Surviving grief, and living. The initial steps are simple, mindless, but the latter steps more…
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
After several weeks of torrential downpours, thunderstorms, hail and even snow, I awoke this morning to birds and sunshine. The girls are feeling it too. They were up fixing their breakfast before we could even make it downstairs. The house was abuzz and bursting with excitement for what exactly? The sense of freedom so close at hand? School is ending, no more tests, just reading days, parties and field trips. They can don their shorts, huge smiles on their faces, muscles twitching to run and play, laughter abounding. They know the summer is near. It is contagious.
Do you remember those lazy days of summer? For Mother’s Day, my mom gave me two large photo albums that follow my childhood from birth to high school graduation. The pictures take me right back to the deep South of my childhood. I feel the watermelon juice oozing down my chin as we snack at the campground; my hands and feet are wrinkled from swimming all day; the moonlight reflects off glass jars as I flit across the yard catching fireflies; I feel the breeze through the open window, allowing a symphony of crickets and tree frogs to lull me to sleep in my grandparent’s farmhouse. I am happy and invincible, no worries or concerns, no limitations…nothing but time on my hands.
I know the world has changed in many ways since my lazy days of summer in the 1980s, but I truly wish that same experience for my girls. I want them to be innocent, joyful, free – they will have plenty of time to be serious as time passes. And, as I feed off of their energy over the next few months, maybe I can be a child again too.