Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Urge to Be Home

I have to get home.  I have to get going on figuring out my finances.  I have to call the insurance companies.  I have to pick up his death certificates.  I have to make a list.  I have to call Social Security.  I have to figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.  I have to move.  I have to get a million things done.  I have to go for a walk or I’m going to lose my mind.

“Mom, do you mind watching the boys while I go for a walk?”  I asked my mom. Mary and Bill had left about an hour before.  We were hanging out in the family room.  Jack and Mike were playing their Game Boys in their room; I got dressed and walked out in the sunshine of the late afternoon.  This was such a lovely island.  Even though it was spring there were a lot of people around.  I waved as I walked by to people who were about their homes. The road was poorly paved and wound around the island.  It was a beautiful view of the water near its edge on the northern tip of the island.  I could see right out onto the Potomac: it is much wider in this area south of DC.  I stood and just stared out over the water, a gentle breeze on my face.  I kept walking.

I took the road that split the island in two on the way back.  These houses were off the shore.  I saw one large house that had just been built; it looked like a mausoleum of sorts.  There were huge golden statues of half-naked people in their front yard.  It was a bit gaudy and out of place on the island.  I could not clear my head of the million worries that were bearing down on me.

I passed a house with a lifeguard chair in the front yard.  This was a beach motif; I liked it.  It made me think of our backyard at home.  Rick and I had put so much time into it with limited funds but we had it looking pretty great, all facts considered.  It was inviting and welcoming when you walked out the back door.

I had taken a derelict table from my neighbor, Mary.  I stained it and placed it in a discreet place in the yard.  This was my potting bench.  It was against a part of the privacy fence that was on one side of the patio.  It was perfect.  I kept my garden tools hung up on the fence and beneath the table were my extra pots, fertilizer, potting soil and odds and ends.  The best part about its location was the fact that it was secluded.  There was a large maple tree in the yard and its branches covered the table; it could be raining out and I wouldn’t even feel a drop. 

Yard sales were my best place for locating gems for my yard.  I bought two cheap would crates, about six inches high a foot wide and three fee long.  I filled the bottom with plastic to keep the soil from going through the slats and filled them with potting soil and then planted snap dragons in them.  They looked great.

We had a very old shed in the yard when we moved in.  Rick and I were on a tight budget; I knew there was no new shed in our future.  I gave it a fresh coat of stain and then painted the hardware a shiny black.  When we moved there was no fence in our yard and people frequently cut through on their way back from the store.  We had a two year old at home.  I wanted him safe and I wanted to be free from worry about him.  There was one great weeping willow in the yard and the willow and a plum next to it that gave sublime shade. We later put a jungle gym under those trees.

Rick had found an old tire and hung it in the tree for Jack and later Michael.  Jack could swing for hours on that.  It was great fun.  One year the plum tree gave fruit.  They were small but delicious.  I made loads of plum jam that year; it was my first and last attempt at anything quite as domestic.  I stuck with gardening.  We had two Adirondack chairs that were near the shed: Rick and I sat and watched the two boys play while we chatted in the evenings.  It was a terrific backyard.

I made it back to the house and walked in the through the laundry room.  It was pretty quiet in there.    Jack was still watching shows.  I asked how they were doing and went up to my room.  I threw myself the bed, thinking that I needed to go home but I would handle that one tomorrow.  The tears came again.  I was grateful that my mom was there to handle the boys.  I was having a hard time handling me.

1 comment:

  1. I hear your spirit struggling to come through your grief. Cycling between anxiety and grief, always returning and clinging to the comfort of your memories. You're a trooper! Thanks for your stories. You provide us all with inspiration.