There Is a Limit.

Grief isn’t always an honorarium.

Too prolonged, it turns into a mortifying dishonor.

It’s horrifyingly self-heart-breaking to have to admit this. I’ve been wrong.   

I accepted well-meaning, short-term advice as eternally acceptable; permissive and long term.

Took it with no intention of delving below the surface or coming up for air.

I haven’t decided which is the more appropriate analogy.

Doesn’t matter, they’re each tired in their own way.

I believed, because I wanted to. Justified by unlimited sources, repeating: there is no time limit on grief.

Day-by-Day. Hour-by-Hour, Minute-by-Minute were my only mantras. Which one depended entirely on the ebb or swell of absurdities; my stagnant situation, gladly perceived as permanent. It’s been quite the convenience; playing deeply into the dark places that have never scared me.

I’ve never been that Martina McBride “Happy Girl.” Although, I recognize myself at the start of the story. As much as I embrace it as a feasible concept, that won’t ever be me.

I used to take part, maintaining a purposely limited social life. Not because I enjoyed it, but because I was afraid I’d miss something big or a faintly-possible someone special.

Farcical charades, short spurts of semi-forced enthusiasm are easier to maintain than enduring the long-lingering disappointment of others and constantly being called on saying, “No.”

COVID’s been a bit assistive in this.

I’m not any lonelier than I was before, and that’s my enraged point.

I’ve lost almost 15 years to grief.

I’ve self-excused and self-approved my lack of future vision by embracing, without investigation, a kindly-offered axiom, as an exalted right.

There is most definitely a time limit on overwhelming sorrow and debilitative grief, and you’re the only one who can set it.

Pampered Peppers

After Jeff had been off work for a significant length of time, we co-decided he needed something to do. He took to gardening the 4’ x 6’ landing of the staircase leading down to our back yard. This became our first official salsa garden. It was truly amazing how many plants were living on the balcony and hanging off the wooden railing. Tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and cilantro thrived for a few reasons.

First, was the amount of TLC Jeff gave our greens. Second, was the fact that the planters that hung over the edge were really difficult for critters to get at, especially since they were at the top of a 7-foot stair case. Third, was that the bugs didn’t rise that high, either. Fourth, was our Sadie squirrel deterrent. For a little girl, she had an astonishingly loud voice. We saw quite a few early morning varmits take a startled dive over the edge. Jeff would always check, peering over the railing to be sure that the creatures weren’t hurt. There never was one that was.

The garden was awesome but didn’t really keep him as busy as he’d thought. Even with Sadie to take care of, being our designated chef and chief launderer, Jeff was becoming bored. Too many hours of TV and internet surfing lost their luster, so he wanted to find something that would bring in a little extra income. I supported that, too. Jeff was a people person, and the lack of daily socializing depressed him.

I’d been to a few Pampered Chef parties and I always would end up asking Jeff what he’d like me to get for him, because he was the one who’d be using the gadgets. With the help of his sister, Nicole, a consultant herself, and the input of a male friend who had begun consulting himself, Jeff saw an opportunity. He could share his love of cooking with the guys he knew were also cooks. For those who weren’t, he’d be able to give good recommendations as to which gifts his buddies should buy the women in their lives.

The things I remember most about his trial host party are the many men who came, and the constant hilarity and laughter. So much so that Nicole was forced off track numerous times, and ended up laughing so much herself. I didn’t actually attend the show. I don’t remember what the food demonstrations were, at all. I spent most of my time in the kitchen, staying out of the way.

I think  I remember who amongst Jeff’s friends, former co-workers and family came. But the important part is that I love you all for showing up. I still get teary-eyes about it, too. It did so much for his spirits to have personal connections there with him for a little while.

For Jeff, the term ‘friends’ included family and the term ‘family’ included friends. All of Jeff’s friends were close friends, and his close friends included his cousins and siblings, as well.

For me, the best term I can think of now to describe you all is, tribe.

Quote for the Week: (minor apologies for the awkward physical splicing of 18 year old old-fashioned prints.)

2017 09 11 anything can bloom anywhere you plant it jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Pampered: Chef

Social vs: Lonely

Balcony: Garden

[j1]