My inspirational muse reacted to the passing of my sister Harriet by disappearing. It might be said that Harriet herself was a kind of muse, often encouraging me in my imaginative endeavors. (Harriet had a great imagination.)
“I thought I might write another advent story for the blog,” I told her, “but I don’t know. I don’t really write stories, and maybe it’s just kinda silly.”
“No,” Harriet responded, “it’s not silly. Last year I looked forward to it every day. Do it again.” But oh dear! Can I do it without her? I will miss her during the holidays even though our daily comings and goings weren't intertwined. I could always count on her to check in via email and tell me what was going on.
“Merry Christmas,” she said a few weeks ago when I visited her, and she handed me an angel made out of a folded handkerchief, purchased for me at a church bazaar because of my interest in re-using vintage handkerchiefs.
“Christmas?” I asked. “Aren’t we going to get together with Joni and exchange gifts as usual?”
Harriet said nothing but smiled sweetly and shrugged. So Harriet! Not as meaningful in that moment as it was after her passing.
“Oh!” I remembered the other day. “I didn’t give her anything.” But it’s okay, I realized. She doesn’t need it now.
|Once again, dogs know that Hallie has left the building.|
Our extended family gathered Saturday (Nov. 12) for Harriet’s memorial service. Besides the locals, brother Chuck and wife Joanne drove in from Utah and daughter Hallie was with us from Seattle.
And now it's time to move on and discover the new normal. KW
[My dad took the above snapshots during the Christmas season of 1952 or '53: Harriet, Joni, Charles, Kathy, and Nina. These are the images not chosen for the Christmas cards. Clearly, Kathy has had enough.]