Wednesday, April 19, 2006

From sentimental to morose in 2 seconds flat

My Beloved has a little song he sings when I'm at my pessimistic best. It goes a little something like this...

Who can find the bad in everything she sees? Who can find the sadness in everything that's good?

It's not a long song (and both the melody and lyrics changes every time he sings it) but it gets the point across.

And it's true. I have a special knack for being in a happy moment and suddenly finding myself engulfed in sorrow.

Take tonight, for example. I was in the dining room putting together shadow boxes filled with 40-year old wedding memorabilia for my Mom and Dad's anniversary celebration on Sunday afternoon. I had a box of odds and ends to choose from, including a scrapbook filled with beautiful wedding cards they'd been given by friends and family.

It should have been nirvana, my little dining room. Girls live for this stuff and I'm certainly no exception to the rule.

But instead it made me sad. As I flipped open the glitter leaden cards I found myself reading name after name belonging to people that are no longer here. Friends, aunts, uncles, cousins - all there to celebrate the wedding, but now gone.

Best man, gone. Parents of the bride, gone. Parents of the groom, gone. Wedding soloist, gone. Usher, gone.

Gone, gone, gone.

Granted, they've been married 40 years, my parents, so it's not surprising that a few people have died in the intervening years, but it's not just a case of a handful - a few here and there. There are a lot of people missing. A lot.

And it's sad.

Old cards bring out the sentimental worst in me.

A few weeks ago I dragged out one of my Grandma's old card albums that somehow found its way to my house after my Grandfather died and his house was sold. My Grandma's been gone for 15 years and yet I still found myself sobbing by the time I got to the end of the book. It was gut wrenching to me to see the care with which she'd lovingly placed all those cards given to her (mostly by her children and grandchildren) in the album.

All that care, all those memories, all trapped in a dusty card album that probably hasn't been looked through more than once in 15 years.

Crushingly sad.

Walks down memory lane should come with road hazard signs.

It doesn't help matters that I often wonder if there will be anyone to give all of these treasures to when I die - if there will be anyone left to remember any of us and to tell our stories.

See? From anniversary party preparations to concern over lack of heirs in the blink of an eye.

I'm a masterful pessimist, I am.


Sherry said...

Don't be so hard on yourself - lots of us have moments like that, where it almost seems that we're subconsciously sabotaging our happier moments.

I've noticed that I do it a lot more since I lost Ryan. It's weird - you'd think after suffering the loss of your baby that you'd look for only the happiness in the world, but it doesn't work quite like that. Your grief is so all-consuming at times that sadness is the only thing you CAN feel and respond to.

But, I'm certain that you'll have your own family who will flip through those albums and tell your story to future generations. (((HUGS)))

Laura said...

(((hugs))) Kristin. I don't know, I've been the same way. I wonder if it's because death and dying has played such a huge role in our lives. It's so real and all consuming.

Denise said...

((hugs)) You and Thomas will always be remembered by my son as the angels that helped guide his delivery. It's in his baby book where I have written his birth story.

I also believe that you will add to your family soon. I'm not as nostalgic as you...I think the future generations will be laughing at our hair, things we dressed them in etc...and wondering "What were we thinking!"