Did you ever see Lonesome Dove? If you haven't, I highly recommend it. But at the moment, I feel like Tommy Lee Jones at the end of the movie, dragging a dead body all over creation.
I'm not actually doing that, mind you. But we have had one hassle after another about getting my father's body handled the way he wanted after his death. It was such a simple thing: cremate him and place him next to my mom in the columbarium space by the rose garden at the cemetary. Think that'd be easy, wouldn't you. I mean, he even bought the space next to her, his urn, and paid for opening and closing the space.
But here in the Great State of Texas, if you have not signed ONE piece of paper, or purchased a COMPLETE pre-need package, all your "next of kin" must agree to the cremation. And, unfortunately, I have a homeless, hobo, "not quite there" half brother who has denied his permission. So, we have to bury my dad. And move my mother's ashes over to the new space. And there are wrinkles even in doing that.
FIVE WEEKS after my father's death, we may be seeing the light at the end of this tunnel. If nothing ELSE comes up, we may be able to finally get this done in the next couple of days.
This has easily been the most hurtful and stressful event I've been through in the last 20 years of my life.
Consequently, following the events of #1 above, my house is a WRECK! I have been unable to move forward in any sort of constructive way, although I have managed to wash a few loads of clothes and go to the grocery store once.
Maybe some of that will begin to change today, since last night I slept well for the first time in 5 weeks. I'm so far behind on sleep that it will take me awhile to catch up. And I'm smart enough to know that I need to be careful about this or I will crash and burn big time.
So today I'm trying to finish laundry and put it away. Bag up trash and get it ready to take out tonight. Unload and reload the dishwasher. And sit and rest a little.
It has helped, in an odd way, to have so many weddings, showers and parties to which we are invitied this month and next. Yes, it's a pain (and a squeeze!) to purchase the gifts and cards and stuff. But it is a powerful reminder that there is still joy left in the world. Joy to be had, grasped, felt, and enjoyed. I am so happy for my friends with these happy things in their lives--I'm glad to celebrate with them. And it's good to see that this is what life is--a grand mixture of happy and sad. And that it's possible to be both at the same time!
McKid: Do you know that song, "Puff the Magic Dragon", Mama?
Me: singing the song--you don't want to hear!
McKid: Mama! You know it!
Me: Yep. It's an old song. I used to play it on the guitar, too.
McKid: Isn't it awesome that dragons live forever?
Me: Yes, baby, it is.
McKid: Well, but that's really just fantasy.
Me: Really? Why?
McKid: Well, first because they aren't really real. But second, because they always have to get sword dead by a guy in armor.
Me: Really? What about today? What if there aren't any guys in armor?
McKid: I'll have to think about that.
I have found the perfect read (other than Georgette Heyer) when you are in a funk. James Herriott's series of books, starting with All Creatures Great and Small. Each chapter is a complete little story, and you can put the book down anywhere. It takes you to a completely different place: Yorkshire. (Well, unless you are from there. Texas is about as far as you can get from Yorkshire.) And he's a really good writer! I finished a reread of the first book. I'm glad I have three more in line.
Zman's girlfriend, TBC, has a birthday on Monday. I don't know what to get her. What would you suggest for a 20 year old?
I still hate Dolphin Habitat projects. McKid made the dolphins, painted the background (the shoebox) and made some seaweed and coral to put in the box with the dolphins. Today she has to start painting all this stuff.
And I have to start figuring out how to help her mount it all.
School's out in 4 weeks. Yay!