I saw the first ladybug today. Surprisingly, it was a very large lady bug – I should really go and get a digital camera and take a picture – but we all know as soon as I do that my day will be shot with trying to edit the picture to make it look just right, that after I try downloading it, and then uploading to this site – It will be four o’clock and I will have written a blog entry that I can’t post cuz the pic isn’t done yet – and I won’t have tackled the rest of my list – which is monstrously long.
So back to the ladybug, it is just wonderful, it made my day so much brighter! The poor thing was actually drowning in the dog water outside, and I happened to let the dogs in at that moment, it was still trying to swim it’s way out – so I threw it a life preserver in the form of my index finger, and then looked around for something green to put it on – of course there was a weed in the nearby flowerbed that was green already – isn’t that nice. I had to force it off of my finger onto the ‘plant’ and then I smiled and came back inside, but I opened up all the doors and windows, and though the early ‘spring’ breeze is a bit chilly, it smells SO wonderful.
Ironically, I talked with my sister-in-law today, she told me she has a fever, I was very concerned – until she explained it was Spring Fever (clever isn’t she).
My mom and I went to Oklahoma this weekend for a family funeral, the bulbs are up and blooming there – we really enjoyed seeing them after our harsh winter here – it was also a bit nice reminiscing about my Grandfather’s widow’s letters – she would always write a very newsy letter, but it had that growing up on a farm touch with comments on the weather and what was blooming when – since two of my “grandmothers” (I say that for simplicity, not accuracy) wrote letters with that sort of information, I enjoy a letter like that – I should transcribe one sometime, people would get a real kick out of it, old fashioned letter writing – actually somewhat of an art, maybe even a lost art in these days of quicky little emails.
The funeral was very very strange for me. I lost my uncle, my mom’s baby brother. I never knew him well, not like the uncle that lives here in Colorado, but I will miss him – as my Aunt (mom’s sister) said ‘[He] was a never ending source of entertainment’ – and he truly was, he had a very easy way about him, a great contagious laugh, a wonderful warm inviting smile, and this body language that I’m not sure I can describe in words – it was precisely like my grandfather, they just sort of hung in the room like a comfortable sweater, they were loose and relaxed and it made you want to be near them, talking with them, laughing with them. What was strange for me, was that there is no one left in Oklahoma now – I didn’t realize what a silly strange connection I had with a place I’ve only been a few times in my life – and not for nearly 30 years before this weekend. I totally connected it with my grandfather, really my only grandparent that ever acted anything like a grandparent, and not at all as other peoples’ grandparents. I was cursed/blessed with a bizarre flock of eccentrics for grandparents. It occurred to me that I put a lot more stock in the relationship with those relatives than they did with me – and it occurred to me that I miss the connection that I felt, that never fully existed as much as I miss any person. Don’t misunderstand, they are kind and affectionate, but they are a ‘step’ family – my grandparents divorced, and grandpa remarried and had two more children – so it was my mother’s half-brother that passed away, and her half-sister that somewhat hostessed us all weekend. Grandpa’s widow, who I called ‘Grandma’ when I was very young, on my last visit to Oklahoma – told me that I could continue calling her ‘Grandma’ if I never started smoking. I was twelve. I told her ‘Mary, I will never smoke, but I will never call you Grandma again.’ Amazingly, I spend the first few days feeling very numb (and completely shocked) about my Uncles death, and of course feeling very sad for his daughters (which are basically the same ages as my daughters) and very sad for my mother. Then it hit me that I was very sad for me, it was like I lost my grandpa again, I know that sounds crazy, but I was ten when he died, and because of a bunch of bizarre circumstances I didn’t really get to grieve for him, I didn’t know how, and no one much paid attention to my sadness, they were busy with their own. I’m very sad about my uncle also, and very sad about how disconnected I felt from my aunt, and my cousins are so much younger, we are an entirely different generation – and that was strange – they aren’t cute little kids anymore, and they aren’t my peers, and there wasn’t much of a connection there. My uncle from Colorado – mom’s full brother – was there too, for the service anyhow – but he made a bit of an ass of himself, he usually does at funerals – lots of leftover baggage from a crappy childhood spent yearning for a mom instead of a colorful eccentric woman that didn’t like kids but happened to give birth to two of them. I can’t quit crying when I think about it, I cried very hard as the plane left the Oklahoma airport – I’m pretty sure that I will never go back, unless it’s for something totally unrelated to them. I suppose there is the chance that I would be invited and able and willing to attend my cousin’s weddings someday – but more likely that I will send a gift and card.
So that first ladybug, the smile, the reminder that spring is renewal, that was very special to me today – I needed the reminder that spring is here and it’s time for lots of newness.