I notice things now. Like puffy clouds gliding across a bright blue sky, and how a whisper of a summer breeze rustles the leafy trees in our backyard. These things have always been there, but how could I notice them while scheduling chemo appointments and calling therapists and cooking supper? Life took over with its demands and schedules and to-do lists and I forgot that life is not for living busy, but for living gracefully. For living lovingly. For living.
My girl, she has always known how to live life. She doesn’t settle for hectic and I’m-too-busy and no-time-for-that-now. She grabs the fun and takes it for a ride, not letting go to even catch her breath. She embraces life, even the parts that are too much and too loud and too hard.
And she knows how to sit still and wait for the joy to surprise her.
She is teaching me these things as we wander these days after Kevin’s death. When I have signed too many papers, called too many toll-free numbers, when the bureaucratic processing of death is too much, and I am overwhelmed with tears and frustration and simply wanting my husband back, I retreat to our backyard and sink into the hammock. She follows and I listen to the squeak of her swing and we look up and watch the clouds float. We swing and watch and wait. Wait for grief to fade. Wait for peace for appear.
Little bits of fluff – dandelion puffs, maybe? – float through our yard. My girl jumps from her swing, chases the bits with outstretched hand, slowly guiding them to land delicate on her dirt-scratched fingers.
“Look, Mama! Clouds! Daddy’s throwing bits of clouds down to me!”
And she is surprised and delighted by the joy of a new game with Daddy. And I want to believe her whimsy. I want to believe that Kevin has found a way to play with her, to continue to share our little moments of life, to somehow fill the deep void of aching sadness.
I want to believe that little puffs of joy float through the air, impossible to miss if you watch and wait.