The happiness is starting.
I've opened two Chanukah shipments, though not the gifts themselves, since the holiday is still a few days away. The FedEx and USPS detritus is recycled and reused and the gaily wrapped presents are on a corner table, waiting.
Little Cuter and SIR are finishing up their last day of work before heading to O'Hare and then TIA (yes, it's an international airport) and more parental loving than can be imagined. I've finished the grocery shopping; all that remains is to pick up the turkey on Friday afternoon. Their visit can be filled with hugs and smiles and there won't be an errand to interfere with the joy.
I'll get to stop into IKEA on Friday since it's one exit from the small airport where Big Cuter will be deplaning. I love bundling errands, especially when the bundle includes tchotchkes from Sweden and love from the young man who is too old for some things but never for hugging his mother.
My chores as sous chef will assure that the dishes will be washed and the veggies chopped just so. The overall planning and creating of the deliciousness rests solely in Little Cuter's hands. It's a task which overwhelms me and makes her happy. I don't know how I created a daughter who loves to cook, but I did and she's good at it and I am happy to sweep and take out the trash and assist as requested and eat the world's best mashed potatoes.
I should have a smile on my face and love in my heart and I do except I also have January 8th creeping around the edges. I suppose it will be like this for a long time, the heightened awareness as the date nears. I'm good at keeping it closeted until it's needed; without prompting, it rarely raises its head. But this afternoon I'm going to a private walking meeting of those who were involved or impacted by the January 8, 2011 tragedy.
It's a walking meeting because we'll be touring sites which have been proposed for the memorial.... and I get stuck right there. A memorial to what? To not bleeding to death on the sidewalk? To lost and damaged lives? Or to those who staunched wounds and tackled gunmen and brought food and flowers and caring? I went to one meeting and realized that I was not the kind of person who should be involved in the planning of such a thing. It would only feed my anxiety, keeping the past alive. I don't do well in meetings which have no emotional charge; I can't imagine how inappropriate I'd have been had I become a member of the Memorial Foundation's Board of Directors.
I prefer to look forward, doing good and involving others along the way. It feeds my soul in a way that a memorial never can. I think of the artifacts from the living memorials created spontaneously in front of the Safeway and the hospital and Gabby's office and I hope that my grandchildren will have the opportunity to see how much our community loved us. The manner in which they will do is is of little or no importance.
I just don't want it to be offensive. Beyond that, I'm uninterested. But the project manager is a good friend, and she invited me to this event. I have a sense that I ought to be part of it, thought I don't know why. I've been sad and borderline-PTSDing for the last two days; TBG and I were furious over nothing... nothing until we thought about it and realized that this walking meeting has been hovering over us like a dark cloud.
I'm going to put on my sneakers and drive down there now. I'll stay for the update and the walking tour and then, I think, I might skip out before the feedback session. I'll have done my due diligence and I hope that will be enough.
I'm coming home and wrapping presents and putting the past where it belongs - behind me.