Thursday, March 17, 2016

In the Palm of His hand.

Delete, I do, after writing long posts about woes that are so temporary and silly... empty.  
Bob Dylan is singing to me:  "Don't think Twice it's Alright...  It ain't no use turnin' on your light babe/I'm on the dark the dark side of the road/But I wish there was something you could do or say/to try and make me change my mind and stay/but we never did much talkin' anyway.  Don't think think twice it's alright."

It's 3:34 am, not a Thursday... Oh, Saint Patrick's Day!  I'm 42% Irish.  I think that's what my mom said.  42 and 1/2 %... Irish...  Sam isn't Irish.  He's almost completely English.  He had two or three ancestors on the Mayflower.  I had one descendant on Miggie Lisai's side.  I don't even know her maiden name...  Thayer.  I think it was Thayer.  The Lisai's are 100% Russian.  My dad is 100% Ukrainian.  I'm the most Irish one in the house, although Michael looks just like his 100% Irish great-grandfather.  

Stella was named after Stella May (Frenette) O'Connor.  She was French.  Grampy Jim, (James O'Connor) was 100% Irish.  He had twin siblings: Reggie and Madeline.  And guess what his mother's name was?!  Johanna!  It's strange that the only other people to have twins so far was me, yeah? Grampy Jim's father's name was Michael.  Johanna and Michael O'Connor.  

I have kept track of my family history.  I know the stories, and want my children to know them.  They do know them.  I don't want them to forget that they knew Nanny Tops and Grampy John.  Nanny is still here.  They need to see her.  I was so lucky to see my grandparents, and great-grandparents for a significant part of my life.  My happiest memories are in their house:       
                             
 May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
the rains fall soft upon your fields 
and until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Sam and my babies are mostly English.  We'll eat corned beef and cabbage tomorrow, even though that wasn't a celebratory dinner for Irish people.  They would truly celebrate with something special to them, like chicken.  We have silly American traditions about other cultures and even our own country's past.  That's okay.  Stella asked if it was okay if she didn't eat any cabbage. I told her, she didn't have to eat the cabbage.  She ate the carrots.  That's a big deal for that little lady.  

Every day, at some point, my heart breaks a little bit:
When my daughter eats carrots because she knows I want her to.
My son draws intricate WWII battle scenes and that he never to shows me. I find them under couch. 
And watching my daughter through our  front windows as she dances and belts out songs in the yard.  (Grampy loved to watch her dance.  She started dancing at 11 months. 
It breaks that my grampy is not here. 
I can't handle the knowing that I will lose more people I love. 
It breaks that my babies are growing up so fast. 
It breaks my heart that I have PMDD, and it disables me.  
It breaks my heart that I'm not a teacher...  

PMDD, luteal phase, when I'm wide awake all night, I think about my grandfather a lot.  I miss him very much.  On early mornings like those, when it's almost 4:00 am, and I can't sleep, I am waiting for daylight to come.  I think the past is present and intertwined.  I am lost in halfway-sleep-dream-delusions. 

I am waiting.  I want give my nanny and grampy time to wake up, you see...  I want to get in my car and drive to their house, and walk through their old wooden door, and see grampy sitting in his chair, and smell the muffins my nanny is baking in the oven, and nanny is siting there next to my grandfather--love of her life--and they smile at me, and Grampy says, "My Joanna!"  (They were always so happy to see me. I hug him I can smell his aftershave, and mint tea, and shaving cream.   
Understand,  I can't sleep when I'm believing that is all actually something I can still do... I believe it is true and tangible and not gone forever.  Sleep can bring nightmares... reality, instead of what I want to be real.  I just can't go to sleep when I believe if I just stay awake, and I wait, wait, wait for morning, (a reasonable hour of course, when my grandparents are both awake), I can finally run up to their porch, open their door, and see that everything is just as it should be.  

But, I'm not delusional.  I just can't sleep, you see?  It makes sense, if you put yourself inside me.  It all makes perfect, beautiful, sense.

Oh, I need to try to rest, so I can cook that American Irish dinner for Saint Patrick's Day.  We'll eat corned beef and cabbage tomorrow.  
I'll stop crying and try to sleep a bit.  
I'll try to remember as I close my eyes, and maybe they will be there.   I'll walk up the front porch steps to the old wooden door, and open it to smells and warmth of my childhood. My memories are alive.  

I'll try to think about that as I fall asleep.  


Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there... I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow...
I am the diamond glints on snow...
I am the sunlight on ripened grain...
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you waken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of gentle birds in circling flight...
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry—
I am not there... I did not die...

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