Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Just a raincoat. That's all. A raincoat.

As the world spins madly, spring is trying to spring in NE Ohio, and my poor former inlaws keep their continuing vigil over their matriarch, we all try to keep what my boss's grandmother called "profitably busy." It does feel like we're in a sort of Green Room, where we're just waiting for the call.

My kids joined me on a mission this evening to find a raincoat. Spring so surprised us that this item on my to-do list has eluded me in all our cold weather. We walked the entire campus of an outlet store complex in our area. There was not a single, attractive, decently priced ladies raincoat to be found in any of the stores.

How frustrating.

It's not that it's important. In the scheme of things, finding the raincoat, like the acquisition of any new thing, is meaningless. But it's the task and the presupposition that a good raincoat is part of the dresscode of part of my life. Without a proper raincoat, how can I possibly put my best foot forward?

Sounds silly. My best foot is either bare or flip-flopping along in a Birkenstock as I tap my toes to the music. But none the less, there are occasions in life, like wanting to be "together" for an upsetting event like a funeral, or to live up to the new biographical sketch your bosses just asked you to put together, when we put shoes on our feet, and raincoats over our dresses, and try to face the world a different kind of brave.

I'm still the real me down under. And I do think having a good raincoat is important. It's just that I gave my old one away. It was a real beauty, a mossy, sage-y green thing I got after my first miscarriage. When I came home with it, I announced to my then husband, "The next time I lose a baby, I'm buying a car." Which, when I miscarried a second time a year or two later, I did. I don't have the raincoat, but I do have the car.

All these things we do to keep our minds off the other stuff we know is coming. Like waiting for a bad report card. This time of limbo for my ex's family is both holy and and unholy horrible burden. I wish, I so wish, there were really something I could do.

But I can't, much, so I shop for a raincoat so that at least I'll give the impression I'm as together as anyone else.

Letting go of the other grandma is going to be hard for me and for my children. Watching my sister in law go through the loss of her mother will be very, very hard. She has been helping her father care for her mother tirelessly. I've already told her, when things settle down, we're hauling her in for a spa treatment.

As I've said a million times if I've said it once, thank ... whatever mystical creator you believe in ... for music. It saves me every time, reminds me that live goes on, the show goes on, we go on, and when we stop going on, everything else will.

Here's an Alison Krauss tune that has a lot of that rain thing going on. True, she may not be my very favorite bluegrass artist, but I like her very much. She's smart, funny, enormously talented, and her voice is unique among women vocalists. Here's a standard most everyone knows, called Every Time You Say Goodbye.

Whatever you do, keep profitably busy.

Look at the sky baby
What do you see?
Looks like the tears that I cry
Fallin' down like rain on the ground
Every time you say goodbye

Take a look around now
Why don't you feel
The way that cold wind stings and bites
And your words just are like arrows through my heart
Every time you say goodbye

There's a restless feeling knocking at my door today
There's a shadow hanging 'round my garden gate
I read between the lines of words you can't disguise
Love has gone away, and put these tears in my eyes

Look at the sky baby, see how it cries?
Ain't it just like my tears
Fallin' down like rain on the ground
Every time you say goodbye

There's a restless feeling knocking at my door today
There's a shadow hanging 'round my garden gate
I read between the lines of words you can't disguise
Love has gone away, and put these tears in my eyes

There's a restless feeling knocking at my door today
There's a shadow hanging 'round my garden gate
I read between the lines of words you can't disguise
Love has gone away, and put these tears in my eyes

5 Comments:

At March 27, 2007 10:26 PM, Blogger Shameless Agitator said...

I don't know what I'd do without music.

I'm thinking about you and the kids and X. Waiting is hard. Being there is what counts.

Much love,
Shameless Agitator

 
At March 27, 2007 11:14 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

Small comforts really help sometimes, if they are reliable... like a new raincoat, favorite music, a hug, a stiff drink, or an extra blanket. Since you have to go through things and can't go around them, it nice to have a little padding for the rough spots.

 
At March 28, 2007 6:33 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hello Ladies,

Thanks, Shameless. Waiting is hard. I wonder why she stays, there must be a reason.

Blueberry, so true about small comforts. And guess what?! Speaking of small, while poking around in desperation on the Web I found a dark pink -- ok, yes, pink, but not pinky pink -- raincoat on LLBean....for TEN DOLLARS. What the heck, I can wear it to the grocery store and the library for that price.

Hm, that "stiff drink" comment also reminds me I have some tequila left! ;-) Thanks, amiga!

 
At March 28, 2007 12:01 PM, Anonymous -X said...

I've been wondering about why she is staying too. Irreverent thought of the day is that she is waiting for their 43rd wedding anniversary, 1 week from today.

 
At March 28, 2007 2:00 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Oh X, what a bittersweet thought. I don't know that it's all that irreverent (this from the woman who suggested to her family that what killed our mother was the idea of my moving in with her, which I told her I'd be willing to do to help her sort through what kind of support she needed).

An anniversary so close is kind of an appropriate reason to be tethered.

Many thoughts and wishes and hopes for peace are with your clan.

 

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