Thursday, March 16, 2006

Something happened to my computer’s power source overnight, so I had trouble getting it turned on just now. After unplugging and re-plugging everything, it finally connected. Ooh, that unsettled me. It’s probably not healthy to be as dependent on this contraption as I am, but it has definitely helped me to unwind, to detach, to recharge, and those are good things, especially in my house.

My agenda for the day is full - bills to pay this morning, grocery shopping, and this afternoon our choir sings for a funeral. This one is for a still-born infant, full term, life snuffed by her own umbilical cord. How does a mother get through this kind of heartbreak? To have a joyfully anticipated baby’s birth turn suddenly into a tragic event like this seems more than a woman should have to bear. My heart cries when I think of it. I pray for the peace that passes all understanding to surround and penetrate this family. Bear them up and make your presence real to them, Lord, as they walk through this dark valley.

Mike left early to run errands and go to the gym. He got paid on a case yesterday that took very little effort on his part. And then complains about how he hates the life insurance business. What an ingrate.

Benji emailed asking again that I plan a visit to Ireland while they’re there. There would be no better opportunity for a trip like that, but the very idea of all I’d have to do and go through with Mike before I left stops me in my tracks. I simply can’t cope with any more hassle than I’ve already got. I know my limits and those limits have been reached.

Sorry, Son, but you’ll have to enjoy Ireland without me. And please don’t let the fact that none of your family has been to see you diminish your own enjoyment. In the (slightly altered) words of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young - “If you can’t be with the ones you love, love the ones you’re with.” Wanting more of your family close by, and not having them, is just one of the crosses you were born to bear as a member of my family. I don’t like it any more than you do, but it opens up interesting possibilities. Refer to the devotional I mentioned on the 14th for a new angle on this misfortune.

Time keeps on slippin’ into the future… (What song/artist was that?) Later…

7:16 pm What a sad, sad funeral. I kept my composure until the young father lifted the tiny coffin and carried it out of the church to the waiting hearse. We were singing a hymn that was supposed to have a descant on the last verse, but I couldn't do it and neither could the others. Singing the tune through tears is a challenge, but a descant? The other song that got to me was James Martin's solo "Jesus Loves Me." David should be glad his back is to the congregation. I've sung at funerals all my life, but this one and Amy Monaghan's were the hardest.

I'm trying my best to figure out a way to make a trip to Ireland while Benji and Karen are there. Mike has planned a trip to Philadelphia with Ron for tomorrow night. A Beatle's cover band is performing, that's why Mike agreed to go with his gambling buddy to the casino. He's carrying an extra $50 to play the slot machines, he said. If this excursion goes ok, I'm hoping he is persuaded that he can manage without me. Ron would be glad to stay here with him if I decided to take a week's vacation, so I'll cross my fingers.

Opening my blog for comments was probably a mistake. I invited family members who are mentioned to read it, but not all conversations should be held in public. In my family they too easily turn fractious. So if any of you want to give me feedback, please email it instead. TMI is TMI.

I'm awfully tired, so I'm turning in early.


Zoilus said...

Yay! It's the new cyber-version of the family meal, where we can all discuss our differences in full public view of one another. This sounds like a *great* idea.

Initially, I'd just like to say that excuses are just reasons for doing things you don't really want to do in the first place. If it's not the money, then it's the time. If it's it's not the money and the time, then it's X's fault because they make me act in such and such a way.

Shall we all reflect on who this sounds like? Yeah, that's right. Sounds a lot like Richbob, the person that everyone agrees is the KING of excuse-making. So why is it so easy to condemn him for his 38 years+ of excuses (38+ years for me, anyway).

Now, I'm not making the comparison in every way to Sr. I'm just making the point that he always finds a way to do exactly what he wants to do and then just blows off everything else. Since you're quoting aphorisms, let me remind you of "Where there's a will, there's a way."

You've found ways to do other trips, in more difficult circumstances, with more daunting mates. It's not the money, because I know you have enough for plane fare. It's not the time because you're RETIRED--you have nothing else to do. And it's not Mike's fault because he needs help, or doesn't want you to go. You can find people to help him for a week, and you can put your foot down despite his objections about flying in a post-9/11 world (speaking of boundaries).

So I guess that leaves us with the real reason you don't want to come see your son, daughter-in-law, and grandson.

It's because you just don't want to. And if that's the case, then stop blaming it on everybody else. I'd much rather you just be honest about it.

C. J. Garrett said...

Oh Benji, do you have to rave and rant like this? No wonder our family meals give me indigestion. Why can't you just say, "I miss you, Mama, and can't wait to see you again." We are where we are because of the choices we have made. I take full responsibility for the choices I make. It's not my fault you moved halfway 'round the world. I have no university to foot the bill for me. We'll see each other soon enough. And I know exactly how cute and precious Pip is because he's just like you. I just hope you teach him better manners than I taught you.