Spring break !!! It is nice to have a break, but, my list of To Dos is huge, and the projects I try to do, end up taking a lot longer than I had planned. Will I ever be organized again ??? I will start with this. I have a dear friend, her husband died last summer. They had been married many years. They had a wonderful relationship. Not often heard of nowadays. She has told me of some of her experiences, tasks that brought deep ache. Like driving by a special location, that previously held precious memories of young love, now-for a time-sorrow. She has let me know when my posts make tears flow. Our losses are very different. Our pain, however, seems to hurt the same. I hope to find a way to be a better friend. Her and I have a friend in common. This friend lost dear family members, with not many days in between each loss. In listening to her, I realized, grief runs deep. It makes no difference who died how, it is plumb, painful. Those of us grieving are told to live for today. What does that really mean ?
Back to spring break. Since I had some time not driving bus, I decided to drive to some special places and take photos, as I try to figure out how to put together a memory trail for Shawn’s children / my grands. One of those special places, reminded me of; a Grandpa, a Grandma and an Uncle, no longer here. Precious memories. Their losses are not as poignant, as they used to be, in past drive bys. Sometimes, I prefer the ache, that some think I am letting engulf me. It is a love pain for a precious person that is never coming back.
While taking some photos, I upset some people, especially, when my retired work friend came out to greet me. This watcher seemed pretty upset. Standing across the street, arms crossed, and a very unpleasant continence. I went to the street, to ask the lady if something was wrong. Plus, I was sure the man, talking on his phone, was calling the police on me. My friend was at my van writing down contact information. I asked her if she knew the lady, and told her that I needed to go talk to the lady, to make sure she didn’t misunderstand. ??? Here is the interesting part. My friend and I crossed the street. I asked the lady what I had done wrong. At that point, the man and his phone, boarded the bus. The lady said our body language didn’t look right. She had been watching me take photos. In fact, I had to stand, in front of her house, to take one. I explained that I was taking photos of special places for a memory trail for my son’s children. My friend’s son had told her I was outside, so she came to visit. The lady apologized, as much as I would have, had it been me. She said that there are a lot of bad goings on around their houses-she was just making sure all was fine. I went into more detail, as to why I was taking photos. Tears formed, as I told the lady about Shawn’s dying. She felt so bad for my having to go through such a loss. I showed our (Melissa, Shawn and myself) first Oregon apartment, after my divorce. She just kept feeling bad about everything. I showed her where my Grandparents laundromat, was, now a vacant building. I did not realize until then, how close the two places were. All this got the two neighbors sharing names and how long, each family had lived in the area. AND, it maybe that this lady’s parents knew my Grandparents. I plan a return trip. Before the lady went back home she gave hugs and begged for forgiveness for misjudging. I told her all was fine. I told her how glad I was that she had stayed there watching us, and I was glad I had the guts to talk to her and find out what I had done wrong. I told her I needed to clear the air. I did not want to leave with a bad attitude towards her. So, these two ladies living next to each other, met. The 3 of us may have connections from many years gone by. I am looking forward to my next visit. Interesting- I wonder what God was up to. I had more stops. I thought I had done a good job notifying friends about Shawn’s death. I was at Johnson City. I hadn’t driven through there in years. The loss ache kept increasing, as I drove closer to where we (Bob, Melissa, Shawn and myself) had lived. Many memories: helping the garbage men, bubble towns and an igloo, were only a few that began flooding my mind. I approached our neighbors house, knocked and planned my wordings. The neighbor answered. Yes, he knew who I was. I told him of my plans for a memory trail for Shawn’s children. He stepped back. Happy that Shawn had children, but what about a memory trail. I felt so bad. I thought I had gotten word to him regarding Shawn. Tears trickled down his face, as I gave him the information he wanted. He was so sad. He had many precious memories from our years as neighbors. He loved Melissa and Shawn as if they were his own niece and nephew. I told him I would be coming back after school was out, to get memories recorded. He loved the idea. At the same time, we mentioned the igloo he and another neighbor had helped Melissa and Shawn build. He started getting sad, again. He apologized. He said he still hurt from losing his mother and aunt, in the last 2 years. Hearing about Shawn, stirred up emotions. I kept talking until things seemed bearable. He told me I should visit the neighbor ladies, a few trailers down.
I, stopped at the pond. Took photos. I hope Melissa will enjoy them. I decided to head back and go visit our past neighbors. It had been more than 10 years. I, introduced myself. When I mentioned Melissa and Shawn, the light went off. Her girls had played, a lot, with my kids. The woman explained that her mom was having challenges remembering people, and many other things. Caring for her mom had been very hard. Years ago, Grandma D had told me many stories about her life, as an Indian. She had, also, been gifted at making beautiful wears. How things change. I explained what I was planning on doing this next summer, and why. My friend began crying. She left the room. The daughter, who had come in, behind me, explained that her sister had died, about 10 years ago. She, herself, quit school, got her G.E.D., so she could be home for her mom-who’s daughter’s death, took her to the point of not wanting to live anymore. The daughter said she remembered, well, the fun times all four had had. My friend came back. She decided it was safe to just let the tears flow, we all did. Grandma D., also, joined the group. She was concerned about the wind blowing my hair around. There have been many news reports about situations where life was ended. My heart aches, deeply, for all those who are grieving. Lately, I prefer not to hear the news, too many triggers. I have not been keeping up with very many friends, Therefore, I did not know about the loss a dear friend is dealing with. Out of the blue I messaged her. She told me the details. I was so sad for not being there for my friend. I will always appreciate the thoughtfulness of my friend and her mother, all their messages were so encouraging, during Shawn’s situation. Loss is loss, no matter whom or how or when. Have Patience.