It’s four in the morning, and the world outside is shrouded in a thick, white blanket of snow. While Dan sleeps soundly, the silence envelops me like the snow outside. My mind, however, is a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions. I tiptoe quietly across the cold floors to let the cat out, feeling the wintry breeze send chills across my skin. Luci leaves her paw prints in the snow, a fleeting trace of her presence as she disappears like a shadow into the darkness. I prepare a cup of coffee and settle down to write, hoping to quiet the storm of thoughts.
My grandma doesn’t have much time left, but I have made my peace with it. She’s been alive but I feel she stopped truly living a long time ago. In all honesty I find solace in the thought that she may finally find rest. She was once someone that was out dancing a lot, and fishing and picking berries, making jam, baking and cooking. It’s been disheartening to witness the transition from a life filled with vigor to one where her body has become frail, leading to confinement in her apartment and eventually an elderly home. Maybe even confinement in her own mind as well. It must be tiring.
Death has a way of making us selfish; We don’t want to loose someone we love. But they are never lost if we remember them. Her life has been long, and sadly I don’t know much about her as a person, just as my grandma. But I know that along her path she has encountered hardships, sorrow and joy, just like any human being. In between the significant moments, she’s lived through countless small, everyday situations that have woven her story into a full life.
She has that, and all I want is for her to be at peace now.
With the weight of death lifted from my chest, my thoughts turn to brighter news. Fall has once again brought the wind of change into my life. In late August we bought a house, and in 22 days we’ll be moving in. The excitement and joy shines as a strong counterforce to the darkness, keeping me just as wide awake. We have a place that is ours to invest in and shape into our home. A warmth spreads through me as I write those words. Our home.
My mind is buzzing with projects and ideas at the moment. I’ve attempted to organise them into Pinterest boards, but they persistently occupy my thoughts. Each night, as we lie in bed, we discuss our plans and where to begin. As much as I love renovating and decorating, what excites me the most right now is the vision of us living life in this new home:
Waking up on a chilly winter morning like today to kindle a fire, dancing to music while preparing dinner, the quest to find Luci’s secret hiding spot in the house, kisses shared by the kitchen island, laughter with friends over board games, indulging in creative endeavours in our workshop/studio, nurturing the garden and getting dirt under our nails… There will certainly be moments of frustration, stress, and tears as well, but we have a home where the ebb and flow of everyday life will be woven into the weave of our story. Memories will be created, some things will be forgotten, and time will pass.
But all of it is ours.
I stretch my neck and rise from my chair to get more coffee. A deer passes outside the window, it’s white tail is all I see, soaring like a ghost in the darkness of the garden. I move with more caution, hoping not to startle it. I walk to another window to look but it’s gone, leaving only its tracks in the snow. I can’t help but wonder if they have ever met, my cat and the deer?
Despite the frustration of awakening early, and that sleep eluded me, I do enjoy these quiet mornings of reflection. There’s a stillness to them, and I feel like I am in on a secret when I am up before the world awakens and the daily hustle and bustle start back up. While I’ve been transferring my swirling thoughts into words on the screen, I feel that my mind has grown calmer, and that there is comfort to be found in the midst of change. I’m well aware that a crash will inevitably come later though.
Today will undoubtedly be a day that requires a second pot of coffee.