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Dangerous Compassions

neighbor

Ming

Hello, reader.  How’s it?  I was sad because I didn’t see my neighbor for a long time.  Then Ming was parking our car in the driveway, and there she was, near the sidewalk, carrying a box of stuff.

“Go help her carry that stuff!” I told Ming.

Ming rushed out of our car to help her, and I took my time, climbing out of the passenger seat of our little Mirage.

hug

“I missed you!” I said, and I hugged the neighbor for a long time.  “I didn’t see you!  Because it’s cold now?  I thought you didn’t like me anymore!”

“You know, I’m an introvert,” she said.  “I’ve been working a lot for Christmas.  I sell these things on etsy–so many things.  If you’re a 70 year old lady in Florida or North Carolina, and you need a little statue of an angel or something that makes you think of your childhood Christmas, I have that!  I have that for you!”

I felt sick and touched my chest–the idea was heart wrenching.

“Jeez!” I said.

“Yeah, I know!  Heavy stuff!” she said.

I think we were both surprised by the length / severity of our hug.  Her mom died in the summer, I think.  Less than a year ago.  We are hurting.

“I’ll have to have you two over sometime,” she said.  “If you can even get in the door!”

Christmas is about death

I made a zine some years ago called Christmas is about death.  Yes, that’s where I’m at.  Happy December.  It’s my mom’s birthday, and the well of grief where my mom should be is sad comfort.  I need to prioritize things and people who help me feel safe.

I was afraid the neighbor didn’t like me anymore because last we spoke, I said something about weed that sounded negative.

Later I was talking to Ming about our neighbor, crying about how I thought she wasn’t my friend anymore.  What wounds I carry.  How do I know when someone’s my friend?

Then I was crying about the 70 year old ladies who want a relic from their childhoods.

Grief felt like anger, like I wanted to smash a relic as a liar.  The relic is not the family–the relic is not the love.  My heart is broken from feeling the love is nowhere.   A statue can’t contain it.

questions for discussion
  • What wound is hurting you today?
  • Do you need some tea?
  • Who would you be, if you had what you need?
  • Is December worth it?
  • Did you understand all that you would lose?
  • What holiday relic comes to your mind?
  • Did you ever love your neighbor as yourself?
  • Can I gratitude myself out of this?
  • Who or what helps you feel safe?

I love you, reader.  Let’s hope tomorrow is better.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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