Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Remembering the Bright Spots for Dark Times

Sitting in the shade, surrounded by plastic water bottles, watching three curly-haired little girls play on the swings and slide while I neglect, for a while the things that need doing, happy doesn't seem that hard to do.

Driving home alone last night, it was the exact opposite -- elusive and hard to recall.

So often the alone times when I'm not busy, when my mind is free to wander the endless maze of "what if" and "if only," I find myself in dark places. Those are the times that I conjure my son's memory and stab myself in the heart with the reminder that he died, that his memory is all I have for the rest of my life.

Those are the times when I have to work to remember that happy happens, and that it will happen again. That it's when I need to remember this exercise and the things I'm saving in my mind for a sad time.

1. Fledgling wrens. For weeks my front porch has been a hub of activity for the wren family nesting in the eaves. Sunday mom and dad were strangely absent and the babies full of vocal complaints. The time had come for their parents to lure them from the nest. While we were away at church, they left and apparently with total success as I heard no left behind chirps nor did I find any caught by the dog on their maiden voyage. A few weeks and there will probably be another gang growing and noise again under the eaves, as there have been wrens on my porch for years now.

2. Little green tomatoes. Most of my garden could benefit from a good rain, but tomatoes do love hot weather and they are thriving. Several are sporting little green signs of progress, although I've yet to begin dreaming of that first, warm from the garden tomato.

3. Babies playing in the driveway before the sun gets too hot in one of those rare games when they all seem to be on or near the same page.

4. The slowly growing sprigs of the fig tree I planted the Saturday after Ethan's funeral. It froze back to the ground in the horrible winter we had, but it's alive and while I don't expect fruit this year I'll be looking for it in years to come.

5. Driving my convertible with the top down in the rain. Yes, I did it. I didn't have far to go and I wasn't convinced those random drops hitting the windshield as I started home were really going to add up to anything. Well, by the time I decided I was wrong, I would have gotten wetter stopping than driving, so I came on to the house. Although I drove through one serious downpour, it wasn't raining much at home, and it was seriously hot so I didn't mind the damp.

6. Pedro's social debut. I took him to a dog washing being held to raise money for the group that rescued him and he loved on people and was cordial to strange dogs. Several people stopped to comment on what a good dog he was. I know it's only a matter of time until the right person comes along.

7. Spending time with a friend letting her dog learn what it means to be a dog, or a puppy in her case. We had a very nice visit and Mabel eventually found out that she really didn't need to hide under a chair because the other dogs were FUN!

Sometimes, yes, it's a bad day or night, or even a bad week. But I know that there are always moments of joy if I'll take the time to give them the credit they are due. I know since making the effort, it seems the tide of my grief has turned just a little and seems less likely to swallow me, because I know I have happy to hang onto.


  1. You found some good bright spots to hang onto. I hope they help in the dark times - and my guess is Pedro will want to, also.

  2. I'm so glad to hear that you have had a little joy lately. I pray that those momemts turn into hours, that those hours turn into days, weeks and months. You so deserve some happiness.

  3. I found that at various times in my life, I've come across scenes so perfect that I consciously put them in my memory vault as go to happy places for dark and difficult times. I'm so glad that you've been able to find some even in the darkest of times.

  4. Using the light to shine a beam through the dark. You're on the right track! Look for the positive, as my Mom always said. Thinking of you on your journey!