Catherine Connors is a mother, writer and recovering academic who traded the lecture hall for the playroom and discovered that university students and preschoolers have much the same attention span. She still dips her toes into academic waters by writing the occasional scholarly article about the place of motherhood in Western philosophy, but mostly now she changes diapers and wipes noses and indulges in long reflections on whether Yo Gabba Gabba is a harbinger of the decline of western civilization. Oh, and she blogs: in addition to Bad Mother blogging at BeliefNet, she is, among other things, the author of HerBadMother.com, Managing Editor of MamaPop, moderator of Her Bad Mother’s Basement, co-founder and co-editor of WeCovet, Contributing Editor at BlogHer, and (deep breath) founder of and contributor to Canada Moms Blog. And in her spare time… oh, wait. She doesn’t have spare time. But she’s okay with that.
We spent the weekend going to country fairs. We spent the weekend on Ferris Wheels and watching tractor pulls and eating cotton candy and ice cream.
It was good.
My heart still aches, and I still struggle, daily – hourly – with the challenge of coping with the emotions surrounding my father’s death. I still look for ghosts. I still yearn for ghosts. I imagine that I will always yearn, that I will always strain my ears listening for his whisper, and my eyes looking for his form. I imagine that it will always be this way, that it is always this way, when you miss you someone so intensely that the force of the missing almost seems to fill physical space, to make actual sound.
Even in the sunshine, even through the din of carousels and demolition derbies and carnies.
I imagine this, but I don’t know. I don’t know if this experience of loss is universal, or if it’s just me, stuck in my head and my heart with stories, and the memory of my father, who I loved so very much, who I so worried about, who I so wanted to protect, who I so wanted to preserve and keep and hold with me forever and ever and ever. Who I try to keep with me even now, by spinning words, trying to bind the memories and the feelings and hold them fast.
And so I go, round and round on this carousel, not ready to let go.
But I know that the sunshine is there – I stick my hands out and I feel it. I’m still living. Really, I am. I am eating cotton candy and licking ice cream and listening to the hum of life and really tasting, really hearing. It’s just that those tastes and sounds – all the feeling of life – is complicated by something darker now. Not in an entirely bad way. It just is.
But I still wake at night and cry.