My world has been filled with beginnings and endings lately, and no one who knows me will be surprised that I shed many tears through each one. Tears of joy. Tears of sorrow. Tears of anger. Tears because that’s what happens when I try to express any god damn emotion at all.
Last weekend was my aunt Teresa’s memorial service. My family and I sat together and watched a fantastic video my uncle Ken put together celebrating Teresa’s life. For the last several years she had been very sick and could barely move or talk. She laid in bed most of the time. This was the last image of her for most of us.
But on the video we watched the Teresa we hadn’t seen in a long time – a girl who rode horses and walked her pet pig on a leash through the streets of Rio Dell. A woman who jumped out of planes while raving about her parachuting instructor’s ass. A woman who spoke out for the rights of people with disabilities and worked tirelessly to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis research.
We watched, remembered, laughed, cried and talked. And then, of course, we ate. A lot.
The day before Teresa’s service, Mark and I attended a beautiful wedding on Moonstone Beach. Kim, one of my favorite human beings on the planet, married Jack, who is madly in love with her. Kim has always wanted nothing more than to simply live happily ever after, but yet it’s eluded her time and again. Until now, that is.
We watched Kim and Jack, surrounded by the many people who love them, wiggle, giggle, make vows to one another and kiss and kiss and kiss. And then, of course, we ate. A lot. And drank. A lot.
Today I attended a funeral for the father of a friend. Her father was also a good friend of my dad. She and her mom sat with perfect posture at the front of the church as one by one, people told stories and shared memories about their dad and husband. He was loved and will be missed by many.
I’m always astounded by people who show such poise in the midst of great sadness. When someone close to me dies, I sob, wail, pound my fists, scream even. I wear my grief like a gigantic Carmen Miranda headdress gone sour, and everyone can smell the rotten fruit before I even enter the room.
Afterward, I hugged my sweet friend and tried not to say anything trite. And then, of course, we ate. A lot.
A little over a year ago, I moved into this tiny little funky cottage in the middle of Loleta. Unable to be seen from the street and totally surrounded by trees, I’ve always felt like a fat little bird here, completely safe from predators. Now there will be a new bird in the nest. A tall thin one who has a habit of leaving his clothes right in the middle of the floor where I trip on them in the dark.
Mark is deep but uncomplicated. He is smart, even-keeled and incredibly kind. He has changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. Plus, he makes me laugh. And I make him laugh. How much better can it possibly get than that? So with simultaneous excitement and trepidation, I’m making room and clearing clutter. We’ll add shelves and move furniture. With some benadryl, ear plugs and luck, this beginning may ease into a comfortable middle where we’ll kiss and cry and love and live happily ever after. Oh, and eat, of course. A lot.