My Rosemary died on 9 December 2020 and today 22 April 2023 I am in no better shape that I was then about dealing with my grief.
When April began I knew that I would have to eventually write a blog about her birthday on April 19. I have written before how my official birth date on my birth certificate is April 18, 1943. I was really born August 31, 1942 but the event recorded later, so my mother told me because my father forgot.
On the double plus side the bureaucratic error meant that I demanded to have my birthday celebrated twice a year, and most important it meant I could never forget Rosemary’s.
At my age of 80, with no financial worries and no obligations (except to walk Niño around the block every day, weather permitting), I understand philosophically that I am not wrong when a few years before 2020 I told Rosemary we were WTD (waiting to die). Distractions, and inventing ways to be busy, might divert you, temporarily, from thoughts of a statistically certain forthcoming date with oblivion, but the thoughts are there particularly in the evening.
I have been staring at the scanograph for this blog now for some days, unable to get myself to write. Today I decided I could no longer postpone the writing. I found a handle for doing it. It has all to do with this portrait that I took of Niño yesterday. I see in his face stability. He relaxes me and I know that with him around I have a purpose in life and that when I deal with Niño and his sister Niña I rewarded with affection and a sticky presence.
|Niño - a paragon of stability|
Why is this? In my 52 year marriage to Rosemary she was my Rock of Gibraltar who made all our financial decisions, and, importantly made us leave Mexico City in 1975 to come to this more stable country that Canada is.
It was Rosemary who made me understand that a glorious garden gave us a sense of purpose in the world and the hope every spring of a renewed life.
Most of all it was sharing everything with Rosemary that presented me with a comfortable idea of permanence (and I never considered that it would end as it did).
Now, post Rosemary’s birthday, I can look forward to going to the American Hosta Society Convention in Ames, Iowa in the beginning of June with my daughter Alexandra. Even there, I will feel a lingering sense of loss as if I were on a teeter totter with uncertain instability.
I would like to end this with a contrasting comparison of the term birthday in English and in Spanish. A birthday, in English celebrates that first gasp of air in hospital. Cumpleaños, which literally translates to “fulfilling your years”, puts far more emphasis on all the goings on after that doctor’s slap.
My Rosemary fulfilled much, not only for her life, but made it possible that at least this guy is WTD in the comfort of a home with two happy cats.
Rosemary's Mexican "bird dress", is seen in the scanograph here.She wore it when we were married in February 1968, is, all these years later, in perfect shape. The dress is much too small for my two granddaughters. Will the dress wait, perhaps for their children? The dress, in all of Rosemary's stability, will have her patience.
The two little blue flowers are from our Rhodendron augustinii 'Marion McDonnell'. Rosemary loved its blue flowers and almost like magic there were a couple of blooms ready for my scanner.