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Sunday, March 13, 2011

task list

I may have mentioned I write fiction. That title above is a bit of fiction because I haven't actually created any sort of list. Instead, I am allowing all of the things I need to do to scramble around in my mind, pile-driving each other down into the far recesses of the brain until that loser idea resurfaces accompanied by a feeling of panic because it was forgotten. I am afraid to make the list for fear I will be so overwhelmed by the vastness and complexity that I will end up screaming and never stop. Excuse me, my penchant for melodrama is showing. In fact, what would probably happen if I made the list is that I would begin to do each thing on it until it was done. Adding certain things that are already done just so I can look productive by crossing them out. Because, after all, if I'm keeping track I want to get credit for it all.

The downside of having lost such beloved parents is the number of thank-you notes that need to be written. I realize that, especially at this time in my life, people aren't waiting to cross receiving my thank-you note off their own lists but it is a matter of what Mom would want. And she would definitely want the written thank-you. I am really bad at doing them. I know for weddings the limit is a year but what about funerals or birthdays? I am embarrassed to admit that my daughter's birthday is July 5th and since we moved right after, those notes have still not been written. The list of guests and corresponding gifts is hanging on the bulletin board in my kitchen so I am reminded each day of this vast shortcoming. This delay came from the best of intentions. I wanted to do a change of address form, with my daughter's email, and an update on how everything was going, maybe even include the pictures of the child at the party with the thank-you. None of these things has occurred. The only thing that has happened is that I actually purchased the notes. Unfortunately, I used them for Mom's funeral.  Then my son's birthday was in January. Clearly, I could not write his thank-you notes without having written the daughter's first.

Now, you all know my secret shame. I even had one friend help write notes after Mom's funeral. Still, I am not finished or even close. Then Dad went and we are still getting cards about Gideon donations every day in the mail. I am not suggesting this is my responsibility alone. My sisters are more than shouldering their share. It isn't even all about Mom. I sincerely want to let people know how much I appreciate their gifts, or their time, or their food. Sometimes, it feels like people are already forgetting about Mom and Dad so I like getting those cards that let me know people are still making donations in their names. They are still missed. I could go pyschobabble on you and suggest that not writing the notes is a way of avoiding the acknowledgement that their lives are finished but that doesn't explain the children's birthdays so I think I just have to acknowledge my procrastination.

I find I'm wanting to work my losses into every conversation. I want to make sure people know that I am different now, that nothing in my life will ever be the same. At the same time, that seems so very something I don't like to do. Jeff is going back to the doctor tomorrow. He made it until nine tonight which is the new ten. Still, I ended up sitting by myself until I came up here to troll on facebook and then write this. Think  how many thank-you notes could have been done in this period. You can't really feel sorry for someone who does this to herself, can you? 

1 comment:

  1. I had intentions of writing Calvin's birthday thank you's for a whole year and finally let it go - and I had no excuse but procrastination! I just made a resolution to do better next year. I know it goes against every fibre of your being, but everyone will understand if they don't go out. I know people who don't do the whole thank-you note thing at all...

    And I can totally relate to the wanting to work your loss into every conversation - that's been my experience with my grief too. Wanting to tell everyone but at the same time not wanting to, I don't know, burden anyone? No. Look like a victim? Maybe. Look like I'm fishing for pity? Probably. Such strange complex feelings.

    Keep posting, babe!