It’s just a day, right? Yesterday – it was just a day.
That’s actually completely true. It was a Monday, so I did the regular routine.
We get up at 7:30, the kids get dressed in the clothes I laid out, and Grandpa Scott helps them start breakfast by 8:00 so we can be on the road fifteen minutes later. Since it’s a work day for me, Heather’s parents have come the night before, and it’s always nice to have that tiny bit of help in the morning. Just having Grandpa get out the bowls and cereal, and pour the milk gives me barely enough time that I can throw on my own clothes, and not be driving everybody to school in my own PJs.
I return from the drop off, do some writing, some configuring of the blog server, and other such inane things sitting in front of my computer, until I’ve let too much of the little time I have pass by me. Suddenly, it’s a little run to grab my coat and put my work bag together, and I’m racing to drive the hour and fifteen minutes to Colorado Springs for my day of doing counseling there.
It was a really thoughtful drive. Lots of self awareness, and planning out of some things I needed to write or say. Some sadness; and a brief talk to a friend. As well, I actually listened to some music. A few Christmas tunes; also the ipod played “Begin Again” by Taylor Swift on repeat a few times. Can people really really start over or ever love again?
A fast errand to grab something for my sister, and lunch with a colleague who was royally screwed over by her professors in her grad program recently. Then appointment, appointment, appointment. And a cancellation.
I really wish people would cancel their sessions a day in advance. They’re supposed to do so or pay their fee, but I rarely enforce that because I get stuck in wondering how I’d feel if I were them. I wish they wouldn’t cancel at all. But sometimes I’m so glad, selfishly, because it means I don’t have to be a counselor for that hour.
Then sitting on the couch in my sublet office space, and in less than 60 seconds, I’m holding my head up because I can’t stay awake. For some weird reason I still don’t really understand, I’m not allowed to take a short nap – they make me feel more tired and agitated – so I sit up and try to shake it off.
I check my texts. Last night I taught my girls how to text me from home, and I have a rather large barrage of messages from them with completely nonsensical strings of words and letters, and a tremendous amount of repeated emoticons. “I love you my chilis”, I text back.
A phone call, an unsuccessful short errand, a last appointment, and a quick drop by to my friend Brooke’s house to get a few offerings she has for me. I have friends whose quality is unparalleled. And then a long drive home in mostly quiet, while I resist the urge to text and drive.
A normal day with some ups, some downs.
Then on the way home I don’t take the first exit towards my house, I take the second. It wasn’t really planned, it just came about last minute. And at the second I turned right. Then left. Then right. And a final left. And there I was standing in front of the rectangle that ever-so-slightly shows as a depression in the ground where Heather’s body is buried. I pushed the snow off her name, and stood looking at it awhile. Though I turned to leave, I paused, turned back again, and laid down right on the crunchy frozen grass blades over her grave. Sometimes, I just like to lay there. The sound of cars on the freeway behind me quietly blows past, and my car with its headlights angled towards me sits and hums. Then I get up, drive the familiar awful turn around in the cemetery, and go home.
Greetings and “thank you”s to the grandparents, a check and exchange of a few messages on facebook by my phone, and I fall asleep in bed.
What happened? When did my life become school, work, errands, commute, laying curled up on a grave, and falling asleep with a phone in my hand?
Grief seems kind of like a long term virus – the kind that hits hard and heavy when it’s contracted, but returns with unexpected outbreaks forever more.
Or maybe it isn’t exactly the process of grief. Maybe it’s just life. Just… life.
But there isn’t any more time to write about that. I’ve already taken the kids to school, gotten dressed, and now I’ve done the computer thing where I’ve taken too long and a rushed-out-the-door experience is imminent in my future.
And gratefully – oh so gratefully – my unparalleled loved ones will text me (like they already have), and I’ll probably have nice moments on my drive, and all of that to help balance the fact that there is a rectangle of slightly depressed ground just south of here, that will never ever not be there.
I’m off to work.