just ponderin'

… when it rains (apples)

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Man oh man oh man.

The past couple of weeks have been very interesting to say the least.

Hang on to your hats while I list some stuff:

We’ve had some sort of head cold/sort of fever/kind of cough thing going around the house.  I’ve been calling it the Creeping Crud because first it hung out with Gabe, then creeped over into JoHn, then over to me… then it morphed into something just different enough to creep back to Gabe (poor kid’s been sick for nearly three weeks) and it isn’t funny and now we are quite sick of being sick and so we are cranky.

Somewhere in there, Gabe came home with one of those looks on his face… the one where you just know the thing you warned him to be careful not to have happen (I’ve had 2 1/2 other teenagers before Gabe)… well that thing?

It happened.

The old SUV was in the shop and he’d been using the baby car for a couple of days – as in “JoHn’s Baby” car – under threats of maiming, torture, and/or death should he scratch it or otherwise muck it up.

He was driving through a small parking lot at school, and a car started to back out.

So he stopped.

Car didn’t see him.

Driver either.

So he beeped.

Still nothing, and no time to back up.

He beeped again.

Smash!

Then he got out, and the adult in the other car got out.

Said the backup beep-y thing must not have been working.

?!

Looked at her car.

Looked at Gabe’s car.

And left!

Poor kid.  He had a friend in the car, and it was at the soccer field so there were heaps of witnesses.  Everyone is okay, and the insurance company said he was not at fault, but still.

So the baby car – my therapy car – needs some cosmetic surgery STAT (maybe a brow lift and some botox… we’re not sure about a full face lift).

And it turns out that I needed it – the therapy it offers – because after that Grampa’s youngest sister – JoHn’s Aunt Janet – was suddenly and unexpectedly in hospice, and passed away days later.  So the house was filled again, a bit too quickly, with talks of wake and funeral plans.

Yesterday, I found a day to head up to Maine -for just an hour or so – to meet with Derek-the-builder and Brandy-the-drawing-lady-who-I-think-is-an-architect-maybe-but-I-forgot-to-ask.  We are doing some work to ensure that, should Granny ever need it (or we ever need it) we have space for a bedroom on the first floor.

The morning was cool and sunny… crispy, early fall.

I got into the dinged up Baby Car and pressed the button to lower the top and took a deep breath before I eased into first and wound down the driveway.

I had a lot in my brain, and driving is such a great way to sort it out.

I know it will sound scary to say I remember little of the ride, but I promise I was perfectly safe…

Well, I probably was.

When I drove into the driveway in Maine three hours later, it smelled of something sweet…

Apples.

Sure, they were all on the ground… hundreds and hundreds of them. We are never at the house when they ripen and are ready to pick.

So they’d fallen.

And the smell of cider lingered in the air.

A reminder of what was.

There was no way for me to avoid the thoughts that washed over me (mostly because I have not yet figured out how to give myself a rest by removing my brain an recharging it in another room).

Of course, the most impactful of all events that occurred over the past week or so, Grampa’s sister leaving this world held the most to think about.  The end of her life – at least on this planet – muscled our head colds and dinged up car way into the background.

Thank you, Perspective.

She also died just a little over four months after Grampa did, creating the perfect conditions for another series of Grief’s waves.

We’re keeping an eye on Granny’s heart, just as we are paying attention to our own.

Yesterday, as I was looking at the apples on the ground in Maine, noting how they were softening and browning as they returned to the earth, my brain noted that grief, of course, doesn’t just show up when someone dies.

The apples got me to thinking of people, animals … beings that enter our lives and then leave, whether in the process of death and dying, or just the every day gliding into and out of each others’ lives, in that natural ebb and flow of proximities and loves and friendships.

Why, what do you think about when you see apples rotting on the ground?

The thing is…

I never want to be someone who shrugs off an ending.

Or who tries to convince myself it’s no big deal.

Or ‘just a part of life’.

I want to take them with me, not leave them behind (same goes for beginnings… middles… all of it.)

I’m an agglomerator.

A crazy quilt of different bits and pieces of what I’ve learned and become as a result of all of my experiences, but most especially those that have come from who I’ve been lucky enough to meet and know and be with for a while.

Those who have touched my heart and changed and added to the ‘I’ who is me.

As I looked at the fallen apples, and breathed in their sweetness one last time, I smiled.

Next year there would be more apples.

There always are.

Hope and Faith gave a quick squeeze, and gratitude flooded my heart.

And I turned and took a few steps toward whatever comes next along life’s adventurous path.

Thanks for readin’.

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