I am still alive in spite of silence on the blog front. Between my Dad’s health and my friend Jerry’s death I’ve used most of my available energy for worry and grief. I’m not proud of that but there it is.

My Dad returned home a week ago, so very thankful to have left the numerous doctors (all with a conflicting opinion) behind. His return home has had a few minutes of additional worry but now perhaps he, and we are settling into a more normal routine. He is weak and tired as any 93 year -old would be after a lengthy hospital stay. It will take time to regain his strength. My Mom is so happy to have him home, this being the longest they have been apart in their many years of married life.

Sometime during those hospital stays, spring arrived. I have evidence.

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Along with those daffodils there is more evidence that came overnight.

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Unwelcome but still a sign of spring.

The days are lighter longer and the deck furniture stands waiting for enough warmth to be put to use. Please let it happen soon. The long winter is still too fresh in my mind and needs to be treated with sunny, warm days for more than the occasional, tease of a 70′ day.

My friend Jerry’s memorial service was yesterday and I was unable to attend due to a previous all day work commitment. A friend dropped off the memorial program and said it was a beautiful service. It hits me at random times, this grief for a friend, maybe it is because it is the “first” friend to die. Maybe it is the senselessness of his death. Or maybe I never realized that he cast as big an influence in my life as he did. Lots to ponder and even more to smile and laugh about as the memories continue to flow.

My niece and her family stopped by for a night on their way home from Phoenix to Grand Rapids. Not for long enough but enough time for some hugs, some talking and a chance to see how much baby Rhys grew in the two weeks they were gone.

And it has been a hard stretch at work. Four kids with different schedules and needs… Four very verbal, smart kids vying for my attention or trying to spread their wings makes, for some exhausting days. I’m not sure how you raise kids to be respectful while respecting their need to expand the boundaries of their life. I am pretty sure it is a very thin line.

So alive I remain, grateful, grieving, exhausted and hopeful, often all in the same breath.

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