Then in December my brother's mom-in-law, Patsy, died. And there were others, too, whose troubles or death bring heartaches by the number. Friends lost parents and spouses. Now, this weekend, we travel to Wisconsin for the memorial service of another, my very dear Aunt Nieta who lived around the corner from my Mom and Dad for many years.
Whew. I know that I am not alone in all of this loss, but still, whew.
I took some time alone yesterday and today. I needed to just be by myself. Today I wore the red wool vest that I knit for Dad several Christmases ago, a vest that has come back to me after he died and always makes me feel closer to Dad.
I spent some time getting ready for some travel. I've been paying bills. I did some reading. I played with video software and made some little movies for my grandchildren. I ate good meals. I gardened and walked and watched some Tiger baseball. I practiced organ.
Through it all, through this year of tribulations and celebrations, has come the dominant feeling of "things are looking up." I still can't put my finger on where this feeling comes from. I see people around me who should be in great despair, and yet they are strong and prevailing through the thick and thin of life's journey.
After a year of sorrows and celebrations, of ups and downs, I can say that I am looking forward to some very ordinary times of watching baseball, playing a little golf, eating good food, doing some knitting and some gardening, and being with my family this summer. I continue to miss my Dad and Ed's mom and many others, but the heaviness is dulling and the fond memories are settling in.
For now, that's okay.