Today I noticed paw prints in cement Johnson left to dry. Seems the neighbor's cat who likes to come pee on things in our yard decided to take a short cut - going through the cement instead of around.
This is one of my all time favorite pictures of John. I think he was about four, maybe five years old. I don't remember now what he created. I don't think that is as important as the look of concentration on his face. You can't see his face in the pictures below, but he is every bit as focused on his work. It's true - you can take the mud out of the boy but can't take the boy out of the mud.
When the tree stood sentinel over the front yard, Dad insisted there would be no sidewalk. The roots grew willy nilly under the cement block walkway. A sidewalk would be nothing but cracked pieces of concrete. As soon as the tree was gone Johnson had a vision for what the front of the house would look like. I confess, although he's explained it to me several times, I still can't see what he sees. As the sidewalk slowly becomes a reality, I like the looks of it. Grass and plants will come next. For now, my son mixes and stirs and pours and smooths 4 x 4 foot walkways so the cats won't get their feet dirty.
I also noticed how comfortable I am with a group of women with whom I have little in common except the love of words. It's not a new awareness, but a sweet feeling of belonging. The fact that today is the 2nd anniversary of Dad's death was never far from my thinking. While the group worked on improving essay-writing skills, memories came unbidden ...
... The way the group welcomed me and gave me a place to escape caregiving for a few hours.
... The way the Chats walked with me during the last years of Dad's life, accepted my grief, laughed with me, cried with me and continuous to encourage my re-birth.
... A quiet "been there done that"understanding that women share even if the circumstances are different.
... The way Dad didn't complain as much about my leaving when he knew I was going to "writing group."
... A green blanket and wind chimes.
... Learning and relearning that good caregiving and good writing are not so different. Both demand tenacity, fortitude, open and honest.
I noticed, that after two years, I still want to take a nap when thoughts of Dad overwhelm me.
I noticed how easy it is to lean on my Sweetie when I'm unsure of my emotions.