Today I cleaned off the dining room table for the first time since August. It, of course, is already cluttered again but at least I did something. It looked nice for four hours. I still cannot bring myself to sit with the children at it at dinnertime. I will have to work up to that. I do feel like a wimp for letting every little thing bring up a memory. And the memories all seem to hurt this week.
I was able to talk about him to my cousin for about an hour without crying. The next half hour was all about crying on the phone with her. She is the only relative (outside of my parents) that is not through marriage that lives close by...close by being about 2 hours away.
Today it was the lawnmower. I was bringing some soda pop cans out to the garage and it caught my eye. I realized he was the last person to touch it because the last thing he did was mow the lawn. My neighbor (have I said what wonderful neighbors I have?) has been mowing for me ever since. I walked over to it and ran my hands along where his hands were. I confess I even unscrewed the gas cap to look at the gas that was put in my him. I am having trouble with not wanting to move things that he touched last, not wanting to take his name off this house, our accounts. It comes down to not wanting to remove him from this world. I still have such a hard time accepting that he is not going to come back.
Tonight I am hosting a "poker tutorial" of sorts. One of my husband's (and later my own) favorite pastimes was playing Texas Hold'em. I used to tease him for watching the program, "World Poker Tour"--I mean really, how boring is it to spend an hour (or five, if it's a marathon, watching other people play poker?) I ended up playing at first to appease him. And then it got interesting. I love trying to read people. It's the budding psychologist in me. It worked out, sometimes. But I was ever as good at it as he was. People used to say that they had a hard time reading my husband's "tells" (that, apparently, is pokereeze for signs you give about what is in your hand). There is going to be a benefit Texas Hold'em game in his honor next weekend. The problem is, most of his family/friends have no idea how to play. So I am having a cookout (beer brats and Italian sausage) and a tutorial game, so that those who know how to play can teach those who don't. I doubt I will ever play again. It's something we did together. Something I didn't think I would even like. And, looking back on it, I think I liked it so much because it was spending time with him...the two of us. I so loved watching him smile at me and get excited for me when I would win. That is what it was really about. Not so much the love of playing.
I am having some bracelets made up for the benefit. After his service I was talking to my brother (who is a comedian--no, for reals--back in Los Angeles). He told me that if he could have gotten up to speak (which he couldn't because he was too upset) he would have commented on all of the wonderful things that people had said Leonard had done for them...about how some had said he was the "go to guy" at work, how his best friend said he relied on calling him sometimes for his opinion on household jobs... and how it got him to thinking about those WWJD Bracelets (you know, the what would Jesus do bracelets?) and how they should say WWLD. So, I looked around online and found a site where they can make them up and ordered some that say WWLD...What would Leonard Do? with his birthdate and the other date on them. The bracelets will be black. Not because of mourning but because my husband was a huge fan of Johnny Cash (before it was cool even) and he had a lot of black shirts, boots, jeans. In fact, I used to call him my very own "Man In Black".
I keep waiting for the day when this will get better. And I've come to realize that it probably never will get better. I think I will always start the day with this horrible ache, this missing an appendage feeling. And I think I will just have to get used to it. Kind of like how my knees used to hurt so much that I would cry at the thought of getting out of bed in the morning...until the pain became just another part of who I am. The weekends are the worst. I used to live for them. Now (and don't hit me cube farm denizens) I long for Monday. Although it's double edged, because I hate this being alone. On the weekends I do have the children.
I realized this morning that this is the longest I have ever been apart from him. It is actually 4 times longer than the longest I had ever been apart from him. And I wish that my mind would stop realizing.