Monday, June 21, 2010


CS Lewis said that death gives one's life a sense of constantly waiting, a "provisional" quality. This has now become so subtly part of daily reality that I barely notice it, but it is an ever-present feeling of the breath slightly held, anticipating. What is it I am waiting for?

Sometimes I feel like I am waiting for my life to start up again. I realize, of course, I have been living all along, over, under and through this provision, this endless transition. I have been studying, learning and now have completed a major accomplishment. If I had any sort of plan, life has moved along with it. The connections I am starting to make should guide me in my new endeavors, get my new career off the ground somehow.

Last month, my family gathered to celebrate another graduation, this one from my son's university. The accomplishments of my children give me much pleasure; to watch them grow, think, act and design the lives they want to live is amazing; I have to put a hand over my heart and one over my mouth as I stand in awe. And it is strange, bittersweet, to know that Alby is missing yet another milestone. At moments like these, he is so incredibly gone, and my sense of injustice rises. How could he "leave" us alone like this? Friends and relations tell my son that he would be so proud, and we know this to be true. It doesn't help.

At the requisite Tent Party, with a delicious buffet of all my son's favorite foods, his friends laughing, drinking and partying late into the night, a close friend asked me a question. "Who will make you a party when you graduate?" she asked. Hmm, I thought, probably no one. To test this theory, I mentioned my own graduation, and while people said, well done, good for you, I was right.

My daughter would probably tell me to celebrate myself. Yet, after 25 years of making a celebration out of everyone else's accomplishments, I still find myself waiting, anticipating, my breath slightly held. What is it I am waiting for?

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