Tuesday, May 30, 2006

another run-in with the postman

The postman (same one referred to in May 4 posting, still can't remember his name) noticed that I got new glasses. Not many people have noticed (two people with whom I work, one with whom I live, one friend here). The postman noticed...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

what i heard before going to bed last night

A Song of Eternity in Time.

Once, at night, in the manor wood
My Love and I long silent stood,
Amazed that any heavens could
Decree to part us, bitterly repining.
My Love, in aimless love and grief,
Reached forth and drew aside a leaf
That just above us played the thief
And stole our starlight that for us was shining.

A star that had remarked her pain
Shone straightway down that leafy lane,
And wrought his image, mirror-plain,
Within a tear that on her lash hung gleaming.
"Thus Time," I cried, "is but a tear
Some one hath wept 'twixt hope and fear,
Yet in his little lucent sphere
Our star of stars, Eternity, is beaming."

- - - -- - - -- - - -- - - -
Sidney Lanier
Macon, Georgia, 1867.

the space between

i went back to South Carolina last week.

I found out a few weeks ago that my granddad's health is failing quite drastically. He's since been moved into a nursing home, living in a different place than my grandmother for the first time in almost 62 years (their 62nd wedding anniversary is June 6). He's been diagnosed with alzheimer's-like dementia. His body is just slowing down and beginning to not work like it has for these almost 90 years (he will turn 90 on November 4). The doctor's have no clue for how long he'll be with us. I wanted to take the opportunity to have some closure, spend some quality time with him, and make sure I told him I loved him one last time. As hard as it was, I am so very thankful for the time I had with him.

I also got to spend some quality time with my grandmother, who is across town in an assisted living place. I learned some things about her and my granddad that I'd never known. For instance, we were talking about gifts that my granddad had given her over the years and she thought for a moment and told me that to her recollection, she has never received flowers from my granddad. 62 years and no flowers from her husband. Not that he didn't shower her with gifts: most of the time, he told her to go out and buy what she wanted, which usually meant shoes, jewelry, or the like. I just found that fascinating. I also got to see a picture of my granddad dressed up as a woman. My grandmother had dressed him so for Halloween. Hilarious.

the space between my grandparents made my heart ache, but also made me realize the deep love they have for each other and appreciate the amazing lives each of them lived, maintaining their own identities, yet ministering as a team.

I also had the privilege of having a guy visit while there. He's never been to the South before. He had his first hush puppy (his comment: it's like a doughnut (to which all of us reacted...umm...no, not really, but ok). He saw Kudzu for the first time. He noticed the slower pace, the friendly passers-by who wave at everyone. He got to encounter a man filling his pick-up with gas, wearing overalls, missing some teeth, discussing, in a quite distinct Southern accent, the price of gas with the other guy filling up with gas.(He's never been to Waffle House, but I didn't force that one. Maybe another time.).

the space between my descriptions and his understanding was lessened, for which I am truly grateful.

some happy happenings with my granddad: there are some parrots (or parakeets or some type of song birds) upon entering the nursing home. we'd taken my granddad outside for some fresh air and upon returning, as we pass by those birds, he looks up at them and says matter-of-factly, 'shut-up.'
i turned to him and said, 'i love you.' to which he replied, 'everybody loves me.' (i used to say that as a young, innocent child. i was told to love everyone. therefore, i assumed that everyone else was told, and did, that as well. logically, then, everyone loves me ;)).
my sister and i were about to leave. i was letting him know this. i said, 'granddady, i'm going now.' he asks, 'who're you going with?' i tell him, 'paige' (my sister). he says, 'i feel sorry for you.' (when we were younger, my sister and i were spending some time with my grandparents and went to a church where my granddad was interim pastor. one of the church members told me that i looked like my grandmother, then turned and told my sister that she looked like my granddad. i piped up and said, 'i feel sorry for you, Paige.' such was his reference when saying that to me).

Thursday, May 04, 2006

oh my word

the postman walks in today and says, 'he's with me,' referring to the guy following him. he then makes the comment, 'he's being groomed for when I retire.'
'when are you retiring?' I ask as he continues to walk down the hall to the mail room. silence.
he comes back down the hall, heading towards the door and says, 'I'm eligible at the end of June, but I'm not sure I'm going to go then.'
to which I reply very sincerely, 'no, don't retire. what will we do?'
he says, pointing to the guy who's with him, 'you can break him in.'
we say our goodbyes, the typical 'have a good afternoon.' and they leave.
I sit at my desk for a moment and then crack up laughing, realizing that I just told the postman at work (whose name I can't even remember) that I didn't want him to retire. seriously? wow. maybe I made his day, though. maybe he just thinks I'm weird, in which case, he'd be right, I think.