This dropped out of the pantry today when I pulled out a snack. It was way in the back.
It fell and sat on the floor, looking up at me crookedly, sweetly,* ready to tie together two recent posts, one of the super-heavy variety, about my husband’s terminal illness, the other, light and playful about my child. This candy cane called me to talk about parenting a small child and giving care to a dying man at the same time.
You people must hate me. I’m a schizophrenic with these themes, and I know they affect your emotions because you tell me so. I can’t help it. It’s the nature of the creative beast, Shiva the destroyer and creator are in the same body, always. But still, apologies for the mood swings.
During the period when there could be nothing on the floor – because Gavin was at such serious risk of falling from his near-broken spine, then the surgery, then the surgery’s failing – Christmas arrived.
And we had a darling little girl, about 20 months old, walking and running and chattering all around. Sharing her intelligence everywhere through analogies.
She grabbed a candy cane and walked around the dining room with it, stooping to match how close it was to the floor. She laughed. We all laughed.
Gavin’s cane was black and much larger. (It was one of the last "clothing"-type things I donated to charity after he died, though I couldn't look at it.). His mother had one, too. My toddler's little cane joke reminded me I was the only able-bodied person in the household most days. But how could you not laugh?
We always laughed, and it wasn’t just denial, it was a good observation of the world around her, no sign of doom, not portentous, not serious. Bless my child for seeing, for not understanding, and for laughing.
*I’m really sorry. Yeah, okay, not really. (But sorry for not being sorry. I know.).
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