There are two family birthdays that share this date and now they are in the forefront.
As others have written about their own experiences, that time two years ago for me and, indeed, even the entire 9 preceding years of caregiving, slides further into the fog of history.
Yet, I do remember. In my own way I experience and handle the emotions of those memories.
The are many emotions: the lingering grief and sadness mixed with relief that I had managed to reach the end; the sorrow that I did not do better; the loss of my father and partner and friend; the loss of my identity -- again; the fear and excitement of the future unknown including the finding of my new "self."
It seems strange to me but the solitary time yesterday spent with shovel and wheelbarrow and the four horses was part of that process for me. It took more than 2 hours and I was worn out at the end.
Push the scoop beneath the poop until it was full and lift it to the wheelbarrow. Bucky first, then Jet in turn, had to bite one handle of the wheelbarrow and turned it over in the doing. Curious horses but so fearful of even the tiniest thing. Then push the wheelbarrow through the wet but drying lot out to the corral pasture. And do it again and again and again and finally the concrete pad is evident.
Someone asked me why I did not hire someone to do that hard and not particularly pleasant work for me. I replied that I wanted to do it myself.
But I think I did it because it would have been something my Dad would have enjoyed doing. I could imagine the two of us doing that together although it was not part of my imagining yesterday. In retrospect though I think that's a large part of why I did it.
I remember as a child how much I enjoyed working with my Dad on the farm. At the time I never would have believed that those experiences would be remembered instead of other things.
Then later when we were business partners and I relished every day seeing him and being with him. Now it is my own son that I see daily -- and relish seeing, too.
And I think of where I am myself on the curve of time.
And I think of all those others who have traveled much the same path before me.
And I think of those friends who share this time with me and I wish them all the best.
Nine Years and Counting
4 weeks ago