Thursday, November 30, 2006

Reports of my demise...

I'm still standing, in the words of that immortal wordsmith Elton John (or does Bernie Taupin write the words?), but find I have very little inspiration to write much. Writing used to make me feel better; now it just feels like more work, since I know that it's not actually going to fix any of the things that I don't like about my life. Before it was an outpouring, just like tears. I keep hoping to rekindle the habit, but it hasn't happened yet. Obviously.

There have been bright spots; I survived the first anniversary of my husband's death, although I am still fighting with the bank about getting our home transferred into my name. Of course his family failed to observe the date, but his closest friends--and mine--called and wrote to tell me they were thinking of him, and remembering him, and thinking of us. And many, many people let me cry--something I have found it hard to do of late. I've got more of the head-down-and-push-on-through quality of my midwestern forbearers than I might like. And I've surrounded myself almost entirely, if not by choice, with people for whom he is a narrative, not a memory. It's as if the tears can only be unleashed for and by those who knew him.

I survived my third-year/pre-tenure evaluation. I managed to snare a research grant (time off! to work!) for next academic year, and I have a reduced teaching load in the spring. Small, good things.

This weekend will be my daughter's 4th birthday, which we will celebrate by attending a local production of "The Nutcracker," followed by cake with 30 (! What am I, insane?!) of our nearest and dearest. Fortunately, it is a largely adult event, featuring a friend's excellent sangria.

I'd enjoy the day even more if I hadn't realized this evening that her father only got to share a single birthday with her--her second. She'd been with us for 10 months or so, and he died just before she turned three. Not long enough to cram in nearly enough memories, although we tried. She's been asking me lately if Papa is sick anymore. It's a bit of a philosophical conundrum; if I say no, he's not, she wants to know why he doesn't come back. If I try to be more "accurate"--that is, that death releases someone from sickness, then we're dangerously close to discussions about the afterlife that I am not prepared to have.

We went to visit "the grave" this weekend, with one of my husband's dearest childhood friends. She was the perfect companion--she shared a fondness for his irreverence, and, I confess, we got a bit rowdy in the mausoleum. She also understands the morbid irony of the situation; my husband once confessed that he'd "rather be in a box in the basement," an allusion to the "cremains" of various pets whom I couldn't bear to bury and so have kept in unceremonious semi-permanent catacombs among the Christmas ornaments, Goodwill donations, and patio furniture. So bankrupting myself to purchase a "site" he would have hated, all to comfort his father, who has told me he will "never" go there, was par for the course. And this friend has those knee-jerk answers to spiritual questions that all lapsed Catholics have; her answers to my daughter's questions were pat and convincing. Now if only she were around to answer the questions about "how the baby gets out of the woman's body." Time to brush up on my anatomy.

Do I get bonus points for warning the friend ahead of time that my name, too, is on the "crypt" or whatever-in-hell it's called, so she wouldn't be freaked out? I suppose it is a little weird, but the worst thing about death, it often seemed to me, is that one had to do it alone. I hated to send him on a journey I couldn't accompany him on (not that I had any desire to take it myself), and so putting our names together was my somewhat morbid gesture of companionship.


At 10:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

so glad to hear from you!


At 5:36 AM , Blogger Rev Dr Mom said...

Good to see you back in the blogosphere. Hugs to you.

At 8:38 AM , Blogger Yankee, Transferred said...

Glad to see you, and still thinking about you all the time. I'm happy you had someone irreverent to share the visit to the mausoleum with. Sometimes, a little irreverence is just what we need. Keep on keeping on, and surround yourself with the friends who allow you to cry. Hugs to you and Little Miss.

At 9:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad that you made it through the anniversary and that you had the love and support of people dear to you. good luck to you.

At 12:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted. Hugs to you.

And btw, I'm dealing with the babies in tummies question, too. I hae no problem with the "how does the baby get out" question--Pistola has heard me say that I pushed her out through my vagina.

It's how to handle the "how do babies get IN the tummies" question that I'm wondering about.

This is Professing Mama, btw. I switched over to the beta, so I have to log in anonymously.

At 1:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So good to see you posted, and glad that you made it through the anniversary. My sisters and I are always about roudy at my father's grave, it works for us.

On the where babies go in and come out, I've had that conversation with my 2 older ones, and I was vague at best, they're only 7 & 8, but whoa, I needed some vino after that.

Hugs to you and your little one.

At 2:45 PM , Anonymous critter said...

So good to hear from you again. And, as a very old "lapsed Catholic" do know that we never bothered with realistic answers to "how the baby gets out of the woman's body." Virgin Birth and all that.

And..please update us on your puppy!

At 3:48 PM , Blogger Cheeky Prof said...

We all need a break now and then. Good to hear from you, though. :) Sending some good thoughts your way.

At 7:48 AM , Blogger Snickollet said...

I read and commented on the post about your daughter turning four before I realized that this post was here, too.

It's great to hear from you. I'm glad you had so many supportive people around on the one-year anniversary of your husband's death.

My thoughts are with you, as always. I could write so many things, but I'll post at my own blog rather than clutter up your commnents.


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