I used to drive a Ford Pinto. In fact, it used to be Doug’s car. He actually gave me his old car when I learned how to drive. I think about that and it makes me cry. He taught me how to drive! He was the only person in the world who had the patience to teach a 15 year old girl how to drive. What a guy.
Anyway, my pinto. It was orange. Bright orange with racing stripes. Yellow racing stripes. I bought two funny bumper stickers for it. One of them said, “0 to 60 in 15 minutes.” The other one said, “Warning, this car explodes on impact.” Yes, even as a teen I had a sick sense of humor. But then again, someone actually made the bumper sticker so I guess I am not the only one. I loved it when people pulled up behind me. I would sneak a look in my rear-view mirror and smile at the reaction. They would usually be laughing.
I don’t have any photos scanned of my old car so, instead, here is a photo of me on my 7th or 8th birthday.
There are so many sad memories associated with the end of relationships. My experience is that I will hold on until the bitter end. I can’t seem to say goodbye. I have a problem with goodbyes.
When Doug was breathing his last breath My mom was saying goodbye to him, telling him it was o.k. to go. Giving him permission to go. So he did. He slipped away. And as he slipped away I kept saying, “no” to myself and I even let this thought slip through my lips. I said, “no” out loud. I couldn’t bear to see him go. But he did anyway.
I am terrible with goodbyes. I want things to last forever. Maybe this is my koan. Impermanence. I have a difficult time with impermanence, in all of its forms.
*I found this draft in my WordPress Dashboard. It is a writing exercise from the book Old Friend From Far Away by Natalie Goldberg. I realized that exercises from this book might make good blog fodder since this blog is, essentially, one big giant memoir. Good idea? Good idea.
When I saw this week’s photo challenge on the Daily Post, this image instantly popped into my head. It was taken on Christmas Eve 2006. I knitted that scarf for my mom and this is the moment she opened her present. I LOVE this picture. The looks on my mom’s and step-dad’s faces, this is the reason why knitters knit for other people. This is the best look in the world. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
For this week’s writing challenge: tell us about a moment when your life was changed in a split second. The good, the bad, the funny, and the thought-provoking, our lives are composed of a series of meaningful events that help to shape who we are. Every now and then, we get a wake-up call where a snap decision or revelation changes our perspective completely.
Again, this is very timely for me since it is “that” time of year. The sad time of year. Thanksgiving will always be that way for me, I’m afraid. It does get a little better with each year though. Last night I was able to talk about Pea Salad without bursting into tears.
I thought about a particular moment this past weekend. I thought about the moment my mom called to tell me that Doug was dying. It felt like the bottom dropped out and I was so afraid of what I was about to face. But that moment isn’t the one that changed my life forever. The moment that changed me was the moment that he took his last breath. I will never forget that moment because it completely changed me forever.
It was a very profound moment. It was the moment I realized that death is part of life, and that life is tenuous.