Saturday, March 28, 2009

Written on the flight to Italy

I feel so out of control of my life. There have been so many horrible events that have blindsided me in the past six months (nephew dying, 10 trips to the ER, my dad’s final passing, court stuff) that I am waiting for the next thing. I live protectively cowered, half-expecting the next blow. My refrigerator is very clean and my Tupperware drawers and dishes cabinets are tidy. These are things I can control.

The graveside service is over, and the last phone call is made. There’s no more defending myself from the woman who wanted to sell me the more expensive vault with the “better seal” (seal? Huh?), or the mortician who implied Dad needed a cosmetologist even if there wasn’t viewing. There are no more errands or huge crowds to feed three times a day. I’m on a plane to Italy and finally have nothing to do next.  This is good, but has made the emotions surface. I can’t control where grief hits me, and often it’s a very public place, like this plane. I just can’t stop crying.

The service was beautiful. I loved the military honors with the flag-folding ceremony and the 21-gun salute. I memorized Hebrews this year, and Pastor Paul used verses from that book in the message of encouragement. Since the verses were so very familiar to me, they were powerfully comforting. I wondered at the time if people who don’t share my faith were bored, but then I figured, I wasn’t going to think about that. This is a time to be a little selfish. I was so happy that my dear friends KW, KA, RP, and KD, who have been such a comfort and support to me this year, came.  I have a cousin who is mentally ill, and I hadn’t seen her for awhile. She’s my age and I always loved seeing her. Once she made my girls pancakes after a swimming lesson, and they must have eaten thirty pancakes each. But yesterday I realized those times are over. She couldn’t string a coherent sentence together. The long family history of mental illness has made its evil mark again. This was sad to me.  No wonder she’s being such a pain in the neck as a ranch partner.  It was fun to see my other cousins and to walk through the avocado groves at our family ranch after the service.


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