Like most drugs there is a small sequence of numbers only to be seen in a broken rear view mirror Be it written on the back of a lovers shoe, vivid as they walk away Somewhere in the maze of a Doctor’s file Or in the fog of pet’s dream
My Grandma used to say something along the lines of “It happens in Three’s” – she believed it.
It is a phrase repeated by some when loss strikes… Why do we say things like this, is it a superstition carried-over from some ancient grasp for acceptance? Is there a power of three that some people cling to? Is it real?
I never really gave it much thought.
I wonder what Grandma would say now that one of her son’s has passed-away, the third branch of my family tree to die in the last sixty days.
Saturday I read a text while on lunch break from a writing workshop. While walking my dog I learned that a favored cousin had died, that it may have been as long as a couple weeks before she was found. The small words on my phone almost sat me down on the wet sidewalk – once again my dog kept me moving. Nobody can see a tear in your eye if you eat alone in a dark corner of a pub, this was working until I was invited to sit with the group. I chose to save the news for later, join them and float in their conversation’s. I succeeded in not thinking about her very much and did the best I could with the rest of the day. As I began the three hour drive home over the bridge guilt clutched me for being able to put myself first. The tortuous lone drive home on wet roads through dark trees seemed like an appropriate time-out.
Sunday I learned that she left a note – she had chosen this ending. It felt like an asthma attack in my head. As this sad ending becomes another of life’s unsolvable cruel riddles that ride in on the monster we simply call “Loss”; I will focus on what I can.
Mary was ten years older. Being another only child gave us a special bond, our club of one’s. Most years we got together on my family trips back to North Dakota. Mary lived on a huge farm alive with animals, horses being her favorite. This contrast to living in a small Washington town appealed to me. One Summer I was given three little ducklings to care for at my Grandparent’s farm. Years later we’d meet for dinner and a night on the town to catch-up, a highlight of my annual visits. Mary’s adult life revolved around taking care of elder family and helping other friends, she seemed to delight in the role. Certainly as they passed away, chunks of her went with them and loneliness soaked in.
My grandma was a one room live-in school teacher, before starting a family. She loved literature (more than the rest of us) her whole life.
I sometimes read my stuff outloud to her at the Fall City cemetery.
I don’t really think that she’s there, but it feels like she’s listening.
Born December 8, 1965 in Jamestown, North Dakota the only child of Esther and Stan Goffe. Raised in Enumclaw, Washington by schoolteacher parents gave a solid start – blending mid-west values with small town growth.
Being a bit of a traveller and seeker it was often easier to question than accept.
Surviving a taste for adrenaline and gravitational pull from the wilder side, eventually settling down in the Seattle area.
Learning about the gifts of life from daughter Heather and her journey.
Sharing eclectic experiences with several great friends, many special acquaintances and a few wild characters.
Enjoying the path with a special dog proved to be life changing.
Life was rich.
I liked the idea of becoming a kind of Renaissance Man.
Hopefully I achieved this on some level, before I left.