before you're ready

dance party, photo by Dustin

Just in case you were beginning to wonder, I've been quiet offline, too.

My sister, Meg, and her husband, Dustin, have been visiting for the holiday.  We've had some amazing moments.  But my husband has missed many of them.  He flew out to see his father, who is dying, and to be with his family.  So I've been tethered loosely to my body, inhabiting liminal spaces--not fully here or there, together or apart.  The snow falls, the girls snuggle close and giggle with delight, keeping joy clasped firmly to one hand while sorrow holds the other.

You should post some of these holiday photos, I chide myself. They are so bright and cheery.

But they only tell half of the story.  No one is crying for the camera. 

The same can't be said for the pillows.


Small  children demand that levity stays present, so you relegate the heaviness to your chest, where it stays until they ask you about coffins and funerals while they eat oatmeal out of bowls perched on the kitchen windowsill.

Even then it is given a short audience.  The words sound almost matter-of-fact as they travel from where you're sitting on the kitchen floor, waiting for your guests to wake.

Then it's back to capes and dance parties and scissors making a flurry of paper on the floor.  And the love that is so clear and big that you feel like you're swimming in it.  You think, maybe your friends are right--maybe love can carry you, can hold you.

And you hope that it's holding him right now. That it won't ever let go.

Before you're ready, it's time to run the bath. To make the meal.

To wait for the telephone to ring.