Life goes on

Grief was my constant companion for much of the last ten years.

During that time I lost both of my parents, and my spouse several times over to memory loss.

Caregivers of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s and dementia first lose their loved one as their cognitive skills disappear in several unique stages.

And then they ultimately witness that final loss, with the death of their loved one.

I was no different.

By the time my husband finally passed, there were no tears left to shed.

Yet earlier this week I caught myself crying some after the election.

My tears weren’t particularly tied to the results, but more towards the hatred and lack of civility bubbling over everywhere.

Still those tears weren’t long lived as I know there is much work to do in this country.

I decided I better start with me.

I knew I had to find some peace to feel grounded if I am to be productive in the days ahead.

Making sense of this election and defining next steps will come to me in time, but only after the rhetoric has faded.

So Saturday I chose to find comfort and community while standing in line for shrimp chowder at the local butcher shop, and a generous slice of pumpkin cake at the bakery afterwards.

The warm welcomes and sweet scents soon had everyone inside smiling again.

No phones appeared or politics were spoken in either place.

And this morning it was all about blue grass and lemon grass Thai treats at our Sunday’s Farmers Market.

Humming as I left to stop by a neighborhood church service, I found myself parking further away than needed.

But I knew it would give me a chance later to walk over the bridge of a brook sparkling in the sunshine, and check in on the garden just beyond.

After the service, upon entering I discovered fragrant and strong yellow roses were still blooming in the breeze.

And cheerful white daisies, too.

I sang softly, “…life goes on in endless song” from the closing hymn I’d just heard.

Yes, I believe it really does.

Even in November of one particularly nasty election year.

Hamburgers, humor and hope

Hate and grief in this country have worn us all down this week.

And I’ve found myself irritable and lacking patience for most everyone.

Today I left work early enough to see November sunshine warming the shoulders of several smiling senior veterans leaving a nearby Applebees’s.

I smiled too once I saw the restaurant’s sign proclaiming ‘free meals for soldiers’ who had served our nation through their military commitments.

Smiles have definitely been a rare and precious commodity this week.

Returning home right after,  I checked my email and Facebook messages.

I immediately noticed the posts and pictures honoring vets today had won in a landslide over the nasty negativity earlier in the week.

I smiled yet again.

Tonight I’ll be studying up on some of my Dad’s letters sent home during WWII.

And I’ll amuse myself with all those cartoons he scribbled on the envelopes.

He seemed to learn long ago that humor can get you through almost anything.

Maybe that’s a lesson I can finally learn as well.


Digging out joy

I grab my china tea cup,
and one sweet little white pup.

Looking through her tiny eyes,
I find a girl so very wise.

Pups still love each morning meal,
and it seems they help us heal.

They just choose to ignore hate,
and quite patiently they wait.

For us all to do the same,
and get back into the game.

Those pups always find their joy.
I can too, if I toss my dog a toy.