Posts Tagged ‘grief’

It’s day number five in the chair and I’ve already had enough.

Enough with the nest I made in the corner of the sectional. Enough with showering in a chair, even if it is a fancy teak bench. Enough with being confined to two rooms at the back of the house because there’s an inch and a half step into the kitchen. Enough of being dependent on Bob for literally everything… otoh I’m so glad he’s holding up!

IF I wanted to be grateful, and I do WANT to be, I’d write about the weather. This is that short heavenly time in the South – the time when it’s almost like being in California. Almost. Temps are in the 70-80s with low humidity and very few bugs. Bob helps me haul myself out to the zero gravity chair in the backyard and all the pain melts away under a beautiful blue sky while I get 15 minutes of vitamin D.

Ms Bean lies beneath the lavender hedge to keep me company.

I’d write about my daughter, who stops in nearly every day and arranged for a yoga teacher to give me my very own chair-yoga-practice. I’m definitely grateful to her for schlepping the grandkids and my emergency back-up emotional support French Bulldog with her. Even the Groom visits when she’s working. It’s good to have three docs in the family.

I’m very grateful to my family and friends, to everyone who called, texted and emailed. For bringing us Vietnamese food and wine. For having a clear-out-the fridge dinner before we were supposed to leave for Italy. And speaking of Italy; a big thank you to our friends for keeping us in the loop. Every day we get a pic or a text from the gang, who I will now dubb “The Italian Job” after a movie from 2003.

“The Italian Job is simple. An explosive guy, a safe-cracker, a computer genius, a wheel-man and a man with a spectacular plan of stealing 35 Million in gold bars.”

I loved that movie! OUR Italian Job includes an educational administrator, an educator, a lawyer, an engineer and a public health official who plan on enjoying their tour with Marco and Claudio and their truffle sniffing dog. Maybe they will buy some gold for their wives? Or maybe the wives will buy them something, or they will send big crates of red wine and cheese home?

I’m already planning the next soiree.

The biggest thanks goes to Bob for putting up with my, “Honey could you do me a favor” queries every few hours minutes. But while we’re all wondering just what Mr T was doing with his cohorts on his golf course in NJ, I’ve been putting the Love Bug to work. My wheelchair can’t fit into the new MBR closet, so I asked her to finish gilding my plain wooden full length mirror. I’ve never owned a full length mirror, and now I can’t even see myself in it, which is just as well.

Because as I’m writing this at the game table in the family room since I also can’t fit into the Snug, I can see that my gratitude is outweighing my grief.

My Golden Girl

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The important part about buying a souvenir when you’re traveling is, will it fit in your luggage? Summer is here and Americans are back on the road, in trains and planes, searching for just the right trinket for a special someone…

… but buying a gift for someone you love is an art.

I’m not talking about a teeshirt from Key West. In the past, I’ve returned from Provence with pillow covers and napkins. I’ve been known to stuff a beautiful woven bread basket in the overhead returning from Charleston. But mostly, I was always on the lookout for anything with a bluebird – tea towels, tiny blown glass tchotchkes, silk scarves in an aviary print.

Today, we rarely have the opportunity to express our individual gift-giving skills; to think about the recipient and their quirks and desires. Whimsy has been subverted by The Gift Registry, just check something off an online list and poof, you’re done! It’s the opposite of thoughtfulness, it’s commerce. And sure, a wedding registry may be as unavoidable as ants at a picnic, but at least with a first marriage I can understand the need for it.

We all need to outfit a kitchen, whether we plan to cook or not. Still, I loved strolling through a foreign farmer’s market to find just the right present for Great Grandma Ada. She always returned from her travels with a small treasure for me. Maybe it was handmade beads from Russia, or a piece of pottery from Japan.

On one of our last nights at the beach, we went in search of the perfect ice cream cone. Thank God the Blue Mountain Creamery was still open because all the tourist shops had closed at 5! I strolled along some still open, open-air artist shacks, looking at the stained glass, the paintings of surf and sand, the tiny clay sea turtles. And without warning, a frog jumped into my throat; I no longer needed to find a bluebird for Adala.

June is her birthday month. She would have been so happy to see the world coming back to life. To see Joe and Jill meet the Queen. She would have smiled when she learned I was feeding the birds like she did. She would tell me it’s OK to light a candle on her birthday, and not on her death day.

And she would laugh to learn I was featured in a music video, pink hair and all! Here is the Love Bug and her buddy post-ice cream, did I mention she made a Clip with the L’il Pumpkin about the trash they found on the beach? Ada would be so proud of their nascent climate activism.

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It’s not everyday that my whole family gets to walk around NYC, on a holiday weekend, when anyone with a car has long since left this piece of the Apple. The Bride thought the city looked beautiful in its abandoned state: an older woman was slowly pushing her small dog in a fancy pram; decorated, horse-drawn carriages were lined up in front of the Plaza waiting for tourists who never came; and out on Sue’s upper-East side terrace, where she had planted 35 tomatoes in painters’ tubs, a nest of baby birds was singing to us. It’s one of those strange, paradoxical moments in time. In the midst of grief, sitting shiva in the middle of this concrete canyon, we realize there is still beauty.

And that’s probably what we are meant to do, reflect on my cousin’s life through our own lens. Someone said she wasn’t a political person, but I knew better. Because around Ada’s kitchen table we let our political hair down, and Sue was always in the middle of the fray, leading the conversation. Maybe with her NYC realtor/colleagues she didn’t voice her opinions, but her family and close friends knew she had the heart of a liberal. Which is why my conversation with the cabby of my taxi on the way to Penn Station was apropos.

He was from Africa. He spoke French “officially.” He got his BA from Baruch College in the Flatiron District and was going to get his masters soon. Just as soon as he gets his green card…

And to wake up at home this morning and hear all about President Obama’s meeting with Gov Perry in TX and speculation about Obama’s decision not to have a “photo-op” holding refugee children at the border yesterday made me feel sick. Particularly when I saw Perry quickly swivel his chair out of sight as the CNN camera started rolling at that meeting with the POTUS. God forbid he should be seen like Gov Chris Christie – embracing our President. Of course Perry would like a picture of Obama holding children he is “…about to deport” as one commentator said.

Because to a politician, it’s appearances that count.¬†And the optics of immigration isn’t very pretty.

My cabby told me there is a French saying about things you may want in life. Bit by bit, the bird builds her nest.

Father and Daughter in NYC

Father and Daughter in NYC

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