A Good One

When I was young, I had a five-book boxed set of Pollyanna books. Every time I got sick and so couldn’t go to the library for a fresh stack of books, I reread the ones on my shelf. Despite having read the Pollyanna books perhaps a hundred times, the whole “glad game” thing never took hold in my life. I simply could not see the benefit of being glad you didn’t need the crutches you received instead of the doll you wanted. I thought gladness should be effortless rather than a struggle to find something good about bad times.

Ever since Jeff died, though, I tried to play my own version of the game (though I didn’t know that’s what I was doing) by finding something to appreciate every day. I needed a way to ground myself because so often during those first years I felt as if I were teetering on the edge of the abyss, and without a firm footing, I feared I would topple into that bottomless black pit.

The lessons learned back then have served me well. I make sure to appreciate every flower that comes up, every blade of grass that shimmers in the sun. In a glass half full/half empty sort of way, I try to see what’s there rather than what isn’t. For example, to see the plants and sections of grass that are doing well instead of worrying about the areas of the yard that are desiccating no matter what I do.

Some days, however — like today — I find it hard to appreciate much. It’s been too hot for too long; it’s too much work trying to keep the weeds from taking over; and it’s too hard to focus on what is still growing rather than what once was doing well but is no longer thriving.

I took this same curmudgeonly attitude on my walk today to check out how my friend’s roof was coming along. The job site was deserted, but I could easily see why — the roof has been re-sheeted, ready for to be shingled whenever the rest of the roofing materials are delivered. On my way back home, I stopped to pick up an item at the dollar store, and when I checked out, the clerk said, “Have a good one.” Sometimes I can let that idiocy go, but on a day when I cannot even appreciate that I have glass, let alone whether it’s half full, I find it impossible to hold my tongue.

“Have a good one what?” I asked. The clerk had to think about that one for a minute, then said hesitantly, “Day?” The thing is, all the elderly people I have taken care of become fixated on their bowels (mostly because moving them has become a difficult non-daily task for them), so they are always pleased when they “have a good one.” Anyway, the clerk finally said, “Have a good day,” but then as I turned to leave, she said again, “Have a good one.” I just looked at her and shook my head.

Some things are just not worth dealing with.

Although I have temporarily given up on trying to keep the weeds in check, temporarily given up on caring about the less-than-appealing areas of my yard, I still do manage to find something to appreciate if only in passing, such as the lance-leaf coreopsis, pictured below. Now that was something effortless to be glad about — the original seeds were strewn three summers ago, and these perennial plants raise themselves without any help from me.

So maybe the “good one” the clerk told me to have was this flower. In that case, I should have thanked her for the pretty bloom instead of giving her a semi-rough time.

Anyway, have a good one, whatever “one” it is that you want to be good.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Apprenticeship

Sometimes I feel as if I am serving an alchemical apprenticeship as I continue my transformation into an old woman. You notice I said “old woman” rather than a “wise old woman,” because I’m not sure wisdom is something that can be apprenticed. Neither can old age, actually — we get there or we don’t — and yet there are things we can do to make aging easier.

My apprenticeship is about learning the art of living when it doesn’t seem as if life is worth living anymore. So many frail elders are beset by an existential crisis, especially when they are the last ones left of their family. (Or even if it only feels as if they are the last ones left.) It is a valid point — is life worth living when everyone you have loved has died? When you have little control over your life and yourself? When your body continually fails you? When it’s hard to see, hear, feel? When your days extent too far behind you and —even though you know you have an expiration date — seem to extend too far ahead? When all anyone cares about is how old you are, not about you and how you are dealing with your great age?

A vast old age (or even a frail younger old age) leaves elderly people feeling as if they have outlived their usefulness, as if there is nothing left to live for, as if they don’t belong here. I’m hoping, in this apprenticeship I have apparently taken on, that the lessons I learn now will become habit, so if (when?) I go through my own age-prompted existential crisis, the tools for continuing to live as full a life as possible will be at hand.

