We were back in Texas looking at properties this past week ... so far no joy, but the possibilities abound.
I really had only one thing I needed to do.
Tommy and I saw a few "graduations" at the infusion center. He said, "I'm really looking forward to having the glitter tossed on me ... ." I was looking forward to it as well, turns out this is the best we could do. I had hoped his wife might be able to join us for that but we didn't see her at all during this trip. She has flatly stated that she doesn't want to continue a relationship with me (us), and though it came as a hurtful surprise, the truth is she probably knows better then I about such things. I am not good at kicking people out of my life. It's also true that probably all we had in common was our love for Tommy. Quite frankly, I found her to difficult to understand, and self involved ... and she is the only person who has ever called me a bitch which was hurtful, but also funny. I laughed. I felt bad about laughing at her, but not about telling her that the good thing about the whole weird ending was that I would no longer be required to listen to her constant yapping ... and I did that yapping illustration thing with both hands. People have asked, "What were your brother's last words to you" ... as though maybe there will be insights on life or meaningful reflections. We did talk a good bit last year ... mostly laughing at childhood memories, some reflecting on roads not taken and might have beens for him ... he spoke of regrets concerning his children, we talked about him making "it" to remission and what life might look like from there. Towards the end ... when there was little doubt that the end was near he said he was sorry to "leave me with all this" that he never intended to make me carry the load of being the last one standing ... he said as far as the next bit goes I should get ready for the "histhirdwife'sname show" and that he truly regretted the pain that that was likely to cause me (and I still didn't expect it ... lol). I've always heard that people get weird when someone dies and that was sure true with this experience. I never saw the animosity coming though looking back I see that I should have, might have, had I been paying attention. That time, for me, was all about making things as good as I possibly could for him ... part of that was managing her with as much tenderness and compassion as I could muster. For his sake I would still be doing that. He loved her and that made her family for me. I think she did her very best with him through out their relationship and I think he was blessed by their time together. I wish it could have been lots longer. He knew she was a stinker (and aren't we all?) and he still loved her. That makes me very happy for him.
During the year I learned a lot. One thing which seems important to me is this ... long term ... I think people would be happier in the long run if they worked out their stuff and hung on to their relationships. It really is all about love ... loving an other before one's self ... behaving in a loving way. I think he was 20 the first time he married ... I wish, for his sake and for her sake, for the sake of love, that he'd been able to have spent an entire life with the same woman. In the end, I was the only consistent "person" in his life. He could have done better for himself. He regretted not having tried harder for his people.
Another thing on my mind in regards to Tommy is this ... he isn't mad, upset, hurt, frustrated, etc. with anyone any more. He is without agendas. I wish (for my sake) that his grave site wasn't junked up with solar powered light up glass birds (which might be perfectly delightful in one's garden [lol that may be bitchy, does that make me a bitch? pretty funny]), but he doesn't care about that at all. If anything, he would think 1.) that's sweet 2.) what ever makes her happy 3.) that's funny 4.) these could be easily removed by some naughty someone one (never me ... which is another lesson learned ... the last spouse gets to decide how things go (as it should be) (I'd have trouble subjecting my kids to that ... not particularly the glass birds looking over the grave, just everything ... potential unkindness.).
“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars.
You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”
~ C. S. Lewis
It was hard for me to go out there and sprinkle the glitter on the dirt of his grave. It was hard to tap the soil down as I saw him do on our mother grave. It was hard to confirm (as I feared at the time) that I sat on her grave as the preacher said whatever he was saying about Tommy. Next time I go out there I'll take some hand tools for breaking up the clods ... for pulling the weeds that seem to take hold even as the grass hesitates. As we drove on down the road another sun set, glorious as only Texas skies seem to know how to do, and I snapped these pics. A fleck of glitter which had remained on my hand flashed ... it seemed sorta sweet.