A Real Bummer

“There’s an attic where children are playing,
Where I’ve got to lie down with you soon,
In a dream of Hungarian lanterns,
In the mist of some sweet afternoon
And I’ll see what you’ve chained to your sorrow,
All your sheep and your lilies of snow

Take this waltz, take this waltz
With its “I’ll never forget you, you know!”

~From “Take This Waltz” by Leonard. Cohen

Yesterday was a real bummer. Actually it began the night before when Rob left me a note in the kitchen saying he thought the fridge was dying. He was right. It is only 7 years old but it is kaput. So we made the rounds of Sears, Home Depot and Lowe’s, only to find out that stock is strangely depleted in what we need. Not only that, I can’t decide on a color. Right now, we have a black dishwasher, a white fridge and an almond oven. This is what happens when you live in a house as long as I have.

Struggling to get used to my new glasses is bad enough. I am used to putting milk in my coffee; that seems to be the biggest problem in a dead fridge. I had just been to the grocery and filled the fridge full (or course I did). And now I filled two large black bags with food to put in the trash.

This morning I woke up at 4:30 trying to think my way out of this jam. I don’t know which model or color to order and even then, I can’t get one delivered until mid-week at the earliest. I ate a bowl of oatmeal and returned to bed. I lay there listening to Leonard. As he sang “Take This Waltz,” I finally let the tears fall.

I hadn’t cried in about 6 months. And the tears are not about the fridge situation. They are about the inevitable losses that accrue to the human heart as it travels through time. It knows nothing about style or color of refrigerators. It only measures emotion.

Leonard Cohen is now sleeping next to his mother and father. My child and mate lie side by side. Rob and I do the best we can with what resilience we can muster. The worst is the silence of the grave. So I let the tears soften my heart, let it water the lilacs of love, sweeten the life of this sometimes weary soul called Vicki. She is so hard on herself. She knows better than she can do.

I have a true calling to write, so now I feel better. Somewhere one of you is reading this and relating to how I am feeling. We just keep on patching things up as they break, stumbling towards the light. That is enough; that is truly enough. God bless us everyone.

Vicki Woodyard

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