I’ve been alerted that my email subscription- 365 days of grieving devotions- is about to end. I’ll miss those because they were the only email I could count on in my inbox just after midnight each night even though their titles often made me say “ha!” out loud- things like, “Take up a new hobby.”
I finally understand why people put away photos. In the beginning this went against everything in me. I did quite the opposite- leafed through every memory, journal, photo, video I could find. Now, I understand this. This putting away the photos- bludgeoned hearts hanging on walls. Ours will remain out, but I understand this now.
Probably it was last July when I wrote about the things I was thinking of doing- one included brushing my teeth with your toothbrush. Check. I found some solace recently in redecorating my bathroom. I bought a pretty vintage looking glass from Anthropologie for our toothbrushes- Audrey’s and mine. But before I threw yours out, I brushed with it dry. I tasted the toothpaste you had used the morning of June 29th, 2010 before you took your packed suitcase and backpack, and said goodbye. Then, I threw it out. It was a new toothbrush you’d gotten the day before at the dentist- so you’d only used it twice.
You do crazy stuff when you’re grieving- things that make you feel like you very well might be raving mad. You tape down the finger nails you found in the little box with his nail clipper on black paper and tuck them in a tiny envelope. The same ones you almost yelled at him about the day he left when you saw them there…”Hey- can you please throw out your nail clippings!” echoed through your mind, but you held back and didn’t say a word. It seems like madness, but really it’s just love which it turns out, is fierce when bullied.
The other night, while reorganizing the cabinet below the bathroom sink- all a part of my redecorating project- I see something that paralyzes my muscles. I swallow hard and stare while squatting. There, right above the child safety locks you installed on our cabinets, are two thin gray pencil marks. There, you had marked where you would put the screws that hold the locks in place. There are things all around me that are yours of course, but these markings, I had never seen. And then, there they are. Pencil markings. A picture of your love as a husband and father.
Pencil markings on the interior of a dated bathroom cabinet.
Love written in grey graphite.
I squat there for a while.