Monday, January 11, 2010

Glass House

Window looking at snow - it is not a dream.

It is ten below zero outside, and 80 degrees inside. Ice forms on the glass.

I took this yesterday in the Walker Sculpture Garden greenhouse, looking out at the Basilica.

It reflects my mood: gray, uncertain, cold. One season overtaking another. Winter blotting out summer except in glass houses in squares of isolated heat, although that doesn't mean it can spread anywhere else. When visiting hours are over, I have to leave.

I am posting this for Lisa. I am remembering her, yet she is still here, still alive, still fighting to say goodbyes as she dies, faster than the rest of us, coping with cancer. Terminally ill, she is in hospice care at home, brain and lung cancer at 43.

The photo above shows Lisa and I in July 1994. I am on the left, in the hat, Lisa and I were attending a wedding. I can't even remember the last wedding I went to - I've had a lot of funerals lately.

Lisa's smile, her laugh, her friendship are all still with me. She is now my ex-sister-in-law, she married my younger brother Russ and they divorced in 2003, the same year I divorced. I forgot some of the happy times we had together as a big family as I went through old photos. Her daughter Nicole is now 24, her son Kyle, 13. I don't need to put all the details here, but I do want to think about the shortness of life, this fleeting moment we have on planet Earth. What are we here to learn? Why are we here at all? For love? For learning? I certainly don't know the answers. Life isn't fair.

I've been saying 'I love you' a lot lately - to Lisa, to my parents, to family and friends. I'm a bit overly-sentimental because of all this. I visit Lisa once a week or so and each time it gets harder; each time she is a little weaker, and losing memory. Each time I hug her more, hold her hand, rub her feet, kiss her cheek. I'm not ready to lose her yet, but I know it will only be a few months, or weeks. Each time I let go a little bit more and know that she is letting go too, making peace with herself and her life. She is such a wonderful mom, and her daughter Nicole helped to organize a benefit for her in October. (Photo above is Kyle, Lisa and Nicole, Oct 2009). I want to wake up and hope it was a bad dream.

It's winter overtaking summer. I am trapped in the glass house, fragile. Visiting hours will soon be over and Lisa will leave us. She is wonderful and beautiful; a bright shining star. She will always be here with me - I remember. It's hard to talk about, but it is good to see her, here in the present.

1 comment:

Judith McKenzie said...

Jules...thanks for sharing this beautiful and touching tribute to Lisa! I also enjoyed the reminder about the Walker Art Sculpture garden. I must visit again, especially now,as it is so gray outside. Judith