Friday, October 24, 2008

Somebody Loves Me, and a little philosophy

I've been trying to write some difficult things, and it is not coming easily.

I write. I cry. I get up and pace. I grab a tissue and wipe my eyes. I blow my nose. I sit back down to write some more. Repeat.

I'm not finished. I am not satisfied with what I've written. I need to write this down, but for now, it isn't working. The story isn't coming out the way I want to see it. These words are the same words I use every day, but this day they don't sound like the idea I am trying to convey.

I save the drafts, and go looking through my collection of photographs. I find some that make me smile. And more. I smile through my tears. My tears dry up. I'm smiling. I know the tears will be back, but for this moment, I'm remembering how much fun we had together, and I'm smiling.

I decide that I want to share a happy moment with you today, instead of something serious and painful. Yes, there were a lot of serious moments in my life with Margret, but the happy moments were more plentiful, far more plentiful. I loved her very much, and she loved me. I love her still. Now I have to decide which one of all these happy memories it will be. Eeny, meeny, minie, moe. . . . THIS one!

It's Valentine's Day and a big white truck pulls up to the curb. The driver rings the bell and knocks on the door. "I have a delivery for Margret," says the driver, handing over two floral express boxes. I sign for them, because Margret is out right now, volunteering.

One box contains iris reticulatus and tulips.

I run water into the glass vase that comes with them, add the packet of flower preservative and stir, then arrange the flowers.

The other box contains bright red roses and babies breath.

Following directions, I arrange the flowers in their vase after cutting off the bottommost bit of stem.

Margret comes home from volunteering to see the boxes, read the address, and say, "Somebody loves me!"

Then we read the card together and she wanted me to send the flowers back. The flowers came from Margret's dad, the ex-husband who lives a dozen states away. During their growing up years, he almost never sent cards or presents to the girls for birthdays or holidays. Sometimes he would pick up the telephone to wish one a happy birthday, but he wasn't consistent. B would run and hide under the bed rather than talk to him on the phone. C would talk to him, but when she did, there was a sort of wariness in her demeanor. I can't remember him calling to talk to D, but that might just be my memory.

I suspect he was hoping to make up for some of joy he missed out on.

*sigh* This memory was not perfectly happy, but what event is entirely joy, entirely pain, entirely one thing or the other? Isn't it sadness versus sunshine that makes life brighter? Doesn't the contrast between tears and joy make a happy moment happier?

If you ever figure it out, please let me know.

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