Thursday, July 16, 2009

Things We Share

The jacket that I was working on when I had my accident was sent to the laundry, because of a few drops of blood, and it came back today. So I had the chance to conquer my nervousness about the eyelet attachment, get back on that horse and finish the project. The only twitch came when I accidentally nudged the presser foot switch, making a small noise, causing me to jump some feet in the air. Without moving my hands, of course. The wound is surprisingly nondescript, healing well. The only indication that major trauma occured is the gouge in my nail...that'll take some time to grow out, and in the meantime I get a nice reminder to keep my hands clear of the needle everytime I look down.

Tomorrow I am flying home to Green Bay. Today I ate watermelon, which I love, and pondered on the things my family has passed down to me. Love of watermelon comes from my mom, who craved it when she was pregnant with me. Craved so much, that when she sent dad on a run two years later, the grocer asked "Liz pregnant again?" I also inherited my chin from her, a chin which has been neatly sculpted after a decades long assault by modern orthodontia into Greek statue like perfection. I'm incredibly vain about my chiseled jawline...also a little sad I don't look as much like my mother as I used to. I also found myself thinking about my mom the other day when I bought a bedskirt from the thrift store. We had a fight once about bedskirts: I was in the strictly anti-bedskirt camp, on the basis that they are dust-catchers and just get in the way of my favourite storage space. But then last week I found a lovely beige one, a flat-hanging bedskirt without all the dusty ruffles, only three dollars, so I brought it home, washed it, ironed it and put in on my bed. I can't quite get it to lie flat without pulling the mattress all the way off, so part of it is squashed underneath, but from the front, it looks lovely.

From my dad I get my ability to understand the complication that is modern American football, even being able to lecture people about the intricacies of punting vs. going for the endzone. I think of my dad when I listen to classical music, even if it's a piece he's not familiar with. I am pleased with myself that I genuinely enjoy classical music, as if I am joining a long list of people who have enjoyed this music century after century, and I have dad to thank for this, for dragging me out of bed to listen to the three tenors. Thanks to him too, for being able to tell them apart by just listening, and being able to smile stiffly when people gush about Andrea Boccelli being "just as good as Pavarotti!" We also share our love of kids, of being able to honestly enjoy the company of small people, of patience, of doing goofy things, but not realising they are goofy until the parents arrive and say slowly "what...are you doing?" Playing. It's fun. You should try it some time.

Now that I live here, away from my parents, they have much less influence over my life, although the lessons they passed on to me when I was younger are still very much engraved on my personality. Everytime I cuss I hear my dad's strict rejoinder. Everytime I eat cookies I see mom's raised eyebrow. I look forward to inflicting my own personality on a small person some day, hopefully passing along the best parts of what my family gave me.

All this meandering, however, hasn't helped me figure out how to say what I want to say. I am going home to visit my family, and, just as importantly, catch up with friends, some of whom I haven't seen in a very, very long time. And some of you, loyal readers, will no doubt be aware of something else that is going on at home. Grandma, rock of our family, is not doing well. I am very afraid to look at her and tell her how much I love her, knowing that it could be a lifetime before I get to say it again. There is so much joy and pain wrapped up in me now I don't know how to express it. It feels wrong to dissemble to you, my people out there in the dark, who have been with me for so many years, and yet I don't want you to think that I am going for drama (for once) I simply wanted you to see what this vacation will include. This is my life, my family, and I need to be home.

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