Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I'm still here

Sorry. I am getting in to that "away from the computer mode" that the lazy, hazy, crazy days bring. It has been as warm as 30 degrees C here in the last few days, and I am convinced it is summer. I realize that if I don't keep posting, people will quit reading, and then what's the point?

I have begun the annual chore of preparing my garden for the summer and for planting. Because I was fortunate enough to have some extra help this year, things are much further ahead than they normally are by this time. Partly that has to do with the early spring that we have had. Partly that has to do with my extra help.

I am preparing to plan my vegetables this weekend. The Long Weekend in May is the traditional vegetable garden planting time in our neck of the woods. Victoria Day. Planting day. I did not grow vegetables last year and I am a little excited to grow some this year. And I have a plan this time (I don't usually, which means buying too much seed of one variety and not enough of another).

I had my husband use a weed-n-feed product on our lawn last night. I feel quite ratty about it. I am, as a matter of course, opposed to these products. Why scatter 24D in a blanket over an area that doesn't necessarily need it? Well, we are taking a stand. The dandelions are completely out of control. So I have broken down and had him do it. The poor guy usually does the job of digging them out, so, even though he feels the same way I do about 24D, he is happy with the idea of possibly having less than 8 hours of digging to do per session to keep up.

Which means that, despite the beautiful weather we are having, I should not spend any more time in my garden. In case I am pregnant (now stop laughing, that's rude), I guess I should keep away from 24D, considering the links to birth defects. i hope that it is safe, as long as I stay off the grass. I would love to sit and work on my deck this afternoon, instead of in my windowless office.

I work in a salaried position, which generally means that my work goes in ebbs and flows. Right now, I have finished a few projects that were consuming my life, and I am on an ebb. So, I come in to work for a few hours, take care of the day's problems, go home to my real life. The life that revolves around my son, my husband, and my future children. I like this time.

Speaking of my son, I have to vent a little. As I mentioned, my son has a new neighbour in the cemetery. I am hoping that we will be able to provide a little support to the newly bereaved family in the near future. However, right now I am a little irritated. On Mother's Day, when we went to the cemetery, we noticed what looked to be a small jar of expressed breast milk at the head of the new plot. I understand the sentiment. But please consider - milk, plus sun, plus heat = smell. I want to go to the cemetery this afternoon, but my husband has forewarned me; the smell is atrocious.

The issue of caring for cemetery plots is always a contentious one. Should people be allowed to put whatever they want on their family's plots? Gaudy garden gnomes, pinwheels, streamers, the like? Toys all over the children's section? Plant flowers, shrubs? Install seating?

For the most part, I think that we need to live and let live. Which means, to me, that since the living are the people who have to deal with death, we should let them deal in whatever way they need to. If that means that the people who care for the cemetery have to move a lot of crap when they mow the grass, so be it. We paid for that little stretch of grass, after all.

I do think that I draw the line at food items that are left there for days and weeks on end. Please, take a piece of birthday cake out to the cemetery. Celebrate the birthday. Please don't leave it there. It goes rancid. It smells. It makes it uncomfortable for me to visit my son. And I don't think that your grieving takes precedence over mine. I think that we can cohabitate as grievers quite nicely, as long as we keep our expressions of love within the boundaries of our family member's plots. And when breast milk is going rancid and bubbling out of a jar within 12 inches of my son's headstone, I don't think you are meeting those guidelines.

Which brings me to the question - what on earth should I do? I mean, if these people don't remove the milk? Should I dump it out and take some bleach-water to rinse everything off? Is that a terrible thing to do? I hate it when someone touches the things that we have taken to our son's grave... What a predicament. I just hope that they take care of it themselves, and soon.


Laura said...

I'm glad you're back :)

Oooh, that breast milk thing is a tough one. I wouldn't have put breast milk on Nate's grave--I didn't think that I'd ever dry up, the last thing I would have done was express milk and keep it coming. But anyway. I think that if it is still there on Sunday, they probably aren't coming back to clean it up. I think at that point I might dump it and blame it on the maintenance guys. Lord knows I totally understand where she was coming from, but yeah, I'd draw the line at perishables, too.

Bronwyn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bronwyn said...

I just found your blog from you comment on Catherine's and I just wanted to pop in and say hi. Count me in among the "stillbirth bloggers"; I lost my daughter in June 2004 and have not managed to get pregnant again since. And I'm also in Canada, which is something else we have in common.

Anyway, your cunundrum with the breast milk is an interesting one. As Laura just said, I was doing everything I could to dry up my breast milk after my daughter died, so I can't imagine wanting to prolong that process. But I guess it just made her feel closer to her baby. Is there anyone at maintenance that you could speak to about it?

[btw, the previous deleted comment was mine -- I was just correcting some bad typos!]

kate said...

glad you are still here and doing well with the garden. I should be planting right now...but i am close to done...

That is a toughie, with the breastmilk. I also understand the sentiment -- it is heartbreaking, isn't it? But there is that nasty practical issue...ugh. Maybe call maintance.

msfitzita said...

Oooooh, breast milk at the cemetery. Yipes. My first thought is maybe you can take a ziploc baggie and drop the whole works inside. That way you wouldn't really be disturbing the offering they've left, just making it a little less offensive for others who share the cemetery.

Maybe they'll get the hint...