Yesterday I had an open day. An open day in a week sandwiched between a week with my daughter, her new baby and her family, and the upcoming week that I’ll spend my aging, ailing parents. I had promised myself that I would write, but when I sat down nothing came.
My thoughts circled around my hospitalized stepmother, all the things that I had neglected the week I was at my daughters, and all the stuff I need to do before I leave for the week in Arlington. And in the scope of all those circling thoughts, my time-travel story just seemed really, really unimportant.
And to compound my glumness, it was also my mother’s birthday. She died almost 40 years ago. The coincidence of my stepmother’s most likely imminent death so close to my mom’s birthday struck me. My stepmother was my mother’s best friend. When I was little, before their family moved away from my home town, my stepmother’s daughter was also my best friend.
My 93 year old dad in his garden
In a couple of days, I’ll be at my dad’s house—the house where I was born and raised. Someday that house will probably belong to someone else. I don’t even know how that will feel.
Today, I’m back at my computer. My time-travel story doesn’t seem as insignificant today as it did yesterday, because I know love circles around. New babies arrive, people we think will always be there pass away…or sometimes just leave. But love—it’s always there if we have open hearts. I think it’s a gift from God.
the deer who enjoy my dad's garden
I also know that my stories are incapable of telling people that. When I think of what love really is—how big, overwhelming, complicated and yet basic—any story is grossly inadequate.
And yet, I can try. It seems the least I can do. Besides, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do.