Getting On With It

Monday morning. My backyard is filling up with leaves. Behind me, a desk and table are piled high with stuff en route from the old backroom, now Caroline's bedroom, to the bookshelves in my bedroom, where I've piled all the books en route to new homes.

Somewhere in this machine is a nearly completed, but still unfinished - or is that nearly finished, but still incomplete? - novel.

My back - oh, we really will not go there.

I went to a memorial service yesterday for a man who was loved and valued by a community of friends and colleagues. Senator Scott White was only 41, with a wife who loved him and two small children who are left with stories and pictures in place of their father.

How are they getting through this? I wondered. How does one ever get through something like this?

I still don't know. But Scott's wife Alison was there, and after her husband's best friends told their stories, after our Governor spoke with a catch in her voice, after all of that, she came to the podium. And she smiled. She smiled and she talked. She gave us glimpses of that awful day, but mostly she talked about her husband. She told us a love story. And if her voice broke, as so many others did, I didn't catch it.

So today I'm looking out at the smothered garden and around at the jumble and into a narrative currently bare of a much needed plot element.

I don't know how Alison Carl White did it yesterday. I don't know how she gets up in the morning and gets on with her day. But I don't doubt that she does it.

In that light, I can only ask, where did I put the rake?