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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Brutiful

June was a brutiful month.




It was as if we had many plates spinning high atop long poles and we focus on one spinning plate only to dash to another plate to give it a spin so it doesn’t crash to the ground and shatter. I kept saying I needed to get through June…


It’s July. Less plates are spinning. We were managing 4 places where our belongings were – storage, the Airbnb rental in Midlothian, Virginia, our Forest home, and our new home in Richmond. Now we’re down to one. All our pets and belongings under one roof. Progress. I need to remind myself of this - this progress. I tend to forget due to still unpacked boxes, the fact that there are still a few items I haven’t found. But we have made progress – we’ve run a few truck loads of empty boxes to the recycling center, there are things once “lost” that have been found, wrapped in bubble wrap or paper. I’m trying to focus on what’s been found and put away in a new space in a new to us home. This home, a “circa 1930’s brick home” fits us better than the last home we resided in. To be clear, I mean our personalities and not our belongings. The doors are narrow. The couch we bought last year is in the garage – unable to fit in the living room. And yes, it will not fit through doors even with the legs off. But that aside, our personalities mesh with the neighborhood and the home. Things that were unmoored and without a spot in our old home have easily found a place here.


Outside of the room that Andrea uses for an office is a small balcony. We went out on it last night to see if we could see the fireworks. We could not. But what we could see were bats whirling and swooping and circling. They were magnificent.


Yesterday, I was bustling in and out of the front door, potting plants on the front stoop. “Wait. I want to see who gets out of this car.” Which is how Andrea came to meet the neighbor to our right. We’d met the neighbors to the left early on as we’d toured our garden yard. They are British with accents that elevate their status to lovely. And there is a boy of 7. He’s unlike other boys of 7 in that he speaks more proper than many adults whom I’ve encountered. And yet, he’s still a boy. Imaginative and dog loving.


Here’s the part of my blog where I break my rules about writing but the most curious thing happened last night. I dreamt that I was going to attend a wake or a funeral. There was a long line to enter and in this line were many people with whom I’d attended high school with. And as I surveyed the line, I joked, “One of the worst things about Jeanette not being here is we cannot laugh about who’s in this line.” Once inside, I spot Jeanette’s dad and we hugged. He cries softly as I tell him I'm sorry for his loss. Then I see Jeanette’s mom. She looks healthy, well and whole. In reality, she’s fighting cancer. Her hair looks exceptional and I think how this would please Jeanette – a hair dresser. In the dream, I hug Jeanette's mom. She gently pulls away and we stand together but apart and she says something like, “I had to make sure you weren’t mad at me.”


“Not at all. Why would I be mad?” I ask, rhetorically, smiling and thinking to myself that Jeanette wouldn’t want that.


I awaken and instantly, I know she’s gone. I open Facebook and the first post I see is that of the middle child’s, mourning the loss of their mother. This loss coming 10 years and 13 days following the loss of Jeanette. I imagine Jeanette, bringing her mother home to her. The spinning plate of crushing illness and caregiving stilled. Brutiful.


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