Mystery solved ... .
and ... had it occurred to me to stop for just a few moments ... I might have known why I couldn't create that guest list for the commencement ceremony. It was due two weeks ago. After spending days pushing the envelope to the back of my desk -- and at one time slipping it into a drawer so that it would be out of sight. I finally separated out the form for cap and gown measurements, slipped that into the envelope, and dropped it off in a FedEx box in the Civic Center. But the request for the guest list was missing from the packet. I agonized through an enclosed note, and felt terribly guilty, but nothing moved the task forward -- not one inch.
Then today in a casual conversation with Julio, the answer was revealed. It was so obvious. How on earth could I not have guessed?
I've outlived most of my guest list. And the time to allow the sadness that this realization should have elicited was missing. The brutal truth of that sentence was the thing that I couldn't face. Small wonder that this simple task was so difficult to complete ... . It was a time to mourn, and something deep inside wouldn't allow me to move on until I'd done so.
On the drive home I stopped my car on a nearby hilltop where the din of afternoon traffic is lessened -- and let the tears flow unashamed; let myself miss all those who would have made that list; lingered over each name as it surfaced. Up came my sisters, my parents, Papa George, my dear Aunt Vivian, Gil and Eve, my eldest son, Rick; Mel and Bill; close friends and relatives long gone, and with the tears something vitally important was released. Tomorrow I can face what is now a mere clerical task.
I'll complete the list -- made up of my sons and daughter, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, those few remaining old friends, augmented by the many good younger souls who have become central in the living of these incredible recent years; new friends; those with whom I work; some city staff people -- some very young folks for whom I'm "Miss Betty," (and loving it!), and then I'll move on.
If I could only remember to just stop and listen ... for my inner voice.
It's always there in the quiet.
Maybe I just need more stillness.