Well-Timed Butterflies

The frown was a reflection of this disappointing thought:

Why did I think of my father instead of Jeff?

Why do I always feel spirit-driven advice is messaged from my father?

Why do I never hear from Jeff?

Why do I never dream of Jeff? Well, not never. Maybe twice in 14 years.

And here’s what wisped from through my canyoned heart straight into my creviced mind: Because you wouldn’t listen, anyway. (ouch.)

Because I won’t listen?

Because I don’t listen, on purpose?

I know I haven’t listened to those pre-death platitudes he liked to offer. The ones I dismissed as stupid answers to my standard bitching response to his multitudes of stupid anti-helping-his-situation behaviors.

Like not getting up every hour to help his circulation. Like chewing tobacco. Like drinking liters of Mt Dew. Like not watching his diet, his salt intake.

Like dismissing the real message in my accusation, “You must not love me very much if you don’t want to stick around.”

At first it would always be, “I’m not going anywhere.”

Then, it became annexed with, “but, everybody’s gotta to die sometime.”

Oh, the ire that inspired. “You don’t have to help it along!” I’d argue. “Why don’t you care that you’re going to leave me alone and miserable.?”

“Aw,” he’d push away my fears with air-palms. “We’re not Canadian geese, ya know. You’re not gonna be lonely.”

To which, I’d either tearfully reply, “I am.”

Or angrily assert, “I’m a #&0#@$# swan!”

“You’ll meet someone,” he’d confidently continue. Later, turning to, “You’ll meet someone better than me.” Which is actually quite hurtful, now. Either my tough-love attempts were interpreted as complaints of worthlessness or he was being his own worse enemy by putting himself down.

I haven’t once listened to the still living well-speakers offering echoes of the positives above for years. You know: Jeff would want, Jeff would be, Jeff wouldn’t be, and even once a more direct approach of, Jeff thinks it’s time to ….

I’m not entirely un-voluntarily stuck. I still don’t want to hear Jeff’s hopes that I’ll move on and be happy. What I want to hear is, “You’re just having a bad dream. None of this is true or real.”

Maybe he’d tried at first. I wouldn’t know. Lack of listening, again. Maybe he skipped right over that. Maybe he was wise enough to send my dad to get my attention.

That’s what I’d like to think. Otherwise, it would merely be uncoupled concurrence. Reading “A Box of Butterflies,” contemplating signs of spiritual arrival and a well-timed burnt-orange butterfly.

Except, I don’t subscribe coincidences. I believe in fate and His Holy Plan conveyed concisely within Jeremiah. 29:11.

The chaining, a reactionary result of missing documents.

So, no. I absolutely did not find what I was looking for.

But, I reluctantly confess; I might have found something more important.

Poem for the Week;

Booking (the search)

I was intermittently trying to find some important paperwork last week.

I didn’t find what I needed, so I set about searching seriously on Friday night.

Significant hours later, I still didn’t find what I needed.

I stubbornly continued my quest, walking around, room-to-room, Saturday morning and most of the afternoon.

When it became annoyingly apparent, I wasn’t going to locate what I was looking for, I started second-guessing if I ever had it in my possession to begin with.

Then, I had one more vivid, yet ultimately incorrect, vision of laying it on a home-office bookshelf ledge. Overflowing stacks house my rotating collection of haphazard gifted, lent, and free books. Some which I knew I’d read and needed to return or give away.

With last-ditch lackluster expectancy, I deliberately darted down another path of “perhaps” and “maybe, it’s…”

I’m a big sweep organizer. I gather everything and start over. The logical place to begin was to empty the book shelves down to the bones, hoping to find that illusive article between or under each mini pile.

I didn’t find what I needed.

Moving mildly dusty standing piles of books revealed those rarely observed support rungs at the back of the structure, oh, so, rarely dusted. Analytically, each title was carefully considered for retain or release.

Assignments concluded, I embarked on the semi-painful process of logically sorting everything back. Grouped by category/topic, but not alphabetically. I’d had enough of the hunt and impatiently wanted to just be done with it.

Favorably, my majestically restored library offered celebratory new-found room for future collecting. As long as the universe was acknowledging empty space, my growling stomach reminded me there was belly-room for my long-forgotten lunch, too.

Quote for the Week:

Don’t Panic. But, …

 

There are days when *snorts* are needed.

The internet and all my friends seem to know this. We’re not  ‘not taking this seriously.’ We’re after comic relief and connection: witty, realistic – poking fun at ourselves and silently affirming “For now, I am OK.’

Tonight, I’m just distracted. Waiting to see how this all goes, along with everybody else.

I don’t know more; I don’t know less. I’m doing my best to learn what I can. Working for a healthcare organization has been informative. Watching a pandemic plan become reality is both terrifying and fascinating.

The last time I spent any time in public setting with strangers milling around was March 7th. Not that it means anything concrete, just feeling a little more on the positive side about staying negative.

As far as being alone, I’m ok with that.

I’ve been social distancing for years. That’s what introverts do. Especially, widowed ones. I joked the other night that I’ve been preparing for this for most of my life.

My comfort with the possibility of quarantine is unusual. I was sort of stunned reading an article that advised if you were alone – quarantined in any way – and unable to emotionally handle no human contact – online therapists are available for social distancing counsel by phone, video or chat.

What struck me about it, was that up until now, we’ve been told we are physically becoming a no-contact nation. The fact that folks are obtaining virtual ‘contact’ readily at an instant’s notice disturbed some. We’re available to each other 24/7 by phone, email, Skype, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so many newer options. Unless, you choose not to be, of course.

