogies

I just this second noticed it's my sister's birthday! I want to take her some flowers, but it's supposed to be freezing rain... I'll check and see if I can't still do it. It's only about three hours round trip. You see, since the post Binding Up  was first made, Mother was diagnosed with a far advanced tumor, went into hospice care after ...
OMG, I had to make the decision to put her into hospice care about 8 hours after that post went up!

 (You know, sometimes the things you are praying about aren't really your own wishes, it's God pressuring you to let the door open to where he is wanting events to go - even death. True to my spiritual training in my denomination I pushed hard against that door for a long, long time. It's been only in hindsight that I see how the Spirit worked with me and moved me along in these years. Like the song says, you have to know Him for yourself.)

[...and three hours later]

It snowed, and now it's melting. Maybe flowers in an hour or so, after traffic dries out.

So, what I was trying to get to was the doctor at the assisted living facility I transferred Mother to found a tumor and there was no reasonable remedy for it. Her health began to fail very quickly after the diagnosis, she became unable to write within a week and continued to waste away for about a month before she transitioned into her last crisis and died on January 8th. So, now she is buried next to my sister up the road a ways, and I'd like to take them both some flowers today. I've not been up there since the burial, and it's been interesting working thru the new state of affairs.

Loss must be grieved, even the death of loved ones in Christ. It took a couple of weeks to even consciously grasp that a member of the family was gone and the family structure had changed. I waffle a bit between relief and the old tension that remains from the fact of having to deal with the estate all by myself. All things considered, I think I'm doing pretty fair.

I've thought about my promise to return to the eulogy for the ideal parent that never was. I don't think I can go that far because I have no clue what such a person would be like for me, but I can imagine what Mother might have been like had she not clung so fiercely to the narcissism and pride. What if she had humbled herself much earlier in life and not been so doggedly determined to control other people? So here goes:

"Brothers and sisters, we are gathered here to remember a most charming young lady. Even though her hair was silver and her eyes grew dim, her plans for the future ventured as far and wide as any college freshman.... "

And that's as far as I can bear to go with it. The loss is too great. What would have been if she had risked it all and been willing to be wrong, to be small, to know less and to have forgotten herself? I don't know, I really don't. Do you suppose it might have come out worse? That her family and accomplishments would have been less? As it turns out, only time tells that tale, but you can't take your house or your diploma or your resumé with you, only the love and the memories you made.

Go make some.