Today is one of those blue days. The sky is magnificently blue and the garden green dotted with rich pink Bella Donnas yearning upwards.
I hate when I feel blue and murky on these gorgeous days. The incongruity leaves me feeling inept and stumbling. Bouts of Depression mingled with grief weigh me down enough. But when the inexplicable dark mood hits me on bright sunny days I wonder if I’ll ever escape my grief. How can one be sad on such a day my scolding voice asks.
I miss my mom and dad. They will not be present when a couple of family members gather today to wish my son (and my daughter and husband who were a bit overlooked in summer’s dash) Happy Birthday. Two weeks ago, he turned 17. No longer a child, not quite a man. In a fit of longing, I looked at his little boy pictures. So much time slips by. He’s still here, but he’s not.
Today I’ve baked mom’s Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake, and the rich cinnamon smells has filled the house. I’ll top it with walnuts and coconut, though my son dislikes them both–it’s the way my mom made this cake for me and my brother for over 35 years. He’ll scrape the frosting off his piece. I’ll also make a recipe she used when we had no money–a hamburger and gravy over biscuits concoction we kids lovingly called Gravy Train (the same name of a once popular dog food). My kids have requested it on their birthdays many times.
My mom isn’t the only person who won’t be present. My sister who lives two hours away won’t be here either. She’s struggling to overcome her own darkness –that has resulted in financial stress and unemployment.
I was told at a weekend writing workshop of sorts that every story only works if we make meaning of it. (I’m badly paraphrasing here.). But I’m still trying to make meaning of this journey. Will it lead to something and ending that conveys a human truth?
My truth is some days there isn’t a meaning. Life isn’t a good story or a bad one. It just is. Today I cried while make my mom’s cake, wishing she was here to share my kitchen, to share this beautiful summer day. When I sing to my son, when I cut this cake, when I bite into the sweet, spicy moistness I’ll think of all the days I had with family and I’ll breathe in the gratitude along with the keen pain of loss.