Day 214, a walk, grief, fireworks

Thursday, 7/4/2019

Good night’s sleep, pleasant quiet morning. Edited two more chapters of the book, then at 10am decided to go for a walk somewhere. Where? Some years ago we had a nice outing in Edgewood Park, on the west edge of Redwood City. However, this being a holiday, no doubt the parking lot will be full already, so: take a Lyft. Which I did.

Edgewood park’s trails all start with a stiff climb of about 300 or 400 feet. I do not think Marian could have managed those anytime in this century, so my memory of a pleasant outing there must date back to the 90s. Today was one more in a series of just beautiful days, temperatures in the low 70s, clear and sunny. I went up the hills in decent style, feeling normally strong.

After an hour or so, I called a Lyft and headed back, in time for a special lunch here, barbecue on the patio. Very decent ribs. Got invited to sit with Nancy, Tom and Karen, all retired from the medical field, working at Stanford or PAMF, I’m not sure which.

Played my space game for a couple hours (it’s wearing thin, I think I’ll toss it), and then Deborah texted with a picture: do you want the stuff in this drawer?


What the heck drawer is that? She was working at the house, so I went over to see. It was a shallow drawer in the top of the bedroom cabinet that I’d simply overlooked. Apparently Marian had used it as the place to keep… stuff she didn’t want to throw away. Mostly SWBB memorabilia, but quite a few other things, like the wrap-around sunglasses she used for a while, and her Stanford Blood Center Volunteer badge with its 750 hours endorsement. Deborah suggested I bag it all and sort it later, which I did.

Back at C.H. I went through it and set aside a few items as meaningful to me, like the orange button, “Croix de Candlestick”, for surviving an extra-innings night baseball game there, and some other pins. Several things seemed particularly meaningful for Marian’s life, and I put them in the box of her memorabilia I created some months ago. The rest went into the trash.

During all of that I was sniffling. I haven’t mentioned grief much in the past couple of months. That’s because it has not been a common problem. It hits at widely separated intervals, triggered by quite unpredictable events. This was an obvious one. But anything that recalls the life we used to have, the comfortable, interesting life of “Dave’n’Marian”, is cause for a deep wave of regret. I’m not going to compare my present, very comfortable life to that one; they exist in completely separate compartments. They aren’t commensurable. But the old life is gone forever, and every once in a while I get reminded of that and get a spasm of emotion.

I also still get occasional, brief twinges of the anxiety that I noted in the first weeks. I’m pretty sure it is based in the fact that for 45 years I had a smart, diligent person double-checking me and calling me on my bullshit and catching my oversights. Nobody around to do that now. What am I forgetting to do in a timely fashion? Well, actually, nothing. Nothing I’m aware of, anyway — but that’s rather the point, isn’t it?

So the transition continues.  Later tonight C.H. gathered on the 11th floor deck to watch fireworks in all directions. I stayed at the party for a few minutes, had a delicious rootbeer float (thanks to the Fourth Floor which were the nominal hosts) and looked at distant sparkles. But it was chilly out on the open deck, and crowded inside the penthouse, so I went back to my room. Not without some guilt; I really should stay up there and “network” but I don’t feel like it.

Distant artillery noises–the sound of a distant fireworks show travels better than the light–continued until 11pm.


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