May 2012

In the not-too-distant future Nat (Owen’s older brother) and I will look across the family room, my office, the parking lot at work, a hotel bar when we’re traveling together, or our deck at home…and we won’t think…I wish it were different.  Neither one of us says out loud those private thoughts we have regularly – what would it be like if Owen were here working beside us, laughing at the story you or I just told, or our recollections of him stomping off to his room when our overt and boisterous ways were too much for him.

We’re doing well these days.  We have family, friends, work, and interests that keep us connected to what’s so now.  This is the stuff of time passing and nodding our heads to our memories.  We nod a lot.

It’s May and this has been a (now) traditionally hard month, leading up to June (the hardest) for us for five years – the years since Owen passed.  Without an actual death anniversary date, we have looked on the months of May and June since 2007, as a time of remembrance, hope, misgivings, words unspoken, words spoken, and a heaviness that is only lightened by the lives we live now and our memories of Owen’s voice, his laugh, his unique way of seeing the world.  Each year offers a new level of lightness, of hope for the futures of our loved ones, and for each other.

Nat works with me, not for me.  He works at the same company where I am the head of HR.  This is a dance.  Both of us walk a fine line between family and employer/employee.  We make decisions based in the employer/employee relationship while at work, and always with attentiveness to how our work decisions might affect our family relationship.  Tango, not square dancing.  In square dancing, there is structure.  In tango, there is nuance.

People (mostly poets) have told me it’s dangerous to write about a mother’s relationship with her son(s).  I’ve never really understood why that is so.  They (the poets) tend to think of mother (and other) love as something that is likely to become altered in an unnatural way.  I think of mother love as something that is pure of heart.  I used to think of myself as a poet.  I now think of myself as simply, a mother who loves, and writes.  Are the poets I read and talk with writing from deep grief and twisted memories, abuse, or misuse?  Perhaps.  And, I nod my head to their memories that end up on the pages of books I buy.  I write from a deep grief, purpose, and pure intent.  I long for the days when I didn’t ask myself these questions.

Nat is still in San Mateo, CA, finishing up with Maker Faire, our company’s biggest event of the year.  The first time I called him today with a question about hours worked and lunches missed, he sounded exhausted, but still “in” the energy of the event.  This was an amazing year for Maker Faire – more exhibitors than ever, more press, more people, more, more, more.  Better.  Better is how I see us in the aftermath of losing Owen.  We are better than we were when he departed.  Not less sad for his loss, but better for the lessons he taught us.

Nat is what Dave and I used to call a “shift slut” in the days when we were working in restaurants and the only way to make more money was to work more shifts.  We worked more shifts.  We had five children to support.  We worked like not working might mean writing bad checks for groceries (in the days when you could still do such a thing!).  Nat works like his next meal and those of his family will depend on his sweat.  It does, and, he rarely complains.  He loves what he does.  He loves his family – poets and their odd, and sometimes off-center ways of illustrating deep love, be damned.

If you are a poet, take notice.  Writing about love is not always something that makes people cringe.  Love is often, if you give it half a chance, something that makes people go “ah”.  In a good way, a very good way.  (Am I reading just a small sliver of poets?  Surely, others write of this gift of love.  How have I missed them?  Surely I have read them.)

I love my memories of our time with Owen.  I always will.  I love my time in the here-and-now-and-the-many-years-gone-and-yet-to-be with Nat.  I always will.  It’s May.  Soon, it will be June.  Time will pass, and it will be 2013, then 2023.  Time, huh.

Dance, because you can.  Because, you may.  And, if you are living in the present…you will.  The joke is on me.  RIP Robin Gibb, your words are alive.

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~ by Linda on May 22, 2012.

One Response to “May 2012”

  1. I found this blog when looked for inspiration to my video projects.. Now I’m stunned. Have used all my day reading through your posts. You write beautifully. I’m lost of words right now. Oh Owen. Linda. I’m so sorry for your loss.

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