I have no idea what I will be feeling in those hopefully still-distant years. My experience with grief has taught me that we cannot imagine how we will feel about anything until we get there. I do look to the elderly people I know and have known in recent years, see how they are feeling and acting (or not acting), and try to extrapolate from them what I might need to know. One advantage I have is that existential crises are not uncommon for me, the big ones being when I hit adolescence, when allergies (and the prescribed allergy medication) tossed me into a black hole of depression, and when Jeff died. Too often, people sail along fine their entire life until they become physically incapacitated in some way, and then . . . wham! Along come all problems and thoughts that were held at bay by activity.

To this end, I celebrate the small beauties of the day — a flower, a pretty stone, a smile. I look for something to care about and to focus on — for now, it’s my yard, but when that becomes too much for me, I hope something else will come along to give my life focus. I look for something to be grateful about every day. Admittedly, it’s hard to think about one’s life here (especially if that life feels insignificant) when a person is focused on what comes next after this life. So along with the gratitude, I look for something to ground me, to connect me to life and to Earth. Right now, as with so much else, that grounding comes from my garden, from dealing with the literal ground rather than a mental one.

I am also paying attention to the ways my body works and doesn’t work to try to figure out what muscles I might need to exercise to make sure I can do for as long as possible the simple things we take for granted — stand, sit, walk, swallow. Yep, swallow. About a month ago, I was downing a vitamin when it slipped straight past my esophagus into my lungs. Yikes! Scared the heck out of me. So I researched the mechanisms of swallowing and learned that in order for the windpipe to be blocked off, it’s necessary to swallow with the tongue pressed onto the roof of the mouth. The only thing I can think of is that day I forgot how to swallow and relaxed my tongue and throat, and then . . . oops. I’m very lucky that it wasn’t worse. The pill (a capsule) was innocuous and eventually, it dissolved with no lasting effects. Now I am mindful of where my tongue is when I swallow anything. And if I don’t feel like taking the vitamins, I don’t. Even though I do feel as if they are helping me, they can’t help if I can’t swallow them.

It’s all part of the apprenticeship. There is no grade to this apprenticeship, nor is there any reward except that I get to live another day. When I feel more as if I “have to” live rather than I “get to” live, I remind myself that today is not given to everyone, and I find a way to mark the occasion. I hope I can continue to do so. If nothing else, having such a tool at my disposal will help make all the coming years worth living.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Adorable

A woman saw me getting out of my vintage Beetle today and told me, in a distinctive southern accent, that I was adorable. Or maybe it was the hat she thought was adorable, or the car, or both. (I get a lot of admiring comments for both of those accessories.) It does come as a surprise at times that I have reached the “adorable” age, though why older women with a different sense of style (such as it is) are considered adorable, I don’t know.

I smiled, of course, and thanked her, because what I else could I do? Shortly afterward, I thought of her comment when I acted considerably less than adorable. I was waiting in line for a checkout clerk, but the clerk kept looking around and seemed to be interested in everything but me, as if I were invisible, and I know I’m not. Invisible, that is. I finally said that if she weren’t going to help me, I was going to leave. She did approach me then, but there was something about her lackadaisical attitude that rubbed me the wrong way, so I said rather irritably, “Forget it. I’m going to leave anyway.” And I did.

It was the right thing to do because by that time, I didn’t want to have anything to do with her or the business that employed her, but I would have preferred leaving the irritation out of my voice and adding in a bit of the “adorableness” that the woman from the first encounter had seen.

Ah, well. Who wants to be adorable, anyway? I’d rather be known for a razor-sharp wit (which, unfortunately, I don’t have) or . . . hmm. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be known for. I certainly wouldn’t want to be known as an irritable old grump (which, unfortunately, I was for a moment today.)

On second thought, maybe it’s not so bad being thought of as an adorable old woman wearing an adorable old hat and driving an adorable old car.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.

