Tuesday, July 03, 2007

More news from the country! It's been a rough couple of weeks. A much loved local teacher -- which does not begin to describe who she was or how much everybody loved her -- and expert rider died near her home after a fall from her horse. In addition to feeling the community's grief for her and her husband and son, I also felt an unexpected survivor guilt and need to control everything else i thought I could control, including how my daughter and grand daughter live their lives down to the smallest detail of talking on cell phones and crossing streets. Anything and everything can change so stunningly, in an instant and without warning. I want that to stop!

I thought I was over J's death when Louis and I went out of town for the afternoon and evening Saturday, leaving Amos and Phoebe here on their own. Driving back, we noticed some evidence of a rainstorm -- wet streets, minor debris -- but when we turned into our driveway, we were blocked from progressing by three or four large tree limbs, one of which turned out to be a whole dogwood tree, across the drive. The storm seemed to have passed right through our property, leaving land on either side of us unscathed.

There's a message in there somewhere. Not that somebody has it in for me, not that one. The message is about control, how I haven't got it.

We were lucky. While there were several trees whose tops had been lopped off by the storm, including one in the woods whose trunk was too big for me to get my arms around and which had been split only a couple of feet above Louis's head -- nothing had hit the (1) pets, (2) house, or (3) truck.

We heard of one family who left to go grocery shopping while their house was without electricity and came back to find that their house had burned to the ground from an electrical surge once the storm had passed.

Everything can change in an instant and without warning. Our broken trees stand as a sign. When the paper shredder jammed yesterday, I spent an hour digging out little pieces of shredded paper like a madwoman. Not LIKE a madwoman. I'm a little nuts with anxiety and rage. I think I fed it too much paper. I remember wondering how much it could take.

I couldn't fix it. I think I'll have to get a new one, which makes me blush with shame. Which makes me want to cry.

I'm writing you in an effort to let go. I'm writing you to warn you of what you already know: things can change in an instant and you have no control. I'm writing to tell you that I love you.