I am going to try to get some “sorting” done amongst my craft supplies and my postcards, hopefully, so I am vowing to write here for no longer than an hour this morning. (Tick, tock, tick, tock..) I would like nothing more than to laze away in bed with the laptop, but I have a ton of things I only get done on the weekends, because week days get too packed with the distraction of work.
The headache is better… it is HOT again in New York, though, so I am seeking refuge in the bedroom where the cool air from the night’s airconditioning makes the morning more bearable. I’ve been hit by allergies, though, so I am sniffing away again. (Allergy meds to the rescue!)
I spoke with my Mom last night. We don’t do that often enough, I realize. I think I’ll try to do it more often. She’s telling me I should stop sending her black shoes — how about beige or brown.. =) Now you know where my fettish for shoes came from. HA!
My Art Journal Every Day backgrounds were sitting in a folder under the laptop so I was reminded about moving forward on that. Last week, I had one entry I posted to my facebook account but wasn’t able to post here because I had difficulty getting into the site from work (during my break!) because they are now using quota time for personal sites. =( Not happy. It prevented me from going bloghopping myself, except for sites like mine which have their own domains tacked on. (i.e., Pinaynewyorker.com and Gothamchick.com) So I missed out on my daily dose of Julie Fei-Fan Balzer until the evening when I accessed from home. I do have a technical remedy but it will mean not doing it from my desktop which shouldn’t be too much of a hassle if I can find the time to move away from my little corner of a desk at work.
But back to my unposted Art Journal Every Day entry — it’s also a little harder this time around because it’s speaks to a very emotional topic for me which is my Auntie Lydia, an older sister of my Dad — a lady who stood by as a second mother to me in my formative years, more like a governess of sorts although I wouldn’t call her that. (My mom was mostly attending to our business, so Auntie Lydia was there making sure the little things were duly taken cared of.) She made sure we spoke English at home, had our homework done, that we were all in bed at a reasonable hour, and that we were always well-mannered, be it on the table, when meeting people or when speaking. She used to be a nun who had to leave her vocation due to one cancer after another hitting her — and she managed to survive to past 60. She’s been gone more than 20 years now, but she is always a part of me. I should really leave the post about her when I finally put up the entry.
(Momentarily distracted by the next post on Gothamchick.com)
July and August are turning out to be very emotionally ridden for me because of Dad’s birthday and death anniversary, Auntie Lydia’s birthday, and at the end of the month comes my older brother’s birthday and death anniversary. Isn’t it strange that birth and death can bring such opposite forms of celebration or commemoration but which nonetheless strike such a cord in our hearts? Yet at the same time, it reminds me that they are forever with me.
I have a friend on Facebook to whom I had sent a message of condolence and prayer as she celebrated her niece’s first year death anniversary. I did not get a response — but I had expected that. Grief is so uncanny in being forever present. It doesn’t have a deadline or an “expiration date”. They say you never really get over it. It’s just “there”. You just learn to live with it in a better way — even if the pain doesn’t dissipate or get any lighter. Like most things that bring pain to me, I try instead to dwell on the positive — the happy memories. I told her I was praying for her and her niece’s family. I left it at that. I don’t expect conversations about grief to be a real exchange. It gets painful, even for me. I just had to send my well-wishes, show a little kindness.
But even for those who are still living and who poke their head into that room where we sit quietly with our memories and who evoke only pain, sometimes the “happy” is not enough to keep the pain away. Perhaps it’s an emotional defensive reaction that too much pain eventually transforms into anger, then we go numb. When that comes over me, I close my eyes and I shut a door in my heart. Then I remind myself to move on to the next room.
In the beginning, thoughts about my Dad used to do that to me. The pain and the anger were too much that I didn’t even know how I got so close to tears and I’d have to take a deep breath to stop myself from giving in. But eventually, it subsided. Now I just miss Papa. Two years after he passed on, I know that dealing with the anger and the hurt is an exercise in futility except when you hope to weed it out and bid it farewell. It brings me nothing but bad memories, so I stick instead to his laughter, and the earlier years when there was more joy. When we were father and daughter.
We deal with grief in different ways. I blog… I do my art.. I dream about those days when Papa made me feel like I was THAT special to him. I hear myself telling my half-sister that we have to make allowances for Papa’s shortcomings. He loves us but he just didn’t know how to love us the right way. I hear my voice and I take those words to heart. And I realize that I had the good fortune to see Papa’s better side — that during those years when I resented him for being with my half-sister and her mom, he had actually been a better father to me.
I miss him dearly, despite all his shortcomings.. despite the pain. I sometimes wish that he was still here. I wish I could talk to him, but the upside of him being on the other side is that now, I can talk to him wherever and whenever. (No need for a phonecard.) Like right now.