Dan Gisvold at Bear Creek

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lunar Eclipe

Remember the song "Total Eclipse of the Heart"? I know it was meant in the romantic sense but for me, right now, my heart feels like the sun can not shine on it. The current eclipse brought this to mind, of course.

And then, as is my usual stream of consciousness, I thought that Dan would have wanted to see such a thing.

And then it occurred to me that he had. We both had.

On July 9, 1982, nine days after our Mother had passed on from ovarian cancer--Dan and I and brother Bill, along with some other friends sat in the big backyard at our family home in Lindsay and watched the moon turn blackish-orange while we emotionally swam in a pool of grief and relief. Mom was gone but her suffering was finally, finally over. It had been a long and very hard journey for her. I can still smell the grass on that hot summer night. I can feel the metal of the folding lawn chair. I can hear the rustle of the Balm of Gilead tree that grew next to my room.

The memory of that night takes me back to Dan and Bill and I playing cowboys and indians under the Balm of Gilead and playing goal-line-stand in the very spot that we sat to watch the eclipse. I remember playing baseball and flying model airplanes in that huge backyard. I touch those memories tonight with greater gentleness. We will never be three again.

Total eclipse of the heart.

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