I have always had a stuffed-front frige, since I struck out on my own, single mom with son in tow, desiring to remind myself of what it was all for: I might be cooking an egg (scrambled, with green onion) and look up, spatula in hand, overcome by despair. ( I am the kind of person that this regularly happens to.) ' What IS it all for? ' I'd think. And there, right in front of me, were the many answers.
It's for my grandparents Elizabeth and MD Gardner, both dead now (Writing those words is surreal- it can't be, can it? It doesn't feel possible. Why is it reality feels impossible while daydreams appear completely realistic? ) and sitting in their picture at Dakota's preschool graducation, his floppy blue hat on head, my Grandma's wrinkled and blue veined hand clenched in his, Grandpa MD standing proudly, finally happy, after a lifetime of severe mental illness and the long ago death of their beloved son David; David died the same age my Dakota is now, at 14, and this reality is again, impossible for me. I have many times imagined the policemen coming to knock in the sweltering Mississippi heat at my Grandma's door, her answering, apron on, hair beautifully brushed and lipstick in place, for them to tell her that David had fallen out of the forbidden abandoned rowboat in the lake, messing round with his buddies, hit his head and drowned. His friends tried to save him. Grandma took to her bed for weeks, until the family doctor came and gave her B shots. After that she was able to care for her six other children and mentally ill husband while working full time as a schoolteacher.
It's for my husband: my best friend since I was 19 years old who was so immediately in love with me the first time we met he literally did not talk for three straight hours.
It's for my children, Ian Oliver of the incredibly round and adorable baby head, Dakota Wolf my nurtsie boy, and Lola Moon, my closest companion.
It's for my mother, Mary, and her great love for her grandchildren.
It's for my cousins Simon and David, and all they are to me that they do not know.
It's for my cousin Amalia, like a sister to me, her new son Elton and his big Gardner eyes.
It's for the great and amazing possibility of change that Barack Obama brings, for the joy he brings.
It's for poetry, and dance, and music, and laughter, and long walks in cool evenings, and all creatures great and small, as Herroit says,
this wonderful world! remind me, remind me of why we do what we do.