I guess Spring Break is officially over and everyone is back in school or back to work.
I don’t know how it is with everyone else, but here in North Carolina, Nature is popping out all over the place. I am working as hard as I can just to keep up. I realize now that although I did do some yard work last summer, with Jim gone the chores have increased. I am pleased to report that after some experimentation and studiously reading the operating manual, I managed to start the tractor. I drove it around the yard a few times to get the hang of it, then attached the wagon and toted several loads of wind-blown branches and limbs to the curb to be picked up by the city
I haven’t lowered the blades to mow yet, but after doing the back yard yesterday with the push mower, I have a feeling that is in my near future.
And after a trip to Atlanta, I realized that if anyone was going to wash the car, it would be me. Sitting under a maple tree for a few days left my nice white car covered with those little seed thingies that look a lot like worms. I was surprised to find they left a dirty imprint that had to be scrubbed off. No soap, rinse, dry, and you’re done.
Yes, my life has changed. A lot. I still cry. I still have times when I wonder if I am going to be able to make it alone. Then I realize that I can and that I am. I surprised my oldest son by accepting his invitation to spend Easter in Atlanta with him, my daughter-in-law, and grandson. It’s a six-hour trip and I did fine, thank you very much. I used to hate getting on and off the Interstate, worried I wouldn’t be able to get back on. Not rest areas, they’re super easy, but gas stations and restaurants. Now I wonder how I could have been such a wimp. I got gas and lunch. I no longer feel conspicuous eating alone.
My new-found courage falters when someone innocently asks how Jim is doing and I have to tell them he’s gone. I cleaned out clothes this morning but could not bear to throw away the hat he wore outside all last summer. I still think of something I want to tell him, then realize I can’t. People tell me this is natural. Some people tell me in time it won’t hurt so much and others tell me the pain never goes away.
So doing yard work helps, and visiting family helps. And writing helps. I actually have an idea for a new story, but not until I finish editing the last one. I’m eager to get started. Right now I am imagining the characters, the setting, letting the ideas roll around in my brain. Pretty soon the characters will demand to tell their story, and I will sit down and let them use me as their conduit.
And my mourning break will be over.