Summer is winding down and I have no idea where the time went. And when I say I have no idea, I mean it both figuratively and literally. Figuratively, because the time has flown by as it always does, and literally because I cannot remember what I did for the last two months. Honestly. I feel like my brain doesn’t work anymore at all. Is this to be a life long by product of Ben’s death?
Ben’s gone forever. Did he have to take my brain with him?
In the beginning I was aware that I was forgetful. I left the stove on. I forgot to lock doors. I forgot the names of people I had known for years and I missed appointments constantly. I was so distracted that I regularly ran red lights and worried that I was going to kill myself or someone else. (I didn’t worry for long though, because I quickly forgot. Lol) Those type of things seem to have resolved themselves, but now I just can’t remember life in general and it’s starting to freak me out a bit.
Anyway, my forgetfulness wasn’t really the point of this post. The point was that summer is coming to an end and we have reached the time of year that used to have Ben and I giggling like kids at Christmas. Back to school time. Magical words.
In our earliest of days together before we had children, this time of year had us doing a happy dance. We were both patrolling in uniform and it meant that all the local teenagers stopped their constant partying in the parks. Our work lives settled back into more of a routine that didn’t involve pouring out booze and driving teens home to their parents. Once we had our own kids, this time of year meant that we could stop worrying about how to fill their days with camps and activities, and we could stop our frenzied search for childcare.
You know how your parents always told you not to wish your life away because it goes by so fast? Well, now I find myself longing that back to school frenzy. It’s a bit quiet and lonely now, you know? I have not once this summer been asked to take my kids to the mall to find them the latest in fashion. None of them care any longer about impressing anyone, and when they do want to go to the mall they take themselves. And they pay for their own clothes. I actually find myself saying “NO! I’ll pay for that! Save your money!” I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I do miss those shopping trips.
When Ben found out he was dying, our kids were 13, 15 and 18 years old. Not babies, but not yet grown. They were around the house all the time and they relied on us to get them where they were going, for the most part. Our days were filled with drives to school and drop offs at soccer and volleyball. When you have a child who is 13 years old it feels like you still have years to go with kids at home.
Somewhere amidst chemo and appointments, dying, death, funerals and grieving, my “baby” turned 16 and is now heading into grade 11. She is no longer a little girl by any stretch of the imagination. She has a job now.
Our middle daughter is off to University next week, and our son no longer lives at home. The house is always very quiet (and clean) and the days that Ben and I always seemed to long for have finally arrived. It’s not quite as fun when you don’t have your partner to share them with. Be careful what you wish for, right?
Still, contrary to what my posts may project, I do not live in a state of mindless boredom, sitting around staring at the walls. I am still generally busy doing things I enjoy, even though I may forget what I have done shortly afterward. I work out, visit with friends, travel a bit and watch every last soccer game possible. I have a better appreciation of what is happening in the moment. I have found some joy in life again, that is for sure. But it’s just different, you know? I know that not everyone needs to have a partner to be happy, but the thing is that I have always wanted one. For me, life is better when there is someone to share it with. Having a partner makes me appreciate the quiet of the house when I have someone to share that quiet with. What fun is a quiet night at home in front of the fire if there is no shoulder to lean your head on?
I am excited for my kids as they embark on this new chapter in each of their lives. I look forward to seeing what they do. I just wish Ben were here to watch it with me.