Wednesday, October 26, 2005

i am exhausted

I didn't think these last two days would take so much out of me, but I have hardly anything left and I'm taking the day off work tomorrow to recuperate. I should be in bed right now, but I need this as much as I need a good night's sleep.

We decided to drive down to visitation on Tuesday night, then came back home and drove down again today for the funeral at 11. It's about a 100 mile drive, an hour and a half or so, and even though The Hermit was driving, the ride alone wears me out. But I get strength from my home place here, and for some reason on Tuesday I just could not bring myself to pack everything I needed; the kids' clothes, my own clothes, etc. And it is so much better to wake up in my own bed.

The funeral was simple, and beautiful, as far as funerals go. I played my version of "Amazing Grace" on flute, and it went well despite me getting, of all things, a strand of hair in my mouth as I started to play. That has never happened to me before in 25+ years of playing the flute. I had to pause between verses and brush away the hair. Oh well, such is life here on earth. Imperfect, but we strive. Judging from the kind words afterwards, no one else really noticed.

I really, really wished that in the eulogies and messages, though beautifully written and delivered, that they would not have concentrated so much on my mother's illness (MS 20 years, cancer 7 years) as the person she was, before all of this, with or without. She was, after all, a person before all of this started happening. I, in my message of flute playing, concentrated on what she gave to me as a mother, before physical illness was in the picture.

And I cannot get over the absurdity of one being cremated, then buried in a little vault in a cemetery to which one has absolutlely no connection to the surrounding land. It's a big cemetary in North Minneapolis, a place I had only seen once or twice before. Funeral directors' real estate. At the grave site, all I could think about was the traffic rushing by 50 yards away, the fake Astro Turf they put out, how when I die I want my body left to decompose into the soil here, at my home, or at the very least scatter my ashes around the places I have known and loved in my life. Mr. Attitude probably personified the whole absurdity of the situation; in his almost 4 year old mind he could not comprehend why we were all standing here in this park. All of the grandkids picked one flower from the bouquets; everyone else got red roses, he got the Tiger Lily (he called it Lion Rose). Very appropriate.

And I am very proud of Calvin; he was asked to read a lesson at the service, Psalm 23, and he rose to the occasion perfectly.

My dad is doing well; in fact, I think he is very relieved. Being the caregiver of one with a debilitating illness, then on top of that a terminal one, has to be very draining. He is going to buy a new bike tomorrow; he said his old one is wearing out. And he will probably not return to work. Nothing there to return to I guess.

And so I return here. My garlic order finally arrived today; maybe I will plant it tomorrow, along with the daffodil bulbs The Hermit bought after Lady died. Later I will go practice some music. It's a beautiful life.

The coyotes are going crazy tonight; I heard them, almost deafening yelps and echoes, as I walked in the dark to the house.

7 comments:

madcapmum said...

I've been wondering how the past couple of days were going for you. You've been very much on my mind. You must have been pretty proud of Calvin.

The coyotes are really something, aren't they? When I hear them carrying on in the fields across the way late at night, it always makes me think of the howling and yipping of my own soul when I'm in an anxious state. Oooh, ooh, ooh, whatever will become of meeeeeeee?

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Reading about the sound of the coyotes reminded me of this poem by William Everson:

These are the ravens of my soul
sloping above the lonely fields
And cawing, cawing.
I have released them now,
And sent them wavering down the sky.
Learning the slow witchery of the wind.
And crying on the farthest fences of the world.


There is great solace in those cries.

madcapmum said...

What a gorgeous piece of poetry!

Deb said...

That was beautiful, and so appropriate! Had I not been so tired, I might have expounded more on the experience of hearing the coyotes. They were very close, and did indeed echo what was going on in my soul.

Is anyone else not seeing my sidebar on the main page? it seems to have disappeared.

madcapmum said...

It's there on my screen.

the dharma bum said...

deb, you've been in my thoughts these past few days too. i'm glad you're making it past this, for i think "just" living is the only way we can honor those who leave. your thoughts about your mom's legacy and memory, as well as about her passing, have been very interesting and thought-provoking. they've also been inspiring as i'm trying to understand how to bring more of my personal world into my writing in a meaningful way.

Deb said...

madcap-ummm...never mind. I guess it was a temporary glitch in my computer. When your phone line is a few hundred feet of thin wire laid out along the ground, strange things happen.

dharma bum- It is walking a fine line, wanting to write something more meaningful than a journal entry yet wanting also to capture the raw emotions you are experiencing. Blogging has given me a way to process what I'm feeling more thoroughly, to put things into words that hopefully have some beauty in the way they are put together. Thank you for being there to read my efforts.

Much more raw stuff going on here, totally different, but I can't write about it now.