Friday, August 7, 2009

The Hole

My sister said recently that her grief is like a hole.

Sometimes she can't help but fall into it. However, she is learning when she is getting close to it, and now, sometimes, she can choose to fall into the hole or not. Plus, the edges are no longer a sharp dropoff but are getting rather boggy, so she can tell when she is getting close to that edge.

Yesterday, I took the rabbit to the nursing home for his picture session for his article, then met up with my sister to make the funeral arrangements, then to the florist to choose the flowers, then to the nursing home to pack my mother's things, then to lunch, then to meet with the minister to plan the funeral, then to the grocery store, then home to make supper. I realized at seven, when Nita was needy of attention from Mama while EG had the other two at music lessons, that I was so exhausted I was shaking. I did some homework and then went to bed with EG, where we talked for the first time that day. All that activity kept me away from the hole.

This morning, just before dawn, I woke and realized I was right on the edge of that hole. Two cardinals, my mother's favorite birds, were calling, competing if you will, with how loudly and beautifully they could sing. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, they said, sounding as if they were throwing back their heads and just letting loose with all they had in pure joy at the sun coming up one more day.

I got up and went into the bathroom, and Harry thought that was a good idea, so he announced he had to go outside RIGHT THIS MINUTE. I went out with him, and stood and looked at the early sunrise, pink and orange and purple with a big thundercloud in the middle of it, and remembered a verse I had found tucked into one of my mother's dresser drawers, written in her handwriting. It said,

I took an hour
To look at a flower,
A day to look at a shell.
A week went by
As I looked at the sky.
Oh, time has treated me well.

So I stopped to fully appreciate the sight. The cardinals flew off to begin their day, leaving me to carry on their appreciation for them.