Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Mornings

Sunday Morning, a time for peaceful reflection. A time for extra cups of coffee, a real home-cooked breakfast, reading the paper or a magazine, playing with the family pets or snuggling on the couch with your children and/or spouse and the family pets.

Also a time to watch Sunday Morning on CBS a long time favorite which helps to unwind with a little news, a little art and more than a little thought provoking chatter about the state of things in the past, now and those things to come. I have been watching Sunday Morning as long as it has been on TV and now I find that my grown children enjoy this as much as I do in their own homes. I wonder, is it there way of feeling that they are still at home on the couch with all of us together?

This Sunday Morning I finished a book mostly about women, their friendships, their children, their romances and their power to survive alone if necessary. I thought that this would be a “fluff” book, a summer read, a quick escape from everyday problems. And so it seemed until just near the very end. The heroine had ovarian cancer and she was gone in just two chapters. Clearly her dying was not as important as her living had been.

She passed with fight and dignity and wisdom profound. She was a single Mom in love with her daughter’s father and rekindling that romance, still in the prime of her life. You could say that she never gained full happiness; or you could say that the love
Finally returned by this man was simply the sprinkles on top of the icing on her well baked cake.

I had wanted a happy ending! I was really upset as I realized that the older, non-related mother figure in the story was not going to die first as would have been sad but acceptable as that is the cycle of life. No, it was the young Mom with so many more years to bloom and grow and watch her child grow and have children.

This really aggravated the hell out of me. Still does, sort of. But it is not really about the dying, it is about the living. I had a brief but some what chronological peek into this woman’s life and it was glorious. It was not extraordinary. It was almost close to what one might call ordinary except that she was a fiercely independent woman who had made a success of her business and was able to, at the same time, raise a seemingly happy and well adjusted child.

Predictably, she was a secret diary keeper. Within a brief time after the funeral and well within the all consuming veil of grief, her elder mentor produced one of these diaries which had all been put aside for her daughter to read one by one. What a gift,I thought, to have something in writing from someone you love.

Well this, of course, is not a new idea. People have been writing their memoirs for hundreds, thousands of years. Famous people, infamous people, literary types and scientists and yes ordinary people as well.

My sisters and I have often talked about doing just that either collectively or singularly and so now I begin my attempt to share those events I feel that have molded me into the person I am today. Not extraordinary, close to ordinary with independence and strengths
and weaknesses and joy and sadness all rolled into one. After all, it is all about the living.