The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.
~ Hubert H. Humphrey
"Not so fast there SMO, you're not quite finished yet," was the message of the morning as I walked through Andersonville to meet Dad, Dara and Adam (Dara's Boomer) for a traditional family breakfast at Pauline's while Incubus' Drive played in my ears - - a track that was inspiring to both Boomer and myself. Boomer's still working his magic -- ah, that's reassuring. Following yesterday's memorial (read Wrap) and the leg work I completed leading up to it, I thought I had turned a corner in my grief and in moving forward. Silly me...
Boomer and I "discovered" Pauline's together ourselves before introducing it to Dad & Dara; it was from that first breakfast that it became our go-to for family breakfasts together, about once a month and in recent years always on Father's Day -- where cigars and brandy we offered to the dads. Boomer and Bobo would make their trade; Dad got the cigars, Boomer got the brandy. So in the few moments walking over to the restaurant, I had to process my grief of these memories.
That's the frustrating thing about grief and specifically being a widow - - the smallest things spark giant memories of your lives together - - every piece of it must be worked through and best accomplished when they show up. It wasn't just me either. Dad and Dara both, also had their moments of reflection of all the breakfasts with Boomer, who himself wasn't big on breakfasts, but loved the tradition of us coming together.
Next came the drive to visit Alex and Andrea (read He Said) - - without Boomer. I'd never done that since they'd lived in the suburbs. Another processing moment.
Monday morning it showed up again in my chat with Andrea - - I shared with her the fear about going home, back to Florida and figuring it all out - - what's next? Professionally. I'm scared because I do not know. All I see is this massive canvas of white; I don't know where to begin, what paint to use, or color to start with. It overwhelms me. This self-imposed sabbatical I've been on since November (read My Man) is winding down, I've known that, it's been on mind. I had hoped something would be beginning to visibly take shape for me - - it hasn't - - or it's more likely that I'm blind to it. It's there, hovering, and I don't see it yet. Andrea's brilliance reminded be to step away from the canvas, get a sketch book first, "That's what the true artists do," she said. Duh. In my small, grief-ridden, exaggerated mind, I didn't even think of that. I feel better already and immediately started to reflect on encounters I had during these last two and half weeks - - something is brewing. I don't know the shape or medium yet, but am certain incubation is well-underway.
I saw it Tuesday when I had the privilege of attending a very special discussion event with the awe-inspiring Letty Cottin Progrebin. "Start something," she said, "whatever moves you, calls to you, act." I saw it again Wednesday, while visiting my 95 year-old Grandmother and reading her pages from this blog. She wept -- hard. We wept together. "I needed this," she told me. "I needed to grieve - -with you. I am so proud of you."
I saw it later while at O'Hare airport, standing at gate C6 hearing the agent broadcast, "Flight 3508 to Fort Myers has just been cancelled." Hmm, okay. Now what? This is a first for me - - ever. Cancelled flight, checked luggage, flying solo - - new life in training. The call back to my generous father (read One of Us), "I'm cancelled Dad and already re-booked for tomorrow." "I'm on my way," he said. While I waited, I saw it again, something is brewing and I'm in training for it. Desperate for a power outlet for my Android, I find myself squatting in the corner of an elevator vestibule in the baggage claim area, charging my phone and reading an article that had just came out profiling me, my grief journey of losing a spouse, along with some preliminary feedback coming to me through Facebook. I kept saying to myself, "I don't know what's happening, or where it's going, it feels very weird, but I am on-board and will follow along with wonder, enthusiasm even if I can't see the picture and am really, really scared."
Whatever tomorrow brings,
I'll be there,
With open arms and open eyes...
~ Incubus, Drive