Today is May 27th, I have two more days off from work for Memorial Day. I was facing this time with dread. I did not want to spend these days here at home.......alone. My son took Friday off from work and went to Atlanta. Today, he worked, tomorrow he is going to the race in Charlotte, Monday he will be back at work. So I, am basically alone. I refuse to give in to self pity. I will find my way in this new normal. Even as this is a time to remember those who have given all for the freedom of this great land and I am trying to keep going without my husband. I will not lessen the importance of this day because yes, there is a great difference in those who died in battle and my husband's death. Yes, they died fighting for this land, its freedom and its people. My husband died working to provide for us, his family.
So now, here I am, learning to live as a widow. Learning to find my way through all sorts of maizes of confusion and frustration. Learning to spot and avoid the landmines waiting to explode before me, destroying my peace and strength. So what have I done over the course of the last two days? Stayed very busy.
There is a peace to be found when one is working constructively. There is a contentment to be found in the accomplishing of good things. My house, save a couple of areas, is clean. This room is going to take a while, and there are things in here that will remind me of him. There are things in the other room, that will do the same thing. The pipe under the sink in the bathroom is leaking. I have the stuff I need to repair that and will be spending my Monday repairing the sink and going through the landmine rooms.
Today, oh today, after my son inspected the explorer and I got home I went to work. I have been digging and replanting flowers. Mom gave me a section of an old time rose and told me I could have some of her cactus. Her cactus was in serious need of cleaning as it was nearly covered in leaves. I donned my gloves and grabbed her rake and set to work. She came out while I was working and talked. At one point she told me something about my being determined to finish. I have to do that at work, so I might as well do that in other projects I'm involved in. Besides the fact that I love that cactus, especially when its in bloom so there was no harm in helping it out by removing all of those leaves. Also, as I told mom, it gave me something to do. She then mentioned some flowers that grow along the fence across from her house. I helped myself to some of those before the demolition crew damaged them.
I moved all of my gatherings up to the house, my intent was just to plant the rose, but I ended up planting everything that I had dug up. I had been given money for flowers, it was one of those, 'here, now hush' moments. I went ahead and cleaned out areas in the flower bed and planted those as well.
Then I stood back and looked around at my handiwork. It looks good. I'm sure the bees and butterfly will appreciate the additions. I believe the hummingbird are enjoying the feeders. It was so late when I finished that the solar lights were coming on. It was a normal afternoon and evening, but it wasn't. The thoughts wanted to drift, the memories and the loneliness sneak in. I wanted to be able to call him up and talk about my day, his day, when he would be home. The knowing that I can't, and he won't, hurts. The fact that I am learning just how much I am capable of doing is encouraging. The knowledge that I am finding ways to making the yard more colorful and nice, is calming.
As the days off from work approached, I dreaded them with a passion. I did not want to spend the time alone, here at home. I wanted to go somewhere. I wanted to get away. It didn't matter, the beach, the mountains, a local hiking trail. I wanted to be in a different location, at least for a while. So far the farthest I've gone is Walmart. Now, it doesn't seem as important to get away. I had made sarcastic comments at work that the farthest I'd get to go would be my own back yard, but you know what? There is not a thing wrong with that. In fact, I believe that is one of the next things on my list to tackle, getting that backyard cleaned up.
When memories strike, the tough, the strong, the determined, get up, take a deep breath and get going. There is a new normal out there, and I'm going to meet it head on.