Sunday, April 23, 2017

St. George and my Dad (The Dawnflier, April/May 2017)

St. George and the Dragon
antique Russian Orthodox icon, tempura and gold leaf on wood,
photo (c)2017 by Kim Headlee.

It has been quiet on The Maze since my last posting on 3 March 2017. The reason is quite simple: my dad passed away five days later, and I have been mired in the legalities of probate and the emotional wasteland of grief.

I had planned to upload a springtime floral image to grace the April 2017 issue of The Dawnflier, which under normal circumstances I would have published on the first of the month. But as any adult child who has lost their last surviving parent knows, the business of settling the decedent's affairs is relentless and unforgiving. Struggling with grief makes the administrative chores that much more burdensome. Whenever I begin to feel overwhelmed, I remind myself to "just keep swimming." For me, who had spent 13 of my first 18 years on this earth in a competition pool, the advice is particularly apt.

As April 1st came and went, followed by most of its siblings, and still I couldn't bring myself to post on this blog, I thought I might wait until the end of the month and publish an April-May combination newsletter. Then it hit me that posting today would best honor my dad, who in fine Russian tradition celebrated the feast day of his namesake saint, George, even more so than his own birthday.

I cannot wish anyone a "Happy St. George's Day" because there is nothing happy about it for me today. I will, however, lift a glass to my dad. I miss him and love him more than I can possibly ever express.