1. Angela Dawn. Eric’s younger sister and only sibling passed away this week. When they were kids, their dad was in the Army so they moved around a lot, and as Eric described it, “we were always good friends who took care of each other.” Even though they were three years apart, in many of the pictures from when they were younger, they look more like twins. I actually met Angela before I knew Eric. We worked together, and I wasn’t even dating Eric yet when I held her first baby, who would eventually be my first nephew. She was friendly, rode horses and ran track when she was younger, was once a Bowflex model, loved dogs, and loved her kids more than anything. She was as close as I ever got to having a “real” sister. I hope wherever she is now she’s finally at peace. She was loved and she struggled, and the thing that will linger is the love.
2. Practice. There’s just so much to grieve. Sam, Angela, COVID-19, our current administration, racism, not being able to see our families, not able to hug our friends — it sometimes feels like I’m moving through jello. Practice helps me be soft enough to stay open to all of it and strong enough to stay.
3. Morning walks. Even with all the grasshoppers and blister beetles and Miller moths this summer, somehow the mosquito population never exploded like it usually does, so we’ve been able to sneak near the river even in the height of summer. It’s very clearly turning towards fall, however.
4. Treats. I made peanut butter cookies this week, and realized while I was doing so that even though I’ve eaten my share of them, I’d never actually made them. Also, Kroger’s Black Walnut ice cream might not be Maple Nut, but it’s as close as I can get in Colorado, and it’s good.
5. My tiny family. Took Ringo to check in with his vet this week, and he finally finally finally is feeling better, and we’ve got some tricks for if it happens again. I told Eric last night I’m glad we have each other because some hard stuff happened this summer, and more hard stuff will happen in the years to come, but I know I can handle it with his company, his support, his love.
Bonus joy: sunflowers, rain, cucumbers and tomatoes from our garden, hanging out and writing with Mikalina, hanging out with Carrie, texting with my mom and brother and Chloe’, good books (I just finished Lakewood and really liked it), good TV (it’s been nonstop House Hunters and Forensic Files around here lately, and there was a new episode of Catfish), good podcasts (I’m so glad Chris and Karen have continued to do DYNAR during the pandemic), good music (Washed Out just released a new album), taking a shower while listening to a podcast, sitting in that corner of the couch, yoga, aqua aerobics (I went to a class this week and there were only four people in the whole pool, so that was great), doing laps in the pool with Janice, infrared sauna with Eric, good friends who circle up when you get bad news, all the people who put so much effort and try so hard to help others even when those others resist or outright refuse the help, all those doing the work to keep the rest of us fed, healthy, housed, and safe even as they put themselves at risk.