“Pushing the River,” new excerpt (continued)

My brother, Roy Mills Monier, would have been 60 years old on October 9.  He died outside of Quito, Ecuador on December 6, 2001.


And I don’t just mean with them family members, and their kin and friends and pets that was constantly coming and going; and I don’t mean with all the things they gathered and put in different rooms that marked their lives neither.  I mean that it was full up in the only way that can make a house into a home.

            It was a good long spell that everything seemed to get bigger and bigger.  Not just them little ones, but life itself.

            But the tide, it surely did turn, and thence came the long stretch when everything started going the other way.  One by one, they started packing up and leaving; the Husband, then the Boy.  It was just the Little One left in the house with my Lady when she got the phone call that the very last of her kin had dropped down dead in some far off country.  She was standing right beside me, holding the phone in her hand, when I heared her gasp real loud, and her voice went all shaky.  With that phone call she had no more kinfolk, no more of the people who raised her up or stood along side her while she was doing her own growing, no more people to hold on to her stories.

            I think that might have been the moment, right then with that phone call, that my Lady began trying to push the river.


2 Replies to ““Pushing the River,” new excerpt (continued)”

  1. Hi Barbara,

    Good to see you again. And I must apologize for forgetting to say anything about your brother Roy. It’s clearly a grief that’s very much with you now and I imagine always will be, waiting under the surface of your daily life to be called up by a birthday, anniversary, picture, lord-knows-anything. So, belatedly, I’m very  sorry for your loss.

    Your current writing shows that you know loss and grief. Makes for effective writing, but you’ve paid a high price for that knowledge. I think writing can be a way of working on grief, not to make it go away but just to work on it, to integrate it into something hopeful, helpful, connecting.

    Your note about your brother also called up my one deep family loss, my father’s sudden death in 1951 when I was eight and he was 52. I bring this up because I was stunned six years ago by how fresh his death could still be after more than a half century. I read a particular book and found an old fly rod that flooded me with detailed memories and a strong wish to “work on it” with words.

    I’ve attached the result of that effort, a short essay that gave me some peace. I haven’t shared this beyond my immediate family and a very few friends. But you’re a friend who I think will understand the feeling that underlies the essay.

    Take care and please keep writing.

    – Bill

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