This morning I ordered the 2013 Poet’s Market from Amazon. I’ve made a promise to myself to send out at least one poem a month. I haven’t tried to publish in literary magazines or small presses in years. I hate the business end of it and would rather spend the time creating but it IS nice, once in awhile, to see my poems in print along with other poets. Also, at this time in my life, sending out the poems gives me a purpose, something to look forward to, whether the poems are published or not. My life has become so humdrum, so void of freshness or excitement. This will be an adventure.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” is on the TV tonight. Scott loved that movie. He watched it every year. I’m surprised at how just knowing its on fills me with dread. It’s been 13 years since Scott killed himself and I still can’t watch his favorite programs, look at his photos, his handwriting, anything that reminds me of him. He loved sizzlers, Seinfeld, Star Wars, roast, rice and gravy.
I often wonder what he would look like now, if he’d be married, if he’d have children. I loved him so much. I still can’t believe he’s gone. And I miss him.
I’ll be glad when Christmas is over. Next, I have to get through his birthday, January 9th. He’d be 49. The hurt never goes away.
The woman looking out the window is not me, but she could be me. I spend a lot of time looking out the window.
I cry every day. TV, poems, telephone conversations, everything makes me cry. Sad things, happy moments, but mostly beauty. There is so much beauty in the world. And it fills me with tears. The innocence of children, little acts of kindness between strangers, a loving heart, nature, the long suffering and loyalty of dogs and other animals, and the awful beauty of loss. Yes, loss, and what it does to us. Or, what we do with it. Loss changes people, makes us more patient, compassionate, understanding, loving.
But I cry so much! It bothers me sometimes. I remember when Henry, the man Mother married after Dad died, cried at a birthday party we gave him. Forrest, my husband, said, “Don’t be a baby.” It made me sad that he said such an unfeeling thing; And I hope Henry didn’t hear him. Having worked with the elderly, I knew, from experience, that older people tear up more easily than the young. There are exceptions, of course. One obvious reason for this, I think, is that by the time you reach those elder years, you’ve had countless losses and gone through many changes. And, I believe, we are also grieving our own coming deaths. Every time someone I care about dies, I feel a little closer to that day.
Tonight, watching Christmas in Rockefeller Center on TV, I had to change the channel. So many memories attached to the songs. Happier times, when we were all here enjoying the season together. I haven’t put up a tree since Scott died thirteen years ago. My only two grandchildren, both adopted, live in Connecticut; I live in Missouri. We don’t have much contact since John, my son (their dad} died. Sadly, Christmas and many other holidays, are just times for me to get through. Giving to others, especially the needy, helps, but, still, the heart of Christmas is missing for me. And many others.
This may seem like a contradiction to what I said about the elderly being compassionate, understanding and loving because of their losses. And I guess it is. Much of my life, and feelings, are contradictory. I’m trying to put it all together so I can feel whole again.