“Any arbitrary turning along the way, and I would be elsewhere, I would be different…” -Francis Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun
The winter solstice lulls us into the dark imaginings of what might have been, and awakens us to think of what could be. I still cry in the shower. I miss my Mom; I miss my Dad. They meant the world to me. I miss my dog, Oliver. I miss my four siblings, although THEY are still alive. We don’t talk. I miss who we were as a family, as children…before we were Democrats or Republicans, vegans or carnivores, liberal or conservative, straight or gay, high or drunk or strung out on chemo; before we were right or wrong. When we were innocent and blameless and healthy and free…jumping into the pool from the garage roof and defending each other in schoolyard fights and singing and dancing and playing endless games of Euchre…shivering as we took our obligatory (certainly unnecessary!) baths in Georgian Bay off the stern of the boat…watching the cat give birth in the closet, gathering wild blueberries and making birthday wishes…
We stood up in each others weddings, showed up with food after the cancer diagnosis’, moved each other and moved each other again. And again.
We had a lot. A lot of fun, laughter, prosperity, health, beauty, adventure. We expected a lot. We took a lot for granted. Here, now some fifty years later, we can’t find common ground enough to hold a conversation. We’re all lucky to be alive, and we know it.
In my wildest imagination I never would have pictured my life to be as it is today. I probably would never have chosen it this way…but as the dog and I walked along the Grand River today I realized that -although it doesn’t look like I imagined- it is in many ways what I asked for. Hariat and I go for long walks and get more fresh air and exercise than I have gotten in years. We eat well. I write most every day. In many ways it is as I always imagined I would spend my older years…it’s a good place to be. It’s a good start.