I realize that you, as a reader of this blog, don’t really know me. No matter if you’ve studied all 471 posts, pored over our Flickr pictures, and cross-referenced all my comments on other blogs–you can’t know me because what I post here is just one piece of my life.
This fragment is limited by many factors, not the least of which is my motivation and the time that I have available to write. As MetroDad is fond of saying, and as many other writers have discovered, writing is a particular form of therapy. Sometimes I am writing as much to sort out my own thoughts as I am to communicate them to you, which I do with varying degrees of success. Unlike therapy with a professional, however, writing is often a therapy that is scheduled between other events, such as diaper changes and naps. As a result, I often end up writing during the quiet just after the sun and I arise or in the stillness just before I go to bed.
At both of these times, I am more contemplative than I am during the rest of the day, which certainly affects not only which topics I select to write about but also what I say about them and how I say it.
All of which is my long way of getting around to saying that while I appreciate all of your support, sympathy, and kind words–and I’m not just blowing smoke up your skirts here, every message of support has been like a ray of sunshine–life is not as consistently gloomy as you might believe if you only know me through this blog, as many of my six loyal readers do. I’ve got Mama, 3B, and Barky here to comfort me and cheer me up.
We still laugh, and we still revel in the gentle warmth of each others’ smiles and embraces. We’ve been out to dinner, over to visit friends, and we’re having friends over this weekend for euchre (and the boys will again dominate). And yes, in answer to all the questions, we did go to my 20-year reunion (more on that in a later post). Our lives go on happily, roughly, and haphazardly, just as they did before Mom died–just as she would want them to. She often said to me, when I was trying to make a difficult decision, “You’ve got to live your life.”
That’s not to say that some songs don’t knock the breath out of my chest or that there aren’t days that I’d rather spend with my head under the covers in bed, it’s just to say that life continues, and that it continues to be a mix of the bitter and the sweet. To paraphrase what a family friend whose son took his own life once told Mom about her loss, I’ll get over it, but I’ll never stop missing her.
And I’ll never stop appreciating the gentle kindness that I’ve been shown along the way, including all of your comments. Many of you have written that you don’t know what to say. I don’t know either. Having lost my father and mother and too many other close relatives to list here, I still don’t know what to say to someone else who’s grieving a death. What’s most important to me is that you said something; you let me know that you’re out there, that you hear me, and that you care. I don’t need much more than that at a time like this.
I’m sure that I’ll get back to the smartass posts, but for a little while anyway, they’ll be mixed in with some that are a bit more contemplative than before, and maybe a bit more blue than before, but I want you to know that behind the scenes here at the Bradstein household, we do still laugh. It’s perhaps a bittersweet laughter at times, tinged with the knowledge that we’ll never share it with Mom again, but it’s also perhaps bit louder and more loving, fueled by the knowledge that this life is ours to live to the fullest.