|A Rosemary list|
When I leave my present state of life I will leave lots
of stuff behind but very little that is personal like handwritten notes. It was
at least 25 years ago that my handwriting began to deteriorate so that I could no
longer sign my name legibly. I believe the only personal legacy will be my blog.
But Rosemary has left lots of handwritten notes including diaries I had not suspected she was writing. I even found a diary that she wrote in Mexico that finishes June 1967. I believe she may have returned to Canada and then came back to teach at the school where I met her in late 1967.
My Rosemary was a methodical and orderly woman who kept a record of everything. After she died when silverfish were taking over the house my daughters and I went through her newspaper clippings. We found boarding passes to all the airplanes we ever boarded, foreign restaurant bills and menus. But what really saddened me is this list of all the cats we had. She puts the approximate date when the cat came into our life and then in some of them she dates their death. Of my female Plata the 14 by her name suggests that was her age. She died a few weeks before we moved to Kitsilano. And Casi died while here. It was about four years ago that we brought Niño and Niña to the house. I do not know why Rosemary did not finish her list.
Rosemary kept many notebooks and in them she had her famous lists of things she had to do. Some of her most interesting (to me) lists were the ones of plants for the garden. She would write the complete botanical name. The list here is all about gardening. There is citation 17, Athlone stones. She liked to go back to our old house (I never had the heart to do return). The stones may have been little ones that she would put into buckets for our daughter Alexandra who lives in Lillooet.
Another citation on the right 8 is about Christmas lights. She was keen on this and would always make sure I would buy the tree. Part of our delightful retual was to bring down our ornaments in storage. Then we would pour over catalogues and decide on what gifts we would buy for our family. Once we had those gifts Rosemary was an expert gift wrapper.
Because of this Christmas routine (a lovely one it was) I do not have the desire to be in Vancouver this Christmas. Buenos Aires with a 38 degree Celsius Christmas Eve will perhaps distract me from what I have lost, lost on December 9 and the knowledge that Christmas will never be the same again.
I am now remembering and realizing how important those lists are when one has to multi-task. Rosemary handled all our bills, dealt with helping the grandchildren in as many ways as she could, planned our garden from one season to the next and planned our finances so that now I can live free of debt and with no worries.
Because I am going to Argentina soon I have begun a list! It is in a little notebook. I am particularly inspired because I was intimate with the person who inspired me.
I wonder If I will circle or cross out stuff in my lists once they are done?
Is it possible that after 52 years of being married to Rosemary that I will discover more personal (and wonderful) thoughts that were behind that face that seemed to be impervious to my attempts to enter?