Keeping busy

I did some DIYing  over the last month. I and Darling are staying at our in-law’s house and we needed a little nest of our own so we moved upstairs to what used to be my late father-in-law’s office space. It’s smaller than anything we’ve ever lived in, but it makes me very very happy.

We recycled so much of father-in-law’s things including filing cabinets, working spaces and shelves. A little room set aside for storing documents became our closet, two different alcoves on either side of the studio became our individual work spaces. I can’t begin to tell you how it makes me smile to have my own little space to do as I please. The conference room became our bedroom.

I painted everything white so that it makes the tiny space looks airy.

I redid the table and chairs stripping the old paint and varnish and updated it with new paint and new cushion covers. This was a big learning curve as I had never done anything like this before. My sister who routinely dabbles in updating old furniture gave me tips and basically showed me how.

Here are the before and after pics of the table and chairs. I am so so proud. If you are a pro, you can probably tell what a noob I am at this but I will probably update a lot of old furniture in the future so here’s to learning! Cheers!!

 

Graduations.

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I sat through two graduation ceremonies this weekend.
 
On Friday evening Charith Peiris got his degree and I couldn’t be more proud. Here is someone who has persevered against all odds, against confusion and heartbreak and turmoil and still overcame himself. Cheers! 
 
On Saturday morning, my four year old nephew Seth graduated out of preschool. I am such an emotional aunt! He was acting a bee at the concert and he had to tell a certain “Billy Bee” that Billy Bee couldn’t come in because he couldn’t buzz like the rest of them. Seth seemed genuinely upset by the lonely Billy Bee and only started dancing and singing with all his being only when the colony accepted they were wrong to shun Billy Bee. Seth doesn’t yet know what life is like, he doesn’t know how hard it can be. But he represents hope and happiness in its purest form and I look to him for courage.
 
I missed my mother more than ever, if that’s even possible but life seems to go on, which somewhat surprises me, even though it shouldn’t. I imagined her sweet sweet laugh seeing Seth dance and I wanted to break down and weep. She lives on, in my heart, the way I can still hear her laugh and see how her face dimples when she smiles. 
 
May we all march on, find the strength to keep doing the things we love, and always have at least one reason that makes us happy to be alive.

Of feeling alone.

I am trying to jot down a thing or two about aloneness.

The way it is intrinsic to life and how we like to pretend it isn’t so. I might be married, happily, I might read and write and work and play with dogs and children but I could also feel extraordinarily alone.

Friday nights at Long Bar helps me forget this fact for a bit. ( I am there about twice a year, therefore, my appreciation is much more intense) I am able to put my hair down and laugh a little. Buying a new dress has no less of an effect. Going some place far away does the same. Loving. Giving. Smiling. Does nothing to ease the awareness that I am completely alone. Surrounded by the work I must finish for my lovely mother, driving my father long distance, walking around our house, sitting on the rooftop with Shadow; watching kites and blue skies. All of this is just distraction, a soothing balm for ‘life’, a temporary solution for a permanent problem.

I’ve come to think that the way I feel about owning things and being in relationships has nothing to do with how alone I feel. It’s not the fault of my husband, nor my family or friends or the books and shoes I own, the poetry I read and the walks I go on or how fulfilling I find my life is that I should feel this emptiness. These things serve an important purpose in my life in that they remind me I need not suffer unduly and that life might even be bearable as long as we pick and choose the distractions that suits us the most but ultimately, here I am and I must deal.

 

 

Journal entries

I’d be working, or watching a video or writing or reading. I’d put it away and sit up and suddenly it would be as if I am looking straight into my mother’s  smiling face.

I can’t tell you what it is like to miss her.

Wasn’t she just here? I swear she was.

Some days I could rip my hair out wanting to tell her something. Wanting *only* to tell her. So I end up telling lots of people or no one at all, my thoughts and my sadness hidden deep in my heart for I can’t seem to find that comfort no matter where it is I look, no matter who it is I talk to.

Some days are harder than others aren’t they?

 

Loss.

It’s been five months since my mother’s passing.

Losing a loved one is hard. Too hard. The first three months I felt like I was having a constant high fever. Towards evening, my head would get heavy, my breathing shallow, I would have to fight wanting sleep. Losing the person who birthed you, it’s nothing like anything I had ever felt before. Being ripped apart from her, the sudden loss, the peek I got into the abyss of loneliness, I hope you never have to feel that way.

My heart remains broken.

While that is so, I enjoy all the little things a little bit more. I don’t do the things I don’t much like anymore. I relish the time I spend on the roof top with the dogs and the plants, watching the sunset, imagining my mother enjoying the same things. I babysit my nephew with my husband and hear him laugh and think of how his laughter always made my mother’s face light up.

I sit in front her picture in the mornings and send her good thoughts. I will only ever look at her through rainbows in my eyes and a smile on my lips. Not that it doesn’t break my heart,  yet it is what it is, and I am here and this is all I have.

 

 

32

I turned 32 yesterday.

Life goes on. On and on and on. I do an OK job of turning up at work, keeping my appointments, seeing (some) people, making conversation. heh.

Existence has always been a bit bothersome. I’ve always had a foot in melancholia.

