The gaps between my posts are too long. I know this, and know I need to get better at it. Some of the writing I’m doing these days is (for various reasons) not for sharing. But I’m closing that gap too, diminishing the space between public and private.
I talked to my grandmother (Mimi) on Thanksgiving morning just as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was ending. The parade is three years younger than she is, but she told me it was the first time she’d ever watched it start to finish, no interruptions.
She misses her husband of sixty-six years, but Mimi has always been—and will hopefully remain—a silver lining type of gal. “You know, Jaime, I was never able to watch the whole parade even when Poppy told me to relax and enjoy it. He always asked me to get him a cup of tea or something….” And then the silence hung in the air and there wasn’t much to say.
The people we love drive us crazy sometimes, but we love them anyway. Pop would say to Mimi, “Hey, Cat, how ‘bout I let you make me a cup of tea?” I thought his patriarchal ways were cute, but she rolled her eyes when he said these things, yet behind the eye rolling a twinkle in her eye and an undeniable smile.
Mimi always vacillated between calling Poppy a “good guy” and referring to him as a “pain in the ass.” It wasn’t that she was wavering on her feelings about him, but rather than she recognizes that we’re all some of each, and that nobody is perfect.
“I don’t let anything bother me,” she’s always says. She closes the gap between loving someone despite imperfection.
Right now I feel like I’m in limbo. The house on Roatan closed (not without a few hitches), but there are still a few loose ends of paperwork to be tied up. There are gaps within me between the emotional, financial, and psychic freedom associated with the purchase and ownership of that little yellow house. I’m ready to let it go and have been for a while, but the lesson occupies a heavy space in my heart, just as letting go of anything painful creates a dichotomy of feeling.
When I was getting ready to leave the island, Steve (my realtor, boss, and friend) and I were driving along the shore. “Do you really hate it here?” he asked? “Do you hate it so much that you can’t imagine ever coming back here? Ever loving it.” “YES!” I screamed while also laughing. “Yes! I’m done!”
“Hate and Love are closely tied emotions.” Steve said, eyes on the road. “You can’t hate something you didn’t once love.” As Norman Maclean said in A River Runs Through It, “We can love completely without complete understanding. “
The entire quote is:
Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them – we can love completely without complete understanding.
Goodbye, Yellow House….I’m going to close that gap and put a nice, tight seal on it.