If there is one important lesson in life I’ve learned, is how to organize mess. I can never say that Library Tech course I took @ Fanshawe College all those years ago was entirely wasted. Two years (almost) at the local library, then POOF!!! All the jobs disappear, casual pool cut, me gonzo… and I almost, barely just got my foot in that door permanent…but I know now it just wasn’t meant to be. Mea Culpa? I don’t know. Perhaps I just didn’t want it badly enough? Could be.
What is for you will not pass you by, an old friend said once…an old Scottish friend.
Yet…in terms of living ones life, and learning how to organize physical objects, and/or abstract thoughts….a Library Course is very useful. Even just in terms of what it teaches you about not just filing, but retrieving things. Quickly, making ones life neater… so we can deal more easily with our own abstract psychological malady’s. More time for dealing with our crap, so that it doesn’t get the tail end of you. I’m all about more of that.
If I’m honest though, it was Tim who made me what I am today. Him and my stupid dog. Neat and tidy sorts. Don’t get dirt on themselves, and I have no idea how they do it. Tim would get all “when Mom was alive, this place never looked this messy“… which I can tell you almost led to his early death by homicide.
However, when you have Nurses, Social Workers, Doctors and PSW’s, Case Managers, Volunteers…all traipsing in and out of ones home…you do learn how to organize the mess. Frankly, out of sheer needfullness of a higher level of organization for your own sanity. Makes it ALL just work more smoothly, for you and everyone else. Tis not yet time for breakdowns, they’ll be time enough for breakdowns I knew from keen experience, when it’s all said and done.
Death is never neat and tidy. It’s messy. Which was another challenge, since I knew how neat and tidy Tim preferred to be…somehow it calmed him, soothed him. To know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I would ensure he didn’t look messy, or atleast based on MY standards (when that was all I had). I don’t know if I can even describe exactly what it was he feared being, but his mother soothed that with her neatness, and he missed her.
And of course, somehow I think he felt alittle ashamed of himself…and so sometimes that neatness with Tim helped him hide. AND cleaning/organizing/tidying, gave me something to do so I wasn’t so fidgety…as my fidgetiness apparently drove Tim nuts. We had awful fights, quiet…yet till the end we battled. Butting heads. A Leo the Lion against the Cancer…August against July…if you follow Horoscopes.
I have such memories of his stubborn determination to live every GOD DAMN moment he could, with some pride…and I helped him with that. Held him up at the mirror so he could shave…hunched over behind him, with my big tooshie…so he could lean against me. Gave him someone to RAGE against too…I suppose.
Thing is, Tim was jealous I think of my family…I think intimidated. Which is why he kept me away from them. He did you know. I let him, mind…but I fought him on that too. Asshole, disrespecting people who WILL love you unconditionally. FOOL…I called him. LEARN. They will love you, you damn, imperfect fool. REGARDLESS of whether or not you stumble, they are your family and they can help you get back up again.
Whether they are blood or not, find them; nurture them. Reach out. God alone knows, you don’t always have to be perfect. Perfection is false, we are all flawed. All of us. So what? Your flaw is so god damn special? Phft. Arrogant Fermanaghian (I don’t even know if that’s a word, but a province in Ireland).
Our relatives, Tim and I, came from the same place. Different sides of the river though. Plus I think his Mom may have been of Welsh descent, or Scottish, with his Fir Bolg stature.
We argued, right up until the end. Sometimes, I admit, we remained individuals – somehow, even as I was at the same time absorbing some of the essence of Tim that I did love. But of course all my favourite foods have some spice, so I’ll take the good with the bad. Long as you are sweet. Which Tim was. He always came home with some wee thoughtful thing, to show he was thinking of me. I soon learned to find this suspicious. I eventually learned to just eye him…and think “what have you been up to“? However I normally kept my mouth shut, let him have his little fucken’ secrets. See where that gets you.
OH…Tim and I raged…cause death is messy. Yet, someone needs to help you do that when you’re feeling weak.
What I think is beautiful, is that at his graveside, when he was still perhaps hovouring, it was my family who all looked up and saw the Gull doing lazy circles above. FLying high over his Georgian Bay, and all the beautiful things we had seen, and the sights and sounds. The rocks, the wildness, the flowers…the hidden and abandoned places. Failures, and brief success, all rotting away back into the wilderness. Only through your spirit may you gain notoriety. Dear.
For Tim’s pride, was introduced to me through his father. And so, when it was time to forgive, it was Tim’s Dad, and mine who shared their grief together. My Dad, I suppose, at never really getting to know him. As Tim had somehow also arranged. Manipulator till the end.
Yet, in the end, I think it was my sister who finally taught him forgiveness. Somehow she always helped me to see his beautiful soul, his good spirit. Everything considered, that is mighty brilliant of her. Also, what is for you will not pass you by , and I KNEW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that try as he might, he could NEVER keep my family away from me. Nope. That is one truism I can bank on.
So he knew I could not be ever completely fooled, regardless of whatever lies he chooses to tell me. Whether I believed him or not, I just looked out for his welfare. His soul.
DO NOT go to TOO far…oh ye of little faith. You see…Tim’s methodology often had to be tempered. I had my own ancestors at my back. One day, one beautiful fall afternoon, we were there all alone…no people, no nurses, just in that last month of his life. I had been at the computer, hunting away for bits and pieces of clues that would help me learn more about these ancestors of mine. I was digging around for clues to who they really were.
This one sunny day, we were sitting there, together just staring out at the lake, the blue sky, quiet. Absorbing the sunshine. He says to me “all these people just came by in front of the window, you know. All dressed up in strange outfits, with gloves and they are shaking your hand“.
Visions. My ancestors? Or perhaps his? Or maybe both. Probably, and more…with all the other folks, you know, one tends to dig up. While on the hunt for ones own ancestors, it is impossible not to dig up these strange, yet wonderful other characters that are not related at all. But who knows, maybe connected to you from another life. Long, long ago.
So to keep busy, I organized my ancestors, as I organized his hospital and care records. Like the good little Sexatary I was. That was Tim’s word. AND, I would oblige him. Why not? If there was one thing I’ve learned, it’s to surround yourself with those who amuse you, who challenge you, who keep you on your toes…you can’t go wrong. I even dressed up, and wore flowery dresses, and made myself beautiful in his eyes. And in my own. For when people love you for who you really are, it is profoundly difficult to let go of them. It truly has been a journey. Yet it was all worth it. Difficult, or not, it was worth every damn tear I shed. Every RAGE. For we are all worthy of love.