As part of coming back from my broken leg in March, I have joined a hiking group.  I found them on Meetup, and I’ve been out with the group about four times so far.   Two of those hikes have been pretty significant in terms of length and ascent.  So I’ve been getting a good workout, and every time I go out, I feel a little stronger, which is great.   I feel like my endurance is building, and I’m getting back into shape.

And then the thing that shall not be mentioned happened.   As with any sort of extreme grief, I have become somewhat detached, and closed off from the world.  I’ve wanted to stay inside, stay quiet, stay indoors.  At a certain point, though, going outside is just the thing for a broken heart.

So, I was back at it yesterday, hiking more than 8 miles.   It was good to go out.  It was good to get warn out.  It was raining a little bit, and I got a bit wet and muddy.   And I laughed a little bit, and got to talk to someone about Star Wars and Star Trek.  It was a good day for me.

And today, I want my buffer from the world back.  I don’t want to leave the house, and I don’t want to see anyone.

So, just like with the leg and the hiking, I am slowly making progress.  There are good days.  There are bad days.  There are good moments.  There are bad moments.  There are moments when I think about her, and I just can’t stand how much it hurts to think that she was taken away, and there are moments when I think about her, and it makes me smile.   And sometimes even laugh.

There are moments on the trail when I feel like I can’t take another step, and breathing is hard.  There are moments where I am breathing deeply, and every step feels like I’m conquering something.   And there are moments on the trail when I am skipping with my arms outstretched, because I feel like I’m flying.

I just wish she could do it with me, is all.


Labor Daying

I find myself sitting here, the evening of the Saturday of this three day weekend.  Historically speaking, this is the holiday to celebrate the greatness of the American labor force.  For the typical USian, mostly it’s about the last three day shebang of summer.  Next week, the kids head back to school, the summer melts away, and the downhill acceleration to the holidays begins.  There’s that feeling in the air that there’s a lot to pack in because somehow things are going to be different come Tuesday.

I spent a good part of my afternoon out and about.  I slathered up with some sunblock, and stepped out in my tank top, big floppy hat, and sunglasses.   I walked around the neighborhood, had some foods, ran into some good friends, enjoyed my leisure.  I came home and enjoyed some relaxing activities – reading, watching a ballgame, watching a movie.  Tomorrow could be really packed with a lot of activities.  There’s a lot going on, and we’ll see how much of it I manage to actually accomplish.  So, I felt like today ought to be mellow.  Monday?  I don’t really know what kind of day that’s going to be.

Now I find myself sitting here with a glass of wine, thinking about Labor Day, and of course, writing about it.   (Also listening to Raphael Saadiq and Marvin Gaye)

The funny thing about this, even though I’m not headed back to school, I’m still like a kid this weekend.  I still have that feeling like this is somehow my last chance at freedom for some time.   This is, amongst other things, completely unfounded.   I already have plans to take a Monday off in a couple weeks to go wine tasting.  I have travel plans for October and November already lined up.  I have a hard time remembering, a lot of the time, that I am not nineteen anymore, and this could be just another example of that.  I some times look at my life, and I wonder how it is that a nineteen year old has come to have her own apartment, car, career, etc, and I actually have to remind myself that I am not nineteen, but thirty-four, and that all these things are perfectly reasonable things for me to have.

But as I’ve spent some time thinking about this holiday, what it’s supposed to represent and what it actually does mean to so many of us, it has occurred to me that this next week will be the 20th anniversary of me starting my freshman year of high school.   Fuck!  I’m old.  Two decades since I became a high school student.   How the hell did that happen?

I wish I could remember a little better what I was like at fourteen.  I couldn’t tell you if I was more excited or scared to be starting high school.  I can’t really remember what my first day of school was.  I’m sure, me being me, there had to be some guy I noticed on that first day, and i wish I could remember who he was.   And really what I wish I knew more than anything is whether 14 year old me and 34 year old me have anything in common.  Am I still her?  Would she recognize me?  What would she think of this weekend I have planned for myself?  Would she be happy with how we turned out?  Would she see the beauty in the simplicity of my evening?  Would she be mad at me that we’re single or would she be pleased that we have a life full of so much that being unsingle isn’t priority number one?  Would she like our job?  Would she like our friends?  (Some of them are still the same)   Would she like this damn cat curled up next to me?

The thing is, even though I don’t really remember anything about what I was like at fourteen, I think I couldn’t have changed so much.  I mean, it wouldn’t be so hard to keep track of the reality that I’m an adult, if I had change so much in the process, would it?.   I don’t think I would be sitting here feeling like this weekend has to mean something, if I didn’t still have that memory ingrained somewhere of just how much Labor Day can change your life.   It’s possible that I’m over-thinking every damn thing about this.

So what is this weekend about?  Relaxing, getting out, running into friends, barbecuing, cocktail drinking, running, biking, jiving, grooving, writing, and being.  Make it whatever you need it to be.  Go nuts!

And just keep turning the page.

I Miss You

I miss you more than words can say. My life will never be the same again. And yet, you’ll always be a part of me. You’ll always be my hero.

I miss your smile, and the way you used to wink at me, when no one else was looking. I miss watching the squirrels with you, and walking to the park. I’m going to miss watching Jeopardy with you, and Wheel of Fortune, too. I wish we could sit and have a glass of wine together.

It’s been three years today that I’ve been missing you, Grandpa. Every day of the last three years and every day of the rest of my life, I miss you and I love you.