Wednesday, was Christians’ birthday. He is my youngest and the last one at home. No matter, how old he gets, Christian will always be the baby. His brothers and sister, never let him forget it. We had a quiet dinner and a strawberry cake. I had taken Thursday off, as I was going to Raleigh to watch Ryan so Sydney could work on Friday. Sydney usually works from home, but she had an appointment on Monday as well, so I was happy to oblige.
I was up early, on that fair, Thursday morning. I took a stroll at dawn around the territory. Daffodils were blooming, birds were singing and the first long strands of sunlight were washing over the countryside. When I came upon the garden, still half full of debris from past storms. Kyle had recently added a small pile of leaves and so I thought to burn it. I would have time to hang a small load of clothes, after the smoke cleared, with time to spare. I started the fire and went back in to have coffee and read a little as I always do. It wasn’t so very long that I went to the clothes line. To my horror, the garden was on fire!
I was gathering buckets,when Christian was fixing breakfast. I told him, that I intended to wet the yard around the garden, for now there was a strong wind blowing. Christian said :it was not a good day to burn, with the wind . .”but there wasn’t a bit of wind, when I started” I interrupted. I was calm, so he was too. I came back for two more buckets. This time, Christian decided to see for himself. By now, I was beginning to worry as the fire was heading to the the patch of young woods. The wind just kept picking up, as well. Christian started helping, for he was worried. No matter, we could not keep up with fire that seemed to jump over soggy land-and in all directions. We called the fire department.
I was so ashamed of myself and all of the running with buckets of water had taken a toll on this old lady. I apologized several times, and then left Christian to conclude the fiasco. I was drained physically and felt so thoroughly foolish. What a damper, on the otherwise, peaceful morning! When I had recovered and the fire department had left, I continued the plans for my departure .
Sydney was waiting outside while Ryan napped. What a welcome sight.
The days flew by. They were filled with long strolls , good meals and wonderful conversations. Ryan prefers wild life videos and farming videos, intended for farmers. At a bit shy of eighteen months, he talks about plows and combines! Ryan is a small child and quite agile . He knows at least half of the alphabet and the sounds of the letters, which has shocked me. It is uncanny, but Brant and Sydney hadn’t a clue, this was spectacular. Ryan has “beauty and brains “. . .according to his Honeybee, at least. I left on Monday, while the first blooms of the cherry could be seen. It was Daddy’s first heavenly birthday, though I doubt Heaven has clocks and calendars. . .but here on earth, we do.
Hence, my sisters and I had devised a plan to gather at Mamas’. Delores presented Mama with a quilt,that she had made from Daddys, shirts. No one could top that! It was a work of art. It is hard to believe that this is a new hobby for Delores. I am thrilled that her next project is my own celtic quilt.
The day was destined to be a somber one, but it was less so, sharing it with loved ones.
Grief subsides, but it does not leave us. Really, grief is the remnants of love. It is an odd feeling and always an unfamiliar feeling -to lose a loved one. I will never again “lose a father”, so that experience is odd, for there is nothing to compare it too, and it can not come up again. The other part of this sorrow, is losing someone that loved me. I remember first realising that particular sense of loss, when my maternal grandmother died. I was a child, but fully comprehended that idea. Someone who really loved me was gone. Decades later, my paternal grandmother died, and once again, that same sentiment, occurred to me. I was much older, but felt as frightened as the child I used to be. I felt more alone, right off and less brave, than ever.
Grief is a long and complicated business. . . it is also a very certain component of life. Those in mourning, seem to share some common denominators. There are more than a few thousand books written about the subject and always there are “studies”, to confirm this. . . but what do with grief is in reality, a very personal affair .
I am erecting a statue in memory of “Daddy” -in the form of an apple tree. . .and a “Hall of Fame”, for I will tell my fathers’ story til it is”old hat” to his great grand children. I will try to live as he taught me to . . . and make a birthday cake in March.