I’m sitting writing on a day that can’t decide whether it wants to be sunny or gray, a day about three days past the day that the world was to come to an end and it’s a rather nice day, by the way.
But I can surely identify with a doomsday. My children and I woke up one day, just living our lives pretty comfortably, no shining ups, particularly, or dim lows, and before the day had bid us goodbye the world as we had known it was snatched from beneath us with the swiftness and fierceness of lightning in a storm ridden sky – and all we could do was cry. On July 22nd of 2009 we lost our precious valentine, an amazing mother, a beautiful sexy brilliant artistic athletic incredible 62 year old human being I loved referring to as mine.
And, oh, what an emotionally painful path we’ve slogged along just to, as they say, keep on keepin’ on, but, in spite of it all, life seems to be getting better for us with each passing day.
Like, just a few days before the big “Judgment Day,” Tawny Maya, one of our twin daughters, signed on as a reporter for the San Diego Union Tribune – and all I can say is: Man, are they ever blessed. She’ll write for them with all the required unbiased objectivity but I know my girl; her sensitive spirituality and inquiring soul will color and enrich her writing in the “Tawny Myyyy” way her mother loved so. We’re all beaming like we’re owners of a winter resort play land on the first day of snow.
The day before “The End is Here” prophecy was to unfold, our son, Carlos Biko, swung a tassel on a graduation hat from right to left and then departed the premises at SDSU with a Masters in Social Work degree and a job at Child Protective Services to report to when the weekend was through.
He will serve the county’s social needs with a degree of energy they’ve never seen. With his endless enthusiasm and deep well of positive ideas, he’ll have their heads spinning like that girl’s in the Exorcist. Families in dire need of assistance will get all he’s got and that’s a lot. Nancy would have been so proud of him.
That Friday was some kind of mellow, so easy and warming, so filled with hope as opposed to impending doom.
Nyla Summer, the other twin, who now lives in Las Vegas, the city of sin, was down for the celebration. We all have our fingers crossed that she will soon find a nursing school to attend. Or some other opportunity. I can’t wait to see who wins her in the lottery. They’ll be as lucky as one can be.
Diane, “Aunt Diane,” Nancy’s sister, the only surviving member of her immediate family, a major player in our family, is moving right along after being unemployed for far too long.
All that’s left is me. To keep on keepin’ on I’ve had to get to where I’m no longer so desperately alone when I’m simply alone. Losing Nancy was like losing an indispensable segment of my very being, leaving her as a part of me only spiritually. A big part of the journey for me has been knowing when to listen for her, when to call on her for company.
I felt her presence strongly the other day, the Saturday the world was to cease, as I portrayed Brabantio in a staged reading of Shakespeare’s Othello with a few young actors I’ve just come to know. I could hear her, a woman who was no big Willie S fan, saying: “Well, aren’t you special.”
“Yeah, baby, I am because I had you in my life for thirty-four highly memorable years.”
Often when I think of her I remember how our offspring made our hearts sing, how we enjoyed exposing them to a variety of activities. The day after the “rapture” I spent the early afternoon watching them play softball, something Nancy and I thoroughly enjoyed, often followed by a walk of a couple of miles or so to keep the old bones going strong.
Oh, we miss her “Whoo!” after a nice double play or hit in the gap or a great throw to home plate to get a runner out.
But she is so ensconced in our hearts and souls, in our memories, that we hear her at some level, cosmically, having come to realize that “letting go” applies only to the physical being that was. More and more we’ve been able to speak of her without losing our composure, knowing now that her love for us is just as strong today as it was when she was here and showered us with it daily.
So for us it’s more like the world is beginning rather than ending as we’ve come to the place – although we’re not all the way there – where we can accept and bask in that powerful love that comes to us from her somewhere out there and use its sweet energy as fuel for our resolve to keep on keepin’ on.
She wants us to as much as we want to.