It’s not the big things really that take my breath away, leaving me wobbly and wanting to run away. Probably because I prepare myself for those things ahead of time. I know well in advance that bigger events will leave me tired, feeling super vulnerable, and wanting to hide away under my covers for days upon days afterwards.
It’s the mundane, every day things that get me. The little, seemingly innocuous things that do take my breath away and feeling as if I was stuck in revolving door for hours. The missing of Russell can sneak up on me in these mundane things and I can be left feeling as if I will never be okay, ever again.
Last night I was washing dishes as our dishwasher is still broken. I simply keep forgetting to contact our repair service. Forgetting things, even very easy things, seems to be a constant occurrence these days. Anyway, as I was washing I was struck by the realization that washing dishes has become a meditative time for me. I love seeing the emptied out sink with clean dishes drip drying in the racks. I love being able to look out of my kitchen window onto our property.
And then it was is Russell was standing there with me, saying “Yes, this is what I have always loved about washing dishes too.” I wanted to be able to turn to him and say I get it. I did say it in my mind to him but it just isn’t the same. In that time and that moment last night, I smiled remembering him and his need to have the sink cleared all of the time. It’s not something I cared that much about during all the years we were together. I used to be very content letting things pile up for long periods of time. Not so much anymore.
While that mundane happening last night made me smile and feel closer to him, there are so many others that leave me feeling sad and achy in missing him. The number of times I’ve gone to pick up the phone just to tell him something I knew he’d love to hear about is in the 1000s by now. Every single day I have things that I am bursting in pride over about our kids and I wish I could talk to him about each one.
Laughing at the fact that our Christmas tree is still up, being watered, and probably won’t come down for weeks would definitely humor him. I think our record one year was having the tree up until the first weekend in March. We might make that again this year. We love the twinkling lights too much to take it down.
Walking downstairs to do the laundry can almost always choke me up. Russell had created a little cave space for himself down there that he holed up in nightly. I’ve just moved his chair so we don’t immediately see it when we go downstairs and that helps. But we all avoid the basement.
As much as I love my bedroom there is a sharp moment each night that I almost run from the room. It just seems so weird that it is my room, my bed, and all just my stuff in a space we shared for almost 2 decades.
And the pennies that I find every day, all over the place. These make me smile a great deal and I put each one I find into my pocket for the day. This tiny little piece of money that most folks simply throw away and don’t notice lying on the ground helps remind me time after time, moment after moment that Russell is still with me even if he is no longer with me.
Yep, it’s the mundane, simple things that have the power to make or break me in every time and in every moment. I’m profoundly thankful that most days they are the bread crumbs leading me back to a whole, healed self rather than just the straws building up to break me completely apart.