Will Rogers was once quoted as saying “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” That’s a problem for me during this first month of summer. I drag around yesterdays much like Jacob Marley dragged around those chains he forged in life in Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol”. Much as I attempt to keep positivity on the front burner past pain will come to haunt me much like the ghost haunted Ebenezer Scrooge in the classic tale. If June disappeared from the calendar I probably wouldn’t much miss it.
Of late its really been knocking at my mind’s door -- what makes June so especially tough? The answer is fairly easy. It seems like every day of the month holds at least one bad memory that bluebird skies, warm sun and floating clouds can’t dispel. I can be doing the most normal and mundane thing: out for a walk with a friend, chatting about this and that while in the back of mind I see my mother, suffering terribly in the days before her death. Sadness rises. I can be steering the tractor around the field with the baler and a wagon behind, concentrating on those turns and not pitching someone off the wagon to the ground below. All the while in the back of my mind it is a haying season 13 years ago. I hear my cell phone jangle, see myself unhook a loaded wagon from my truck and speed to my uncle’s house. Too late. He’s just gone. Still warm, but gone. Sadness again. I hear the voice of sweet Auntie Bets, her kind smiles and her wonderfully chuckling laugh. When Uncle Pat left us part of her did too. Seems she just couldn’t manage this life without him, so she didn’t. And Uncle Fritz, tall and strong and handsome, that deep baritone voice and those kind brown eyes. We lost them all in June. Mom, Bets and Fritz within days of one another eleven years ago. Too much to bear already and yet there’s more. So much more that I can’t put words to it or should I say put it to words. More sadness.
I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly emotional weakling. There’s always the small stuff of life that doesn’t so much haunt as irritate and I deal with all that okay. Question I beat myself up with is if I am truly dealing with the big stuff. When I give that question serious thought I have to answer with a tentative “I don’t know”. I do go on though. I have gone on. There’s been no wallowing in grief and nothing else happening. Certain days trigger certain memories that bring a bit of sadness and regret. But those days pass. I smile again. So maybe I’ve gotten it right afterall. So maybe I’m being too hard on myself for simply feeling what I need to feel. So maybe I’m entitled to those feelings, whatever they may be. Which means you’re entitled to yours too. Whatever they may be. If we don’t feel love we’ll never feel loss or pain. Our pain can help define us. It can actually make us stronger, as well as more loving, in the long run. Can’t recall who said this but I began this korner with a quote so will tack one on at the end here too – “A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.” Hmpf.
As we work through this thing called life maybe we’re all just diamonds in the rough eh? Maybe our individual pressures are making us jewels in the end. Not a bad thought that… not bad at all.