Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Being Present (MB)

It means a lot, a real lot, to me that you read my amazing grandma's obituary and cried, and you captured something important in your reflections.  What she did with what she had -- be fully, without abandon, in the life she led -- is really, really what it is all about.

I have had a chance to write about her at some length in these last weeks, and maybe I will send you, privately, the essay that I sent for a family collection of stories and reflections that my aunt was putting together for her for her birthday in July.  My grandma didn't get to see the final collection but the stories were already coming in when she was getting more and more worn down, so they just started reading them to her instead, mine included.

My hesitation to post that essay here goes along with one of my planned blog posts: "Dignity and Decorum in the Post-Digital Age."  I've been thinking about how we manage this blog and stay authentic and interesting while not turning into hated assholes who only have each other by the end of it all because everybody's so appalled by all we wrote.  Anyway, I think we'll figure it out. 

For now, I have nothing too philosophical or composed to say. 

But your timing on saying something about "Being Present" was impeccable.  Madeline was just yelling at me in the grocery store parking lot for losing my phone in my purse and then proceeding to take a work call and send a text and -- well, you get it.

I have also failed Peter miserably this week by not "Being Present" with him as he works his way through Round 2 High School Finals.  I am so thinking about the things he forgot or didn't quite put the effort in on and so thinking about the end game that I am just acting like a huge psychobitch narrating and nagging in my own little sphere as he, young man, truly approaches a new task and tries to figure it out.  I haven't been present for that process.  Enough, anyway.

Tonight is different.  We are here and Mads is playing her lovely piano recital song.  Peter and his friends were here working on a group project and I had some nice moments with everybody.  Now he's just walked in with a new haircut I sent him off for on his own.  He looks all tall and grown up.  We've got a little Brewers Cubs in the background and soon Recall Election results.  Say what you will about your exhaustion with the politics of Madison, but there is so much energy surrounding that today you almost can't NOT be present in the moment of it and the kids and I are all captivated along with the rest of Wisconsin (and some of the world).

Another sweetness tonight -- a work colleague stopped by with gorgeous salad, homemade mac n cheese, bread, and amazing brownies -- her condolences.  That just made me bubble over with appreciation.  People who care and food to match.  Meanwhile my family home in La Crosse is overflowing with that -- and my sisters are there already with their babies.  I am still here Being Present with the kids and the last week of school.  We'll be headed for services and the weekend in La Crosse on Friday.  I'm going without plan or agenda and will absorb and be still.

When we're old ladies we'll be making sure we both stay healthy and enjoy being sassy with an excuse.  We'll have the occasional howling laugh around the dining room table but if we have to stay in touch by late-night blog so our days can be spent rocking babies and going to grandkids' school concerts and teaching our kids and their spouses recipes from our past, so be it.

Peace and Presence be with you, Ab.  Let's do this thing, this one thing it's really all about.

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