Audrey’s had a runny nose since a couple of days after her flu shot and was running a high fever last night. I missed your presence so much caring for her.
She was up just once at 2:30 am.
This morning we had no plans. I decided we’d just go to Barnes and Noble- my third time driving the car. We’d also look around in TJ Maxx. I didn’t bother bringing Audrey’s stroller so we walked around together. I picked out a few wooden toys for Audrey – 2 puzzles which she loves doing so much right now- a little wooden clock to learn how to tell time for later, and some non-toxic paints for her art supplies.
In the store, we walked by the men’s clothing, socks, jackets. Without thinking, I wonder if you need anything- socks, pants. I was always buying you these things – especially socks and underwear, undershirts. It’s not that I forgot you were gone for a second- it’s just a habit.
In Barnes and Noble, I realize that the last time I was in here was with you and Audrey. It’s one of those moments where I can clearly see you coming towards us with a cup of coffee from the cafe or a book you picked out to read to Audrey. On our way out, I stop to throw Audrey’s empty juice box out in the garbage of the cafe. I can see us there too…sitting together for an hour- just you and I- while my parents watched Audrey. We’d each be reading our own thing- you might be reading Japanese comics and I – Real Simple or some books on decorating or cooking. Separate, but together.
On the drive home, I zone out once or twice and correct myself. It’s easy to do that while you’re driving- the process frees up your subconscious- I’ve always noticed that and been able to think more clearly or come up with writing ideas while driving. But this time, I was thinking of your dead body. Still trying to understand. Because it feels like you’re missing, and that’s sad, but when I remember the body- that’s when it’s horrific. The idea that with one mishap, your beautiful, young body, was ruined – no good. And though I mostly blocked it out, sometimes I can see your hairline where there was too much make-up and your lips. I can feel the cold, hardened hand that felt nothing like yours. The transformation from one swim in a lake- is astounding- horrifying. I want to scream- Come back to me!!! Come back please.
And also, I want you to see me. I want to know you’re watching- that you’re proud and amazed at what I’m going through. That you see this new identity I’ve put on- a single mother, feeling so much older now, and so much stronger in many ways. I want to know you can see.
At home, Audrey worked on her puzzles before lunch asking me for help. We ate, and now she’s trying to sleep, but it’s not boding well. So far she’s already gotten out of the crib and gone to the potty- which is a good thing though- she seems to be going back towards that. I’m tired though and would love to hear her peacefully sleeping rather than the complaining/talking going on right now. I feel like if she doesn’t rest, I won’t be able to go the whole day until bedtime.
I had a comforting idea earlier. I will take photos of our apartment as it is. I’ve already changed a few things around in Audrey’s play area, but for the most part, things are the same. I will take photos before making any more changes. I’ve bought a bunch of furniture from IKEA- things to help us get more settled. Before, we were planning on moving October 1st and had only lived here a year and a half, so I’d never bothered to quite settle in and our kitchen table is tiny and there were no bookshelves for books. I want to fix it up- make it more like home since we’re staying now. But I constantly think that these little and big changes will speed up Audrey’s amnesia without her realizing. So, the idea of taking the photos comforts me. I’ll be able to look at them and remember our home together when you left- exactly how it was. Just photos…but something.
I check Facebook (which I know I should just completely give up on- because it’s hard not to be annoyed by others’ status updates- either complaining about trivial things- or boasting about perfect family weekends- but I guess so far my desire for connection has been greater than the pain from reading those), and find someone has posted about some small victory with the words, “I knew God would bring us justice and protect us.” This is particularly hard to hear. Is God the one bringing justice and protecting from such small things? Should we attribute this to him? Is there justice and protection in my life right now? In Dan’s life?
I told the counselor yesterday that I just couldn’t see God in Dan’s death. “How would God be “in” Dan’s death?” she asks.
I don’t know.