I slept in until 9:24. Well, I first woke up at 5:04am on the couch. One of those open my eyes… realize I’m still downstairs… check my phone to see what time it actually was… and then listen to the Smarties that were on my belly… from when I fell asleep… four hours earlier… roll across the hardwood floor as I stumbled to throw a couple of logs on the fire… before I stumbled up the stairs and flopped into bed. It’s a pretty normal occurrence these days on my Fridays (your Mondays)… the pile of Smarties just hanging out on my belly for 4 hours… not so much. For whatever reason, I have a tendency to want to stay up late… and if I have the next day off… helloooo couch-bed! I don’t know why I keep doing it. Every night I say to myself, “I should go to bed earlier!”… but I don’t listen.
Today… I just needed to catch up on some much needed shut eye. I haven’t been getting much shut eye this week. Work has provided some challenges recently and I have been in one of those “Sad/What am I gonna do?/What do I want to do?” cycles… which has been a fun combination to try and navigate… without losing my shit. I’ve done pretty well, but I think it mainly has to do with the fact that my perspective on life has been changed so drastically since the loss of Kateri… my perspective on what is important… that I kinda have been floating through it in a numb state… with a laissez faire attitude. Of course, chaos and heartache are still taking turns giving me noogies.
I’ve come to expect the unexpected emotional roller coaster, which sounds like it would make it easier to deal with situations when they arise… but sometimes those unexpected emotions are REALLY unexpected… like when I’m trying to free up space on my phone by deleting pictures and I come across the one taken on April 26, 2018… four days after Kateri passed… of her hair stuck to the side of the downstairs shower that we had been using since we were still trying to remodel the one upstairs at the time of her passing.
I remember that moment from ten and a half months ago. I saw that clump of hair… of her hair… right there! A physical part of her that I could see and touch… just hanging out on the side of the shower… and I wanted to hold on to how that made me feel. I guess that meant I needed to take a picture of it… so that I could go through all that again 10 and a half months later when I needed more storage on my phone.
In a previous life, a life before cancer, I wouldn’t have thought anything about it. I would’ve grabbed some TP (I don’t know why I never just used my fingers… it’s just hair) and thrown away the clump of hair. This time… that clump of hair had significance… much more than I ever expected a clump of hair to have! It was a physical reminder of our life together. It was the catalyst to my brain remembering when I would pull a piece of hair off of my shoulder… or out of my much shorter beard… and Kateri would say, “Those are my Love Strings!”. Man I miss those Love Strings.
Other times, after Kateri would drag her fingers through her hair and she was left with a nest of black, silver, and grey Love Strings… and she would make a little bow out of them. I remember some of her siblings… one in particular… being somewhat grossed out by these festive little hairy homemade neckties. So, over the years, we had done what we needed to do… and from time to time would mail them to her. I mean, who wouldn’t get excited about getting a clump of hair in the mail!… in the shape of a bow! At the time, it was just a funny kinda thing. Nowadays, it’s a wonderful memory of Kateri that puts a smile on my face… I mean, once I finish with the waterworks… because I even miss the clumps of hair in the shower.
Widower Notes n Thoughts:
- I honestly don’t know if I’m repeating myself with a lot of this stuff. I tried going back and seeing some of the things I had written before on this ol’ blog… but that was a little rough… so I stopped it. Awe… memories.
- I sometimes worry about “What if this breaks or that stops working?”. I simply just don’t wanna have to deal with it. I don’t wanna be forced to have to deal with a lot of things… but I am… and I do.
- Mary J. Blige has been the recent “go to” music station. You just can’t help at least bobbing your head when Family Affair comes on. (And just now I remembered when Kateri wanted that song on the play list for when we threw her “Kateri’s Kick-Ass Party”. Either she or Maria wrote it down next to all the other songs Kateri had picked out)
- The Smarties are almost all gone. I saved two rolls and set them next to Kateri on the jelly cupboard… she loved her “pills”.
- I still sit in my car… sometimes for a while… when I first get home. If I glance at those big schoolhouse windows and lose my shit because it reminds me of how good life was not so long ago… I sit a little longer.
- Recently, I’ve been crying a bit more… the quick and intense kinda crying… mainly at home in the schoolhouse… and then I move on.
- I finally washed the three dozen eggs that have been hanging out on my counter. I may not be right on top of everything… but everything still seems to be getting done! (and I should start eating eggs)
- I’ve realized I’m probably gonna go through some strange shit for the next couple of months… with Kateri’s birthday coming up on St. Patty’s Day… and the 1st anniversary of her passing in April. You know… those types of dates. (That might explain some of the things I’m feeling!)
- All in all, though… life is better than bad.