Snow’s too deep to gather walnuts

That’s about how I’m feeling these days.  Time to stop standing around in the shower, crying, and venture out of the dark world of the past month.  On the other hand, I’m finally grieving openly (the husband is traveling so I have time to!).

A bit of holiday decoration for the house, preparating for a real Christmas tree.  It’s been eight years since our last one.  It’s now 20 feet tall, growing in my sister’s front yard.  Cancer pretty much drained us of the whole materialistic, celebratory drive that the holidays have become.  Mostly we snuggled with tea and cookies in a minimally decorated house and watched the ruthless shopping days tick by, or traveled somewhere.  This year there’s a new rug for the living room, lights…I even bought a holiday tablecloth!  So I’m trying.  But it’s been pretty tough.

My brother was hospitalized over Thanksgiving, and I fear it marks the beginning of chronic pulmonary problems.  This adds to the stress and burden my parents are already bearing at their old age (a very sad, sensitive situation).

My friend Naomi, whom I met on Vox, passed away on December 2nd.  If I could honor her memory by having one iota of the character and composure she displayed throughout her cruel battle with lung cancer, I might do justice to this fight.  I say this as the fear of progression and metastasis grows within me, bourne of nagging pains I didn’t have a month ago.  I’ve actually taken a Vicodin to sleep, and am thinking about it again!  Her Mom has graciously offered to help me, which is an incredible blessing, as I don’t really have an advocate and she has far more combat experience.

Finally, my sister-in-law called this morning with news that an X-ray for carpal tunnel in my brother-in-law’s right arm led to a CT scan which showed a mass in one of his lungs.  The primary doctor was certain enough of the findings to obtain an oncology appointment for him.  Diagnosis is not confirmed, but they’re gearing up for the worst.

It’s said that the mind shuts down in times of duress in order to protect one from pain.  The day of Naomi’s passing was surreal.  Her Mom called as I wandered aimlessly around Target, looking at curtains and what not.  My mind went blank the moment I saw the call come in.  I literally couldn’t say or ask anything—I knew.  I had known for weeks that this call would come.  In spite of my relief that Naomi no longer suffered, I was overcome with loss and a deep, deep sadness.  I suddenly felt so alone on the ice floe that cancer had relegated us to.  The frozen waters were taking my companions one by one, and I was out there, in the darkness, without her hand to hold or the bit of light she cast.

As I crawled in bumper-to-bumper traffic, I couldn’t for the life of me recall  whether I had loaded the groceries into the car or where I had disposed of the cart.  I tried to visualize myself placing bags in the car, but, nothing.  I was amazed to find my purchases in the trunk.  That was scary.

I need to shake off this funk and do something constructive.  I need to get my affairs in order…sigh.  I keep saying that.   I suppose I really just need to work through all of this so I can move on.  I’m very tired and I wish I could sleep for a hundred years.

On a lighter note, I had dinner with friends/ex-coworkers the other night.  It was wonderful, full of lively conversation and laughter.  It brought me into the world for a bit and really helped my psyche.  I miss those friendships and the social life of work.

Today is the three-year anniversary of Bruno’s death.   I’m sure he was fully realized in his last life and hope he is someone or something distinguished in his new life.

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6 thoughts on “Snow’s too deep to gather walnuts

  1. Dear Jazz

    Please celebrate christmass..enjoy what you can. ! I know its hard but you deserve it!
    The loss of Naomi is very very sad..like you i will never forget her.

    I hope you can give the loss of Naomi a place in your heart.

    Love Caroline

    • Yes, many toasts to commemorate those we’ve loved and lost and those we hold dear with hope, like you 😉 I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday too!

  2. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend and feel, too strongly perhaps, the sense of aloneness you so poetically describe and relate to that wandering and lost expedition to Target. Once, when driving back from who knows what errand after my mother’s death, I caught myself going around in a circle–literally. The entrance to our subdivision had a circle in it and I drove around it, completely, at least once before I caught myself. It might have been more than once. I was so shaken by the sense that I was moving so unawares, I had to pull over, cry, then calm myself down.

    Be gentle and kind to yourself.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Angelique. Loss is so universal, but descriptions elude most. You have a gift for story and I appreciate that so much! Love your blog, BTW (just saw it now but will link to it!). HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and your family 😉

  3. I am wounded by your loss and the reminder of your old loss and i trieds not to cry as i read this…I have so much to be thankful for and of course cannot stop living and living my life just because other people are unable to do the same…but those are just words…platitudes….how can I not feel hurt for you and wish that I could somehow give you some of my strength….sure I may need it myself one day but hopefully what goes around comes right back at me. My grandmother died on the morining of my French exam Freshman year at OSU and not only did I not remember driving to school and taking the exam I also got an A…sometimes shock and grief must create a pathway to your creativity…maybe it just knocks out all the other noise? Perhaps that explains so many great writers/poets/artists ….some of them always seem to have great loss in their lives.

    • Hey Karen, thanks for stopping by. I miss your photos and musings! Happy Christmas and holidays and I hope all is well with you!

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