“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

2.16.2012

yesterday there were small moments of sunshine.



this morning the fog outside is all the way down to the street.
what more could i possibly need?  

yesterday was another february funeral, a graveside service, another aunt gone, and my heels left little holes in the moist ground, left a trail to be followed, a helter skelter passage from cousins to more cousins to aunts and uncles and my brother; we watched the warm sky and carried unneeded umbrellas and said another goodbye.  it was the family plot in a cemetery down the road from a small town named for us many moons ago, and we found a new tombstone for an old death, my father's cousin, gone when he was 4, christmas day of '31.  an accident took him early.  too much ether took my father's brother early.  my mother's mother lost more children than i can count on one hand, to a bad midwife, to pneumonia, to this, to that.  there was a child before me to whom my mother said goodbye.  yesterday's aunt lost a son on his first day here, and another son 20 some odd years later.  i had no idea about that first loss.

i stood and watched these people i don't know well enough and i knew their strength.  felt it within myself, standing there nestled amongst their stories.   another aunt had insisted i be there - i'd been sick, running a small fever.  you look like us, she'd said.  you are a part of us.

on the way home, i pulled off the highway and changed my heels for boots, my longish legs out the door as traffic whipped by.  it made me smile - we are a tall bunch.  my aunt was right.  i look like them.

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5 comments:

  1. You are a part of them. They are a part of you. And the stories, well, they are a part of us all.
    Hugs on your beautiful tender heart.

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  2. ..in a time before us, loss was more common. how difficult those times must have been for them. our small county cemetery has markers telling the stories of many children lost before they would be school age. i never fails to make me think of them, when i pass their markers.
    in fondest. Tilda

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  3. the rhythm of life felt in this piece ....


    just kicked my boots off from the day :)

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  4. i'm sorry for the loss of your aunt, but you certainly hugged her with beautiful words. she would have liked this.
    xo

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  5. and YOU survived to tell the tales of the missing members of this look-alike family. you write stories of life for all of them. xo

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