Vexatious Issues

When I first started working outside this past spring, it felt as if my yard were an extension of my house — an outdoor room, perhaps. Now the outdoors feels hostile and alien, a place that I cannot control, at least not in the way I can control the “climate” inside my house. We can’t control the inside one hundred percent, of course. So much is still out of our control, such as bugs that find their way inside, appliances that go wonky, as well as any number of things that can go wrong. But at least inside (so far anyway) I don’t have to deal with searingly intense and dangerous heat, slime molds, dead birds (well, one, anyway — I found it on my front lawn when I went out to mow today), clouds of grasshoppers that chomp on non-suspecting plants, grass that turns brown and desiccates overnight.

The past few days, dealing with all those vexatious issues, I haven’t even felt like sitting in my gazebo to enjoy a few minutes of rest after my hard work. I’ve just gone inside, closed the door, and felt glad to be in a more familiar place.

At least for a while, that is, until the phone rings. And oh, does it ring! In the past couple of days, I’ve received maybe forty calls from entities with names like “Spam Risk,” “Haitian Chick 5,” and “Telemarketer.” I don’t answer (well, I do, but I hang up immediately; if not, the calls go to voice mail, and then I have to delete all of them) so I don’t know if there are real people behind the calls or if it’s all robots. But it doesn’t matter who is calling — the ring always startles me, though I have it on low. And I turn the phone off at night to keep from being awakened.

Apparently, after the slowdowns and shutdowns and sheltering-in-place during the past couple of years, the telemarketing machine gave us a bit of a break, but now it’s going full bore, trying to make up the money they think they lost. (Though why, with all warnings about spam and identity theft and fraud, people are still buying into these scams, I don’t know. They blame the “old people,” but my generation and even the one before me are tech savvy and wary. Or so I thought. But maybe we’re losing what few brain cells we have left, and what we once knew we no longer do?)

But luckily, it’s cool inside, so there’s that. And I have books to read and food to eat. And, if necessary, I can mute the ring so I don’t hear it at all to give my poor frazzled nerves a break.

Even luckier, I was able to leave all the rest of my vexations outside where they belong.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Believing Impossible Things

A commenter on yesterday’s post “Practicing the Tarot,” mentioned that he liked the notion of believing six impossible things before breakfast. His suggestion was to use the tarot to challenge three of these thoughts (only three because for the next twelve months I will be doing a three-card reading rather than the two-card layout I’ve been doing for the past year). That captured my imagination, and I responded, “What a great idea. I also like the idea of believing six impossible things before breakfast. Or at least one. I might add that to my morning routine.”

I was wondering how getting in the habit of believing even a single impossible thing every morning might change one’s life, then I realized it wouldn’t change mine at all because believing impossible things is already part of my life. Not that I believe them before breakfast, exactly, nor do I do what the white queen did and practice for half-an-hour a day. It’s just that a belief in certain impossible things runs concurrently with the truth that impossible things are impossible, and no amount of positive thinking or changing one’s habits can make the impossible possible because if the impossible became possible, then it wasn’t impossible.

Some of my impossible beliefs are that I will grow younger, taller, thinner, more muscular, prettier, stronger, smarter, quicker, sharper, able to run long distances and backpack for days at a time, write a book thousands of people will love, become radiant enough I can dispel my atoms and become light itself (actually, I haven’t thought of that last one in a long time; it was an impossible belief for a much, much younger me). And those are just the impossible things I can think of at the moment.

Some of those things might not actually be impossible. Although I have never been able to lose weight, chances are that as I get older, I will also get smaller, and as a result, I will weigh less, but I will also lose muscle (which is why it’s not a good idea for otherwise healthy older folks to lose weight), so one possible belief becomes an impossible belief when coupled with another such belief.

Still, you never know, right? That’s the whole point of believing impossible things because perhaps, just perhaps, they’re not impossible after all. But even more than that, I think we need to entertain such impossible beliefs. Seeing — and believing — only what is probable, is bleak. Who wants to believe, deep down, that they are getting weaker, slower, older, losing brain cells, shriveling up, losing muscle mass, being unable to run ever again, and that it’s all downhill from here? Not me, for sure, which is odd considering that I am one who professes to need the truth. And I do accept the truth of my aging and what has become impossible for me, and yet . . . there they are, all those impossible things I find myself believing.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.

