The other day I watched a guy on an orange Vespa, just like Chris's, drive down the road and disappear around the corner. Then I felt a million tiny needles prick my heart. Recently I noticed that trees looked like the ones on the Talahina Drive during that trip we made to see Dad during Thanksgiving. It was one of the last visits I made where Dad actually knew who I was. It was the last good visit. These are the kind of bitter sweet visions that when they flood my brain, they force me to lay flat on the floor staring at the ceiling while waiting for them to fade away. The other day I read a blog post written by a woman who recently lost her husband. She said something about not being good at loss. I wanted to tell her that no one is good at loss. There's no grading system for grief. There's no good or bad. You just deal or you learn to accept that grief is just always with you in some way or another.
In fact, I've noticed the you'll reach a point where you think "hey! I'm doing A Okay!" and then grief will sneak in and give you a titty twister worse than any playground bully. Because we have memories. We remember things like how Chris and I used to zip around town together on our scooters and how there were few moments when you could catch Chris with grin on his face. When he was on his scooter, he would grin like a fool. Those were good times. I remember all those times Dad would just randomly show up at work and take me to lunch and how even on that Thanksgiving visit before he forgot me, he was cracking jokes. Grief is that little alarm that goes off telling you "It's time! It's time to remember!" This is where you determine if you are a glass-is-half-full or a glass-is-half-empty kind of person. This is where you choose how to let those memories affect you and your present life.
I am thankful for each memory because before it was a memory it was an experience. I was a part of that. I was an active participant and that's what I am most grateful for. I am grateful for those scooter rides with Chris. I will even admit to being a little grateful that he didn't replace that scooter after he wrecked it. I missed our rides together, but it provided me with independence and something of my own when it was just me riding around on a scooter. I am thankful for those lunches with Dad. I am thankful for that last really good visit with him. Sometimes I am even thankful for the grief. The fact that I can still get waylaid by grief at times is proof of the value and importance of those relationships.
I am thankful for evenings on the couch where the cat and the dog both think they have to be on the couch with us. It's just a pile because the couch is tiny. I am thankful for crisp morning rides. I am thankful for trees that look like they are on fire with their red dazzling leaves. I am thankful for the dead mouse Josephine brought me this morning. Actually, I told Josephine how nice it was for her to bring me a present, but I wasn't really all that happy about it. But between her and the cat, maybe we'll see less mice this season. That is something to be thankful for right there. As always, I am thankful for you.
Here's to a beautiful weekend and a wonderful Thankful Friday.