….they are not departed or gone
they were waiting for me
when i said that i just can’t go on
and they brought me their comfort
and later they brought me this song…
- Leonard Cohen
yesterday afternoon, after my (lollipopless) doctor’s appointment and Oscar’s (also lollipopless, how cold is that?) trip to the audiologist where we discovered that my boy’s wee eardrums aren’t vibrating at all and are probably the reason for his delayed speech and struggles with pronunciation…and that there’s a three month waiting list for treatment…my mother and son and i clattered into my front porch. i was thinking grumble grumble, moo moo despite the unprecedented if not terribly exciting two trips out in one day when i all but trod on a large package sitting on my door mat. with my name on it. postmarked “Australia.”
i ushered Oscar and Nannie in, and got O divested of boots and Nannie set up for the hour of Thomas the Tank Engine delights she was about to most graciously endure so as to allow me to do some much-needed lying down, and then i opened the mystery package. it held a big, simple, elegant photo/scrapbook album…with photos inside. of me. and Oscar. and Dave. recent photos, entertainly captioned, against cheery backgrounds…and one, combed from the archives of the blog, of Oscar’s eleven-month old fat fingers gently touching his brother’s urn. towards the back, more pages and scrapbooking materials waiting to be used. inside the front cover of the album, it read To Bon, Dave, Oscar & Finn…love George, Will, Euey, & Aoife. 26/04/08.
i blinked back tears and then realized i was losing that battle and hell, i was just so damn touched and surprised and there’s been a lot of that kind of marvellous, random kindness lately and i gave up entirely and just lay there and wholeheartedly sobbed.
because this old friend of ours, half a world away, whom we haven’t laid eyes on in the three+ years since we left Korea, spent hours putting this together for me. and sent it airmail, at no small expense, to get me started on something to do while on bedrest. something for my children, something to pass on. and she did this the week she herself was home recovering from a D&C after the miscarriage of their much-wanted third baby.
i felt very humbled. and very grateful, and blessed in the people i’ve been lucky enough to connect with in my life.
just as i felt when a few weeks ago or so the delivery dude showed up at my door with an Amazon package, again with my name on it, and i thought strange, i haven’t ordered anything from Amazon but heck, maybe it’s a happy mistake, and i opened the box to find two fabulous, stimulating, challenging books inside courtesy of Jen, who just kinda thought i might need something to read these days.
just as i felt a day or two later when another box showed up from London, from an old, old friend who’d read my post about losing the bracelet Dave gave me, and had sent me another, one that reminds her of the beach she & Dave & i used to hang about on, lifetimes ago…and had stuffed the box with Marks & Spencer candies and a pair of Wonder Woman underoos, i shit you not, in grown-up size! i coveted Wonder Woman underoos all through my childhood, dudes. i am now living the dream.
back a few weeks before that, when i lamented about trying to stuff Oscar’s cute little round bumtail into skinny jeans, Mad mentioned there was a sale on elastic-waist pants at a store in Sleepytown, and what size did i want? and she just…sent them. just like she sent cookies before Christmas, homemade gingerbread, after my miscarriage when i was slow and swamped with sorrowing.
i’ve gotten a lot of emails lately, from friends far away just catching me up with their lives, readers delurking to say nice things, longlost friends popping up out of the woodwork.
jeebus, people. you make an old couch troll feel…nice. and loved. and kind of embarrassed.
because i don’t really do stuff like that so well. i don’t make stuff for people, or buy things and put them in the mail. i don’t send so many of those personal emails (or responses) as i’d like to. it’s a near-lost art, in my world…one sacrificed to delusions of my own busy-ness, i think. my own self-importance. and i am ashamed, suddenly, of all the times i’ve thought “oh, i’d like to do x for so and so!” and then promptly forgotten, because x doesn’t fall in the top five list of priorities that anal moi is trying to organize and accomplish and keep moving at all times, even from my couch…because that’s how i live my life, insular except for these words here.
to Georgia, and Jen, and E, and Mad…and all of you with your generosity of words and humour and support…all of you who’ve befriended me and been good to me even though i’ve never sent you squat…thank you. a big wet thank you, from the bottom of my little grinch heart. because you’re helping, very much. helping me stay mostly buoyant, helping me feel less alone, helping me remember how grateful i am to be on this couch in the first place, carrying this child i’ve wanted so badly.
…and in case anyone is inspired to send more bedrest delights, Dave asks me to mention how much i like beer. hmm. sometimes he’s not to be trusted, that one.
this rush of positivity isn’t just the result of largesse and kindness…i also have more to look forward to in the next 72 hours than i’m accustomed to in, erm, 72 much longer measures of time. tomorrow, we head to Halifax for my 20 week ultrasound, where we get to see the baby, which always makes me all sweet & squishy inside even if i have had, oh, two hundred odd utrasounds over the past three years. tomorrow, we may even find out if i shall, as i suspect, become the thing i never ever imagined i’d look forward to with any kind of anticipation…mother to three boys. yikes. and yet…okay. and thrilling just in the proximity to the big revelation.
also tomorrow, if the hospital lets me, i should get to dine with me Blog’Er mateys and the Upper Canadians bold enough to join us. i’ve only ever met two bloggers before, and love them both. tomorrow i meet seven more. and we get to hang out all weekend. and they’re going to get drunk and be waaaay more entertaining than those voices in my head that usually talk me through my days, so i’m psyched.
then…and i am still pinching myself on this one…on Sunday, we return home, where two old and dear and not-nearly-often-enough-seen friends will arrive at my house, and we will all head out to see Leonard Cohen. Leonard Freaking Cohen. who hasn’t toured in fourteen years. who is playing in my teeny-weeny hometown, more generally reserved for such lesser events as Trooper reunions and high school plays. i think Leonard knew i needed a little cheering up, that foxy old charmer. i’ll be showing up in a wheelchair, but Leonard, baby…i’ll have bells on.
feeling pretty lucky, folks. i’m betting Monday David Bowie shows up on my doorstep with cupcakes. y’all are welcome to come watch. ;)