Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Little Haunted

"Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) This is the quote from the final episode of the The Rosanne show. There are several quotes from that last show I really like. My favorite quotes came from the monologue at the very end, a show I did not see in it's entirety until tonight. I never knew how the series ended because it ended in 1997, the year Danny died. It is one of my gap years, a year filled with nothing but work, crisis and kids. I have had a few of those gap years, where my memory has some rather remarkable gaps because I had neither the time nor the will to hang onto anything that wasn't absolutely necessary. I did something rather unusual for me today, I took the entire day off. I did not work any of my multiple jobs, I didn't do housework, or laundry or mow the lawn. Instead I opted to sit on my sizable butt and watch the The Rosanne Show marathon. I stayed on my couch and let my brain completely shut off for awhile. You see I am a little haunted right now and my brain being what it is, is working overtime trying to make all the scattered pieces fit in some way. I have remnants of the recent ghosts in my life. September is the month Danny died so I always feel a little haunted, but now with so many others from our family gone, it seems as though the ghosts are everywhere. I have been finding pennies everyday now for weeks. I have even found fifteen dollars in fives in the grocery store parking lot. At first I thought Danny was trying to tell me something. If you have read my book, you know what I mean by that. If you haven't please understand, I cannot tell that story any better than I did in the book. As I picked up coin after coin, I wondered what the significance was. Before, when I would find them, the dates held some significance, but now they seem random, every year of my life represented in copper. My mind then shifted to the idea that maybe he was just trying to help me feel less alone. In that way, I guess he has been successful because every time I find one I think of him and smile and for a second forget how alone I really am. As I watched the very last episode of the show and saw how she tied it all together, and I felt tied to TV Rosanne. When the series first started I was married to Danny and we were a blue collar family. We had no money to speak of and our little family was trying to get by. It was nostalgia that had me glued to the couch today watching a show that represented the eighties for the working middle class. Danny and I had laughed so hard at the ridiculously funny bits, sitting together watching, relaxing in the evening after a hard day's work. I had lost track of most the television shows in the nineties. My time was stretched too thin to watch much of anything but a very few programs I had to schedule in. Rosanne was one the shows that didn't make the cut. Maybe I let it go because it reminded me too much of being with Danny. So, I never knew how thing went for TV Rosanne until today. The ending was fitting where I am right now, in my haunted state. The quote below is brilliant, and in all of Rosanne's shenanigans I think she has been under appreciated for what a brilliant writer she is in real life. I have such an appreciation for the grasp she had on being a middle class wife in a time in history when women were expected to do the impossible with no time and less money. "As a modern wife, I walked a tight rope between tradition and progress, and usually, I failed, by one outsider's standards or another's. But I figured out that neither winning nor losing count for women like they do for men. We women are the one's who transform everything we touch. And nothing on earth is higher than that. My writing's really what got me through the last year after Dan died. I mean at first I felt so betrayed as if he had left me for another women. When you're a blue-collar woman and your husband dies it takes away your whole sense of security." In 1997, when this originally aired it said exactly how I felt. I sort of wish now I had seen it, maybe then I would felt "seen". But in some ways this is better, with hindsight behind me and so much time gone now. My youngest son will be having a birthday in a few days. He turned seven years old in 1997, two days before his father died. Buying Tom cars for his birthday was the last gift Danny ever gave. I believe he willed himself to live to see Tom turn seven. Tom usually doesn't want to celebrate his birthday because, I think, for him it is almost disrespectful to take any attention away from his father. I being his mother, disagree and want to focus on the fact that his father so loved him, ravaged by cancer managed to be there for his son on the day we loved to celebrate. Tom's birth was the easiest, the most relaxed. Dan and I got to breathe deep and enjoy the first few hours of our son's life. He came out on time. He wasn't much of crier, matter of fact he smiled when he was only hours old. It wasn't gas, he looked at us, worked so hard to focus his tiny wandering eyes and then his face would break slowly into a wide smile and stay that way until we smiled back. Yes, nostalgic is what I have been for a little while now. The ghosts remind me so much of the past it is hard not wander back in time and remember what life was like when the kids were tiny and life revolved around "sandwich night". My Michael always gives me room in September to feel anyway I want. This year, he is too far to do anything different, another ghost. We talked tonight in low tones about how I am feeling, how he is feeling and what we need to do to try and fix our current conundrum, realizing of course, the best laid plans and all... I told him I am planning a Halloween party. He will not be able to be here for it. As I tell him of my plans we both sigh. One or the other of us inevitably says, "It is what it is" and we try and let it go. I told Michael since I am feeling haunted anyway, I might as well put it to good use and throw a party. He agreed it is a good idea to allow the ghosts to wander freely rather than to try and chase them. I suppose some may think my day was completely wasted sitting and watching a show that is fifteen years old, but I defend my time spent today. I needed to fall back for awhile and gather strength from my past. Today was not so much about what I have lost as much as it was about what I have learned. I am not the same person I was in 1997, I am so much more now. Back then I didn't know how to take care of myself, but now I do. Back then I didn't have the capacity for love that I have now. Now I can forgive so much easier, too. I realized today exactly how far I have come. I remember dreaming of the day when I would love someone and they would have the utter audacity to openly love me back. I remember dreaming of becoming a writer, and well, here I am. I had dreams, lots and lots of dreams. It was those dreams that got me through the really dark days. It is my dreams that get me through the darkness now. They are the beacon that lights up the shadowy hallways, illuminating my way, past the ghosts. Today was a day of reflection, resolution and more dreaming.

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