As some of you know my kids are down at Disneyland this week – with my mother. Monday I drove the lot of them to the Portland airport’s Radisson hotel. I walked them to their room, made pleasant talk, and then left. Like I was normal. I can still see my son poking his head out the hotel door, happy to send me on.
I walked through the lobby and out into the balmy parking lot. I climbed in my mom’s minivan and sat. I felt myself consumed with a terror and sadness. I recited The Three Jewels aloud, three times. I cried. Then I turned the engine over and got on the road.
Life is better than it used to be. Instead of driving in a numb haze of grief, I began to wake up. I began to breathe deep. By the time I met my brother and sister-in-law at the most amazing restaurant of all time (Country Mouse is very Country, & easily impressed) I was almost feeling normal – if hungry. I had a wonderful dinner and got back home a little after ten, to a tired husband and a clean home.
I have been okay since I got home. I have access to breathing deep, to being mindful. Seeing a little baby in a stroller today, kicking his legs, I got that pang. Seeing a tousle-headed blonde child at the hardware store, there it is again. I can’t believe how much less work it is, having no kids in the house. I’m on my last client costume of the season, and I’ve been able to work on that in peace. I can do dishes and laundry, and more do not pile up. It’s been nice.
But it will be lovely to have those little warm arms around me and hear their voices again. I don’t know how people can stand being away from their children but I’m here, and I’m standing it, and I’m even living my life a bit.