22nd: Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another, though he were your enemy.
I'm a proud
I'M A WINNER!
14 September 2004
As I've stated before, I never win anything. I am very unlucky. Don't take me to Reno or Las Vegas. Casinos can sense when I'm coming and all the slots immediately refuse to turn over three of anything when the handle is pulled. As a result, I gave up gambling a long time ago.
I do "win" lots of stuff on the internet or over the phone. I win free trips to exotic locations (all I have to do is listen to a little spiel about vacation property), or I win free jewels, with the purchase of a bazillion other jewels. I win a chance to particpate in a drawing, but never win the drawing of course. As I was writing this, I was informed I'd just won a free pocket data organizer just for taking out a mortgage. (I suppose it's to keep track of when my mortgage payments are due.)
But today, I hit the jackpot. I had a call from a woman from Monument Hill Memorial Park, informing me that I had "won" two free cemetery plots, if I didn't already own land in a memorial park.
I know there was a catch, but I didn't even give her time to get it out. I told her that yes, we owned land in a memorial park. The land our two sons were buried in and that I wasn't interested in talking to her.
The vehemence of my response surprised even me. I go along from day to day and have reached a stage where I don't think about Paul and David all the time any more. I've found other, more pleasant things to occupy my mind and life has gone back to whatever our "normal" has become since May 18, 1996.
It's even been a month or more since I took flowers to the cemetery, something I used to do every week.
The post office is a couple of blocks from the cemetery and so I drive by it all the time, and I do say a "hi" to the guys as I pass by, but I don't feel a compulsion to go in all the time any more. They aren't there. Only whatever is left of the bodies they inhabited while they were with us is there.
I'm not "over it." I'll never be "over it," but I've found reasons to live and I'm living, not spending my time in the cemetery, or brooding over memories of lives snuffed out too soon. There are still wonderful things in life wonderful discoveries to be made every day and I don't want to spend the rest of my years centered on the dead.
So why am I sitting here feeling like there is a knife twisting in my gut, my insides churning, all because some lovely, unsuspecting salesperson made the mistake of telling me I'd won land in a cemetery?
I guess because you really never are over it. All you do with any major loss in your life is learn to cope. You find busy work. You find reasons to keep from remaining in the fetal position and get back into the mainstream of life. You dry the tears and you learn to laugh again.
But no matter how wonderful the new "normal" can be at times, nothing can erase the reality of those two plots in the cemetery, and the memories of the beloved sons whose remains lie in them.
You can find pleasure in family holidays and laugh again at all the corny old jokes and the traditional things that happen each year, but nothing can change the fact that there are two less voices laughing and that the table has two fewer places set for the holiday dinner.
You learn to find beauty in sunsets, to appreciate nature, to laugh at television, and sing new songs. But a flock of birds reminds you of times you shared, television shows remind you of evenings spent with The Simpsons, songs remind you of the songs that will never be written or sung now.
You find meaning in life, but you never forget.
So when someone calls to let you know that you've "won" a couple of plots in a cemetery, the knife once more goes into the gut and all the memories come flooding back.
And maybe just for a minute you curl up in the fetal position again. But only for a minute. There's too much left to live for.
Website of the Day
Denver Doug has a marvelous entry about benefits in our "improving" economy.
And you simply MUST read this entry by Tom Tomorrow about freedom of speech and right to assemble in this "land of the free."