Last night we had a lovely barbecue at one of Audrey’s preschool friend’s homes. They are a family of five with a nice home, big backyard and Audrey had a great time. On the drive home always, the sadness comes- and I realize that these new friends have never even met you. That’s a very difficult truth for me. I want them to know how wonderful, funny, and sweet you were-a better person than me- but I’m afraid my words will create a flat character.
Then I think of random things like the fact that we never went bowling together, you and I. Despite eleven years of being together- there were still those things that I was aware we had yet to do- and I was very much looking forward to them. Taking Audrey to MOMA, showing her around our old neighborhood in Brooklyn, returning to the resort where we stayed on our honeymoon for our ten year anniversary. Plus all of the places you saw as you traveled that you kept writing me, “I can’t wait to take you and Audrey here someday. I wish you guys were here too.” Plans- all plans.
I’ve been doing some spring cleaning and consciously pushing myself to get rid of a few more things. It’s amazing how almost two years later, so many things are still the same. My Dr. Haushka face wash- in a large glass bottle is still the same one, but it’s running out. I still had some of your toiletries in the medicine cabinet. I decide to toss your shaving lotion- because it was a natural kind I picked out and got you and not something that really makes me think of you. I lift up my copies of Real Simple in a basket in the bathroom and see the magazines I left there since you died- your Berklee alumni magazine addressed to you and a few other things you were reading all dated May 2010…these I consider for a long time- then I let them go and place them in the recycling bin. Then, I find the remaining California Baby diaper spray and cream that we used on Audrey that I must have put aside while potty training and decide to also throw those out even though you must have used them to change her. I remember a friend saying how just a couple of weeks after your baby is out of diapers, you completely forget that you changed diapers a few times a day. Sometimes I feel like that with you- did I really ever live with, sleep beside, eat with- a man?
I used to be someone who loved de-cluttering- now it is draining- everything I sell or toss is a little bit more letting go of the past and the life that was torn away from me. As I pushed myself, I was able to process a little bit more that you really aren’t coming back- ever. I despise this fact, but each day and each season, I get it a little bit more.
But there are things…things I wonder if I’ll keep for far too long. In the kitchen pantry- with the medicines- there’s a bottle of Advil – but instead of Advil inside there are about seven Tylenols. Right before you left, I remember I was having really bad headaches and you were worried that I was just about out of Advil. You carried medicine on your trip incase you got sick and you insisted on getting your Tylenol and leaving me those, even though I could easily have gone and bought more. It was you who placed them in that bottle. It is the last tangible example I have of your thoughtfulness and care of me. Then there’s the Vietnamese hot sauce in the fridge- something you put on just about everything- can’t seem to touch that one. Or the last bag of rice that you purchased with a little bit of rice left in it…I bought a new bag and just use that, leaving the other one untouched now. I imagine when I have to move and pack, it’ll be difficult to justify taking these along-
though I may.