It’s now been 6 months since my father passed away. I haven’t written about that at all here, but those who are close to me know that this has been a huge, unexpected event in my life. Half a year has passed now, somehow. Of all the wonderful Facebook comments that people made, this one stuck with me (if you’re reading this, thank you, Susan Musgrave): “It does not ever, apparently, go away altogether, but over time the howling diminishes to a roar, which degrades to a sigh and you find yourself able to go about your life again, though sadder, different.”
At the time I couldn’t imagine that the howling would ever diminish, but it has. It’s turned into something that’s settled, gradually, into the background of my days. I think about him every day, and reminders of his life are very present in my own.
That’s all I’ll say about that – but I wanted to mention it, because honestly, focusing on this blog has been instrumental in being able to push forward through the howling, roaring grief.
On a brighter note, Mia’s 5th birthday is just around the corner. Yesterday we celebrated it with Rony’s family, complete with impromptu games and a birthday cake. We’ll celebrate again with friends on the “mero día”, the actual day of her birthday. She’s been talking about her birthday for months now, and there have been lots of squeals of anticipation and ever-changing requests about what kind of birthday cake she wants. Unicorn? Turtle? Flower? Unicorn riding a turtle and holding a flower?
On Saturday, we visited an orphanage. Mia has a little school friend who lives there, and we’ve been meaning to check it out. They loved it, of course (friends! slides! toys! a trampoline!). I don’t know how the caretakers do it… 30 kids in one house, 12 in the other. We went for a little drive afterward and explored a new road, which I’ve been iffy about because I’ve heard it’s not the safest place in the world. But it was fine, and beautiful. Still, when we arrived I was happy to be back home and not driving through potholes. Driving in Guatemala is definitely a good way to practice patience and tolerance! I think I should add that to the things I learned from living abroad.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the North lately. One of hardest things for me about living here is the lack of like-minded people I can connect with. Now that the kids are past the baby stage, I find myself wanting to take on crafty/artsy/creative projects. I take comfort in cooking and being at home, but I don’t necessarily believe that happiness lies in the bottom of the laundry basket.
In the past, creativity has meant connecting with people doing similar things, and collaborating on musical or crafty projects. I get a lot out of mutual inspiration, simply by sharing and talking. I’m not sure how to make that happen here.
But I think this will be a busy week! The babysitter hurt her elbow so I foresee lots of hands-on time with the kiddos. I’ve also been meaning to make coconut milk for a while. Maybe today’s the day!