We had a temp worker at my property today. I asked him if he had any special skills I should be aware of and as he went into vivid detail about his skills I knew. I knew this young man was somewhere on the autism spectrum and my heart went out to him. My soft spots are for those like him, and for veterans. Having lived day in and day out with my dad and brother I have a special place in my heart for those fighting their battles. As he talked I couldn’t help but smile, being so reminded of brother that it made my heart hurt a little. After we talked for awhile I sent him out onto the property and knew the job was in good hands. I knew he had a special attention to detail that not many could compete with, and he didn’t disappoint.

He sat in my office for his lunch and talked to me about his interests while I did work on the computer. There were a few times I looked up from my work in surprise as he uttered phrases that I only have ever heard my brother say. It was like sitting in a room with Aaron, I swear. When I shook his hand at the end of the day and told him it had been a pleasure to meet him I hope he heard the sincerity in my words. He was one of those rare souls that cross your path. . . The ones that make you sit up and take notice. A pure individual with no ulterior motives, a sincerity that exudes from their pores that makes you want to be a better person. I hope I get the pleasure of encountering him again in this life. People like him are a breath of fresh air.

It was a hectic day with crazy bullshit that only my property can deliver. Weighing heavy on my mind was the service I had to attend after work for my great aunt who recently passed.

It struck me as I left work that I know the way to the funeral home a little too well. And that I haven’t made time to visit with my family and that the last time I had seen most of them was at my grandfathers funeral. I can’t change the hecticness of my life, but I hate that the only time I see my family is for sad occasions. Time and again I say I’m going to make time. But when there is time I find myself in a book or on here, writing. I have no excuse to offer. I do what I have to do to keep life ticking along consistently. Sometimes that means just doing what makes you feel sane. For me that’s losing myself in the written language. I obviously harbor regret at not making more time for my family as this is not the first time I’ve written on the subject. But I do nothing to change it. It is what it is, I suppose. I do love my family dearly, though. And I think they know that.

I pulled into the funeral home dealing with a maintenance emergency over the phone, and once I got off the call I decided my phone was going to stay in the car. I didn’t want or need distractions during my time there. My kids were with grandma, and Matt was leaving to go to the high school football game. They were in good hands. My community may or may not decide to catch on fire given its continual state of clusterfuck. But what could I do being half an hour away? So my phone stayed in the car.

I walked in and greeted my family one by one. This is why I know that regardless of my lack of communication that no one holds it against me. We exchanged updates and hugs, and despite the sadness bringing us together we found laughter, as well. I stood at the casket that held my aunt, and remembered the tightness of her hugs, her interest in my children, and the smile that always came from the inside out. I remembered the sound of her voice, that southern accent that never left despite her many years in Michigan. I hugged my uncle – her husband- and he smiled despite his red rimmed eyes, inviting me to bring the boys out to fish. I chatted with my other uncle, Dads brother, about Scarlett and Aaron’s impending teeth extraction, finding strength in his words, so much like what my father would say.

And I noted how much older every one was getting, how few of us that were left that used to fill my grandparents home on holidays. It’s always a shock to me at gatherings to not find those that were always present. My uncle noted this as well, and my heart went out to him because it must be so much worse for him having so many more memories of those who are no longer with us.

I have no words for my day. It was the epitome of bittersweet. I found happiness in sadness. Seeing my family and knowing that another soul like my brother walks the earth. . . Despite the circumstances I found happiness in these things.

Much love to my family today, and every day.

Published by: A. Elizardo

Single mother to two amazing boys, sister to an inspiration, and the daughter of two opinionated, sarcastic, fun loving individuals that are no longer physically with us. Music, writing, reading, my family - living and gone - are what keep me going as I put on my rose colored glasses and navigate us through this crazy world.

Categories family, Loss1 Comment

One thought on “Bittersweet”

  1. I felt a sense of confusion at my sister’s wedding last year; all those faces from Sunday dinner at Granny & Pa’s house; the ones that were still with us look so different, and so many were gone.

    And that word, hiraeth, definitely describes on some of my memories from the past, some of the people and places. What a beautiful word!

    Liked by 1 person

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