You’d think I might learn eventually … eliminate clutter of any kind and you create space. Blessed, peace-promoting space for energy and for accomplishment. For good times and for connections. Eradicate the tension and you have clean air purer than snow, inhaling with each gulp the possibility for good.
My grandfather sat over my left shoulder, the place he has taken to of late, as I sat in the grass at the cemetery, my eldest son leaning all his weight against me, his curly hair under my nose. My daughter sat to my right. Our fingers grazed the gray stone of my grandfather’s grave, their small fingers tracing the carved words.
Tall trees rustling in the heavy breeze above us, birds calling around us and no other sound except for our own breathing in and out in the mid-day sun.
“When I turn into the cemetery, I like to turn off the music,” I told the kids.
“I’m going to close my book,” Asher agreed.
And I drove slow between the embankments, in no rush, with no need in the open afternoon.
It has been a blissful weekend. All children and snuggling and open windows with blessed air mixing into the house.
We sat by the lap of the lake and watched the fish in the murky water. We played under trees, climbing whatever walls stood righteous before us. We watched a white heron high in a tree and listened to the flowing patter of fountains.
On Sunday, we opened the doors and the windows for my little guy’s friends. One hour, a birthday cake made by the careful eye of a mother in love with her children. Ice cream cups and sandwiches and lemonade pouches and we sang Happy Birthday to a beaming boy whose Friday haircut erased the baby and established the little boy.
Three years ago today … I lived a different world.
Three years ago today I emerged from the cocoon of childbirth and brought home a precious bundle wrapped in blue. My older two were innocent in their round cheeks and blue eyes and I explained as they climbed on the bed that a mother’s heart grows to hold more love with the addition of a new child.
Three years ago, it was two months beyond the realization that my marriage would die. Three years ago, my wise friend Salley said carefully over the long-distance line, “It’s ok, if you wait a year. You have a newborn.”
And so I sat in the shroud of knowing that I had chosen the wrong partner even though in the context of him I created the three most wonderful souls under the sun.
Today is for remembering, essentially those individuals who fought for the freedom of our country. But in theory a memorial day is a day to reflect and to acknowledge what laid the foundation for the day in front of us.
I remember being married to a man I couldn’t know. I remember feeling alone when I was supposed to be the most together a person could be. I remember gazing out my morning window in perfect silence and wondering how I decided to abandon myself for the illusion of connection.
It has been a blissful weekend. My children and I are seamless creations of perfection, our smiles infectious, the flavors abundantly pleasing as they dance on our tongues.
In my office, I keep a picture of Asher and Eliana in the blueberry orchard, four years ago, my little girl in blond pigtails so close to the ground. I remember them plucking the little blue orbs from the branches and popping them into their mouths, so few plunking resonantly into the bucket.
In becoming their mother, I was given life anew. And in braving the courage to leave a stagnant place mired in murky waters, I gave myself life yet again.
It’s a new day, you know, and it’s mine for the taking.