My iPhone notepad has always been full of weird random wisdom nuggets, ideas that I have, song mashups that I think of to put together, guitar tabs I want to learn, etc. Example: “Wouldn’t it be great if there were a riverboat restaurant (like the old riverboat McDs that St Louis used to have) that actually traveled along the Mississippi River and spent a couple of months ported at each big city along the river, going south to NOLA in winter and then as far north as navigable in summer” …These are my late night, long drive, and bathtub thoughts that I would otherwise immediately forget, but I instead I put them in my phone and laugh at myself later.
Yesterday, I found a note from 3/19/19. I had been talking to my friend Missy about what a strange tradition that people send flowers when someone dies, since flowers also die a few days later… like “Sorry for your loss, here’s something else you’re going to lose.” I had made that note weeks before I lost Alydia and then I received SO many flowers. They were beautiful, I appreciated them all, and my house smelled heavenly. That is, until I left for the cabin last weekend and closed my house up for a few days, and all of the water in the vases turned stagnant. Oops, lesson learned. I set out four City of Kirkwood yard waste bags this week and three of them were full of dead cut flowers! But alas, isn’t it strange how the mind can think of something, and then it turns around and becomes true.
My attention span is short these days. My memory sucks. But I have moments of clarity and understanding, and I try to capture those before they fly away again. Maybe my wisdom nuggets should actually be called clarity butterflies? My thoughts are all so jumbled, even when I write them down. Song lyrics overlap with grocery lists. Alydia’s journals were the exact same way. She would open to a random blank page on any notebook she had laying around, and start a journal entry, writing her thoughts and feelings on the pages between her extensive and detailed notes. I am glad she usually put the date on the page. I have been trying to put it all in order, which is especially difficult because I struggle to organize my own life, let alone try to make order of hers. She was exactly like me, so how can I keep up with both of us?! I want to put her life in chronological order.
At least it’s a project to distract me from the pain. Everyone always wants to compare the physical pain scale to giving birth. I gave birth twice and didn’t have an epidural for either one. Yeah, that hurts. Kidney stones or childbirth. It’s not a pissing contest…. (or is it???) They both hurt like hell. Grief hurts in all of its forms no matter who dies. A spouse. A parent. A dog. But to lose a child that you birthed, raised, and vowed a lifetime to protect… that’s like the kidney stone that never quite passes. I would go through the pain of giving birth again every day for the rest of my life if it could bring her back. Grief is the kind of pain that hits you from inside. It hurts my mind, robs my sleep, and makes me question everything I believe. I feel like I have a bruised soul. A sprained brain. It doesn’t hurt the way physical pain does, but hurts nonetheless.
Life is often a battle between the head and the heart. Conscience vs Compassion. I feel like Alydia was fighting that battle, caught between her head and her heart. My heart is broken, and my mind torments me. Even if I can start to put it in order and try to make sense out of it, it doesn’t diminish the heartache. And that’s what’s on my mind (and in my notepad) today.