Tonight a friend was supposed to sleep over to keep me company, but I felt like being alone instead. The weekend is beginning and for me, things get very quiet now. Families do family things on the weekend. I haven’t been feeling well today- still have the migraine and now a sore throat, but after A. finally fell asleep, I showered and had a phone date with another close friend.
She had read the posting in the NYT and I shared with her about the whole topic of Audrey remembering. That it is painful and a sacrifice for me to speak to Audrey of Dan every day, so early in the process. But I do. On the widow boards a common topic is “Looking at photos/videos.” Some women can’t do it for years. I do it and have done it each day since he died. We read books he read her and talk about how he read it. I lift her in the air on my legs the way he did and say the silly words he did while he did it- “Super Party Poo Poo!” and we laugh together. When she recollects something- I say in a happy voice, “Yes! That’s right. Appa did that!” Sometimes I say it in a sad voice, and add “Mommy misses Appa.” Everyone tells me I’m so lucky to have her, and she’s my child – of course, I love her and am grateful for her. But there is such a bittersweetness to mothering the child of your husband whom you’ve just lost. A child made up of our DNA- our blood mixed together. A child with his eyes and perhaps goofy sense of humor and maybe musical ear. But mostly, a child who talks about him daily- because even though I’ve explained that he is not coming home- she has no concept of the permanence of death. And still I find at this stage- neither do I.
It is painful when I hear her remembering something he did with her and she waits for my affirmation- “Yes, Appa did that!” But do you know what is much more painful? It’s when I’m lying in bed resting for a bit and someone else is watching her- maybe they’re in the kitchen feeding her a meal. And I hear her saying something he did- and they don’t know what she’s saying and just give her the general “Oh yes, yeah…good,” that adults give toddlers and kids they can’t understand. That is when usually close my eyes because the pain is too much to bear.
Tonight I am tired. I have entered the closet to smell your shirts a few more times than usual today and this evening. The one I thought was losing your scent has miraculously recovered. The scent is strong again. I breathe it in and feel renewed.