Time just keeps trucking on, doesn’t it? I wanted to share some photos from this past July 4th, which just seems like last weekend! With the July fireworks, as with everything in life it seems, it’s sparking memories of Mom. I’ve had a lot going on this month and have a lot to get caught up on. Also, some sad news that has left me wondering about Thunder my jungle cat.
Good times first.
Does your town have a big fireworks display? The town of Evansville just 30 minutes from us does every year and it is tradition for my family to go. It’s a huge fast walking procession once you find a spot to park downtown and carry your lawn chair or blanket towards the riverfront. Of course, we always head right up front! But I didn’t notice the great spot I had picked to park my chair and myself at until after it began and we were already packed in like tuna and chatting with my friends I meet there. See the tower at 1:00? You probably can’t see the speaker that was screeching out patriotic music aimed right at me. Great. My head had felt like it was going to explode like a fire cracker the whole day before the big event and this just topped it off. My friend’s mom and step dad set up a camp practically at lunch to get a good spot for their family every year at the downtown riverfront in Evansville. I always scooch in and probably piss off a lot of people by plopping my chair down in premium space at the last minute but hey, it’s a sidewalk and free country. Plus, my friend’s family always knows I’m coming so they make room 😉
I had to get a selfie of me and my little man. He’s getting so big, I can’t believe it. He’s going to be in 3rd grade in a few weeks. I hope you all got to spend time with friends and family this past 4th of July. I always am a melancholy on July 4th… it reminds me of Mom so much. Well you know, everything does.
I watched an episode of Oprah’s Master class the other night that I didn’t actually plan to because it was of Billy Bob Thorton and he’s always came across as an ass to me, but it came on and I left the channel on while I was cleaning up in the kitchen. But I really connected with what he said. He said something that really struck a cord with me and I related to it immediately. He said :
“I’ve never been the same since my brother died. There’s a melancholy in me that never goes away. I’m 50% happy and 50% sad at any given moment. The only advice I can give for people when you lose someone is you won’t ever get over it. And the more you know that and embrace it, the better off you are. I don’t want to forget my brother and I don’t want to ever forget what it felt like when he died because he deserves it. That’s how important he was to me. So if I have to suffer and I have to be sad for the rest of my life and I have to be lonely without him, without his particular thing, his sense of humor, and what he brought to life then that’s the way I honor him. I’ll be sad and melancholy for him forever and I know it and I accept it and I live with it. But I think it’s okay to have all those feelings. And as an artist, that’s where a lot of your stuff comes from. You keep honoring those people forever. By singing that song or writing that movie or doing that part in a movie or writing a book or whatever it is that has a sadness and a melancholy and a fear in it… those are the things that keep them alive, whatever you put into your work or your family or your art.”
I totally get what he is saying and I agree with him. I’ll forever be sad about my mom dying. I’ll mourn for her always. I mourn for my dad losing his soulmate and I can tell feels lost without her, I mourn for me, for not having more time with her. I mourn for my son, who sadly doesn’t even remember her and he was her total joy and the sunshine of her life for those short three and a half years she was able to spend with him. How can he fully understand the love she had for him?
I met someone a few weeks ago and this person got too personal with me way too fast. The way she approached me and tried to push her way in was like a hurricane, and I didn’t like it. She invaded my space, my privacy and tried to invade my thoughts and the way I think, it felt like. I rarely am rude on purpose, so I let her talk and didn’t ask her to leave. But one of the things she said to me, to try to get me to change my way of thinking and change my feeling has bugged me for the longest time. Somehow, the mostly one sided conversation got to my mother and I can talk about Mom without crying now, most of the time… but somethings are still very tender and when poked they bleed. She hit one of those particular spots. I’m sure she was all very well meaning, but it’s what she said about my then welling up tears that got me to thinking later on and then had me seething. It was about how I should be over it by now, and implied that I shouldn’t have such deep intense feelings about the loss. It pissed me off the more I thought about it. I don’t want or need anyone telling me how long to grieve.
Then, I find myself listening to Billy Bob Thorton and I feel validated about my feelings by what he said. Just knowing someone else feels the same is comforting in a strange way. I love the way he was able to articulate it, something I have a hard time doing verbally. I tend to express my feelings through my art, which aren’t always perceived the way it was intended as it was made. But that’s okay. I’m able to release it and let the canvas absorb it from my soul through my brush. It is then interpreted however the viewer’s heart needs to consume it.
Everything seems to come back to art, doesn’t it? Art… the viewing of it and the creating of it… both equally therapeutic remedies for the spirit.
If you would like to see Oprah’s Master Class show I refer to in this post, it can be found here.
p.s. I hadn’t expected to go on quite this much and forgot to mention Thunder, my kitty. I will post about him next time.