Friday, May 27, 2016

For Jennifer

It's a sleepy Friday afternoon.  I'm listening to a constant barrage of Trump and Sanders speeches in the background.  Spooky, the cat Jennifer gave me, is snuggled up to me on the couch despite the 80 degree heat. 
Jennifer.  One of her dying wishes was that an agency manager promise she wouldn't vote for Trump.
Jennifer wanted to campaign for Bernie Sanders, but it never worked out because of health issues. 
She did come to a "No Pipeline" rally on Central Square in Keene and proudly displayed both Bernie and No Pipeline signs on her lawn. 
I know her spirit is rejoicing that we stopped the NED pipeline, but that she also would want me and my friends to finish the job by making sure we're on a path to a sustainable and renewable energy future.
I miss her.  I think I need therapy to deal with the loss of my friend, but I'm just trying to "ride it out" and keep her in my heart while I continue fighting for the things we both believed in.   Frankly, I am afraid to stop; not just because of emotions that are overwhelming and paralyzing, but because I think I am needed to continue the fight.
I was listening to a program on NHPR about PTSD the other day as I drove home from a demonstration in West Roxbury, Mass.  There are lots of causes for PTSD, but one common phenomenon is that symptoms improve if there's a feeling of being part of something bigger than oneself. 
So, maybe I'm just rationalizing?  Or maybe I'm applying the only relief there is for big losses?
I am glad that I've had the privilege to live almost seven decades on this earth and still feel able to dance when the moment or the music moves me.  Of course, one of the drawbacks to aging is the loss of people you love.  And the older you get, the more frequently it happens.   It is much worse than seeing your body sag or lines spread across your face.  I think a lot about my own mortality and using the time I have left wisely, joyfully, lovingly. 
I need Jennifer.  I need her example, her optimism, her sense of adventure and appreciation of art, music, dance and beauty of every kind.  I deliberately invoke her memory and imagine her reactions.  I cannot close the book on her.  It is only the end of a chapter because I think her story continues on in the people whose lives she changed.

1 comment:

  1. You are so beautiful and gracious, Mama. I wish that there were words I could offer that would alleviate your sadness. All my love to you and my arms around you. <3