Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Another loss in our family

Warning: This post contains some rather graphic photos.  If you are squeamish and faint at the sight of dismembered bodies you probably should not read any further.

Experiencing death in a family is a natural thing.  It's that whole "circle of life" bit we learned watching Lion King.  However, natural doesn't always mean easy or beautiful.  My hair color, for instance. . .  Sometimes were are given warning of an impending loss like spiritual promptings or the slow decline of health.  Other times it occurs when we least expect it.

Today I didn't expect it.

The day began rather normally.  I was awoken by a text message from my sister, Andrea ate oatmeal for breakfast, I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, changed the sheets on my bed, started a load of laundry, sang in the shower (loudly and off-key), and dealt with an 18 month old meltdown when I made Andrea stop digging through the bathroom garbage.  The productive morning was lifting my spirits and, combined with the anticipation of my grandmother's arrival from Illinois, I thought nothing could really get me down.  That is. . . until I lifted the lid to washing machine and found a most gruesome sight.

Yes, dear friends, what you see before you was once my pillow.

My pillow and I have been together for almost 14 years now.  My mother brought him home to me shortly after we moved to Utah.  I hated him a first.  He was so fluffy that I had a sore neck every morning.  But the more accustomed we got to each other the more he softened up and the more I began to love him.  When I was twelve I named him George.  No joke.

He was the pillow that listened to my first private prayers.  As a ten year old they were mostly about bugs and to please not let my sister throw-up tonight, thankyouverymuch.  But he was still with me as those prayers matured and became less about myself and more about others.  He heard the deepest desires of my heart, my biggest fears, my greatest joys, and he was my secret keeper.

He absorbed so many tears as I cried on his soft, polyester shoulder during a punishment, after a personal failure, or after having my heart broken.  He cushioned my cranium as I drifted off into dreamland on peaceful nights where the world was right.  He harbored my head when sleep was elusive and thoughts overwhelming.  He never complained.

Even when I drooled on him. . . daily.

Aside from the emotional connection we shared, George was a part of every event in my life.  He went to Clear Creek, girl's camp, Snowbird, family reunions, sleepovers, and was even there for my honeymoon.  Paul learned one of the quickest ways to sour my mood was to take away that pillow.  (He like it too, probably because it smelled better than his. . .)

Paul sleeping on my pillow
I know the "experts" say you should replace your pillow every other year or so, but would you replace a child every other year, or a parent, or a spouse?  No, George was family, and although I battered him with the occasional spin cycle and dryer tumble, I loved him.

As I vacuumed his remains that had scattered about the floor, I wondered if I'd ever have another pillow like George.  No.  I don't think I ever will.

Farewell, George.  I hope you are happy up there in inanimate-object heaven.  Say "hey" to Loona for me.

1 comment:

  1. ugh...I hate having to wash my pillows...I'm always worried something like this will happen! I hope you were able to clean out your washing machine!