Down for the Count Up, 4

FOURS, OCTOBER 5, 2010

Who decided to measure significance in fours?

Scholarly times, significant times, self discovery and soul expansion; whether we realized it or not.

First year scared, uncertain, going through the motions and just trying to keep up. We don’t think about seniors because it’s unimaginable that we will ever be them.

Second year more comfortable, finding routines to follow, not so much worried about being lost, we know our place, for now. 

Third year holding our own, established, feet planted firmly in ownership of our roles, noticing a new class of freshmen.

Fourth year – accomplishment, realized a pinnacle, and confidently measured our success and scholarship.
Some of us went on to college and some of us decided not to take another quarter ride.

Widowhood is a lot like that.

First year scared, uncertain, go through the motions and just try and keep up. We don’t think about happy because it’s unimaginable that we will ever be that again.

Second year not so uncomfortable, not so much worried about being trampled by anniversary dates, holidays and every days since we’ve already been through a round of those. 

Third year it seems we’re holding our own, sort of established, feet planted firmly because we’re tired of change, noticing more freshman faces and wondering if they’ll survive.

Fourth year – taking careful measure of each minor success in our educational journey, we don’t really need to decide to go on pursue a higher education. It just comes with this particular type of scholarship; not exactly a free ride – this one comes with a moral obligation to guide, if we can. Some of us will decide we’ve learned enough. Some of us will seize the opportunity to further our education.

So here I am, four years later having completed a reluctantly personal four year scholarship to widowhood. Not a freshman, or a sophomore, not even a junior anymore: I’m a senior.

I’m sure I haven’t learned all the “alone” there is to know in the universe, but I’ve established a pretty firm, well-rounded foundation. I’m sure additional unanticipated lessons will come my way. Circumstances seem to dictate further education is in store. Never content standing still, I guess I’m headed into the college years now.

Maybe, after another 4, I might qualify for some sort of teaching certificate. Although after another 4, I will no longer be a “young” widow, so I’m not sure how much help I’ll be to the younger accidental scholars. On the other hand, I anticipate, not with happiness, that there will be more peer aged victims of the inevitable.

I keep coming back to the conclusion that timing is everything. So how we count it is important.

Whether it’s a four-year program, a five or eight year program or an accelerated path, time doesn’t change the way you hurt, it merely adjusts your tolerance for the pain and moves it towards a strange and previously unimaginable acceptance.

Bandage. Bandana.

If you’ve been there, it doesn’t matter how removed you are, how not-too-close you are, to the situation.

You don’t need to be there, or even slightly on the fringe.

Miles away holds the same cosmic shock as standing toe-to-toe.

In a flash. Flashback.

It’s all real, again. Not exactly the same, but you’re tossed that way.

Way back there, to that little box on the board that emotionlessly announces: This is where you are. This is your new beginning.

A new, non-optional, previously unimaginable, reluctantly occupied space becomes the jumping point.

Because the circular shift, the spin of the table, turns you dizzy.

The rules have completely changed, now, into a language you don’t understand. You thought you were winning.

This is the new precipice – the launch of the unimaginable.

Everything looks dully the same here in the realm of faded all.

The elimination of Point A to Point B, negates any previously planned paths.

The rebirth is deficient doors that will not take – that will never take – you where you want to go.

Open or closed; not one of them will stop the flow.

There’s no portal to the past. Only provenance.

Prior plans do not matter; there’s no map for this journey. No perfectly sized torniquet, either.

Bandage. Bandana. The heart bleeds through just the same.

with sympathy.

yesterday’s rain

I walked home in the rain, yesterday.

It wasn’t a deluge. I didn’t try to catch it in a paper cup. It was necessary.

I keep a huge Kohl’s plastic bag in my work tote for occasions like this. When the weatherman gets it wrong. I carry a ball cap, too, even with the lack of thick hair to keep it on when the wind picks up. I really don’t care if my head gets wet, but I’ve noticed that hair actually does a pretty good job of keeping the water from running down your face. So, capping it is.  

I’m sure I look a looney in my get up. I wear my go-to bonnet underneath my raincoat hood. My pea-head doesn’t hold up to the assumption that if you wear a larger size, your head must be larger-than-normal, too. Here’s the descript: Without the head help, looking straight ahead, I can only see from my nose down.

The sleeves are also about 2 inches too long. Helpfully, they keep at least one hand from cold-water pruning. The other one hoists my baggage. I likely drag along too much stuff for my two-days-per-week journey.

In my defense, I might want or need: phone charger, ear phones, sanitizer, chap stick, face powder that I could probably leave home since I have not used it in over a year. Also, coupons, reference paperwork, tissues, plastic bags, ball cap and a handkerchief. Paperclips, two pens, in case one does not work. Plus, the regular house keys, office keys, lunch box, water bottle, phone and masks. Yes, plural.

Anyway, yesterday. On my way out of my windowless work space, I hadn’t assessed the situation. Which led to having to assemble myself in the see-through vestibule. Bright pink, nylon-raincoat flap engaged, faded bluish bill sticking out, primed me for the silly-looking 5-minute trek home began.

That’s when I started thinking.

When was the last time I walked in the rain on-purpose? I knew it might rain today. Walking was a risk; a logic-balanced choice, though. Michigan Construction Season is in full-swing. It would take me 15-20 minutes to drive the alternate ‘detour’ route.

Two years ago, I regularly walked in the evening and on weekends. Walked the long way to work, 4-5 times a week. Checking my photos, it looks like my last deliberate rain-tread was a weekend morning. May 2019. Based on my shots, I’m sure it wasn’t a hard rain. Not likely was a drizzle, either. I remember making the choice to go.

