This may explain my absence of late. It is a column I wrote for the paper I work for–the Kingsville Reporter:
It is in routine that we find sanity. My morning routine varies only in the way, the manner, the order I do things, not in the things I do. I wake up, check my bedside clock, and if it is any time after 5 a.m. I turn on the light that stands guard and dark during the night. I swing my legs out of bed, and now that I am a bit more creaky, I make sure that my right knee is ready for the weight of the day. Depending on how it feels, I hobble or when I am lucky, walk to the bathroom, after donning my housecoat. Minor ablutions done I go back to my room, grab my cell phone (which is a new addition to the routine), turn off my bedroom light and use the flashlight app to go down the stairs, so I will not wake up my son who is asleep in his corner room.
As I open the door to the downstairs, the cat greets me with a high purr—more like a chirp and he swirls around my legs as I make my way to the kitchen. Sometimes on the way, I veer off my path ever so slightly and turn on my laptop so it is ready for me after I finish my other little chores—the first of which is to feed the cat. He waits anxiously as I fill his dish—first with his dry food, then with a dollop of turkey and kidneys, or chicken pate, or beef chunks. Kitty Bob does not eat just dry food—he is really quite a connoisseur.
Only after the cat is happily crunching away do I make the coffee. Some days I have to rinse out the glass carafe, and then empty out the grounds; other days the coffee machine is clean and ready to go. I go with the flow. I fill it up, usually making 8-10 cups, then get out the number 4 filter and crease it so it fits into its magic chamber. Then I count out the spoonfuls of coffee. Sometimes I am thinking of something else and get lost in my counting—so I pour the coffee back into its container and start over. Some mornings I get it right the first time; sometimes it takes me three tries.
Usually as the coffee goes through I check out my email and Facebook and twitter, and now instagram to get an idea of what is going on in the lives of my friends and family. On Monday mornings, if I have not been a good girl and written my column I start to write (this is one of those mornings). When I hear that the coffee has run through and awaiting me—I leave… (this is me leaving)………….
I pour two cups of coffee and navigate my way to the living room—leaving one on the coffee table for my husband and mine on the table beside my red chair. Usually I watch a little CBC and GMA, and read the daily paper, but this morning the paper has not come yet, so I return to my laptop and this column with coffee in hand.
I am thinking of breaking this routine—as watching television news in the morning can be unsettling—but I have not done it yet. My routine though will be broken at the end of the week because of something that happened over the weekend. Something unspeakable. Yet I find I must speak of it. I do not want it to be a footnote to this column, but I am not ready to fully embrace the wholeness of it yet.
My brother John, who lived in our lovely town for almost 30 years, has gone on, for lack of a better term, to a “better” place. I have faith that he has not been lost to the ether, but that he is in that other dimension we, on this earth, are not privy too. I am beyond sad. Grief is such a personal thing—I find it comes in waves—sometimes with a little anger thrown into the mix; sometimes tears. I am trying for the life of me to think of ways that I made his life better—but I can only come up with ways he made mine better—from teaching me how to skate when I was little, to tutoring me in math. To inspiring me to become a writer (admittedly of sorts), and to encouraging me to go to university. All along the way, he was my mentor. We talked books and philosophy and family. He was curious and smart, devilishly clever, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend and a brother—and now again as a son, I imagine him back in the fold with my parents.
I comfort myself in the routine. It is in routine that I find sanity.