We've always dreamed of a family vacation. And now we're going.... International!
Okay, well.... Fargo....
eat... swim...shop... Repeat.
Back on Sunday.
Who knew we shared anything? Not me.
But over wine and hysterical laughter, we learned things that defined us as having sprung from the same soil. We share quirks and fears, oddities and exhuberances. The time went by too quickly.
The quiet of the cabin gave room for some of the nausea in our stomachs to spill from our eyes. There was space to voice the unspeakable grief for Ken's daughters. There was oppurtunity to compare stories of our childhoods, and hold up our perceived realities to those who also walked similar paths. There was just enough time to recognize some character similarities that must have come from our shared genetics.
Perhaps the shared reality of our recent losses made the time together even more precious. Too young for so many funerals, we have however met over cold and still... brother....cousin... and auntie. We stand a little closer now, sheilding one another from the chilling winds. There is no way to imagine what the next four seasons will bring us. But they will find us square shouldered, standing together strong amidst the change.
For an over analytical person, I don't seem to spend much time trying to make sense of my brother's death.
Others seem to move through their grief, dissolve into spontaneous tears at the sight of a photo or memory. I wish I would, it seems more natural.
I can't bear to hardly think of those he left behind. There is nothing to be said. There is no possible comfort- unless you consider something desparate like their happy reunion some eighty years and a lifetime or two away from here as being adequately reassuring.
Look at his eyes- so full of love. He wasn't always like that, its not the way I remember him when we shared a house under mom and dad. But life shaped him that way.... His wife's laughter, his soft, brilliant daughters.
I'm trying to prepare myself somehow for the upcoming summer season. That date that will mark the passage of time. The last day of school when we heard his diagnosis. A few warm weeks into September when his lungs took in that long rest.
I hope I can grieve then, like a normal person. I hope I don't translate it into something tangible, something simple, something complex.
I hope I can one day stand to see them without someone else having to plan it. There's no condemnation in it for me, I haven't felt like I ought to be "doing more", at least between me and God. But when others reach out to them intentionally, I feel a stab in me - as though there is something terribly wrong with my insides, that I don't have the conviction to try to engage.
I'm glad you came to peace in this life, Ken. But I'd have liked the privelege to become your sister-friend from this new vantage point. God grant me whatever it is that I need to be whatever it is that I need to be for your daughters.
Weary of the battlefield, I made myself disappear. The change in location ensured a sharp decrease in the "fight or flight" response. In fact, the only time I rose from the sectional was to ensure my gin levels or maybe to dip a cracker into cheese.
I did bump into the odd giant wolf or two (or did they come in with me?) None were slayed, but we did shake hands on a tentative peace treaty.
Now, at home again, methinks I'll spend my energy not on sharpening my weapons, but rather on learning to most accurately discipher the sheep from the wolves. Then we'll go find us some local green pastures to lie down in.