Everyone arrived at the appointed time. They piled onto my bed, one on a chair. They had plans to go out after and wanted to get this started quickly.
I started in the closet… pulling one thing after another out. They’re all twenty-something’s; the mood was lighthearted, full of laughter and infectious. They called dibs on each piece of clothing that came out of the closet, or not if it wasn’t something they would wear.
There was a couple pieces I pulled out… then quickly put back. I’m not ready for those to go yet.
I moved on to the dresser.
Starting with the lower drawers, the pants and sweaters.
He wasn’t a small man – and all the young adults gathered in my room range from skinny to slender to slim. Jeans quickly gathered in a pile – I have plans for those for the younger boys.
Shirts and sweaters were hotly sought after. He had some nice ones.
All the plain black tees were declined. He had a LOT of plain black tees and so does everyone else.
No one wanted the underwear. But the socks were fought over. He had warm socks for fishing. They all work in cold conditions.
With the drawers empty, I started sorting through the top of the dresser. And they all took their bounty and headed out to get ready for their evening.
Without the infectious mood and laughter of them surrounding me, the emotions of what I had just done started bubbling over.
One came back. “Do a shot with me Ma” (fun to note that the young adults in my house all call me Ma or Mom, regardless of accident of birth)
So ok, I’ll do a shot of whiskey.
I leave the bedroom after the shot – go sit at the computer.
The young adults all disperse, heading to the bar for the evening (two of them work for a pub – and get free drink tickets. They save them for a night out)
I’m alone, young boys are watching TV.
I’m on facebook and my thewiddahood, and chatting with another widow, telling her what just happened. I’ve announced it on facebook and suddenly, emotions hit me.
Big, blubbering sobs…
I read somewhere that the worst thing (in a child’s mind) to see is his or her mom crying. Mom is hurt and sad and vulnerable. I’ve been trying to keep most of the crying away from the boys… but at times, they will need to see that I’m still sad.
And that was one of them.
Each comes in the kitchen separately, offering me a hug. Asking me why I’m crying. Trying to comfort me.
I tell them that I’m still sad about Daddy. That I will be sad about Daddy for a long time. And that I still cry because he’s gone.
My 12 year old says, ever so lovingly… “Crying makes you sweaty, too!!”
And we laugh.
And I remember why I’m still here. He’s gone, but we’re all still here, and life is love. Life is laughter.
My Andrew has a knack of saying exactly the right thing to pull me out of tears into laughter. To reach into the past and pull me back to the present. To reach into the lost future and bring me back to the path we’re on now.
I see Mark every day in his sense of humour, his smile, and his way of smoothing things over.
He’s amazing that way.