It was a strange weekend where I was feeling disjointed and disconnected. On Friday I called up my closest girlfriend to ask if she wanted to go with me to see my son perform in the "Mr. _____ High School" production he is competing in. I was in the parking lot at the sporting goods store to exchange a pair of compression shorts for my youngest, running track. I got distracted and locked the keys in the van because I was still on the phone. In six years of living on my own I have always had that fear on my mind - of locking the keys in after me. And for six long years I've accomplished avoiding that event. Luckily, it wasn't such a big deal. My oldest was still at school and found a friend to drive him over to the sporting goods store and my life was restored and back to normal in about a half-hour.
My girlfriend asked me to join her for dinner that night. We went to a place where I had a buy-one-get-one coupon. When I told my oldest I was going out he was thrilled - he told me I need to get out more, do more, etc. While we were dining, my girlfriend realized that there was an eerie connection to the date. Last year, she had driven me to my divorce mediation in an ice storm. We were hours late and I remember my ex being furious that he had to pay his attorney for the extra time. My friend and I many times that morning feared for our lives driving on pure ice. We didn't talk much about my ex or the divorce. It was just an interesting connection to note and makes you wonder about how certain dates and times match up.
The evening which was restoring and a rare treat, ended with a headache on account of the glass of Cabernet and then the very strong Whiskey Sour following. I wasn't motivated to do much when I got home.
Saturday I took my oldest to a costume shop 30 minutes away to rent an Elvis costume for his pageant. I figured by the time we tried to piece something together on our own from the party stores and Goodwill, it would probably cost as much as the $50.00 rental fee. Plus we'd avoid a lot of stress. He loved the gold jumpsuit so it was worth it. It was also fun to check out the costume shop which brought back memories of my theater days in high school and college. But I also felt out of sorts and out of the loop. I seem to get out so rarely now - I live a kind of secluded and lonely life. It was a sad realization.
The threat of an approaching winter storm held me captive over the rest of the weekend and I remained unmotivated and listless. The dishes sat in the sink; I didn't go to the storage shed; I threw together meals from what was in the house. I did crochet a rug for the kitchen and read.
There was a lot of sadness this weekend very present and close to the surface. As easy as it is for people to say, "Move on and get over it" it is hard to stop thinking about what I have lost, the life I used to live, the life I hoped to live and compare that to my life now. There is the slow realization that the grief inside me will remain and I can only do my best to work around it. Somehow I have to rise to the occasion and be there for my boys to the most of my ability. This is a very shitty realization to come to. The grief just doesn't go away even when you work at it and process it and walk through the pain. I guess you have to somehow make peace with it knowing that it will remain with you. Maybe the reconciliation process of grief is that you somehow keep plodding forward with the losses next to you - not behind you or buried beneath you. You walk forward as a much different and changed person, stronger they all say. Maybe even a little jaded and numb but that's not such a bad thing. You walk forward with the grief beside you. It is not your close friend or buddy. But you do nod at it and are able to look it straight in the eye without dissolving into tears, running away or hiding.
I am grateful:
1. That the snow wasn't as bad as I'd initially heard - more slush-like and wet.
2. That I woke up this morning.
3. For my friendship with my girlfriend which has endured the end of her marriage and both of mine.
4. The clean slate of a new day.
5. The fresh start of a new week.