A bit of time has passed since my last post (since Thanksgiving, to be precise), but I assure you that this is actually a good thing. You see, things have simply gotten busier around here, not only because Christmas is just around the corner, but because I finally seem to be fully coming out of my fog. At least it seems that the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter and more consistent.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still battling severe sleep deprivation (and for someone who could sleep through nearly anything and always seemed to get her solid eight hours by the time the kids were all sleeping through the night, this is a major hurdle), and my brain fog is still quite noticeable at times, but all-in-all, I’m feeling more “myself”.
Helping our oldest daughter plan for her wedding has definitely been beneficial. Focusing on such a joyful event and assisting she and her fiance wherever I can is a good distraction (although if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I don’t believe in simply “distracting” myself from my grief, but truly experiencing it in all its painful glory).
When we all got together on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I took the happy couple down to the lake, the one my husband and I often walked one-and-a-half miles one-way to get to, rest for awhile in a pair of Adirondack chairs set out under the Spanish-moss covered oak trees, and simply talk and enjoy one another’s company away from any commitments or responsibilities. There, we spent about an hour or so doing a quick engagement photo shoot before heading back and all six of us (my three children, my daughter’s fiance and my son’s girlfriend) heading to the theater to see the newest Disney movie, Moana (absolutely loved it, although I could have done without the giant singing crab, much the same way I could have done without Frollo singing about hellfire in The Hunchback of Notre Dame).
Later that evening, we decorated our Christmas tree while eating appetizers and pie. That’s it. But I have always tended to go overboard and although it doesn’t sound like much, it was a lot. Much more than we could possibly eat, even with a couple of my son’s friends stopping by. (I made seven pies, does that tell you anything? I was planning for six people and made seven pies…)
But we laughed, we drank eggnog, we decorated the tree and reminisced about similar evenings through the years. There were naturally moments when the tears filled my eyes, but they were more nostalgic and wistful than heartbroken and I never fully broke down (at least not at that moment).
We have spent numerous moments since with “Dad stories” and laughing about Christmases past, as well as simply remembering the kind of man he was. It seems we are all starting to thaw more and more as the months pass.
I know I myself am slowly but surely noticing that I’m doing more than merely the bare minimum to get through my days. Simple things that have been piling up because I just haven’t had the strength or desire to do more than necessary. For example, I spent awhile today on my hands and knees and scrubbing (really scrubbing) the shower. And I’m starting to go through the piles of non-essential mail that had begun to take over my spare table. The numerous daily postcards, letters and other marketing materials from colleges soliciting my son’s attendance next year is ridiculous – the trees wasted by schools he never heard of and would never be interested in would be comical if it wasn’t so wasteful.
In any case, it occurred to me that I have gone beyond minimal, necessary actions to doing more every day. (But I do apologize that by doing more, I’m having less time for this blog. I’m going to try to get better again and post more frequently – perhaps a steady two or three times per week rather than the intermittent postings I’ve gotten into the habit of doing (or not doing, depending on how you look at it).
Just know that much like the old adage “no news is good news”, my lack of postings, or infrequent ones, are actually a sign that I’m doing better. There are still many times a day where I’m caught off guard and struck by grief, but I’ve noticed that when I can plan for the trickier moments, I’m able to keep the pain at a more bearable level. Much like an old injury, the ache will forever be there, I’m sure, but it is slowly becoming a part of me and therefore, I’m better able to handle it.
At least that’s where I stand today. Right this moment. And that dull ache is the best I can hope for. It’s existence is the result of the scar left by a deep-rooted love, and will forever be a reminder of the man who left it behind.
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