all will be well….
written on an itty-bitty screen…
i whispered the words over and over, linguistic rosary beads, carrying me, i hoped, to the land of calm.
all will be well….
the moving truck was three days late getting here, with a good dozen phone inquiries left unanswered. day after day, promises crumbled, as we did our best to wait it out in the empty law school apartment, stitching in walks and slices of new haven pizza.
finally, wednesday morning, we caught sight of the squat little van veering for the curb out front. we waved, as if greeting a long-lost cousin who’d just crossed the seas.
and then the driver loped out from the cab, a man on a mission we didn’t yet understand.
“who’s in charge here?” he barked. i pointed to my firstborn, the kid whose worldly belongings were stashed inside that moving vault. or so we hoped.
“your bed’s cracked in half, and your desk, too,” he informed.
we stood motionless, taking it in. these sorts of words seem to take the slow road to absorption, words you’d never expected.
somewhere deep inside i thought, “well, at least they’re here,” seeing as i had visions of that vault of worldly possessions taking a jaunt aimlessly around the globe. in perpetuity.
then they started to unload. first off: book cases. or rather the remains thereof. shards of bookcase, more like it.
then the antique floor lamp. its black metal post with the golden finial, snapped off, never to be seen again.
dear moving man assured us it was all that way when he’d picked up the load not too far away, earlier that morning. bad packing, he explained. really bad packing. seems whoever packed the load defied all laws of physics. maybe it was a science experiment. in case the packer is out there somewhere, here’s what he should write in his lab report: it didn’t work. heavy objects crush lighter ones every time….
as if all that wasn’t quite enough, last night we got the introductory tour of the yale-new haven medical center ER when we ambled over with a soon-to-be legal scholar who, after trying to move a coffee table out of the movers’ way, found himself unable to walk. or sit. or roll.
he’s home now, sleeping right beside the spot on the floor where i’m curled up tapping on a screen. we raced to the five-minutes-away IKEA and scooped up a replacement desk and two bookshelves (silver lining, the bed turned out not to be cracked in half, so that stoppage of my heart was in vain. hallelujah).
so, all in all, all will be well.
soon as i ditch the fever that’s been haunting me all week….
hoping your week has been infinitely more glorious. and so grateful that today i’ll be sliding hundreds of books onto shelves….
what are the words you whisper when you discover yourself wedged in a tight spot?
photo above: view out the apartment window at dawn, as I whispered my morning’s meditation….
I do NOT like this! Not one little bit! (Except for the view out the window.) Such a turbulent time did not need to be made more turbulent by all this. So sorry, Beloved. Hugs across the miles, carrying you and two of your boys safely home. Your love will stay tucked safely in the heart of your eldest. I always tell Maddie, “I’m right there, in your heart, and you’re right here in mine.” That doesn’t mean there won’t be tears … being far away is boo-hoo-ey. But we are here to hold you and to hand you tissues. xoxoxoxoxoxo
“Your love will stay tucked in his heart…” my deepest prayer.
Love you. ❤️❤️❤️
Really, where to start? My first reaction is explosive anger, a major meltdown…but that wouldn’t do much except raise blood pressure. Cry? Perhaps. Then I’d remember wise words of someone along my life road: “This too shall pass.” Then I’d try to switch gears to let it go, listen to other wise words I’ve heard: “It is what is.” And then try to turn on the mindfulness machine and appreciate this unexpected adventure you have been handed (will make a great story in family gatherings decades from now), grateful that he is not having to face this all alone, thank God that he will heal even as those bookcases and antique lamp will not, be quietly thankful that you all have been given a reason (I’m assuming) to spend a few more days with him, and oh, what a delightful blessing, that view out his window! That’s the spot where I’d plant my desk. I hope you feel better sharing this crappy turn of events with all your chairs. We are holding you all in our hearts and wish for a meaningful leave-taking (“See you later!”) and safe journey home.
Bless you Paula, speaking on behalf of all the chairs!! I love your kaleidoscope of reactions. I seemed to leap into overdrive, trying to fix anything I could fix, put order to everything I could get my hands on ( you should see the kitchen drawers!!!). Indeed we’ve added a couple days to our stay, to be sure all is well before departing with our leaden hearts…. xox
Yikes Bikes! The van that carried my brother’s family “life stuff” went down a over the Pen Turnpike in winter. Driver survived, thankfully, but most of their stuff did not. It still is tender spot for them. The lamp description hurt and I was thinking about his desk of childhood dreaming, but grateful his bed is still intact, along with your heart. I hope his poor back in back in business. I know when he pulls a book off the bookshelf, he will remember the gentle placement of tomes. It is so providential you were all there to support him through all this. I can’t imagine what it might have been like if he had been alone. It will be some family story down the road…at graduation!
Actually that is one of the phrases I run with when life breaks into pieces…”well this will be a good some day.” That day will come. Safe, safe travels back to your village and that view from his window will be in your heart as you picture him in his new digs over the next year.
Oh, I love my chairs!!! Where would I be without you? I seem to suddenly be collecting moving tails that make ours pale! I cannot even begin to fathom losing everything, being the sentimental queen. You had tears rolling down my cheeks at your sentence about gently gliding a tome off his shelf. I’m lying here with this darn fever, waiting for my doc to call. I got sick just like this when we first moved to cambridge for a year, so I’m starting to wonder if it’s parting sickness…..your healing ways travel mightily through the cyberways, and I feel as if attended to by the best school nurse…. xox
Sunday morning on I-95 south. Just soggily said goodbye, and two moments later (when I could see through tears) opened my phone and found this. It’s a parting gift from the universe, and with all my heart I share with all of you who might find breathtaking resonance in its poetry:
After Our Daughter’s Wedding
by Ellen Bass
While the remnants of cake
and half-empty champagne glasses
lay on the lawn like sunbathers lingering
in the slanting light, we left the house guests
and drove to Antonelli’s pond.
On a log by the bank I sat in my flowered dress and cried.
A lone fisherman drifted by, casting his ribbon of light.
“Do you feel like you’ve given her away?” you asked.
But no, it was that she made it
to here, that she didn’t
drown in a well or die
of pneumonia or take the pills.
She wasn’t crushed
under the mammoth wheels of a semi
on highway 17, wasn’t found
lying in the alley
that night after rehearsal
when I got the time wrong.
It’s animal. The egg
not eaten by a weasel. Turtles
crossing the beach, exposed
in the moonlight. And we
have so few to start with.
And that long gestation—
like carrying your soul out in front of you.
All those years of feeding
and watching. The vulnerable hollow
at the back of the neck. Never knowing
what could pick them off—a seagull
swooping down for a clam.
Our most basic imperative:
for them to survive.
And there’s never been a moment
we could count on it.
“After Our Daughter’s Wedding” from Mules of Love. © 2002 by Ellen Bass.
Oh, oh, oh. Yes. Love you. ❤️
Two thoughts: One from my mother. In all occasions dealing with material objects breaking, remember, “They’re just THINGS.” We guard them the best we can, but in the end, “They’re just THINGS.” And the second: Tell that boy to get himself over to Claire’s Corner Copia. It will be his home-away-from-home local cafe for those times when he needs a 2nd-best mother’s cooking. There’s even a cookbook, so he can share the recipes with you 🙂
Claire’s Corner Copia?!?!? OH MY! i’m going to have to hightail it back to find me a seat at claire’s. we found a place that was deeply unadorned and deeply home-cooking, just down the lane from him, called Clark’s. and we fell in love with our waitress, who’d been there for 28 years. will pass along word presently. thanks, darlin. and yes yes on the things. all replaceable. xoxox