Friday, March 26, 2010

Life and Death

Death sucks.  There is no way around it.  As Siggy said in 'What About Bob?', "There's no way out of it.  You're going to die.  I'm going to die.  It's going to happen.  What difference does it make if it's tomorrow or in 80 years?"

I am 30 years old and I feel like death has become somewhat of a normal event in my life.  Maybe that is just the way it goes when you're from a large family. And with 7,431's really going to suck in say forty years when we all start kickin' it!

I have had to deal with more death in my life than any of my friends my age (that I can think of).  Their lives' seem to be this care-free bubble that seems so picturesque.   In their 20s and 30s with parents who still pay their phone bills, or car payments.  Parents that they can rely on to cover (financially) any car problems or rent payments if something comes up.  Parents that help pay for their college and help put food on the table.  I hope they realize how lucky they are.  I never had that, and now I somehow have that even less.

Death causes a lot of different reactions inside of you.  I'd be lying if I said that I don't believe it's made me bitter or callused in any way, because it has.  I've lost so many people in my life that it's ridiculous.  Five years ago next month, I lost my best friend, Pam.  And then, in just over a year, there has been a steady flow of them; My Aunt Lu (dad's sister), Vache (our 16yr old cat), my Mom, my Uncle Eric (mom's brother), my friend Eddie (like a father to me), my Aunt Margie (Grandma's youngest sister)... it's insane.

Death comes to us all.  "Death is the destiny of every man, the living should take this to heart." -Bible.  It's true.  But why does it seem to never affect certain people?  It's an oddity.  I mean, it will, eventually.  There's no doubt about that.  It's just surreal to see people my age having it so easy and yet complaining about it.  Really?  REALLY?

As I lose more of those close to me, I realize how 'conditional' friendships are - yet how the bond of blood is so very strong.  I cannot tell you how many people I have felt completely let down by in the past month.  And then something, like a death, happens in the family and you realize that even in the midst of the hardest times...regardless of faith, beliefs, politics, hurts, etc. family comes together.  Family eventually sees beyond all of that, even their own agendas, and is there.

On Tuesday I will attend my Aunt's funeral.  There will be tears, there will probably be a lot of laughs, but it's like saying goodbye to an era.  Within a year the oldest living members left on that side of the family have passed away.  I can't help but feel as though we've lost so much of our history.  The stories I heard so many times as a child seem to be the very things I'm struggling to hold on to - praying that they don't slip away.  Hoping that by some small chance the details remembered are at least somewhat accurate...  I suppose that's how it's always been though.  Memories live on through stories.  Eventually those stories become less and less accurate, but the love and laughter will always remain.  I come from a family that is rich with that.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Play That Funky Music White Boy

The above photo was shot on my way home from a weekend trip in South Western Wisconsin.  While driving down a two-lane hwy in Amish country I spotted an old abandoned farmhouse, barn and smaller barn, along the side of the road.  Being the adventurous woman that I am, coupled with the fact that my heart *beats* for artsy photography shots such as this, we pulled over.  I cannot begin to speak of the wonders within this house.  It was astonishing to actually get in there and see and *feel* the history; to wonder what the story behind letting such a wonder fall into utter disrepair...

And so we went through the entire house, minus most of the shorter bit to the left - which I am kicking myself for NOT exploring!  There were so many amazing things within this small home...