|Bees came and went through holes under all that wisteria and bamboo.|
Life is about the ups and downs, the highs and lows and I think one of the keys to happiness is figuring out how to make peace with the lows so they don't cause so much disturbance.
I've missed Ronnie more the past two weeks than I have in a long time. It started when I saw a Snickers ice-cream bar in the freezer at the Dollar General. I just glanced in and saw it. I had one of those grieving moments that comes sudden and so powerful, it takes your breath for a moment. I've been mostly on the verge of tears every since that happened.
We discovered Snickers ice-cream bars on a vacation in 1992. We bought them every time we stopped to fill up the car all the way to Florida and all the way back. I'm not sure either of us ever wanted one again but we sure enjoyed them then.
I decided to have the bee hive removed from my back yard. The bees have stung Seth several times and now he's afraid to go outside to play. Having the hive removed was a much harder decision for me than most realize. For one thing, the hive itself, the coming and going of the bees was one of many interests that Ronnie and I shared. It attributed to the beauty and peace of the back yard for fifteen years. It's part of many memories of Ronnie and how he grew to love nature and to be willing to "live and let live".
I looked out the kitchen window one morning. He was standing, bare arms crossed over his chest, near the shed where the bees had taken up residence, watching a huge vortex of bees swirling around him. I went to the patio door and called out, "Don't you think you should come inside?"
He didn't even glance around at me. "Well, I don't think they're coming after me." That was one of the things I most admired about Ronnie. He was not afraid of anything.
Even when he was in the wrong, his courage in facing the consequences for his actions, his drive to keep moving forward was always something I wished I had more of myself. That old saying, "you can't keep a good man down," certainly applied to Ronnie.
A few days ago, I took Seth to Kiwanis park to play. He's all boy in so many ways -- and it wouldn't matter one iota to any of us if he weren't -- but he's also very cautious. I tried to talk him into playing on those handles -- like Monkey Bars that you swing from one bar to the next. I could do it when I was in second grade, which he's much younger than that, but he wouldn't even try. I told him that being careful is all well and good but that if he never tries anything new or different, he will sure miss out on a lot of the fun things in life. Nothing I said convinced him. I don't have it in me to force him, so I let it go, but I was disappointed that he didn't even get to have the experience of seeing what his whole body weight feels like.
Leaving Kiwanis a while later, I looked across at Rosemont Cemetery, where Ronnie's headstone is along with a portion of his ashes and I realized that the only person in our family who was never afraid of anything isn't here to teach this kid how to not be afraid of life.
For many years, Ronnie fell down as often as he stood -- but he always got back up -- until the very end.
Well, the bees are gone now too. We can put the boards back on the shed in a week or so.
It rained last night. It may rain some more later. A cool breeze is blowing in my bedroom window. There is an awesome chorus of bird song and wind chimes right outside. I have Morning Glory and Four O'Clock seeds soaked to plant. Lemon cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash are thriving in the hay bales along with some tomato plants I bought and some I started from seeds. I have green beans and okra flourishing in big plastic totes. Onions! I planted onions every where. And my precious Marionberry plants are putting out lots of new growth. I bought two rolls of cheap light weight landscape fabric which I can use to make shade for them if they need it when it starts getting hot. I've divided my worms and now I have two healthy thriving worm bins outside under the patio.
Seth -- a.k.a Gollum hasn't awakened yet, but he will in a little while and I'll be glad to tell him he can go outside to play.
I'm counting my blessings. Some days -- that's all I can do -- and put one foot in front of the other.