Dreary day for the most part after such a beautiful sunny weekend. Had our first barbeque Saturday night with our buddy Gary. The guys went shopping for the food and they put it altogether and I just wheezed around the house and then trudged on out into the yard and plopped myself down in front of the little firepit and immediately got spewed on by massive quantities of smoke. A mighty, mighty wind came for me! I had to put on a hooded sweat shirt and winter scarf and mittens as it turned cold later on but it was so nice sitting out in our yard looking at the flowers starting to bloom and the trees leafing out, and we saw lots of yellow finches, cardinals, blue jays, but some Canadian geese, mallards and then two Great Blue Herons all heading into the sunset. It was mellow and pleasant with good conversation and company.
Today it was pouring rain--April showers--and gloomy and dreary and dark clouds. But I had to work anyway so tough noogies. When I had gotten home to spend time with Jeff before he went to work, the sun was out and I knew there had to be a rainbow somewhere, but I was too lazy to go hunt it down. Did I tell you folks the time the rainbow went through me while I was driving up north the day after my sister-in-law's funeral years ago? It was a huge electrical storm, flash-flooding sort of thing, and lots of drivers were pulling off the road and waiting for it to pass. I saw this huge rainbow off to the east and it was like the "end" of it kept moving towards the west, the field, the side of the road, the middle of the road, then FLASH! right through the center of our van and through me!! I was going, "Oh my god! Shit! It's going right through me!" and it was awesome. I was energized from the lightning, anyway, and this flipped me out. It is something I'll never forget. No pot of gold, just a golden glow of happiness.
So after Jeff went to work, I typed up a form for work to take in tomorrow, then felt stir-crazy walking around the house like a goofball. So I decided to sneak out to Sally's (Salvation Army) and see if there were any great cheap thrill bargains. I immediately found a t-shirt for my ex-husband, Billy, who was born on Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and who I had told years ago when we were splitting up, "Hey! everytime I see a penny, I'll think of you!" (yeah, I was mean, I could've said a $5 bill, but no! I had to say penny) and this t-shirt had a huge penny on it and it said "Camp Abe Lincoln" so I bought it + 2 summer shirts for myself, all for $6.37, and I decided to go over to visit him and his wife, Ruth, and, come to find out, his son's pitbull and beagle, too!
Well, soon as I came in the house the pitbull decided she loved my sweater (gladly, I bought that at Sally's, too) and by the time I had merely sat down 5 mins later, Gator had chewed about 5-6 holes in my sweater and shredded some of it. I decided better the sweater than me, and I felt really bad that I'd woken Billy up from a nap which he no doubt needed badly, and Ruth had to put on her bathrobe with company coming in and I just seemed to turn the whole house upside down. So I gave Billy his t-shirt, got the latest update on his very poor state of health (he is trying to get on a liver transplant list at U of M Hosp with no success so far) and laughed some with Ruth and Jake (and the dogs, who thankfully got put outside for a reprieve for me) then I decided it'd be a good time to get my ass home before a chunk got chewed out of it (yes, Gator got asked back in--perhaps it's because I smell like my cat? she just loves me!)
But I guess I put some little bit of a different moment in their lives, and surely in mine, and amongst all of it was the fact that I will always love William Dean Jarvis, and I am glad that his wife welcomed me over anytime--though I'm not sure how much they all get a kick out of the pitbull wanting to chew on me. I hope he likes his t-shirt ... it did cost me $1--that's 100 pennies! It was hard seeing him bundled up in lots of clothes and a sleeping bag with his oxygen hooked into his nose--and sounding pretty frustrated with sitting at U of M Hosp for over 3 hrs, talking to someone for only 15 mins and then being told they'd forgotten to tell the doctor he was there, being told he wasn't able to get on the liver transplant list yet--and that 15% of those waiting who ARE on the list die before they get ON it--and that those who have the transplant, 15% have lots of complications...that he'd gotten no encouragement anywhere. When he said, "You call this living?" I said, well, yes, at least someone who cares about you can come over and give you a dumb ass t-shirt and say hello to you...and he said, yeah, that was the highlight of his life, the rest of the time it was sitting in that chair huddled under a sleeping bag to stay warm. I wish so often the choices of those I've loved, including myself, had been different, that there had been less "escapism" and more "living life" ... but it's a fine line to decide what is right for someone else and, again, there's that hindsight and not foresight. But Billy was one of my brother's very good friends, also, like my husband Jeff was, and since I was never able to say goodbye to my brother, though I don't like to think of my visits as "goodbyes" to Billy, but we never know, do we? it is meaningful to me that, regardless of what each visit turns out like, I am making the effort to let him--and them--know that I do care and always will and maybe their hardships are lessened somehow knowing that someone a little bit "out of the loop" cares.
I put a photo of the Mackinac Bridge here today because I yearn so much to feel the freedom of being in the Upper Peninsula, or even up north where my parents were from, where me and Dana were born. I miss the Lakes and the birches and pines and the big rock formations. For now, I'll be happy grilling out in the yard, because that, too, is filled with wonderful memories and beauty. And I know happiness there as well.