My Pity Party

I was having a pity-party this morning. No one was invited but me, although bringing along my internal whining was a must. There were no streamers at this party, no balloons or cake and certainly no parade, but action was required. I sat myself down at the kitchen table, rather firmly I confess, and used my stern voice, not my mother’s school-teacher-voice because that still scares me, and I haven’t been in her classroom for more than fifty years. I used a no-nonsense voice, leaning in and looking directly into my own face, my eyebrows in a bit of a scrum. “What would you even do right now,” I said, with an accusing voice, trying not to shout, but laced with judgment. “If you could do anything,” I said, shaking my head in disgust. I gestured to the door. “If you could get out of here, right this moment, if anything was possible, what would you even do?” The sarcasm was thick, but it got me thinking.
What would I do? I would jump in my car immediately and drive, ignoring the speed limit, to get to daughter Laurie’s house and throw my arms around her, melting into her perfect hug, breathing her in, letting all the memories of thirty years of hugs flood in and lift me up. I would scoop up three-year-old Abby and we would dance and sing, leaping around her living room and trying not to fall or break anything. It would take quite a bit of hugging to restore the equilibrium, the deficit created by hug-less days following hug-less days and more hug-less days. What next?
I would start driving west. I’d hit Central Ontario and find two more daughters and repeat the hugging process. Thea would lie her head on me and laugh with her big infectious laugh. Samantha would put her always cool hands on my neck or any ache that I happen to have and chase it away. We’d throw in a few movie lines in our conversation just for old time’s sake. We’d make Isghy-Gishgy Cake and my two little grandsons would bring me up to date on all the things they can do now and show me how they’ve grown. We’d have a parade, for sure. When my soul was brimming over, I’d get back in my car and head further West and repeat. I would stop and see every single soul I know across this country and I would remind them how they fit into my treasured book of memories.
I have missed very little about ordinary life since this madness began. I was never a shopper, so my retail therapy has always been “get out, get back”. Browsing drives me mad, though I completely understand how it is an adventure for some. I took a lot of conveniences for granted, didn’t really give them a second thought. In the grand scheme of things, it has been a valuable lesson to rethink how I do things.
I would finish up my journey West with Aimee in Vancouver and she would collapse her head on my lap so my fingers could trace through her hair. Linden would introduce me to his new dog and show me all the things he can do, the words he can spell, the books he can read. He told me turtle is his favourite word. Everyone should have a favourite word. I’m partial to quizzify, those letters not getting a lot of use.
I don’t let my imagination go to these places too often. None of us know when we can be reunited again, when travelling between each other will become routinely possible. The uncertainty is hard to lean against, so I don’t. But I need a hug, desperately. So, today I will travel, in my heart, and visit all those who fill my life with love. See you soon.
wendistewart@live.ca

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