I took a lot of rain-brightened pictures of flowers and leaves. Overcast skies and water make nature’s colors pop. I enjoyed the way the misty air kissed my skin.

Maybe it’s time to stop the basement cycle. I don’t take any photos down there on my perpetually-circular treadmill trips.

I’m kinda wishing for a wet morning this weekend. Just so I can conquer the walk, for the first time this year.

And ramble some. And take some cheery rain-soaked photos.

Question for the Week:

The Jesus and Mary Chain Happy When it Rains

Aaron Neville Can’t Stop My Heart From Loving You (The Rain Song)

Rihanna Umbrella

Another Another 30 Seconds

My first re-post, ever. Why? 

Because I needed it, I went looking for it. 

I guess because it’s kind of self-discouraging to talk yourself down from being excited about getting “up to 20 minutes,” 10 years after you were a 50-minute regular.

Upside – I’ve got a new 2020 playlist going, though. (a few links below.)

January 24, 2017: Another 30 seconds

The treadmill followed us to Adrian, where it sat in the den gathering dust.

Until late 2005, when it became clear Jeff would never be able to return to work. I think up until this time, he thought he’d be able to beat it.

Despite medications and injections, his blood sugar averaged 350. What we hoped was temporary neuropathy, turned into a permanent nightmare. Unhealable ulcers covered his legs, which were in danger. Poor circulation and deep wounds prompted one doctor to speculate on the future, citing potential, eventual amputation.

Jeff wasn’t depressed. I was terrified. Carrying 298.7 pounds on a 5’3” frame, I realized I was in no shape to help if it came to that. I wasn’t concentrating on taking baby steps. I didn’t have to. My body determined my pace.

It seems incredible to me now that one full minute was as far as I got the first day. Within two weeks though, I had achieved a regular, comfortable 3-minutes. I mean comfortable as in not gasping for breath, seeing little black spots or needing to chug a glass of orange juice to counteract my blood sugar drops from the exertion.

I’d been to my yearly physical, which I tried to avoid by only going every two or three years. I was declared obese, of course, and pre-diabetic which believe it or not was a shock to me. Wearing a size 28 should have been a clue, but that’s not how I saw myself, mostly because that’s not how Jeff saw me, either.

We developed an evening routine. I would come home from work, change my clothes and treadmill for 3 minutes, sweating horrifically. By the time I’d finished my shower, picked out my work clothes for the next day, Jeff would have dinner ready.

One evening, Jeff stuck his head through the kitchen pass-through.  “How many minutes do you have left?” he asked.

“I only have 30 seconds,” I answered.

“Well,” Jeff said, “dinner’s not ready, yet. You can do an extra 30 seconds.”

I might have still had my crabby pants on from work, but I took umbrage. There I was sweating my brains out, seeing the light at the end of the torturous treadmill tunnel and he thinks I’ve got it in me to go another 30 seconds?

But, what I said, was, “Oh, really? Another 30 seconds? You get over here and do 30 seconds if you think it’s so easy!”

Of course, there were a few things wrong with my response. Jeff hadn’t actually implied I was slacking. He hadn’t said he thought it’d be easy. And it was a ridiculously inappropriate suggestion since his feet were continuously painful and he had a great deal of trouble walking.

But, Jeff just laughed. He found it endlessly amusing when I became flustered or got feisty. He wasn’t at all offended . And because that distinctive laugh was unavoidably contagious, I ended up laughing, too.

As Jeff wiped the doubled-over, guffawing tears from his eyes, I glanced down at LED readout.

“4 minutes!” I shouted in astonishment. “See?” Jeff said. “I knew you could do it.”

Enjoy this Week’s Songs for Soul Survivors: (aka playlisting, treadmill time.) @ Knabble-Podcast: Knabble-Pod

Quote for the Week:

Lucia & The Best Boys:  Perfectly Untrue  (2020)

Michigander: Let Down  (2020)

Blue October: Oh My My  (2020)

2017-01-24-support-isnt-about-the-goal-jakorte
jdrf-2015

Apologetic Delay

Certain times a year, the regrets really pile up. Lately, I’m practically buried.

So many things went wrong. Small things became disproportionate disasters. Mostly, due to my stubbornness, but always with help from Jeff.

I’m being stubborn again, all by myself. Memories are flying in from all directions and I want to accurately order them. Actually, I feel I have to accurately order them. I so want to skip over the regrets. I do want to include them, too. Our story’s weave will be weak without them.

Apologizing to people who may not have known they were slighted won’t make me feel better. Probably won’t make them feel any better, either.

I’m also a bit uninspired from having to sort through some rather uninspiring parts of my recent life. It would be nice to be self-inspired, but that’s not working so well.

Pushing a stalled car may get you somewhere, but it’s still going to be stalled when you get there. I’m trying but I could use a little outside inspiration… and a magic wand.

In the meantime, while I’m unrealistically waiting for my thoughts to spring from my being onto paper or into my computer, I’ll tell you about the start of something. But first, let me tell you about the start of the start of our most important journey.

About Nannee, Mary Vincze was a strong woman with a strong faith. She buried her husband young and lost her only child, her daughter Sally. They were close and I do believe that she struggled, although she would never admit it. Nannee was a smart woman, worldly wise, I’d say. She’d seen much in her lifetime; poverty and boons, war and peace, births and deaths.

She never hesitated to put a positive spin on any situation, often quoting condensed bible verses. When Jeff and I would take her to church, she’d always advise me that I could indeed take communion because it was “open to anyone.”  I’d just smile politely and shake my head, “No.”

Quote for the Week:

2017 05 09 if regrets really were a dime a dozen jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links: