As I sit down to write this early Monday morning, I can hear the whir of the ceiling fan, subtle, not loud. Just subtle. I can hear the cars on the highway passing by the house carrying the people on the way to start their day. The sun is shining brightly and the view from my window is amazing. The grass is as green as it can ever be in late July. The trees are healthy and happy. The wind is slight, the flag is barely moving. The animals are sleeping in their various spots around my feet. I like writing in here. I have three work areas in the house. One is my office, the other is the kitchen and now in the last few weeks I have moved my operation to the library in our house. It feels right in here. The shelves were salvaged from the library I went to all the time as a kid. The Carnegie Library. When we built our house, our carpenter knew we would always take care of the history. He offered to make us book shelves from the original shelves he salvaged from the old library. They really are a treasure and we have never taken that kind gesture of his lightly. Rest In Peace Sharkey.
It was a whirlwind weekend, taking us to Wyoming and back in a two day period. Saturday and Sunday.
The intent of the weekend was twofold; to watch Derek play baseball —He is Tayler’s boyfriend and plays for the Casper Horseheads — and to meet Derek’s family. We had a great time and his family was awesome. We didn’t get to see him play because the game got rained out. Ugh.
The best things happen when you least expect them it seems. I received a beautiful gift from Meg, Derek’s mom. She works at Floret Farm in Washington state, Skagit Valley. A place close to my heart, as two of my four kids were born in that area. I love Washington State and have always said I would move back there any time.
The gift she gave me was a book and several other items from the Floret Farm. The book is called “Cut Flower Garden” by Erin Benzakein with Julie Chai. It is a great instructional book on how to grow, harvest and arrange flowers. I cannot wait to dig in (pun intended). It makes me very excited to get to work on finding a place to carve out a flower garden in the yard. She also gave me writing notebooks, notecards, a journal and a daily planner. I love every single one of these gifts and will treasure them. And, how could she not come from the Seattle area without coffee? I also was gifted coffee. Because obviously, coffee is life.
On the way home, because I had six and half hours to think about things, I was triggered to think about perspectives. I finished up a book I started audibling a while back. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien. I shared this book with my email list and it really is a great book. The author writes so well and the perspectives he shared got me thinking.
We all have heard the phrase —walk a mile in my shoes or something similar. People are so quick to judge. People can be so cruel. People don’t take the time to really zoom in that lens, bring it in close and just listen. Don’t judge, just listen. We have no idea what someone may have been through. We have no idea what something looks like or more importantly, what something feels like to someone else.
In the book there was a part where the author went back to Vietnam where so many people were killed during an operation. He met with one of the women who survived. Her perspective of the situation was haunting. As was his. It is so interesting to me. It makes me want to look at things so differently. The perspective. People’s perspectives. Not my own perspective.
Perspectives – mine, theirs, ours, and us.
The last month or longer I have been thinking about this. I have started another blog post about it, but I am just going to add it here, as it all fits together.
When I was out of town a few weeks ago at my Great Aunt Verna’s burial, I started thinking of things. Seeing small towns, seeing where I was born and where I spent the first several years of my life. Thinking about Dad and where he grew up.
At that moment I had an epiphany. It wasn’t just about me. It wasn’t just about my feelings. There were other people who loved him. There were many friends who lost him. It wasn’t just me. I started thinking of his best friend, Ray. I remember when Ray and Clarice came to the house after dad had died. I could see the sadness in his eyes and on his face. He could barely speak. He just walked around the yard with his hands in his pants pockets. Shocked. Just like all of us. His hurt, his memories, his friend. His perspective.
I thought about mom. I thought about how she handled dad’s death. Her hurt, her memories, her husband. Her perspective.
I thought about the kids, specifically Spencer, at dad’s funeral. He couldn’t. He wouldn’t look at the casket. He scooted away from me and hugged the pew, tears streaming down his 12 year old face. His hurt, his memories, his grandpa. His perspective.
At Verna’s buriel, I watched her son, Scotty, sit down at her plot, and put her ashes in the burial container. I watched as he didn’t really know what to say. He just did the things that needed to be done. His hurt, his memories, his mom. His perspective.
This weekend we met Derek’s parents and his sister. They were awesome. We were all a little nervous, I would say. It’s hard meeting new people, for us, anyway. I’m sure they were nervous too. I think more nervous was Derek. Understandable. You want everyone to like each other and to get a long with each other. His nervousness, his family, his girlfriend. His perspective.
We had a great weekend. I think everything went well. It was fun meeting everyone and getting to know them. John and I had a great time. We will definitely get together again. Our nervousness, our family, our daughter. Our perspective.
Perspective is everything.