Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Where Death Had Bloomed

It took a while for me to fully grasp why the past weekend felt so weird to me, but then it dawned on me yesterday that it was a year ago that my father died after a fairly brief journey with Alzheimer's. The past year has been an odd journey, and with both parents gone, I still anticipate another call with bad news, of someone who has gone into the ICU, the term "critical condition" being bandied about, relatives I've not talked to in years needing to be called and informed.

One of my co-workers has reminded me repeatedly that joy will return to my life, and I've felt glimpses of it now and again. And after a year of sorting out my parents estate, I keep toying with how many things I want to hold on to, to pass on to extended relations or put into storage.

As I hear about horrific weather in many parts of the country and the globe, I can see glimmers of the supposed joy likely to return to life in a couple of items brought across the country back in June during my famed U-Haul trek. These two flower pots belonged to my maternal grandparents, and I have seen them in photos from the house in Kansas City at least as far back as the 1940s, possibly even the 1930s. I don't know the story behind them, but for the past 20 to 25 years, they were fixtures at my parents' house but always empty. When I emptied them to bring across the country, the dirt was as hard as concrete, having not been worked for decades. Seeing them filled with life again is encouraging on a sometimes disconcerting Tuesday. August, always a month of preparation for some (me) rest and retreat for others (not me), leaves me in that mode of frustrated anticipation for the show about to open. I am trying my best to take a moment now and again to focus on the coleus in the pot, appreciating that they are here now and will likely be gone in a few months. In the meantime I am reminded to seek more life.

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10 Comments:

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Scot said...

I've always had trouble buying annuals. They're showy and pretty, but so fleeting. I wonder what that says about me?

The show will start soon, I'm sure. They're already running coming attractions. I hope you remembered the popcorn.

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

I think the trick is finding that perfect balance -- the perrenials that will stick with you and bring continuity and the fleeting dashes of color that are there but for a season. That metaphor applies to just about every situation in life.

 
At 4:06 PM, Blogger WAT said...

Well Junko, do not fret my friend. There is plenty of joy around us each and every day, it's just a matter of reflecting and seeing it, despite the losses, failures, and hurdles in this life.

I know it's easier said than done, but we must try and keep moving on forward, for what else is there to do?

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Thanks, WAT. Getting a supportive blog comment now and again goes a long way and adds up in the joy column. In general I see more positives than negatives any given day, but a sometimes the smallest negative can stop you in your path.

Losing both parents within barely two years of each other was traumatic, but I take comfort in knowing that I'll never have to do it again.

 
At 7:47 PM, Blogger Dan said...

My friend, I'm very sorry to hear about your dad. My own dad died just 8 months ago, right before Christmas. Since then I've been celebrating all the holidays without him for the very first time.

I'm wondering if it will get better. Hang in there.

(Thanks for visiting my blog.)

 
At 8:06 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Thanks, Dan. I don't think you ever get over the loss, and I don't want to which would mean forgetting my parents. But there are things that I keep discovering that make me realize how much life there still is to live.

 
At 8:10 PM, Blogger Robert said...

I really love this post Gregg. The joy hasn't returned cuz it has never left... I believe it's always been in you, in us. It just wasn't the right moment, may it be a day, a month or a year...

I love you.

 
At 8:25 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Thanks, Robert. I think I cried more with joy than sadness when my father died, mainly because I had no regrets and knew so much of what he gave me would never leave. I'm touched by your response.

 
At 8:32 PM, Blogger Two Write Hands said...

I really appreciate this post.

That is all.

 
At 9:06 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Thanks

 

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