|How old was I? Maybe ten?|
I also notice that Mama must have fixed my hair, which was pulled back with barrettes and obviously had been curled, as my hair barely had any natural waves. That would have meant bobby-pin discomfort the night before, then brushed and styled for more discomfort. Mama would have been proud of her little girls (three of them by the time this was taken; PJ was born when I was seven). She was not a patient mother, but she sewed many of our dresses and made sure we were well dressed when we went to school. How times have changed! I see the way kids dress today and wonder what Mama would think.
It was a much better week, since I was able to get many of the activities in that make me feel exercised and not too tired. After I wrote last Sunday's post, I drove down to Snohomish and spent the day with my friends and made a couple of skydives. Although the drive home was longer than usual because of the I-5 bridge collapse, it was worth it. I also got the story about the young skydiver who died at Snohomish the week before. He was jumping a very small canopy and made some very bad choices. Many people had tried to talk him out of the path he was following, but he wouldn't listen to anybody. Usually a person will make hundreds of jumps on a canopy before going to a smaller size, but he went to smaller and smaller ones way too early. It's equivalent to moving from a car that has plenty of safety features but little pizzazz, to a top-of-the-line Lamborghini, with no idea how to handle it.
I finished several books this week, since it seems that when you put them on hold at the library, there is no way to tell when they will show up, and I have an abundance of reading materials. Another two arrived yesterday, so I'll continue this week to spend time sitting in my favorite chair with a book. Many of the books that show up were recommended by fellow bloggers, and I head over to the library website and add them to my stack. Sometimes I don't even remember what the book is about, or who suggested it. Yesterday I finished Wave, a memoir written by Sonali Deraniyagala, which is one of those books.
Although last week when I wrote this post I was reading Picoult's book about the Holocaust, and this week a memoir about Sonali's loss of her entire family in the 2004 tsunami, I am no longer feeling depressed. Sonali has written a book about the experience that brings her family back to life. From the book review linked above (William Dalrymple):
This is possibly the most moving book I have ever read about grief, but it is also a very, very fine book about love. ... And while in Wave love reveals itself by the bleak intensity of the pain of absolute, irreplaceable loss, it is in the end a love story, and a book about the importance of love.In between these two books, I read Proof of Heaven, a story of the journey that Dr. Eben Alexander took when he was in a coma with a deadly virus that pretty much gave him no chance of survival. He not only survived, but he felt it important to share the journey of his NDE (near death experience). The book is riveting. In it, he says he has learned that consciousness is the most profound mystery in the universe. It was also a perfect counterpart for the other books and life events that threw me for a loop last week.
It also made me feel that perhaps it's true that my loved ones who have passed beyond the veil really DO visit me in my dreams. The mystery of consciousness has fascinated me all my life, and the passage of time that is distorted in dreams takes on a different meaning after having read his book. That young girl in the picture above is still here; her body looks different, but her consciousness is the same one she's carried with her all through this life. In my dreams my son Chris is always a young adult, and my parents are always young and vital. I think I'd like to believe that is who they really are. The truth of the matter is that none of us will ever know for certain in this life if anything of our consciousness remains after we leave our bodies behind.
But I can dream, can't I?