Today would have been Ginny's birthday.
It's only been three weeks since she died and this is our first occasion without her.
Once you lose a family member you start referring to occasions with reference to the loss of that person. A few years ago it was, "our first June without dad." Or "this is the first Christmas since dad passed away."
On occasions you focus on the person who is lost. You allow yourself to miss them. You spend a bit of time wallowing in your grief.
You spend so much of your daily life incorporating the person into mundane occurrences trying to bring them back into the conversation. You say,
I think back to the conversations I had with Ginny on birthdays.
We had a script for the beginning of every phone conversation, starting with
with her sweetly responding
It was a short, dumb little joke but we did it every time.
We'd then move on to conversation about activities for the day, delving into the topics being discussed on NPR or in the newspaper. Occasionally she'd tell me about the moon or what she was working on, though those conversations were generally reserved for others, the more practical ones left for me.
All of the Ingram's have a creative side. We're artists and chefs and writers and musicians. Some of us have careers that are defined by our creations while others of us are more passive in our pursuits.
The caregiving I did for Ginny was hard. It took a lot out of me. But now, even with only three weeks of distance, I can see how her creative spark mixed with the creative energy I get from the rest of my family and the business sense I learned from my dad are going to help me as I begin new endeavors.
On Valentine's Day instead of buying into the commercialization of the holiday, I'll take the time tonight to look at the moon.
In honor of Ginny, and her wonderful friends, here's My Peace I Give You, a Taizé Chant performed by the Phoenix Reading Choir.
P.S. The power went out for about 5 hours on Valentine's Evening. There was plenty of time to look at the moon with a view unobstructed by the lights of our town.
Who is Ginny?
All copyrights held by their respective copyright holders. The header image is one of Ginny's prints.