Sunday, September 02, 2007

Another goodbye

My Uncle Bob died Aug. 30. He was my mother's brother and the oldest of the six Dahl children. So now there are three left, my aunties Nancy, Betty, and Dorothy.

He was 92 and had been on hospice care, and died in his sleep, my cousin said. A good life, a long life, and one with sorrow and with joy in it. I hadn't ever been really close to him, although I liked him and loved his stories. As my brother said, "They're gathering in heaven..."

My mother and both uncles died on the 30th of the month, and they died five months apart. Mother and Tom were exactly five months; Bob was a year and five months after Tom. I don't know that there is significance there; I'm merely noting a coincidence.

And my mother has been very much on my mind and in my heart. I think of her at 60, retiring because Daddy did, doing so much then with exercising, walking, traveling, playing cards, sewing...she really enjoyed life, I believe.

I've also thought a lot about my daughter in recent days, partly because she's gone quiet again, and that always worries me because I don't KNOW anything. I can cope with most anything that I know about, but not knowing drives me wild.

We shot soccer photos yesterday == hot, hot sun and a long day -- and I could just see her and her team playing. She played from age 6 through high school and one year into college. In the high schoolers, I remembered her as goalie, fearlessly diving for those balls and capturing them. I could see her buddies Vanessa, Leah, Katie, Tiffany. With the younger group, I remember her being on a traveling team as well as our local league, and the kick two-thirds of the way down the field that she perfected during those years.

If I closed my eyes, I could hear the girls calling instructions and encouragement ... and it was the girls from back then that I could hear, not the ones on the field. I felt very close to them all yesterday for a few hours. I miss that closeness so much -- and I envy my friends who have daughters who are close enough to see and touch and hold and laugh with often.

Everything changes; nothing stays the same. This period of grief and worry will give way to something else in time. It is the nature of the wheel, theway of life, that it turns slowly, leaving behind the old and making way for the new.

And it is September, the end of summer, the harbinger of winter rains. Okay, maybe not quite yet for Red Bluff -- but the hot days are numbered. I will try to savor what each day brings to me, to not wish away my life by wanting winter again.

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