Salem and gratitude 

This Quaker burial ground dates back to the early 1700s. I pass it coming and going to my sister’s apartment. I noticed it especially today and not just because the snow made it beautiful. I’d heard a podcast on the drive up about opening ourselves to the idea that in every single moment, we receive the greatest possible gift: our lives. And in the next moment, we receive it, and the next. This had the same radical softening effect of the repetition, “I have arrived. I am home. I am here.”  

This moment is a gift (I’m alive!) and this moment is a gift (still alive!) and this next one, too. Of course, spending time with someone who doesn’t drive, struggles to walk, and needs oxygen most of the time can make a person grateful too (I’m running an errand! In a car! Going into the drugstore on my legs!)

Now that I am no longer paid by the state to act as one of my sister’s PCAs (personal care assistants), it’s easier. I go for a visit. Not to labor. I thought I might mind losing the income. But this is so much better. 

We watched The Wendy Williams Show and priced French presses online. Ate pizza. I bought her wine (a battle I gave up ages ago). And then I left. 

Now that I’ve got a podcast app on my phone and figured out Bluetooth settings for the car, I worry a lot less about the drive. Last summer, really long delays were making me crazy!

This is the exact face my sister’s cat made the day she adopted her. Stink ears, I called it. But the cat’s name was one letter different from my sister’s and she understands scowling at the world. 

Her new PCA is doing a nice job straightening up. For some reason my sister lets her do things that she wouldn’t let me do. 

And tomorrow is another day to write! To walk around on my legs! I am here. I have arrived. This heating pad is the best ever. There is food in the fridge, shows in the queue. A love bug dog shares the couch with me as dark falls. We are not over, America. 

19 thoughts on “Salem and gratitude 

  1. snicklefritzin43

    Another gift…this day…how wonderful to see your photos and read your thoughts about appreciating that you are celebrating this day. Sounds like all is in a better place with your sister and that your visit can be a gift, indeed.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Yes Kristin. Sometimes things turn inside out without trying. It was a really good day. And it’s a great place for me to practice taking things moment by moment because historically I have tensed into it as a chore.

    1. deemallon Post author

      One day out of many. There will be ups and downs but it does feel as tho something has shifted. And I just found out my Thursday afternoon babysitting commitment is over. More opening.

    1. deemallon Post author

      I’ve heard over the years this idea that we don’t hammer ourselves into virtue or expansion… it’s more like we fall into them. Recognize ourselves in a mirror. This interests me more and more as a possibility and not a mere construct of philosophy. To experience moments where all is right with the world AT THE VERY moment that it is going up in flames is, as you would say, interesting.

  2. Michelle in NYC

    Everything within this post is like a fresh breeze, waking to a gentle sunrise, listening to a sweet song from some distant village. The Images are perfection. If this is Blogging-call me Blogger!

    1. deemallon Post author

      my ‘fresh breeze’ posts may convey a momentary thing as something more substantial than they are, but so what? You can speak to transience and to finding a world on one’s windowsill…. Blogger!

  3. Nancy

    Love this sense of hope! So glad your visit was just that…a visit not a battle! I know from my work with children that they push the buttons of those closest (so they indeed feel the safest) to them. Perhaps this is true of sisters too? A new caregiver does not have the history with her. So, so glad for this post.

    1. deemallon Post author

      you’re very right about resistance and relations! the days are getting longer, too — makes a difference in these parts.

  4. ravenandsparrow

    Thank you for this post, and the previous one, Dee. I am struggling to function amidst my fear and rage and you have helped. Please don’t lose interest.


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