Conversation

Each time I attempt to add a blog, to get back to something that was vital to my days, a communication with appreciated readers, I give up knowing that the line between maudlin and honest emotion can be thin.

Time does not heal. Time drags, weighing on the soul. Time questions the belief in the future, a future able to hold a measure of peace, let along any measure of joy.

I want my Bob back in my life. I want to talk to him no matter that our conversations were mostly me talking and Bob looking at me either smiling or frowning. Economy of words, yes, but a heart that loved me without reservation. Who possibly deserves such a gift? Not me.

I yearn–absolutely yearn–for one more conversation. He needs to know that Mark and Chris take care of me. He needs to know that Mark and Chris really take care me. He would love them more if I could tell him about their phone calls, their advice, their support, their strength. He would laugh and frown at our fantasy of a little hotel in a particular United States possession, walking the beach, sharing the work so we could get to the play part. Guess who gets to clean the rooms? Guess who doesn’t care?

Bob needs to know that Dan and Paul absolutely stay with me in every way that is possible for them, attentive, caring, checking. Each has welcomed me into their lives in new and caring ways.

Bob needs to know that I ache with sorrow over not appreciating him as I should have done. He simply went about the business of living in his quiet, dogged way, mending, repairing, building, handling what was to be handled.

Bob handled living and he handled the process of dying with the same quiet, dogged and Bob-like way. I want to go back and appreciate how he did that. I want to cook his favorite food and bake a big batch of cookies that he liked.

I want one more chance to say, “I love you.” I want one more touch, one more time to reach over and touch his warmth. I want to see the way he looked at me in response to that touch. I want one more chance to say, “I love you.”

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Revenge Of The Clicker

Shoulder replacement a few years ago necessitated a cushy recliner so Bob could handle the recovery period.  A large wall clock, one of three time-collectors in the room, faced his chair.  Railroading seemed to require at least three clocks in every room.  Retirement didn’t soften that compulsion to be on the minute precise.

On October 21, the large clock stopped.  It stopped at the time of Bob’s death—on-the-minute-precise.  Bob died and a measure of time stopped.

As I sort through years of saved detritus, the measure of Bob is like opening the Sesame cave of wonders.  My John Wayne minimalist of conversation communicated through what he saved.

Bob loved us all, me, Mark, Elizabeth, Paul, Dan, Chris, Kaiya, Ida, Kristi, Cain Molly, Frank, Sam and Henry.   He loved us.  If Bob is in a place of awareness now, he is marveling at how they love him back in the way they are taking care what he loved.

Two-Names offered words of friendship, “Find My Queendom”.   I have lived in my Queendom.  There were too many times that I failed to treasure it, but I lived it.  My amazing family is preserving the Queendom by the depth of their caring.  No Queen has ever had more.

Unless, of course, she controlled the clicker, the remote, the quick change magic that flashed through the TV menu responding to only one viewers ideas of interesting.  Bob The Tyrant ruled the clicker, handing off the decision only when nothing sparked him.  Our taste in entertainment did not often mesh but I did learn a great deal about his favorites— animals, weather, maps,  history———-and the history of animals, maps and weather——–and the effect of weather on animals, maps and history.  Good thing he never found a program on the mapping of animals, weather and history.  I might have gotten really mad!

After a late evening run to the recyle bins, I needed a break.  Quick shower, beverage in hand, I reclaimed the clicker to discover the magic of that quick run-through the channels.

For five minutes, it would not respond.  Nothing.  No clicks.  No quick changes.  Nothing.  “This isn’t funny, Bob.  We can watch together, but the clicker is mine.”  It worked.  I clicked.  I saw.  I watched some animal show.

Smiling at my nonsense.  Bob didn’t say hello by an intervention with the remote.  It doesn’t happen like that.  It was a moment away from the hurt of missing him, the loneliness following the death of a piece of the Queendom.  He made me laugh.  The Queen will grow to become whole again.

Two Plus Two = More

Pinpointing this might be the dog vs. the dog’s tail kind of ramble, floundering as I organize what passes as my rational thought process.  A couple of blogs ago, I admitted to working on a piece about Time and the difficulty of pulling it together.  (Is my life truly measured in blog-time?)

Time is like the mercury I remember from Sister Rose Carmel’s chemistry class at Ward High School–hard to pin down and full of odd movement.  Time might give dozens of right-minded opportunities only to be ignored until Time withdraws every opportunity.  Time can fleet, offering no opportunity to think.   It happens.  It is gone.   Time is something that no timepiece can monitor.

Time’s first two passages:

A friend, a very dear friend, is in mourning.  This is not the four stage grieving of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ arrangement.  No bargaining, no acceptance will come.  Physical death is  not the event.  Profound sadness, consuming sadness, deep and painful sadness over what Time has snatched away and, quite possibly, destroyed.   Even accepting the reality of grieving is painful as it taints all the good Time that remains.  Why must she grieve for that which should never have been?

Last week, my husband visited his PCP.  “If he gets worse, take him to the hospital” was the final advice.  We struggled through the afternoon and evening.  When his weakness, spiked fever,  vomiting and breathing problems made it evident that I could not get him to the car, we called 9-1-1.   Within a very short time, the Platte County Fire Department responded and, to my mind, saved Bob’s life.   They were amazing.

Time’s second two passages

In August, we celebrated birthdays of my daughter, my son, my one year old grandson and my six-year-old grandson, plus my very special friend, Karol.  Time was celebrating, giving opportunities to be profoundly grateful for the people in my life.

My oldest grandson starts his college career this week.  I love him beyond my ability to express.  He is the first-born of my first-born, milestone births that directed my channels of Time. During an occassion scheduled for parents to visit the campus, my grandson expressed his thanks and appreciation to his dad–appreciation for both the gift of life and the ongoing gift of caring for that life.  My grandson expressed his thanks and appreciation to his step-mother for ‘being there for all the hard parts”, nurturing the insecure 3rd grader through Time and stages, bringing him to this confident and talented college freshman.

Two plus two.  Two moments of Time heavy with grief and profound sadness that have altered lives.   Two moments of Time rich with gratitude and profound appreciation for and to the people in my life.  As Dave Ramsey would say, “Better than I deserve.”