The Transition

I wear one of your shirts today- one of three or four I kept in your/my dresser drawer when I packed everything else away.  It’s one I always thought looked so nice on you- and like most of your clothes, something you got for a few bucks at a thrift store or flea market.  I was surprised that Audrey said she remembered you wearing it.  Maybe even a few months ago, I would’ve been really overjoyed that she remembers you.  Today it made me kind of sad to know that she remembers what it felt like maybe to be a family of three, instead of just the two of us.  That maybe she remembers you as her father walking around in that shirt.

Audrey’s season of tantrums continue and one thing I’ve found is that it helps if I give her lots of warning between transitioning activities.  If she’s going to have to stop playing for her bath, I’ll tell her, “Five minutes until your bath OK?”  and then, “Two more minutes and you’re going to have to stop playing and take your bath, understand?”  It sounds really nagging, but by the time I actually call her, she’s ready and comes rather than feeling rushed from her play.

I keep thinking about how I had years to get ready for the transition to college, five years of dating you to get ready for the transition to married life, nine months even to prepare for giving birth to our daughter and becoming a mother.  And then.

“Bye, talk to you tomorrow.”

Dead.  Only parent.  Widow.  No longer married, family of two- not three, not four.  Alone.

Maybe grieving involves some tantrum.   But I sure wish I had a little more warning.

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