Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Peaches and Pain

It feels like fall today, which simultaneously makes me happy and sad. Happy because I love fall. Sad because winter follows, and I don't like winter. I love so many things about fall: football, fires, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin everything, fresh apples, hoodies, snuggling under blankets. When I was little I loved going to the Harding football games with my dad. We usually left at halftime, after the bands performed,which was my favorite part. I held onto his pinky because my hands were little and his were big. We walked through an area of Warren, that most people probably wouldn't walk through at night with their kids now, but I never felt afraid.

Yesterday, Chloe told me she missed my dad. I missed my dad too. It was funny--weird, not haha--though not really because Chloe and I are always eerily connected. Once, I woke up in the middle of the night really worried and uneasy. I prayed for about two hours and finally went back to sleep. She told me the next day that she had wandering through the streets of Pittsburgh at the time. Missing my dad is one of our few sad connections. Fortunately, Chloe hasn't been dealt a lot of sadness since she carries so much of mine.

My bff lost her grandpa earlier this year, another dear friend lost her grandma last week, some of my closest friends lost their stepdad/father in law a month ago, a dear writer I adore and admire lost her mom yesterday, my mom lost two more friends in the last month. Often in empathizing with others, I'm drawn so far in that I relive my own sadness. A few months ago, I had a dream about my dad, and in it, he told me that my mom was going to die. I had longed to dream about my dad for quite some time, but this wasn't exactly what I hoped for. In the dream, I wasn't sad or upset and kind of fluctuated between dreaming and logic. Course, I guess that's where I usually am: fluctuating between dreaming and logic.

For as long as I can remember, every time I went into my parents' playroom, I sat on my dad's lap. When I was little, when I was grown, when I was happy or sad. Sometimes I sat on his lap with one of my own babies on my lap. Sometimes we talked, sometimes we laughed, sometimes I cried and sometimes he did. When I was really little I used to do his hair. He sat patiently while I did. It was so hard to walk into that room after my dad wasn't in his chair.

This morning, I ate a peach, and it reminded me of the peach trees and raspberry bushes in our yard growing up. I used to eat fruit until I was sick, coming into the house sticky and stained. My mom made delicious jam. Then one year, in an aggressive fertilization attempt gone awry, my dad killed the peach trees and the raspberry bushes. The bushes were a total loss, but the trees still grew, though they never again bore fruit. A few years ago, in a super romantic move, Brad bought me a peach tree. It died. Last week, I drove past my parents' old house in downtown Warren, and the peach trees had been cut down. Guess I'll stick with farm market peaches for now.

I think the point of all this is reminding and retraining myself to focus on the beauty, the memory, the what was and what is and what could and will be rather than the pain of the loss. Tomorrow isn't promised, but part of the beauty in this life is the fleeting nature of everything we hold dear. So my sweet friends who are sad today, I am holding you close to my heart and lifting your cares to God.



2 comments:

  1. I want that house to become a meth lab and explode in a fireball that takes out that whole block.

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  2. "Part of the beauty of this life..." I hadn't thought about that. Over the last couple of years, I seem to have been thinking more about the "fleeting nature," and aiming not to overlook today's goodness by angst over tomorrow's possibilities, but this puts a different spin on that. It is quite possible that we see more beauty that way.

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