Monday, October 14, 2013

The Cock, a Blender, and Yahtzee

But my heart and body are crying out, comeback, come back.
Be a circle, touching my cirlce on the plane of Nature. 
But I know this is impossible.
I know that the thing I want is exactly the thing I can never get.
The old life, the jokes, the drinks, the arguments,
the lovemaking, the tiny, heartbreaking common-place.
On any view whatever, to say "H. is dead," is to say "All that is gone."
It is a part of the past.  And the past is the past and that is what time means,
 and time itself is one more name for death, 
and Heaven itself is a state where "the former things have passed away."
~ C.S. Lewis A Grief Observed 

Today is month 11.  For the second consecutive month I'm keenly aware of the healing shift occurring in my mind, my heart and my body.  I'm not cooking the slow stew of billowing sorrow and consuming grief-ridden thoughts in the days leading up to and including the monthly marker of Boomer's passing.  It's startling when you first notice it, "Hey, I kinda feel OK, today."  Yet those consuming feelings of trauma and loss that had become the dominant player in your day-to-day - - no matter how diligent your working the process of grieving - - feeling better actually is off-putting at first, uncomfortable and unfamiliar, and you actually find yourself questioning it, "Is this OK?  Is it too soon?".  It's weird.  But I gotta say it's also a one hell of a ginormous relief.  Though I'm in no way out the woods yet, the triggers show up regularly, my ability to navigate the wild brush of grief triggers, spontaneous, confusing, and sometimes obscure, tells me my hard work is paying off because I'm locked and loaded with one sharp machete to clear it away.

Meet Barack, our surrogate pet rooster, he lives next door. Barack has lived in the 'hood for 5 years.  He's a beautiful healthy animal, with an entertaining personality, loving parents, and who's a caged metro-sexual - he can't stop checking himself out in a mirror.  He likes to make his presence known, responds to your voice and loves when you chatter directly with him.  And of course,  as with most cocks, he'll proudly and eagerly wake you up each morning. I might need another cold shower after that reference (read Sex).  Sadly, we lost Barack last week when the sometimes ruthlessness of nature occurred at 3 a.m.  He was killed by what we believe was a raccoon or possum.  I heard it.  So did every other bird, squirrel, butterfly, even the pesky ferrel cats.  Nature was instantly on grief's high alert, there wasn't a sound all morning long - nature retreated to mourn and feel safe.   As did I, because I grieved for my neighbor's loss and the memory of Boomer and I enjoying Barack and sometimes being annoyed by him.   Grief trigger.

Blended Bailey's for Everyone - 2002
Two days later, my blender died.  Hokey as it sounds, it was another grief trigger.  You see, I bought Boomer that Waring commercial blender over 10 years ago.  He loved making chocolate milkshakes for his youngest son and during the holidays the blender mixed up Boomer's infamous home-made Bailey's.   For me, the blender was smoothie central, a staple to my daily nutrition regimen, something Boomer periodically partook in.  More recently, following Boomer's passing, the blender has helped me hone my cooking skills - - making fresh home-made soup, hot and cold.  My gazpacho is fantastic - Boomer would have loved it. It was another fade out moment (read Fade Out), to toss the blender. 

Boomer wasn't a fan of board games.  That's more my thing, with my pals Barbara, Tom, Alex & Andrea (read He Said).  The one exception was Yahtzee.  He loved it.  It's a numbers game. Boomer was a numbers guy.  Made sense how it was the only board game we took with us to Florida (read What the What?).   I was shuffling around in a cabinet in the laundryroom and saw the Yahtzee game.  I've seen it many times during the past 11 months, I just hadn't taken it out of the cabinet.  Last week I did.  Set it on the counter, opened the box and BAM!  I was trigger slammed.   The score cards from the last time we played the game, with Barbara and Tom no less (read Vegas), were all sitting in the box.  Also nestled inside was a new cribbage game; we'd talked about learning to play together for years, and never did.   It was strike three.

The accumulation of the cock, a blender and Yahtzee, took me out.  Next thing I knew, I was curled up, once again, in the fetal position in bed.   Unlike my last greif-consumed retreating episode that lasted 3 days (read Smackdown), this one only lasted 4 hours.

Surrender, release, and rebound.  That's how I'm able to be with month 11 today feeling OK.  I've worked my ass off the last 11 months to get to this point.  I'm doing what's unquestionably the hardest work of my life.  Recovering from the death of my husband, discovering myself, and building a new life.  Feeling a bit like my own Christopher Columbus, trying to map the journey, exploring the unknown, trusting I'm making progress.  My progress today, is cause for celebration, with a grief-work holiday that includes an 18.5 mile bike ride, a swim at the pool, ordering flowers and making dinner reservations - - for our wedding anniversary later this week.   Today I am OK.    Thursday?   Well, we'll see - - on Thursday. It's one day at a time.

I received a gift last night, that has rendered me speechless in responding, yet, I am immensely grateful my hard work is yielding results like this I never would have imagined.   A friend I've made here in Florida, who I see a few times a week, who's learned quite a bit about me, my situation and circumstances, sent me this ridiculous gift of a text that read in part:  "...I have to tell you that you are one of those people who lights up a room when you enter it.  You have a positive energy that is contagious and people, me of course in particular, just enjoy being around you."  I was blown away.  Today I read again, okay I admit, I've read it 17 times.  What struck me today -- it sounds exactly like something Boomer would say.

And yes, I've already replaced the blender. 

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