He picked me up in the blue Tucson – the one that used to be Mom’s, and he drove the first leg of the trip out to my sister’s for coffee. We talked about work and weather and the state of things within our family dealings. At one point I felt scolded, as if a child, just because my views don’t match those of others. I feel like a rebel as they may never be the same and I hold independence and freedom of thought close to my heart. I said I didn’t care but that was taken out of context – it is not that I don’t care, but rather, I care too much to let the numbers overshadow that which is truly irreplaceable – her. I am not oblivious or swayed by what others know to be their truths realizing we should all decide for ourselves and hold true to your own. I am me – and there were tears. But he had his tears, too. Dad stated bluntly that no one could know the extent of his loss – she was his life and now he just exists.
We talked of subjects I feared would be hard to broach; but, in all honesty, they were easy once the emotional trench was dug. I flooded it with inquiries, comments, and questions so he would be aware of the things we already knew, already had in the works – we, being those I have spoken to about the subjects we discussed. There is cause for concern but we found truths and revelations in our conversation. But, there were also things that need further clarification. What one chooses for their last resting place is personal yet it cannot be so personal that no one else is privy to the preference. At one point, he admitted he would have chosen cremation and the spot to rest – now he chooses to be by her side forever, and we have that covered.
The blue icing skies were smeared with fluffy white marshmallow clouds. The warmth of the mid-February sun at +2 kissed the snow-covered fields making them shine like meringue, rich sweet and browned in patches with winter wheat or grasses or weeds peeking through the snow. Crows and coyotes plump with an abundant taking of winter road kill watched from the ditches as our vehicle passed by… We encountered a quizzical little animal on the highway and in the wondering “what it was” realized quickly that the vehicle next to us determined what it wasn’t… alive… so quick a life can end. It was puzzling until we saw one right outside my sister’s house under her truck. We determined the little animal to be a muskrat – and we wondered of its frequency in sightings (there were plenty for the crows and coyotes along the highway) and did it hibernate? A search provided the answer – no – but it usually sits at home content to feed on the stores built up for winter survival. It ventures out at first sight of spring…
As nature takes its course and one is lost leaving others to go on, we must embrace the life around us. Take time to smile at the sunshine, wonder of the creatures, and feel pleasure in the company of those still here. We must let those hurtful things go that bog us down with anger or bitterness; accept that your views don’t have to match those around you to be just as viable. We must also venture out into the big world to discover what it has to offer – no matter our fears – and appreciate life in the moment.