A Success in 2020

  • Feb. 13, 2020, 4:18 p.m.
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Where do the hours go? That’s an often repeated question in my life here at Idle Hours. I get up thinking that I’ll go and spend the day outside or will shop or will see a film and before I know it is four o’clock and I’ve had a perfectly good day at home, doing whatever occurs to me. And, lots occur to me. Again I think I named this house more aptly than I knew at the time.

I’ve enjoyed finding old photos of Kermit with me and with the family and posting them on FB this week. And some, last week. It’s simply wonderful to be able to look back at the moments we shared without grief snapping at my heart. I simply think about how fortunate we were to live the life we did, together. And, another thing I realize is that I am more comfortable with utter silence than I have ever been in the past.

I do think, looking back, it was grief yes, but only partially. Now I know it was also that utter silence used to chase me out of the house after he died in 2014. I went to the mall, the movies, to eat, to a beach house, etc. In all of my life there has never much silence. My parents and relatives were not reticent people–they talked all of the time and the radio or later the TV was always on. The first silence I remember was in our post honeymoon apartment where we lived for two years. I was 18 and terrified of the dark and of being alone. When he left for two weeks encampment in the something like the National Guard, I almost shriveled up and died. It was as if I thought he was going to fight in WWII.

He traveled as a CPA to see clients, take audits, etc. for years but then I had my children at home in those years… and silence? Silence doesn’t exist with children – not a 24 hour silence, for sure. Indeed, to a young mother, a snatch of silence was a bit more honored at the day’s end, back then.

His death opened the door to such profound silence. Six years since he died, on the 24th, and I’m finally finding silence normal. Just another day.

I awaken now without being overwhelmed by the quiet house, but only this year has that happened. In the past years, it has been an unwelcome realization upon awakening day by day that I was alone. And it hooked sadness and a bit of feeling sorry for myself. Day by day. But we are indeed adaptive as human beings. I adapted.

All the little successes. They are really huge. I bow to this one.

Last updated February 13, 2020

noko February 13, 2020

We spent Sunday talking about a poem by Carl Phillips called "Wake Up". In a line towards the end he mentions the weight of grief versus the shadow of grief. That seems to be what you are talking about here. A bit of the weight has lifting and you are finding comfort in the shadow of it now.

ODSago February 13, 2020

I don't think of this adaptation that way, but of course there are many ways to say the same thing. Thanks for your note.

Marg February 14, 2020

It’s certainly been a painful journey for you but I’m so glad you’re in a good place with it now. Dad wrote a poem for Mum on their anniversary once and I seem to remember the last two lines were especially poignant saying that he’d rather have the pain of loving someone so much than not. I must see if I can find it again.

ODSago Marg ⋅ February 14, 2020

I loved the poem. I certainly did feel admiration for the poet, too.

Marg ODSago ⋅ February 14, 2020

Thank you - it is treasured - very much! We lost him a long time ago at the young age of 54 but theirs was a true love story and I very much hope they’re together again now. I have only found 3 poems and one short story which he’d written but that made me wonder if he would have been a writer had time and circumstances allowed. He was a lay preacher in his spare time and I also discovered his written notes for sermons he’d preached - well laid out and beautiful messages in their own right :)

ODSago Marg ⋅ February 14, 2020

Reading the poem I sensed he was a special man -- I so appreciate your note. Losing a father when he was that young, and that sweet...I feel regret just thinking of your loss.

Marg ODSago ⋅ February 16, 2020

Thank you :)

Florentine February 14, 2020

Certainly I am in that mother of young children stage that makes quiet time seem like a blessing. In fact, in the time it took me to type that sentence, both daughters called out for me. Your entry is a reminder to lean into the hum of a full household. I am lucky to have it.

ODSago Florentine ⋅ February 14, 2020

Oh yes...do lean in and the far future it may enlighten your days and bring you quiet pleasure. Such a sweet observation to share.

Marg February 14, 2020

I found Dad’s poem :)

I think I’d rather have if I could choose
This load upon my heart I never lose
This weight of loving you
The constant care
Of bitter sweet concern for how you fare
Than walk the world carefree
And never know
The rapture and the pain
Of loving so.

He put it in her anniversary card and left it under her pillow on the morning of the anniversary :)

ODSago Marg ⋅ February 14, 2020

How beautiful this is. A family treasure for sure.

Oswego February 14, 2020

How glorious silence is and how glad I am that you find it a normal, perhaps even welcome part of your day. After all the caregivers were gone and I had gotten Mom to bed, I relished the silent house at 1 or 2 am. I always enjoy my quiet Nature walks. Basically I prefer to be alone and always have.

ODSago Oswego ⋅ February 15, 2020

I'm learning how that can be the case. Thinking of you.

Serin February 19, 2020

Small huge things are the secret truth of the world.

ODSago Serin ⋅ February 23, 2020

Never put better, Serin.

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