It seems that while I’m all cattywhompus about my life and where it’s going, etc, etc. the world is still turning, with or without my consent, and I spent this last weekend shedding tears for the circle of life which was created and terminated while I was out wandering.
First, I was shell-shocked by the passing of my chamber pianist’s husband, which was so sudden and hard for me to understand. When I met this lovely family, it was to play beautiful music in a home filled with pictures of children, grandchildren, and travels all over the world. I IMMEDIATELY feel in love with this pair of feisty, vivacious seniors who seemed to live the life that I had always dreamed for myself. Once we became closer, we decided that we would take a trip to Cuba together and began to plan our break in to this closed off Cuban heaven. The music, the food, the fun! Damn, I was excited.
And then Jeff, the hubby, fell ill. Nothing big, no worries. Just felt faint and went to the doctor to have a few tests run. Being that he has been in medicine as a pediatrician for over 50 years, I always assume that they have the BEST health care and, more than anything, piece of mind, that they are going to be just fine. But he wasn’t. At first, it was just a case of small tumor in his brain that was causing him to lose his sense of balance and have vicious migraines. This was in October of 2010- first sign of incident.
The more tests that were run, the more issues it seemed that Jeff was having. It wasn’t until February that I knew things were not going to get better, no matter what experimental treatments could be administered and how much love and prayer were being directed his way. His wife, Betty, my beloved musical partner, had to quit playing to take care of Jeff in April, and in May he passed.
As I watched Betty during the memorial, I was so impressed by how stoic and strong she seemed after having just lost her husband, after 50 years of marriage. I would cry over the stories that people told of his life, or when Betty’s sons would put their arm around their mother and they would cry together. The tears that did not make sense to me were those that came from the shock of this whole situation. Just as life comes unannounced and with a determination to change all in its path, so does death; For all the reasons one is shocked by these occurrences, as was I.
While I was hashing out my feelings about Jeff’s passing, I got a call from a very dear friend of mine announcing he and his wife were pregnant. And just like that, in a matter of hours, I was confronted with two of the most profound and important moments in LIFE, and felt overwhelmed by the impact of them both. To be honest, death and birth both freak me out- like the unchangeable aspects of one’s life is so RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. I’m trying to imagine how Betty’s life will now take shape without her partner of the last 2/3rds of her life- how hard is it to pick up and continue forward without losing all perspective of the here and now. Will she still like the same things, or want to do the same things? Does it feel like there is no more life that you know? Are you a stranger in your own sitcom?
And with my newly wedded homie, the one whom always seemed the furthest from family life, how will his life be changed with this new addition? Will he be different? Will his priorities change so much that he’ll have to carve out a new lifestyle and new relationships to fit to his new family? (Do the insecurities of those on the outside really have to be so dramatic? ) I’m nervous about that which will change but more so, I’m so happy for their budding family.
God, I tire myself out going around in such big circles!
Needless to say, I cried for both announcements. My heart broke for both stories. And my own fears, excitement, and nerves have definitely emerged with the passing and creation of life this week.
When do I grow up????(….And do I really want to?)