Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Margaret arrives today with Liam, Maura and Aidan. Then we will be complete. We go to 4032 today, and take the picture. Pat and I took the fire barrels up yesterday, a chance for another 4-wheeler ride through the woods, only much longer and much more fun than the other day.

Living this, I don’t stop to realize how amazing this is. The people who are here, the faces I see every day right now…faces from the past, from some of the best times of our lives, Pat, Matt and Tom, Kelly Kingsland, PL, Carol, Jim, all the Neumayers, its incredible that we are all here together. This valley is and has always been the place where our family, the family as it exists today was created. I was born here, Mom (Patricia) came into our lives here, the non-blood additions came through here. So much happened here, so long ago, but here we all are again, sprawled out over lawn chairs, laughing, building, cleaning, eating, working. We have not all shared space since 1982.

The other day Pat (my brother) and I were talking on the phone, and he was in Long Beach sitting in a hotel room, and he told me that being there while all this was going on was too surreal. So you want to talk about surreal…how about yesterday when Pat arrived here and a new construction project erupted.

He is putting on an addition on to Tim’s house, the dining room area which Tim and I had planned to start, but there was no way Tim could do it, and finishing the bedroom tapped all of my construction skills.

So Pat gets here and within an hour, he, Tommy, Matt and Tom Drake, Leon, Don Trossett, Brian Regehr, Brack, Dad, and Pat are out there tearing into this job, and walls are going up and boards are coming down from the deck above, and at one point I looked out and there were 8 guys working on a 6 x 8 construction site. It was awesome.

After a few minutes people started dropping out and after awhile it was just Pat, Tommy, Don and Brian working, because lets face it, they are the ones who are professionals! Well I guess Matt Drake is too, but like he said, with that many guys he figured he’d better step down before feelings got hurt.

PL and I assembled and inventoried the camping gear, and Mom and I assembled dinner, and Pat started a fire, and people gathered, and ate and talked and we pulled Suzanne’s chaise from upstairs down into the yard and Tim came down and hung out for a good part of the night, and it went from surreal to extraordinary.

Mary has gotten Tim on steroids which have taken down the swelling in his spine and which allow him to be up and around for really long periods of time. He is out hanging out with people and just being himself, and while PL and I were pulling the camping gear together he walked out into the shop and started rearranging the saws which had been moved around, getting the chop saw back in place, and moving sawhorses, and I just sat and watched him.

A few days ago as I cleaned up his shop, I broke down in tears so hard I needed to lean on the wall and it was because I felt like Tim would never be in this shop again, would never touch these tools again, and then, I turned around and there he was.

And I’m absolutely not fooling myself, and I know that this is medication working, not a cure, but it is a gift nonetheless. Nothing is changed, or even slowed down. In fact, his being up and around may even speed the process, but who would trade that for more time in bed?

I haven’t cried in days, because the beauty of these days creates a fullness that tears cannot begin to release. After it got dark, I walked upstairs and Tim was back in bed, and Mary was curled up next to him, and it was quiet and I sat down on the chair by the bed, and we watched the moon through the window, and didn’t talk. After a bit, Tim drifted off to sleep, and then Mary. I got up and walked quietly down the stairs.

More later…

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