This month has been a tough one for Steve. Through multiple car trips back to Detroit, he's been trying to be present for his mom's death, trying to be available to his siblings, trying to be a good son. His dedicated work ethic also kept him driving back to Bethlehem because he is ridiculously responsible. He continually puts his own needs behind those of work and family. Drives me nuts that he doesn't sleep or take time to not work or worry.
Since he hasn't been sleeping, I thought he could use a little inspiration in New Your City this weekend, attending at least one day of the Audio Engineering Society convention with his good friend, Mark. Heck, if you're not going to sleep, might as well spent the day in a place where you might find inspiration. I pushed him out the door early Saturday morning.
I didn't save any donuts for him when he finally got home Sunday afternoon. He came back not rested, but grateful for the time away from responsibilities.
These past couple of weeks, I've had a lot of time to think about my own responsibilities. I'm not thinking about civic duties, career aspirations, or how many boards I can sit on any more. I'm thinking about my responsibilities to our family. When my mother-in-law died, it was the end of an era. She was the keeper of stories of her immigrant father and mother, of the paternal home in Santa Giulia, of the recipes, of the advise for raising a gaggle of kids, of supporting her parish, of loving her husband so deeply that daily affection was as natural an act as rolling out of bed.
Rose was pure joy. I heard so many stories from her children and friends. She'd have all these sayings that kept her going through the mundane. If it were me, I'd probably be whining on Twitter about how bored I was. Raising her family, loving her husband and being a part of the simple life was the joy that we all celebrated. She saw beauty in the sun peaking through her curtains. She carried grace in her pocket.
Ever since I got back from the funeral, I've been thinking a lot about my responsibilities as a person who is becoming the "elder" part of the family. Now, I'm supposed to be in the generation that has the stories, the recipes, the advise, the answers. I feel like I have to go into some intense training to be ready for this - and I still want to run into my mom's kitchen, pull out a coffee mug and ask her a thousand questions about our family history.
I took time this weekend to finally finish some things that were bugging me. These tasks weren't monumental changes to our home, or even a small dent in my huge (self-built) work pile. Having these simple but time consuming tasks sorted, put away, and off the mental list was a way for me to make room in my tightly wound mind.
I want a bit of sunshine in my spirit so that I can see the simple beauty right under my nose. I want to see joy in my day.