One Year Ago

Thursday, November 24, 2011
Thanksgiving Morning 6:00 am

One year ago.

I just want to write enough to acknowledge my first thoughts this morning. One year ago I started writing, looking for the silver lining after Dave’s diagnosis of terminal lung cancer. We are all “temps” Dave would say, referring to the now past Dead Like Me television series.

One year ago. I started a private handwritten journal to release the fear and worry and angst of change. The anticipation of loss.

One year ago I felt the need to take the advice I’d given others as I found myself in a new role confronting grief at a depth I still find a need to give words to. I’ll keep writing until the words won’t come out any longer.

This morning I reflect on one year ago and the journey. I reflect on age and wisdom and experience and the things, challenges, emotions and people we must meet to get here. Here is where we are now.

Life is really a journey. It seems hokey, but the analogy works. It makes me want to travel about the country with camera capturing the busy and lonely roads, streets and highways of life. Maybe I can put that idea on my bucket list!

Now I have a bucket list? That’s funny.

I was reflecting on my life change, growth and journey as I drank my coffee in silence this morning. I watched Sniff the cat toss his little mouse toy up in the air and chase his imagination. From the couch in the family room, I looked around at the early morning dimly lit kitchen and dining area. The fireplace flickers a warm glow of dancing shadows. The kitchen counter is full of boxes and ceramic pans readied for Thanksgiving dinner preparation. Furniture has been rearranged to make way for people. I now understand why moms start the dinner days ahead of time. We just can’t do as much and quickly as once upon a time. On the journey we learn to pace ourselves.

What if I made a tag cloud* of my life? (Obviously ideas about my work gets stirred in my coffee or tea each day) What would it say and which words would be the largest at this moment?  Wife, mom, caregiver. Daughter, sister, aunt. Grief specialist, writer.

What words would I want to loom larger in my tag cloud? Hmm, I’ll play with concept. I love ideas. I love creativity.

Dave and I watch a lot of TV together. It’s a reason to sit and be close. It’s new fodder for conversation and exchange on the social ills of society. We’ve been watching some of the auction shows. He wondered what it is like to be able to go to an auction, plunking down a few thousand dollars just for the thrill of the win or buying something. You can do that you know, I suggested.  “No,” he counters, “I can’t. That would be taking away from you.” We both silently understand the implications on our futures. His bucket list has always been modest. His value system is education, ideas, and thinking. So, of course he wouldn’t consider frivolous spending. Reading, writing, thinking, talking. As long as he can buy a hamburger whenever he wants, life is good. “Yes, hon, you can.” Gratitude for the basics.

Now I wonder what his tag cloud would look like?

It’s Thanksgiving Day. Time to start making the Monkey Bread. I’ll let Leah punch down the dough after the first rise, as I always liked to do when I was a kid.

I’m really glad to make this a big family meal this year. It’s different from our traditional  “just the three of us.” Leah will be over early and I think we’ll probably open the sparkling cider for our ritual before anyone else arrives.

One year ago. Today. One year from now. This is a journey.

Happy Thanks-giving.

*A tag cloud is the way blog posts are are given key words for their content. As more articles are posted the tag words “grow” larger relative to the number of stories with the same tag. You can click on the tag word list to call up all the posts with the same tag.

2 replies
  1. George Schroeder
    George Schroeder says:

    Congratulations! You made it to Thanksgiving! How grateful we all are to be enjoying the best holiday on the calendar. All we have to do it cook, eat, hug family and friends, and nod off during boring NFL football games. It’s the best!

    BTW, I lost your email address. Would you drop me a note so I can write to you again directly?

    Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you and Dave and your family.

  2. Jan Rodelander
    Jan Rodelander says:

    Its after the holiday, but happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. We spend the holiday with friends now, instead of family, as the family has gotten so big and the trip to TX is a bit too much for a dinner. Our children go to their inlaws for the day, so we have this new tradition of friends thanksgiving and I find I like it very much. I still like to reminise about thanksgivings of years ago, as that brings such pleasure to me, thinking of the all the Matthews and Rosemanns together for that day….guess I will always treasure those memories!
    So glad you could have a big gathering this year!


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