Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year.

Lily and I just returned from our holiday pilgrimage to the Bay Area and though it wasn't restful I'm resigned to the non-restfulness until she waves me out of her dorm room in approximately 17 years.

But it was a sweet trip where we spent time with her beloved cousins who don't mind her touching their Bayblades and Zhou Zhou pets (and if they do they tell her gently), love to sit next to her during meals, enjoy brushing her hair even if she is running away simultaneously and trampling their artfully arranged train tracks while doing so. They share mermaids and squirt toys with her in the tub and give her a good dose of sibling love.

We wish they lived closer.

Lily also had quality time with her next door bud, Madeleine (Mad Dog), who is as gentle and demure as a kitten except when she is risk taking in reckless outbursts that lead to injury in unsuspecting moments. She also hung out with favorite doggies, jumped her way through puddles, enjoyed time with grandparents over dim sum and Blue Jay feedings and hung out with some big girls who have handed down an awesome baby with handy accouterments.

I got to hear live music (adult music that is) for the first time in close to three years. The anticipation of doing so has had me on edge - one of those hurdles in widow country that I was reticent to attempt. Thankfully it was Bluegrass so despite the often tragic themes and lonesome sounds, the upbeat strings kept me ... feelin' OK. It helped to have a dear friend by my side. And it felt good to be in an element that reminded me of times when things were alright.

Alan was with us in every raindrop, and twilight winter sky. Lily even looked up one day and said "Dada come down". The guilt still lingers, and my anxieties about being her only parent had unwelcome flare-ups at night. Another aspect of widowhood - when you're relishing in life you can't help but worry it will be snatched away. I'm sure it was heart wrenching for Alan as well, in fact I know so. He too had a hard time embracing happiness.

Quite a challenge these days.
Especially with Lily by my side.
The happiest of sun beams.

Last night in her sleep, "Cheers Jiji, Cheers Mama".

Lily is the perfect affirmation of life.
As were our happy family meals.
As was music with a good friend by my side.
And dinners with childhood and college friends who may as well be family.
As were the brisk days, and winter leaves lingering in fresh puddles.

Entering 2011 and it feels alright.

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