You Sunk my Battleship!

Sometimes it hits me how I can find myself in places I never dreamed I'd be. Sometimes its a stilt hut in Thailand, eating dinner by one lightbulb hanging from the ceiling, and sometimes its sitting on a bench by the ocean talking to my husband about how disappointed and angry we are to be fighting this.

A couple weeks ago I finally got together enough energy to plant my seedlings for our family garden. Normally, I would have done this back in March in the warmth of our den windows on shelves facing the sunlight, but this year I was just too overcome by loss. I put it off. The week Alex died I thought I'd be noble and buy the seeds and do something productive. I made it to the store and back but the seeds just sat there in their packaging on our catch-all table by the backdoor. Then they were moved to the top of the dryer and then I almost got rid of them all together. They seemed to represent something so at odds with all that we were going through.

Planting seeds is like a little bit of hope being dropped into the ground and covered up and left to do something miraculous and I just couldn't bear it. Finally I got up the nerve to plant the little guys and that's all I could bring myself to do that day, and I felt like a traitor and every day that there was no sign of life I felt a little vindicated. Then it happened, a little sprout shot up. And then another and now my shelves are full of burgeoning life. And everytime I look at them I remember how Papa would brag on our garden and rave about the tomatoes and cucumbers. And Alex asked us in teasing tones if we were actually growing corn in our tiny backyard garden.

Spring came "officially" back in March and even though I felt the pollen attack my sinuses I hadn't felt the newness yet. Yesterday, we had a gorgeous turn of weather and packed up the old Expedition with all of our beach gear and then some. Driving through the country backroads on our way to Carolina Beach I could hear all of my babies laughing and talking and teasing each other. The only one missing was the Bambino and the others talked about him so much it was as if he was there anyways. For our family, the ocean is a tonic, a healing balm for our world weariness, and I was so glad to be there with all of them, soaking in the sun.

Our delayed spring was both physical and spiritual. In all this I am forced to remember that although we may have lost, we are not losers. We may be limping, but we're healing and laughter is good for the soul.


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