09 May 2010

I Gather Armfuls

So disorienting: the Primary kids didn't sing their annual mother-songs in church today. What?

That's why I have to post this song. Even though it's the same one I posted two days ago. No dancing with a floor lamp this time, just beautiful people.

Oh, I love these kids. Love. Them.

Good things happened today. (Happy Mothers Day, y'all, that is, if you haven't already checked out and gone to bed.) For instance:
  • a dream of about a dozen or so women, all in gorgeous maxi dresses
  • a nice warm wakeup call from my favorite person
  • "the perfect diner egg" and hash browns, eaten on the run
  • wearing Grandma Daphne's orange bakelite necklace with the magic black $8 dress and not feeling like Halloween
  • feeling nurtured by Vincent love, empathy, and laughter (I could write a lengthy post just counting up reasons I adore them)
  • being blessed by a friend's beautiful dream (she even let me act in it)
  • little girls in bright summery maxi frocks 
  • getting to see my Kim who's home from USU for the summer
  • Rob's delicious shortbread (so good in fact that he should be made an honorary Scot)
  • not being handed a funeral carnation at church for Mothers Day
  • lunch AND dinner at Tribal Headquarters
  • creating paper rose wreaths
  • the Blueberry Hackworths finally drying to their perfect point of readiness (i.e., wearing and not melting the confectioner's sugar)
  • making frosting with Amy
  • helping Jeanne through a migraine
Other good things happened this weekend too, including:
  • an elegant bouquet of tall irises from my honey
  • sharing our refrigerator roulette lunch and some good conversation with Suzanne's painter
  • scrubbing the bathroom of a young friend on her moving day (the fun part was amusing myself with self-talk like, "You're a Christian martyr, yes, that's what you are, a Christian martyr!")
  • promotional free eats at Orem's new Café Paesan Italian Bistro on Friday—good food from the people who opened Café Rio—tastes like a winner
  • laughing too loudly with Rob while looking at travel books in the public library
  • Dad B, despite being in so much pain he can hardly walk this weekend:
    • coming over with Mum and surprising me with a a visit
    • bringing me a pot of beautiful dark lilies because he wanted to help "make it a better Mothers Day"
    • giving me great bear hugs and love-yous
  • actual squirrels! with long bushy tails! 
  • walking by Utah Lake
  • yellow-headed blackbirds and the way they land and go for rides on tall phragmites 
  • tiny yellow warblers
  • the sax player who was out on the airport road, improvising jazz while accompanied by peepers, ducks, coots, and all sorts of noisy creatures
  • giant bulls in a field that look just like our former stake president's family
  • partying with the cousins to celebrate 6-year-old Bethany (and if you want a piece of genuine Mothers Day sweetness, you WILL click that last link)
  • toxic Cheetos
  • everybody's pregnant (well, I'm not, but nearly everyone else is and really, truly, I think that's wonderful)
Hurdles I got over:
  • baby weepies (several rounds)
  • fatigue
  • missing my matriarchs
  • missing absent in-laws
  • burning both hands all over while catching a great ol' big blob of hot glue (saved the table though)
  • not being able to stop smelling the pernicious phantom must for two days after scrubbing my friend's toilet (see: moving day, above)
This next part doesn't belong on any of the above lists, but I want to put it somewhere for safe keeping. I'm warning you now that if you want to avoid reading a real piece of sadness, stop now and visit the next blog on your list. 

A woman who was a member of our church congregation for a time moved across town a few short months ago to an apartment complex for retired people. Sylvia was 61, divorced, a nice and gentle lady, also I think very lonely. She dealt with some sort of mental illness I could never quite get my mind around—nothing dangerous to anyone else, but it made her quite odd at times. And the woman could talk, boy howdy. Rob was her home teacher for a while, and I like to think we were friends. Apparently, she died just recently. It seems that no one knows what caused her death. Her new bishop, who was her current home teacher, tried phoning her and couldn't connect with her as usual, so he went to her apartment to try to get in, thinking she might be in trouble. But she was already ten days beyond her trouble by then. He found her seated in her living room with her coat on. Her front door was unlocked. Ten days, no one looked for her, no one knew a thing. It rips me to pieces. 

No funeral. No obituary. No family?

I trust she's okay now, that she's having a marvelous reunion with people who care for her, and she's able to feel light and well and happy, since she's left her pains and illness behind. I believe with all my heart she was welcomed home with beautiful brilliant love, more than enough to let her know how important she is. But those ten awful days, they haunt me. They make me ache. After I heard the news today everyone around me looked different and I felt a fierce surge of interest in them. The desire to be more aware and attentive in my relationships doubled, tripled, quadrupled.

Where I feel the yearning most is in my hands. I want to be touching people more. Knocking on doors. Dare I say it?—picking up the telephone. (That's how I know this is serious.) Working, helping, holding. If a day set aside to honor mothering isn't the time for those kinds of desires to increase, I don't know when is the time. My hands need to be busier with nurturing. I only have these two hands and they're not always as strong as I'd like them to be, but they weren't stuck on the ends of my arms so I'd get good at standing around and wringing them. 

I want to have some kind of personal memorial for Sylvia. Maybe it'll just be a walk & think. Maybe a Mcdonald's chocolate shake (her favorite) with a friend. Maybe I'll try to make a new friend. That's it. That's what I need to do. Awkwardness, be damned.

I'm reminded of a really beautiful talk I've listened to several times already, by one of my modern heroes. If you didn't catch the LDS General Conference last month, this will be new to you, and likely a real uplift. Give it a listen. 


Sweets said...

Beautiful post once again. I was especially touched by your memorial of Sylvia. Yes, your post itself is a memorial to her, and I, too, am inspired to touch and nurture more.

I also liked this statement so much, I added it to my compilation of quotes: "I only have these two [hands] and they're not always as strong as I'd like them to be, but they weren't stuck on the ends of my arms so I'd get good at standing around and wringing them. ” --Geo Buchert, brilliant writer, former classmate, and friend

God bless you, Geo! ((hugs))

Jamie said...

I can't believe thos kids! Thank for posting that--I love them, too (so into it! they get it!), but I love their teacher ore for teaching them that song!

So much to say and think about in your post. I love you so much. I feel so grateful that Papa B gave you flowers and bear hugs. I got a good hug from my FIL (who is a sober swede who does not hug much), too, and that was good. MoDay is always hard when you're not with your kin, no matter where they are. But it's nice to be part of a family withenough love to fill the gap. XOXOXO

Jessie said...

I don't know what happened, I offered our primary's voices, but we weren't invited in the end. I, too, was very disappointed--this was my first year with a sunbeam, and I was so looking forward to hearing and seeing her sing.

I'm sorry to hear about Sylvia. I never had the chance to meet her, but what a sad end. I am sure you're right, though, her reunion must've been wonderful.

Becca said...

Truly tragic about Sylvia. That hurts my heart.

wendysue said...

Oh! Those voices! (Music programs for schools!!)

I loved your tribute to Slyvia. . .reminds me to care more for those around me.

p.s. was it a church-wide thing? I missed our primary kids voices too. . .

Scott said...

Your tribute to Sylvia was truly touching. Thanks for sharing. I have often feared that this would be the way I would go.

Geo said...

Lots of love to all of you.

Jessie, it's always bittersweet for me to hear those kids, but I hardly know what to do without them.

Becca, you knew her too, didn't you?

Scott, I hope you can let that one go. What an awful feeling that must be. Love you!