Thursday, July 25, 2013

Family stuff

It's been a busy week at the Sinanan house.  The garage and second floor are especially challenging to navigate, bringing to mind those hand-held puzzles from my youth that required moving various tiles with your thumbs until you got things just right.  

To get into and out of my car I traverse a narrow space. To retrieve an item from the former guest room, you need a map, courage, finesse, and a clear understanding that you're likely not going to find the item you need.  Best to just keep the door closed.

Reilly has, along with the help of his brother and mother, returned an apartment's worth of furniture, art supplies, and personal stuff to our home as he prepares to move to NYC in September.  Today he handed me his sock basket, the same basket he's been storing his socks in since he was a toddler.  It was his own idea way back when, to store them next to his shoes in the hall closet.  Shoes and socks; toothbrush and paste; some things just go together.

My mother liked to remind me that the door swang in both directions for her children; we came and went and came and went and she just welcomed it all: dirty laundry, stories carefully edited for her sanity, and, sometimes, a lover in tow.  I've felt her cheery presence this week as we made multiple trips with Reilly's stuff.  I can't say I'm matching my mother's cheerful demeanor, but I can surely admit to feeling the blessing of family.

As Reilly seeks new horizons, I know his tether is long and loose.  He's got courage, bold ideas, and opportunities to grasp and explore.  And I know he feels supported and loved.  

As it should be.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Year number four!

Road trip!  It's time to return to Soap Lake!

Mastering the art of climbing on 'bottom first'
 while covered in mud.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The time it takes is the time it takes

Eddison and Leila's offspring,
left to right: Phil, Sarah & Mika.
I'm a little slow.  I'm not talking about the speed at which I live my life.  I freely admit though, that slow is a pace I'm quite comfortable with.  In fact I prefer it nearly all the time.

What I'm noticing more, though, is how the passage of time brings things into a different focus, an altered view.  And how, as my life unfolds and circumstances change, things, events, and relationships take on entirely new meaning.

Recently I was looking for a particular photo in my many folders of e-files when I noticed my heart felt heavy and I seemed to need to take a rest.  The effort needed to scroll and click is nothing compared to the emotional energy required to revisit the images.

I was stunned by the boatload of big stuff: diminished health of loved ones, long goodbyes, births, celebrations, loss after loss, the sheer number of trips east over these past several years, and on it goes.  There's been plenty of positive change as well, most notably my own improved health since changing how and what I eat.  I seem to be connecting the dots more, or at least gaining some insight.

These graduation photographs speak volumes to me, noteworthy for their place of prominence in my in-laws home.  Though one of their children died a few months shy of his 34th birthday, there are many mementos of him throughout the family home and in our shared home on Bowen Island.  Leila once told me it took her 10 years to move forward after his death.  Though I have not had to endure the loss of a child, I could relate: I was nearly frozen in time for 13 years after the tragic death of my stepfather, Dick.

Loss takes time to process.  It takes time to manifest, and we need time to identify what it is and how it changes us.

I'm taking my time.  It feels like the right thing to do.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tools and their people

He lives in the corner house with the rusted farm tools in the yard.  The old RV, no longer parked in the driveway, used to sport the name of their family bluegrass band.  I've walked by their two-parcel homestead many times over the years and so today, when I circled back, I was excited to see someone in the yard for the first time. 

It went like this.  I greeted him and he greeted me back, pausing mid-stride with his mail in hand.  There was mention of the beautiful day, and then I confessed I have long admired his property.  That's all it took for Harold to tell me the stuff of his heart.  How, having lived there since 1957 with his beloved wife, Elva, he now wonders if it might be time to pack it up, you know, move on.  Elva's been gone since February, and frankly, he says, "It's hard to get motivated."  Harold tells me being married to her was everything, natural as breathing.

He still makes music, "cause Elva loved it, and it just makes people feel better."  He said he plays there on Thursdays because he enjoys it and it brings other people joy too.  Then I said he sure has found a fine way to spread his light.  

There was more shared there in the driveway and the summer sun and then I left him there, shuffling his mail and summoning up the courage to go back inside where he crafted a fine life with Elva, a life that spanned 60 glorious years.  May the memory of his beloved buoy him onward.