The morning is crisp and cold – you can feel the air around you as you walk. Plumes of exhaust from fans and furnaces stretch straight up into the air, frozen like distended icicles. The sun is just beginning to peek through the houses to the east shining its new day light with golden richness. Except for a few stray wisps the sky looks as if it will be blue and bright today. This image around me is there no matter my mood and it is in me to notice this beauty in nature as she did. It is with conflicted emotions I meet this day, write of its promise, and yet reflect on what is missing. I predict it will never get easier.
It’s the kind of air you don’t breathe deeply for fear of freezing your lungs. It’s the still crispness you instantly feel in your nose hairs; it’s not overwhelming and hurtful, though, because there is no wind to slice through you. In any case, I did not hold hope that my car would start. After realizing the temperature, I left my freshly poured coffee and ventured out to attempt that which might be an impossible task. It’s all good, though – it started – the fine little beast. I won’t go into the story of why I can’t plug it in…
The need to reach out and still maintain my own independent vigil confuses my senses. My body reacts in pain to the numbness, to the cold, to the stress, to the ongoing goings on at a time when schedule demands push and pull. There is happiness and merriment all around even though it is not welcome inside. For me to wish everyone the best when I’m feeling my worst – it’s like a lie; an emotional untruth because it’s not what I really feel. I know I am not alone in this, my own situation, or in the bigger picture. I am not the first, and certainly not the last, to lose something precious in my life. It is the bipolar realization that you have to be here for the ones who still are all the while wanting to seclude yourself to the misery of what’s missing.
I slept okay last night despite yesterday’s worry about Dad. It has been and will be difficult the next few days but if something was to happen to him, too, it would surely be impossible to get through. He was up all Saturday night and called me Sunday morning to let me know he was sick. He just wanted me to check in periodically to ensure he was all right –a truly independent soul but fragile given the situation and all that he has gone through. It was with relief I received his call this morning, so changed from the day before – food poisoning took its short toll and he was back on his feet and out the door. He’s fine but not really.
Me, too – I’m fine but not really. I know I will be better, over time, but it is with reluctance I accept that willingly. That up and down feeling of good and bad will eventually level out and I know that doesn’t mean it’s okay – it just means I am healing. Right now it’s still too raw to feel good, to laugh seems out of place, to join in the merriment is simply out of the question. I have received some thoughtful gifts this year, ones that answer to an important part of me and all claim a place on one of those high points of this Christmas. I do want to acknowledge in this reflection the people who have been there and will continue to be there. Some are remotely affected because of their association with me and their love for me as a friend. Others are immediately immersed. No matter – I thank everyone for their patience and indulgence in my emotional status.
Writing is cathartic – as writers we extol the word’s virtue and succumb to its healing properties by expressing our deepest thoughts on paper… like purging a festering wound.