Friday, August 29, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Love is never done.

I invite you to check out a post by my friend Lisa, at Chance of Kingfishers:

A Late Reflection on the Death of Jesus


Seems appropriate. The last lines are perfect:

"At some point everything is done.
Except love.

Love is never done."

~Ally

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Two Weeks Gone By

There are so many difficult tasks right now, looming like icy mountains that need to be climbed. Like sifting through piles of Dad's paperwork, accepting the flowers and cards that keep arriving without falling into a puddle of tears, calling the million people who need to be contacted (and notified), and figuring out how to move on without the guidance and love of my father.

What people don't tell you are all the chaotic things that will happen, like: your muscles will hurt, your bones (your actual bones) will ache, you will be unable to sleep yet when you doze off on the couch, you will sleep the sleep of the dead, with arms and legs like lead and unable to move. You will cry for no apparent reason, suddenly in the shower. You will think the most awful, hateful and spiteful thoughts toward the deceased, and then start to cry saying, "Daddy, I didn't mean it; I know you didn't mean to do this." And they also don't tell you that people you never expected will say the most sweet and generous things. "He was such a good father to you," "He used to give me advice and I always appreciated that," or, "Larry made such a difference in my life - he was a mentor to me." Death is one big shocker after another. That's the punchline. Now you can laugh.

The only way I am getting through all this is with the loving arms of your support, encouragement, and kindness. Your cards and flowers, emails, voicemails and blog comments are lifting me up. And though I have not responded to barely anyone yet - I just can't - your thoughts and prayers are felt. Your love is coming through in a big, big way. I am deeply indebted to you and forever grateful.

Today some beautiful roses and ferns arrived in a rust colored pitcher - so lovely - from two of Dad's friends. I don't know them. Turns out he helped edit their book on writing (and so did Mom), and they even featured him in a chapter about his writing, to inspire teen writers. Who knew? I read it today. He had a vast life I didn't even know about, and every moment like this helps me love and know him more. Daddy, you are so missed. You have no idea.

***Also today, Hillary gave a fan-f*cking-tastic speech at the Democratic National Convention! Did you see it? I would've jumped out of my seat and shouted, save for the leaden appendages and poor Scott trying to catch a few hrs of sleep. She told her supporters to get on board with Obama for crying out loud, and make this change happen! Thank you Hillary. I am on board, officially. Go Obama!


We are keeping our chins up and moving ever forward. Keep those loving thoughts coming. We need you.

~Ally

Monday, August 25, 2008

Moving Onward Bit by Bit

from Shoeboxblog
Not exactly sure what this means, but it feels about right. Looks like Mom and me on our journey to the great beyond. We are back in NH. Hard day today. Starting the long road to the rest of life tomorrow. Now, sleep.
~Ally

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Very Bad Week

This is more for me than for anything else, but will explain why I have been out of touch and will continue to be out of sorts.

Tuesday 8/12 - doing day 7 of early, early temp job (and day 2 with no help, as the training employee went on vacation and I was alone in the HR fray); v tired.

Wednesday 8/13 - up since 5, at work since 7, got call at 10 a.m. from Mom - Dad died in his sleep at 4 a.m. of massive heart attack; life as I knew it crumbled; met Scott at home, made miracle travel arrangements, got Puppy to kennel and got on plane to Indiana.

Thursday 8/14 - after very, very long previous night ending at Holiday Inn, got up and went to Benners' house (home of my cousins, where we all basically grew up, the most stable place in my world); family arrived in droves; went to funeral parlor to see dead father (absolutely AWFUL); talked to irritating minister about Friday's brief service and tried explaining that though there were many Christians in the family who would appreciate the Jesusification, my Dad would probably not have; dinner at Benners' with everyone under the sun.

Friday 8/15 - breakfast at Benners'; funeral, which turned into more of a real service since more and more people kept showing up. Sister Lauren and family could not come (horrible) since she is eight months pregnant and not allowed to travel. Cousin Jake came, Uncle Bob and Cousin Amber, The Ladds and Birdsalls (my parents' lifelong best friends), Leslie and family (wonderful to see her), and others. Service was brief in Jesusland and then opened up for people to speak - wonderful tributes, often funny, lots of fishing stories, and heartfelt remembrances. We videotaped it for Lauren. Chad, Karen and Amber put together a slideshow of old pictures - v nice. Lunch after at a restaurant; everyone in a surreal daze; dinner again at Benners'. Oh, and poor Scott's birthday (f*ck!!), celebrated with cake and a song. The little kids made him cards and told him special birthday secrets, and that made up for a lot.

Saturday 8/16 - Said early and reluctant goodbyes to Amber and Uncle Bob; went to Bass Lake (scene of the obscene crime) and had a swimming, relaxing day with Mom, Birdsalls, Karen and Jake; broke the miserable curse of the cottage - now we can go there again; Jake took us out on the boat and that healed a thousand sorrows. Dinner at Karen's enormous house with her kids, various relatives and Grammie. Saying goodnight and goodbye to Karen's four kids (whom we are now officially in love with) was hard. Their love and little games and "watch me, watch me" were healing us. Spent night at Karen's.

