I’m convinced that Spring is broken. While a rainy April isn’t unusual, the rain around here has been more like sleet, with intermittent bouts of snow showers. One day we started with snow; then it warmed up so the snow melted and the sun came out; then it snowed again before the sun came back out. Spring needs medication.
Today is the anniversary of my dad’s death. It’s strange. We didn’t live in the same town, so NOT seeing him isn’t the weird part. It’s when I remember that I won’t see him again. That he isn’t at home with my mom, sitting in his recliner with a dog on his lap. That he isn’t somewhere laughing at his own jokes or arguing with the tv. That he isn’t just a call away if I needed him. Not that we talked on the phone much. He didn’t like it. If he ever answered the phone, we knew mom wasn’t available, and he’d start the call with, “sorry, honey, but your mom’s not home.” Or if it was his birthday or Father’s Day, he’d talk for a minute and then say, “ok, here’s your mom,” even if we didn’t ask to talk to her. It was kind of funny, actually, and kind of endearing. He just assumed mom trumped him when it came to conversation. But if we were in trouble or needed something, he would be there. And that was comforting to know. It doesn’t matter how old you get; you still feel like a kid around your parents. If they’re around, you know someone always has your back. I’m glad my mom has been doing well on her own, but I know she misses him. She said it’s hardest at night. I get that. Heartaches weigh heaviest in the darkness.
I’m thankful for the dulling effects of time. How it makes us get used to life’s voids. How it presses on relentlessly, sometimes dragging us along, sometimes pushing us forward. It’s good to keep going. Spring is reminder of how crazy life can be. Warm and cold, dark and light, often all at once. And yet somehow the flowers come through.
I had a lovely day. Not at all the day I expected, but then I started it with a spontaneous stop and just went with it from there. It’s strange for me how that has been working out lately. I don’t consider myself very spontaneous. Flexible, yes, but I usually feel more secure if I have something of a plan for my time. It’s a comfort thing. I need events to look forward to. Or people to look forward to seeing. It’s probably why working on a school schedule makes sense to me. I know how much time I have for certain tasks and I know how much time I have with certain people and I can adjust myself accordingly. It’s also why I like holidays. It helps divide my year. I can’t imagine not having Easter or Halloween or Christmas to look forward to or plan for. Or all the little ones in between. Maybe that means I’m too much of a time keeper.
I think it has something to do with moving so much in my lifetime. I counted once and it was a ridiculous number–like 19 times. Every four years when I was growing up. You’d think that it would make me more spontaneous, not less. However, there was always an end to things, so maybe I conditioned myself to prepare for it. Count the time left. Prepare for the changes, like packing up and saying goodbye. And try to get as much accomplished as soon as possible. It got progressively harder to believe in the status quo and harder to get attached to things or people. But now, the older I get the more I yearn for stability. Buying a house on my own was a big step toward that for me. Knowing I don’t have to leave it unless I want to gives me a sense of control that I’ve never felt before. I have a place I can settle in to. It’s a strange connection, but it allows me to relax just a little. It lets me feel ok with being a bit spontaneous with my time because I don’t have to go anywhere anytime soon. I’m not saying I won’t ever decide to move again, but if I do, it will be because I want to. I’m thankful for that. And I’m thankful my impulsive decision this morning turned into a pleasurable day.