One of the biggest lessons I've learned on this journey of widowhood is that grief is not logical. It makes no sense. It's arrogant and naive to believe that we think we know how we would react in any stressful or painful situation. Segments of our lives, portions of our morals and many of our ideals become frayed and scattered.
When we begin to remake our lives, things, us, are decidely different.
I've had people tell me that they would never be able to part with their husband's things should he die before they did. I've had others report to me that they have thought that I am clinging to the past by keeping some of Jeff's belongings. I don't know which camp is right....I just know that there are some things that I had never given a thought to and that now have such meaning....or maybe not 'meaning', just value to me emotionally that I am unable to part with them just yet.
There are items in this home that I will never be able to use, I can't remember a specific moment that signifies importance or that are truly undesirable to anyone besides myself. Logic does not, at all, enter my thoughts in the hoarding of these objects.
The specific thing I am talking of....Jeff's mismatched socks. Can't do it. I don't know if I will EVER get around to discarding them.
They lay tangled in a basket on the shelf above our washing machine with the kids and mine. The only distinguishing factor between the socks is that his are decidely larger....and dirtier. They no longer smell like him. I have never found their mate crammed behind the washing machine or at the bottom of the hamper. So they sit in the missing sock receptacle...and wait.
Everytime I reach into the basket to attempt to match the socks thrown in there at the end of a laundry folding session, I find his single socks. I don't know if it is the symbolism of being left behind, if it is the thought that these are the last of his personal effects that are tied in with our daily lives or if it is just that I can't bring myself to throw out something that holds proof that he walked with us. It's simply not logical.
But the lack of pragmatic thinking does not make me discard them. I still smile inwardly and occasionally shed a tear when I attempt to match his single socks. Because grief, it really makes no sense.
We've been having some difficulty with remembering to close the chicken yard door after ourselves. We used to allow our 'girls' to roam free in the whole yard often. This relaxed attitude has fallen by the wayside with the arrival of Caleb and his adoration of the flavour of chicken feces....and then his desire to wipe his pink drippy tongue over our faces, hands or bare toes. I had been loathe to attach a bungy or some sort of spring for fear of squishing little fingers...or faces in the door with such an abrupt closure. After much thinking....and then viewing a very similar system in a magazine (this isn't the genius part), I came up with this little beauty. The magazine version had some sort of glass ball attached to a beautifully topped fence post. Ours is much more....utilitarian but, still, brilliant. We've used a branch found in the woods behind the house, some twine, a mason jar and two eye screws. Briar and I dangerously used the reciprocating saw to create a pointed end on one end of the branch and a flat side on the other. I pounded it into the ground using a sledge hammer about a 60 cm (2') away from the hinge of the gate. We attached an eye screw near the top of the post and another near the middle of the top bar of the gate. Liv punched a hole in the sealing disk of the mason jar with a nail. Folded in half we fed a small amount of the twine through the hole in the lid and the sealing ring. In the loop under the disk, we fed a bent nail to anchor the twine in the lid. Briar filled the jar with soil making sure to remove as many 'critters' as he could find so as not to subject them to a harsh and untimely death inside the jar of doom. The jar was screwed into the lid. (The jar was the genius part....although anything heavy would work...but I still think it was mildly brilliant....) We tied one side of the twine into the eye screw on the gate about 60 cm down and after holding it at various lengths at the post decided on the best length for the twine to be most efficient and useful. Ta-da! Genius at work!!! Smooth, slow closing......
P.S. Just in case anyone out there in the blogosphere is wondering, I am still writing for Widow's Voice. I've just chosen for the time being to leave the majority of the widow 'stuff' over there and write about the rest of our lives here. I swore I would never do that....but at times, I just feel that maybe to some people, my 'widow' musings may sound....I don't know, longstanding. I just think that maybe, at times, Widow's Voice is a more appropriate forum for some of my thoughts than here. Unfortunate for me?Yes. Permanent? Probably not. Just bear with me as I get over some of my self-consciousness after the last little hiccup.
And, if you want you are free to read them whenever you so chose.
Liv started school today....."real" school. Grade three at the school that I attended as a young whipper-snapper.
Last night, she excitedly chose her outfit for the day. We planned how the morning would go and what time we'd get to the school.
She woke at 6 am and wanted to get up. I coaxed her back to sleep for a few minutes before she was chattering away and again attempting to vault from the bed. I was thrilled. She was excited. She was enthusiastic and positive......And then I asked her to let the chickens out.
Generally, it was downhill from there. She didn't want to do it. I want to stick to the rhythm that had worked for us and feel that we are all contibuting members of our family and as such have roles to fulfill to keep the house running smoothly and harmoniously.
Harmonious, my ass.
Needless to say, by the end of the first hour of climbing from the cozy nest of the bed that the three of us had spent our night together in various states of sleepy entanglement, I was pissed off and ready to start frothing at the mouth like some rabies infested mad-dog. She was screaming at me that she shouldn't have to "do it all" as she is "just a kid" and it is my job to "do this kind of stuff". Briar was hollering plaintively as the puppy had hold of his shirt and was hindering his journey up the hallway to his breakfast. After I chased the puppy away from Briar's backside, he managed to sneak off to a corner in the living room to shit on my computer's electrical cord.
Liv had taken to hiding in a corner in her bedroom muttering mostly quietly to herself while occasionally loudly spewing a variety of age old adages, such as: "I hate you!" "I don't want to go to school!" "You love Briar more!" "I wish I had a different mom!"
I storm through the house throwing needed items into my purse while giving a verbal dialogue of my thoughts using a variety of non-G-rated wordage (Is that a word? Wordage.) and taking a nervous child's behaviour far too personally. Anyhow......
If you had witnessed this scene, you probably would think that....well, I don't know what you'd think. I just know that you would most likely think this home was a chaotic, crazy place and would try to get out a fast as humanly possible....
Then, after a few minutes of travel, at school, imagine a calm, serene mother and child. The little girl is nervously clutching her mama's hand and trying to remain inconspicuous by hiding behind one of her mother's abundant thighs. The little girl is big eyed and sweet. Quiet and shy but pleasant to talk to. The mother probably seems gentle and confident. Not the rabid creature she was only minutes before.
After getting the sweet, subdued little girl to her class, speaking to the teacher, and lingering in the hall outside the class long after all the other mothers have gone, the angry/gentle mama drives away without her little girl.....crying. Wishing her daughter's first day had been different than this. Wishing her husband had been there to share the joy....and the chaos. Wishing that she didn't feel so awful leaving her little one for others to educate and explore with. Feeling a hypocrite for sending her to public school but knowing that she must do it if she is going to keep food on the table and clothes on her little one's backs.
This blog contains a fair amount of swearing, painful and difficult subject matter. If you have objections of any kind, I believe it's your right to not agree. But, please, keep those objections to yourself and keep yourself busy withsomething else.
A few musings of a homeschooling, crafting, neurotic, organic loving and, most of all, kiddo adoring mommy...I've now become a widow. My best friend and husband died of a pulmonary embolism on March 25th, 2008. This blog has now become a place for me to mentally unload and try to figure out how to do this and who I am without him.