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Monday, July 25, 2011

Change, Change, Change

Being Grandmom is grand, great, wonderful. I've just come back from another weekend fix hugging Jack and Justin, (well, and feeding them at two in the morning and sundry other times) and it was marvelous.

Other changes are afoot, as well. A week ago tomorrow, I separated from Mike, moving into an apartment. It wasn't a sudden move. I'd considered it for years, but in other ways the actual decision and putting things into action were quickly done. Thirty-seven years is a long time, and good things came from the marriage. First and foremost are the boys, David and Jeffrey, and I'm so proud of them and their families. But each of us are shaped by our experiences, and who I am is a result of the marriage as well. My question now, though, is: Just who am I? Who is Barbara Rollins?

On my way home from Frisco today, I detoured by Belle Plains Cemetery. Why, I couldn't state. I do know it's an important place to be because the two trips before were with Tess Gerritsen and with a group of my friends one cold winter night. On that cold night, some of my friends sensed warmth from various stones, understanding that warmth to be the presence of unseen spirits. Feeling warmth wasn't tough today. It was somewhere around 106 out there when I was traipsing through this time. I also thought of the vacation David and Jeffrey and I took. My way of keeping peace in the car was to tell them if they fought I'd find a cemetery to explore, whether or not I had a genealogical reason to do it. They behaved beautifully, and the vacation is a special memory.

In this oldest-in-the-area cemetery, I was painfully aware of all the graves of small children. This week when Jack and Justin turned six weeks and Jonathon would have been three, the pain echoed through the ages. In addition, the great equalizer sounded on the grounds. I've got that ominous gift "potential" I want to put to use more boldly, to allow myself to be exposed, to be vulnerable. But fame or obscurity, the difference finally is not so big. Still, I have some quantity of time to be of service, to write and speak, to be and do, and I will use it well. What matters is here and now, not for someone a hundred years from now exploring a cemetery. I care more what they see of me through my abiding gifs to the world, my children and those touched by me or my words.

I was amused by the grasshoppers - real and made of metal. Some of the memorials made of flowers and trinkets touched me. And I wondered about the back of the stone with the words "Grass Digger" and "Killer Bee." A lot of story-telling lies buried in those monikers, you know?

I wondered as I wandered, trying to know what pulled me there. I considered the need to recommit to a life one day at a time, trusting to do the next right thing, asking only for knowledge of God's will for my life at the moment and the power to carry that out. I couldn't help making a mental list of all the things needed in my new apartment, the tasks set ahead of me this week in my business and personal modes of moving ahead.

I used the time to walk and connect with life again, and it was good.

Early in my visit, I was shocked to see the tombstone of friends of mine I knew were not occupying the space. Then I realized several others were there, scattered around, evidently a way of supporting the cemetery, of helping with financial needs. Still, it was a good metaphor. We don't know how many days we have. But we can use each day we have to advantage. I did today.

I poked at the edges of destiny at the Belle Plains Cemetery on my way home today.

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