Moving right along. The anger of the previous week has carved a way for a new sadness to move through. A light blanket of it seems to be hanging around the last few days, waiting for the quiet moments to make itself noticed.
Last night, I took Maki to see The Imitation Game, which we enjoyed very much. (We both loooove Benedict Cumberbatch.) I think we realized we were looking to each other to take Vernon’s place as Movie Date in our lives, at least for the time being. The film was SO British, and it was set in WWII, which was a period of great historical interest for Vernon. I found myself crying in parts that weren’t actually meant to be sad, thinking of Vernon, how he might have enjoyed it, thinking of a great mind that might not be used in its former field again, thinking of Maki growing up and becoming a new sort of companion, one with whom I can watch more grown-up movies and discuss them afterward. It’s all so bittersweet.
But I admit the Bitter has recently been dwindling a bit longer than it has over the past many months. I had been so busy in reaction mode, I hadn’t been able to stop long enough to even miss Vernon’s presence at home for long. This week will mark Month Eight. We’ve moved into a new home without him. I’ve painted all the walls without him. My bedroom has never had him in it. It’s MY bedroom, not OUR bedroom. His clothes have not been unpacked. (I’ve mentioned this a bit before, I know…but its starting to sink in more as we settle into our new environment.) I washed the spare car in order to sell it and save money on monthly insurance fees, knowing he won’t need a stick-shift, let alone a car of his own for a very long time, if ever.
The marathon (not a sprint) concept that was bandied around so much in the early days is finally sinking in. I’m tired. I feel as if I have huffed and puffed to the top of a hill, hoping to take a little break while I enjoy the view, only to realize in the vast landscape spread out before me, I still can’t see the end of the road. Where I thought I was many miles in, with a pretty good pace, I come to find out that it’s only been a mile and there are at least twenty-five more to go.
That said… our family continues to be sustained and built-up. And I know the second wind comes…and the third, and fourth, and fifth, ad infinitum…
And one of the resetting tools I have found is Gratitude. This has been a powerful lesson, not a mere Hallmark Card quip.
In this very week, we have been blessed again and again. Let me count (just some) of the ways…
The Severson’s coming over to build pantry shelves and spray-paint outdoor furniture in happy colors.
Maki taking it upon himself to update my phone’s operating system.
Kat making delicious soup to send home with Justine after babysitting her one overcast afternoon.
My dear friend Andrea (who also babysits Justine) taking it upon herself to load our freezer with homemade meals, organize my new pantry (thanks again, Joe!), unpack the office (which I hadn’t even touched)
AND if that wasn’t enough…surprise me with the vintage coffee table she knew I had been coveting for a long time.
Beautiful winter light…my favorite season in Southern California.
Getting to hold Baby Autrey.
Finishing the painting of the rooms…the last done with company: my dear friend Nicole came down from LA to make the job so much more enjoyable.
Sharing her with my friend Sandy.
A couple of nice walks. Good conversation.
A movie date with Maki…
….which brings me back to the beginning. Sort of. Except I’m not feeling as blue as I was. See how that works?
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”—Philippians 4:8