Friday, April 23, 2010
Apricots, Sadness & Joy
My mother is somewhat less feisty these days. She almost died from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her lung last August and has had to give up the apartment she once shared with my aunt. She has a room at my brother's place now. My aunt lives in a nursing home with both of her legs amputated--lost to peripheral arterial disease. My cousin is old enough to have begun collecting social security.
And I am stunned at all the calamity and sadness that has visited my family since my marriage ended. Or maybe I'm stunned that I feel the pain of those hurts more than the happier things--an enagement, a wedding, the birth of a baby, the headlong falls into love, my own graduation.
I am laden with joys, but still wearing the veil of an unfinished sadness.
And what I picture as I write this is my apricot tree back home on my patio in L.A. Determined to reap its crop of lucious fruit for myself and spare it from an invading army of squirrels, I wrapped it in three layers of bird netting a couple of weeks ago. It looks sad to me--like a widow in a black veil. And I worry that it's not getting enough sunshine to ripen its fruit.