It’s been a little over a year since my Nancy passed away yet moving on is still the order of the day for our children, Carlos, Tawny, Nyla and me.
The kind of grieving we’ve experienced, in our various stages of moving on, has revealed just how fragile we are and how dependent we are on each other, how glad we are to just have each other around.
And just when it seemed that the pain in our lives was toning down, one of the twins, Nyla, announced, since her boyfriend who had been unemployed for about a year found a job in Vegas, that she was packing up and leaving town. Oh, the feeling of loss raises its ugly head again. Not with fangs this time but it’s come with a bite.
We were all, including Nyla, caught completely off guard since over these past months we hadn’t come close to even pondering for a moment the idea of any one of us heading off to another town. Especially not to some glitzy place that claims “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” knowing that the odds are that what’s staying in Vegas is your butt and all your money.
Carlos and I, of course, are missing the heck out of Nyla but we’re kind of taking it in stride. But Tawny is feeling it quite intensely as she and her sister are true soul mates. I’ve never witnessed a relationship quite like there’s. They’re as close as 30 degrees is to freezing. The love they have for each other is so precious and profound that it’s almost palpable. It’s a beautiful sight to see. And I’ve had the pleasure of observing it for thirty-two plus years. Count me among the fortunate.
I’ll never forget the moment I heard that those two were nestled inside Nancy. “Ernie,” she said, “remember how I’ve been beating your pants off in tennis?”
“Yeah,” I replied as if anyone could forget having their britches beaten off of them. “Well, it wasn’t two against one,” she said, referring to how we had been joking that her tennis game was extra sharp because she had help from the baby in utero, “it was three against one.”
It took a moment before my brain computed “TWINS!” followed by some serious “speaking in tongues.” And the next thing I knew we were off to buy one more of everything.
Then they arrived and made our hearts sing and a little time passed and we were off to their first doctor’s appointment, greeted by a gloomy woman who looked as though she had never in her life gotten up on the right side of bed. She wore a scowl you’d expect from someone trying to stop a running play in the Super Bowl. I expected a few “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fums from that woman at any moment.
“So,” she belched, “these are the twins everybody’s been fussin’ ’bout, huh? There’s DOUBLE TROUBLE all over this scenario. I’ve got one child and I’d just as soon hoist mobile homes than have two like him. Twins! Whoo! No way, Jose.”
That, however, was not our attitude in any way and those two have brought so much joy to our lives. But, man, it’s gone so fast. Every time we blinked, it seemed, a chunk of time had passed along with their having acquired some new talent of some kind.
Blink. They’re swimming in swim shows and on swim teams. Blink. They’re reading and writing and computing and dancing and playing the piano and creating scenarios for videos and blowing horns in the school band and running track and playing soccer, earning way more varsity letters in high school than their old hotshot jocky dad ever did by far and driving their own cars. Blink. Their names are written in fancy print on SDSU degrees and they’re renting apartments with boyfriends and making their way in a troubled world as loving caring passionate human beings. Still making our hearts sing.
Blink. Another one of us leaves the fold and from what we’ve learned in a year of pain we’re already trying to resign ourselves to keep moving on with the understanding that life is precisely about that: moving on, opening one’s self to new and exciting adventures and hopeful possibilities.
That’s what Nyla will be doing. In Sin City. And Carlos and Tawny and I will be perpetually checking out cheap flights to be with her whenever we can. That’s what our life, what our moving on now demands.