January with a Difference
January 9, 2014
Every January is an emotional minefield for Alice and me with several family birthdays and death days, some of them coinciding. I wrote about this last year in a post called January. This year, my cousin and Alice’s nephew, Craig, died on January 2nd, the same date my brother, Bruce, died.
Bruce and Craig were more like brothers than cousins, and Bruce’s death by suicide at nineteen was, Craig would probably say, the greatest tragedy in his life, an honest, kind, full, and well-lived life otherwise. (His mother was Alice’s sister, LaRue, the sister who once danced with Lawrence Welk when he was just a boy from a farm down the road and showed up at their little Dakota town to play his accordion.)
As we all know, it doesn’t get any easier to mourn people just because they’ve gotten older and died. In some ways, it’s harder. Someone who has always been there, always, is suddenly gone. And so we mourn Craig.
Thanks to Facebook of all things, I am meeting January and its attendant griefs, old and new, in a different way. I now have a god-daughter (and she’s a writer at that). Her name is Anna. We connected on that virtual field of randomness and have grown very close. Anna understood my January sorrows, and this year she is sending me gifts for each and every January day. Today I opened my front door and found:
This generous, warm, compassionate, down-to earth, feisty, smart, feminist woman is a powerfully loving force now burning in my corner.
You just never know what wishes this chaotic universe will grant – the best seem to be the ones you didn’t even know you had. Much love and many thanks to you, Anna.
I hope light comes shining in to all of you who are finding these winter months tough for one reason or another – loss or dashed hopes or brutal cold or anything else that might be hurting you. We’re all in it alone together. And maybe (for all we know, which is practically nothing) even the ones we’ve lost aren’t that far away.