Thursday, November 11, 2010

Alone at Work

My daughter is out of school for the next two days-today for Veteran's Day and tomorrow for Let's Make it a Four Day Weekend Day, I guess.  (I apologize.  That was entirely unfair.  I have no idea why they're off tomorrow.)  My other daughter is off everyday since she graduated this past school year.  The Hubby is also off everyday as he was let go in March and there are absolutely no jobs at the moment.

I am sitting here in my office with absolutely nothing to do since everyone is under the assumption that we're closed. 

It's quiet.  The radio is set to an oldies station that tends to play a lot of Elton John and The Beatles.  The weather has gotten cooler.  I can hear the wind blowing outside.  They say it might rain a little.  The sun is setting at the back of this building and I know it'll be dark soon.

I find myself thinking of my mom.  She lives alone on the other side of town. (really two towns over but it's only about 40 minutes away without traffic)  She lost her husband (my Step-Dad) about three years ago and I see her every two weeks.  She still works full-time and is in great health.  She is extremely anti-social and only interacts with people (other than us) when she's at work.  I worry about her a lot, being alone like she is.  She says she prefers her solitude now that her husband's gone.  She feels closer to him when she's alone.

I think that today, with the sky getting darker, the softly playing music and the sound of the wind blowing outside, I understand what she means. 

Right now, as I sit here, no one coming in, no phones ringing, no Emails, I can hear the quiet not only in the stillness around me but also within me.  I rarely experience this kind of stillness.  I think I like it.  It's soothing and I feel cradled within it.  I dread the thought that someone might actually call and break the spell.  I look at the clock and realize it's been like this since around 1:30.  It's 4 o'clock now.  I have an hour.

I close my eyes and think of my step-dad and all of the other people I have lost within my lifetime.  The people who have played a part in the person I am today.  I wonder what they're doing right now and I can't help but feel they're here with me.  It's comforting and re-assuring to think so.  I speak to them in my mind and try to hear their responses, which are really just echos of remembered conversations.

Then the phone rings and it's time to work...Once the conversation ends, I realize the magic is gone.  I sit here trying to pass the time until the clock strikes 5.

I do notice that there is a dull ache in my chest.  It's a familiar ache but one I rarely stop to feel anymore.  I am aware that I feel more connected to those lost family members than I have in a long time.  I'm grateful for that.  But the pain feels closer too and I'm not a big fan of that.

Is this what my mom experiences while she sits in her living room, thinking of her husband?  The closeness?  The pain?

Maybe, I'll ask her...

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