I've traveled a bit this year, though the idea is shadowed by the fact that it meant I was away from Bruno a great deal too, on his last year of life. Which constantly focuses the view of spending time with people I care for, doing things I want, rather than either returning to work (not "career") or holing up in comfortable but complacent solitude (so easy to do). I, or someone else I love, could be gone in no time—poof! Gone. No negotiating. I don't consider a long, drawn-out death the right time to spend time with someone, either. They won't have good memories of it, and the dying person's too delirious for it to be meaningful (well, maybe).
Anyway, we got to Houston on Christmas Day. It's the second day at the Crowne Plaza….I'm listening to KCRW world music, I've finally constructed the charm bracelet I've had the makings for since May, and I may actually make it to the museum district. We chose this hotel because they feature TempurPedic beds. They're pretty nice, although I mysteriously pulled my shoulder blade in the night. So far I'm convinced we need a king-sized bed.
I'm starting to feel a little more normal. December vaporized in the wake of Bruno's death and heating/electrical issues at the house. I've really only been aware of time since Mike got home. The fog is starting to lift. Bruno's ashes are on the mantle, with a portrait of him taken at the Belle St house on top of the carved wooden box. Sadness still plagues me daily, but now I wonder if he was giving me the opportunity to spend more time with Mike, who's always on the road.
A friend of mine believes that when a pet dies, they've taken on the burden of death or illness from someone. Did Bruno buy me more time? Or my mother? Certainly he didn't deserve that fate, but if that's true…it doesn't make me feel better but it does make me wonder about those odd superstitions. Perhaps they're not superstitions at all.
2008 looms before me. Cancer has changed the way I look and live, almost to the point where I don't recognize myself. But I recognize the character fighting through the layers of side effects, restrictions, and psychological confusion—and they're having a tough time sorting through the challenges. I can't complain—there are millions whose life during cancer hasn't been so nice. But the specter of death is always at my side, and it darkens even the brightest days.
This year's obituary is full of famous figures that filled the landscape of my youth. Many of the "great" people who shaped my generation are gone or fading away. But that's another post.
As I eat my way across the south, I'm thinking of y'all. I'll shoot for more cheeriness in the next posts ;)