Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Oasis in our backyard lives up to its name

This is a picture of our back deck, and specifically what it looks like in the summer when we get down the table and chairs and plant stands and other paraphernalia that get crammed onto it every May and taken off of it and stored away in November.

We refer to this area as The Oasis. The name belies the small size of the area (in truth, it's not an especially large deck), but it fits with its psychological importance within our family.

The Oasis is a place to go outside and read by yourself in the morning. It's a place where squirrels come to eat off of Terry's corn-baited squirrel picnic table, and birds land to eat from her feeder attached to the garage window.

Maybe most importantly, it's also a place where some combination of family members will regularly gather to sit, talk, and maybe imbibe a glass of wine or a beer.

It's exactly what the word "oasis" implies.

I mention all of this because of the particular role The Oasis played exactly one year ago today.

A year ago last night (at 12:55am, to be precise), my mother-in-law took her last breath. She was surrounded by her husband and three children at the time, which it seems to me is exactly as it should be.

That next morning, bleary-eyed and exhausted, a group of us spent a couple of hours sitting around The Oasis table and just talking. We talked about memories, we talked about the events of the previous evening, and we talked about how different the future was going to be.

The important thing is, we talked. And I think that helped everyone deal with Judy's loss just a bit better.

Whatever it is and wherever it is, I suppose everyone needs an oasis in their lives.

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