February 14 blah blah blues

February 14, 2009 by barbara

barbara writes

All week, I’ve been thinking that I ought to write something for Valentine’s Day. It kept my wee mind occupied as I drove to and from the hospital each day. My brother was released to my care on Valentine’s Eve.

Truth is, I’m not in a very Valentiney mood this year. David and I did not make a big deal out of this holiday. So it’s not about that. What it is about is the enormous void in this house and in my life that doesn’t seem to be fillable. Fillable, not to be confused with replaceable.

My brother. Now there’s a Valentine. One of many in my life, as it turns out. Family and friends who are all about love, but not about romance. People who pray for me, cook for me, invite me to go places, who meet me for coffee, repair the seemingly endless array of broken things in this house, listen to me, listen to me, listen to me, reminisce with me, check in to see if I’m okay. Actually, I’m not, but I plan to be eventually.

Just for today, I’m not going to pretend.

Just for today, cherish your Valentines.

Posted in


lilalia (not verified) | February 14, 2009 - 1:54am

Sending you my thoughts. Your words really resonated with me, particularly what you said about the void not being fillable. I wish you times in days to come, where your heart begins to beat more gently and your spirit suddenly sees the sun rising, or the breeze blowing through spring blossoms, and you see the beauty and feel glad.


barbara says (not verified) | February 14, 2009 - 2:36pm

Thanks. I wrote this in the dark. Things trend better in daylight hours, and especially when the sun is shining. Today, it is.


paul miller (not verified) | February 15, 2009 - 10:17pm

hang in there, Barbara, always the day is better than the night and hopefully someday the pain of the night will not cut so deeply


barbara says (not verified) | February 16, 2009 - 9:50am

Hey, Paul! The daytime thing is real. A metaphor, I suppose. And really, in the grand scheme of things, I have a sense that the giant wound (ech!) is healing at its raw edges. (Please indulge me. I'm a writer, remember...) It's just so freakin' BIG.

Meanwhile, all around me -- around us -- the political pandemonium rages on. Why oh why did I ever believe that January 20 would tilt the balance?

Here's why. Because I harbored (past tense) the naive notion that Republicans and Democrats would find a way to share the sandbox. That they might stay on their own sides, but at least they wouldn't throw sand. Turns out the only thing more unreasonable and vindictive than Republicans when their figurehead is in the Oval Office is (class?)...

So, new prayer for each sunrise: Let today be somewhat less disgusting than yesterday. Amen.


Anne Gibert (not verified) | February 16, 2009 - 11:08am

I made three unsuccessful attempts to write something meaningful. Words are inadequate with pain like yours. It's true that the void is not fillable. With time the grief becomes less consuming but that isn't much comfort, especially since grief becomes the only connection to past loved ones, and one doesn't want to let it go. It is good your brother is with you. I hope he improves for both of your sakes.


barbara says (not verified) | February 16, 2009 - 5:25pm

Hey, Anne, thanks. Some days I feel like a whine-machine. And then, it occurs to me that some really bad things have happened lately. And more bad stuff coming down the pike, in all likelihood. But the good news is the steadfast love and support of my family, members of David's family, and our friends. Talk about stepping to the ol' plate! Spring is coming. David's gardens are waiting to see what his apprentice can do with them (okay, I'm anthropomorphizing again) or to them. Now that's gonna be some challenge!!