The Joys of Getting Older

It wasn’t that long ago when I could lift 50 pounds. In fact, three years ago when I was setting up my office/media room, I had to lift a 50-pound television onto a stand, and I managed it. Barely. (Why do I have a television, you might ask, since I don’t subscribe to any sort of television programming and wouldn’t watch it if I did? Well, when I moved here, before I got involved with reading again — which I’d given up after Jeff died because I couldn’t handle stories where someone died or was lonely or fell in love — I would watch movies, both DVDs and VCR tapes.)

I’d obviously gotten weaker because it was a struggle to lift that television. I’m sure I’ve become a lot weaker since then, especially considering the problems with my knees, so when I found out that the box containing the outdoor furniture I ordered would be about 58 pounds, I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle it. I considered opening the box where the delivery person dumped it, but I was concerned about perhaps losing small parts outside or damaging my antique wood floors if the deliverer was kind enough to bring the box inside, or any number of things.

In the end, it was easy. I and my knees were strong enough to lift one end of the box, so I slipped a towel underneath that end of the box, then lifted other end of the box and slipped a towel underneath it too. That enabled me to slide the box to my work room where I will — eventually — assemble the table and chairs. Assuming the holes match up, that is. A couple of reviewers said the holes didn’t line up, but other reviewers said if you arrange the pieces properly, the holes do line up, which I hope is true.

It’s too late today to do the work — I need time to concentrate, and my ability to concentrate, like my ability to lift heavy things, seems to be weakening.

Even if I have to wait a few days before I can assemble the furniture, it will be fine. There’s no way I’m going to be sitting outside (even if I do have a lovely place to sit) when the temperature is well over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit, and it will be several days before we’re back into the nineties.

I’m looking forward to the project — assembling furniture is the adult version of putting a model together, and seems more like play than work. At least it seems that way to me. Or I should say: at least it seems that way to me until I get frustrated.

Frustration, unfortunately, seems to be gaining strength as the more practical attributes like being able to lift things and being able to concentrate are weakening.

Ah, the joys of getting older! (That’s irony in case you don’t recognize it.) I consider myself lucky that I can still manage to do the things I need to do without damaging myself or my surroundings. I’m hoping my luck continues to hold until I finish this particular task, whenever that might be.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Afternooze

I feel like I just woke up from a long winter’s nap. It was actually just a short spring afternoon snooze, but it might as well have been winter’s nap. Today was cloudy and cool with only a brief hint of sun. In fact, this is the first June I can remember where I turned on the heat in the morning! It wasn’t that cold, only three or four degrees below my normal winter temperature (though a whopping ten degrees below my normal summer temperature) but without the sun blasting through my windows, I couldn’t be sure the house would heat up on its own. In previous years, I just dealt with it by layering on clothes, but today I didn’t have the requisite fortitude. So I got lazy and turned on the heat for a few minutes this morning.

So why the afternooze? (I meant to write afternoon snooze, but I like the typo, so I’m claiming the word.)

I don’t exactly know why I napped. Tired, of course. The lack of sunshine, perhaps (the clouds parted for a second just now and the sun peeped out at me, putting the lie to my words). I’m probably to the age where I should be using lights in the afternoon on dark days to keep me and my brain awake as is recommended for those dealing with Sundowners Syndrome. I tend to think I’m still a decade or two away from having to deal with Sundowners. Although sundowning (growing tired, confused, agitated as the daylight dims) is often associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s, it can also appear in the elderly who show no signs of dementia. Researchers say it has to do with a disruption of circadian rhythms, the biological clock being out of sync, and/or a shrinking brain’s inability to cope with the stress of daily life.

I doubt I am so elderly that I need to worry about sundowners (since I spend so much time alone, though, would I even know if it’s an issue?), but there is no doubt I am sensitive to light and dark. I’m not as susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder as I was in my younger days, but my body does seem to want to shut down when it doesn’t get enough light.

