Saturday, December 19, 2009

It is snowing here, it is snowing a lot. We are expecting "up to 20 inches" or maybe more, who knows? They keep telling us this is the most snow we've had since February of 2003 and I keep thinking "I don't remember that storm." But of course I do, I just don't think of it as the storm of February of 2003. What it really is, is the storm that nearly kept us from driving to Columbus Georgia and Fort Benning to see Thomas graduate from basic training. I spent a lot of yesterday on the brink of tears for one reason or other, but some of it was that they kept talking about this big storm coming and I kept remembering that Thomas *loved* snow, especially when he was a little, and one of the pictures that Anna put on my Starbucks coffee cup (Christmas of 2003) was of Thomas playing with Matthew in the snow.

That trip to Ft. Benning was memorable. They had finally plowed our street so we could get off of it to roads that actually were clear, and leave, but school had been cancelled for the entire week (which annoyed me, I was ready to argue that taking time off to see your brother graduate from basic training should be considered an excused absence). As we drove south, the effects of the cold weather and the snow diminished until by the time we got to Atlanta at about 1 (or 3?) a.m. it was almost warm. It was in the 60s in Columbus when we arrived for the ceremony, just in time. The Army was very organized and actually directed us to the correct location to find Thomas and the events. It was great to spend that time with him, even though we'd seen him at Christmas (apparently no one wants to spend Christmas doing basic training, including the trainers, hence the Christmas exodus). I have pictures somewhere but apparently not on this computer. Later.

When we left, the process was reversed and we ended up returning to the frozen north--well, mid-Atlantic. Anna had to go to work and Matthew had a Cub Scout function to get to, all of which happened, but I sort of wish we'd stayed another day at Benning . . .


Saturday, December 05, 2009

I have watched a lot of television since Thomas died, mostly stuff that everyone else watches (CSIs of various stripes, Law & Orders of various stripes, and a bunch of other crime shows). But last Friday evening there was not much on broadcast channels and I was not feeling like reading so I started channel surfing (Thomas was not really a channel surfer in my memory, despite the availability of the remote). In the course of this I found the Style channel and a program called "Clean House" in which the owner of said house calls this crew in to help get a grip on the clutter. This particular program was about a guy who had lived with his mother until her death two years earlier: he inherited the house and then just didn't change anything or apparently throw anything away and now he was getting married to someone who had similar issues. The resulting mess was breathtaking (literally I suspect for those allergic to dust).

The point of this is this poor man had never been able to give away any of his mother's things. He had a room devoted to her (it had been her office in life), including her clothing. He clearly had been very attached to his mother. I have a portable closet in my basement with Thomas's civilian clothing about which I feel the same way. But watching this man finally allow himself to be convinced that it was time to let Mother's clothing go, to save a few things (a craft project and her typewriter) as reminders: well, I think I'm inspired a bit. It was pretty clear that this lesson applies to me too. There are things I am not going to get rid of ever (let his surviving siblings figure out what to do with the correspondence from others and the various souvenirs he had picked up when I'm gone) but the clothing: it is time to let it go.