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Tuesday, October 20, 2009


dance of autumn

It's unknown what happened to yesterday's entry. It didn't happen because the character in my mind that is me stepped through a door into what he thought was a room and it was a closet, but he closed the door and it locked. That's it, cat shit. On the phone with Carole this morning she said there was no entry today. I believed I'd written one. I went to the house while Jr was sleeping for a 30min round trip to see if it got stuck in drafts or some other place. Maybe I'd forgotten to click the publish button. There wasn't a trace of an entry anywhere, not even the recycle bin. All I can figure is I totally forgot, and I do mean totally.

Hospice volunteer Jane came by during the day to give me some time. I went home and watched INDOCHINE with Catherine Deneuve, a woman beautiful in the way only French women can be beautiful. I'd seen it several years ago when it was new and all I remembered was I loved it and would like to see it again. Vietnam before it became Vietnam, when it was a French colony, Indochina, when Saigon was the Paris of the East. It was a film so beautifully made in every way, it pulled me all the way into it, no thoughts of anything else. 2 1/2 hours of art from the archives of the most beautiful films ever made. Not that it's the only one, but it's among the very finest. Another in its league of a near perfect French film might be Nellie et Monsieur Arnaud. The 2 are only related in the feeling they leave behind in the heart.

I watched the film, entered some pictures from camera into computer, and came back here to Jr's. Hospice nurse came by and worked on Jr quite a bit. When I settled, I read in the Audacity of Hope. Evidently my tired mind associated that time at the house, feeding the cats, entering pictures into the computer, and the habits of what I do there like make a cup of tea, with writing the day's entry. When it came time to go to the house in the evening to make the entry, I sat here reading Obama with the same fascination as watching the film. I slept on the floor last night with only a pillow from the couch, none of the blankets I put down to lie on. Keeping the house at 8o there's no need for a blanket. It was just as comfortable as usual and no fuss. Toss the pillow back to the couch when I get up. May do that more often.

I've an idea that if I were to make a deep examination of what I'm feeling, it would most likely say tired, real tired. The kind of tired women know about. It's not that I do much or that I miss any sleep. I only miss naps for the telephone that rings every time I attempt one. Tired is what it is. The stress doesn't bother me much any more, but I also know I do feel it on some level. There is a longing to sleep on my own bed with one or more cats piled on. Also the weariness of continual concern for Jr's comfort. It might even be said I'm emotionally wrung out. Several times a day a tear glides down the side of my nose.

Harold Hayes, bass player for the Green Mountain Boys, came by with Betty, his wife. Both were moved to tears by what they saw. They stayed awhile, talking to him. Betty was so tender with him tears popped out of my eyes seeing it. She put her hand on the side of face and said to him, 'Jesus loves you, Jr.' I lost about a half a pint of tears over that one. She asked me how his soul was. I said his soul is fine. She was meaning has his soul been saved. I assured her it was. She was happy to hear it, like she cared about Jr so much she hoped he was headed upward, and now can relax that concern. I was thinking at the moment that I don't believe any kid who grew up at Liberty Baptist in Whitehead in the 1920s and 30s got out of there unsaved. I didn't think at the time to tell Betty he'd told me he was baptized in the Little River by the bridge, that is now the new bridge. The Little River Boys was the name of his first band. I'll tell her next time I see her about the baptism. Harold had a hard time. After awhile, he had to go outside and be by himself.

Earlier in the day, 9:30, Johnny Miller came by with his boy Walter, who is about my age. Johnny is now 80. Johnny is a bluegrass fiddler who played quite a lot with the Green Mountain Boys. He and Jr are friends as good as friends get. Johnny has a lot of first place ribbons and trophies from fiddlers conventions. Jr was sound asleep when they came in, but I knew he wanted waking with Johnny there. He'd raise hell with me if I didn't wake him when I told him later Johnny had been by. It took him a little while to come around, but we finally got it to him Johnny was here and he made the connection. He couldn't talk or anything. He wanted water, so I gave him the little sponges with water on them, several. Jr and Johnny weren't able to talk about anything like music making in the past or anything. Johnny talked to him some. He knew it was Johnny. I called Johnny yesterday and asked him to come see Jr because he's getting close and I knew Johnny would want to see him.

I told Johnny I have a cd of Ola Belle Reed recorded at Brandywine with him playing fiddle. He lit up remembering Ola Belle. He said his brother Sonny played banjo with her, which answered my question after seeing Sonny Miller named in the recently released cd of Ola Belle's radio shows, wondering if Johnny and Sonny were kin. He said he made an album with Ola Belle in 1972. I'll be looking for that now. I didn't have the Ola Belle recordings with me, but I had one from the Field Recorders Collective, the same place the Ola Belle came from, to show him what kind of thing it is. He looked at the picture on the cover and said, 'Why there's Dale Poe. And Wade Ward. And Charlie Higgins.' These were older master musicians in Grayson County when Johnny was coming along as a young fiddler.

My heart has been overflowing all day so far. I'm feeling tremendous love from all the people who love Jr. Being thanked in tears from the heart. I'm feeling weepy all morning today and into the afternoon. The 2 o'clock chickadee just sang on Jr's birdsong clock Joe Blum gave him. Since I've been writing this, tears have dropped off my cheeks to the floor in a steady stream. I feel like I felt at Tom Pruitt's funeral when the dam broke and I left a puddle of tears on the floor between my feet. Some of it might be sorrow, and some might be stress, but what it feels like is my heart with a love feeling in it bigger than the heart can hold. My cup runneth over. The love and gratitude I receive from Jr's friends is what it is. They fill me up with so much love it runs down my face in tears. They tell me, you're going to get a blessing. I don't know that anything can make me feel more blessed than all the loving feelings that have come to me from so many wonderful people, people who are my friends now.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read your blog in several weeks. As a matter of fact I hadn't written in mine until last week. Too busy with work and family and the day to day to get caught up. Reading your entries makes me realize that the day to day and the family and the "small" parts of living are what's really important.
    I wish I could have known Jr. Maxwell. I know I would have found him a wonderful person. I think of you and Jr. often and pray for you both daily. You for the strength to keep on giving and Jr. for the strength to conclude his time here on Earth with dignity and comfort.
    Although we have only a passing knowledge of one another I consider you a warm, compassionate and caring man. One I am proud to call my friend. I pray God will grant us time to grow that friendship. May God continue to shower his blessings upon you both.