Friday, April 22, 2011

Caravan day

A year and a day after David was admitted to hospital, our home went up on the market. I felt my stomach twist a little as the Real Estate Agent drove the For Sale sign into my front lawn. Am I really moving? Can I leave these memories behind?  Last April seems like such a long time ago, and only just yesterday. It was last April that David was taken to hospital and never came home.

This morning our home was put on Caravan, which sounds like a rather strange occurrence, but is just a term real estate agents use to show off new listings on the market. All agents are provided with a list of homes to be viewed on Caravan. My home was scheduled for 9:00 a.m., first one on the list.

Well, for some reason I did not want to stay. I had to get out. I could not face all those people walking through our house, making comments. Not that they wouldn't be pleasant or professional. I'm sure they were. And not because the house was messy. It wasn't. I had cleaned and polished and aired. I even sent the cat outdoors, out of the way.

I had some errands to run anyway, so left the house early. And then I remembered that the bank wasn't yet open. Darn! I would have to start at the last stop and work backwards. And what would my last stop be, all  you blogging buddies who know me so well?? Coffee. Of course.

I started at the end and picked up a coffee at Tim Hortons. It was still rather early. I had lots of time, so instead of taking the highway back, I decided to meander along the scenic route towards the village, grocery store and bank. Driving leisurely along the river road is always a pleasure. It reminds me of the days David and I used to bike that route. I would peek into peoples' gardens admiring their pretty flowers, while David would enjoy listening to birdsong. He'd be the first to notice a bluejay or a cardinal or a fat robin poking in the grass. He was always the first to hear geese honking as they migrated each winter or returned in the spring. He'd watch for that familiar V in the sky, excitedly pointing upward to share his find with me. Canada geese seemed to hold a special place in David's heart and the artwork in our home reflected this fondness.  The natural world was important to David and he paid attention to all her signs and listened as she spoke.

Cool, fresh air poured through my open car window, and as bright morning sun warmed my face I began to relax. The road was rather long and winding with no traffic to speak of, so I took my time. The landscape had changed over the years. New homes were under construction on the waterfront, sadly taking over the agricultural part of the land. Cows grazed in the fields next door, making for a strange hodgepodge of granite and grass. Cheerful spring flowers scattered lawns and sprinkled over into ditches. I found myself both lulled and pulled along by the song of the river.

I had to go back the next day to take this. Luckily the geese were still there.

Then all of a sudden I was looking into a soccer field that dipped down towards the river. Oh my goodness,  Thompson Park! I had not thought where this road would take me; my only thoughts were on the end point - reaching the village. Thompson Park was the place where we had scattered David's ashes nine months ago. Not in the park, of course. The park part is a soccer field, with the land sloping down to the water. I might have driven right past, if not for the geese. Canada geese, here in the park! I'd never seen Canada geese in that park before.

I quickly pulled over and parked the car. With my coffee mug in hand and the sun on my face, I drank in the scene before me.

"David, you did it again! You sent these geese to me as a comfort. You knew I was nervous about people going through our home and you wanted me to know you were here, by my side, supporting me. Ha! And you even made sure I'd had my coffee with me too!"

Good thing nobody was about to witness this crazy lady talking to the geese (or herself, which is probably worse)!

This too was taken the next day. Too bad the sun was not out!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Just as the soft rains......

 fill the streams,
pour into the rivers,
and join together into the oceans,

So may the Power of 
every moment of your Goodness,
flow forth to awaken and Heal all beings,
 those here now,
those gone before,
those yet to come.... (beginning of a Buddhist prayer)
 I love to try to capture Sunlight...

 as it illuminates each flower and leaf.

But you can never really capture the essence of the Sun.

The cycle of Life continues.....
as once again, the Sun warms the Earth for a time of renewal....

Happy Birthday, dear David.
Though your Earthly life is done, I continue to feel your blessings, and pray you feel mine.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Harsh Realities....

It's been almost nine months since David passed away.
I was sitting in his favourite comfy chair by the window, reading the morning papers. I had been up most of the night with a stomach bug, so was taking it easy that morning just a couple of days ago.

Grief still comes in waves. I can be fine for a while and then some trigger or sometimes even nothing I can put my finger on, brings out a fresh round of tears.

The telephone rang. Do I get up to answer or just let it ring?
"May I speak to Dr. Nelligan, please?"
"Um... may I ask who is calling?"
"Are you his wife?"
"This is Lily from Blaa Blaa Pharmaceuticals. Dr. I-forget-his-name would like to know if Dr. Nelligan plans to attend the upcoming symposium on such-and-such a new drug"
"Oh" (pause, while I choose my words)
"Oh, Mrs. Nelligan, is he already planning to attend? In that case, sorry to have disturbed you." (don't I wish!)
"No, Dr. Nelligan died last summer."
"Oh. I'm sorry."
"I thought the medical community would have been aware of this. His obituary was published in the medical journals."
"Our mistake. I don't think you will be hearing from us again."

I certainly hope not, I thought, but did not say. I guess this young lady was just doing her job, but she didn't sound the least bit sorry, nor did it occur to her that saying "I don't think you will be hearing from us again." sounded more like "well, you know, we might call you back next year if we forget that your husband died."

Some days this incident would have lingered for a few moments then let go. That day it hurt. Probably because I was not feeling well.

Looking out the window to distract myself,  I noticed the familiar V-formation of Canada geese flying home, signaling the return of spring and warmer weather.
"Welcome home" I called out to them with a smile. And then continuing my conversation with the air or the cat or the window,  "Ahh, David, I see you sent geese to cheer me up. We always loved to watch the geese returning home after a long and cold winter."

 I suppose this type of phone call will continue until I move and change my phone number. And I'm sure others have stories similar to mine or worse. But it always seems to come at a time when you're unprepared.