I have had a heaviness about me for the last week or so. I’m not sure why. Grief is telling me he’s here and I’m just holding his weighted hand. It’s almost like a stalemate of sorts. Both of us accepting the other’s presence.
As always there are reminders everywhere and maybe they just build up, brick by brick until the tsunami of grief crashes it down and then I start again.
Here are the bricks I’ve laid over the last week or so.
• A week after Macklin’s ER visit for his blister, he pitched in his first baseball game.
• My oldest joined Student Council and has straight A’s for the first time EVER.
• Our middle child is having issues at school with a potential bully.
• I haven’t had more than a handful of hours away from my kids in a month.
• I attended a celebration of life for the father of one of my closest friends.
• Both Grandma’s came down with Covid and thankfully are on the path to recovery.
• Last weekend marked the second year Tony’s BBQ team wasn’t present at our local contest and next weekend we will miss the American Royal again.
• Every Friday at 4:30, the garage door still doesn’t open with the sound of Tony coming home.
• I dyed Asher and Macklin’s hair red and blue over the weekend and I couldn’t help but wonder what he would have thought.
All of this is just a laundry list of the challenges we face in life and the things we miss experiencing with a partner. Couple them with the everyday work of homework, cleaning, yard work, laundry, bathing, and don’t forget feeding three boys; it’s no wonder I sometimes feel like I’m carrying a boulder. I’ve always been powerful, but I miss his helping hand. There are also the small things I see others doing to help me. They can’t replace the help I miss from Tony, but they can help carry the small rocks. I have lots of examples of them and I hope I express the appropriate amount of gratitude in the moment.
One thing that has stuck with me since Tony passed is this bottle of Dawn dish soap.
But in the 5 days between Tony’s death and the funeral as my house was a revolving door of people, I watched my next-door neighbor pickup this bottle and quietly slip out the back door. I watched her leave with bemusement but said nothing. A few minutes later, she reappeared the same way she came, with a now full bottle of soap. She placed it back at the sink without a word. It was such a small measure of love but one she could fill when there were no words to make things right. Every time I use that soap, I think of her and that gesture. Almost a year and half later, it’s almost gone now, but I still remember the quiet look we shared that day. I am thankful for the soap fillers out there who help me move mountains.