nearly two years later, i rummage through her things as though she's just in the next room. Garage sale price tags all over everything, it felt normal. this felt like the day-to-day mundane.
the kids wanted everything gone. all of her furniture, her cd collection, her kitchen appliances, her music. boxes and boxes and BOXES of music. there was tons of it. Cristina told dan that we would take all of it home with us, sort it out later.
walking up the front walk to the house felt strange. i had not been there in 5 years or more. dr. K was happy, pleasant, jovial even. he smiled and waved, let us into the house, showed us where everything was being stored. "it all has to go girls. take what you want."
i felt dazed; and so strongly so that i thought i would pass-out. emotionally, i was already dealing with my own issues and this was overload, just a bit.
seeing some of jan's things that i had completely forgotten about - it brought her back to life for a minute. everything was out of place though. that table was supposed to be in the front hall, with those photographs on top. that figurine was on the end of the piano, along with her coffee mug of diet coke. that couch was in the piano room, that other couch in her bedroom. it was like a virtual tour of jan's home in helter skelter disarray.
after cristina decided it would just be easier to pack up ALL the music and take it home rather than sorting through it all in their living room, dr. k brought us a collander and told us that the blueberries needed to be picked (this was not a metaphor). he is moving in about two weeks down to florida and apparently hasn't had time to pick the blueberries off all the bushes out back and offered us as many blueberries as we could carry home with us.
cristina and i stomped through the high grass to the blueberry bushes and began picking. the sun was perfect today. i could feel it soaking into my skin and for a brief moment today it actually felt good to be alive. jan is dead. we are alive picking blueberries in her back yard.
i haven't had really any time alone with my sister since she came into town. alex, for once, was with someone else. we picked in silence and even the silence felt good. i felt like passing out for a moment, but pushed past it. i was wearing my black skirt. she was wearing her perfect white trousers. gosh, she's gotten skinny. she looks good though.
we began to talk. we talked about jan and the kids. they look good. beth has lost some weight. boo looks so much like her mom now. where's brooke? why is she not here on father's day?
i asked her a series of really personal questions for no reason at all. they came out of nowhere. i had just been curious. she averted her eyes, but surprisingly answered. short, one syllable answers.
the blueberries were so perfect! perriwinkle and beautiful. they don't look like this when you buy them in the store. i wanted to take pictures of them they were so perfect. i couldn't shut up about the blueberries. for reasons unclear, it was so amazing to me. cristina thought so too.
we picked again in silence and it was nearly therapeutic. therapeutic berry picking.
for some reason, i felt the overwhelming urge to cry. i didn't.
the baby laughed inside and from somewhere, debussy was playing; wafting out the window, through the air, and to our ears over by the blueberry patch. i missed jan immensely right at that moment. i wanted her to know that cristina was married, and had a son. i wanted her to know that i had lived in washington and moved back. i wanted her to know that her daughters were doing well. i wanted her to know that dan hadn't given up on writing.
i took two things from the house today. cecilia took several things. tons of stuff that i have no idea what she's going to do with. lenox pieces that i'm sure were originally very expensive, mirrors, figurines, anything that reminded her of jan, for they wanted it all gone.
cristina, of course, took all the music, several cd's and books, a table.
i took her bible. i poked around quite a bit and saw several things that reminded me of jan, but for some reason this was HER. her notes, her outlines and highlights. the thought of reading the bible accompanied by her insight was great. it wasn't so much of a nostalgic selection as it was a... i'm not sure what kind of selection it was. i'm just trying to avoid making this sound overly nostalgic and cliche. i just really wanted her bible, simple as that.
i also took the wooden magazine rack that she used to keep by the piano for extra piano music. it looked so well used and broken in. it's heavier than it looks.
i came home and lied down. i was absolutely exhausted, not having gotten much sleep the two previous nights. i (finally) took out my contact lenses. they've been in for three days straight.
i felt like i should cry. it felt appropriate. i contemplated forcing tears. i was sick of being emotionally void. with the collaboration of everything this weekend, i ought to feel SOMETHING, but i sort of felt like i felt nothing, which made me sad, which made me cry. i fell asleep that way: feeling nothing and crying about it.
it's interesting. sometimes it's good to be a crying girl.
and i'll use punctuation when i feel like it, dammit.