Away & Back Again

I’ve been away. Where, I can’t say because I’m not sure. I’ve just been sitting in the observer’s seat; watching myself go from this to the next this to that and another thing… for weeks now… I think.

I was going to look at my previous post to see what was happening last time I sat here in my blogger’s seat and then try to fill in all the blanks. That’s the obsessive, compulsive me that needs to connect each dot, unfailingly, to the next. But my brain hasn’t been working that way and I’m finding it fascinating, the dots my brain is picking and choosing to pull out, dust off, and carefully place randomly to be connected in a new way. What will they look like, these dots, when I begin to connect them?  The image of a windmill with tulips all around?  A purple rose?  A secret message that needs to be held up to a mirror to decipher?  A monster that will eat me up and spit out my bones?  Connecting the first few dots I realize they don’t have numbers next to them the way my childhood dots did.  This is freeing and this is frightening.

I was having a pedicure a few weeks back.  The technician didn’t speak much English but I tried to make light conversation.  The previous visit, a young, very pregnant woman had done my toes, smiling sweetly, speaking little English, as well.  I asked whether she’d had her baby and big smiles and nods told me, “Yes!  A little boy.”  I didn’t see the next question coming, “Do you have children?”  This is a question I will have to answer for the rest of my earthly life and it is a question which dangled and then dropped me, and probably will again, into a deep dark hole.

“Yes,” I smiled weakly. “Two children, a son who is 21 and a daughter who is 18. (And who died in a terrible auto accident only 3 months ago but I’m not going to tell you that because you barely understand English and you don’t know me and if I say another word I will cry and you’ll feel terrible and so will I and I don’t want you to even try to know me that well even though I love you as deeply as possible as another human being with human challenges and triumphs because that is not only my nature but my life’s work… my mission… to care for, to help others heal and grow and blossom beyond life’s trauma, trial, and tribulation… despite my own.)

This is a question I will be asked again and again for the rest of my life.  How will I answer that question again and again for the rest of my life?  However I feel like it in that moment, for the rest of my life.  And I have no idea, whatsoever, how that will be.  And reading that back to myself makes me sob.

Before Dannica’s passing, I’d never had a professional pedicure before.  She did that for me and I did that for her.  We’d set up the foot bath next to the couch and decide what to watch on TV; Parenthood, Gilmore Girls, America’s Funniest, a movie.  Dannica gave the most *incredible* foot rubs.  Many times, I’d drift off, if felt *so* good, so nurturing, so loving, so precious… so sweet.  I loved returning that favor.  I so loved that she would let me love and nurture her, my baby girl, in this way.  We’d talk about the colors and the decals and we’d cuddle close on the couch to finish watching whatever was on while admiring our twinkle toes.

In so many ways my Danni Jade was my best friend.  I could confide nearly anything in her and she always gave me her honest thoughts and opinions.  There was a natural spring of wisdom balanced with love and humor within her that quenched my need to know ‘all is well’ on many, many occasions. Others saw it, too… she really is an old soul… with the wisdom to prove it.

I go out now sans the “loss of my sweetness” filter, at least to anyone really paying attention or those who know me.  People greet me, “Hi, how are you?”  and I reply that I am fine or that I am doing well, thanks, “How are you?”  All superficial, all superfluous… really, meaningless.  My heart feels that.  Probably, it always will.  My heart would like the honest expressions and genuine interactions to continue.  What filters are these others wearing or not wearing today?  That’s my new game… filter for filters while striving to remain real.

4 thoughts on “Away & Back Again

  1. Melissa, I have been wanting to write to you for a while now. I didn’t want to be unsympathetic to your feelings.
    As I read through your blog, I realized just how much of what you said, was much like the way I felt, short of being blood related to your beautiful daughter Dannica. She was like a little sister to me. She was most definitely wise beyond her years. And was always so sweet and kind and always there for me. While I worked with Dannica, she was the brightest ray of sunshine in a very dark time in my life. She was instrumental in helping me break out of a depression. I am so thankful for the times she was there for me. I fall short of enough words to say just how much she meant to me. I felt as though she was my sister. I guess in a was she was. She always has been and always be an angel to me.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. Savannah and I just found out. Savannah and Dannica were friends at ORCA although they hadn’t spoken for awhile even though Savannah had tried to contact her. She thought of her often. I chatted with Dannica at one of the Abby’s Closet event. She was articulate, kind and didn’t hold anything back. I thought she was a beautiful girl. I can’t imagine what you and your family are going through. Savannah has gone through old emails she had kept from school. She is very heartbroken. Over the past year, she has often spoken about Dannica and prayed that she was doing alright. Since she hadn’t heard from her, she assumed that she had moved to Utah. I guess she talked about that before. Savannah doesn’t know what moved her to do so, but Dannica suddenly popped into her head this afternoon so she decided to Google hear and that is when she stumbled across the article about the accident. She was a beautiful young woman.

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