Wednesday, September 20, 2006


The return home. The house in the background of this picture belonged to my husband's grandmother, Mama Norvan. This is first place I ever visited when we were first together, some 26 years ago. (A whole different lifetime it would seem.)

We were in the cemetary where his grandparents are buried and I snapped this of the monsters (my girls).

We then spent several hours visiting the lady here. Elaine has opened an antique store in the old house. The house was both a local grocery/gas store and residence - Mama Norvan and Papa were Standard Oil Distributors. When Papa died (before my time) , Mama Norvan continued running the store and the station. Elaine has asked for photo's of people to display in the house. There are so many memories on those walls.

I was prepared for that, looking at the photographs and retelling the stories. I was not prepared to wander from room to room - remembering. Remembering things like Molly standing over there with a pullup on her head, Mama Norvan standing by the sink washing out the loafbread sack so she could reuse it as storage, the way she put our gifts away still their box for someday later when she needed a nice coat, the chair she sat in, the tv tray - always with a red tea glass on it (I have that glass), decorating the tree outside at Christmas, and so many meals at the kitchen table.

Molly remembers her. Abby does not. She was only 2 when we lost Mama Norvan. She lived in this house until two weeks before she died over Labor Day weekend. I do have to say - Charles was her favorite grandchild because he always made time for her and as a result I was a favorite by marriage. I loved that lady so much. And she loved us. We visited every week and I stayed at the hospital at the end with her.

I know what she is buried in. She is buried in the dress she wore to my wedding. This fact and many other things were cause for discord in the family after her funeral. Why is that? Why are people so rude at funerals? She was a lady and hers was a life worth celebrating. Was my love for her and hers for us so strong that there was no room for others? Is that where the competition comes from or are there just those who never felt included and this was their demon to fight?

I know that I have room for love on so many fronts. I know that my love grows and expands to fill gaps for those I come in contact with. How do I make sure that those closest to me are sure that they are "good enough"? How do I make sure that my life is one worth celebrating at the end? How do I make sure the ones I love know that love is real and enduring and big enough to include them all? And will I ever know for sure if I was successful or is that something you find out only on the other side?


I am pondering these questions today.

I hope you all have a beautiful day.


Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

I beleive if you strive to be a loving person then love grows and sometimes it grows around and around, because some do not let it in...and that is their choice.

shula said...

There is ALWAYS room for more love. Love is inclusive and expansive by definition. Anything that impedes or limits the flow of love is just plain unloving. I have a friend who would go so far as to call it a form of Evil.

I'm always painfully conscious of this during bereavements, and watching people get ugly in times of grief and loss is both a denouncement of the person who's gone, and a terrible kick in the guts to those who are already in pain. I confess I find these things difficult to forget, though I accept that some people lash out when they're upset, but it often affects my trust in them, permanently. If you can't rely on someone in a time of crisis, it's worth considering what you're doing having them in your life at all.

Sad but true.

On the other hand, acts of gratuitous kindness during such times tend to stay with me just as long, and I have acquired some truly wonderful friends from some very awful experiences.

So you lose on the swings, gain on the roundabout, sort of thing.