Over the Back Fence

If you have been reading my blogs for very long you know this is the image I post when I am angst-ing a bit over life.... and death.

This morning I know I should be working on a "commissioned" story that I am telling in 10 days instead of "thinking" - - maybe writing it down will help me shake the thinking so I can get back to work.

For the first thing - it's December.  Christmas is coming.  I should have known better than to make commitments for December. I have never particularly liked Christmas - it was never much fun in my family when I was a child because it was an emotionally charged season for my parents - which took lots of the joy out of it for the kids.

Jim and I got married at Christmas and Jim loved the happy season which for a long time was the antidote to my gray memories - then our youngest daughter died in December. In fact next week is the 50th anniversary of Gretchen's death.  Hard to realize its been that long. Harder still to have Jim now buried out there with her. And it is a bit tricky to accept that I will be buried there with them.....Jim's death taught me to face the reality of that.

Next Saturday I will take flowers to Gretchen at the same time that Wreath Around America is placing Christmas wreaths on all the graves at Arlington. Interesting juxtaposition.

Now what to do about today - how to keep my eyes and mind on another's story when I am slogging around in my own story. Especially since I know that a little later today Christmas is going to come up - "what about putting up a Christmas tree today?"

I have refused to put a Christmas treet since Jim died because those boxes in the basement are loaded for me - - they are packed solid with memories. Jim and I collected Christmas Tree ornaments. Over the years it became an evergreen family album of year-long happy times, trips and events. When we traveled we always brought back something "for the tree." Little odd souvenirs also made the cut - - along with other momentos. Every year Jim set up the tree, turned on Christmas music and we  opened the boxes together and decorated the tree. Later we packed everything safely away until next time.

For our 50th wedding anniversary Jim helped me with an art show at the Studio Gallery in Washington, DC and part of the show was a full size Christmas tree decorated as a family album.

You get the picture. Opening those boxes is a tough duty I have avoided.

Until now - -

I have decided to walk through the smoldering coals. I am going to put up a tree and open the boxes. 

Jim's orchid encourages me. It began to bloom three weeks ago and still has four more pregnant buds. This orchid is one that bloomed at his memorial service almost three years ago and when those bloom dropped off it became dormant - - -  for a bit more than two years.

Quite a few times I considered tossing it out ...

Today I realize its a blessing  - -

and a message  -

to keep on keeping on.


Anonymous said...

Hugs to you as you continue finding joy and adventure. <3

Granny Sue said...

Yes, a hard time of year, mined with memories. But then there is that gloriuos orchid, a reminder to keep the good memories frsh and blooming.