The fact that my husband had been a long haul truck driver for years got me accustomed to his not being home much. He, himself often said that he didn't live here, he was just a visitor. I fear, that fact has made it easier for me to get through this, but also that part of me ignores the truth and keeps waiting to hear that big engine roaring down the roadway. (My own mother made a comment the other day about how something was in the way and that there would be nowhere for my husband to park when he came in, before she remembered)
I know, that my husband is gone. I took the call. I spoke with the police. I spoke with the coroner and the people who were getting my husband's body home. I was there for the funeral, saw him buried. I know, that he isn't coming home. Just this week the headstone was put in place at his grave. Still yet, there is that part of me, the part that is accustomed to his being gone, then suddenly there he is. Home, safe, sound and ready for some down time. The part of me, that is waiting to hear that truck pull down the road. The part of me, that is yet in denial.
My husband was one of those people who made his presence known. If I was doing something in the kitchen, he would come in and ask what I was doing. If I was on the computer, he would come into this room and start randomly picking up the very same things he had picked up the last time he was home and ask about them. If he was in one end of the house and I the other, his way of getting up from watching television was to announce it with this very loud, very long yawn. He wanted to carry on long distance conversations to the point where I would have to stop doing what ever I was busy at and go see what on earth he was trying to tell me. Usually it was to ask where I wanted to go to eat. He loved going on, which was surprising considering how often he had to eat out or in the truck when he was on the road. I took it that it was just because we were together as family.
When he was gone, he called, a lot. One family gathering when he was out on the road he called so often my brothers were timing him. He actually called every five minutes. Thankfully he was parked at some truck stop and not trying to drive and do that. But if he wasn't calling me, or any of the other family members, he was expecting me to be calling him. When I got off from work, if I didn't call him on my way home, I called him just as soon as I walked in the door. He always wanted to know what mail we received, and if I had done this or that or what ever.
Here lately I seem to be forgetting to carry my phone more and more often. I hate the thing. I think, that a part of me feels that if I leave the thing at home I can say that is why he hasn't called. Of course that doesn't explain the no missed calls notice, but when one is in denial, those obvious, common sense explanations are out the window.
I'm having to do all manner of things that I didn't have to do before. I could and did, always leave the unpleasant stuff, or the stuff that I simply did not want to do for him when he got in. I used the reasoning that he was so much better at getting things accomplished, and he was. So while the rational side of me knows, the irrational side is, 'I'm doing this so he won't have to when he gets in". No, he's not coming home, I'm doing it because there is no one else to do it.
I walk into an empty house when I get home from work. Our son still lives at home, so he will be in later, but for that couple of hours, it is just me. There is no one to call and ask if we got any mail. There is no one who is going to call and ask if there is enough money in the account for him to get a hot meal. There is no one who is going to complain if I didn't get the kitchen floor mopped, of the last flowers he bought planted. There is no one who is going to be calling me every five minutes or yawning like the last dinosaur going into a tar pit. There is no one who is going to ask me if the black socks he has on matches. "Black is black dear and they will be covered with your pants, no one will see." But they still had to be matching. The closet is still filled with his clothing. His coats still hang on the hook on the back porch. All of the stuff that was sent home from his truck is still in boxes in the back room. He won't be coming home, he won't be needing any of this, but I can't force my in denial self to do anything with his things. Not yet, and not for who knows how long.
Maybe it is a form of denial. Maybe it is a heart not ready to let go. Maybe, it is the fact that my heart isn't ready to believe that a love that was so strong and so hard fought for over such a long period of time, is gone. Love? Yes. Denial? Maybe. But it isn't hurting anyone and the missing, isn't going to end any time soon. I see that and know that to be true.