Have you ever had one of those days? The ones where it seems that nothing goes our way, where just when you think you can’t possibly handle anything else, more gets loaded on?
Where you feel like you just want to shut down the rides and close early. Let the Moose outside tell the visitors so you don’t have to deal with another thing.
For those of you who don’t know, and because I have learned to never assume what is common knowledge to me is common to everyone else, that is from one of the National Lampoon’s Family Vacation movies. The Griswold Family’s adventures are by far up there in the top 10 of my favorite entertainment. Christmas Vacation in the top three.. I watch it every year. Usually twice. Sometimes more.
Whichever movie it was, I think the first, it follows the Griswold’s on their trek across country in a car to go to the mecca of amusement parks. Their struggles are comical and endearing. Clark, a bumbling but lovable father that is only a bit misguided. Upon arrival they drive into an empty parking lot, and rush up to the gates only to be told by a mechanical moose the park is closed. Clark, sees the disappointment in his kids faces and gets mad. They break into the park and at some point are confronted by a security guard who says
Sorry folks, park’s closed. The moose outside shoulda told you.
I assume that the park is shut down for remodeling or repair or something quite serious because an amusement park of that magnitude would lose an awful lot of money everyday.
And so it is when I feel like shutting down the park it isn’t just for the normal crap that gets heaped on day-to-day. Most of you know I have a Maximum Volume Shit Bucket after all. It’s the days when I look at my children’s faces and I see disappointment or anger or hurt and know that I have either caused it or that I can’t fix it. Mostly when I can’t fix it no matter my desire to storm the gates.
It is the days that I am hit with so much loss and disappointment after all that I have had this year, that I just can’t function anymore. And certainly not in an amusing or entertaining way.
I also am struck by the similarity of how Clark assuming that if he made this journey, the park would be open, it obviously never occurred to him it might not be, is to how easily we take for granted that our loved ones, be it person or pet, will always be here.
Without expounding on the subject to the point of sounding like I am having a pity party, this year has been fraught with loss, disappointment and grief and not much has come along to counter these things. This is the year I learned that grief is not just about death. It is about loss. And my sister-in-law (she of the distracting butterfly wisdom) imparted to me a lesson I will never forget. Grief is not something you can ignore. You must go through it. You can not go around it or over or under it. To get beyond it, to the other side the only way is through it. And everybody takes a similar yet different path. So whatever this year has brought me, at least I can say I learned something. Something very valuable. The jury is still out on whether the objective of the lesson and the ease in which I learned it cancels out the pain of the homework.
One thing I lost this year was my dog. He didn’t die thank goodness, but he moved away. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. But I felt his loss, and the loss of those that moved with him, as painfully and acutely as if they were ripped from my life in a sudden accident.
During the summer my 18 yo and 16 yo learned a friend had some puppies that he was giving away for free…ah but nothing is ever free… and begged me, pleaded with me, wore me down. They each got a puppy and I asserted that they were theirs, not mine and that I would have nothing to do with them. Yea right!
At this point I would like to tell you of their silly antics and of each one’s personality and contribution to our lives. I would like to tell you how their presence made life exciting. I never knew if I would have any shoes to wear on any given day or what form of mischief they would get into. I would gladly regal you with their cuteness. How every time they heard the bag of popcorn get open, no matter how quiet I tried to be, they came barreling through my door to try to convince me they should have it too. We reached an understanding. I gave them each a piece then a piece for me and it worked out well. French fries were the same. They were very convincing and it was impossible not to give in. I did. My kids did. I would like to make this post all about joy, and puppies and all that those things entail. I will tell you I fell in love with them even though I continued, or tried to, the appearance that they annoyed the crap outta me and that I didn’t care for them much.
The other day, the puppies were sick. At first it did not cause too much concern because it wasn’t changing them much. Just a pain in the ass because they barfed on the carpet a couple of times. That changed very suddenly. We made them an appointment with the vet and tried to get them interested in puppy things again. Popcorn, french fries, anything. all to no avail.
Whatever they had was too much for them. My 18 yo’s puppy died early in the evening and my 16 yo’s died early the next morning.
I can not bring myself to say more than that about them because I was not prepared for this trip through grief. I cried like a baby and made no attempts at being stoic, but more than that for myself I can not do for a while. Because it is my kids who, for every bit of hurt I feel, feel so much more. And I look at their faces and I see the hurt and the pain and the disappointment. I suspect that soon I may see some anger. And I can’t fix it. Ever.
2012 holds promise to be a better year. To start with sometime early in the year, I will be a Granny (still trying out names for that) and how can that not begin repairing my broken heart and filling the places that loss has decimated. For me, and my kids. Even if the little peanut decided to appear before the new year, then I can end this terrible year with joy and start the next with a clean slate. But I have decided until then I can bear no more.
From here on out, I do not know from day-to-day the level of access anyone will have to fun and amusement or which rides may be working. Some days it will be all there, some days it will be limited, and some days you may just hear
Sorry folks. Park’s closed……..