Happy: A Quest for Life After Death

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kenmore HE2 Plus Front Load Washer

I'm trying to pack for a trip, and the washing machine, which contains every last piece of underwear I own (but one), is flashing an error code at me.

This summer has introduced some new twist every few days that feels like it should be the last straw ... until another straw is added. Of course the aftermath of Mat's passing and my mom's illness and then passing dominate the scene. But then there was the broken garage door, the broken dishwasher, the refrigerator that leaked into the basement and damaged the drywall, the broken car, the broken cell phone (not replaced yet, so I'm not getting your messages and texts), my six-year-old's broken arm, probably broken friendships because I have little time and energy to return calls and emails, and now the washing machine.

And the broken wedding ring. I realized Friday that the diamond had fallen out, and have spent hours scouring the house since then. On the plus side, the house is much cleaner than it's been in months.

I've been thinking about the poem "Invictus" for the last few days. Maybe that's a little dramatic, seeing as I'm not about to be executed, but it seems to help. When I first read it, I found it too depressing to be helpful. Now I find the optimism in it.

William Ernest Henley

OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I could use your prayers to help me find the diamond for my wedding ring. I am not ready to quit wearing it, and the gaping hole where the diamond should be is painful. There's the symbolism of it, and also those prongs are sharp.

In the meantime, my unconquerable soul and I are going to try to fix the washing machine.

Thursday, August 04, 2011


I found this picture of my mom last weekend while I was at her house, digging through her photos and scrapbooks for the life sketch that I delivered at her funeral. I'm not sure I had ever seen it before. She strikes me as stunningly beautiful in this picture.

Maybe it's the candor of the photo, or the mild impertinence of the expression on her face. Maybe it's that she's just such a person. (I never really noticed that before.)

Then again, maybe it's because she was stunningly beautiful.