Turns out blogging is like my weak attempt at nurturing friendships. I basically suck. I get distracted with all the To-Dos of life, then neglect those and that which sustains and nurtures me. It’s like dieting. I try. I do. I will again. But I fall ALWAYS off the wagon. At some point, like with blogging (it may be months from now until I return to self-care) I’ll get back on track. Because writing. Because exercising. Because eating well. Because taking care of my physical and mental health—feels good. Prioritizing. I just have to find a way to once and for all prioritize myself. 2021 is the year! Promise.
First, let me backtrack a bit to catch you up on what I I’ve neglected to share with you over the last few months: School. Teaching. Remote learning. Re-thinking. Re-designing. Re-conjuring. Grading and grading and grading. The Election. Grandmothering. Remodeling. Trips to NYC to help with childcare. Covid. Camping the entire Thanksgiving Week. Christmas. The tragic death of a former student.: Heart-breaking. News of new life to come. Puppy terrorist. What to do about family gatherings during the holidays? Worry. Preparing. Over-thinking. Major dental $$$ work. Baby arrives for Christmas Week. Daughter too. Grandsons Nerfing and soldiering in the backyard. Say goodbye to daughter. (Who’s on the plane headed home as I type.) Son in eastern Sierras headed home post New Year’s. Daughter 1 Yucca, valleying.
My first quiet moment in, what, three months! Sigh!
Me, next to Monet the Cattle Dog to my right, and funky, furry Huck Finn stretched out behind me on the overly slouched couch. Nine-year-old Jack is in the front room sleeping a few feet away from snoring Gpa. The Christmas tree is lit, just for me, soon to be packed back into the box from which she came–all the way from China.
It’s going to be a beautiful, sunny day in Southern California. I miss my Katie and my Millie. But know they will be overjoyed to be back home with Jason, who took advantage of the week alone to study for an important medical exam. One day they will look back at this crazy time with a dog, a cat, a baby, one income and a tiny NYC apartment and remember how they lived with so little, but had so much.
And so will I. I don’t have much money, but boy if I did, I would buy a big house where we all–the entire, giant Barker and extended family tribe–could live. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwBEqupVOdc This is my dream: To never say goodbye. To have a compound where the tribe could hang out with each other every single day. Have our own structures for privacy and ownership, but gather communally every day.
Because that’s what matters the most: Being together. Connecting. Extending love. Enjoying great meals together. Helping one another. Giving each other space, but being there when we need someone who truly loves us.
I wonder if we all want the same thing? Togetherness and space?
Dad died 12 years ago on New Years Eve. He was 92. He died in a hospital from complications caused by an infection resulting from a bed sore. One of his last words to my brother and sister-in-law, were, “What finally got me?” The old soldier, you see, cared for wounded warriors while serving in the British Army. Bed sores, he knew, could be deadly for the weak. Dad wasn’t afraid of death. He just didn’t want to die. He had too much to live for. Which is how I feel, sitting here listening to the pitter-patter of Jack’s socked feet as he climbs out of bed and shuffles into the quiet living room. American society may consider a 64-year-old woman expendable, but I bet to differ.
As Katie and Millie fly somewhere over Arizona, it’s time for Gma to prepare Gboy’s morning hot cocoa. I MISS–big time! I LOVE–massively! I am BLESSED beyond the parameter of words. Filled to the brim with gratitude this second day of January.