First day back to school, and I was all over it. I took some time off of work to prepare myself and them for the day, and I was for once not my usual procrastinating perfectionist and mostly ready for everything. I woke early and got myself ready, made them cinnamon rolls, packed their lunches, put dinner in the crockpot. . . I watched Matt to his bus stop from the porch while disguising my intentions by messing with my flowers out front. I woke Chase and spiked his hair for him and packed his snack. I took him to school, walking him into his classroom.
And then I was free.
Ah, I love my kids. But the summer has been long with bickerings and fights, running Chase between family members in the mornings so I could go to work. I’m grateful for those people, however it is nice to be taking him to one place, rather close to home now.
So, I was free.
Free to go get Scarlett’s oil changed, free to go buy flowers for my newly acquired lawn decorations, free to go to social security. It was hot as hell out too. But I did all these things and found I had an hour and 45 minutes to spare.
And that feeling hit. The one that comes every now and again, drawing me to the cemetary.
Maybe it’s because my birthday was yesterday, and I so miss my dads obnoxious birthday phone calls, singing me happy birthday with laughter in his voice. Even when he was so sick he could barely sing anymore he still did it, calling me at ungodly hours just to catch me off guard.
Loss is the worst when you’re used to celebrating with someone and can’t anymore.
So I drove out there and sat in the hot sun, smoking and talking to dad. I told him of the kids first day of school, and of my eventful weekend. “You see everything now, so I don’t need to tell you I got fantastically trashed Saturday night. . . I just had to show off. . .” I could hear him laughing at me and telling me that five shots of 151 isn’t showing off, that I must be a glutton for punishment. “I hope that even though sometimes I make some pretty questionable decisions that my good decisions outweigh it all and you’re still proud of me.” I sighed heavily and shielded my eyes from the sun, trying not to tear up. “And hey. I’m making up for it today.” I detailed the pulled pork recipe currently slow cooking in the crock pot, and my trip to the dentist with brother Friday as well as social security earlier today. I looked around at the fields. “Dad, couldn’t ya of picked a spot with a tree?” I then wondered aloud if I could plant a tree. . .
It’s funny how when you know someone so well, you can talk to the air as if they’re sitting right there with you. As if you could reach out and touch them, see the laughter in their eyes, hear their word for word responses.
My soul is less troubled than my last piece on visiting the cemetary. I’ve come a long way in a year. But with all the crazy in my life these visits still bring solace. It’s as if I’m sitting in the cool dark living room at my dads, I can smell bean soup cooking while the television plays the news in the background of our conversation. I can see him shaking his head in amused disbelief as I talk, I can see him watching me with his cool blue eyes when the conversation takes a serious turn, weighing my words carefully to give me the best advice. When I sit in front of my dads stone I’m not in a country cemetary baking in the 90 degree heat. I’m in my childhood home with the only person who ever has understood me, who has never judged me, who knows what I’m trying to say, even if I don’t come out and say it. So while I’m not the emotional mess that I was, it’s still an anchor in a crazy world. I never in a million years would have thought I could feel at home in a cemetary. But that is definitely the case now.
I left soon after, having done what I needed to do to gain back some peace. I picked up Chase and ran a couple errands and vacuumed my car and wiped it down and did dinner. . . I felt more centered and more together than I had all day, actually more so than I have in awhile.
I hope you have a place. A place where you can center yourself again when life gets to be too much. No matter where it is, do not doubt its power. And visit as often as is necessary.