Shelf Life of a Towel

Granted, it’s probably the green thing to do, but I’m a resource glutton and have caused to deteriorate my own little sheet of the ozone layer—St. Peter will just have to add it to the list of grievances to be read at The Pearly Gates, along with my tendency to steal a sip of orange juice straight from the carton in the refrigerator.

I have serious issues with reusing my bath towels day after day. It just ain’t right. Not how I was raised.

In a house where shower-time was monitored and dishes were done with a sink of water that was about two inches in depth and more Dawn than water, we still had standards: septic system or not, a new towel was used every day. My mother drilled this into me, and quite graphically.

The woman, obsessed with cleanliness and originator of the word “cackaroni” in relation to everything below her standard of immaculacy (and whom I am bringing into this only because, well, who can argue with the deceased?), painted for me a picture of dead skin cells, dust mites, and many other organisms whose names I’m sure she invented on the spot—a picture that drove me to, as I’m sure she intended, shun a used towel almost immediately after it has served its purpose—approximately five minutes after the completion of a shower, bath, or naked run through the sprinklers.

She scrunched her sweet little nose and shuddered whenever she heard tales of people (even family members!) who reused their towels. As though it was a religion all of her own making, she sat us kids down and gave us a talking to—she would not tolerate that sort of behavior in her household. And rightfully so. Of course, she smoothed over the fact that as a little girl, all five of her sisters used the same bath water—a bath that they all took only on Saturdays, “Whether we needed it or not,” she’d say. Um, yeah, cackaroni.

I have crossed those in adulthood who were not raised so stringently nor in the throes of such arrant anal retentiveness…and I pity them so. Do they not care about the dead skin cells? Nick argues with me—as countless others have (I can think of two right off the top of my head!)—that he’s clean when he uses the towel, why not reuse it when he’s clean again? Why not!—why not!? Well, if for no other reason, unless you’ve got one of those fancy schmancy towels that clearly delineate the butt-side from the face-side, you never know when you’re matchmaking counterpointed coordinates of the body, now do you?

Breathe

I’ve marveled over the past month how I seem to have finally taken that leap from mourning to remembering with great fondness…and as the end of this month began to draw ever nearer, I marveled more still that the anniversary of my mother’s death didn’t have me huddled in a pathetic, sobbing mess…my father scheduled dinner for this coming Friday…he wanted to do something with his family on that day, easily the saddest in all of our lives.

But as the time ticks down, I find myself with strange visions that I had somehow buried all these months—I have a very visual memory: I see snapshots, memories captured forever in color and light—the living room at my father’s house, the hospital bed situated near the window, the light pouring in, the Christmas tree discarded on the deck (visible through the French doors that we just hadn’t had time to properly dispose of)…and I remember that a year ago yesterday, two days before she died, was the first time in days that she seemed like the person I knew, and also the last time I saw that person. The thrashing and delirium faded for pockets of time and she urged us all close and told us how much she loved us. A year ago today, she was in a coma.

It is a comfort that I believe in a higher power. It is a comfort that I was born with a faith that I have never questioned. It is a comfort to know that she did not fear death for she new she was going to a splendor we could never fathom here on Earth. There is a song from Mercy Me titled “I can only imagine.” I fight the emotion conjuring in the back of my throat whenever I hear the opening chords and I think of what it must have been like for my mother to meet her maker…and I’m so happy for her.

I can only imagine what it will be like, when I walk by Your side…
I can only imagine, what my eyes will see, when Your Face is before me!
I can only imagine. I can only imagine.

Surrounded by Your Glory, what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still?
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing ‘Hallelujah!’? Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine! I can only imagine!

I can only imagine, when that day comes, when I find myself standing in the Son!
I can only imagine, when all I will do, is forever, forever worship You!
I can only imagine! I can only imagine!

Surrounded by Your Glory, what will my heart feel?

Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still?
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing ‘Hallelujah!’? Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine! Yeah! I can only imagine!

Surrounded by Your Glory, what will my heart feel?

Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still?
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing ‘Hallelujah!’? Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine! Yeah! I can only imagine!

I can only imagine! Yeah! I can only imagine!! Only imagine!!!
I can only imagine.

I can only imagine, when all I do is forever, forever worship You!
I can only imagine.

Rafiki Had it Right.

Rafiki—come on, you remember Rafiki! He’s that wise old mandrill from The Lion King…we should all be so lucky to have a Rafiki in our lives! (If, for no other reason, than to have a big monkey dangle us over a big rock while we’re infants.) But, pertaining to this post which has gone horribly nonsensical as you’ve come to expect, Rafiki said in his mystic-dressed-in-a-bit-of-loony rasp, “Look haaaardah.” Look harder. Yes, that is what I should have done, and what I am now instructing you to do should this circumstance cross your path.

Way back in December (eons ago, you know), on an evening wherein I was probably recovering from my myelogram, or my outpatient surgery, or something silly like that, I folded myself into the corner of the L-shaped sofa and tried to find a little comfort as I passed the night. My boyfriend at the time reached for a Bucky Badger blanket that lie draped across the back of a chair and spread it over my body before returning, camera in hand. “Oh, how sweet!” thought I, now enveloped in warmth. Tsk, tsk…naivety will get you nowhere. Look Harder.

Nick’s idea of a perfect mate (a sort of mascot-woman hybrid):

Get it Straight

Come away with me and I will write you a song, my cell phone croons from the table. I stop what I am doing to answer. “Hello?”

“Good morning, Dear!”

“Nick, it’s afternoon.”

“I know, but you probably just woke up.”

Offended and put out, I negate, “I was cleaning the kitchen!

Immediately, he becomes defensive. “Oh, because I made dinner last night?” he hisses.

“No! I cleaned the kitchen last night, too.”

“Oh,” he continues, less edge in his voice, and I swear I can hear him think, “because I ate lunch at home?”

“Pretty much.”

Oh, and did I mention that I’m a fan?

The first day after my surgery, I, tired of daytime television even then, loaded the second Lord of the Rings movie into the DVD player. I am an admirer—having read the books, I am awed that they were able to make this trilogy into a movie. At times, there are three complete and separate storylines moving along different timelines (but ultimately toward the same end). Meaning, the makers of the trilogy had to physically map out all three storylines and using the clues in the writing, deduct where they fall in on the master order of events! I just think that’s so gosh darn spiffy.

The phone rings or breakfast calls, or something happens to distract Nick (who stayed home with me that first day) away from the television. Respectful, very drugged, and slightly asleep, I slur, “D’jou want me to press pause?”

“No, that’s okay. I’ve seen this movie like seven times since I met you.”