A box of individual servings of almond butter. A blanket folded and placed on the chair. An adapter for the outlet used to charge a laptop. I know exactly what she left and how she left it. There are not many of these things remaining…items that are still in the exact spot that she placed them.
Occasionally, I have dealt with these objects. I have put them somewhere else, or, as in the case of food items, consume them. Her activity and imprint on the way articles sit, currently, is fading. There is no toothbrush in the stand, no make-up on the counter, and none of her clothes in the hamper. How could somebody, who isn’t even present, effect my life so much?
The answer is in my love for her. She is not forgotten. Her impression on me has not faded, even though the echoes of her voice have been quiet for months. Months…
The weather is gradually warming. Soon, trees will bud and we’ll be back into a season of growth and newness. I’m ready to get back out on the riding mower and drive among the trees in the yard. I’m anxious to enjoy the sun, the warmth, and the late evenings with friends.
Jana made her departure in the August warmth of the summer. The days in the hospital were hot, I sweat during the graveside service, and it seemed cool weather would never arrive after those intense days of heartbreak.
I’m pulling myself along the calendar, grabbing a hold of the next month down the line and dragging myself toward those following weeks. Like a thirsty man crawling through the desert, I strive forward, trying to reach the lush oasis. With every lunge, I am hoping for relief, longing for refreshment…but seem to simply grab another handful of hot, dry sand.
What I often fail to realize, is that I actually am making progress. Were I to look up and take note of where I am…and from where I’ve come…understanding of my grief advancement would be more realistic. God is bringing me along, as much as I may occasionally feel lost in the dunes of despair.
So, these days and months continue to march on. One after another. I have fought through many of these days, earning them, struggling to emotionally make it to the next. I often wrestle with unanswerable questions of “Why?,” illogical concepts of “Fairness,” and a general melancholy that hangs on my mind like a dentist’s lead x-ray blanket.
Is there excitement anymore? Moments of real happiness? Genuine laughter? I’m sure there is. If I’m being honest, I do come close to these things from time to time.
I was looking at a one of my favorite pictures today. The timeframe was difficult to place for when it was taken. It was an outdoors shot, done with my drone, last summer/fall timeframe. I thought, “Was this before or after Jana died?” It happened to be after. Interesting…my memory and thinking are starting to entertain some good memories after Jana’s death.
Maybe I will look back on many of the events of life over the last 7 months and find where I was happier than what I thought? Or, moments that, only later, can I really appreciate and enjoy? What a process… Keep going. Keep stepping.