Friday, August 22, 2008

Give Us a Break!!!

My mama used to say, “When it rains, it pours!” Sometimes this referred to a not quite housebroken puppy, but mostly it referred to what seemed like an endless stream of troublesome events.

This has been one of those weeks, both literally and figuratively. It began with Geoffrey’s worsening condition and then death, and then yesterday as we were heading to Birmingham for his funeral, Big Walker’s dad died.

This death was expected. Grandaddy had a variety of illnesses and was eighty nine years old, but it’s never easy.

There are other not quite so serious things going on with close family and relatives, and I’m ready for a break in all this.

Grief is a bit like the weather when you view it over a period of time. The rain, and tears, always stop, at least for a while. In most places in the world the rains are seasonal, and you always have in the back of your mind that they won’t last forever.

Isn’t it wonderful to realize that grief, at least the gut wrenching, heart breaking, super out of control, intense kind, isn’t sustainable for very long at one time.

My first experience with this phenomena was when one of Katie’s friends lost her little brother to cancer, and I ended up with Rachel for a couple of days while her parents made funeral arrangements. She was about ten years old, and there would be periodic bouts of horrible sobbing, but in between those we went shopping at the sticker store and she and Katie happily swapped stickers and arranged their sticker books. (That was big in 1980.)

Walker is finishing up his speech therapy and has already checked the Playbook to see what new movies he and his attendant might check out. He is going to find out how much the new keyboard he wants for his birthday costs. The old one is fine, but the one he wants plays "Oh, Danny Boy" and he has discovered that singing, however badly, makes him feel better. I know he will sob again from time to time at losing his grandfather, as will all of us, but for now he is occupied, somewhat happily.

I hope I remember that the sunshine isn’t too far away on this dreary day. I am thankful that human nature is programmed to return to a state of equilibrium and that we can’t sustain sorrow forever. I’m going to do something equivalent to arranging my sticker book today and tomorrow before we go to Grandaddy’s funeral on Sunday.


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