Months ago I planted the contents of one small pot of marigolds into the ground and somehow, by some miracle it has spread to cover at least a six by six foot space and until just a week or so ago, the marigolds did not bloom at all, just grew bigger and stronger leaves until suddenly- kaboom! Here they came and I am calling it my Day of the Dead flower garden. Perhaps they were just waiting until they would be ready for November 1. Perhaps they are Mexican marigolds. Perhaps they will call forth the souls of our beloveds who have gone on ahead.
My thoughts have been a bit dreary today. Not too dreary but this morning's dreams were beyond disturbing and it's always so hard to shake that mess. And then, something happened that broke my heart in every way that a heart can be broken. And it wasn't even a bad thing. Just something that I never, in my entire life, thought I'd do.
Lily, knowing that we're leaving tomorrow texted to see if I wanted a visit from her and the children and of course I did. They came over and when they first got here she said, "Get a sheet so we can hug you through it." And I thought to myself- Never. I will never stoop to hugging through a sheet. That is the most absurd thing I've ever heard."
Things moved on. Maggie found six eggs. She fed leaves to the goats next door.
She desperately wanted to get into the pen so that she could pet them but alas, she could not. She did get to pet one of them on the head who licked her hand and that thrilled her. I'm not sure I've ever seen a child so undaunted by animals and insects as Maggie although Maurice scares the dickens out of her which shows she's smart. I love the woman baby's pink pants and hot pink boots.
She showed us her child-strong tablet that she'd gotten from the library, loaded with learning games. How cool! How wonderful! Is there anything better than a library?
We settled around the table in the back yard to chat after I got Magnolia the farm for her to play with on the steps. I passed out our fancy fans for keeping cool and deterring mosquitoes from our faces.
It was not too hot and the bugs weren't so bad and it was pleasant. The boys told us about how school is going. Gibson is getting all A's except for one B and Owen is doing pretty well too although I did not get the breakdown of his grades. Here's a picture that Lily sent yesterday of him doing his digital learning with Dottie on his shoulder.
How nice to be able to have your pet with you in school! I love that.
Anyway, our visit was a good one and I told Owen my plan that when he is sixteen he will move in with us and he can help Boppy restore the old pick-up that he's been promised and can help us out. I think that in five years we might appreciate a little young-man strength around here. It's a sweet dream, anyway. I promised that I would cook for him.
And then, it was time for them to leave. Magnolia had borrowed a baby doll and settled it on her hip the same way I always carried my babies.
She was so happy.
They were getting into the car when I said, "Stop! Wait! I'm going to go get a sheet."
And I by god did.
We made it like a joke, you know, to hug through a sheet.
But it wasn't a joke for me or for Glen or for Lily. I hugged Owen first. He's almost as tall as I am now and as I put my arms around him, draped like a tricker-or-treater in his mama's sheet to be a ghost, I almost couldn't stand it. Yes. A sheet was separating us but I could feel him and his warmth. And tears came to my eyes. Then his grandfather hugged him.
And I began to cry in earnest. Lily and the children wore masks as did Mr. Moon, as you can see. I didn't. I'm to the point where I really do not care but Lily won't let me get away with that. They are all exposed to their loved ones who deal with the public daily. And then I hugged Maggie and she hugged back hard and giggled and giggled and her Boppy had his turn and then we hugged Gibson and I told him, "Hug me back" and he did and he's so strong and so my Gibson and I kissed them and kissed them all over and over and then it was Lily's turn to drape the sheet over her and I cried so much. She did too.
And like I said- it broke my heart even as it was the best thing ever or at least in all these months and it could not have been more absurd and it could not have been anything that I ever, in my entire life would have predicted doing.
They all piled in the car then for real as I held the folded sheet and Maggie asked if she could buckle in her doll and I said of course. I asked her what she was going to call her and she asked what I thought. "Tina?" I asked. I suppose I was thinking of Eggy Tina.
"I like cool names," she said.
"Is Tina a cool name?" I asked.
"No. I mean, her name is Cool."
And thus, they drove away, Owen and Gibson and Maggie and Lily and Baby Cool all strapped in and as they left they yelled, "We love you!" and I cried some more and I'm crying now.
What strange times.
Well. Tomorrow Mr. Moon and I will have been married for thirty-six years. We were only thirty when we married so yes, we've been married to each other for over half our lives. I think back on how it was when we married. We were not babies. I'd had two babies. But we were still so young. I was so messed up in my mind and emotions but despite that, despite everything, my heart told me with no uncertainty that this was the man. There was nothing about him that I needed to fix or change. He was fine the way he was. Loving and strong, kind and good. Funny and upright and just enough of an outlaw to satisfy my bad-girl soul. And of course, beautiful.
I did have second thoughts when he told me right after we were married that one day he'd really like to raise some beef cows.
"What have I done?" I thought.
Of course now the idea of raising beef cows is far from the worst thing that I can contemplate a husband doing and of course we have both changed over the years. I'm not nearly as crazy and he's...well, actually, he hasn't changed that much. He's still exactly who he was and I would marry him again every day of my life.
