March 30th, 2017


Those in mourning soon become aware that there are ambushes all around us. Things which unexpectedly trigger emotional responses. And because they're "ambushes," they can occur at times and in places where they're socially awkward or otherwise difficult to deal with.

For whatever reason, this day has been full of them. And it's a day that's only half over, at that, a day during which I'm expected by others to be out and about, doing "normal" family things and conducting necessary personal business.

A few minutes ago, I finished my P/T routine and went downstairs to change back into my street clothes. As I was changing, I thought that maybe I'd pull out the old recipe cards and make something for dinner, that I knew my grandson and his little tag-along half sister would eat, and invite them to come over before his soccer training at Pine Grove tonight.

So I got out the recipe cards, which had been rescued from the house on Mooney Ave, and began looking through them to find something quick, simple and, for the kids, palatable.

As I was going through them, I found the recipe for an Italian pasta salad that she especially liked and that I used to make occasionally for her to take to work. And always with fresh Italian bread from the Tops market over in Eastwood where they used to bake it on-premises.

And I found myself having to close my eyes, very tightly, at the memory and the thought of it. With the wondering if she knew that this was one of the ways that I tried to let her know that I still cared about her, even though we were living virtually separate lives in the same house. Had, in fact, been doing so for many years.

After a few minutes, I opened my eyes and focused again on the recipe cards, thinking that I'd be all right. And then, near the bottom of the stack where it had lingered undisturbed for those same immeasurable years, I found the recipe she'd always made, that everyone had loved, from back in the day when she was still genuinely engaged in our life as a family.

And that was where I had to stop. Sitting alone as I was in this house where it had been the fervent hope, of all of us who'd tried to save her, that this would be the place where our lives would reconnect, just as our hearts and minds and bodies had joined in the epic battle to keep her alive for that hoped-for second chance.

And so I got up and walked out of the room and tried once more to turn my back, not on her or on those hopes we'd all once had, but on the sorrow which lies so near the surface of this struggle to start a new life...