Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Watch the rabbit

As you know Tom really loved golfing. He never seemed to golf a lot but he always wanted to and when he did go he had so much fun.

I only went with him a few times (just to find the balls others had lost) but those were always great days. Once we went in Fountain Hills where Nicole lives. The prices there are based on a high socio-economic class population. We, of a more modest budget, could only play in the middle of the day in August when the prices are more reasonable.

We had the place to ourselves, except for a rabbit. Tom was golfing and I was in the gullies looking balls long lost balls, and we saw a rabbit sitting in the shadow of a saguaro cactus.

(I could not find a picture of a cactus with a rabbit but here is a cactus)

The shadow was just wide enough to give the rabbit shade. The rabbit was asleep. Tom continued golfing and as it turned out a few holes later we were near the same cactus. The sun had shifted, moving the shadow with it.

As we watched, the rabbit woke up, looked around, and saw the shadow had moved. She raised her tail, took a little hop to get back aligned in the shadow, and went back to sleep.

For years now I have tried to figure out the lesson to be learned from watching that rabbit. I figured it was about patience, or desire, or universal acceptance or something. Now I think it is about watching the rabbit. That's it. The lesson is to watch the rabbit. In 100 degree heat with the person you love beside you watch the rabbit. It will give you a lump in your throat years later and you will be happy.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Long Way Round

Ross and I met many, many years ago and we have an interesting friendship. We have gone months, and maybe even years without seeing each other. We rarely go out and never do activities together. But I consider him a kind of soul mate in a calm understated sort of way.

Shortly after Tom died I got a package from Ross. He sent me the DVD set of "Long Way Round". He said he thought I would like it. It has 10 episodes of these two guys going around the world on motorcycles. It was an excellent collection and I was working my way through it. After about a year I was at about episode 8 of 10.

Then I started working where Ross works. One day he asked me if I had finished the set. I told him no, and felt real bad about it. I could not explain why I was not done because I really liked the show. Last weekend I committed to watching the last few episodes. As expected I loved them, but about half way through the final show I paused and decided to finish the next day.

As I turned off the TV I thought about this strange behavior. The DVD was captivating. It was not late, I was not tired. Why in the world would I not watch the end?

Laying in bed I decided it was because I did not want it to end. Not so much the program but how I got the program. What I did not want to end was the period of time where people contacted me because Tom was gone. It wasn't the pity or the attention. It really was not about me. It was the constant acknowledgement that our world had experienced a really significant loss.

I got out of bed and finished the show. It was worth it.
The ending messsage was how it had been a wild, life changing ride. I agreed.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Rain Days

Rain Days are rather hard.

Whenever we had rain days (1992 - until 17 months ago or so) Tom and I would talk about playing hookey and laying in bed all day. I was always the get and up and go person but in this case I fully supported the idea. We had movies, ourselves, and a phone to get food and I wanted nothing more than "cuddles," naps, movies, repeat. I would not mind throwing in a happy hour at a dark, dive and maybe an hour or so at Half Price Books adding to the stacks in the house.

Tom on the other hand had a weird work ethic in this regard. He would no more call in "unavailable today" than he could fly. Now don't get me wrong, if either of us was under a deadline or something big was going on then of course I did not advocate staying home. But a few times a year I could certainly support.

But we never did it.

So then I wonder why are Rain Days unsettling. It's not like I miss playing hookey or recalling our illegal days together. I am missing something I never got. How odd is that?

Anyway, just think about taking a Rain Day. Call in unavailable (something came up at home and I can't come in). Drop the kids in day care for half a day, turn off the phone and computers, dim the lights and just hang out with the person you love. Play a game. Have some wine in the middle of the day. Look outside and be so glad you are dry and cozy. I promise the work you missed will be forgotten and the day will stay in your memory for so long. Hey look how long I remembered it and I never even did it!