It’s taken awhile…….

I didn’t realize it until recently, but I had shut down creatively since my friend Paul died. We used to garden together and I stopped. He used to admire my photos, and I pretty much stopped taking them. I’m finally starting to accept the fact that my friend isn’t coming back. It’s spring and it’s time to start gardening again, I’ve charged up the battery in my camera and it’s time to start shooting photos again.

Here’s a copy of the memory of him I posted not long after his death.

“Paul was a very gentle and humble person, and he loved, and cared about other people. Every time he saw me he would greet me with his enthusiastic “HI!,how are you today?” And then he would listen, really listen, because he cared. With his gentle and caring nature he even won over a surly roommate!

He was friends with everyone in the apartment complex, and loved the children. He was the first one to introduce himself when we moved here and I still remember meeting him for the first time.

When he was in the hospital he made friends with the nurses and knew them all by name. He would greet them with his usual enthusiastic “HI, how are you today?” They were sad to see him go. I doubt they get many patients as pleasant as he was.

He also made friends with an old man who was a permanent resident there. He never had any visitors and didn’t talk to anyone. Of course Paul got him to open up and they had several conversations.

He appreciated little things, a songbird, a beautiful garden, a drive around the bay, or a hike with his brother.

He had a quick wit and I could always depend on him to cheer up my day by making me laugh.

He will always have a special place in my heart.”

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I will miss you my dear friend

Reblogging and memories

I’ve been reblogging some of Paul’s brother’s posts lately.  Partly because they have stories or photos of him that I hadn’t heard or seen before.  And I want to have them here so I can read them easily.  Some I haven’t even read.  I’m not ready to.

It’s been hitting me the last few days that the memorial sort of opened a wound that had started to heal.  I was sort of getting used to the fact that he wasn’t here any longer.  Or I thought I was anyway.

I haven’t had the desire to work in the garden because it reminds me of him.  He helped me plant this or that, or we had many, many, discussions about what this flower’s name was, what it was doing and why.  He helped me prune that tree, and he helped me bury one of my cats under the other one.

It’s hard to even look at the garden without memories of him.  One of the vines was driving him crazy because it was dormant and was just bare stems.  I wish he’d worked on it.  I can’t do it now, it was his project.

He had the idea of planting the cactus (which I’d thrown into the ivy) up on the bank between retaining walls.  He carved out a level spot out of the granite so we could put planter boxes there.  Had I known how bad his back was and how much pain this was causing him I never would have let him do it.  But he was game for anything when it had to do with gardening.  As first I’d introduce him to my friends as my “gardening buddy.”  But later it was “My good friend Paul who helps me with my gardening.”  The cactus is doing very well by the way.

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Having trouble breathing.

Living with Grief. One Father's Journey

Blue on blue

Having trouble breathing
Past midnight
The power is out and there is a beeping coming from downstairs.

The carbon monoxide detector…
So I take the battery out and head up the stairs.
I will have to fix it later.
And I am coughing. And wheezing.
I can’t stop. I hear a gurgle in my chest.
I can’t fix it.
And it takes probably an hour to get back to sleep.
The next day is cold and there is no power.
Edison will have to fix it.
So I spend my time painting.
A portrait of my dog.
I spend all day working on it
Fixing it to look like her

My life is not bad. I have a nice house and good job.
I love my wife. I am comfortable. And I guess as happy as I can allow.
I have time.

I think about all the things we use…

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‘Things I’ve Seen Lately,’ by Paul Foster

East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines

paulpix

a list for Sesshu Oct 23, ’14

  1. It got so hot last month you could hear the pine cones cracking open on the trees. The pine seeds fly down onto my porch from quite a distance on their little light brown wing.
  2. A giant turkey vulture gliding effortlessly in circular patterns over P.G. in a blue sky.
  3. The morning glory cuttings that Debbie and I planted outside are looking well and sending up new leaves, little sun worshippers.
  4. The Lord of the Rings movie “Fellowship of the Ring” part of the story by J. R. Tolkien, filmed in New Zealand.
  5. The bathroom floor covered in pee. My other room-mate always seems like such a sober fellow but I think he gets really drunk at night.
  6. Debbie’s kittens Samantha and Dylan have already grown to the size of my cat. Dylan still likes me but Samantha is already bored with my…

View original post 130 more words

The memorial part 1

I wish I’d taken a Colonopin. Really. I’d taken one last night because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep, so I was hesitant to take one this morning. I woke up early enough and felt pretty good, thinking, “Hey I may get through this okay after all!”  Afraid I might be too groggy I passed on taking the second one.  And part of me felt somewhat of an obligation to Paul to be totally present.  I did take the mood stabilizer, I’ve really been needing them lately. But I still wish I’d taken the Colonopin.

I’d written a letter to be read at the memorial, but I couldn’t get my damn printer to work, so I had to write it out by hand.  I wanted it perfect so it would be clear for whoever read it.  That took a couple of tries, unsuccessfully.  So I tried different tactics with the printer, also unsuccessfully.  Back to writing it out by hand again, now panicking because I was running behind.

By the time I’d taken a shower, tried on two blouses, (twice) fought with my hair, and checked the clock every five minutes to make sure I wouldn’t be late, (since I’d agreed to take two of my neighbors who don’t drive) I was a nervous wreck.

My heart was pounding as we drove.  I think I chattered nervously most of the way there.  One of my neighbors who had known Paul longer than I did kept repeating “Poor Paul.”  She’s been saying that, with her Arabic accent, almost constantly  since he died, “Poor Paul, poor Paul….”  I tried to explain to her once that it’s really poor us since we’re the ones left behind with our grief and he’s finally without pain.  She just repeats, “Poor Paul, poor Paul.”  Well I guess whatever works for her.

paul on the coast

 

Closure?

paul and alicia kidTomorrow is Paul’s memorial.  I have such mixed feelings about it.  John upstairs is very excited!  He was his roommate, and they were so cute together bantering back and forth.  I don’t think I saw John smile or laugh very much except for those times.

One of the reasons I have mixed feelings is because I will probably never see his brothers, or any of his family members again.  Meeting is brothers was almost like seeing Paul again.  Well as least as close as it will ever get.

His brother wants me to read my previous post “In memory of Paul.”  This scares me to death since I would rather walk over hot coals than speak in front of a group of people.  I wish I had the nerve to do it, I’d love to do it for Paul’s sake.  But there’s no way I could get through it without crying anyway.  And if the roles were reversed I imagine he would feel the same, and that would be okay with me.

And I’m afraid I’m going to lose it completely anyway, and sob through the whole thing.  I’m thinking his family members will wonder,”Who’s that lady over there anyway, and why is she so out of control?”  Not being a family member I don’t feel like I have the right, as such, to be so devastated by his death.  Silly I know.

And then there’s the decision about what to wear.  I know it’s a very girl thing!  I’m behind on my laundry as usual, so I’ll have to choose what to wash.  Black is definitely out of the question.  I have a sort of tie dyed blouse and he used to call me a “hippie lady” when I wore it.  I’d like to wear it but it’s much to cold.  I’ll figure something out.

And closure?  I guess that’s the part I’m really dreading.  He’s gone and now we all have to acknowledge it.  I’d really rather not.

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