Just move along folks, there’s nothing to be seen here.

 

547496_10151407331792734_1766816933_nFrankie, the evil, green-eyed dust-mop.

I have absolutely no plan or structure in mind for today’s blog.  Things feel a bit chaotic lately and I’m having one of those days where I just want to see it pass by quickly, go to bed and start over in the morning.

The two-day induction for the new job begins tomorrow morning, and because I do anxious so well, I am anxious about how I will prepare in the morning, whether I might struggle to find the place, my sat-nav failing me, my car failing me, or just showing up with a bad case of stupid that steadily increases throughout the day.  I’ve literally (and I do not mean virtually, I mean ‘literally’) sought work at least three days a week for the past eight months, so this is a ‘biggie’ for me.  Hence my level of anxiety.

Then, of course, there are the dogs and how they’ll cope with having me away from them for long hours at a stretch when they usually have so much time with me.  I spent the last couple of days arranging the house and the garden for them and finding someone to come in a couple times a day to check on them, give them their dinner and bring them into the house a few hours before I get home.  I know we’ll cope, but it’s a big change for us.  Hopefully, everyone will adjust to our new routine without too much trouble.

Meanwhile, I made a decision regarding Leslie’s ashes.  I decided to scatter her at Hook Lighthouse.

hook

It’s a place I’d planned to take her when she was meant to visit last March.  It feels symbolically right to me as an image of safe passage, presence and hope.  I think Leslie would approve.  Sadly, she doesn’t really have a vote on this one.

So that’s that.  Not much else to say.  I start a new job; I have a sister in a box inside a drawer, but she’ll be moving somewhere better soon; and I spend an inordinate amount of time fretting over road trips, dogs, changes and more changes.  All and all, that comes under the category of ‘mostly normal’ for me.

Hopefully, I’ll find more compelling matters to write about in the coming weeks. 🙂

A locket, a box of ashes and a flu bug.

FOR LESLIE

How strange the things we do with our dead.  When Eoin died we had a five-day wake at the house, followed by the traditional funeral mass (in Irish), burial and reception.  It was such a fog, really, and mercifully so.  Leslie was cremated and the majority of her ashes were scattered at a place in Utah where Leslie enjoyed hiking and camping trips.  Very generously and sensitively, her husband put aside a portion of ashes for me and my mother posted the ashes, plus a small locket with a tiny urn inside that contains another smaller amount of her ashes.  I wore it all day today.  The box of her ashes rests in a drawer in the spare bedroom, for the time being.

It’s been a weird week.   I interviewed for a fundraising position a couple of weeks ago.  Late last week I was notified that I had the job.  I have a two-day training next week in Dublin, and if I’m lucky, enough fuel to make the commute.  Meanwhile, I also caught the flu last week and still feel a bit rough from that, and I have a box of my sister’s ashes in a drawer.

I feel anxious about the box of ashes — as if I need to do something about them, or as if by putting them inside the drawer in an unused room, I can avoid accepting that Leslie is gone, because if nothing else, those ashes are irrefutable proof that she died and I can’t call her on the phone anymore.  I really miss talking to her.  This drawer strategy isn’t working so well for me.  I thought, at first, I’d put her ashes aside for awhile until I came up with the perfect spot to scatter them. Then, I would come up with some meaningful time and ceremonious method for scattering her ashes, and some form of closure might ensue.  I may need to rethink that though.  Keeping her in the drawer doesn’t feel right.  Nothing feels right.  I miss her; and the box of ashes, no matter where I keep them whilst I inevitably procrastinate the scattering, just amplifies this feeling of longing and loss that has no simple cure.

Today I took the dogs to Ferrybank for a walk.  I was watching them play in the water and thinking about Leslie’s ashes and it suddenly struck me that I simply must make a decision and get on with the scattering.  Soon.  I haven’t decided exactly where yet, but somewhere close, somewhere I visit regularly enough so I’ll have a place to go when I need to feel close to her — somewhere I might have taken her to see if she were still alive.  I need to do it soon though.  She wouldn’t like being inside that drawer.  I don’t like it either.