State of the Fridge Address

Yesterday afternoon, despite a great Pilates class and trip to the farmer’s market, I landed on my fanny with a thunk, at the bottom of another crater.  Shawna, in her wisest of ways reminded me, possibly for the hundredth time, that what I am experiencing is a normal part of grief rather than an indictment of my character. After hanging up the phone I put on my running shoes, and headed out for a long fast walk. I must confess, arriving home I did feel more like me, that is to say human.

My charges were in their usual spots. Mom was sitting in her chair in the den eating a yogurt, Molly waiting for a cookie by her side. I smiled with great affection at the all is ‘as it should be’ scene. And then I opened the refrigerator.

A small scattering of miniscule dots covered the bottom. What the heck? Are those bugs? Black specs, smaller than a poppy-seed? Oh no. My eyes immediately traveled to the top shelf where a newly opened bag of cereal made entirely of raw Chia, Hemp, and Buckwheat seeds sat, looking like I felt. I immediately steeled myself for what further investigation of the empty package might reveal.

The seeds were everywhere! A few dry piles, bits stuck randomly to bottles or cartons, groupings pooled in the bottom of both drawers, and clumps mixed with condensation in the crevices around most shelves. As anyone who eats this stuff and tried to dislodge it from aging teeth will tell you, these seeds are tenacious little buggers that do not go gently into the good night.

Once the entire fridge was dismantled, it was a devastating reveal.  I stood facing the full impact of eight ounces less one tablespoon, of ‘wasted’ seeds. Thousands of tiny orbs of potential life, lost like children without proper education, or soldiers to endless conflict. All hope dashed of ever sprouting, taking root, growing, or living up to their full potential.

Of course, Molly came to investigate the contents which now surrounded me on the floor, as well as covering the stove, counters, and kitchen table. That was mom’s cue to weigh-in by reminding me that this too, like so many things beyond her control, was my fault – for neglecting to ensure the seal had been iron tight that morning when I had been racing around to get out of the house in time to assist my neighbors with child care.

It would have been easy to take the bait and lose it, with one or both of them. I did shoo Molly away rather loudly, and swear at mom under my breath but mostly because just at that particular moment tears mixing with sweat caused by an abundance of humidity, were making my neck itch ferociously and I wanted to blame someone for my predicament. Of course I couldn’t scratch because by this point my hands and arms were covered with seeds that felt like ant carcasses. As is usually the case when I find myself in these absurd situations, that was fortunately for us all, the exact moment that laughter began to bubble up from a well I thought had run dry.

As order was restored, mom started to feel bad that she had created extra work.  I told her it was cosmic payback for all the messes she cleaned when I was a child. Then I reminded her that it had been nine months since the last fridge fiasco and we were probably due. I thanked her for helping me get something off the to-do list before it even appeared. I think that was what finally made her smile.

Invisible helping hands from the universe? A chance to clean out the fridge? One more opportunity to get things in order, clear away distractions, let go of all that is no longer possible to carry forward from the past? There is an impending sense of urgency these days. To simplify things down to the most basic level, in an effort to prepare, for what may lie ahead. On the other hand maybe this is me still trying, at the most basic level, to prove I am a good daughter who is worthy of love.

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6 Responses to State of the Fridge Address

  1. Joan says:

    You are goodness, and have always been worthy of love! And thank you for the reminder that it is a gift to laugh at ourselves! Love you!
    Joanie

  2. Amy Lapetina says:

    You are undoubtedly the BEST daughter, Beth. No need to ask that question anymore! It was a blessing that you got to clean out the entire refrigerator. I had to do the same thorough cleaning (and throwing out the entire contents of the fridge) when Hurricane Irene knocked out our power for 2 days. Having a clean fridge, order restored, makes you feel like you have your life in control as well. A great feeling. xxxxxx

  3. marge says:

    where do we go? a small snow flake can too easily form into a blizzard. thank you for sharing your experience – it guides me to examine incidences in my life. layers and layers….. Thank you for being you!!

  4. Erin says:

    In each of our own unique ways, we are sharing this journey to reclaim some semblance of calm and normalcy in the middle of all that is swirling. Feeling so blessed to be sharing that journey with you, bit by bit and day by day.

  5. shawna says:

    For me, what stood out the For me, what stood out the most was the reference to seeds not going gently into the good night – although very funny and a propos in your piece, I thought it was a beautifully crafted, thinly veiled foreshadowing to molly and your mom on their own journeys into that good night….the soldier reference, too, alluded to that, although here in the great white north, we may not be as sensitized to those references as you guys are…although i would imagine it depends completely upon who you ask??

    And…about taking a deep breath, remaining patient as a conscious choice, and really as an act of service, on some levels, allowed you to find more than one good thing about an annoying (at best) situation – you acknowledged it’s just part of fridge maintenance, done before, will be done again, and allowed you the grace to honour your mom (in the cosmic payback comment) when she may have been less than impeccable (blame throwing), allowing both of you to take yourselves off the hook and move on to a more positive and untainted evening…

    Absolutely astounding, how you treated that moment, yourself, and your loved ones….amazing Beth….you are. 🙂

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