06 August 2009


It's late. It's been a week. I live in Washington.

Paul's grandma is passing, and coincidentally... amazingly... thankfully, we are here.

We saw her today. Her mouth was open, her breathing was labored and her room smelled strong and familiar - like childbirth. She was a shell of the woman we saw just a few weeks ago. Today, she was there, but she wasn't, but she was. I get that.
She was beautiful. I wonder if she is still here.

I'm on a hill, on an island, in Washington. Now I live on this island. I live up on this hill.

Yesterday after dinner, we went down to the beach. There were smooth stones and empty shells - remnants of lives once lived - everywhere. This is nothing like I've ever known or seen before. It's hard to describe what it feels like to be 32 years old and to experience the wonders and treasures of the sea for the first time.

Along the road and our beach and our town are bushes and bushes of blackberries. When we arrived last week, they were crimson and firm. Yet by yesterday, many had turned. They were plump and juicy and rich with color -- tart and so very sweet. Paul, the kids and I picked blackberries for nearly an hour. We reached past prickly bushes and collected three quarts of fresh fruit. I've never experienced this either.

Tonight we danced and cried and ate lasagna and blackberries with cousins and siblings. It's all new and beautiful and difficult and wonderful at once. I'm still marveling at the magical journey that brought us to this place and this moment.

I miss my family and my friends.

Just a few weeks ago, my kiddos visited and snuggled with their great grandma for the first time in four years. They, nor we, had no idea what this day would bring. Tonight, Violet is laboring out, surrounded by her children. She is wrapped in a quilt her mother made. The empty shells of mussels, clams, crabs and all sorts of other creatures rest on the beach down the hill from my new home.

The blackberries are turning. Transitioning. We will collect a few of the thousands and thousands and savor in their sweetness as long as we can... blackberry jam, blackberry dressing, blackberry smoothies, blackberries and yogurt, blackberry muffins... Many will fall to the ground. They will leave beautifully rich marks -- violet -- and then they will be gone. But today, Today, they are here. I am here - in Washington. And at least for today, I savored.


Melissa said...

Wow, it's SO good to hear you made it safely and are already getting a peak into the "why". I will br praying for the whole family...that sounds like a special passing. Oh, and blackberries!!! They grow all over in Paradise too. I've come home from some walks/runs with evidence on my fingers that I didn't really run the whole time. : ) Spinach salad with blackberries and feta...mmmm.

Leah said...

Abi! I love you.
Abi! What's your new address??

Niki said...

This was beautiful! I miss you so much. :)

Anonymous said...

i got your sweet note yesterday. i miss you and want to visit this island of yours. :)

your other daughter ;)