distillation

Hello, friends. It’s been a minute.

To be honest, I didn’t know if I could write this. I still don’t. But it seems necessary.

I don’t know where to start. It seems like I should start at the end, since that is what today marks.

The Geek’s dad died a year ago today. In the year since, as many of you know, there was, well, a lot. So much.

6 weeks in a gero psych ward for his mother. Visits with her court-appointed lawyer and social worker. Visits to a small building with a low ceiling on the campus of NW Hospital, whose smell I will never forget. Cheap coffee and cleaner and old people and old things. Court visits via video to decide if she would stay or go.

We watched her waste away. We sat by her side and pretended it was just a regular part of our day.  Unable to change a thing. Waiting. So much waiting.

She moved into a facility that took good care of her. She didn’t know that. Or us. We went to visit anyway, because that is what you do when there is nothing else to do. We answered the phone when they called to say she fell. And found her asleep on the floor in the hall or in her room. She preferred that. We filled out hospice forms, twice. And we waited.

Meanwhile. We sold the one thing we had longer than our kids. We sold the bar. The thing that defined us. It was a leap but the time felt right, the people we sold it to felt right.

But even with that, there was grief. 2019 was nothing but grief. Grief in every color and pattern. It became hard to remember a time without it. Loss was everywhere, all the time.

Darlyne passed away February 5th. We rented a house at the beach to decompress with friends. Little did we know. Oh, how little.

At the end of February, the shit started to hit the fan with the coronavirus. We naively thought everything would be fine for our trip to Europe departing April 1. Of course, it is not. The trip is now postponed until September, but even that may not happen. More grief.

And so now we are at the beginning. The beginning of the new normal, maybe. Where friends are on your screen, not at your table. Where you worry about jobs and bills and health, in the middle of something you have absolutely no control over. Where you have lost the self you used to be.  Now I am grieving the loss of others as well as myself, outside these four walls. Reinvention is uncomfortable and uncertain and I have had enough of uncertainty.

Surely, this cannot last. But nothing will ever be the same. None of it.

Meanwhile, I plan the party we will have if we emerge from this. Something to ease the endless grief. Because if nothing else, this year has taught me that the trite is true, and I appreciate every tiny good thing, every snarky comment and every hug from all my wonderful people.

And so it goes. Stay safe. Much love.