Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Losing and Finding

This post was started some time ago but like all the others I come back to, it evolved. After J's bday and the joy he found in hanging out with his friend,
doing what they do best:  squeeze the most out of life. By playing hard, joking around, belly laughing at old episodes of The Three Stooges and the things they say to one another,
enjoying the outdoors...
(much to Padre's chagrin, I've requested that the sticks be left on the yard just a little longer so they can make forts by the tramp. However, I believe today was the last day for that. Time to pick up sticks.)
it goes on and on. I couldn't help but feel the same. The trip to Army Surplus was a boy's dream come true and gave me McManus flashbacks of his jaunts Grogan's surplus store to buy old stuff that seemed to always need some work. Even the smell in Army Surplus made me a bit queasy due to all the "old" stuff from the wars and what not. Despite a lot of new things, too, it just overpowered my senses.  When we were finished looking around bought two old gunny sacks, a new mosquito netting and fake tattoos, I wanted to shower.
 So my focus on the post came to be on the best thing in life:
 Relationships with Others.
Our friends and family. Friends that become family. And family that can become friends...

However, it began with the subject of loss, due to the Boston Marathon, not being able to find an old friend for a few day and the panic that seeped into me.  Losing a ring from my HS sweetheart. Everything piled up. And I felt so sad about the lives that were affected in the tragedy in Boston.
It [[pst] slowly morphed into 'finding'. Because I found Karma Brinkman and we talked. Her hearing isn't great as you can imagine at 85, but we yelled back and forth and got a great conversation in. We talked  about her son, Curtis, and how he dealt with his life after being electrocuted, how he won the Boston Marathon- even beating the normal runners. (Because they grouped them all together at the 1980 run. It was healing to hear about his life.) It was Healing to hear he was in a better place now. That he was no longer suffering. And it felt good to know that he wasn't perfect but he was striving- like we all do, eh?
And I found that the country and the majority of people are good, want to help one another and bear each others burdens during tragedy.

So here is how the post started....

Losing something is the worst feeling.
That deep rolling in your stomach- wait did I pull that line inadvertently from Adele? Anyway, your stomach is affected. Heck, your whole body is. The headache and tightening of your heart, literally wringing itself out like a wet wash rag.
You feel limp like a rag. The question: "How do I go on?" may enter your mind.
Anyhow, it is a sadness that can affect you physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. 

God prepares you for loss early on in life. When you are young, it seems to start small but is a BIG deal. And you recall it for the rest of your life as a BIG deal.
Because it is the first of something.
It may have been A tooth; which brings pain and the reality of missing something that was not only beneficial in your life but necessary to your survival. (Eating is important!) So you have to come up with a new way to eat without that crucial tooth.
 Eventually those baby teeth are then replaced with awesome chompers and eating is easier. But you still had to lose them to learn those beaver teeth are handy; although ugly until your face grows into them.. And then  the molars.... they hold on for dear life.  Despite twisting the loose molar around with your tongue all day in class, cutting it [your tongue] up by putting it between the tooth  and your gum. Finally, you loosen it enough to twist it with your fingers and even though it hurts, you still do it, only to have it come out while eating some food. That is a surprising loss, chewing it a couple times and then realizing what you are eating....
The gaping hole is so tender and everybody just tells you they lost teeth and it's part of life.
Which you begin to understand but it doesn't take away the fact that you wonder how you're going to brush your teeth in the mean time!
Thankfully I had the Torment
(lost this plant and the one before it was pretty special that died after years of living. And from a great friend as well. I need to replace it. Any ideas, Jen? Boy, we need to chat. It's been awhile! I will have to get on FB it looks like. ugh.)
 help me out with my first front tooth when he tried to convince me to tie floss around it and then to the closet door and slam it shut. When that didn't work he chased me down, pinned me to the bed and gave my mouth a good whop. Out it came.
Then there is the loss of those precious possessions . Whether cheap or expensive, if you loved it, it hurt to have it disappear. Like
A ring from the dentists or a necklace from Avon that a special aunt gave you.
Somewhere in the grass it lay while I had been playing in the backyard. Not even the approaching nighttime kept me from scouring the blades of grass of retraced steps.
Again, tears soak the pillow that night. 
 An earring back in third grade.
A Great grandparent, you don't know well, but go to the funeral and see him unmoving and cold to the touch is so foreign and not as traumatic as an earring?
(when you first get your ears pierced you treat them like a newborn; afraid to make to bend their arms while dressing them and such. Or maybe you treat it like brain surgery. It was after all a painful process to get the things in there, take care of them daily with rubbing alchol and twist them over and over until finally you can wear whatever earrings your little heart desires. 

The lost ring was seemingly more traumatic than the death. And the twirly dress I wore was so layered, that it was made to twirl in. So while everyone talked, I felt like a princess,  shyly sat on unknown relatives laps. Despite the sadness and the strangers, I still loved the fact that I was loved and would twirl for them to show my gratitude and hopefully help them not be so sad.
How could you be sad if you got to wear a great dress?
 And what is death, you wonder at age 3, or so?
In comparison to the feelings and actions at the funeral, the loss of my earring back prompted me to frantically raise my hand during a lesson, inform my teacher, and class, of the horrific loss and ask permission to look under my desk for a clear, plastic backing to an earring. 
My well esteemed teacher said:
" no."
Not only that,
 I received a scolding for interrupting the class for something so trivial. Which actually sunk in as I sat rigidly in my seat for fear of my plastic, green apple earring from slipping out of my ear. I still was near tears about the loss and sad I'd let one of my favorite teachers down. 
Being 3 and being in third grade hopefully would have made a difference when I attended a funeral!
(It did. I went to a distant, unknown, and not seen often aunt and bawled about it that night. Mainly that she was no longer alive for her sake.)

