Keen's cousin passed away last week. Gil was extremely low functioning Down syndrome. He was in his early 50s and pneumonia came on suddenly. The last few winters have seemed to have gotten progressively harder for him health-wise. He will be missed, but we are all glad he isn't suffering anymore.
These last few months have been strange in how perfect a balance of extremes they've been. There have been some really wonderful things – new projects, new health, new friends met – and right alongside there has been bad health and setbacks, hard times for loved ones. Surprisingly I don't feel as stressed as I think I would have had this happened last year. I think the decision to stop working was a good one (or, at least, the work has slowed down and changed focus) for myself and our family.
The truth is I'm hard on myself. I struggle constantly with what I want to accomplish and what needs to be done. On top of that I want to live a creative life. One where I am creating. And like many moms I take care of my family and do all the need-to-be-done things first. I leave off anything else until the evenings, until my "free time", and then, often, I am too tired to do anything. Then I beat myself up over not accomplishing more.
I think we all want, at the end of our lives, for someone to say "their life was full of music and laughter and love". (And if you are the least bit creative you long for those descriptions of "artist communities" you read about. You know, the ones that conveniently leave out depression or drug dependencies.) But while you are living it, it often feels a life of lists. I had this thing to do, and this, and that. Then this happened, then that, then another.
My grandfather is recovering and my mom finally flew home. Keen is finishing up the tax season. Chance and I have been sick since Easter. We have the rosary on Wednesday and the funeral on Thursday. I will be baking cookies.