And so I nap.

I also wake up inordinately early in the morning — at first light. This isn’t my choice, of course. I’d much prefer to sleep in, but ever since I moved here, I’ve seldom been able to sleep beyond sunrise. It’s as if my body decided that since I dragged it to a rural area, then by gum it would keep farmer’s hours!

Oh, well, at least I’m not complaining about the heat and too much sun, though I’m sure that will come. And then I’ll blame the heat for my afternooze.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.

Feeling Old

I had a rather cryptic e-conversation with a therapist friend who recently attended a grief workshop. She mentioned that they stressed things I’ve written about but aren’t commonly known, such as there being no way to do grief wrong (it might be painful, but it isn’t wrong). She said I was ahead, and that this wasn’t the first time.

I responded, “It’s nice to know. But then, I already knew.”

She came back with, “Yes, you did. And I am sorry you had to learn.”

I was about to agree that I was also sorry that I had to learn about grief the hard way, then I realized how remote all those years of grief seem now, so I wrote back, “It’s funny, but it was so long ago, none of it seems to matter anymore, except, of course, for the part about Jeff being dead. That will always matter to me.”

She agreed, “Except, of course, about Jeff, that will always matter. I feel that about many things.” Then we come to the cryptic part. She ended by saying, “Maybe it is age, maybe perspective, but I am feeling many things not felt before.”

I’m not sure what she meant by that final sentence, but it got me thinking about the things I feel now that I have not felt before, and only one thing came to mind: I feel old. That’s sounds so terrible, but it really isn’t. I don’t feel old as in decrepit or sick or helpless, but old as in a different era of my life.

When we were young, the old seemed separate from us, as if they’d never been like us, as if they’d always been old. Most of us were smart enough to know that wasn’t true, but since we’d never seen the elderly when they were young, it seemed true. The other side of that feeling is that we never really thought we ourselves would cross that line from youth to old age. Most young people feel they are different from the elderly, that they will be the exception and will remain forever young. Well, I certainly wasn’t the exception, and now the line has been crossed and I am on the side of the elderly.

Oddly, just as I’d imagined the elderly when I was young, as if they’d always been old, that’s how I feel. As if I’ve always been old. My youth is now as distant and as unimaginable as old age once was. That girl I was, that young woman, that half of a couple, that griever are all lost in the past and no longer seem to have anything to do with the woman I am today.

I don’t think this feeling is a bad thing since it is what it is. It doesn’t feel negative, anyway. It’s just an acknowledgement of a different time of life. The whole maiden, mother, crone trilogy, perhaps. My mother stage sort of came first because as the oldest girl of a rather large family, I so often had to take care of the younger kids. My crone stage came in having to shepherd Jeff and my parents out of this world — a midwife to the dying, so to speak. What’s left is the maiden stage, and that’s not happening. Though in a way, it is. Buying my first house so late in life, starting over in a new place. Just . . . starting. That is all part of the maiden era.

People often talk as if the elderly are simply youngsters in a decaying body, and that might be true for some people, but that isn’t true for me. Despite my facetiousness about going through my “maiden era,” I don’t feel the child in me struggling to escape the burden of age. I feel ageless, or perhaps I feel more as if being my age — the age I am right now —is the right age. And so it was during all the “right now”s of my life. (Meaning that whatever age I was, that was the right age for me at that time.)

The bad part of being old is that the body is wearing down and wearing out. Weird little things happen, such as rolling over in bed and suddenly the knee is out of whack and you can’t walk or your trusty immune system doesn’t work as well or things slide down the wrong tube when swallowing. But even these matters don’t seem so much a part of growing old as of . . . entropy, perhaps.

I might change my mind about all this as I slip from a young elderly age into an older elderly age, but whatever happens, I hope I can continue to see the aging process as just another phase of the adventure we call life. After all, that’s how I tried to deal with grief: accepting it as much as possible as another experience — a rather painful experience (to put it mildly) but no less valid than the pleasant times.

