17 June 2014
Before Christmas in 1937 when I was six, my grandmother invited me for our annual lunch at the Plaza and a trip to F.A.O. Schwartz. In the Palm Court the violinist played through lunch while I tried to figure out how to take more than two of the pastel colored peppermints. We discussed which costumes we would look at when we crossed the street to Schwartz. Last year it had been a British Grenadier’s outfit which I still wore often, feeling immensely proud in the tall black fur hat with the strap under my chin. Now my grandmother was making ominous suggestions that I be a ballerina or a gypsy. I writhed in embarrassment at the thought and wondered how to get the Swiss Mountain boy’s suit.
“I finally understood what life is about; it is about losing everything. Losing the baby who becomes a child, the child who becomes an adult, like the trees lose their leaves. So every morning we must celebrate what we have”….Isabel Allende, 1995
Tragic loss is different, more profound than what Isabel Allende describes, but she gives us permission to talk about loss that is natural, though often painful. We are all very quiet about this kind of loss precisely because it isn’t tragic. We feel guilty at feeling it because so many others know real pain. Continue reading
You shot a ground hog? Why, Ma?
He was in your flowers? What exactly did you shoot him with?
The 20 gauge double barrel. I see.
Yes, I know Dad taught you to shoot it.
Yes, I know you have a right to have it, but it’s gone off twice in the house….
Ma, you’re 93 years old. Continue reading