Thank you: #aprillove2015

lilacs04April Love final prompt: “thank you for…” This is a hard time of year for me. The academic year is winding down, and since I take the summer off from my CSU work it means things are winding up there. There’s a panicky, speedy overwhelm that starts to happen — “how am I going to finish all this work in just a few weeks?!” That is mixed with the mad joy of spring and the promise of summer vacation, and further complicated by memories of loss.

Every year at this time, I promise myself I won’t miss the lilacs. I get so busy I barely notice them, even though they are one of my favorite flowers. By the time I’m done with my CSU work, they are starting to fade, almost gone, and the moment has passed. Every year, I vow to not let it slip by again. After a long day yesterday, I got out of my car and started unloading the snow tires I’d finally had taken off. As I brushed past the lilac bushes by my mailbox, a wave of scent stopped me in my tracks. I stood still for a moment and the familiar feeling arose, “the lilacs are blooming and I’m missing it.”

lilacs03Then this morning, I was standing in the kitchen drinking my coffee when “Wide Awake” by Katy Perry came on the radio. Tears stung at the corners of my eyes. That whole album always reminds me of Kelly, takes me right back to that awful spring — May 14th, just two weeks from now, she will have been gone for five years. I’m sad, still angry, but so grateful.

Thank you for Kelly, for how she lived, for her friendship, for the loss that reminded me how precious and short our time is, together and alone. Thank you for lilacs and spring, for mornings and hot cups of coffee, for work and also for vacation. Thank you for all of it — brilliant and beautiful, tender and terrible.

2 thoughts on “Thank you: #aprillove2015

  1. lolshelley

    Beautiful post Jill. Your stopping to ‘smell the lilacs’ reminds me of similar experiences I’ve had the past week. Since watching John Kabat-Zinn on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday and reading his amazing book Mindfulness for Beginners, I am stopping to smell the roses, stopping to embrace the moment. I was sitting at traffic lights on my way to work the other day when a giant gust of wind blew the leaves off a gorgeous liquidamber tree. I sat in awe of their delicate beauty as they gently floated to the ground, creating a red and brown-hued carpet on the road before me. A few nights later, I went to put something in the bin and on my way back to the house, I looked up at the sky (as I often do). But this time it was the most amazing sky I have ever seen. It was inky black and instead of the usual smattering of stars, it was as if suddenly every star in the sky had become visible to me. I have heard about skies like this in the northern part of Australia in the outback, where the stars appear so clear and so bountiful due to the lack of artificial light from the city. I called my daughter Ella (who was the only other person awake in the house) and we both stood there gazing up at the sky. I have never felt so big and so small at the same time and so connected to the universe. Sending you hugs as you think of your friend Kelly. May your many memories help you through the days ahead.x

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