The Bucket

An odd child, I’m not afraid to say it. Normalcy was not considered. Tall, lanky, full of busy, I decided early I wasn’t much to look at so I had better be interesting. Interesting wasn’t difficult. Self control was my challenge. My early years had some trauma but when you are seeing through your own eyes you don’t realize others have a different view.
I was almost five years old when I came face to face with my fathers tragic accident. It was Easter Sunday and my Auntie had taken us on a walk, I was never one to walk so I skipped ahead. Looking over an embankment I watched as a specialized piece of equipment rolled down a mountainside ravine. My father was demonstrating the piece of equipment to three other men and they were all thrown out. My father was smashed right before my four year old eyes. It was graphic and loud and senseless.
The accident was discovered by, I don’t know whom, but the moments of discovery and rescue was such that the adults did not realize I had watched it all. There was much shock and swirling of events and the day turned to years and it changed me. It made me brave.
My father lived, not always well, absolutely not easily, but he lived. I decided at a young age, to embrace each day.
People talk of a “Bucket List”. I have never made one. My plan was simply not to bucket, at all. I also did not daydream of childhood things such as marriage and children or what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was determined how ever to grab the moments, wrestle them fully, and look forward to the next. If I imagine a bucket I only see it as a vessel waiting to be filled, not waiting to be kicked.

Today I have run away with my husband, Adventuring in Alaska. It has not been a destination thought in my mind but the excitement has caught and I look forward to filling my bucket. Will write more later, I can’t wait to see what we will see.

Cloaked In Time

I was sitting at my desk, determined to knock out my “Must Do” list when I received a phone call, “Helloooo”. The soft lift on the drawn out ending is familiar to my ear but even more so to my heart. My Auntie is missing me. She does not demand attention, she does not pout it out. She picks up the phone and gently nudges me in her direction.

A man has passed and she wants to know if I am coming to the service tomorrow. I don’t know this man but I recognize his last name. Auntie is the keeper of the records at Headquarters Cemetery and she is letting me know that Sid will be buried in the family place. Now I am tuned in, Auntie needs something, wants something from me. I know this dance well, she wants me to ride along.

She arrives at my office and gently hands me the keys. I settle into the driver’s seat and take my time, there is no hurry in her step. I lower the window as she would like a little air. She talks softly of the things that matter. She has fallen into a place of remembrance, my age and place in the two generations after her have erased for this moment and I don’t remind her. She references our grandmother as if I knew her and I take her hand and hold the place in her mind that has been vacated by loss, cloaked in time.

(My Great Aunt lives on The Round Valley Indian Reservation. She is 88 years young and  the elder of our extended family. The last of her generation. I am blessed to ride along.)


via Daily Prompt: Cloaked

Walking On

He captured my heart and 10 years was not enough. He was exceptional and then he was not. The shock was such that it has taken me 5 months to even mention that he has gone. He was the keeper of my secrets the knowing eye that watched my moods and movements. I am more than a survivor, he walked with me through the shadows and in him I had no fear.

I am determined to learn to walk alone. I went out the other day and found, I have no idea what to do with my hands. I hold on to your leather leash and stroke your deeply layered coat. Your nose comes to my hand when I remind you not to rush. We match steps and find our rhythm and there is not question of pace. I have noticed that when you are not by my side, people walk on by. You were my connection, you were my opening line.

My hands find the comfort of a chain link fence, I drag them along noticing the texture. That fence changes with the next row of houses, I welcome the wooden slats and the sound. There is a young man jogging, his companion by his side. This was too much for me, how nice for him. I go inside.

I decided that day, I will share my thoughts. I will wrestle and challenge my ideas and I will not be silenced by my loss. My son asked me recently what is the meaning of life? I said with no hesitation, “So others will not be alone.” I invite you, let’s do this thing called life. There is someone, right there waiting for you to fulfill your purpose, walking one with another. May you never feel alone.