Friday, February 8, 2008


The pink taffeta dress I’ve been wearing for the last 13 hours has been hung in my closet. I am standing in jeans and socks in the middle of the family room, yelling at my cousins and trying to pick up random bits of food, paper plates, blankets, pillows, and clothes from all over the house.

The year is 1988. It is the late night of my sister’s wedding day. Our house is filled to the brim with Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and other visiting dignitaries. My parents aren’t yet home from the church – they stayed behind with a few others to finish the reception clean-up.

I am quite literally LOSING MY MIND with the mess, with the disruption, with the chaos, with the sheer number of people in every room of the house. I can’t believe how messy and out-of-control everything is. I can’t believe that I’m the only one who cares enough to try to PUT SOME DISHES AWAY ALREADY. And I say as much, to some passing cousins. They are smart. They do not engage the RED FACED WHIMSY. They go upstairs to find an unoccupied television.

My Aunt Chris walks in, me mid-meltdown. She quietly ushers me into the front hall bathroom and shuts the door. I feel like a caged animal. I pace the bathroom. She stands there, blocking the door. I yell. I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT NO ONE UNDERSTANDS THE HORRID SHAPE OF THE HOUSE!!! WE MUST CLEAN!!! WE MUST GET THINGS IN ORDER!!! I continue with more yelling. More exclamation points than I’ve ever used. Aunt Chris is something of a master drill sergeant. She does not engage the RED FACED WHIMSY. She pulls me to her shoulder, to her chest. She forces me into a hug. She begins to rock side to side, back and forth. She tells me over and over and over that things are going to be okay. This is when I start to cry. She tells me that I’m not angry about the messy house or all the people in the house. She tells me that I miss my sister and I’m worried that everything is going to change. She tells me that it’s okay to be mad. She tells me it’s okay to be upset about the differences that are going to come. She tells me that I’m not losing my sister. She tells me that I will see my sister again and we’ll have fun and we’ll still love each other and it’s all going to be okay okay okay. It’s all going to be okay.


wandering nana said...

I love this post. I have a hard time sometimes with change. When my parents moved out of state and left me behind my first year at the U I was angry. I would think that I probably won't have them for eternity that I should at least get them on this earth. As my girls married and then watch 2 move away I felt the same anger again as it's not fair, everyone else has their family around. I would always tell my girls that things would be okay and not to get so angry about things. My oldest reminds me when I say that that it is okay to be angry. I now can get angry but then I now can move beyond (of course this is after the anger). Thanks for sharing.

Whimsy said...

wandering nana - I'm SO GLAD you came by. I have been meaning to drop you a line and say hello once I saw you had a blog.

I've been thinking alot about the role of anger in the mourning process for obvious reasons. Doing so means I think of this memory - I'm so lucky to have had an Aunt Chris to teach me this lesson.

Artemisia said...

Oh, Whimsy, this brought tears to my eyes.

It is hard to embrace - or even accept - change gracefully, isn't it?

I'd love to learn how to take a second and assess things and breath before I just REACT. There is a RED FACED ARTEMISIA, too, I am sorry to say.

Thanks for sharing.

emily said...

i'm sorry to say but i had to chuckle about this ... i think i would be the same way - totally annoyed that no one else could see the disaster. but change IS hard. love ya!

wandering nana said...

I'm glad you found me. I felt like you about blogging in the beginning, but then my girls reminded me that since I lived away that this was a way into my world. I love blogging now. It is a wonderful way to see into others. The funny thing is my girls now even have a blogging get together when they visit Utah with the Utah bloggers they've gotten to know. Some of the bloggers ended up being people they knew from high school.. small world. It is also a way that the new friends we have made here get to see my family. Keep blogging.

Pickles & Dimes said...

Wonderful post.

Anonymous said...

what a wonderful Aunt - you are blessed to have that memory ;-) - K8