Sunday 8/17 - Left early. Went to Benners' to say goodbye to Grammie, Aunt Anne and Uncle Fred (also hard) and caravaned with Birdsalls and Mom to Beaver Island, Michigan for a few days to recover from total shock. Scott kept saying all weekend, "Dad woulda loved this."

Monday and Tuesday - Michigan; Scott left this morning to drive back to Chicago and fly home - hate being without him; we will be here a few more days until we can bear the thought of going home; then Mom and I will drive across the country, soaking up our Motherland the Midwest and its corn, big skies, bright fields, and nurturing crops...and make our way back home to all the misery that awaits us.

Dad will arrive in two urns in the mail. That promises to be a fan-f*cking-tastic day.
Uff-da.
~Ally

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The truth and nothing but the truth

Some pictures from two weekends ago at Mount Kearsarge - trying to catch up. I am temping this month, getting up very early [read: insanity] until the end of August. For those of you who don't know me, that means I am discombobulated and my blog time (11pm-4am) is non-existent! So hang in while I write non-sequiturs for a while. And don't worry if I don't comment on your blogs. I will be back in September - I look forward to catching up on my reading!




Thinking of you.
~Ally

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Update on the plants

New Hampshire has been either sweltering hot or raining continually. Both of which seem to be helping the plants.Now who knew they had such funny faces?
Dahlia. Oh, dahlia.
My old gentleman, who is always happiest outside, in the summer months. He puts up with fall, winter and spring, just so he can relish summer.
Cannot get that marigold plant to bloom again. There are several buds, and I have tried the "haircut" approach, but no luck. She's getting quite wooly.
Basil a plenty. And begonias.
Happy little orangeness.

Under the largest plant I have ever had - thank you Robin - is the pond I made for toad. I thought, "Why not a terrarium for the little guy?" He has never yet languished there, despite the welcoming bridge Scott suggested... I fully expect to one day come out and find him sunning himself among the rocks and cool water.
Our patio, with two beauties from Robin's porch. And my trusty beach chair. Without frequent trips to the beach, drinking buddies, and smokefests, it doesn't see much action these days. But maybe it will be a good reading spot in September, when I come back to life.
It is so good for my soul to be surrounded by happy living things.
~Ally

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

NEWS ALERT: There is a whole world going on out there at 6 a.m.! [insert loud sounds of shock and dismay] I am doing a temp job right now that actually starts at 7 a.m. - 6:45 next week - and I have come to find out there are restaurants open at this breakneck hour (thank God for Dunkin Donuts), several people on the road (going where??), and yes, people already at work! Who knew?

Since I have virtually no time or coherent thoughts left, here are a few pictures of my darling to refresh your spirits.



Couldn't you just eat him up with a spoon? And doesn't Mom look fantastico??
~Ally

p.s. My "e" button has fallen off (ain't that the truth...) and it is making it vry hard to typ! (see?)

Quote of the day, from the world of Scott:

"Argh. This is the kind of thing that makes me want to sit in a bowl of lettuce and declare myself King Salad." ~ someone named Maggie

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bumbers and Uncle Scott: Destined for Greatness

I had the privilege of watching two people fall in love tonight, Gabriel (formally known, by me, as "Bumbers") and his Uncle Scott. The latter was all hemming and hawing over whether or not to hold the baby, what if he's fussy, he doesn't seem to like me. "Just hold him, " I said, "It'll do your heart a world of good." And a few minutes later, he did.

Never have I seen such immediate and unabashed love between two people. Soon they were speaking their own language and having quite the spirited conversation. Might I mention that Bumbers is a mere two months old and does not speak, has no vocabulary that I know of, and his sounds are basically just squeaks and squawks while waiting for food or filling his diaper (no offense, Bumbers' mom). But with Uncle Scott, a star was born. Fully formed baby sentences (well timed squeaks with inflection, inspiration, and conversation) burbled forth. Uncle Scott seemed to know just what he was talking about. They went back and forth like this, telling each other all kinds of guy secrets, for about twenty minutes.

During which time, they stared intently into each other's faces, mesmerized.There were jokes.
Animated stories.
"Oh, wait 'til you hear what she said next!"
And total, absolute admiration.
It was quite lovely to behold. Uncle Scott's dinner got cold while this transpired. And Mom (formerly known as "Laurel") had a whole dinner, hot, from start to finish. And went back for seconds. And then wandered around the living room a bit, not sure what to do with herself and her newfound mere moments of not being ON CALL 24-7.

And then, as quickly as it began, it was gone. Bumbers caught a glimpse of Mom. Then realized, "Hey, I haven't eaten in at least a half hour!" The back arched. The howl erupted. And the moment passed.

But oh, was it a sight to see. I imagine Uncle Scott and Bumbers have a long and beautiful relationship ahead of them. I am thinking two weeks every summer at Snyder Camp for sure. Surfing, hiking, how to walk the dog or roll a sleeping bag or make a campfire, arts and crafts, quiet time, floating in the swimming pool....oh the possibilities.

~Aunty Ally (awed observer, with a little mist in the eyes, ahem)