Loss is a difficult thing to understand and endure when you are a kid!

And life amps it up as you go along.  If you were lucky enough to have a pet, you experienced death again. But this death had more of an impact. That is when you learned how bitter life could be. How unfair.

Some of your childhood friends may have had to move away. Even as you get older and have to move or life takes you in different directions, you lose track of those friends to an extent.
As a child- only a trip on my big wheel up the Persival's steep drive way,  stopping at the top to cry as the evening approached and cover my sadness from the world at losing this friend, could help the pain.
As an adult there is always another person that is there that fills the void.
As a girl Shobba and I had spent hours playing gingham paper dolls.
 Shobba was from India and had a mom whose long flowing dresses,  beautiful shiny jewelry and dot on her forehead were exotic and even a little frightening. However,  she would let me stand on the couch in their basement a brush her long black hair and my fear melted away and iIt prompted me to grow mine to my waist, too.
(This isn't what her mother wore, and she was minus the nose ring. But it was traditional clothing that she was draped in.)

The bob hair cut came into fashion once mom was tired of my tangles and so we cut my hair. There was the  ANOTHER loss; my hair.... how could this hurt so badly? A haircut? How could I cry over a foot of hair for so long?

Then you lost friends in a different way. They either chose a different group or you fought and it felt like they had died to you as both of you ignored each other in class and at recess then at church.


But you learned about FINDING what was lost. No, Shobba from India never moved back across the street. (and no I never found her on facebook.
Finding you can heal old wounds, rekindle friendships, finding that lost ring- I wish. Or finding you can endure.
Okay. Ready for Amanda Bedtime Story Time?
Many a millenia ago my college room mate (pictured atop at left) came to IF and we traveled to the base of the Tetons.
Bringing along my little sister we drove to our destination- Verrrrryyyy early in the morning.
When you hike, you wake up very early so you aren't hiking in the dead heat of the afternoon.
The feeling upon waking up this early and a hike before you is nauseating. You feel like you do when you are about to play in a big game, shoot a big buck, or are in the starting blocks waiting for the gun to go off.
Except when hiking you get to LOOK at the mountain you are going to climb for close to two hours before you get to the trail head.
This  hike starts out vertically immediately. By the first switch back you are huffing and puffing and despite being close enough to unlock your car door.
Then it eases up a bit and you are only slightly off vertical.
It kicks your butt and by the time you are through the bear infested trees and to the rock garden proceeding this Table, you are ready to collapse. No matter how good of shape you are in.
And P.S. while in those shady willowy trees that hold the bears- you don't even care. You are so wiped out and looking down at the back of your friend's boots that you don't even notice that they, too, are close enough to open you and your car door up.
So my good friend Alyssa and my sister A., unable to sing the song we'd memorized on the way up to the trail while holding our bladders for the latrine, we hiked ourselves out of a bright beautiful day and into a rain storm.
Prepared as we were, ponchos covered us as we walked through the rain.
Suddenly Allysa gave me a weird look.  Then she broke out into her characteristic laughter.
Allysa:  "Your hair is standing up!"
My head was covered with my poncho hood, so for this statement to be true, it had to be preetty darn near scary. The static on that mountain from the rain storm had pulled, not only my hair, but all of our long hair that was closest to the edge of the ponchos, out and up into the air.
It looked as if we had been jumping on the tramp and our hair was wildly sticking up.
Me: All of our hair is standing up! We gotta get down from here!
Half way up the Table we scrambled back down to where another group of hikers were gathered in a ditch.
We waited it out. The group in the ditch with us ditched the final part of the hike for safety purposes. Before doing so one of the adults snapped our famous picture.
(this looks like a crack of lightning in the center of the picture....)
WE on the other hand didn't climb that far to not reach the dad gum top!  
So we waited.
The clouds parted and we could see darker ones on the brink of sun rays. Sooooo.... 
We beat it up the Table. Which is a hard feat cause it's loose rock. Breathlessly we sang the hymn;
How Great Thou Art (a tradition )  and took in the view, then beat it back down the mountain.
I felt bad the group didn't do as we'd done because it was beautiful for a brief moment. But the dangerous static was coming back and they could have had some slower hikers with them.
Taking the longer route on the other side of the "hill" it wasn't as vertical but took longer.
It's either Huckleberry or Blueberry canyon. (Either way, it's a berry long walk.)
 Eventually the sun shone hot upon us again when we had outdistanced the high altitude and Alyssa kept the bears away by cussing. (She twisted her knee on the way down. She is straight arrow so don't think that her cussing makes her a bad egg.
She just had a bad leg and we didn't bring Tylenol.
Running into a bear actually didn't intimidate me at this point either because I knew that my good friend would keep them at bay.
Joking aside,
The walk down was HARD for her and I was begining to wonder if Amy and I would need to carry her at points. Luckily she is a tough gal- she's had 5 kids now, I think- and toughed it out so we wouldn't have to haul her.

You can't replace a good friend. Or a memory.
(J. tearing it up with a great friend out back and finding out about good friends and being one.)
They stay in your life even when you aren't in touch because of the bond that is formed in tough times. And great times.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive