Home again, wondering

I started this post a couple of weeks ago when Lea and I got back from SoCal.


Wondering.  Don’t we all do that?  Wonder about what’s to come, wonder about what’s behind, wonder about what could have been?  

Lea and I came home after a weekend of wondering about the future, wondering about what’s just around the corner, wondering about what happened that didn’t turn out like we thought it might.  Our trip to Malibu had a purpose that may in the days ahead turn out to be quite different from our original intention.  Not surprising, really.


Things have been quiet here for these past two-plus weeks.  I’ve been coming home from work, getting something to eat, and going to bed.  Strange for me.  I’m a nightowl, so going to bed before midnight is always odd.  

Exhaustion worked its way into my life and I simply said, got it.  I’m certain my body knows more than my mind during these rejuvenation periods.  I can’t argue with it.  I can only follow along after my dragging feet.  I find my jammies warm, and my pillow comforting.  Don’t get me wrong, I still turn on the tube and watch the Food Network or reruns of Frazier while contemplating all that’s passed and all that’s out there ahead of me.  Often, my computer is on my lap, and I’m searching into the night for things I’ve thought about all day, or things I never considered.  There’s something about being horizontal that makes me feel at home.  

I had to write a paper the other day for an application for grad school, and I realized I no longer know how to introduce myself.  Who am I now, with so much living and so much dying gone into making me the person I am today?  How much of all that makes me a person who should go to grad school in my 50s?  I don’t know, but I made the effort.  It took the better part of a Saturday, and when I felt like I was done, I felt like I’d just started.  Either I’ll get in, or I won’t, so the exercise was just the start of this question, and maybe that was the point.

The two-year anniversary of Owen’s passing is still a couple of months away, and I’m looking at how I want to bring him forward with me.  He’s part of my life and always will be.  I’m looking at who my family is now – we’re different, but aren’t we different every time we wake up?  When Nat and Owen were little, I used to think about this a lot – that every time I looked at them, they were someone new.  They’d done something new, heard something new, said something new, learned something new – so they were in a way, always someone new.

I’m guessing if anyone’s looking, the fact that I’m thinking about going to grad school, could be an indicator that I’m re-engaging with life.  Okay.  That’s supposed to be a good thing.  Honestly, though, I never felt like I wasn’t engaged.  Even when things were the most horrible, when the police kept telling us they couldn’t figure out what happened to Owen, even when the coroner couldn’t definitively tell us what caused his death, even when I woke up every half hour to visions of how he might have died…even then, I felt engaged.  As far from the day-to-day as I got, I never felt like I didn’t have a mission here.  As often as I starved myself, I knew I had to stick around for my family and friends.  I knew I was supposed to tell the stories of our lives, in some way, to people who’d never met us.  I found this way, these tiny snippets on the freakin’ internet.  I always knew.  

I still know.  And, I still wake up with visions of what might have been Owen’s last hours, and there’s no way I can describe this gripping nightmare in all its various manifestations.  Sometimes it hits me while I’m driving, or cooking, or walking down the hallway at work – I never know ahead of time when I’ll see that moment’s version.  I may never know what really happened, and that’s a torture I wish on no one.  But, there are times when I find myself smiling, even laughing, knowing how Owen felt about mysterious deaths.  

For whatever reason, Owen thought there was something romantic about not knowing how someone died – the mystery was the story.  He couldn’t have known that there’s so much more.  I wish I could talk with him about this mystery.  He would get such a kick out of it.  And, no matter how much I hold onto that thought, I always remember him depending on me to answer his questions, to do the research, to solve problems.  So, I ask myself, What would he want me to do?  I’m home, and I’m wondering.

Nat just got home from school a while ago.  He came in to say goodnight, and I was reminded again how fortunate I am to be able to watch him grow into this amazing man he’s becoming.  I’m wondering who he’ll be in another year or two.  He’ll always be Owen’s big brother, and he’ll always remember.  We miss our Oh-Bert, our Oh-When, our Owen.


Photo by Carla: Owen at Blue Moon

Song for the night:  Wond’ring Aloud, Jethro Tull (…we are our own saviors…)


~ by Linda on March 4, 2009.

4 Responses to “Home again, wondering”

  1. Congratulations on applying for grad school! If you introduction is anything like your writing, there is no doubt you’ll get in.

  2. Thanks dangerkitty. It could be a long haul, but isn’t everything?

  3. Wondering… who we are, what will be, where we are going…
    I am with you here.
    But one thing I never wonder about is that we are doing exactly what we are meant to do. And I am thankful that you will always be a part in that for me.
    I am so proud of you and so grateful for you.

  4. I should not surprise me that I still cry sometimes when I read your posts. (Probably has to do with having spent half the night last night lying awake worrying.)

    Grad school in what field…?

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