I can’t believe

Posted on 02 March 2008

that two weeks have flown by since the first garden party. We did have a second “gardening” party to clean up the front yard and a number of good souls, who were free and able, returned. We had forgotten the little stone steps that lead up to the higher end of the garden and the cottage-y stone wall that runs along one side…. we had to pay for another load of debris to be hauled away.

We’re piglets – no doubt about that but do I regret all the time that I spent doing other things – like writing? Not one little bit. But I do like everything spic and span. Reminds me of the poem “Woman Enough” by Erica Jong:

I wish there were not a choice;
I wish I could be two women.
I wish the days could be longer.
But they are short.
So I write while
the dust piles up.

And in these two weeks the interior of our house has come under scrutiny. I have painted the entrance hall, the stair banister that Java uses as a scratching post, the interior of my little house in the garden (now virginal white), and laid a floor in the downstairs washroom. I took off one afternoon to be with my father and woke at 5:30 the next morning to take him to the airport. (And whose bag was searched because he was carrying 100 silver half-dollars of mine to sell.)

Farewell Papa

I had a discussion with my accountant who wanted us to pay 40,000 (yes I have the zeros right) right away. And I was on the verge of tears and my stomach was doing somersaults when I spoke to my father and then a friend accountant, who told me a way to waylay that ghastly amount. (And I wonder why our new accountant didn’t think of this way herself. And I am sick to almost death of accountants. I was not impressed when I received her first bill the next day for 2,900 with no explanation, just that grand figure. And I find myself fuming that this profession does not account for their billing. Why can they/he/she/whoever just ask for a sum without an explanation. Rob notes his hours. I have always noted my hours. Our builder notes his hours… )

And beyond, repairs and money, there have been a few precious moments. Rob came to me, wrapped his arms around me and said that he could not go through this without me. My eldest son rescued me one night and took me out for a fancy dinner. It felt so good sitting across from him, talking, eating a perfect filet, lyonnaise potatoes, and asparagus, drinking a superior red wine in a crystal goblet, in an elegant restaurant. Those few hours took me away from the drudgery of house work… but that’s not really what’s important – what is, is that this son wished to be with me, treat me, and tell me of his life. Of course, not all is perfect – whose life is? – but he is happy work-wise. He has found his self-respect in his job.

And my other son, the younger, will turn 26 tomorrow. (The elder turns 30 this year.) The birthday boy is the little one in my lap.

The birthday boy is in my lap

He was such a joyous, loving, mischievous, talkative little boy. He engaged everyone in conversation. This picture was taken in Mexico when Rob was working on Rambo, and everyone in the hotel would smile and greet Michael by name, even the guards with their rifles who stood outside the hotel’s gates…

Yet underneath his joyful clatter was a serious scared little soul who was always questioning his place in the world. I have a poem that he wrote when he was nine or ten on my office wall:

I am special
I wonder about life
I hear music..
I pretend that life is normal
I feel alone
I touch the stars…
I hope that I am loved
I am special

And I wondered at the time, as I wonder now, how he could question being loved… for he is so lovable and kind and sensitive… and creative and intelligent and thoughtful. He really is. He has begun re-organizing his life lately, is taking more university courses, is working towards a new future… and he sounds happy.

And so this coming year, my son, I send you much love and gold dust (my friend, Kate knows how potent this can be) so you will be happier, even more successful than your wildest dreams.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MICHAEL


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