Greener – Pt 01

Costa Rica, atv tour day, arrival at the waterfall. I’m blending in with all of the green.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Dear Reader,

In recent weeks, a feeling of being utterly insignificant at times had caused me to lose motivation to write. Recent national tragedies and news media topics have been unavoidable, even though attempting to tune it out or traveling a distance away. I turn a corner and “Whoomp, there IT is”: others’ loss and suffering. Yes, I’m referencing THAT song by Tag Team circa 1993, and it’s on an endless play-loop in my mind. I’ve experienced blows to my own self-confidence, wondering if it even matters that I’m here, and feeling failure at my efforts to manage has “taken the wind out of my sails.” In my own world, My Reality is: he is not here on this planet – that is still what I wake up to every day. In my vulnerable and open state, the pain I see of others seems to have lessened the value of expressing my own. I have hesitated, halted in place, and now stacked on top of my head as if in a real-life game of Tetris, the blocks are falling too quickly, straining my neck and shoulders and I’m shrinking with added weight. In my mind, this self-doubt magnified by emotional awareness has diminished my own say. So much other loss screaming in the world, and I’m one very little voice. Who cares to hear it?

I thank you for your time to read these words that come from my heart describing what is the pencil-dot-of-me that can be erased and forgotten if I don’t put it out there. This is My Story and My Reality and I’m asking people to read it, to acknowledge it, and hopefully learn from it. If I work at it, my scribble may prove that this is how I lived, how I loved, and how I made sense of it all. The tenses of time: past, present, and future continue to mix and fold, and I choose to sort it out, to write it out, and let it out in this form. I have to convince myself at this point that my life matters, find my footing, and continue the climb up my mountain even though I can’t see its peak.

So, 27 days. Why do I care to point out that it’s taken so long to finish this particular writing post? There are other writings that I have “in progress” still to be finished telling of a specific event or happening, and meanwhile I had posted a couple of writings in between time. So, besides the self-doubt which could be enough excuse in itself, what’s the big deal, why the delay? The main reasons are that in the process of writing this, I felt the need to defend the very feelings I am writing about. That bothered me. At the same time, I did not want to pass judgement in opinions about others. It was equally important that I chose my words carefully, especially because I am describing a low point in my grief. People worry about me when I express these kinds of thoughts. I should not be having to defend talking about any of it, but it’s so easy to do. It’s almost expected.

I firmly believe that apologizing for feeling grief is just plain wrong. Should I just deny that I have at times hopeless thoughts and keep them to myself? Should my stories be sanitized of sadness and only be positive? Is there a “feelings timeline” to adhere to and if so, I’d like to know, who decided that anyway? Welcome to my awakening of “writing with a conscience” about my life with grief. I’m worrying way too much about saying the right or wrong thing! The Glog literally means “grief blog.” It is my journey and I will share my truths in writing and pictures about it with you. Sometimes, the truth is hard to hear. Sometimes, it is also hard to write. Don’t judge, don’t fix, just read. ~P.

Greener

November 1, 2017

Laying on my couch in my family room now, I’m able to look out through a large picture window into my backyard. This couch is just a few months older than my daughter, going on sixteen years. Jon and I bought it in Chicago, just before our first move out of the city in 2002 for his new job in Indiana after graduate school. It was delivered to our 1929 brick bungalow and was set right in the middle of our front living room, just days before the movers came. I took a picture of my daughter at barely six months old on it, plopped in the corner like one of its throw pillows. One of our two cats was laying close to her in full-Sphinx-cat-tuck position, eyeing her up seemingly contemplating her own claim on this new warm-luxury-landscape as only a cat can.

We had two other couches in that front room at the time, historical markers of combining our once-single lives. Jon’s infamous ‘oh-so-80s’ black-leather ‘bachelor couch’ which we agreed was the perfect napping couch and could fit the two of us comfortably. It has moved with us all these years, and now occupies my current home as the entertainment room couch in the basement. The other couch, was a deep-green corduroy, with huge-scrolled arms and oversized-cushions that I bought in 1993. It was my first adult-new-furniture purchase and represented the arrival of my modestly-successful graphic design career. It’s cumbersome size matched the over-padded fashion at the time perfectly. Placed under the front windows of our Chicago home, it nearly filled the entire width of that window-filled wall. I would play with my infant daughter on that couch and liked looking out to the other bungalows across the street. There were large trees that sprouted like crazy hair from behind the roof tops, and I liked watching the branches sway, often full of black crows chatting. I would wait for the sound of Jon’s car to turn on to our street. The sound of that car engine would stir a burst of energy inside of me knowing he soon would walk through the back porch door and into my arms. He was my comfort and my home in person-form.

My green couch would only survive one more move, then it was hacked, sawed, and broken-down in to several pieces to remove it rather than move it. No one could lift or maneuver it without losing their minds trying to fit it through doorways one more time. No one was willing to risk straining their back with its awkward weight. It had its good use, but now it was worn and time for a replacement. Thinking about it now, my green couch was so symbolic of the deconstruction of me in those years when Jon was traveling all of the time for work, both of my kids were like little ‘Irish twins’, and I was full-on embracing life as a stay-at-home-momager. That couch didn’t go without putting up a good fight, as I recall it had quite a sturdy frame that didn’t break easily. It seemed to match my attitude about those changes to my life at that time. History has a way of repeating itself. [Greener – Pt 02 will continue this story.] ~Paula

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