Unrecognizable

I was thinking recently of the ways that my life – our lives – look different than they did a year ago.  When I look at this list, the fact that I feel vaguely dizzy makes more sense to me.

Last year, two children played hockey and I was at the rink in Cambridge approximately eight hours a week.
This year, both children play squash.

Last year, two children lived at home.
This year, one child goes to boarding school.

Last year, we had four parents between us and our children had four grandparents.
This year, we have each lost our fathers, and our children have two grandmothers.

Last year, the children were at the same school they’d been at since they were both 4 years old.
This year, they’re both at new schools (see above for Grace boarding)

Last year, Matt and I were both in jobs we’d been in for a while.
This year, we are both in new jobs, his since January 2017 and mine at a company I helped found in April 2017.

Last year, and every year before that, time flew by.
This year, everything is moving at a glacial pace (and yet feels like a blur at the same time).

I’ve written before about the James Taylor line about change: “Once again a time of change … oh the change makes music.”  Last spring, I couldn’t stop hearing those words, and the change I focused on was Grace’s imminent departure for school.  That was a big transition at the time, though of course I was unaware of the enormous earthquakes that lay ahead.  On Thanksgiving I posted a photo and talked about how much was different, without knowing how much more different life would get only three days later. And then my father died, and we careened into the holidays.  Life went dark and blurry, Mum got her hip replaced, it was Christmas, and then New Year’s, and now we are into February.

It is clear that last fall represented an enormous, irrevocable rupture in the fabric of our lives.  We will never recover from the losses of our fathers, and the fact that they happened so closely together still feels surreal.  But it’s also interesting for me to remember that even before September it had already been a year of huge transition.

Being gentle with myself is not a strength, but when I list these changes I am reminded that I have to learn how to do that.  This is a moment of massive upheaval, and while many of the changes that have happened are good, they can be difficult nonetheless.

So, here I am, still trying to hear the music that the change makes.


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6 Comments

  1. Posted February 6, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    You are on my mind. xo

    [Reply]

  2. Pamela
    Posted February 6, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    So beautiful as always. Please be gentle with your sweet heart. You are going through so much! And you can’t rush your healing. Xo

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  3. Anne
    Posted February 6, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I am a long-time reader (and admirer) of your blog. And my heart goes out to you as you navigate through the grief of losing loved ones. Are you familiar with the poem “Kindness” by Naomi Shahib Nye? (You probably are!) It is a poem that has given me such solace in hard times.

    [Reply]

  4. Posted February 7, 2018 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    and the blur of life changes/transitions continues to be blinding. That is why I capture moments in words and images. Just to focus on a moment and stop the blur.

    I recognize you very well: me twenty years ago 😉

    [Reply]

  5. Trish
    Posted February 7, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I see you. I hear you. I understand.

    [Reply]

  6. Posted February 7, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Oh, yes, what changes. My heart goes out to you and your husband’s losses. Losing a parent, especially in such a shocking way, is tremendously hard. Sending love and compassion.

    [Reply]

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