Well, each day is about baby steps now. The therapist wants me to start doing ‘small’ things to acknowledge that you aren’t coming home. I don’t think she realizes that I don’t know how to do anything ‘small.’ It’s all or none for me. But, I’m trying to embrace her professional recommendation. So, some small changes I’ve made since you passed, I started buying organic non-fat milk and wheat bread. “SY, why are you buying non-fat milk? You know I drink whole milk. And this organic milk curdles too quickly, stop buying it since I always throw it out before we can finish it!! Why are you buying wheat bread?! You know I like rye bread.” I guess, I can start buying wheat pasta too (I didn’t even think about this until now). I was going to make chicken noodle soup since I was sick, but when I went to see if there was egg noodles in the pantry, I saw the jar of lentils I bought but never used since you hated lentils. So, instead of chicken noodle soup, I decided to make chicken lentil soup. I know these changes seem so minor and almost unimportant, but they are my baby steps, since I rarely did any of these things when you were alive.
One thing I realized after you passed was that you can’t take anything with you!! Nothing! It’s like your dad said, “You come into the world with nothing and you leave with nothing.” It just feels so odd when you think about it like that. If we can't take anything with us when we leave, then why do we spend our entire lives collecting things? I just don’t get it, it’s kinda like an oxymoron. But really, you don’t take anything with you when you die. Nothing at all. It’s been making me question and wonder why we even do the things we do?! Why do we collect and consume so many material things throughout our lives when it just gets left behind and become someone else’s burden to purge or get rid of?? Maybe if we had kids and some of the valuables can be passed on to them, then it might be different?! I don’t know?! After you passed, I took all your valuables to the safe deposit box, and I saw all the jewelry I got from our wedding, and I ask myself, “WTH am I going to do with all this jewelry that I don’t even wear when I die?!” I don’t even have anybody to pass them on to, and will the person who inherits any of it understand the significance and story behind them? Will they know that we received the jewelry by kneeling down on our knees and serving tea at our wedding to pay the ultimate respect and reverence to our family for their love and support all these years?! Will anyone know the importance of your jade Buddha after I die? Will anyone love it or hold it dear to their heart like I do now?? Will anyone know the love story behind our wedding rings? Will they know that these rings joined together in friendship and united in love two lives and two hearts?? Will they know that you made me return the first wedding ring I bought because the diamonds weren't big enough for you?! (Yup, I spilled the beans on this one!! Don’t even deny it, Babe.)
Anyways, I’ve been waiting for your brother since Thursday to come pick out his keepsakes. I guess, I shouldn’t be surprised, but I would have been even more surprised if he actually came on Thursday. Anyways, Aunt JJ and Uncle RJ came by today to pick up their keepsakes. Aunt JJ took your gold Warriors baseball cap and one of your white rubber strap watches. She also wanted one of your Warriors t-shirt but I didn’t know where they were. You have a pile of dirty clothes that I’ve yet to wash or do anything with. Maybe it’s in there. I picked out Uncle RJ’s keepsakes--your Tuskegee Airmen t-shirt and baseball cap. I thought that would be fitting for Uncle RJ since you both share similar views and pride when it comes to Black history.
I look at all your stuff, and I continue to ask myself, what am I going to do with all this stuff. I’m glad, at least I’m able to give some of it away to family and friends. It makes me happy that someone you love can use and appreciate your things like you did when you were alive. Aunt MH, my brother, and sister’s husband already picked out a watch of yours they wanted, so I’ve put them aside in a safe spot for when they can come and pick it up. Your mom is coming on Tuesday to pick out a few things for her and Uncle LH. Oh, and I gave SC your “S” necklace (you know the one you used to wear when we first started dating), but I haven’t actually given it to her yet. She’s getting ready to go teach in Taiwan, crazy how quickly ‘the kids’ are growing up. I remember the first time you met them, they were probably in middle school or high school, and you made them your famous tacos for dinner. (I’m sure AL is still fantasizing about your fried chicken that he will never have an opportunity to try now). This was the first time you met my family up close and personal. I remember this was the time when you realized why I lack boundary and discipline in my life. It was because I wasn’t raised with any!! 😂😂 The next morning, SC is walking around the house in your flip flops (and she just met you the day before), and they were squeezing the toothpaste tube from the center (which drives you crazy)!! You brought your toothpaste tube and held it up for me to see and said, “Your family is using my toothpaste.” I said, “How do you even know?!” You said, “Look at it, it’s been squeezed from the center like how you do it, and not rolled up neatly from the bottom like I do it!!” You looked like you were going to go mad, and then you said, “And SC is walking around the house in my flip flops. She didn’t even ask if she could wear them, and she’s going to trip and fall since they are three times her size!!” I told you to get over it since they will be gone in a few days anyways. After they left, you said, “Now, I know why you are the way you are!”
It’s like you said, “The only thing that saved our relationship was the double sinks.” I’m sure we would have broken up if it wasn’t for the double sinks and our own toothpaste tubes. That’s the secret to our happy and successful marriage--dual sinks and your own toothpaste tube. Even when we moved to the new house and we only had one sink in the master bathroom, we still had our own toothpaste tube and you used the sink in the guest bathroom.
P.S. There's also some stuff that's been hard to do now that you are gone like folding my clothes. I used to fold my clothes on Sunday night while we watch TV together. Now, my clean clothes just sits in the laundry basket all week until I wear them, or I force myself to sit on our bedroom floor and fold them.
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.