Well, blog post 300 finds me creeping quietly around my light-draped home (thanks, KM for your decorating services) because MARRIED DAUGHTER AND LOYAL SON-IN-LAW FINISHED THE DRIVE TO TEXAS FROM PENNSYLVANIA and they are sleeping in MD's childhood bedroom. Tonight Young Son and his girlfriend will join us for an early Christmas dinner, as he leaves for Mississippi with her family tomorrow.
I had to brave the HEB yesterday (our local grocery) for copious amounts of foodstuff. (Is that a word? It seems to fit the list Married Daughter requested of childhood foods such as sausage balls, blintzes, Russian Teacakes and iced brownies that are a staple of our holidays, but probably contain no real nutritional value.) I digress.
While I was there, I stayed jolly despite loud Michael Jackson Christmas music circa 1970 (the high-yet-teetering-on-screeching voice in "Santa Claus is Coming to Town") and traffic jams on every aisle. The store was not crowded: there were just many shoppers in a hurry to rush home with their treasures. (I am full of the song references today.) They paid no attention to their carts blocking the aisles. I thought a lot of D, who had to use the electric cart when we shopped. He maintained that there should be a stripe down the center of each aisle to keep shoppers aware of their baskets. Because he believed that an ordered world was possible.
An engineer in every area of his life, his workshop tools were hung in order by size, his bath towels draped in neat rows, and his shoes perfectly lined up in the closet. I am organized but not very orderly. I must have driven him crazy sometimes/many times with my random tendencies.
He'd lay out everything he needed for his shower before he went in, including 3 Q-tips in a perfect parallel row. Sometimes just to mess with him, I'd add a few more crooked Q-tips while he was in the shower. I'd watch out the corner of my eye from my side of the sink. I wanted to see how he'd react to that little anarchy toward neatness. It would take him a moment to figure it out, and then he'd look at me and we'd both laugh. I miss those moments the most.
Oh, those moments.
One of his biggest pet peeves were waiters who said "no problem" when asked for something. He'd always maintain that he was a customer and not a problem; and what ever happened to "yes, sir" or "you're welcome"?
When we saw erratic drivers on the road, he'd always comment that it "must be a woman driver". When we'd pass the car and glance over, he was right 99.9999% of the time. Drat.
He just wanted order in his crazy world of cancer, I think. I have discovered in working with seven-year olds that I cannot have a perfect world. My existence in the classroom is more about the process than the product, where we work with sharp scissors and rivers of Elmer's glue.
So, on this 300th post I want to share a dream I had about D the other night. This is significant because I sleep very, very soundly and rarely remember dreams. To the point where I've wondered if I even have them at all.
He was sitting on the edge of our bed in the way that my bedroom is newly arranged. On his side of the bed by the wall was this perfectly arranged row of neat drawers and containers. He looked at me with total happiness and said, "I have everything just the way I want it now." And with everything that is in me I believe that he does. No more cancer; no more living in this imperfect world. I woke up feeling very happy and settled in my spirit for him. And maybe even a little envious.
And now, on to Christmas with bits and pieces of my family and friends in combinations that are different than usual. I've decided that life is not about stability and keeping everything the same: it's about having the ability to accept change gracefully.
Christmas this year? Anything but orderly. But always full of joy and love.