Musings,  This Life...

Nan In Search of Clarity–Day 23

The Lake 025I just realized tonight that I missed my friend Mary’s birthday on April 10. I feel really crappy about that because I’ve never missed at least sending her a note on her birthday. She was a good friend of my mom’s when we were growing up and has been a good friend of mine since I’ve grown  up. I remember how much I admired her when I was a kid. (I still do!) She always seemed confident and in charge. I know now that her life had difficulties just like everyone’s did, but when I was a child, I thought I wanted to be like her when I grew up–a good mother, organized, kind, smart… I’ll call her tomorrow and wish her a belated happy birthday.

I don’t know that I am any of those things now, but I try to be… Actually, I know I’m a good mother, but that doesn’t seem like my own accomplishment. I just raised my boy the way it made sense to raise him and he turned out pretty darn good. But I don’t have any conscious memory of what I did specifically to get this great kid, who’s turned into such an amazing man. I had a great partner in parenting and I know that was significant. Mostly, I loved him, I guess, and encouraged him to always do his best because he deserved the best and he should want that for himself. I read to him… a lot! And I listened… and made him be responsible for his mistakes.

Organized–not so much. I make plans to be organized, but somehow life and work and writing get in the way of organized. I’m mostly kind and I’m fairly smart–although if I was really smart, it seems like I’d have this whole grieving thing worked out by now, huh? Here’s the thing–I want the ache to go away. That’s all. Some days, it subsides and I think, “Oh, at last! It’s going to go away,” and then something as simple as walking down to the dock this afternoon and seeing the sun glint on the water in the bay brings it back.

kathiI remembered the last time she was at the lake, Kate tried to get off our dock and into that 3-person rubber raft. We were all laughing our butts off because Moe and I were trying to keep the raft close enough to the dock that she could just slip in and not get too wet. She ended up landing in the middle and then sliding through one of the spacers in the raft and right under the water. She came up spluttering and laughing so hard, she couldn’t climb back into the raft. We had to pull her back to the dock so she could climb the ladder and start over. Damn that was funny, but you know, that evil cancer was growing in her even then and we never knew it. How do you not know something like that? But then again… how can you possibly know? Kate loved the water–loved boating… I think memories are just going to be bittersweet for a while–maybe forever.

Five Things I’m Grateful for Today:

  1. I got quite a bit of the first pass of this project done.
  2. We cleaned the master bedroom carpet in the cottage–it turned out great!
  3. The bay is starting to look more like summer water even though I know it’s still way to cold to swim.
  4. The sun shone all day today.
  5. Listened to two StoryWonk podcasts on my iPhone through the car stereo on the way home today–gosh, ain’t technology grand?



  • Carla Hampton

    My Dad has been gone for four years. I miss him terribly and think of him often. We had no notice when he suddenly died. The pain of his passing has eased over time and it has been since last July that I suddenly burst into tears over a memory jolt! He absolutely loved his lake house, a two bedroom log house that he subcontracted in 1972. He loved everything about the lake; fishing, skiing, boating, the life there, the escape….he loved it all as much as he loved life itself! That is where he died. My sister took over the lake house and lives there now. It is still difficult to go there for me, because it holds too many memories! My sister lived away for thirty years so it is comforting to her…she feels his presence all around her but for me it brings sadness. I have not gone there much since his passing because I just can’t! You have to protect your heart too and not walk into what you know will add to the sadness of loss but I can tell you this…the cloud will ease away until there are more days that you see the sunshine and the memories will make you smile, not cry! It WILL happen, dear one! Hang in there!

    • Nan

      Thanks so much, Carla–you have a warm and wonderful heart and I appreciate you so much! The sadness just smacks you sometimes, doesn’t it? But maybe it’s just a reminder of how much we loved them? So glad you came by. <3