The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I've been away from my home a lot since March, and the days I have been home have been spent either asleep or in a frenzy of appointments/activities.  It's interesting to see what I do when I get home, informative I think of how I really am when I feel most at ease.  Even before my suitcase is emptied I tidy.  I tidy the kitchen first (starting with the pantry and refrigerator), next counter tops and floors, today I will clean the oven and microwave.  I cleared everything off of the dining room table before I vacuumed the floors.  Floors probably next.  I feel like getting "stuff" orderly helps ... it feels like a metaphor for getting myself back to feeling normal.  There are still boxes of my mom's things scattered around, a couple of file boxes as I wrap up her affairs, a box of the white china we grew up eating from (need to pack it better for storage), a big plastic tub of miscellaneous items like small hand tools and hardware, oil, glue ... stuff that should be used, stuff that wants "a place".  I think my mom had a compulsion to have at least two containers of every household product she used ... two jugs of fabric softener, two bottles of windex, two packages of scouring pads.  At the Hospice House the chaplain asked me what she was like ... what were her hobbies.  Probably we have more in common then I realized ... she liked to fiddle around her house, she liked to keep things orderly.  When we were young she loved to meal plan and cook.  Good nutrition was a priority with her.  I was really amazed and impressed at how perfectly she was able to keep her home.  The Hospice people, when asked how will I know she is declining, said she will start letting dishes pile up in the sink.  I laughed ... I couldn't imagine that that would ever happen.  I'm sad when I remember how fast she went from being able to being completely unable. It was as though we stepped off of a cliff together.  One day everything seemed perfectly normal and the next day ... I held her as her breathing ceased.

She liked watching the birds ... and she had a genius for house plants (outside plants as well, she loved to garden).

I'm thinking about her today.  I do like seeing the places where she and I "connect" ... and it's interesting to observe those little things that I might think of as habits ... my husband says they are a little OCD ... my sister-in-law calls them "a little Pat coming out" ... it's funny because my dad was like that too ... what I call orderly. And ... One mentioned it, how he likes the towels folded a certain way even though he is less meticulous about his shirts ... lol, I see very tidy shirt folding in his future, it starts with the towels.  L asked me how I can fold his under shirts just so they fit perfectly in his drawers ... and yesterday I opened his undershirt drawer and saw two shirts that were (sorta) folded and placed there while I was away ... I resisted the urge to refold them (just barely).

What I am doing is sleeping until I am ready to get up, my husband leaves very early and because it's summer no one really needs to be out of the house on a schedule ... sleep seems to be a priority (I didn't know I was so tired).  Then ... my plan is to just do what seems most normal.  Quiet stuff, stay at home stuff.  H is coming down tomorrow and wants me to spend the day laying around the pool.  I probably will ... catch up time.  I want to get to the pottery studio ... and I want to get to a yoga routine ... and walk Sammy ... and cook and clean (smile/sigh).

This morning I fixed coffee for myself (the house is so nice and quiet ... cool. still ... home, it even smells great here) and came to the table where I can sit awhile ... just relax and talk to myself here with my fingers tapping out the thoughts ...
here is what I see:  that is a little box, tissue paper, wrapping paper and a ribbon ... a gift was opened at dinner last night ... that is a very tidy "pile" of trash ... lol, very orderly (it wasn't me).  Yesterday I meal planned ... and cooked (delicious flank steak pinwheels with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and Boursin cheese ... and for the first time ever,  Chimichurri sauce (we liked it).  There was a wonderful shrimp/avocado salad to accompany the entrĂ©e.  Later I received a text message,  love you, thanks for the special evening.  left clothes in the washer will you please move them to dryer for me? Happy to.  Really.It's not just that small thing, it's being home.

My brother is constantly on my mind.  This week he is feeling stronger.  That seems to be how it's going to be ... chemo week knocks him down ... recovery week he gets back up.  I needed to talk with him yesterday about how torn I am about not "being there" for him.  I said I think it's a vote of confidence that He can do this thing.  I also think I was at the tipping point of driving my sister-in-law bonkers!  Cancer launches a big bomb into people's lives.  There really is no way to know how to "go about" dealing with it.  We do the best we can.  He said he missed the spoilin' but promises to call when they really need me (if they really need me again ... there is hope that he is past the worst part of treatment).  L has made room in his schedule to take us back for a visit early August.

I wonder how many people get to spend extended quiet time with their adult siblings.  It has been a real treat.  It's a sucky time, but we scavenge for joy here as well.

So ... ovens ... walk ... (maybe fold my kid's clothes).


chimichurri sauce

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