Except for that brief interlude with Jeff, spending time alone is norm. I was single for way longer than I was married, and am single once again. Just a fact that colors my view a little brighter. I won’t be blinded by the light of being alone in a temporary life of murky pastels that people are so afraid of.

There’s so much good happening online.

Metropolitan Opera, Zoos, Musicians, Actors (capitalized for a reason) are offering capital distraction; excellent capital. Good things – reading books, giving virtual tours, playing music for free when normally they’d be selling out venues. I’ve seen more photos of families playing games then… ever.

I’m trying not to breathe while using hand sanitizer – it makes me cough. I’ve eaten lunch with the same few people I have been for years – and yes, we sat at one table – and no, we were not 6 feet away. I stopped in someone’s office this morning, realized I was too close, and backed out with apology. The conversation continued a moment, but the lack of privacy with me standing in the hall, cut our interaction short.

So. That’s my longer than usual ramble., for now

As seen in video (not sure if it was FB or IG) I hope I’m quoting correctly or at least paraphrasing well.

“Don’t Panic. But don’t be an idiot, either.” Billie Eilish

Quote for the Week: 2020 03 17 what seems reasonable to you, may not jakorte

 

 

The Last Laugh

 

I’d been dully sitting there, only half-listening to the murmurs. It seemed most everything had been wrapped up, and I was wondering what the etiquette was for what came next.

Do we go to lunch? Do I go back to Adrian? Do I go somewhere else?

I couldn’t tell you what time it was or even who was sitting to my left.

But, I know who was on my right, and I can tell you exactly when the pandemonium began.

Jeff’s step-mother had been delayed waiting for a pre-scheduled plumbing appointment.

Among her first words, directed to Jeff’s father were, “Your sons!”

“My sons?” Roger baffled back.

“Yes, YOUR sons! The plumber found a girlie magazine when he went behind the wall, to get to the pipes.”

“Behind the wall?” Roger puzzled, pushing back a bit. “How do you know it was one of my sons?”

“Because,” Nevie reasoned, “none of my sons would ever do that!”

Roger looked across to Jeff’s brother. “Did you do that?” he asked.

By the time I processed what the discussion was about, rapid succession flustering moments were piling up.

“No,” he incredulously denied. “I didn’t do that!”

With fast-forward film speed, I’d run through a conversation Jeff and I had rather recently while watching ‘This Old House.’

It seemed they were always finding odd things behind walls. That time, it was a baby shoe.

“That’s so weird and kind of creepy, ” I’d commented. “I mean, how did a baby shoe get behind the wall?”

Acutely aware, I needed to interrupt. Quickly.

So, I called on my grade-school training and solidly raised my hand.

I had to wave it around a bit before I garnered some attention.

“I know,” I announced.

Up until then, I hadn’t spoken much, so, I cleared my throat and announced again to be sure everyone heard me.

“I know who did that.” The room quieted down.

“Jeff told me.” It got a little quieter.

“Jeff told me,” I repeated. “He told me… ‘If Dad and Nevie ever decide to remodel the bathroom, they’re gonna get a big surprise!”

It was Jeff.

For convenience, he’d explained, he’d hidden his late 70’s, misappropriated and highly inappropriate periodical in a conveniently narrow slot between the fixture and the wall.

“Then, one day,” he’d laughed, “It got sealed up!”

In the history of funeral planning, I doubt there’s ever been a session that ended quite like Jeff’s did.

Raucous laughter, table slapping, the shaking of many heads, and one fist aimed amusingly up at heaven.

“That Jeff…” Roger mused. “I guess, he got the last laugh, didn’t he?”

Quote for the Week:2020 03 03 keeping track of weird things heard in life jakorte

 

For The Count

 

Someone in some official capacity let me know that they were going to be in our bedroom for a quite while because they had to count all of Jeff’s pills.

You know… the major medications we’d finally got on track to fill at once, instead of making multiple trips to Schmidt’s Pharmacy per week. Yes, the multiple prescriptions that had just been filled a few days ago.

Somehow, our across-the-street neighbor got pulled into that and spent time counting along with I don’t know how many others. If I had to estimate, I’d say it’d probably taken an hour and some. But, then again, my reality clock wasn’t wholly functioning.

I did learn an interesting bit recently. I’m still not sure of the order of things, though.

Our next-door neighbor told me this.

She’d seen the line-up and flashing lights from her kitchen window and dropped everything to come over and see what was going on.

Shortly after she arrived, an officer came to find me. I was asked to return to our bedroom. My friend followed and was told she could not enter. Her response had been, “Where she goes, I go. I’m not leaving her alone.”

When asked who she was, she answered, “I’m a friend and I’m staying by her side. She’s not going anywhere without me.”

Pulled aside, it was explained to her. They wanted to see my reaction to my dead husband. Because she is a fiercely protective and feisty  Oklahoman, she set them straight. She pretty much told them they were crazy because everybody who knew us knew we were deeply in love. She stood her ground and stayed.

For all the irrational panicked murder-mystery thoughts I had, it never occurred to me they actually investigated our home as a crime scene and me as a suspect. It was quite a shock to me when I learned this 2 weeks ago.

I vaguely remember. I think it may have been the EMT, who’d told me that there had to be an investigation anytime anyone Jeff’s age died at home. I didn’t think that meant what it meant. I thought it was more like a “yeah, sorry, procedure” thing.

This part I remember on my own:

Walking toward the living room, I noticed there was one chair sitting in the middle of our living room. I stood in the dining room watching as an officer dragged a second seat away from the dining room table.

He asked me to sit. Seeing a notebook in his hand, I suggested we could just sit at the table.  He pointed to the chairs and said we could sit there.

So, I sat.

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