Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Week of Ups and Downs

I really started to get into the groove of writing every couple of days but I wasn't feeling up to posting earlier this week so I've got many topics floating in my head. I had no idea that writing would be such a creative tool for me. I like to think I'm an artistic person, but I've always done things with my hands, whether it's designing on the computer, or drawing, taking photos, sewing, or rearranging my furniture for the umpteenth time. But writing was never something I thought of doing until now. Here's a shot of me displaying my homemade wares of Tremont Essentials (RIP) at a health fair many years ago. Where did I get the energy to make all this stuff?

Last weekend I went to the Vineyard again. It's always sad for me to go there because it's like a slap in the face when my mom isn't there to greet me and hang out with me. I've developed a routine when I go to the island: I stop by the cemetery as soon as I enter Edgartown, and I stop there again on the way to the ferry home. I have surprised myself by finding comfort in talking to the headstones of my parents. I thank them for this and that, ask them for advice, or just tell them what's going on in the family. It's weird. When I think about selling the house, the only worry I have is that I won't be able to visit their graves anymore. Seems silly when I think of it. Here's a picture of my mom, arranging flowers around my dad's grave before the family headstone was placed. I'll take a picture next next time to show you what it looks like now, hopefully with the bulbs I planted in full bloom.

I decided to join another bereavement support group (having graduated from two earlier sessions) that my local hospice sponsors. My dad declined so quickly we didn't have time to involve hospice, but the doctors and nurses helped us find a good hospice when my mom got sick and we jumped on it. They were a huge help. I decided that I'm in a different phase of my grieving now and I wanted to share this with others and help them through their pain as well. This new group was meeting at a library in a nearby town, and I was running a little late since I was coming from Boston and traffic was bad, as usual. I imagined that I had missed all the introductions and sad stories of loss from the others in the group (as has happened before) as I walked into the room and person, Karen, the therapist. No one else showed up. I was disappointed, but also excited that I was going to have my own private therapy session. For free. I'll save my health insurance stories for another time, but let's just say that my sister-in-law captured it perfectly in her blog. Different issue, but same insurance problem. Anyway, it was a great hour of talking and Karen left me with a few tidbits that I've been thinking about these last few days. It's nice to talk to a professional!

Last night was my "up" moment. A few times a year I get together with close friends that I've known since I moved to Massachusetts 21 years ago. Here's a photo of some of us a few years ago. Only one of us is missing from this photo so we need to pull out the camera next time! We've gone through a lot together: births, deaths, divorce, cancer, surgeries, home buying, renovations, job losses and finds... you know, the best and worst of life. The ups and downs. It's always great to see them and catch up on children, family, and work life. It grounds me. We're loud, we speak over each other, across the table, and are able to finish each others sentences. And we laugh. A lot. Skid tracks be damned. Last night was a lot of good food, great wine, and the best server, who left us alone for hours and hours. It's the first time in nine months that I've really relaxed enough that the laughter came from deep within. I'm going to set up our next date today, while I'm on a roll.

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