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It’s June again. I’m reposting a portion of what I posted in early June two years ago, about what June means to me.

That year, we were two years past my dad’s passing; I was still out of work, but had started swimming at the Y (thanks again, Eddie!). Two and half months later, swimming at the Y would lead me to the work I have come to love like life itself; office manager-cum-foster mother to sixty-two young people who have changed my life as much as I’ve helped to change theirs.

This year, June begins with the end of that job. Our grant ended yesterday, and there’s no gap funding to carry us over to the next grant, which– if we get it– won’t start until late summer/early fall. So, this June, I’m mourning the loss of the very best job I have ever had, work that took in and used every part of me, and reordered my life. I will never be the same person. I will never look at my life and my privileges in life the same way.

As grief for my father transformed me, so the joy of doing this transformed me. And I will miss it (even if it’s only for a short time) more than words can say.
The beauty of a June day like today opens my heart like a flower; but today, that flower is a bleeding-heart.
I miss you, Dad. I miss you, YouthBuild. Until we meet again.

Val-Bouquet-border-web

The flowers, left to right: Bleeding-heart, Forget-Me-Not, Pansy, Dianthus

 

I have always loved the classic June day– warm (not too), breezy (just a bit), sunny, fragrant, ripe with possibility. June is the month my husband was born, so we always start the month with a great celebration and try to keep it going as long as possible….

June is also the month we lost my father, two years ago. It feels like it cannot possibly be that long ago, and at the same time it feels like he’s been gone forever. He visits in my dreams, but rarely says anything. A couple of weeks ago, I dreamed we were driving on a highway (he was driving, I was riding shotgun) and we were driving against traffic. All the other cars– two or three lanes of them– were coming toward us. Suddenly, he put the car in reverse, and we were back in the stream of traffic, just going backwards. That was his solution, to just go with the flow.

I took that dream as a metaphor for grief, at least that was how it felt. Grieving turns your life inside out and upside down. You become unmoored. Nothing is where it was, or where it is supposed to be. You can go for days, weeks, even, and everything will be normal and you’ll think, GOOD, I’m OVER IT, and then something will just hit you, and there you are, crying in the middle of the sidewalk while everyone else just keeps walking.

I don’t think you get over grief. I think you have to have get through it instead. It takes as long as it takes, and there is nothing to be done about it….

June. It’s here again.
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