The sun is shining and I slept until noon (with the kids right next to me playing the Wii on mute... LoL!) and now have a couple of windows open. It's amazing how fresh air can make you feel.
Sadly, the forecast for tomorrow does not look good for open windows... and so it goes again. Just when I start to feel like I'm getting somewhere, another setback.
It's as if the weather is a metaphor for grieving. Two steps forward, and then at least one and maybe three steps back.
This winter has been for me - both literally and figuratively, the longest winter of my life.
My father had his heart attack and went in to the hospital on what was literally the last nice day we had before winter hit. When it came, it struck with a vengeance - taking our breath away with its fierceness.
We teased my dad about the change in weather and its correspondence to his hospitalization, and how he wasn't going to believe the difference when he got out. He hated winter, and we figured that at least this way he was missing out on having to deal with the time of year he so dreaded. We were trying to be optimistic, and still so full of hope.
We had no idea how much colder and darker the days were going to get.
As my dad's hospitalization passed through Thanksgiving and into December and then took its sudden turn for the worse, the weather also continued to only get worse.
Appropriately enough, the sun was shining through a crisp, clear sky on the morning my dad passed away. We had waited through days of dreariness... told over and over again that we should "come right away" because the moment was near.
At least four times over the course of the 9 days he was in a medically-induced coma, we rushed to the hospital through the dreary clouds and wind.
But on the day the call was for real, the sun shone so brightly. It was so beautiful. And I thought to myself, "of course... I should have known. He was waiting for a day like today."
School was cancelled on the day of my dad's visitation a week later due to snow and ice, and things weren't much better by the funeral the next day. It made travel treacherous and even impossible for some.
It matched my mood perfectly.
Even in that though, there are two things that stand out to me, comments made during the visitation that wove together the weather and my dad.
The ice storm that had hit overnight before the visitation had left everything in the city covered in a thin sheet of ice. Tree branches dripped frozen icicles and as the sun shone down, everything looked like it was covered in brilliant diamonds.
I knew that at any other time, I would think it was beautiful.
I don't remember who, but at the visitation someone told me that the icicles everywhere seemed to him as though our whole city was shrouded in tears for my father.
Someone else said they couldn't help but think that as beautiful as the city looked that day... my dad *always* saw Pekin that way. He always saw the beauty and the good and thought it an almost magical place.
He was right.
This winter has dragged on and sometimes I wonder if it's just my state of mind, but I know that even in a literal sense, it's been a bad one. A few weeks ago I took my kids to play in the sand at the lake near our house, last weekend six inches of snow were dumped on that sand.
My dad loved spring, and this year I can't help but feel it keeps eluding me. I need it, I need it more than I think I've ever needed it in my life. But a part of me is a little afraid too, because it will seem like such tangible proof that my dad is gone.
So I'm going to try to soak up the little teases I do get and continue to try to be patient waiting for the real spring to arrive and fervently hope it will bring with it some of the healing I am so desperate to feel.