Lately I've been listening to "So Glad I'm Here" from Elizabeth Mitchell's You Are My Sunshine every morning. It's been going through my head for over a month now, and it feels like a really positive way to start the day. Because I am. Glad I'm here, that is, and I'm trying to let go of the need to hold onto the hurt.
I have been, holding onto the sadness, without even realizing I was doing it. It's like when I would swim at the pool wearing my rings. I'd come out with a hand cramp from inadvertantly clamping my fingers together for fear one would slide off and be lost. For a long, long I didn't have to hold on. The sadness was just so big and heavy it wasn't going anywhere, but now, almost four years down the road, when I stand in the light again and smile and laugh and feel as well as see the beauty around me, I find I still cling to it sometimes, holding it out to anyone, who might think it is gone. It's what prompted my bitter grumblings. It's what makes my smile dim just briefly when somebody tells me I have a beautiful family. It's what makes me prod around inside sometimes to see if something is going to bother me.
It isn't gone. It isn't going away, but I don't need to call it up. It will visit me on it's own. So right now, I'm facing the sun, seeing the light, feeling the warmth, enjoying the brightness of the world, knowing that my shadow is behind me whether I look at it or not.
I still face December with trepidation, not sure how it will hit this year, but for now I'm not revisiting four years ago. I didn't race down the road in the back of ambulance on September 11, didn't rewalk in my mind the labyrinth of halls from the ambulance entrance at Children's to a too bright room on the eighth floor on September 13. I went for a run on a cool, dry, clear day and thought perhaps I could run forever. I shopped for groceries and sorted clothes and gave Kathleen high fives for using the potty. I lived, I didn't relive.
My zinnias are still blooming, three shades of pink and a little orange. The leaves are starting to pile up. Tomatoes fill my counter waiting to be cooked down, and in a minute I will brave that late batch of mosquitos to pick green beans and see what else is ready in the garden. This is the September I love.
I am opening to the golden days and the gladness. I wish he were here, but I don't have to tell you that. I'll always wish he were here, but it doesn't stop me from being glad that I'm here, so glad I'm here enjoy these golden summer-fall days, so glad I'm here with Kathleen making up songs and Elizabeth chewing everything she can find.
Thanks to Kathleen and Elizabeth for bringing joy to my days and to Mandy for giving me the song and to Angie for Right Where I Am, which I keep circling back to, and for asking for questions, which prompted me to start answering my own, and to Barbara for helping me remember to notice good things and to open this space up to them, and to Liz for making me think about being open to and seeking joy, even if it made (and may make me still) grumbly. Thanks to you who come here and listen to me grumble and glow.