So here we are. 32. And perfectly comfortable in a certain kind of sadness. A certain type of gloom. A depth defying sorrow. I get up and go about , looking at existing, and some days , I swear, it feels like an out of body experience.

Someone at work blow-dries my hair, I wear a new dress, put on eyeliner. I look at all of it and I know I am here. Here. Proof. I have pictures. I went somewhere yesterday, I had lunch with my darling nephew today. My father and I made sandwiches for dinner.

This is where I truly belong.

Being parentless is extremely hard. Being without my mother, the person she was, the person she was to me, the person who without fail stood up for me at every turn, the person who loved me endlessly, who always came forward to  wipe my tears, to look at me with nothing less than kindness and love; losing her has opened up an abyss of emptiness for me.

And so. Here we are. Another birthday come and gone. How strange is life. How strange is it that I should be here, feeling all this , living this life?

Sweety.

Sweety died she died so hard
She shook the ground in my back yard
We lowered her down with a golden chain
And every link we called her name

Bye bye Swee, You good dog you
Bye bye Swee
You good dog you.
-Adapted from an old folk song-

 

Sweety was a gentle dog, a good dog. But mostly, she was a friend. She dominated the second decade of my life. We loved her , but she loved us more. Who can tell if I could have made it through life without her. I certainly couldn’t.

I think fondly of all of my memories with her, the time we lived at the Summit Flats, when she would lounge by the window by the stairs. And I would read and drink tea, leaning on her tummy, sitting on a step or two below her. She would look at the butterflies and when the wind came up, she would sigh contently.

In the evenings, she would take herself to the nearby school playground, and play with a dozen other neighborhood dogs. When I walked back home from work, she would see me from afar, and jog along the fence from inside the playground. At the gate, she would swiftly climb under it and we’d go home , she jumping all over me , dancing around me, and me laughing and wondering if I seem a bit mad.

The neighborhood loved her. If I happen to come home early from work, I would find her playing with a soldier from the camp next door and she would look at me guiltily, but she wouldn’t come home until it was time for the soldier to go away. Hrrrmph. I would say when she finally made her appearance.

She would wake up with my father, go downstairs and wait with him  while he cooked. While she waited by the kitchen door, she learned to grow a grudge on some pretty weird effin crows , who took it their hearts to torment her by sitting on the trees behind the kitchen, then flying low over Sweety’s head and going back up to their posts. Sweety hated this. She would wait silently , until they came close enough and would snap snap snap but her sparkly eyes gave her away. She took this to be play.

She was also spoiled. My father made her meals seperately and she hated it if anyone else attempted to make her meals. She would starve herself for a couple of days , if he had to be away and someone else took care of her. She would also sleep in his bed , while he was gone.

For such a cutie, she had such ugly boyfriends. I would hear my father scolding her about it in the mornings. He would wonder outloud where she was all this time and that he was  not happy with her choice of boyfriends. So ugly. He would say. I would say she had a type. Missing ears, wobbly legs, patches of fur gone. The more run down looking, the better she loved them. She even kept this one boyfriend for a long many years before she dumped him for someone far less appealing.

She had a best friend next door who was  a big German Shepherd who was about three times bigger. They would play in the sand for hours on end, having such a ball ! When Sweety once tried to slip through a barbed wire fence to go to the camp side, she was badly scratched on her back and it was the German Shepherd’s owners who took her in and dressed her wounds.

Once at my mother’s house, which she loved for all the space it provided for her roam around in, she went sniffing through the woods behind the house and alarmed a porcupine. She came home with a few darts in her neck, passed out and my father cancelled his day to take care of her. He cancelled our christmas, for the first time in his life, when she was taken seriously ill a couple of years ago.

Long years ago, nursing a broken heart late at night, I would stay up and she stayed up with me nuzzling my neck and licking my face.

We trained her to travel long distance since we travelled back home quite a bit and she always travelled in my lap so that she wouldn’t get car sick. At the vet, she would hide her face in my shoulder and stay there till the good doctors were done with what they had to do.

She was a good dog and we loved her. From the first day, when she licked my face at first sight, to her very last, she loved us more. I miss her immensely, there is a Sweety shaped hole now in my heart. I don’t know if I could ever fill it.

Isn’t it strange how we are made up of the people we love, the pets who take away our loneliness, the gardens we walked in? Now some of the people we loved are gone and in their places are only these memories. And that’s ok. Grief and loneliness are not something we are meant to get over. They just reshape us , we morph into different creatures , we go on, our sadness now a permanent part of ourselves. I accept this.

I feel as if my soul had to stretch on to accomodate all the pain. If my mother, and then my bestest dog Swee, had to teach me one thing, it was to love and love anyway, despite how others may see you or treat you. I’ll try to remember this.

If there is such a thing as heaven, my mother must now have company. I imagine my mum and my dog walking on the golden shores together, smiling happily, while calm waters lap silently at their feet. I imagine locks of my mother’s soft curly hair , ruffled by the wind, she would pat them away the way she always did, while Sweety would squint her eyes at the wind and grin which she always did whenever the wind came up.

Rest in peace.img_20160703_101104.