Just as our culture seems to frown on people who admit to feeling grief, as if grief is failing, it seems to frown on people who admit to feeling old, as if that too is a failing. But I didn’t hesitate to admit to feeling sad, so I certainly am not going to hesitate to admit I feel old. It’s just the way life is. And it’s just the way I am.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Growing Things

First mosquito bite of the season! Somehow it doesn’t seem fair that we pay for warmer temperatures with wind and mosquitoes. It seems as if the mosquitoes (one, anyway) are out earlier than usual, but I don’t really remember when I got my first bite last year. I do remember it was right below the eye, just like this one.

One of these days when I have plenty of time and the air is still, I’ll have to mosquito-proof my clothes with permethrin. That seem to help prevent bites as does wearing light colors (Mosquitoes are attracted to black, though I don’t know why. I wonder if dark colors remind them of murky waters beneath the reeds in stagnant pools.) Of course, even though the clothes help repel the ravenous creatures that so love me, I still have to use some sort of repellent on hands and face. (Lemon eucalyptus oil seems to work.)

I haven’t worried too much about side effects from the repellent because the previous summers I was only out every other day watering my plants, but it looks as if this year, I’ll be out every day. There’s twice as much area to water, and I can’t manage to do it all in one day. At least, I couldn’t today.

I find it ironic that my plan was to get the yard to where it didn’t need any work, so that I wouldn’t look as if I lived in a derelict house when I got too old to care for my place, and yet here I am, adding to my outside labor each year. Still, I’ve decided not to worry about the future, at least not in this regard, and I’ve decided not to worry about the water usage (even though it does make my conservationist heart cringe) because that green, green grass makes me smile. So do the tulips that are still bringing cheer to parts of the yard that are still winter-bleak. For so many years after Jeff died, I thought I’d never smile again, and yet here I am, smiling at just the thought of my yard.

Of course, along with wanted plants come the unwanted ones, like wild mustard and others I haven’t yet learned the names. But for now, while the weeds are so young I don’t even know for sure they are weeds or what to do about them, they add to the lushness of the yard.

It doesn’t look as if there are going to be any more below-freezing nights, so I could probably plant the seeds I have, but I don’t trust the weather forecasters. So, I’ll wait. I have plenty of growing things to enjoy right now.

Well, except for the mosquitoes. I don’t enjoy those particular growing things at all.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Full Moon Agitation

I’ve been struggling with sleep the past couple of nights. One night I felt too unsettled to fall asleep and the other night was so bright when I awakened at 3:00 a.m. that I was sure it was almost time to get up. I’d thought in the past that such unsettled nights — especially when there is no reason for the agitation — presaged a full moon, but I didn’t think it was the issue here because we just had a full moon.

Still, I checked the calendar, and lo and behold — there it is. A full moon. The moon will reach its peak fullness tomorrow afternoon, and then begin to wane. The previous full moon was four weeks ago. (I am so losing track of time!)

Oddly, it’s the nights leading up to the full moon that are the problem. The fullness itself doesn’t cause a problem for me — at the peak fullness, the moon seems to sigh with relief that the arduous job of waxing is finished and is gladly getting ready to wane.

It’s not so odd now that I think about it. Often the buildup to something is either better or worse than the thing itself. The days before a grief anniversary, for example, are often worse than the anniversary itself, and the anticipation of a treat is sometimes more satisfying than the treat itself.

Knowing that the incipient full moon has begun to create a restlessness in me as I get older doesn’t help much, but it does keep me from worrying about a more serious cause for the insomnia. I’m just glad that tonight I’ll be getting back to sleeping well (or rather, as well as I ever do anymore). I’m also grateful I’ll have a full month before the next full moon — the flower moon, so called because May is the month of flowers. (The moon this month is called the pink moon because this is the time the creeping pink phlox blooms.)

I hope you have a happy full moon day tomorrow. I certainly intend to, especially after all the agitation the buildup has engendered in me.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.