Monday, February 25, 2008

Yesterday afternoon was the annual gift exchange (usually closer to Christmas but postponed this year because of the death of the hostess' father right at Christmas time) of my closest Austin friends and family - something that started when the girls were small. I love these people - feel terribly sad that I don't spend as much time with them or know the details of their lives a s deeply as I once did - and am so thankful for the intimacy that remains. I love just sitting on the floor looking at my old friends - seeing the sweetness of familiar smiles - a couple intertwining fingers while singing. And the young ones (both generations of them) growing up are exciting too -and next year (all going well) we will have a new baby among us. This is the first year the boys have been old enough not to need supervising - have been able to run outside to play ball when they were not involved in conversation. K.K. is getting so tall - young woman tall - a new baby will be tiny. Even this year, seeing Ruth beautiful and wearing a top that flows softy over her soon to expand belly, brought me to sweet tears several times. I missed Joanna and James yesterday - she sick and he working - so much better when we are all together.

The oldest generation really is dying off - another today - father of very good friend at 92 and in mid stage dementia - not a bad dying and a great life - but the passing of the torch is clearly occuring from the generation before me to my own generation

I'm still melancholy. Life feels hard. And harder when Bob is not so pleased with his performance in his job. I can handle our separation fine when I feel like its so he can do a dream job and make a difference - but if he's feeling low about his teaching its harder. He and I plan to do some serious talking over spring break about next year. He can't just quit. We need the income. I was hoping it would be perfect for him to stay in Corpus and not have to have the stress of a job hunting summer. We'll figure it out. I know low moods pass.

I've done so much spiritual and psychological work on maintaining my own balance and peace even when those I love are not doing well. I'm still lousy at it when push really comes to shove.


Dixi said...

How nice that you have such a tradition with your friends, that you get together, that you maintain connection even if not as often as you once did. I have 'old' friends like this too, people who I feel I know well even if I haven't seen them in ..... too long. It is special that you get together with the different generations though. That kind of friendship I do not have.

It is sad to think of the older generation dying off. I had a conversation with a woman I know who is in her late 30's. I've known her since she was a 'kid.' She told me her mother's step-father, about 80, is dying from cancer. He is having chemo, but the chemo is making him ill. She expessed surprise that someone of 80 would have chemo. This young woman's parents died in their 60's, so I suppose to her 80 is REALLY old...and one should just ready oneself to die especially if chemo makes you feel ill. This atttude shocked me really, as I think she is generally a sensitive person.

I do hope that Bob will find a way to feel better about his job. Believe me, I had some awful years when it was hard to keep on going, but I had no choice. Sometimes the thought that the school year would end kept me going. Teaching is difficult because you have to please the administration, the parents of the children, the children, and yourself. Plus the administrators want to please the parents. And the principal wants to look good to the upper administration. It would be so much simpler if one could just deal with children. Tell Bob to hang in there. And I am sure that the two of you will figure things out.

SeaStar said...

Dixi, Thanks for this wonderful comment on my blog, and all your comments. I am aware how fortunate we are to have the multigeneratnal friendships - we have had gatherings with four generations - Jean's Dad (died in December or Marie or Mark's still living moms) down through our generation, our kids, and my grands. I feel so happy this is in my life - a real sense of community.

I understand your shock at your friend's comment about her surprise that a man in his 80's would have chemo when it was making him ill. People's life experiences are so different. My dad underwent very invasive surgery at 83 because he wanted more good years. He said, he didn't feel done with living and wasn't ready to not fight. He did not survive to recover from his surgery, but he was able to tell me he did not regret the fight. My Uncle Rudy on the other hand was eager to make 80, but after that point felt that fighting cancer further was more than he wanted to do.
I am copying your comments to Bob - very helpful comments about teaching. I know they will help him. he has had a better week this week.

Dixii said...

Yes, people's experiences and desires are different regarding to try to live or to be ready to die... I think I would be like your dad, willing to fight. I do understand though if people have fought a lot they might eventually tire of the fight and be willing to let go. It really is hard to know what one's future will hold.