My heart was completely and utterly right and I am so glad I listened to it.
Here's a picture that came up on my Facebook memories today. This was ten years ago and we were in Roseland on the dock of that magical place we stay on the bank of the Sebastian River, my childhood heart's salvation, the fertile Nile of my imagination and wonder.
Maybe he'll take his cast net with us to St. George. I still love to watch him throw it.
Happy anniversary!! Cheers to many more years of building each other up. XOReplyDelete
Why, yes, I cried right along with you. One, because what has this world come to that we have to have a sheet between us. And two, because I remember the love, the smells of those sweet bodies, and the absolute awe of the perfection of those bodies. Happy Anniversary to you and Mr. Moon. Wallow in the life you’ve made!ReplyDelete
That sheet and its need gave me tears. Just a few. Those are some wonderful children. Happy anniversary, and happy vacation to both of you.ReplyDelete
Oh Mary, what a world. To hold your babies through a sheet, so everyone will be safe, of course you cried, but you held them. It broke you and made you whole. Happy anniversary to you and the man. Your heart chose well.ReplyDelete
I cried reading this. I miss people so much and am so glad my boys are here. But I won't have seen my mother for a over a year or R. his mother and it hurts so much.ReplyDelete
Happy anniversary, in this weirdest of years.
A happy anniversary to you!ReplyDelete
I cried too. Strange times indeed. My brother in laws memorial service was via zoom. My new Christmas ornament this year portrays David from Schitts creek and says “ew 2020”. Happy anniversary and have a great time.ReplyDelete
Yes. How in the world did we get to the point where we have to hug our loved ones through a sheet! I never would have believed it.ReplyDelete
Happy Happy Anniversary you two!
so utterly sweet, I had not heard of hugging the sheet but I think I will be carrying one around with me now. So good to see the children, and the little rodent is a darling creature. Have a great little time away! It will be lovely.ReplyDelete
We do so miss the Hugs, the Human Touch, this Virus is so Cruel that way, it is a Lonely Disease. The Sheet would have made me Cry too.ReplyDelete
What a sweet time! Happy Anniversary!ReplyDelete
Oh my word, I can't believe you're having to hug through a sheet. But I love that picture of Maggie and baby Cool. That's a real mamma's stance she's got going there hasn't she!ReplyDelete
All of that made me teary eyed. I'm a bit prone right now though. Found out yesterday that my daughter has COVID, and it is terrifying. She is pretty miserable but hopefully won't get serious and need to hospitalize. So I'll join in with Lily and say don't stop caring, don't get lax, keep masking etc. My daughter who I consider to be a really wise 26yo was not wise and went to a wedding and caught COVID. It really is crazy contagious. Happy anniversary to you two love birds. I learn a lot about how a marriage can be from you two.ReplyDelete
Happy Anniversary tomorrow, and I'm glad it's still so good for you, and right. And yes, strange times. But hugging with a sheet is better than not. I guess.ReplyDelete
Nothing, nothing like a hug. Easy to understand the tears.ReplyDelete
Happy Anniversary to you and Mr. Moon. Ours was yesterday. October is a good month for weddings. :)
I cried too. These are hard times, but I love how your family keeps finding ways to share that love.ReplyDelete
Grandmothers are and have always been the most essential part of human existence and evolution. You are one of the very best!
Happy anniversary to you both, and it's wonderful to hear your story. I keep getting brought up by what strange times we're having now too. Hugging through a sheet, I never thought of that. But yesterday we met one of our daughters and family for the first time in weeks, and our girl wanted to share a sandwich with me becuase I hadn't brought any food. She broke hers in half, held it out, then pulled it back, and said, "oh, no, I had better not do that." I had to agree with her. Strange times.ReplyDelete
Glad you got to hug your family. That is a good idea about the sheet. Your daughter is right - you should wear a mask. The point that people confuse is that you wear a mask to protect them, and their mask protects you. Have a very happy anniversary! Sounds like you will!ReplyDelete
That's a great picture of Mr. Moon with the net! I'm sure it must have been so heart-breakingly bizarre to have to hug through a sheet -- but the important thing is that you hugged! I don't know why it never occurred to me that hugging through a sheet would even be possible.ReplyDelete
Owen would be disappointed to know that at our school, students have been specifically told not to have their pets along when they Zoom.
I can't believe those marigolds! I've never heard of marigolds spreading like that. I'm always so happy when I get even one little re-seeded plant!
I have never had any luck with marigolds. if the snails and slugs didn't get them the heat and humidity did. but my neighbor grows them just fine. whatever.ReplyDelete
hugging through a sheet. what a great idea. not perfect but better than no hugs at all.
So happy you Moons met each other and that I found you here in cyberspace. Wishing you many moons of happiness and love. x0x0 N2ReplyDelete
What a beautiful, beautiful post. I'm crying, too.ReplyDelete