21st: Reproach none for the infirmities of nature, nor delight to put them that have in mind thereof.
TONIGHT on TV
Six Feet Under
I'm a proud
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
13 September 2004
When I was writing the "Yesterdays Entries" for yesterdays entry, and looked at the date of todays entry, I realized that there there are very specific memories that are connected with these two days.
Thirty three years ago today, my sister Karen died. Shed been shot by her partner 7 weeks before, lay in a coma, never regaining consciousness, until a massive kidney infection finally ended her life. Years later when I listened to the struggles of people begging to allow their loved ones to be taken off life support and be permitted to die, I was grateful for that kidney infection, which saved the family from having to make that painful decision. Karen was never going to regain consciousness and it was a blessing that she died. (Ironically she died at age 24, the same age David was when he died; I was pregnant with David when she died.)
We had never been close. There was 4-1/2 years between us and though we shared a bedroom in our growing up years, we were complete opposites and our personalities were oil and water.
When she admitted to my mother that she was a lesbian, it became the subject that was never discussed. We welcomed her partner into the family, but the "L-Word" was never spoken when we were all together.
It was a different world then, a world before PFLAG, a world when homophobia ran rampant, a world where you kept such things hidden. How things have changed in 33 years. I'm sorry she's not here to see today's world. It's not perfect, but it's oh so much better.
I also looked at the entries for September 13 in "yesterday's entries" and I shake my head at the changes that have occurred in four years.
Four years ago on September 13, I was running around here like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to put the finishing touches on the house prior to Peggy's arrival. We had only exchanged e-mails and I didn't know if we would get along for 6 weeks. I'd had guests from other countries before, of course, but this was different--this was someone I already considered a friend, and I knew that we had such different lifestyles. Could she put up with my "casual" housekeeping? Could I put up with her idiosyncracies.
Six weeks later, of course, the fears of September 13 seemed very silly. We had become close friends and remarked, at the end, that despite some tense moments (wandering around lost in Huntington Beach, for example), not a single cross word had passed between us. We both felt that was pretty special.
Three years ago, Walt and I were in England, still reeling from the shock of the attack on the United States, the images on CNN watched in our hotel room minutes after we arrived in London, forever etched in our minds. I remember wandering the streets of London, desperate to hear an American accent. I needed to find "my people." I remember the worst part being separated from the kids by an ocean. No matter that they were scattered to three corners of the country, it somehow was important that I be on the same continent when we were under attack.
Two years ago, I had lost 77.8 lbs, the most weight I'd ever lost, and I was an avid cyclist and knew for sure that I would never go back to my old eating habits, or give up on cycling because it had become so important to me. (You know what they say--"if you want to make God laugh, tell her what your plans are for tomorrow.")
One year ago on this date, I stood at a fence in front of a field of eye-blinding yellow canola blossoms, as far as the eye can see. Later in the day, I stalked kangaroos grazing on a soccer field at the local university.
Four years ago, I never dreamed I would ever see Australia, but one year ago there I was, back with Peggy again, at the beginning of another adventure.
Today Walt is at his mother's, overseeing the movers who are packing her up and getting ready to move her to Santa Barbara. She has lived within 40 minutes (or less) of us since 1965, the year we were married. It's the end of another part of our lives, watching her go.
One thing about keeping a journal is that you are more aware, as each year rolls around, how far you've moved--forward or backward. The changes that occur from year to year aren't always as monumental as my changes around September 13, but I was definitely struck by the very specific milestones that are marked around this date.
I wonder what I'll feel about on September 13 next year, as I look back on today.
Website of the Day
Today's websites are for animals. First is The Elephant Sanctuary, a non-profit organization, licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, designed specifically for old, sick or needy elephants who have been retired from zoos and circuses.
The second site is just plain fun. Check out the new baby rhino at the Cincinnati zoo--and
operate the webcam yourself!