one of my favorite ways to tease my grandmother when she'd launch into a litany of complaint in recent months, was to point out to her that she was in a beautiful place, surrounded by people whose job it was to attend to her every whim, provided with food, clean laundry and as many of her beloved possessions as i could cram into her apartment. plus, i was there to visit her. roey, couldn't you just pretend you've died and gone to heaven, i'd ask.
the first time i said it, she gave me a horrified look and then started to laugh.
this morning, as i was throwing my clothes into my mother's super-duper, extra-heavy, industrial strength washing machine in her tastefully decorated lavendar laundry room with the happy little wash-maid wallpaper border, that now my grandmother really has died and gone to heaven (presumably), i could pretend the same thing.
except for the presence of Beloved, my mother's house is probably as close to any heavenly paradise as is reasonable for most people to expect. spotlessly, immaculately clean, surrounded by small patios spilling over with tumbled flowers and herbs, organized, and impeccably provisioned, the only expectation of me is that i will more or less preserve the order, and make sure nothing happens to my little brother.
and david is far from a difficult charge - in some ways, he's easier to please than my children. he doesn't whine, he does his chores with minimal prodding, and he more or less tends to himself. he has his schedule, he loves his music. he was happier at the idea of taking the chocolate chip cookies we made yesterday in to his coworkers than at the thought of eating them himself. driving in to work, we sang a rousing chorus of heigh-ho, heigh-ho and then one of oh, what a beautiful morning.
in the past forty-eight hours, in addition to cooking two meals, baking the cookies and doing two loads of laundry, i've finished reading three novels, played the piano a bit, walked the puppies and napped.
heaven is a beautiful place.
and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.