Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I hope your holidays were warm however you spent them.
As expected, we had a mix of joy and sadness, and a lot of moments in between, busy might be the best way and simplest way to describe the last two weeks.

The kids are getting to know mr. xxx, which is interesting, challenging and fun. The difference between what an 11 year old boy understands about relationships and what a 13 year old girl understands is monumental. My son has decided we should adopt mr. xxx and has started working out the logistics, which involved discussion of where mr. xxx would be able to sleep at night. The spare bed in my daughter's room was quickly eliminated by said daughter with comments like "ewwww" and "that's just wrong" and quite a lot of hair being flipped around. Everyone knows (except an 11 year old boy) that adult men don't sleep in adolescent girls' rooms DUH. We discussed the hide-a-bed couch and yet, we need a couch to sit on and where would his clothes go? I refused to move to the window seat. My son then concluded I'd have to sleep with mr. xxx. The next topic became, "Mom, you'll have to get used to sleeping in the same bed with someone now." Ever a man with an answer, my son had a suggestion for that this week as well. Crash test dummy. Yes, you read that right. He suggested that I get a crash test dummy to put in my bed so I could get used to having someone in bed with me. Now that he has that solved, he sees no other issues to having mr. xxx move right in.

Meantime, the daughter still isn't sure we should be allowed to kiss. Even with mistletoe.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

There is something about watching a man shave. Sitting on the hamper in my parent's bathroom, watching Dad shave, shaving soap dabbed on my nose from the tip of a old fashioned shaving brush. Standing next to the man I adore, watching in the mirror as he stretches his chin up, running the electric shaver up and down over his neck. Someday I suppose I'll be watching my son shave those little hairs over the lip which reveal he is changing into a man... a man who will have a spouse, and maybe a child closely watch him shave someday.

I guess it seems like such an intimate moment, mundane and yet so familial. Despite spending so much time together in the last month, in ways that revealed so many personal and private details, watching mr. xxx shave a few mornings back seemed to solidify something deep inside me. This relationship is real. Common interests, mutual delight, and now a step into that familiarity with the simplest of moments. I know the expression on his face when he's bored. I know the tip of a hat on his head. I know the lay of the fine lines around his eyes, which expressions will release them. And I know the speed and stroke of a blade along his cheekbone, the hum of his brand of razor, and the feel of his skin recently smoothed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

His mailbox still fills with
College reunion reminders
Medical bills and financial statements
Furniture ads and donation requests
While mine carries sympathy cards
And holiday wishes tempered with bittersweet reminders
That something is missing.
There is so much I want to remember
And so much I wish I could forget
The postman delivers it all unbidden
A grab bag of emotion.

In my dreams,
I am wandering around a darkened house
Trying to find things.
"Ah, there you are" I say
Turning around to see him there
"Now you can explain things to me"
Shaking his head he points out
He is only part of a dream I am having.
Mom is there too, so natural beside him,
Dinner is cooking, stew, and I am making
Cornbread, but where are the eggs?
Always something missing and I must improvise
Its up to me now, they say.

There is a patient cat
A loving man
Hot showers to wash away tears
Not already shed into soft fur or sweatshirt
Tea made by a caring daughter
Cookies dotted with candy cane bits
And a tree pretty as any we've had.
That lightbulb missing in the string -
That note not sung - That place not set -
These holes - they need a space in my heart, but not too big
Leave room in Christmas
For the present promises of comfort and joy to fill me.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I suppose it must be obvious I don't have many words right now, or maybe there are too many to know how to refine them into anything succinct or meaningful. But thank you for all your kind thoughts left here these last few weeks, they help, really so much you can't imagine.

Dad came home last night, after being cremated per his wishes. The sweet man who brought the box and the veteran's flag to my house was an old acquaintance, and he accepted our impromtu invitation to stay for dinner. For those of you I know will ask, we had lasagna and green beans tossed with toasted cashews and balsamic vinegar. Ok I drank a lot of wine too. Call it a homecoming party... we then watched the movie "Duck Soup" with Dad joining us as it was an old favorite of his. Dear god that is such a silly movie. We brought the box into the family room with a spot facing the TV on the hearth, but predictably he didn't laugh much during the movie. I suppose that this might seem rather morbid in some senses but if you'd met him you'd know it would appeal to his occasional streak of black humor.

Right now he is resting in the middle of the cherry dining table, on a sage green silk table runner, next to one of the bouquets sent by friends. Lying in state so to speak, so we can pay our respects. Mango, the monster kitten, insists on munching on the bouquet whenever he can rush/tackle/block his way within 50 yards. There's a dryish blue filler like baby's breath which Mango eats and then promptly throws up.

Yesterday the chile and cactus lights went up around the kitchen window and some Christmas shopping got done. Plans were made to go cut the Christmas tree Sunday, and tonight was a performance of my daughter's Christmas musical. Work resumed at its usual pace. I have tickets to see the English Beat next week. Life roars along while death sits in the median watching it make laps around the race track.

Tonight my daughter explained the metaphor she had come up with for a poetry writing assignment. Her family is a suspension bridge. She told me I am the cables: if I break, the whole bridge (family) will come down. When one is woven of the kind of stuff my mom and dad were made of, the cables don't fray very easily.

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