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Straddle the Fence

July 8, 2010

off the fence

July 8, 2010

I went from living on paper, so to speak, to living off paper for awhile. Now, I am sort of doing both. We moved a few months ago. I did most of our packing. I found I could pack roughly seven boxes per day. I could unpack about the same. We were moved out and moved in, in two months. We love it here. The house is small. Our living is simple. I have had no cardiac episode in almost a year. Most days, I am active, puttering around the house, taking the dogs outside, cleaning a bit. Seldom is the day I stay in bed. There are days when I do little besides sit at this screen and read or peck away my thoughts. These days are few.

We have both left the church. I officially resigned the end of February, Lisa the end of May. The relief is profound. The grief ongoing. Only in bits and pieces, fits and starts can I really take in all that has happened. The church is dying. The love that was once there, left long ago. Or, perhaps it was not really there, I just wanted it to be. Like my own displaced, misplaced loving, such an imagined place of acceptance was destined to be outed as illusion eventually.

Lee now works two part time low paying jobs. We struggle to get by financially. Were it not for the monetary woes, I dare say our life could be called damn near perfect. Lee has had her share of physical challenges of late, including minor, a foot injury and the numerous aches and pains of a body rebelling against intense manual labor suddenly forced upon it.

I stay home, having become the housewife I longed to be so many years ago. How close to bliss it is indeed, just as I always thought it would be. I can’t quite understand how such a simple existence could have been so illusive.

My mother died in March, right in the middle of our moving. I was able to drive the eight hours to her in time to spend the last four hours of her physical living holding her almost unresponsive body, stroking her bloated hand, regretting so many moments lost. My grieving for her, though having gone on for over two years, swallows me now and then. I think perhaps that anticipation of such overwhelming grief required such a brutal separation as we endured. Pulling away maybe seemed easier than being ripped apart. Stupid measures to avoid pain always seem to create double what they try to prevent. My regret, my guilt, my shame unsurpassed in this lifetime. Yet, my love as well as hers, I’m sure was unscathed by any of it.

My heart is well. I seem to have found a decent medical balance. I seem to have found my body’s limits and have managed to push gently beyond them. I postpone the surgery needed to add blood flow to my legs, content to be able to walk around the house and push a grocery cart. The weight I have gained laughs daily at my vanity and the mirror dares me to be ungrateful. I find myself day dreaming of living for decades. Even as I celebrate my optimism, I want to pull back any steps that take me from my new found in the moment living and contentment with life’s most simple joys. I suppose I straddle a fence, not wanting to leave this place of suspended life, appreciating life as an observer rather than a participant. While both a means of living profoundly, the latter far more difficult to straddle. Participation has a powerful pull and I fall from time to time head first off the fence and into racing once more as at least a mousy mouse on a theme park wheel. “Come on in! The water’s fine!” life shouts at as I lounge along the shore. Like wading slowly into cold water, freezing as the cold inches up my body, it is much easier to dive on in head first. So, I do. I dive and swim and forget. Then, the next day I sleep in and rub my swollen feet, nitro in my pocket with no regrets. I know I will do it again if I get the chance.

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