Although there is much good news to report on our current life here, today I can’t summon the focus to organize it all, to sort through photos and keep straight the chronology of events. My thoughts keep returning to the significance of this day in our personal history. It’s a cloudy, cool day here in Greenfield, and for that I’m glad. My soul isn’t up to sunshine right now. Today, I am remembering, and it feels as if the overcast skies are empathizing with me.
This is the week of my former parents-in-law’s wedding. Something like 55 years by now. Nothing sad there, but it reminds me that the other anniversary is coming soon… Today is the birthday of my ex-husband’s third child – his second son – born while we were still married; the child who changed our lives forever. And one year ago, on a rainy June night, Martha Carver died. That last one feels surreal to see in print, but I know that one day, like all the other once-surreal events of my life, it will be just another landmark in my life. It won’t hurt as much as it does now. Martha’s time had come, and she lived a full life. My sorrow over her death is the usual sort. And I suppose this day doesn’t hurt as much today as it did eight years ago on that afternoon when Elihu’s half-brother was born, but it still causes a little dark spot in my gut. Sorrow may diminish, but once there, it never fully goes away. At least that’s how it feels to me. I’m always amazed at the sorrow we human beings can live with. I realize it’s part and parcel of being here on this earth, but I’m still not a fan. I also realize that without sorrow and loss we might not fully appreciate what it is to have the people and things we love around us. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining; I don’t have it bad by any means, but still… Sorrow slows me down in my thinking and in my actions too, it bears heavy on my heart and makes me linger at the view of the hills outside my window, wondering and wondering…
Everything is as it should be. I have no regrets. The life that Elihu and I have created here in Greenfield is all that we could want. It may not have arrived in a way I would ever have expected, but somehow the crappy situation that brought us here gave birth to opportunities we never, ever would have had otherwise. Knowing this is what keeps me moving forward, even when sorrow continues to follow close behind. Our finances are still a stressful thing, dysfunction continues to thrive in my family, and the future is – even with all the potential for great things ahead – still uncertain. But even so, somehow, I’m able to put it all aside and help us to live our lives to the fullest. We have so much to look forward to, and Elihu and I are pretty good at enjoying the ride along the way, from quiet moments at home to jam-packed schedules and plates piled high with commitments. Silliness mitigates the sorrow, and hope for happier things to come helps to get us out of bed in the morning.
Click here for the story of how we came to live in Greenfield: Birth and Baptism
Click here for the story of Martha Ward Carver’s death: Remembering Martha
And finally, click here to see what’s been going on at The Studio – this is happier news to be sure.
2 thoughts on “Sorrow of June”
Best wishes for a more peaceful and joyful July than the “sorrowful June” may have been. Keep on cultivating silliness! That’s a pretty good thing to do, even if the word “silly” sounds a bit “tinny”! “Sorrow” is more “wooden”, but sometimes you have to chuck some of that wood aside for more light, tinny, silly things.
I hope this doesn’t sound too goofy, but the two concepts of the passing of time remind me of things in nature. The “linear” time concept fits in with the way that we find consecutive sedimentary layers in soil and rock, while the “circular” concept of time fits in with the way that moons and planets move in circular orbits. The “time is circular” idea reminds me of vinyl LPs: when there is a significant event in one’s life (like a death of a loved one), it’s like a bad scratch in a record. Every time that you pass by that spot in time (any time around the date of event), there is still an impression of that scratch the first several times around. The first few “anniversaries” of the loss, you feel it more freshly again. For really bad things, it’s an echo and a reminder which never really goes away, although it does soften over time.
Of course, life isn’t an LP record, and we can be glad for that! I’m even more glad that life isn’t an 8-Track Tape! That would make the “circular” time concept a bit annoying after awhile, especially if your favorite songs get cut in the middle…
Have a happy 4th of July, and keep safe! Can you believe that it has been 40 YEARS since the Bicentennial and “All the Presidents’ Men”?
Love that LP scratch analogy… And silly, although a ‘tinny’ sounding word, is a good thing indeed. ‘Indeed’, now there’s a woody word….