Under Par


I had thought to show you that in spite of it all I’m still capable of creating beauty, but the truth is that all I can think is how much Shel, ever my photography mentor, would have liked this photo that I took after venturing to the grocery store yesterday. I could be thinking “wow, bag full of beauty” or “awesome, best flower shot ever” or something more upbeat, but today I’ve been on such a sad trip in the way-back machine that Shel is the only thing on my mind.

I’ve been gathering photos to use for a little slideshow at his memorial, and a few are mind-boggling. Was his hair ever that red? When was the last time we looked as young and happy as we do in our wedding photos, given that we were both over 40 when we married? Was Shel ever that big, sturdy, smiling guy? Try as I might, I can’t conjure up a real memory of those times, even with the photographic evidence in front of me. My mind’s eye is filled with images of him at the end, frail, drawn, and suffering.

I spend as much time as possible looking at flowers, since my house and garden are full of them, and looking at the water and the sky. Before Shel died I used to tell myself “Everything will still be here afterwards, the house, the garden, the water, the sky, the kitties, only one thing will be missing: the most important thing.” And indeed I forecast it correctly, absent Shel it’s all still here, but today I feel his absence more than the presence of the whole rest of the world.

DSC_8264There was a veritable light show of rainbows so intense that I could hear the neighbors exclaiming from several doors down, but the one voice I wanted to hear (probably saying “straighten that camera out!”) is the one I’ll never hear again.

Yesterday I had a calm and peaceful day, today I’m tormented. I guess that 50-50 is about par for this course.

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10 Comments on “Under Par”

  1. Janan Henry Says:

    Oh, my dear – keep writing and enjoying all the things, places, memories that are Shel. Know that there are scores of persons thinking of you, feeling for you, grieving with you.

  2. Sue Geisler Says:

    One day at a time, dear person. The moods will change as often as the weather for a while. Just grab at the inner strength you have and get thee to the kitchen, I have been working for many months on a collection of Recipes For One and that has helped me a lot. Good food and good thoughts are great healers.

  3. Dakari Wikkeling Says:

    Yes Abra that’s the way grief is in the beginning. Moment to moment…

  4. roostamama Says:

    when my mother died I kept picking up the phone to call her to tell her about a tv program about France, or something else she loved…..then that finally faded…it is so hard to realize that you’ll never hear their voice again or be able to ask/get advice…..there are a lot of people riding this wave with you (even those of us who have never met in “real” life) oxox

  5. LuAnne Says:

    Abra, thank you for living out loud. How vulnerable. How precise. I remember feeling exactly these things and a bit crazy.. God.. my heart hurts with you.

  6. Barbara Jacquin Says:

    Your idea of a slideshow is wonderful. When my sister died, we all gathered lots of old and recent photos to on a slideshow for the memorial service. It was very emotional and so real, like having the person there. I have it on my computer and enjoy looking at it once in a while. When is the memorial service? I hope we’ll hear about it.

  7. barrytwyman Says:

    I PROMISE you the “Sturdy” Shel will return Abra .
    My Dear Parents are forever in my minds’ eye; not as they died , but as they danced , a vitality and love that never wanes .
    (And it IS a good photo ! )

  8. 50-50 is actually pretty good this far along.

  9. Nancy Says:

    What Mickey said. Most people I know who’ve been through this would still be at the “numb” stage. I don’t know that it matters, though; we never really live by the clock – though we certainly try! – and “normal” is meaningless in this context.

    Hugs to you and blessings upon you,

  10. rebecca Says:

    I hope all those beautiful tulips were for you. Flowers are so important now. Surround yourself with them to soothe and smooth the day’s rough edges. Your inner strength inspires me. I hold you in my heart throughout the days.

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